That was quite possibly the craziest week of NFL football I can remember. Hopefully, you were able to ride the variance to progress in the playoffs. As we move forward, I will continue to offer some trade targets and a mix of some players who could present value – in the playoffs but also looking ahead to next season.
Chuba Hubbard, RB CAR
It may feel strange to acquire a Carolina back when they just produced a combined 14 attempts for 19 yards in their latest game. However, this backfield is beginning to shift. D’Onta Foreman has flashed fantasy relevancy across the last month or so, but ever since Hubbard returned from injury, this backfield has slowly tilted toward Hubbard. This past week he saw a 63% snap share. He may not be a league winner, but with a matchup against the Lions this week, he could have some flex appeal.
Looking ahead to next season, Foreman is an impending free agent meaning Hubbard is the only back under contract next season. Now it is likely that the Panthers will add somebody into the backfield, whether via free agency or the draft, but in the worst-case scenario, Hubbard will be a 1b option in an improving offense. In the best-case scenario, if he flashes over the coming weeks, he could be the lead back and a potential bargain. You may be able to acquire him for around two third-round picks, which is well worth the risk at that price.
Trevor Lawrence, QB JAC
In dynasty, it is always fantastic when you can buy low or sell high on a player to ensure you get the maximum return on your investment. However, that is only sometimes possible. Sometimes, you must buy high and pay up for a player because the price could go even higher. Lawrence is one of those players. Since week six, there has been a significant change. He appears more comfortable with the offense and makes some incredible highlight throws. From a fantasy perspective, the numbers are coming together as well, and he has been the QB6 in that timescale averaging 21.4 points per game.
Profiled as a once-in-a-generation quarterback coming out of college, it’s taken a little while for the production to come. However, Lawrence is now showing all of that hype and talent is real. Currently, the QB11 in December ADP, I believe he deserves to be in the second tier of quarterbacks alongside Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, and Justin Fields. He is my QB8 currently, and you could easily argue that he deserves to be higher. In a superflex league, I would happily pay three random future first-round picks; however, the move could be to move from someone like Dak Prescott or Tua Tagovailoa with a small asset. You could grab Lawrence in a straight-up trade for one of those two quarterbacks. In a one-quarterback league, he is approaching the fringe first-round pick conversation in terms of value.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR CLE
Sometimes we overthink things in dynasty. Peoples-Jones is currently producing as a solid WR3. He has averaged 10.8 points per game while transitioning from Jacoby Brissett to Deshaun Watson. He now sits at the WR34 in fantasy scoring as a 23-year-old, yet he is the WR48 in dynasty ADP. The exciting thing about Peoples-Jones is that he hasn’t had any big boom blow-up weeks that would thrust him in front of people’s faces. He has been a reliable performer almost week in and week out. He has finished in the top 40 wide receivers nine weeks out of fourteen games this season. He has done all this while only scoring two touchdowns at a 3.5% TD rate, which is 99th out of 123 wide receivers with more than 20 targets this season.
Yes, he isn’t sexy because he hasn’t had those boom weeks, but you would expect as he begins to gain some chemistry with Deshaun Watson and they move into the new season, Peoples-Jones has the potential to become even more than he has flashed this season. If he can become a reliable WR3 at your current acquisition price, he will quickly return on your investment. There is a potential you could sneak People-Jones away for as little as a single 2023 third. However, I would happily pay a late 2023 second or multiple third-round picks to acquire him.
Before I finish, remember the window for you to buy low on players whose values are reduced because they’re not playing right now is getting ready to slam shut. As soon as the playoffs finish and we move out of the points-scoring season and look ahead to 2023, their value will increase. I’ve talked about them in previous weeks so I won’t go into details, but Trey Lance, Javonte Williams, Khalil Herbert, and Calvin Ridley are all cheaper now than they will be in a couple of weeks.
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