Tuesday - Jan 22, 2019

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Second Half Heroes

After this Sunday, the first half of the fantasy football season will be nearly over. Now is the time to start preparing for the second half of the season to help lead your team to an epic playoff run. Trades are still the best way to significantly improve your team. Here are some ‘Second Half Heroes’ owners should target to help take their team to the top.

Brandon Marshall

Marshall’s value couldn’t possibly be lower. Over the last two games he’s averaging four receptions and less than 50 receiving yards plus zero touchdowns. He just had his bye week and he takes a visit to (Darrelle) Revis Island this weekend, an island where he was held to 16 receiving yards the last time he visited there. Marshall’s quarterback, Chad Henne, is out for the year, with the wildly inconsistent Matt Moore takes his place, presumably for the long haul.

After a brilliant start to the season where he had 218 receiving yards and a touchdown after two games, Marshall’s stock has hit rock bottom. If you’ve got depth and can sacrifice a player or two, Marshall has the potential to give owners serious value for his ‘Super Buy Low’ price. Once he leaves Revis Island, Marshall’s schedule the rest of the way gets more favorable, culminating with an absolutely fantastic playoff slate of Philadelphia, Buffalo and New England (Weeks 13-16).

Remember, Marshall hasn’t played with a good quarterback for his entire career – Jay Cutler, Kyle Orton and Chad Henne certainly wouldn’t be considered elite players. Marshall has still managed to produce despite whose throwing him the ball. He has four straight seasons better than 1,000 receiving yards and has averaged close to 100 receptions the last four years. Given the right matchup, and Marshall will have those later in the season, he’s still a stud and can help owners win down the crucial stretch of the season.

Roddy White

Drafted in the first round, usually as the second or third receiver off the board, Roddy White has been barely a Top 15 receiver this season. He’s still getting a ton of targets from Matt Ryan (nine last week), and with the recent injury of Julio Jones, he could get targeted even more in the coming weeks. White, who plays for my beloved Atlanta Falcons, has had several tough matchups to start the season. His next three games are against Carolina, Detroit and Indianapolis.

Despite playing below expectations, he still has 32 receptions, 350 receiving yards and two touchdowns, which isn’t as horrid as say Mike Williams in Tampa Bay. White has been improving recently as well, averaging seven receptions and 85 receiving yards the last three games, highlighted by a nine-reception, 140-yard game against Tampa Bay a couple weeks ago. You won’t get White at the bargain basement price you’ll get Marshall for, but you still should be able to get a good deal on him. I’d act fast, though, because without Jones this weekend, White should torch Carolina’s defense, bringing his asking price up next week.

Andre Johnson

I mentioned picking up Johnson last week but there’s still time to grab him now, especially with him not playing this week again. He’s missed time the last couple weeks but seems to be healing well from his hamstring injury. He was looking great his first three games, with 21 receptions, 316 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

The Texans need Johnson to pump some life into their currently mediocre passing game, which was exemplified by Jacoby Jones’ 11-target, one-catch game last weekend. Johnson is projected to return around Week 7 against the Tennessee Titans, who were just gashed for five passing touchdowns last weekend by Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Johnson’s playoff schedule against  Cincinnati, Carolina and Indianapolis are all solid matchups. We’re talking about the second-best receiver in fantasy football to Calvin Johnson, and this is the last week owners will be able to get any kind of discount on him.

Santana Moss

If you’re looking for a consistent receiver whose good for about five receptions, 60 yards and probably a touchdown each week … Moss is your guy. There’s nothing necessarily sexy about his numbers, even though he’s on pace for another 1,000-yard, eight-touchdown season. Nor is he a player that will ever go for a high price during trade talks.

If you’ve got a hole in your lineup though at the WR3 spot, Moss is your guy. Moss’ upcoming schedule of Philadelphia, Carolina and Buffalo should all be high-scoring games, plus he has an excellent playoff schedule against New England’s bad pass defense, the New York Giants and Minnesota. He’s another one of those kind of players that you can slip into a big multi-player trade and get a steal off owners.

In a league filled with players, who are boom or bust each week, it’s refreshing to have a player that can reliably give you 12-15 points each week, not having to worry about a no-show performance. Moss might be the best No. 3 receiver in fantasy football.

Good Hunting!

Ed Bonfanti

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