Buy Low Sell High: Playoff Targets


A lot leagues are entering their final week of trading. Others have already passed the trade deadline.

ESPN standard leagues will have a trade deadline this Wednesday. If you aren’t aware of your trade deadline, make sure you check it out before you start putting together trade offers, only to find out your deadline has already passed.

Like last week, this week will be a little different than what you have seen most of the season. This week I am profiling the top-12 players I am trying to get on my team before my trade deadlines. Positions are grouped together. Within each position is the order I would want to target players based on a combination of expected cost and expected production.

This will be the final installment of this series for the season with most leagues being past the trade deadline after this week. The waiver and start sit articles will still run on their normal dates. If you can still trade in redraft, keeper, or dynasty leagues stay tuned to the waiver article as there will be a player or two in there to target. 

Happy trading this week, and don’t forget to give me a follow on Twitter for Sunday morning active and inactive players as well as in-game injury news and anything else football related.


Phillip Rivers

Rivers has been one of my playoff targets for a while. If you have been reading weekly then seeing him here should be no surprise. The price probably went up from this time last week now that he is out of his bye week. Rivers should be a top-five quarterback through the fantasy playoffs that go from week 14-16 with matchups against a beat up Carolina, not great Raiders, and terrible Browns pass defense.

Matt Ryan

I like Ryan’s schedule and ability more than Rivers, but I think the difference in cost isn’t going to be worth it. Ryan has been a top fantasy quarterback this season and I don’t expect that to change as he finished up with the Rams, 49ers, and Panthers.

Running backs

LeSean McCoy/Mike Gillislee

I am only going here if I can get both. The McCoy owner will be worried having to rely only on Gillislee if McCoy is out and extended period of time. As of now it is being called a dislocated thumb. I would have no problem riding with Gillislee for a few weeks and getting McCoy back for the fantasy playoffs. The Steelers and Browns in weeks 14 and 15 with McCoy should be games where he almost single-handedly puts you in the finals. Even if McCoy is out longer I have faith Gillislee can be a top-15 back on his own, potentially higher in those weeks.

Doug Martin

The Saints have been improved on defense lately, but they have just improved to being a below average defense. I still like the Bucs for two playoff matchups. They have already shown they are going to force feed Martin who has 44 touches (albeit with a low yards per touch) through two games coming off an extended absence. 

Todd Gurley

Only if you can buy at about top-25 value. I think Gurley owners will be looking to use this game as an out, and it might give you a chance to buy. Gurley gets the 49ers in week 16 as a potential chance for redemption from a week one let down game.

Tevin Coleman

He will be coming off an extended absence in week 12 – he expects to return to the lineup. Coleman was averaging 13.2 points per game before the injury. Ok, so most of it came from his three touchdown game against the Saints. He was actually surprisingly consistent with at least 11 points in five of his seven games. I think he immediately returns to the role he had before as the falcons come out of the bye with just a one game lead for the division.

Wide receiver

Tyrell Williams

Same thing as Rivers. If you have been reading you aren’t surprised. He has a great schedule and might be a surprise wide receiver one in the playoff weeks. If you can’t pry him away from his owner I wouldn’t be against adding Inman off the waiver wire to be a nice flex option.

Mike Evans

A top-five receiver and the no doubt number one passing option in his offense. Evans gets two nice matchups with the Saints.

Julio Jones

You can debate him or Antonio Brown as the number one receiver in fantasy and I couldn’t say you were right or wrong. Jones, like Ryan, is going to cost a pretty penny. However, unlike Ryan I think Julio will be worth it.

Michael Thomas/Brandin Cooks

I am all over Buccaneers players because the get the Saints. Don’t forget the Bucs have a bad defense too. I like Thomas and Cooks as options down the playoff stretch. Thomas you might be able to get cheaper than a couple of weeks ago after he had a few down games in a row.


Fantasy Rundown BannerLooking for additional buy/sell trade advice or waiver wire pick-ups, head on over to Fantasy Rundown.

Andy Germani

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I am a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan and a graduate from Penn State. Baseball was my first love and I still play to this day in an adult baseball league. I always love helping people with their questions on Twitter so feel free to follow me and ask questions.

4 thoughts on “Buy Low Sell High: Playoff Targets”

  1. Do you think the difference between Winston and Rivers is bigger than the difference between Evans and Tyrell Williams? I’m looking at acquiring Rivers.. possibly trade Evans and Winston for Rivers and M. Thomas? Or possibly include Rawls? As always, thank you.

    1. Evans to Williams is a lot bigger than the difference from Winston to Rivers. I wouldnt do any of those. Evans is a borderline must hold right now. I cant really see any scenario barring a highway robbery type deal that I would deal Evans.

      1. Rawls, Jeffery, and Crowder for L. Murray and AJ Green? It’s looking like AJ’s injury may not be as serious as originally thought.. and the upside with him seems higher than with Jeffery.


        Julio or Evans and WInston for Demarco Murray and Rivers. River’s owner is stacked at RB with DJ, Blount and Murray (and also has the top record in the league), but is really thin at WR. I don’t like giving up Julio or Evans..but i’m not sure I’d be able to get a top RB or QB without giving one up.

        1. Greens injury might not be as serious as in he wont go in the IR but I still am thinking it is going to be a 4ish week injury so I wouldnt want to trade for him unless it was dirt cheap and that isnt dirt cheap.

          Dont mind the second trade. I would try to get Henry as well from whoever has him. This is the time of the year where workhorse RBs miss a random game or two from just being beat up.

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