🤔 2 Intriguing NFL Trades

And the Raiders blow it up...

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The NFL needs to take some notes from the NBA trade deadline…

In today's Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Underdog Fantasy:

  • The Vikings and Lions make moves

  • The Raiders blow it up

  • Strength of Schedule: Buy NE?

  • A trade deadline roundup

  • Buy, Sell, Hold: A Broncos back is a target

  • It’s 11/1. Take it away, Peter Overzet…

Well, we didn’t get a Derrick Henry or DeAndre Hopkins trade.

The Broncos didn’t ship Jerry Jeudy to the Panthers.

The Commanders kept their vice grip on Jacoby Brissett (though not on their second-round picks or defensive ends).

And the Raiders said “hell nah” to moving Davante Adams (but “hell yes” to clearing house—more on that below).

All in all, it was an underwhelming trade deadline on the fantasy front, although there were two deals that are notable for fantasy purposes…

🤝 The Vikings trade for Joshua Dobbs

We were pretty doom and gloom on Monday about Minnesota’s rest-of-season outlook without Kirk Cousins, so this acquisition is great news, as Matthew explains here.

Dobbs will never be confused as an elite signal caller, but he’s been serviceable and won’t sink the offense:

In Arizona, Dobbs targeted the TE position on a gaudy 32% of his passes, which bodes well for T.J. Hockenson’s prospects.

I would expect similar production from Jordan Addison as to what we saw from Marquise Brown in this Cardinals offense.

Because Dobbs is capable as a rusher, there will certainly be less pass volume available compared to what we saw with Cousins, but it certainly puts him on the high-end QB2/streamer radar.

Perhaps the best thing about the Dobbs trade is it means Justin Jefferson will likely return sooner rather than later.

We won’t get to see Dobbs in the purple and yellow until next week, though, so plan accordingly.

🤝 The Lions trade for Donovan Peoples-Jones

There are two ways to read this trade:

1) As an indictment of Jameson Williams, who has yet to run more than 50% of the routes since returning from suspension.

2) As a depth acquisition after Marvin Jones left the team.

As always, the answer is probably somewhere in the middle.

Regardless of how you feel about Williams, Donovan Peoples-Jones is a capable field stretcher who presents another hurdle for JMo to earn more targets.

It’s worth picking DPJ up. We want to take stabs at playmakers in what has turned into an elite offense.

🏴‍☠️ The Raiders shake things up

It wasn’t a trade, but the Raiders were responsible for the most explosive move at the trade deadline after owner Mark Davis fired both Head Coach Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Siegler late last night.

The move comes on the heels of the team’s brutal loss to the Lions on MNF and reports that McDaniels had lost the locker room in previous weeks.

McDaniels tried to bring the “Patriot Way” to Las Vegas, but he finished with a disappointing 9-16 record over his tenure.

Linebarckers coach Antonio Pierce will take over as interim head coach and it sounds like the team will be making a QB change, as well.

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If you want to make it to the playoffs, you need to pull out all the stops. Today Ian outlines the easiest schedules for the next five weeks so you can plan accordingly…

Matchups aren’t the biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to making fantasy football decisions, but they are still a piece nonetheless. Cool? Cool.

Without further adieu: The toughest and easiest strength of schedules from Week 9 to Week 13 for QB, RB, WR, TE and even DST. (No kicker analysis. Never. Never ever. That’s where I draw the line.)

A full schedule list for all 32 teams can be found here; we’ll just break down the top five units in the ensuing paragraphs. As always: It’s a great day to be great.

Strength of Schedule

👋 Quarterback

📈 Easiest schedules:

  1. Patriots: WSH, IND, BYE, NYG, LAC

  2. 49ers: BYE, JAX, TB, SEA, PHI

  3. Texans: TB, CIN, ARZ, JAX, DEN

  4. Titans: PIT, TB, JAX, CAR, IND

  5. Saints: CHI, MIN, BYE, ATL, DET

Overly betting on Mac Jones and the Patriots’ 31st-ranked scoring offense doesn’t exactly sound like a good time, but the other four offenses all conveniently offer QBs who are available in a solid chunk of leagues:

  • Brock Purdy (86% rostered in Yahoo leagues)

  • C.J. Stroud (78%)

  • Will Levis (6%)

  • Derek Carr (38%)

Purdy and Stroud – probably in that order – deserve to be prioritized thanks to the reality that they have been the best performers of the group all season, although Carr represents the best bet for managers strictly looking at the next two weeks.

That said: Don’t bet against Levis putting together another boom or two sooner rather than later. After all, the rookie hasn’t even gotten a chance to show off his rushing skillz yet.

🖐️ Wide receiver

📈 Easiest schedules:

  1. 49ers: BYE, JAX, TB, SEA, PHI

  2. Patriots: WSH, IND, BYE, NYG, LAC

  3. Cowboys: PHI, NYG, CAR, WSH, SEA

  4. Colts: CAR, NE, BYE, TB, TEN

  5. Titans: PIT, TB, JAX, CAR, IND

There are four main WRs involved here who are available on more than a few waiver wires and figure to take advantage of these relatively cozy stretches:

  • Demario Douglas (3% rostered on Yahoo): Ran a route on a team-high 84% of Mac Jones dropbacks in Week 8. Non-zero-percent chance that Douglas will emerge as the offense’s new go-to receiver in the absence of Kendrick Bourne (knee, IR).

