Whenever you’re contemplating a trade, it is crucial to check out the fantasy playoff matchups of your potential acquisitions. Fantasy playoff start dates vary from league-to-league (most leagues start in either Week 14 or 15), but they are an absolutely vital piece of information. I would rather have Donald Brown against the Saints defense than Arian Foster against the 49ers. That’s not to say I would trade Foster for Brown – but I wouldn’t want to neglect that information either.

Both of my recommendations this week have great fantasy playoff schedules. Doug Martin has dates with New Orleans and Atlanta, while Antonio Brown will be seeing San Diego, Cleveland, and Baltimore over the final five weeks.

BUY: Doug Martin

Martin has had fewer than 15 carries in each of Tampa’s last two games, leaving fantasy owners to ponder whether a time share is coming with LeGarette Blount. I think the presence of Blount – who has reportedly made the adjustments Greg Schiano wanted to see – will actually be the key to getting better production out of Martin. Not only will Blount serve as good internal competition, but he will be able to give Martin some much needed rest. As we see below, in the first three games of the season when Martin had 20+ touches against the Panthers, Giants, and Cowboys – ranked 23rd, 24th, and 11th respectively in yards per carry against – he wasn’t very productive. With less of a workload and fresher legs against the Redskins and Chiefs – ranked 14th and 26th – he responded much better.

DOUG MARTIN

Games

Yards per carry

Yards per reception

20+ touches

3

3.4

7.33

Less than 20 touches

2

5.2

16

These performances should help the Bucs define roles for Martin and Blount as the “thunder and lightning” of this offense. It wasn’t very long ago that Mike Alstott and Warrick Dunn both posted productive years as the original RB duo in Tampa.

The complementary work done by Blount isn’t the only reason I’m high on Martin. The Bucs still have a total of four matchups with New Orleans and Atlanta this season, and both of those defenses rank in the bottom three of the entire league in YPC against. The Bucs also have the chance to be a very imposing rushing attack. Center Jeremy Zuttah is the only player on the offensive line shorter than 6”5, and he’s 6”4.

The table is set for Martin to show off the dynamic skill set that made him a first-round draft pick in April.

Players I would give up to acquire Doug Martin: DeMarco Murray, Shonn Greene, Darren McFadden, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis

BUY: Antonio Brown

Although he has been very effective for Pittsburgh’s offense, Brown has yet to post the big numbers fantasy owners we were all hoping for back in August. He ranks 44th among receivers in fantasy points, yet he has received the 20th most targets. A more even balance between those two numbers is coming.

There’s no reason to doubt Brown’s play-making ability after the catch. He is perhaps the most electric player on the Steelers, prompting the club to name him their primary punt returner. He currently sits sixth among NFL receivers in yards after the catch with 188 this season, yet his longest catch of the season is just 27 yards. That ranks 90th in the league and leads me to believe that Brown has been unlucky not to have longer receptions. The Steelers will continue to give Brown opportunities, and eventually he will start to break into the end zone and as he continues to bust off long runs after the catch. He has just one touchdown this year, which isn’t indicative of his actual on-field production, as he has drawn at least two pass interference calls in the end zone this season.

Expect Pittsburgh to continue with their pass-happy offense, as they won’t want to put Rashard Mendenhall under too much pressure early during his return from ACL surgery. Also expect Mike Wallace to continue to draw a good portion of the coverage on the other side of the field, meaning the path is clear for Brown to have a fantastic remainder of the season.

Players I would give up to acquire Antonio Brown: Michael Crabtree, Brandon Lloyd, Brian Hartline, and Anquan Boldin

If you have any trades that you’re pondering, feel free to post them below and I’ll give you my two cents worth.

Comments (15)

  1. Looking for your two cents worth…..

    V. Davis

    for

    Owen Daniels
    Desean Jackson

    I currently have Davis.
    Im seriously considering.
    Should I pull the trigger and accept the trade?

    • *IF* Owen Daniels is a downgrade from Vernon, then he is not a large downgrade. Daniels is two years off ACL surgery now, which is supposedly how long it takes to get back to full strength. The Texans are also not as formidable on the ground as they used to be with the loss of Eric Winston. I think the Texans continue to lean on Daniels and the passing game more and more. There aren’t many receiving options in that passing attack either so I’m very high on Daniels. Vernon is also usually the number one focus of opposing defences, which means he will explode some weeks, but may not be as consistent as Daniels going forward.

