The NFL trade deadline just passed with fireworks! Now, fantasy football trade deadlines will occur over the next few weeks. Our goal at Club Fantasy is to give you the best advice possible to provide you with the best chance to win a championship. Therefore, we need to recommend different players based on your current chances of making the playoffs. So, here are our favorite fantasy football trade targets to help you win your league.
I will summarize the trading strategy for each group and the best players to target. If you need more guidance on making a trade, read my helpful “Intro to Trading” article here.
Fantasy Football Trade Deadline Targets
Six or More Wins
If your record is at least 6-2, then there is a good chance you will make the playoffs, assuming you avoid significant injuries. Recognizing if you are a high-scoring team or have been lucky with matchups is essential. Based on your record and points scored, it would be safe to assume you have a strong roster. The ideal strategy is to trade two really good players for one great player.
This type of trade allows you to consolidate talent, making your lineup decisions more manageable in the playoffs. It also opens a roster spot to churn for potential league winners off the waiver wire. If you have any over-performing players on a hot streak, they are the best to include in the trade to maximize value for a more talented player coming back.
Your roster can take on more risk by trading for talented players on a cold streak or dealing with a short-term injury. Finally, check upcoming bye weeks to see how much depth you actually need, then do your best to consolidate talent. It is still too early to know who has the best/worst playoff schedule, but keep that in the back of your mind as you consider trades.
Lamar Jackson, QB – Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson started the season HOT, scoring 40.75 fantasy points per game through three weeks. He then cooled off in Weeks 4-7, scoring only 15.16 fantasy points per game. Jackson is an elite quarterback, but he was unlucky not to score more touchdowns during that cold streak.
He has also dealt with injuries to his best weapons (Mark Andrews, Rashod Bateman, and J.K. Dobbins). We now know Bateman is out for the year — you can spin that to make a trade happen. He even has a Week 10 bye coming up. You can use all of this negativity to your advantage in trade negotiations.
Jonathan Taylor, RB – Indianapolis Colts
Let’s call it like it is — Jonathan Taylor has been a fantasy bust this season, based on his average draft position. Taylor has dealt with injuries and a disappointing offensive line. He has also not scored a touchdown since Week 1.
However, when Taylor plays, he runs well. Nyheim Hines is now on the Buffalo Bills, so we could see Taylor’s targets increase, which is high-value touches in fantasy football. Taylor is extremely risky because he may never fully recover from his ankle sprain. Nevertheless, he is a talented running back, and his trade value may never be lower.
If you are a top team in the league, you can afford to keep him on your bench until he is healthy and unleash him during the fantasy playoffs.
Dalvin Cook, RB – Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook is a stud, but there seems to be some negative perception surrounding him. He started off slow with 11.4 fantasy points per game through the first four weeks with only one touchdown. Then Cook scored four touchdowns over the last three games, with 100+ total yards in two of those games. He even lost a touchdown to Mattison in Week 8.
Cook is always a risk for injury, and he already had his annual shoulder injury earlier this season. So you can use that negative perception and acquire him at a great value, especially since we are past his bye week.
D’Andre Swift, RB – Detroit Lions
D’Andre Swift is so talented and exciting, but he just cannot stay healthy. The Lions have a terrible defense and high-scoring offense this season. When Swift plays, he looks dynamic. However, he only had 10 touches in Week 8, and his head coach said that was too many touches. Swift needs to get healthy for him to help you in the second half of the season.
If you are a top team, you can afford to stash him for a few weeks. You should offer the other manager some depth players and acquire Swift at a low cost compared to his talent. We are past his bye week too.
Josh Jacobs, RB – Las Vegas Raiders
So many people were out on Josh Jacobs before the season. He is the RB5 in PPR points per game (20.1) and only 0.7 ppg behind RB2 (CMC). Jacobs is coming off a lousy Week 8, but he averaged 33.8 fantasy points per game during the previous three games. Jacobs has been running hard and looks great.
According to FantasyData, Jacobs is second in juke rate at 49.7%, which illustrates on-field elusiveness and tackle-breaking ability. There may be some fear that Week 8 will be the new trend, so take advantage of any concerns. We are past his bye week too.
Ja’Marr Chase, WR – Cincinnati Bengals
We will keep this one simple. Chase suffered an injury that will keep him out for a few weeks. The Bengals did not put him on IR, so we are optimistic he will be out for fewer than four weeks. However, we can never know how a player will recover from an injury (see Keenan Allen’s hamstring).
Another manager fighting for every win may be unable to afford to hold Chase on their bench. But, if you can stash him, you do not want to pass up on one of the best wide receivers at a valued cost.
Chris Godwin, WR – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chris Godwin’s targets over the last three games are 12, 13, and 11. That is a 28.3% target share, which leads the team (Mike Evans is 23.6%). Over the last three games, the next highest target share after Godwin and Evans is Cade Otton, rookie tight end, with 10.2%.
The targets are clearly focused on Godwin and Evans. Godwin has the second most targets (36) in the NFL over the last three weeks, while Tyreek Hill has the most with 42 targets. People are down on the Bucs players since they have lost three games in a row. Godwin hasn’t scored a touchdown yet this season, but the positive regression will happen soon enough.
