Fantasy Football 2012: Top 10 Players To Trade For

1 of 11

Introduction

intro
Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

If you’re like me, chances are the trade deadline in your fantasy football league is rapidly approaching. Whether you are 9-0 or 0-9, any team can benefit from a good trade.

However, you never want to make a trade just to, well, make a trade. It has to have meaning and a certain point to it. Only make a deal if your gut instinct tells you to. It is imperative that owners do not second guess themselves when working the trading block. If you want someone, go after them.

At this point in the season, however, you don’t necessarily need to go after that elite, big name player to carry you to the championship. Instead, I have compiled a list of ten guys, a few under the radar, that could be easily acquired to help your team right now.

Remember, if you are comfortable with your team as it is, don’t do anything. Forcing trades is a big mistake when it comes to fantasy football. If your current roster is handling opponents left and right, keep rolling with it. However, sometimes injuries or lack of depth force owners to make a deal.

So, who exactly are these players that you should be targeting before the trade deadline? Let’s find out, as the deadline will be here before you know it. Oh, and if you already own one of these players, I suggest you hang onto them, as they will hold great value to you down the road.

Without further ado, let’s hit the trading block.

2 of 11

No.10 Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys

miles
Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Really, trade for a member of the Cowboys?

Hold the phone for a second. Austin has been very consistent this season. After an 11 point fantasy performance on Sunday night, Austin has now totaled double digit fantasy points in every game this season but one. You can expect that trend to continue, as Austin has been quarterback Tony Romo’s favorite target down the field. Also, with teammate Dez Bryant injury prone and what not, Austin is one of the most trustworthy wide-outs.

The Cowboys still have to face the Washington Redskins twice, who have one of the weakest pass defense in all of football. They also have a matchup against the New Orleans Saints down the road, who have been more like the Aints. Well, at least on defense.

3 of 11

No.9 Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans

andre
Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

Look, I know what you may be thinking. “What has he done this season to make me trade for him?”

Well, you’re right. Not a whole lot. However, I foresee a very nice second half of the season for Johnson.

Although not finding the end zone on Sunday, Johnson provided fantasy owners with a very respectable performance. He caught 8 balls for 118 yards. Johnson is starting to hit his stride, tallying 17 catches for 204 yards in the last two games.

The Texans have clearly transitioned into a run first football team. And with the best running back in football, why shouldn’t they? However, defenses will begin to single out Arian Foster and that rushing attack, forcing them to win through the air some games. That could most certainly be the case next week, as they take on the vaunted Chicago Bears defense. After that, Johnson has great matchups against teams like Jacksonville, Tennessee, New England and Indianapolis. All of which are poor against the pass.

Owners of Johnson may be highly disappointed with his production this season, so now is good time to try and take them off their hands before the trade deadline.

4 of 11

No.8 Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

luck
Thomas J. Russo-US PRESSWIRE

There is something incredibly special happening in Indianapolis.

And it all starts with a rookie quarterback.

All of a sudden, all the hype has shifted towards Andrew Luck, and for good reason. He has been playing at a very high level, the main reason why his team is a surprising 5-3 on the year. From a fantasy perspective, Luck has been just as good. He is ranked in the top ten in fantasy points among quarterbacks this year, and holds tremendous long-term value.

While he is playing very well, I feel that you can still acquire him via trade. For instance, try trading a guy like Eli Manning, who has combined for an astounding 8.9 fantasy points in the past two games. With the amount the Colts are throwing the ball (Luck second in the league in attempts at 336), the odds of him putting up monster fantasy numbers are very high. This guy is most certainly for real, and I’d get him now if you aren’t pleased with your quarterback situation.

5 of 11

No.7 Owen Daniels, TE, Houston Texans

daniels
Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

The biggest waiver wire darling this season, Daniels has been one of the best tight ends in fantasy football.

In fact, he ranks third in points scored among the position. He has scored a touchdown in five of the past six games and only trails Rob Gronkowski and Heath Miller in scores on the season among tight ends. Shockingly, Daniels has been targeted more often than superstar teammate Andre Johnson. Now obviously, I love both of these guys, as he matchups down the road are highly favorable.

The Texans effectiveness in the running game often opens up play action, where Daniels gets open almost every time. With certain tight ends struggling this season, I would trade guys like Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham for Daniels. With Graham’s big name, you could even possibly get a two for one.

