This is a critical window for you as a fantasy football player. You’re gearing up for a playoff run or a run to make the playoffs, and you’re looking to solidify any weaknesses. With most trade deadlines coming over the next week or two, you need to know who to target and who to sell. This edition of the Big Board is meant to aid with that process.
In addition to the QB big board below, here are my thoughts on some players to buy and sell:
Buy: Philip Rivers
According to FFtoolbox.com, Rivers has the second-easiest remaining schedule for quarterbacks. When you deal with as many injuries to your receiving corps as Rivers has over the past few seasons, you eventually learn to play through it, which Rivers has. Despite injuries to just about every receiver and tight end, Rivers has yet to really struggle. Melvin Gordon’s breakout campaign is also making his life a lot easier. With arguably the easiest playoff schedule for quarterbacks, Rivers is a fantastic target.
Sell: Matthew Stafford
Stafford has the most difficult remaining slate for quarterbacks. While the offense is back to full strength and has done a great job of mixing up the game plans for Stafford, it still isn’t reliable enough to trust with tough match-ups down the stretch. Detroit’s lack of a run game is also a concern and figures to catch up to the team eventually.
Buy: Brock Osweiler
Has he been good this season? No. But with the eighth-easiest remaining schedule for quarterbacks while surrounded by play-makers, Osweiler is worth the shot because his acquisition cost probably isn’t high at the moment.
Sell: Derek Carr
Carr has been sensational this season, but I think he’s at the point where he can be flipped for more valuable assets. If you can get a quarterback in the tier or two below and pick up value elsewhere, do it. I’d toss out offers to Cam Newton owners, who may be growing weary after his recent struggles.
Buy: Tyrod Taylor
He’s been virtually match-up proof with an injured LeSean McCoy and no real receiving options. Considered to be in a “poor situation,” Taylor has the sixth-easiest remaining schedule for quarterbacks, and is worth kicking the tires on if you’re looking to make a move at quarterback in your league.
Sell: Russell Wilson
I love owning players like Russell Wilson at the trade deadline because they can usually be flipped to someone who thinks the player can/will turn it around. He’s injured and doesn’t possess an elite ceiling so long as he can’t run. Look to dump Wilson to an owner who may consider him a luxury add for the playoffs, or to a team desperate for a quarterback.
QB Big Board
|Elite QB1||Aaron Rodgers||GB||With no running game, Rodgers has been dealing the past three weeks. With three straight road games against stiffer competition, things get a bit more difficult for Rodgers along with two difficuly playoff matchups (SEA & MIN).|
|Elite QB1||Tom Brady||NE||Brady has been unstoppable, throwing multiple scores in each game he's played in. In four games, he's outscored Sam Bradford, Brock Osweiler, and Alex Smith. With a cake schedule, Brady looks like a league winner.|
|Elite QB1||Drew Brees||NO||Death, taxes, and Drew Brees. He has only one game with fewer than 250 yards passing, and has thrown for multiple scores in all but two games (and in those games he threw one).|
|Elite QB1||Andrew Luck||IND||He's been producing with a terrible line and injured receiving corps that is just getting healthy, and now has an upcoming slate that includes TEN, PIT, NYJ, and OAK. Ride him to the playoffs.|
|Elite QB1||Cam Newton||CAR||Cam has had only one elite game since Week 2, but upcoming matchups with OAK, NO, and ATL are encouraging for his prospects to return to form. Still, I'd be looking to sell if possible.|
|Elite QB1||Matt Ryan||ATL||I was wrong on Matt Ryan, thinking he was an easy sell high midway through the year. He's thrown for at least 240 in every game and has at least three passing touchdowns in five games. Spreading the ball out to everyone, avoiding turnovers, and an improved offensive line make Ryan a no brainer start each week. Oh yeah, his playoff schedule includes LA, SF, and CAR.|
|Elite QB1||Derek Carr||OAK||There's no more denying it, Derek Carr is a legit QB and a force in fantasy football. He's managed to throw at least a score in all but one game and has only three interceptions on the year. There's nothing special about his remaining schedule, but owners should feel confident playing him each week.|
|Reliable QB1||Russell Wilson||SEA||It's not fair to call Wilson a bust this season due to his injury, inconsistent running game, and poor offensive line, but he has disappointed. Jimmy Graham has proven to be a boon to Wilson, but unless he is running the ball, his floor and upside are severely capped. If you can sell him on name value, go for it.|
|Reliable QB1||Marcus Mariota||TEN||His last five weeks? A smoothe 13/3 TD:INT ratio and multiple scores in each game. It was a cupcake schedule, but he was consistent, something he struggled with last season. Outside of a week 14 matchup against DEN, the rest of the schedule bodes well for Mariota to keep it up.|
|Reliable QB1||Philip Rivers||SD||I'm buying Rivers anywhere I can. He's got DEN out of the way, has produced no matter who he is throwing to, and has a running game to take pressure off of him. His playoff schedule? CAR, OAK, CLE|
|Reliable QB1||Ben Roethlisberger||PIT||Big Ben will produce regardless of opponent, but was he rushed back too soon? It's hard to fully trust him until he looks healthier.|
