Andrew Luck's injury creates ideal trading opportunity


Every game, all season

With the trade deadline rapidly approaching in fantasy football (November 27), I figured I'd devote the majority of this space to helping all of you with your own "Trade Calls." Time is running out to swing a potentially season-saving trade, so let's take a look at some of this week's top questions below.

If you asked me a question and it got lost in the avalanche I received on Twitter and wasn't answered here, send it to me again @AlexGelhar and I'll try to get to it before it's too late. A combination of recent performances and breaking news have created numerous ideal trading scenarios.

With Andrew Luck set to miss at least two to six weeks with a lacerated kidney, this creates a potential opportunity for those teams with multiple quarterbacks to trade one of them to Luck's owner. Matt Ryan is a perfect candidate, as we wrote earlier this week how he's already faced all of his best matchups this year, and is a prime trade-away candidate. For owners with multiple signal-callers on your roster, you should absolutely be floating out offers to Luck's owner to see if they'll bite. A player like James Starks, who could be set to explode in fantasy down the stretch, would be an excellent target in return.

John Brown and Jordan Matthews feels like just a tad much to give up for Allen Robinson, but I still think I'd do it. Brown was just starting to heat up before the team essentially sat him against the Browns to heal his hamstring, while Matthews finally cured his case of the dropsies against Dallas. Even with that information, I'd be OK with floating this trade out to Robinson's owner, especially if you're sitting on another capable wideout. Robinson has a very favorable schedule the rest of the season and is the main target of Blake Bortles. Over the last four weeks he's seen 12 more targets than the next closest pass-catcher, Allen Hurns, who also suffered an ankle injury last week. Bortles will continue to funnel targets to his top playmaker as a result. Robinson's an every-week plug-and-play fantasy starter, whereas both Brown and Matthews rely a little bit more on the matchups and have more mouths to feed in their offenses. If you're swinging for the fences to make the postseason and need less volatility at wide receiver, I say go for it.

Quite the contrary, I think this is a pretty solid trade. Doug Martin has struggled through a few tougher matchups, but is still seeing a over 21 touches per game over his last four contests. Blount has been the slightly more efficient fantasy back during that span, averaging .722 fantasy points per touch compared to Martin's .662, but when looking at trades at this point in the season it's also important to consider the rest of the schedule. Looking at all of their remaining matchups through Week 16 (most fantasy leagues don't play Week 17), Martin has the more favorable schedule, as his opponents allow on average 19.24 fantasy points per game to running backs, while Blount's upcoming opponents allow on average 16.82 FPPG -- including a matchup with the top-ranked Jets in the fantasy playoffs. Plus, the loss of Dion Lewis could actually negatively impact Blount's fantasy production. When Lewis was healthy, he and Blount clearly served as a 1-2 punch, effectively ending the dreaded #Belitricks. But with Lewis out, the Patriots will be searching for a way to recreate his production between Blount, Brandon Bolden and James White. That could muddy the backfield waters, while Martin will still be in line for 20-plus touches a week in an offense on the rise. I'd stay the course with Martin.

I would 100 percent not do this trade. You're trading solid, consistent production for two players with MASSIVE question marks attached to them. Chris Johnson has turned back the clock and is running like it's 2009, while also owning 65 percent of the backfield touches in Arizona (68 percent over the last five weeks). Meanwhile, since his Week 3 breakout game, Gary Barnidge has owned 21 percent of Cleveland's passing game targets, and has scored more fantasy points (90.7) than any other tight end in fantasy. Meanwhile, Eddie Lacy is getting out-played in his own backfield and DeSean Jackson just saw the field for the first time since Week 1. Sure, there is probably more upside on the side of Lacy/DJax, but the odds of all of that potential coming to fruition in time to help your fantasy team are not good. Stick with the steady producing veterans in this case.

If you can make this trade actually happen, I'm all for it. The key here is Alshon Jeffery, who has been on fire since his return to the starting lineup in Week 6. Over his last few games he has seen 11-plus targets and recorded 115-plus receiving yards in every game. Jay Cutler is feeding his top playmaker, much to the delight of fantasy fans everywhere. I imagine you'll have a hard time pulling off this trade given Chris Ivory's recent struggles (84 yards on 55 carries over the last three games for a 1.5 ypc average), but if your leaguemate takes the bait you should come out ahead.

