The 2023 fantasy football season is now firmly in the second half. Fantasy managers now have their eyes set on the playoffs.
With the fantasy trade deadline near, the time is running low for fantasy managers to improve their rosters. Here are a handful of players to explore trades for and buy low or sell high on.
Fantasy Football Week 12 Buy-Low Trade Targets
Here are a few players fantasy managers should be looking to acquire at a low price, if possible.
Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray has certainly looked good in his two games back. However, he’s yet to really have that vintage performance. He’s accounted for just three touchdowns in his two games back.
The Cardinals do have a Week 14 bye and the 49ers in Week 15, but Murray has mega-smash potential in Weeks 16 and 17 against the Bears and Eagles. If you’re a team looking good for a bye but struggling at QB, Murray is the No.1 guy you should target.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Admittedly, it may be difficult to buy low on a guy like Austin Ekeler because of the name value. Plus, prior to this week, Ekeler had eclipsed 20 fantasy points in three straight games. He hasn’t exactly been struggling. But fantasy managers are a fickle bunch and often overreact to what just happened.
Ekeler’s 10 carries against the Packers were a season low, but he did average 6.4 yards per attempt. The issue was he did nothing in the passing game, with just two catches for six yards.
The Chargers have a tough matchup against the Ravens next week, but after that, it’s just one soft run defense after the other. Ekeler is still a top-five back. Getting him for anything less is a good move.
De’Von Achane, RB, Miami Dolphins
After waiting a month for his return, De’Von Achane returned in a smash spot against the Raiders but was forced from the game due to an injury to the same knee that had been healing during a just-completed stint on injured reserve.
The good news is head coach Mike McDaniel didn’t seem overly concerned, and Achane was lobbying to come back in the game.
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The Dolphins have a better remaining schedule for running backs than for their passing game this season. Achane is still immensely talented, but his fantasy managers may have had enough after waiting this long and getting 1.5 points. If you can poach him for cheap, go for it.
Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
There’s really no defending Kenny Pickett as a serious NFL starting quarterback. But we’ve still seen Diontae Johnson be far better than he’s been the past two weeks. Johnson has a total of three receptions for 33 yards over that span. But that must be put into proper context.
The Steelers played the Packers and Browns over the past two weeks, two of the toughest pass defenses in the NFL. Their remaining schedule consists of roughly average pass defenses.
Johnson still commanded eight targets on Sunday. He didn’t suddenly become bad at football. If you can buy him at a WR3 price, it’s a worthwhile move.
Puka Nacua, WR, Los Angeles Rams
It might be difficult to buy low on Puka Nacua after a quality 5-70-1 game against the Seahawks. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try.
Cooper Kupp left the game early with a leg injury and did not return. If he is out for any period of time, we know what that looks like for Nacua. This recommendation is about paying for Nacua with Kupp prices for a potential Nacua without Kupp.
Nacua can still be effective even if Kupp is okay. But his upside without Kupp is worth acquiring if you don’t have to overpay for it.
Jake Ferguson, TE, Dallas Cowboys
You want pieces of the Dallas Cowboys’ passing attack. But CeeDee Lamb is too expensive, and Brandin Cooks isn’t good enough. That leaves Jake Ferguson as the guy to target in a trade.
Ferguson only caught three balls for 32 yards against the Panthers. The Cowboys also had a positive game script throughout.
The remaining schedule is very conducive to passing. The Cowboys face some difficult opponents with offenses that will require them to keep pace. That means more targets for Ferguson. Buy him now if you can.
Fantasy Football Week 12 Sell-High Trade Options
Here are a few players fantasy managers should be looking to sell at a high price, if possible.
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
After finishing as the QB31 despite just 28 teams playing last week, Trevor Lawrence was the overall QB1 this week. It was quite the turnaround for the underwhelming third-year starter.
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Given Lawrence’s pedigree, all it takes is one great outing like this for fantasy managers to completely buy back in. Use that to your advantage.
The Jaguars get the Texans next week and then the Bengals, but then have the Browns and Ravens in Weeks 14 and 15. If Lawrence’s fantasy value is restored based on one performance, ship him away to a starry-eyed manager.
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
Despite playing with Tommy DeVito at quarterback, Saquon Barkley had one of the best games of his career against the Commanders. He touched the ball 18 times, amassed 140 total yards, and scored twice.
Here’s the problem for Barkley. The Giants have a fine matchup against the Patriots next week, but then they have their bye, and in the three fantasy playoff weeks, the schedule is a nightmare. They play the Saints, Eagles, and Rams.
Barkley’s volume will keep him as a productive fantasy asset, but his value will likely never be higher than it is right now. I would sell for players on better teams.
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
I know. I know. It’s not easy to sell Joe Mixon high, even off a great game, when Jake Browning is starting for the rest of the season. But Mixon has now posted RB1 numbers in three of the past four weeks. He’s running well and is involved in the passing game.
Most notably, Mixon has scored in four straight games. How many touchdowns are the Bengals scoring the rest of the season? Will they average more than one a game? I’m not so sure.
Mixon takes the smallest hit from Joe Burrow’s injury out of anyone on the Bengals, but touchdowns are everything in fantasy football, and Mixon’s touchdown potential is now significantly reduced. Selling him now is not the worst idea.
DJ Moore, WR, Chicago Bears
I have to give Justin Fields credit. His 39-yard touchdown strike to DJ Moore was a thing of beauty. But how would you be feeling about Moore had he not caught that touchdown? Probably not great.
Moore has a nice matchup next week against the Vikings. But after that, it’s the bye and a slew of tough defenses against wide receivers.
I definitely wouldn’t go out of my way to sell Moore. This is only if you can get proper value for him, as he’s probably more WR3 than WR2 for the rest of the season.
Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Is it still possible to sell Deebo Samuel? I’ve had him here for multiple weeks because he is one of the fakest “big names” in fantasy football.
Samuel hasn’t seen more than four targets in a game since Week 3. And Brandon Aiyuk didn’t play in that game.
Aiyuk is the unquestioned WR1 on the 49ers. Samuel is a glorified gadget player. If thrust into more volume, he’s obviously talented. But he’s not a big part of what the 49ers do, with Aiyuk and Christian McCaffrey handling so much of the work.
Samuel is a borderline WR3, at best. If anyone is valuing him as anything more, trade him away.
Dalton Schultz, TE, Houston Texans
After a slow start to the season, Dalton Schultz has surged as of late. He’s scored double-digit fantasy points in six of his last seven. Over that span, he’s also scored five touchdowns.
Schultz has benefited from a favorable tight end schedule, though. And that’s all about to change.
In the fantasy playoffs, Weeks 15-17, Schultz faces the two best defenses against tight ends (the Texans play the Titans twice). He will be as touchdown-dependent as ever against teams that don’t surrender touchdowns to his position.
It’s exceedingly difficult to trade tight ends because you’re not going to be able to find a replacement on the waiver wire. But if you have two, or your trade partner can give you one back, Schultz is a great guy to move.
Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer, Start/Sit Optimizer, and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!
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