      Jackson is the icing in the cake for you. I don’t like him as a starter because he is so inconsistent but you can flex him against weaker secondaries and benefit. I say pull the trigger

  2. S.Jackson & a.Hawkins for Brandon Marshall & B.Tate… My starters would be McCoy and either Pierre Thomas or Tate and Marshall and brown at WR.. 16 team league

    • It seems like Stephen Jackson is locked into this timeshare for the remainder of his time in St. Louis. So it’s logical to assume he will put up comparable numbers to Tate. The upgrade from Hawkins to Marshall is obviously massive. Cutler will continue to force targets into Marshall which is fantasy gold.

      I would also try to start Tate as much as possible over Thomas. New Orleans running backs are an absolute crapshoot and pretty much useless (except sproles) if and when they fall behind.

  3. I just got offered this not too long ago:
    Eli Manning and Jeremy Maclin for Matt Ryan and Pierre Garcon.

    Matt Ryan is one of my top players however, if it weren’t for his BYE this week, he would be my only QB

    • I think this is a really even trade. Garcon appears to be close to returning from his foot injury and he will see a lot of targets from RG3 with big play potential. I like Maclin a little more than Garcon because of his consistency week-to-week and his ability to break off a big one. And on the other side I think Ryan definitely finishes the season in the top 3 fantasy qb’s. Eli probably doesn’t, but he won’t be far behind.

      I would hold on to what you have because both your guys have higher ceilings each week

  4. 12 Man league – Tied for first

    Roster is as follows:
    Matt Ryan
    Ray Rice
    Trent Richardson
    Marshawn Lynch
    Dez Bryant
    Marcus Colston
    Tony Gonzalez
    Bears D
    Mason Crosby

    Should I sell Lynch now while trade value is high? I have been offered Wes Welker for Lynch straight up?

    • Wow that’s a tasty squad right there. Quick glance at Marshawn’s fantasy playoff schedule and it’s ugly. He has Jets, Dolphins, Bears and Cardinals in weeks 10-14. And if you make it to week 16 he has San Fran there.

      I would make sure you have a capable backup RB for Rice and Richardson before shopping Lynch for anything other than an RB, because apart from injury you may also want to bench Richardson in the playoffs. With that being said, if you can find a suitable backup RB, I think you should put out some offers. I don’t like Welker for Lynch straight up because lynch has far greater potential for touchdowns each week. (unless this is a ppr league? then prolly pull the trigger)

  5. Debating whether I should trade for isaac redman or pick up mendenhall for nothing

    • I know Mendenhall seems brittle, but he’s absolutely still the number 1 guy in Pittsburgh. So much more dynamic than Redman. Don’t let Redman’s performance from last week make you think this guy is a play-maker. They caught the defence being too aggressive a couple times and he was the beneficiary. I wouldn’t give up anything for Redman, while Mendenhall could be a steal off the wire.

      According to roto, mendenhall has the better chance of playing this week too.

  6. 12 man PPR league, I’m 9/12.

    Offered Percy Harvin and Doug Martin for Arian and Pitta. Do I pull the trigger?

    • Interesting trade. If you were in a standard scoring league I would say no, but PPR is a whole different animal. Harvin has more ppr points than Foster does right now. Harvin is also uncontainable with the way Minny lines him up all over the place, so I don’t see his production slowing down.

      As I was saying in an earlier comment, Houston’s running attack is not what it was last year and I think they start passing more. More reason to pull the trigger.

      In Martin’s new role, I can see him catching more passes out of the backfield. I think he is in line for a big second half.

      I was very high on pitta at the start of the year but I think I jumped the gun a bit. Boldin and Smith have been very effective and ray rice is still eating up touches. If you can find an adequate TE replacement, I say go for it

  7. You’re excited about Doug Martin! So am I – but what about this trade?

    12 man, ppr league, 10/12.

    James Jones and William Powell for Doug Martin

    • Well I never like giving up 2 players for 1. The other guy has to drop someone, so you might as well take a receiver back. James Jones is white-hot right now and I wouldn’t be in a rush to trade him with Greg Jennings not showing any signs of recovery. I like what I’ve seen from Powell but I wouldn’t have any problem trading him for Martin in a ppr league. I would see if you can pull Jones out of the deal and replace him with another WR or get a somewhat valuable WR in return

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