Around this time of year, you will undoubtedly encounter debate regarding trade deadlines in fantasy football. Arguments can be made on both sides and whether you’re for a trade deadline or not, people rarely have an opinion that falls somewhere down the middle. Obviously, the risk of collusion exists when you offer playoff-bound teams the ability to obtain players from non-playoff-bound teams who are focusing on next year but in my opinion, you cannot eliminate all risk of collusion. Although, if you take part in leagues that leave you surrounded by not only good owners but a good commissioner as well, the likelihood of collusion in that league should be a non-factor. With that said, I’m all for eliminating trade deadlines and letting owners do what they think is best for their franchise.
Whether or not your league has a trade deadline doesn’t change the fact that the most cost-effective way to make moves is via the waiver wire. As I mentioned last week, the number of available players who possess the capability of helping your team during the closing weeks gets smaller with each passing week. Every league is different and there could still be some players out on your league’s waiver wire who could help. Also, taking chances on some long shots might even pay off.
Trevor Siemian, QB – Denver Broncos
It took them thirteen weeks but the Denver Broncos finally came to the same realization that the rest of the football-watching world came to long ago which is that the Broncos really don’t have a starting-caliber quarterback on their roster. First up was Trevor Siemian, who looked good towards the end of 2016 and started the 2017 season red-hot after throwing for six touchdowns in his first two games. He spent the next five games playing terribly with a passer rating averaging around 68 which ultimately forced the Broncos to bench him in favor of Brock Osweiler. Osweiler, who subsequently went 0-3 as Denver’s starter while logging a passer rating of just over 65. Finally, the team turned to second-year pro, Paxton Lynch, who looked incredibly lost when he was in the game last week, left the game early with an ankle sprain and as a result, will miss the next two weeks. Lynch’s injury last week re-opened the door for Siemian who played the part of his early-season self and made the most of his 21 pass attempts, tossing a pair of touchdowns alongside zero interceptions. He finished that game with a passer rating of 107.0 and made it clear that he is at least the closest thing to a starting quarterback the Broncos have. In superflex and two quarterback leagues, Siemian should be serviceable the rest of the way if you need the help.
Mike Davis, RB – Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks backfield has been an absolute dumpster fire this year. Russell Wilson is the team’s leading rusher by almost 200 yards and the guy who is second on the list, Chris Carson, hasn’t played since Week 4. J.D. McKissic has been the most effective runner the last few weeks, averaging 4.5 yards per attempt, but the Seahawks seem to be dead set on using him sparingly. Mike Davis was a surprise start for Week 11 against Atlanta and looked decent in the running and passing game, logging 18 yards on three carries and 41 yards on two receptions until he injured his groin which resulted in him missing the remainder of that game and becoming inactive for the next. The Seahawks have a very tough matchup against the Eagles this week but then have the Jaguars, 49ers, and Cowboys—all of which are all either neutral or advantageous matchups.
Andre Ellington, RB – Houston Texans
Andre Ellington was expected to get a lot of work this year after David Johnson was placed on injured reserve after Week 1. However, Ellington amassed only 15 rushing attempts and 33 receptions over the Cardinals following nine games and ultimately found himself on the chopping block as the season continued and his effectiveness did not improve. He was a healthy scratch for the Cardinals in Week 11, was subsequently cut in Week 12, and claimed on waivers by the Houston Texans shortly after. I’m not typically a fan of picking up players who are cut because the probability of them working out for fantasy purposes is rare but with D’Onta Foreman on injured reserve and Alfred Blue doing his best impression of himself, the Texans are desperately in need of a running back. Ellington has similar strengths to that of Texans starting running back Lamar Miller so they wouldn’t need to change the offense much at all to get Ellington some work. Plus, we saw in the Monday night game how fragile Miller can be so there is potential for some serious opportunity here.
Josh Gordon, WR – Cleveland Browns
The chance that Josh Gordon is available on your league’s waiver wire is probably very slim. People who are Gordon fans have likely been holding onto him for two years, simply waiting for this week to start him. He is expected to return from his suspension this week against the Los Angeles Chargers. I don’t think anybody has any idea what to expect from Gordon at this point but considering the last time we saw him play a full season, he put up over 1,600 yards and 9 touchdowns so I’d say he’s worth the look. He’s not yet 27 years old so if things do work out for him this time around, you could be cashing in a giant bargain.
Josh Reynolds, WR – Los Angeles Rams
Josh Reynolds was a 4th round draft pick out of Texas A&M as a 6’3” speed demon who was known to have a high football IQ. It was thought he would need some time to adjust to the pro game due to his limited strength and smaller stature. In most dynasty leagues, Reynolds was probably a late round rookie pick but could have been dropped because he registered only one target during the first eleven weeks. Given the explosion of Robert Woods, the trade for Sammy Watkins, and the great play of fellow rookie Cooper Kupp, Reynolds just hasn’t really been needed on the field. Woods went down in Week 12 with a shoulder injury and is expected to miss several weeks. It didn’t take long for Reynolds to get up to speed in the offense after coming in for relief, catching four passes on six targets for 37 yards and a touchdown. He should be utilized a decent amount in Woods’ absence and could easily earn himself some more looks, both this year and next, if he continues to play well.
Ricky Seals-Jones, TE – Arizona Cardinals
We move onto another Texas A&M product in Ricky Seals-Jones, a rookie tight end who found himself on the Arizona Cardinals this year as an undrafted free agent. Many of us watched him score two touchdowns on three receptions in Week 11 and many of us likely considered it more of a fluke than not. Well, he followed it up in Week 12 with four more catches for 72 yards and another score. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. I’m not saying he’s the next Evan Engram but he was a highly touted recruit as a wide receiver coming out of high school so the tools should be there for him to be that type of receiving tight end. At this point, I think you have to buy in and at the very least, ride the hot streak as much as you can. With so much scarcity at the tight end position, any tight end catching touchdowns is fantasy gold.