It’s officially crunch time. For some of you, your season may be on the line already. That means it’s time to make a significant move! Inevitably, there will always be a few teams who are in “must win” mode from Week 8 onward so for the next few weeks we are going to focus on trade targets with the best matchup to get you a win immediately. I know it’s not ideal to trade for a player for just one upcoming matchup but the fact of the matter is if you don’t win this week you don’t need to worry about next week or beyond! I’ll try my best not to recommend those who are unattainable so while I LOVE Deshaun Watson‘s matchup this week, he is not likely to be dealt for anything less than a chest of gold at this point. These recommendations are your “must win now” trade targets for Week 9. Let’s dive into it!
Drew Brees QB, New Orleans
Looking at the Top-10 defenses for opposing quarterbacks, there aren’t a ton of trade target options to be had apart from Brees. This week he draws Tampa Bay at home where he traditionally plays his best football. Brees hasn’t been amazing this year but he’s still a Top-10 passer with massive upside any given week. This week he draws a fine matchup with Tampa Bay, who is averaging the third-most points allowed to opposing passers. He should also be a relatively attainable trade target coming off a zero touchdown game in Week 8. I’ve actually fielded about 20 different trade questions Monday morning alone regarding Drew Brees and his current trade value. He’s still got name value so he’ll probably cost you an RB/WR2 give or take but he could be the key piece that gets you the win you desperately need in Week 9. It’s true that Tampa Bay played Brees tough in 2016 but if you’ve got Tom Brady, Philip Rivers or Ben Roethlisberger (are people still starting him?) on bye this week there are far worse bets out there. There are a handful of other quarterbacks I could possibly recommend here but Brees is the only one I feel confident telling you to go acquire. That said, I do like the matchups for Jared Goff and Dak Prescott but I don’t really trust Goff, and Prescott is likely too expensive despite a poor Week 8 outing.
Adrian Peterson RB, Arizona
Am I really recommending you go out and trade for a guy who just put up 21 yards on 11 carries in Week 7? You’re darn right I am and that stat line is half the reason why! After Peterson’s monster debut in the desert in Week 6 (26 carries, 134 yards, 2 rushing TD) he cooled off a great deal, bringing his trade price back down to earth. Now we must consider the fact that Carson Palmer is out and how it might affect Peterson. There are crutch arguments in both directions. One might say, “well Arizona doesn’t have Palmer so it will need to run more,” which could be true. Others might say, “well Arizona doesn’t have Palmer so defenses will stack the box and force Drew Stanton to beat them.” You see the dilemma? The point is, we don’t know what things will look like for Arizona coming off the bye. What we do know is that Arizona’s Week 9 opponent, San Fransisco, is squishy soft against the run and have given up 678 yards and six touchdowns to opposing running backs over the past three contests. It’s hard to ask for a much better matchup or a more attainable running back who possesses as much upside as Peterson. He’s not a lock to hit a home run but the math adds up if you can get him at the right price. Don’t overpay, though, he may not be too useful beyond this single match up.
Lamar Miller RB, Houston
Well Miller would have been much cheaper last week after his lackluster Week 6 performance against Cleveland but now we’ll need to buy him coming off a two-score game at Seattle this past Sunday. He gets plenty of work but he has been hit-or-miss this season so his owner might be looking to sell high. I’m not recommending you should overpay for Miller but his matchup in Week 9 could help keep you alive. Indianapolis has given up 10 touchdowns to opposing backs this year, including at least one touchdown allowed to running backs in every contest from Weeks 1-7. The mess that is the Cincinnati backfield broke that streak in Week 8 but I feel like that might have been more Cincinnati’s fault than a product of the Indianapolis defense playing better. Indianapolis has no answer for this lights-out Houston offense so Miller should see plenty of work all game long – especially late as Houston grinds out the clock in what figures to be a blowout. (Houston is currently a 13-point favorite in this home tilt). You’ll need to a pay up a little bit but Miller will remain useful throughout the season given his normal workload. Unlike Peterson, he won’t be a one-use running back if you can survive Week 9.