When I first saw this question, I figured I'd be writing an argument to trade for Dez Bryant, but after digging a little deeper, I think you can stick with Julio Jones. Yes, the two matchups with Josh Norman in the fantasy playoffs loom large, but Dez also has to face Norman (Week 12) and gets a trip to Revis Island in the fantasy playoffs. We still don't know when Tony Romo will return for the Cowboys (they're hoping for Week 11), which will put a bit of a cap on Bryant's ceiling. He performed great last week, but he'll be hard-pressed to approach the volume of targets Jones is seeing in Atlanta. Jones has seen 15 or more targets four times this year alone, while Dez hasn't seen that many in a game since 2013. Now, that's not to say Dez can't produce on fewer opportunities, as his touchdown-scoring prowess has long made him one of the most efficient fantasy scorers, but I think in this situation I'd stick with the guy seeing the vast majority of the looks on his team. Plus, while Norman allegedly got the best of Julio last year, Kyle Shanahan's offense could put Jones in more opportunities to succeed. In this case, I'd dance with the girl that brought you this far.

This is a tough one, as I know all to well the feeling of trying to replace Dion Lewis' production. However, given that this is a 1/2 point PPR league, I don't think you can give up Jeremy Maclin for Duke Johnson. Prior to suffering a concussion in Week 6, Maclin saw over 31 percent of the team's targets come his way in Weeks 3 through 5. He also found the end zone in the Chiefs' Week 8 blowout of the Detroit Lions, where the team barely passed the ball (Alex Smith only had 149 passing yards). Coming out of his bye, he should once again be the primarily targeted player in the Chiefs offense. Johnson on the otherhand is still (unnecessarily, in my opinion) battling for touches in his own backfield. And while he is a pass-catching back, he's only managed 14 receptions over the last four weeks. Right now, I think you'd be better off holding pat with Maclin and rolling the dice by trying to grab the likes of James Starks, Karlos Williams or James White off of the waiver wire.

These are three terrific backs, and it pains me to suggest that you trade away Chris Ivory, as I was among the most bullish fantasy analysts on him heading into this year. However, given that this is a PPR league, the backs with the higher fantasy ceilings are certainly Lamar Miller and DeAngelo Williams. Miller ranks ninth among running backs with 27 receptions, while Williams' 12 catches are just two fewer than Ivory has on the whole season. Factor in that Le'Veon Bell had 22 receptions as well, and it's easy to see why you'll want to stick with these two backs over Ivory. Both Miller and Williams also carry a lower risk for injury.

I think your team is perfectly fine the way it is. Marshawn Lynch is coming off of his bye and should be healthy heading into the stretch run, while John Brown posted three straight double digit fantasy performances before getting a two-week break to heal up from a nagging hamstring injury. Adrian Peterson has been seeing a TON of touches for the Vikings, but hasn't been able to turn them into fantasy points at his usual rate. Over the last four games, he's only averaging .47 fantasy points per touch, as a combination of his age, Teddy Bridgewater's struggles and a patchwork offensive line have conspired to slow him down. Lynch will still see a healthy amount of touches and Brown is the best receiver in the Cardinals' loaded passing attack. There's no reason to give up two pieces of their caliber to get the name value of Peterson.

Trading for anyone from the Washington backfield is an ill-advised move. That is all.

You want some actual reasoning as to why? OK. Over the last four weeks, the three-headed monster of Alfred Morris, Matt Jones and Chris Thompson have split the offensive snaps into almost perfect thirds, with 24 percent for Morris, 36 percent for Jones, and 35 percent for Thompson. In that same span, not one of them has accumulated more than 51 total yards in a single game, and Jones is the only one to find the end zone. Thompson is back to full health now, and head coach Jay Gruden seems committed to keeping this a total committee. Fantasy owners need to avoid this backfield at all costs.

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-- Alex Gelhar is a fantasy football writer/editor for, and the producer of the NFL Fantasy LIVE podcast. Hit him up on Twitter @AlexGelhar for movie recommendations or fantasy advice.