6 of 11

No.6 Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers

vernon
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

5.20, 0.00, 4.40. These are the point totals for Vernon Davis in the past three games. To say he has been struggling lately is an understatement. However, I still think you should trade for him because his struggles aren’t one hundred percent his fault.

To put up fantasy numbers, you may actually need the football. That has not been the case for Davis, as he has seen just seven targets the past three games. This situation is very familiar, as the targets were slow in the first half of last season, but really turned on towards the second half. You’ve got to think that the 49ers will get Davis involved more if they want to win games. He is their best weapon in the passing game. Having said all of this, I think Davis is a great buy-low candidate right now.

7 of 11

No.5 Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts

reggie
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The only person who may love Andrew Luck more than me, is the guy catching passes from him.

Reggie Wayne is proving that age is just a number. Wayne is having an absolute monster season thus far, scoring the fifth most fantasy points among wide receivers. He also ranks 2nd in the league in receptions (61) and 1st in receiving yards (835). And oh by the way, no receiver in football is targeted more than Wayne (101).

Wayne has been so good this year that I would trade almost any receiver in fantasy land for him. He has seriously been that good. The Colts will continue to sling the ball all over the field, and you can bet that Wayne will be the first guy Luck looks for.

8 of 11

No.4 Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers

mathews
Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

While some owners may be worried about the Ryan Mathews situation (no, that is not a rock band), I am not. In fact, I traded for him in one of my leagues last week.

Look, the Chargers do like Ronnie Brown as their 3rd down back. However, do you honestly think that Brown is anywhere close to the talent level of Mathews? Not a chance. Norv Turner stated that Mathews is a major part of the Chargers success, and I expect him to be the main guy going forward.

I would trade for him while you can, as his matchups for the fantasy playoffs are heavenly. He gets Carolina, New York Jets and Oakland Raiders the last three weeks of the season. With quarterback Phillip Rivers struggling this season, I expect to see a heavy dose of Mathews going forward.

9 of 11

No.3 Reggie Bush, RB, Miami Dolphins

bush
Thomas J. Russo-US PRESSWIRE

Reggie Bush has a similar situation to that of Ryan Mathew’s. He is clearly the most talented back on the team, but Daniel Thomas has been getting into the mix. On Sunday, Bush carried the ball six times, while Thomas got six carries of his own. Again, I believe the Dolphins will realize that Bush is by far their best offensive player, and have the best chance to win when the ball is in his hands.

Bush also has a few highly favorable matchups coming up. He gets the Titans next week and Buffalo the week after. His playoff schedule his great as well, facing Jacksonville and Buffalo again. With some concerns with the running back mix. I’d try and buy low on Bush and hope he can produce for you in the playoffs.

10 of 11

No.2 LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

shady
Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

Please, do yourself a favor and take advantage of any foolish owners that are panicking over McCoy’s fantasy production so far. Barring injury, he is one of the safest bets to bounce back during the second half of the season, starting tonight against the Saints absolutely atrocious defense.

The Eagles are yet again having a rather disappointing season, large in part of the poor offensive play-calling. When you have one of the most versatile, elusive and all around explosive backs in the league, it may actually be a good idea to feed him the football. Andy Reid and company will realize that they are still in the hunt for that NFC East division, and will change their offense to revolve around “Shady.”

I would do whatever I can to trade for this guy while you can, because he will finish the season as a top five fantasy running back. He is just simply too good not to.

11 of 11

No.1 Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

cam
Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

The picture says all you need to know about the way things have been going for Cam Newton and company this year. So why would you want to trade for him?

Odds are, Newton was drafted as a top five quarterback in most leagues at the start of the season. While he certainly hasn’t been playing like it, better days are ahead . Newton has already played the most difficult part of his schedule and has already had a bye. The numbers should be rolling in, and already have.

On Sunday, Newton had a very nice game, throwing for 201 yards and a score, while also rushing for 37 yards and a touchdown. He had no turnovers in the victory, which may boost his confidence. During the playoff matchups, Cam faces the Chargers, Raiders and Saints, all of which you can easily pass on.

Although he is coming off a nice performance, Newton can be obtained a heck of a lot cheaper at this point of the season than last year. Newton is far too talented to be reduced to these sub-par numbers, and will most certainly bounce back. He has the arm and the legs, a beautiful combination for fantasy football. Get Cam while you can.

