Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer: What to do with DeVonta Smith, David Montgomery, and Josh Jacobs

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If you’re in a fantasy football league that either doesn’t have a trade deadline or has a late one, congratulations on your ability to still make some moves! With the playoffs only one week away, the fantasy football trade analyzer is here to look ahead to some players that could have a generous postseason schedule.

If you’re capable of acquiring one of these two young players, it could pay huge dividends on your quest for a fantasy title. Let’s start with a pair of young talents that could potentially be league-winners.

DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

DeVonta Smith has had a promising rookie season in Philadelphia but was essentially absent from the game plan on Sunday’s win over the New York Jets. Whenever there’s a quarterback change, things tend to get wonky. Gardner Minshew took over for the injured Jalen Hurts and had a solid day, bringing #MinshewMania back into our lives for one glorious afternoon. Just one problem — he forgot to target Smith.

In their 33-18 rout of the Jets, Philadelphia’s run game did what it’s been doing well lately, posting 185 rushing yards and a touchdown. Minshew found TE Dallas Goedert for 6 receptions, 105 yards, and 2 TDs, but Smith was fifth on the team in receiving yards with only 15. Not great.

Still, he’s a top-tier rookie talent with the third-easiest fantasy playoff strength of schedule for wide receivers, going against Washington twice and the Giants once.

The Eagles head to their bye week right before the fantasy playoffs begin, giving them an extra week to game plan for a Washington defense that just allowed Hunter Renfrow to go over 100 receiving yards. Smith should finish his rookie campaign on a high note.

David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears

David Montgomery has been a staple of this column this season, in large part because I like him and because he’s just good at football. Sometimes it just requires coaches to get out of the way and let a player do what he does best.

Montgomery didn’t care that the Arizona Cardinals defense had been good against the run this season — he torched them for 90 rushing yards and a TD. He even added 8 receptions for 51 more yards. Give this dude the ball. Pending Monday Night Football, Montgomery finished the week as the overall RB2. This is the upside that he provides.

The Bears’ fantasy playoff schedule sees them face the Vikings, the Seahawks, and the Giants. The Vikings have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game (FPPG) over the last four weeks, the Seahawks have allowed the most, and the Giants have allowed the fourth-most in the NFL. Montgomery should continue to be the engine that powers this offense and can post huge numbers in the fantasy playoffs.

We’ll turn the page now to some fantasy options that might struggle a bit down the stretch. If you roster them, temper your expectations. If you can trade them away, even better.

Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders

Ever since the Raiders moved on from Jon Gruden, RB Josh Jacobs has proved to be capable in the passing game, which is a huge boost to his fantasy expectations.

In Week 13, Jacobs caught all 9 of his targets, which was a pleasant surprise. Prior to this week, Jacobs’ career-high receptions in a single game was 5, which he had done three times — once early in the season with Gruden, and twice since Week 9 without him.

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In the last four weeks, Jacobs has 21 receptions on 25 targets, which is both efficient and a high volume. Based on that sample, his 16-game pace of 100 targets and 84 receptions would be elite for fantasy enthusiasts. Still, I’m encouraging you to fade him (but remember these numbers for next year).

The Raiders’ upcoming playoff schedule is brutal, as they’ll go against the Browns, Broncos, and Colts for the fantasy playoffs. It’s the third-hardest remaining schedule in terms of fantasy points per game allowed for any running back in fantasy. Yes, he’ll still be serviceable, but if you can cash in (like, say, for Montgomery and a WR2), then I’d make that move.

Speaking of the Raiders, Terry McLaurin played them in Week 13 and caught only 3 passes for 22 yards. I have no idea what happened. The Raiders had been getting beaten regularly as of late, giving up the eighth-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. Still, McLaurin was absent.

With the quarterback play in Washington, it’s hard to trust McLaurin for the fantasy playoffs, and the matchups don’t help. As mentioned above, Washington and Philadelphia will face each other twice in a three-week span during the fantasy playoffs. The Eagles’ defense has given up the seventh-fewest FPPG to wide receivers over the last month.

McLaurin is a great talent. While Taylor Heinicke has had a nice completion rate this season (67.9%), and he doesn’t turn the ball over a ton (18 TDs to 11 INTs), he hasn’t thrown for more than 256 yards in any single game over the last four weeks. McLaurin will draw Darius Slay’s coverage in their matchups, and Slay has allowed a total of only 58 receiving yards with 0 TDs in the last four weeks. No, thank you.