There were plenty of massive fantasy football performances this past Sunday. Unfortunately, Week 12 also brought about a multitude of injuries to key players. The carnage comes as an inopportune time for fantasy managers as we are just two weeks away from the playoffs. With the calendar turning to December this week, many leagues will soon see their trade deadlines come to pass. If your team could use a last-second upgrade in the form of a deadline deal, this column is for you. After all, no matter when a fantasy football trade is processed, you should always aim to come out as the winner in terms of value!
Read on for this week’s fantasy football buy low, sell high candidates, including James Robinson, Elijah Moore, Ezekiel Elliott and Damien Harris. The following breakdowns and analyses can be used to help guide your trade discussions and weigh fantasy football player values heading into Week 13. This will be the final article in this series this season, as nearly every trade deadline will have passed after this week.
Fantasy Football Buy Low Players | Week 13
James Robinson | RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Look, hesitation when it comes to trading for any fantasy football asset who plays for the Jaguars is natural. Jacksonville’s offense is absolutely horrendous this season. Growing pains are simply the unfortunate reality whenever a team drafts a rookie quarterback. The fact that Trevor Lawrence is playing behind an awful offensive line and has sub-par coaching only adds to the struggle. The Jaguars rank 31st in scoring offense, averaging only 15.7 points per game. Perhaps they would have been more productive in the red zone last week if not for the idiotic decision to leave second-year RB James Robinson on the sideline. Thanks a lot, Urban Meyer.
Robinson hasn’t exactly turned in the kind of fantasy production many thought he would. While he has scored double-digit PPR points in all three games since his return from a one-game injury absence, Robinson has now been held below the 12-point threshold in back-to-back games. The Jaguars’ inability to score touchdowns with regularity hampers the fantasy football upside of even their elite running back. When it comes to fantasy football scoring consistency, however, Robinson remains rock solid. Given that the Jags just lost tight end Dan Arnold to injury this past week, Robinson might assume an increased role as a pass-catcher going forward as well. The former UDFA is a sneaky contrarian trade target with the fantasy playoffs on the horizon.
Elijah Moore | WR, New York Jets
Similar to the James Robinson situation, rookie wideout Elijah Moore plays in a very weak Jets offense. This is the key point to highlight when pursuing him as a buy-low trade target heading into Week 13. To say that Moore has largely overcome the lackluster team around him in recent weeks would be an understatement. The former Ole Miss standout had a run of five straight double-digit PPR fantasy point games snapped this past weekend by the slimmest of margins. Part of that was certainly thanks to the rusty quarterback play of fellow rookie, Zach Wilson. Moore still saw eight targets in the Jets’ win and has now gotten at least six passes thrown his way in every game since the team’s Week 6 bye.
While Moore’s target share may be diminished once veteran wideout Corey Davis returns to the lineup, the fact that the Jets will be trailing in the majority of games certainly bodes well for all pass-catchers. He has already usurped all other receivers in terms of the pecking order. Moore will be a tough buy-low after he exploded for nearly 30 fantasy points one week ago. However, that did come with Joe Flacco, not Wilson, under center. If you can acquire him at value, favorable matchups against Philadelphia, Miami and Jacksonville down the stretch could prove fruitful.
DK Metcalf | WR, Seattle Seahawks
Rounding out the Week 13 trifecta of buy-low trade candidates on bad offensive teams is DK Metcalf. The bottom has clearly fallen out in Seattle. At 3-8, the Seahawks are all but officially eliminated from the NFC playoff picture. Russell Wilson is playing horrendous football and looks miserable. The offensive line is atrocious. There is absolutely no ground game to speak of, a facet that has typically been a staple of Pete Carroll’s successful tenure in Seattle. To top it all off, Metcalf wasn’t targeted until the final minute of the team’s Week 12 loss.
After scoring double-digit PPR fantasy points in every game from Weeks 1-8, Metcalf has failed to do so in the three games since a Week 9 bye. A return to fantasy football stardom down the stretch of the season is a tough ask. However, Metcalf will surely be more productive than these last few games. Consider him a performance-based buy-low target heading into a healthy Week 13 matchup against a suspect San Francisco secondary.
Fantasy Football Sell High Players | Week 13
Ezekiel Elliott | RB, Dallas Cowboys
Unlike some other star fantasy football running backs, Ezekiel Elliott is not going to be sidelined by his nagging knee injury. However, with the Cowboys still sitting pretty in the NFC East Division and a quality backup behind him in Tony Pollard, Elliott’s touches are expected to decrease in the coming weeks. One could argue that already began on Thanksgiving Day. Elliott played 64% of Dallas’ offensive snaps but saw nine carries compared to 10 for Pollard. Losing their high-priced RB down the stretch is the last thing the Cowboys can afford.
With a decreased role expected, Elliott is once again a prime sell-high candidate in Week 13 fantasy football trade discussions. The contributions he has provided all season to date speak for themselves. They will also go a long way towards netting a hefty return. Elliott has easily scored double-digit fantasy points in every game since Week 1 and ranks as the RB7 in PPR on the season. Parting ways with that kind of production can be understandably difficult. For further reason to sell Elliott now, consider a rather daunting late-season schedule. Three of the Cowboys’ next four games come against Washington and New Orleans defenses that rank top-10 in adjusted efficiency against the run.
Damien Harris | RB, New England Patriots
The dynamic of the New England backfield has been altered a bit in recent weeks. Bill Belichick has long been notorious for frustrating fantasy football managers with his running-back-by-committee approach. One could argue that Damien Harris is locked into the most balanced timeshare he has been all season at this juncture. After exiting the Patriots’ Week 9 contest early with a concussion and missing the following week, Harris is suddenly splitting his workload evenly with rookie Rhamondre Stevenson. Both RBs bring similar bruising running styles to the table. Thus, they are essentially interchangeable in the Patriots’ offense.
Unfortunately, the increased split in work has negatively impacted Harris’ fantasy football outlook as the playoffs approach. He has not played more than 40% of the team’s offensive snaps in any of his last three games played. A rushing touchdown in two of those three contests was the only thing that pushed his fantasy point total into double-digits. While it appears that Harris will maintain the red zone role over Stevenson, banking on touchdowns is never a great fantasy strategy. On top of the timeshare, Harris owners will have to deal with some tougher matchups as well as a Week 14 bye down the stretch. If you can get RB2 value in return, consider that a worthwhile trade.
D.J. Moore | WR, Carolina Panthers
Let’s face it: the Panthers literally do not have a reliable quarterback. The Cam Newton return narrative was great until this past Sunday’s horrendous performance in Miami. Sam Darnold could return at some point, but he is equally as bad. The only Carolina receiver who has largely overcome the lack of reliable QB play this season is D.J. Moore. For as awful as Newton was in Week 12, Moore still managed to score 14.3 PPR fantasy points despite only catching four passes. A whopping 10 targets enabled him to be productive despite a lack of efficiency. On the season, Moore has seen a minimum of seven targets in every single game.
For fantasy football managers in the midst of a playoff push, added motivation to sell Moore comes in the form of the Panthers’ Week 13 bye. Perhaps a team already in comfortable standing when it comes to your league’s playoff picture would be willing to pay a premium for the WR13 on the season. With Christian McCaffrey now done for the year, the offensive situation in Carolina could get even worse down the stretch.
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