One of the most brutal fantasy bye weeks in recent memory has passed, and Week 8 brings a pivotal point in the season. Most fantasy leagues set trade deadlines two to three weeks from now, so the next few matchups are critical for managers trying to either gear up for a stretch run or save their season.
The running back position continues to be one of the most important in determining matchups, with Derrick Henry, Jonathan Taylor Alvin Kamara headlining some of the top players at the position. It’s going to be really difficult to pry one of the best players at this position without gutting significant parts of the roster.
As always, know your team, opponent’s teams and your league. Don’t expect to get a player for cheap just because a manager is 0-7. Don’t expect a manager who is 7-0 to part with significant assets. Know a manager’s trade history and know team schedules down the road. This is the time where thinking ahead can help you when it comes to trades, even though fantasy football is a weekly game.
Here’s a list of running backs that you should trade for in your fantasy football leagues.
RBs to trade for in fantasy football
Elijah Mitchell, 49ers: RB36 (Current rank in FF leagues)
Mitchell’s current ranking is underwhelming at the moment for a couple reasons. He missed a couple weeks with a shoulder injury and had a bye week already. The good news is he’s going to headline this backfield for a while, as Jeff Wilson Jr. still isn’t close to returning. The 49ers are probably going to lean on the run game given Jimmy Garoppolo’s inconsistent performances, so Mitchell could eventually become a top-15 fantasy running back by the end of the season.
Chris Carson, Seahawks: RB43
This one is mostly for managers sitting in the driver’s seat of their leagues. Whoever has Carson on the roster currently is probably hurting at running back. The Seahawks don’t expect him back anytime soon, but that backfield is not producing results with backups. Carson would immediately headline the group when healthy and this Seattle team will be dangerous during the stretch run in fantasy leagues. His value is at an all-time low right now, so there’s a chance managers in a good position can snag him for cheap.
Devonta Freeman, Ravens: RB54
The Ravens keep putting running backs on the injury report, ending up with Freeman and Le’Veon Bell as the two primary ball carriers at the moment. Lamar Jackson will still get a fair share of touches, but Freeman appears to be the most productive back of the group. He’s also getting some work in the receiving game. On a run-heavy team, Freeman can eventually get into the fantasy top 30 for the position. Now’s the time to make a move for him.
RBs to trade away in fantasy football
James Robinson, Jaguars: RB10
The Jaguars are going to keep Robinson touches as the season moves forward. At some point though, Trevor Lawrence is going to start throwing the ball more. Jacksonville’s offense has not been competent so far this season, and eventually the front office is going to want Lawrence to take charge of the offense. Robinson won’t have a significant drop-off in production but this is the chance to potentially get two players back for the running back.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Falcons: RB9
Patterson is getting work in the receiving game in addition to taking carries out of the backfield, emerging as Atlanta’s best option there. He’s still not the primary option in this offense with Kyle Pitts starting to break out and Calvin Ridley still the No. 1 receiver. Russell Gage is also back, meaning Patterson’s impact might diminish down the stretch of the season.
Melvin Gordon, Broncos: RB19
Gordon continues to split carries with rookie Javonte Williams and is producing well. The concern here is Denver’s record and future schedule, which puts the Broncos in a precarious position. They’re likely to turn things over to the rookie more as the season goes along if losses pile up. Gordon will still have a role, but it’s likely to be reduced going forward. Trade the running back for decent value now, especially if you’re near the top of your league.