NFL Fantasy Tips: It's time to gear up for the playoffs

Will Fuller Texans
Will Fuller could be on the move before the NFL's trade deadline

We will see Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb, Austin Ekeler and Michael Thomas returning to action soon, Dave Gray says go and get them before it is too late...

"Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb and Austin Ekeler are all due to return either this week or next and they can be a key part of a title run for your team."

Trade deadline could change a lot for your team

The NFL trade deadline is today so keep an eye on any moves that happen in the coming hours. It could be that a player gets bumped up the depth chart or a star comes in and limits a rookie's role in the team. But lots can change with a few trades and you need to be aware of how that will affect your team.

One team to really keep an eye on is the Green Bay Packers. They are crying out for help at wide receiver - just as they were in the draft - but they could address that now with the team right in the mix for the Super Bowl. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the Packers WR2, has been amongst the very worst pass catchers in the league according to PFF and they can't let this season pass by without trying to add somebody.

One name that has been mentioned a lot is Will Fuller. He could be electric in that offence. He would slot into a similar role to when he was behind Deandre Hopkins and personally I believe it is a role that suits him more. Being the main man in an offence can be hard. Just look at somebody like JuJu Smith-Schuster. It is no knock on either player, but both perform better as the WR2. But if Fuller ends up in Green Bay then look out as he could be a fantasy monster with Aaron Rodgers throwing to him. I'd still be looking at the Seahawks and Bucs ahead of Green Bay in the NFC but their chances of winning the Super Bowl would certainly improve.

Superstar RBs returning

There are a number of high end running backs due back on the field imminently and it may never be cheaper to acquire them than it is right now.

Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb and Austin Ekeler are all due to return either this week or next and they can be a key part of a title run for your team. Don't get me wrong, the price is still going to be high but the opportunity to get these sort of difference makers on your team do not come along all the time so take them while you can.

Even if they are a bit rusty early on, by the time week 14 and the fantasy playoffs come around they will be back to their best.

Michael Thomas.jpg

Thomas is a risk worth taking

On a similar note, it may be time to strike on Michael Thomas. As somebody that drafted him in way too many leagues, I can tell you that people are certainly getting frustrated with the star wide receiver. He has missed most of the season so far with a pair of injuries as well as a suspension for punching a teammate. There have been talks that he could be traded but whether he is or not, we should see his season get underway shortly.

The whole situation has been a little mysterious so it is certainly a risk. But it is one that is worth taking. There has not been anybody that has really taken off in his absence. So he would slot straight back in as Drew Brees' favourite target. It is the sort of high risk move that could end in a championship.

Get some value while you still can

Travis Fulgham has been superb as basically the only player in the Eagles passing game that has been decimated by injury. But this week saw the return of Jaelen Reagor and Dallas Goedert and it signalled his first time in four weeks without double digit targets. He did still score well and that means he will still hold some value. But Zach Ertz is also close to a return and that will only eat into his targets even more. It may take a bit of negotiating but in two weeks time he may have close to no value. Take what you can get now. Maybe even package him as part of some of those earlier deals.

All about your starting line up

You may have noticed a bit of a theme throughout here, but if you didn't, it is time to get ready for the playoffs. We are a month out from them now and you need to be getting your team's ready for that run. Try and find running backs that have a soft schedule in those final few weeks. Identify the players you have that could have a tough run that you may want to trade now before your opponents catch on to that. If you have been holding on to an extra running back for depth, maybe package two of them up to find somebody elite.

I said a few weeks ago to hold on to depth because of the coronavirus issues, but it is time to forget that and go all out. I'm not saying there is no value to having a strong bench, but having a starting line up that is projected five points higher is well worth losing 20 from your bench players.

Don't be afraid to have the worst side of a trade if it makes your starting line up stronger. You just need to be looking to maximise your scoring power. Just as an example, if you only have one quarterback slot, there is little point in having Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes might get 30 points every week, but you can only start one of them so it is wasted on your bench. Now is the time to be bold with your fantasy teams and go after the win.

Dave Gray's Regular Season NFL 2019/20 P/L

Staked: 134.64
Returns: 109.90
P/L: +24.74

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