  • Brandin Cooks (41%): Has posted 3-36-1 and 3-49-1 receiving lines in two games since the Cowboys’ infamous Sunday night debacle against the Patriots. While Cooks only has (exactly) four targets in five of his six games this season, some true booms could be on the horizon if Dak Prescott continues to play like one of the better QBs in football.

  • Josh Downs (63%): Has ripped off 7-72-0, 5-125-1, 5-21-1 and 6-97-0 receiving lines in his last four games. Pretty, pretty, pretty good for the rookie third-rounder, who is averaging more PPR points per game (12.4) than guys like Zay Flowers (12.2) and Calvin Ridley (11.4) this season.

  • Treylon Burks (21%): Worked alongside Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Kyle Philips and Chris Moore in his first game back from injury in Week 8; just realize Burks should be the clear-cut No. 2 WR before too long, which suddenly looks a bit more promising with aDOT king Will Levis slinging the rock around.

Among the four, Downs actually profiles as having the highest weekly floor thanks to his clear-cut status as the No. 2 pass-game option in this Gardner Minshew-led attack. Overall, Minshew has fed Michael Pittman (55 targets) and Downs (42) well ahead of No. 3 WR Alec Pierce (24) during his time under center this season.


🥱 Final tally of 2023 trades. Not enough spice.

👻 The Niners defense is scary good. Watch out NFC.

🚀 Stashing a Bills WR has burned us before. This time is different, I promise.

🤣 The Bears were a buyer at the deadline?! WTF???

🔥 Check out this play from Joe Burrow. He’s back.

😰 Should you be concerned with Cooper Kupp? Matthew explains.

📈 The Titans love their new QB. “That damn Will can play.”

🐶 Antonio Gibson in a Dalmatian costume? Antonio Gibson in a Dalmatian costume.

🔮 Will Kenny Pickett play tomorrow night? Take it straight from the horse’s mouth.

Buy Sell Hold

Week 8 is in the books! Cooterdoodle is back to walk us through the fantasy landscape from a buy, sell, hold perspective…


📈 Javonte Williams, RB - Broncos

Well, the Broncos… beat the Chiefs? Yet the most exciting part about Denver, in my opinion, is the return of Javonte Williams.

Denver is heading into their Bye in Week 9, but Williams is coming off of two games with over 80 rushing yards and three receptions.

While Williams hasn’t seen a rushing TD all season, he did finally catch a TD in Week 8. And his rushing attempts are an arrow pointing straight up:

  • Week 4: 2 attempts

  • Week 6: 10 attempts

  • Week 7: 15 attempts

  • Week 8: 27 attempts

It’s very possible that fantasy managers need an RB to fill in for Denver’s Bye and you can scoop up Williams at a discount during his week off.

Takeaway: Capitalize on the Bye and Buy.

Buy Sell Hold


📉 Alexander Mattison, RB - Vikings

It’s Week 9 and we are yet again talking about selling a MIN RB. It’s not only because the Vikings backfield is split. It’s not just because of Mattison’s inconsistency and inefficiency. It’s not just because of the tough matchups looming or the Vikings’ upcoming Bye Week. 

It’s D. All of the above

And speaking of “Ds”, let’s look ahead at the defenses MIN and Mattison have upcoming on the horizon:

  • Week 9: ATL defense that ranks 2nd against RBs. (tied with…)

  • Week 10: NO defense that ranks 2nd against RBs.

  • Weeks 11-12: ok ok, some decent matchups against DEN and CHI.

  • Week 13: BYE

You’d have to hope for some seriously big games from Mattison over the next two weeks. And you’d also have to hope that Cam Akers doesn’t continue to steal away touches. But it won’t be easy to predict which RB is going to be dominant on a game-by-game basis. SELL.

Takeaway: A split AND unpredictable backfield? I want off this ride. 

📉 Cam Akers, RB - Vikings

Read the above synopsis on Alexander Mattison and just swap their names. That should do it.


🤝 Rashid Shaheed, WR - Saints

Rashid Shaheed is the WR3 on an offense that has lost the faith of their fan base (most weeks). Saints fans have called for HC changes and “boos” were heard inside of the Superdome in Week 7. (I heard the booing. And it was unsettling.)

But the Saints sporadically find their rhythm and Shaheed continues to benefit by making those deep, explosive plays. You know, the “deep, explosive plays” that we expected from Chris Olave.

If you have Shaheed, you got him on the cheap. He’s been an extremely productive FLEX play some weeks, despite him having a floor that can make your tummy bubble. 

I’d put feelers out to sell, but most fantasy managers are still skeptical of this offense and its wide receiver corp in general, which puts a damper on Shaheed’s trade value. 

Takeaway: Boom or bust, but that ceiling is rising. Steal at ADP.

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