Fantasy Football Trade Value Rankings: Deshaun Watson enters the fray; Chris Godwin comes to life

Eric Karabell ranks players for their fantasy football trade value for the rest of the 2022 NFL season every week until the fantasy football trade deadline (noon ET on Wednesday). Use the information to propose or assess trades and to optimize the players on your bench for their future potential. Eric's Top 100 can be found below the positions in this column.


Rankings changes: What a wild week at quarterback! Few would have considered thinking about the Jets' Mike White, Packers' Jordan Love or Texans' Kyle Allen one week ago, but here we are. None of those fellows break into our top 25 (yet), though for those in two-QB formats, they may matter. Those relying on Zach Wilson and Davis Mills aren't pleased, and we will see if Aaron Rodgers plays through injury even as the Packers are far from contention.

The main movement among quarterbacks relevant in all formats is Deshaun Watson rejoining the Browns and our top 10, ready to start this week versus his former team. Should be interesting.

Trade for: The top three quarterbacks are at a different scoring level this season, so the cost to acquire should be greater. Still, any of the 16 quarterbacks in our Top 100 seem safe for fantasy purposes the rest of the way. This includes Watson, who hasn't played in a game since Jan. 3, 2021.

Be cautious: Everyone else? Don't mess around with quarterback as the playoffs approach. Sure, Mike White looked great against the Bears, but he's still Mike White. Rodgers could sit with injury. The Falcons could sit Marcus Mariota if they fall out of contention. The Commanders could do the same with their starter, Taylor Heinicke.

Running back

Rankings changes: Going up against the Raiders' Josh Jacobs in Week 12 was not much fun! Jacobs scored 48.3 PPR points, but it wasn't so aberrant, as he's now the No. 2 RB for the season and moves into that spot here. There's little movement in the top 20, though the Eagles' Miles Sanders and Cardinals' James Conner move up, while Texans rookie Dameon Pierce has struggled the past few weeks in a terrible offense.

Later in the rankings, time will tell how much the Chiefs signing Melvin Gordon III affects Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon. Perhaps Gordon is merely insurance, though we recommend adding him in case he thrives. Clyde Edwards-Helaire leaves the rankings, along with injured 49er Elijah Mitchell and sputtering Jet James Robinson. Consider stashing the Jets' Ty Johnson, the Rams' Kyren Williams, the 49ers' Jordan Mason, new Jaguar Darrell Henderson Jr. and, of course, recovering Raven J.K. Dobbins.

Trade for: The list of reliable running backs starts to waver at the back end of the top 20, so be wary. Note that the Titans' Derrick Henry has a strong history of December excellence, and his tepid Week 12 means little. He gets to face the Texans again in Week 16. Bye weeks aren't over yet; among the solid RBs who still must miss a game include Conner, the Panthers' D'Onta Foreman, the Saints' Alvin Kamara, the Colts' Jonathan Taylor and the Green Bay and Washington options.

Be cautious: The 49ers' Christian McCaffrey remains a top option but he is also dealing with a sore knee. Be careful about trading full price for players who have been merely OK (or worse) in recent weeks, such as the Giants' Saquon Barkley, the Vikings' Dalvin Cook and Pierce, and those dealing with injury, such as the Bengals' Joe Mixon and the Jaguars' Travis Etienne Jr.

Wide receiver

Rankings changes: The Vikings' Justin Jefferson was the highest-scoring WR for Week 12, and he moves back into the top spot at the position. The Lions' Amon-Ra St. Brown scoots back into WR1 range, the Buccaneers' Chris Godwin solidifies his WR2 status and impressive Packers rookie Christian Watson forces his way into the top 20. Welcome back to the Cardinals' Marquise Brown, and Jets Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore seem statistically relevant again. The Lions could debut rookie Jameson Williams soon.

On the bad side, the Cardinals' Rondale Moore remains out with a groin injury, the Chargers' Mike Williams reinjured his ankle and the Packers' Allen Lazard has been quiet since Watson emerged. We also say farewell to underachieving Bear Darnell Mooney and the Rams' Allen Robinson II, both out for the season with injury.

Trade for: Fantasy managers should focus on quarterbacks and running backs in trades, while looking to stream wide receivers if dealing with injuries or bye weeks. Still, any of the top 20 wide receiving options are relatively safe. Look at December schedules, too. The Vikings have an attractive schedule. The Bengals do not. Think twice about dealing for Ja'Marr Chase even though he should return from hip injury this week.

Tight end

Rankings changes: Not much movement in the top 20 as so few options play at a high statistical level on a consistent basis. The Cowboys' Dalton Schultz has three top-10 weeks in his past four. Tyler Higbee, like most Rams, is struggling. The Browns' David Njoku is healthy and productive. The Eagles hope to have Dallas Goedert back soon.