1 of 11

Introduction

intro
Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

If you’re like me, chances are the trade deadline in your fantasy football league is rapidly approaching. Whether you are 9-0 or 0-9, any team can benefit from a good trade.

However, you never want to make a trade just to, well, make a trade. It has to have meaning and a certain point to it. Only make a deal if your gut instinct tells you to. It is imperative that owners do not second guess themselves when working the trading block. If you want someone, go after them.

At this point in the season, however, you don’t necessarily need to go after that elite, big name player to carry you to the championship. Instead, I have compiled a list of ten guys, a few under the radar, that could be easily acquired to help your team right now.

Remember, if you are comfortable with your team as it is, don’t do anything. Forcing trades is a big mistake when it comes to fantasy football. If your current roster is handling opponents left and right, keep rolling with it. However, sometimes injuries or lack of depth force owners to make a deal.

So, who exactly are these players that you should be targeting before the trade deadline? Let’s find out, as the deadline will be here before you know it. Oh, and if you already own one of these players, I suggest you hang onto them, as they will hold great value to you down the road.

Without further ado, let’s hit the trading block.

2 of 11

No.10 Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys

miles
Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Really, trade for a member of the Cowboys?

Hold the phone for a second. Austin has been very consistent this season. After an 11 point fantasy performance on Sunday night, Austin has now totaled double digit fantasy points in every game this season but one. You can expect that trend to continue, as Austin has been quarterback Tony Romo’s favorite target down the field. Also, with teammate Dez Bryant injury prone and what not, Austin is one of the most trustworthy wide-outs.

The Cowboys still have to face the Washington Redskins twice, who have one of the weakest pass defense in all of football. They also have a matchup against the New Orleans Saints down the road, who have been more like the Aints. Well, at least on defense.

3 of 11

No.9 Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans

andre
Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

Look, I know what you may be thinking. “What has he done this season to make me trade for him?”

Well, you’re right. Not a whole lot. However, I foresee a very nice second half of the season for Johnson.

Although not finding the end zone on Sunday, Johnson provided fantasy owners with a very respectable performance. He caught 8 balls for 118 yards. Johnson is starting to hit his stride, tallying 17 catches for 204 yards in the last two games.

The Texans have clearly transitioned into a run first football team. And with the best running back in football, why shouldn’t they? However, defenses will begin to single out Arian Foster and that rushing attack, forcing them to win through the air some games. That could most certainly be the case next week, as they take on the vaunted Chicago Bears defense. After that, Johnson has great matchups against teams like Jacksonville, Tennessee, New England and Indianapolis. All of which are poor against the pass.

Owners of Johnson may be highly disappointed with his production this season, so now is good time to try and take them off their hands before the trade deadline.

4 of 11

No.8 Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

luck
Thomas J. Russo-US PRESSWIRE

There is something incredibly special happening in Indianapolis.

And it all starts with a rookie quarterback.

All of a sudden, all the hype has shifted towards Andrew Luck, and for good reason. He has been playing at a very high level, the main reason why his team is a surprising 5-3 on the year. From a fantasy perspective, Luck has been just as good. He is ranked in the top ten in fantasy points among quarterbacks this year, and holds tremendous long-term value.

While he is playing very well, I feel that you can still acquire him via trade. For instance, try trading a guy like Eli Manning, who has combined for an astounding 8.9 fantasy points in the past two games. With the amount the Colts are throwing the ball (Luck second in the league in attempts at 336), the odds of him putting up monster fantasy numbers are very high. This guy is most certainly for real, and I’d get him now if you aren’t pleased with your quarterback situation.

5 of 11

No.7 Owen Daniels, TE, Houston Texans

daniels
Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

The biggest waiver wire darling this season, Daniels has been one of the best tight ends in fantasy football.

In fact, he ranks third in points scored among the position. He has scored a touchdown in five of the past six games and only trails Rob Gronkowski and Heath Miller in scores on the season among tight ends. Shockingly, Daniels has been targeted more often than superstar teammate Andre Johnson. Now obviously, I love both of these guys, as he matchups down the road are highly favorable.

The Texans effectiveness in the running game often opens up play action, where Daniels gets open almost every time. With certain tight ends struggling this season, I would trade guys like Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham for Daniels. With Graham’s big name, you could even possibly get a two for one.