|Reliable QB1||Kirk Cousins||WAS||Cousins has had a remarkably high floor, scoring less than 18 points in only two games this year. He has a mixed bag of matchups moving forward, but he's warranted being played every week.|
|High End QB2||Tyrod Taylor||BUF||He's been solid his last few matchups, including tough performances against NE and SEA, and has an incredibly easy slate the rest of the way. Another solid buy if you can, Tygod is everything you want in a QB if you're going for a playoff run.|
|High End QB2||Matthew Stafford||DET||He's faded a bit after a strong start, but has a nice schedule leading up to the playoffs. A variety of gameplans have kept him as a viable fantasy option, and that should continue.|
|High End QB2||Dak Prescott||DAL||Possible job security issues aside, Dak has been a rock as of late with three scores in three straight. With Dez Bryant back in the fold, Dak is still in charge of one of the NFL's best offenses.|
|Reliable QB2||Jameis Winston||TB||If you didn't buy Winston when I last recommended, you still have time. His play has improved with multiple scores in each of his last three compared to only one interception, and has two juicy playoff matchups against the woeful Saints.|
|Reliable QB2||Eli Manning||NYG||While Manning's upcoming schedule looks better, he's been a nightmare to own this season. His ceiling is still elite, but his inconsistency has lowered his value to more of a QB2.|
|Reliable QB2||Andy Dalton||CIN||Dalton has quietly been solid this season, with 18 points in all but two games. With the return of Tyler Eifert and an ineffective running game, Dalton's touchdown total figures to rise moving forward.|
|Reliable QB2||Carson Palmer||ARZ||He's been inconsistent and the team has rode David Johnson all year. Something simply hasn't looked right, but he's shown glimpses of his form last season. He's still worth keeping as a QB2, but I'd avoid him in Week 16 against the Seahawks.|
|Reliable QB2||Blake Bortles||JAX||A terrible real life QB, Bortles is a garbage time Hall of Famer. His luck will run out eventually if he keeps performing this poorly, he will play his way to the bench.|
|Low End QB2||Carson Wentz||PHI||After four solid starts to his career against easier competition, Wentz has regressed as he's been asked to throw more. The future doesn't look much better for him this season either, as he faces SEA, WAS, and NYG again.|
|Low End QB2||Alex Smith||KC||Like Eli Manning, Alex Smith has been uncharacteriscally unpredictable this season. If you're going with a committee, Smith is a decent buy if he can be had cheap. Outside of two brutal matchups against DEN, his schedule is relatively soft.|
|Low End QB2||Ryan Tannehill||MIA||He's underwhelmed in just about every spot he's been in, and now Jay Ajayi has emerged as the best player on offense. Look for the Dolphins to turn Tannehill into a game manager and ride Ajayi.|
|Low End QB2||Colin Kaepernick||SF||Averaging 58 rushing yards per game in his three starts, Kap's floor will keep him from the bottom of this tier.|
|Low End QB2||Joe Flacco||BAL||Flacco has only thrown for multiple scores in one game, and has three games without a passing touchdown. With the only consistent presence on offense being Mike Wallace and a difficult remaining schedule, Flacco is barely startable.|
|Low End QB2||Jay Cutler||CHI||Cutler is another quarterback worth targeting on the cheap as he faces TB, SF, and DET leading up to the playoffs. Has the right ceiling in the right matchups for the right price.|
|Low End QB2||Trevor Siemian||DEN||Outside of his Week Three blowup, Siemian has been nothing more than a mediocre game manager. Unfortunately for Paxton Lynch, as long as the Broncos are winning, there isn't much of a reason to move on from Siemian.|
|Fringe QB2||Ryan Fitzpatrick||NYJ||Maybe the biggest disappointment at quarterback this season, Fitzpatrick has lost his mojo. While the Jet's schedule lightens up a bit come December, Fitzpatrick may not be the starter when that time comes.|
|Fringe QB2||Brock Osweiler||HOU||He's struggled mightily this season, but I refuse to think someone piloting that talented of on offense will continue to struggle, especially with one of the easier schedules remaining. Probably on your waiver wire, Osweiler is worth adding.|
|Fringe QB2||Sam Bradford||MIN||Bradford has been a very good game manager this season, but the Vikings offense has still struggled as of late. He's nothing more than a fill in QB2.|
|Fringe QB2||Case Keenum||STL||If he somehow doesn't get benched for Jared Goff, he does have some enticing plays against NYJ, NO, ATL, and SF.|
|Fringe QB2||Cody Kessler||CLE||His ceiling gets a boost with the return of Corey Coleman, but he's done nothing to let anyone think he's capable of getting there.|
|Stash||Tony Romo||DAL||You know what you're getting if Jerry Jones is somehow dumb enough to bench Dak. The highest upside stash out there.|
|Stash||Paxton Lynch||DEN||It's possible Denver makes a switch to Paxton if the offense stalls down the stretch. He's in a situation where he's worth the stash.|
|Stash||Josh McCown||CLE||In his two appearances, McCown has been very serviceable. If the Browns move away from Kessler or he gets reinjured, McCown is a hot add.|
|Stash||Jared Goff||STL||He will probably get playing time, but if he couldn't beat out Case Keenum, do you want him on your team?|
|Stash||Chad Henne||JAX||There's a good chance Bortles gets benched. The offense is talented enough for Henne to be serviceable, but don't bank on it.|
|Stash||Bryce Petty||NYJ||It's looking like a matter of when, not if we see Petty this season. Can he produce on a bad team?|
|Stash||Landry Jones||PIT||Can Big Ben stay healthy?|