With the fantasy football playoffs right around the corner, it is time to start preparing your team to make that run! TWSN analyst Elie Gaffen provides eight players you should be trading away, and Marissa Myers provides eight players you should be trading for to help your team.
Tua Tagovailoa has the worst schedule of any quarterback in the NFL in the fantasy football playoffs, playing three of the 12 best teams against quarterbacks this season. He has been amazing to watch this season and especially of late where he has passed for three touchdowns in each of his last three games. However, that is all about to change once Week 15 rolls around.
The Dolphins face the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, and New England Patriots respectively. The three teams allow just an average of 1.2 touchdowns per game. Tagovailoa is about to become super inefficient in the red zone. I think those big plays to Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill will happen, once in the red zone though, this is when the going gets tough. I don’t trust Tagovailoa as my quarterback to lead your fantasy team through the playoffs.
Joe Burrow has absolutely been on fire for the Cincinnati Bengals in recent performances. However, each of his last seven games were teams in the top half of the most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Looking towards the future, if you are already in a good playoff spot, it might be beneficial for you to sell Burrow for a better option ahead of this week’s trade deadline.
Some of his next matchups are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, and the Buffalo Bills respectively. The Buccaneers have weirdly been better on defense away rather than at home. Despite this, I consider it a fluke and I think their defense brings it to the Bengals offensive line and Burrow. The Patriots are an under machine as they don’t score or give up too many points and the Bills defense has been extremely solid against the pass. Burrow will struggle, and I don’t have the confidence in him to start him throughout the playoffs and win me a championship.
Cordarrelle Patterson is going to be a tough sell on his own, which is why he is a great package for an improved running back with a better playoff schedule.
Patterson plays the New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, and Arizona Cardinals respectively. The Saints and Ravens both pose as horrendous matchups for Patterson to break through on big runs, with them both ranking in the top 10 of least points allowed to running backs. Last time the Falcons played the Saints, Patterson went off for 120 yards. Use this as trade bait to sell him for someone more equipped towards the playoffs because that will not happen with the Saints again. The Arizona Cardinals are the only team that he could go off on, however, if he isn’t helping you win the first two games, odds are, you are not making the championship to smash that matchup with Patterson.
Another Bengals’ player on the list, with Joe Mixon, who currently has the hardest fantasy playoff schedule of all running backs. If the Bengals passing game will have a harder time getting rolling, then I think Joe Mixon and his inefficiency in the run game will be nonexistent.
With the Buccaneers, Patriots, and Bills up his sleeve, the going is just going to get tougher and tougher. The Buccaneers and Patriots are two of the top three teams against running backs this season, and the Bills are just a few spots behind. The offensive line will be decimated, and it is just tough for me to trust Mixon at all when we know he has struggled with his inefficiency at times. This run game is going to get shut down early and often to force Burrow to throw and potentially draw in more mistakes.
A.J. Brown is the first of two weapons for the Philadelphia Eagles on this list, and he and Dallas Goedert have similar reasons to sell before the playoffs. With the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, and New Orleans Saints on that list, we might see a nightmare performance for Brown.
As the playoffs go on, I think DeVonta Smith will be the beneficiary out of the wide receivers, with him getting the number two corner. Smith has been slowly rising in his target share and production rate. Brown will continuously be locked up, unless Jalen Hurts has immense time in the pocket, he won’t have major chances to catch the ball. I think A.J. Brown will perform decently, however not enough to warrant any praise.
Jaylen Waddle will have trouble in the slot during the fantasy football playoffs. Out of the three teams he plays in weeks 15-17 it is the Bills, Packers, and Patriots, two of those teams ranked in the top eight against slot wide receivers. The Packers and Patriots have shut down slot wide receivers completely. However, the Bills appear to be better against the slot, which could end up being a field day for Waddle.
He gets the Bills in Week 15, but their defense against the pass and slot has improved. I do think Waddle struggles with these improvements, and I think these three teams are better suited for Tyreek Hill to explode rather than Waddle. I do expect both to struggle as their quarterback makes this list as well, however, I think Waddle struggles more.
Like A.J. Brown, Dallas Goedert also has a nightmare schedule, but it might be worse for Goedert. With the same teams of the Bears, Cowboys, and Saints, these three squads are ranked higher against tight ends than they do against wide receivers. Against tight ends, each of these three teams fall inside the top five teams. None of those teams allow over 40 yards to tight ends per game, and the highest red zone rate at the position between the three teams is 0.3 with the Bears.
Goedert has had a very solid season being a rock in the tight end department, but I think he struggles with these stacked teams he has to play. I think he can be a single-digit player during these three weeks, and I want no part of him as a starter if I want to win a championship. I do think Goedert returns ahead of the playoffs or at worst misses one game, but I would try to sell him in a package instead of resorting to starting him when he returns.
David Njoku cannot be a starting tight end for you in the fantasy playoffs. The top two teams against tight ends so far this season is the Washington Commanders and the New Orleans Saints. Who do the Browns play in week 16 and 17? He plays the Saints and the Commanders respectively. Both teams allow less than four receptions per game and for a guy who needs the consistent number of looks to be productive, Njoku will not aid your championship odds.
I cannot start him during those weeks, and I would try to find a trade partner in a package to get you set for the playoffs and stacked at all positions. Just like for most of the guys on the list that require a package, sweetening the deal with an extra player for one of our players to buy for the fantasy playoffs will make the player you are actually trying to get rid of appear as better.