Three to Five Wins
Most fantasy managers will fall into this category because it is basic statistics. However, you really need to look at your roster and evaluate it honestly. Have you been scoring well? Do you have enough depth? Do you have too many injuries? If you have a strong team but had some unlucky losses, then you will approach trades differently from a low-scoring team that lacks the depth to cover bye weeks. It may be best for you to make a 2-for-1 trade so you can add depth to help you earn a win during a tough bye week.
Also, it may be best for you to make a 1-for-2 trade to add a stud and have a better starting lineup because you do not need as much depth. The key is to be truly honest about your roster evaluation because that is the only way to make the best moves to give you the best chance to make the playoffs.
The target players below are a mix of top-performing players that will cost a lot, high-volume players, underperforming players in good situations, or cheaper players with league-winner potential.
Travis Etienne Jr, RB – Jacksonville Jaguars
Travis Etienne is THE running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is now on the field for about 80% of snaps and dominates the running back touches. Etienne is explosive and always a big play waiting to happen. According to FantasyData, he is fifth in the NFL at the breakaway rate, which is his percentage of 15+ yard carries (9.8%).
Etienne also benefits from a 10% target share averaging more than three targets per game. He had good matchups over the next five weeks to help you get much-needed wins to get into the playoffs.
Khalil Herbert, RB – Chicago Bears
Khalil Herbert will be the cheapest player to acquire in this group because he is not a starter. He has played well but still plays behind Montgomery. Herbert could eventually play ahead of Montgomery, but I do not expect that to happen unless Montgomery gets hurt.
However, if Montgomery gets hurt (we do not hope for injuries), Hebert could be a league winner. He is a player you want to target without having to give up too much or make him an add-on, then stash him on your bench.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR – Detroit Lions
This one is simple: St. Brown is excellent, and T.J. Hockenson was just traded away to the Vikings. ARSB averages 8.3 targets per game this season, so it is realistic for him to average 10-12 targets per game going forward. The best chance for players to score touchdowns is to touch the ball as often as possible. ARSB is a high-volume player on a high-scoring offense, which is a recipe for success that can help you make the playoffs.
Michael Pittman, WR – Indianapolis Colts
Michael Pittman has been a target hog on his team. Jonathan Taylor can’t get healthy right now, so Pittman is the most talented player on the Colts. However, the team has underperformed this season, and Matt Ryan has been benched. So there is uncertainty if Sam Ehlinger can play well enough to support Pittman for fantasy.
You can use that uncertainty to acquire Pittman for a better value. He carries plenty of risks, but I want to trust the talent, and you need to take some swings to make a push for the playoffs.
D.K. Metcalf, WR – Seattle Seahawks
One of the biggest surprises of the 2022 fantasy football season is the Seattle Seahawks having a great fantasy offense. Why? There were fears that Geno Smith would not be able to support Metcalf and/or Lockett. Instead, Smith is playing very well, and Metcalf is fantastic. Metcalf may also be Superman since we thought he sustained a severe knee injury, but he didn’t miss a game and dominated.
There is a risk that he could exacerbate the injury. Metcalf is 7th amongst wide receivers for RedZone targets with nine. However, DK Metcalf can win you a week, which is the type of player you need on your roster to push for the playoffs.
Chris Olave, WR – New Orleans Saints
Chris Olave could be the offensive rookie of the year. In three out of seven games, he has at least 13 targets! Olave is 14th amongst wide receivers in targets per game with nine. Among wide receivers that have played at least four games, he is the WR16 in points per game (14.8).
Olave has only scored two touchdowns. However, Michael Thomas is now out for the season, and Jarvis Landry has been banged up, so Olave is the WR1 on the Saints. He only competes for targets with Kamara, but they can both excel together.
Gabe Davis, WR – Buffalo Bills
Gabe Davis is the poster child for boom/bust wide receivers. We have seen him go nuclear multiple times and do almost nothing in other games. He is only the WR37 in PPR scoring but WR23 in points per game for those that have played at least four games. Yet, you go after Davis because he offers you week-winning performances. There is an obvious risk, but you cannot play it safe at this point of the season if you want to get into the playoffs.
Two Wins or Fewer
First, you are not definitely out of playoff contention yet. However, you need to win every week. Otherwise, you are done. Therefore, you need to go for broke and don’t worry about the risks. You are in this position because your roster is underperforming, you had a lot of injuries, or you were just really unlucky.
Now, you have nothing to lose, and you need to take BIG swings to crawl and fight your way back into playoff contention. The players listed below have significant issues but also lots of talent. That is why you have the opportunity to acquire them, but there is a high chance they do not turn it around, and you cannot salvage your season.
- Joe Mixon, RB – Cincinnati Bengals
- Najee Harris, RB – Pittsburgh Steelers
- Deebo Samuel, WR – San Francinso 49ers
- D.J. Moore, WR – Carolina Panthers
We hope you can make some great trades, pick up some great trade deadline targets, and win a championship at the end of the season! This will be the last redraft trade article of the season. However, don’t miss out on the next trade article in a month if you play dynasty. We will discuss trades you can make towards the end of the fantasy football regular season for your dynasty leagues to help you make a push for glory this year or set you up for success in 2023 and beyond.