6 of 11

No.6 Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers

vernon
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

5.20, 0.00, 4.40. These are the point totals for Vernon Davis in the past three games. To say he has been struggling lately is an understatement. However, I still think you should trade for him because his struggles aren’t one hundred percent his fault.

To put up fantasy numbers, you may actually need the football. That has not been the case for Davis, as he has seen just seven targets the past three games. This situation is very familiar, as the targets were slow in the first half of last season, but really turned on towards the second half. You’ve got to think that the 49ers will get Davis involved more if they want to win games. He is their best weapon in the passing game. Having said all of this, I think Davis is a great buy-low candidate right now.

7 of 11

No.5 Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts

reggie
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The only person who may love Andrew Luck more than me, is the guy catching passes from him.

Reggie Wayne is proving that age is just a number. Wayne is having an absolute monster season thus far, scoring the fifth most fantasy points among wide receivers. He also ranks 2nd in the league in receptions (61) and 1st in receiving yards (835). And oh by the way, no receiver in football is targeted more than Wayne (101).

Wayne has been so good this year that I would trade almost any receiver in fantasy land for him. He has seriously been that good. The Colts will continue to sling the ball all over the field, and you can bet that Wayne will be the first guy Luck looks for.

8 of 11

No.4 Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers

mathews
Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

While some owners may be worried about the Ryan Mathews situation (no, that is not a rock band), I am not. In fact, I traded for him in one of my leagues last week.

Look, the Chargers do like Ronnie Brown as their 3rd down back. However, do you honestly think that Brown is anywhere close to the talent level of Mathews? Not a chance. Norv Turner stated that Mathews is a major part of the Chargers success, and I expect him to be the main guy going forward.

I would trade for him while you can, as his matchups for the fantasy playoffs are heavenly. He gets Carolina, New York Jets and Oakland Raiders the last three weeks of the season. With quarterback Phillip Rivers struggling this season, I expect to see a heavy dose of Mathews going forward.

9 of 11

No.3 Reggie Bush, RB, Miami Dolphins

bush
Thomas J. Russo-US PRESSWIRE

Reggie Bush has a similar situation to that of Ryan Mathew’s. He is clearly the most talented back on the team, but Daniel Thomas has been getting into the mix. On Sunday, Bush carried the ball six times, while Thomas got six carries of his own. Again, I believe the Dolphins will realize that Bush is by far their best offensive player, and have the best chance to win when the ball is in his hands.

Bush also has a few highly favorable matchups coming up. He gets the Titans next week and Buffalo the week after. His playoff schedule his great as well, facing Jacksonville and Buffalo again. With some concerns with the running back mix. I’d try and buy low on Bush and hope he can produce for you in the playoffs.

10 of 11

No.2 LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

shady
Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

Please, do yourself a favor and take advantage of any foolish owners that are panicking over McCoy’s fantasy production so far. Barring injury, he is one of the safest bets to bounce back during the second half of the season, starting tonight against the Saints absolutely atrocious defense.

The Eagles are yet again having a rather disappointing season, large in part of the poor offensive play-calling. When you have one of the most versatile, elusive and all around explosive backs in the league, it may actually be a good idea to feed him the football. Andy Reid and company will realize that they are still in the hunt for that NFC East division, and will change their offense to revolve around “Shady.”

I would do whatever I can to trade for this guy while you can, because he will finish the season as a top five fantasy running back. He is just simply too good not to.

11 of 11

No.1 Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

cam
Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

The picture says all you need to know about the way things have been going for Cam Newton and company this year. So why would you want to trade for him?

Odds are, Newton was drafted as a top five quarterback in most leagues at the start of the season. While he certainly hasn’t been playing like it, better days are ahead . Newton has already played the most difficult part of his schedule and has already had a bye. The numbers should be rolling in, and already have.

On Sunday, Newton had a very nice game, throwing for 201 yards and a score, while also rushing for 37 yards and a touchdown. He had no turnovers in the victory, which may boost his confidence. During the playoff matchups, Cam faces the Chargers, Raiders and Saints, all of which you can easily pass on.

Although he is coming off a nice performance, Newton can be obtained a heck of a lot cheaper at this point of the season than last year. Newton is far too talented to be reduced to these sub-par numbers, and will most certainly bounce back. He has the arm and the legs, a beautiful combination for fantasy football. Get Cam while you can.


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