There's no better time to do a thorough re-evaluation of your fantasy football team than around the midway point of the season.
Samples have grown to meaningful sizes, and trends have established themselves, giving us a much firmer read than we had in the preseason. For example, we now know that the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers sport the game's most dominating defenses and that Lamar Jackson and Gardner Minshew II are plenty capable NFL passers.
This is why the preseason strength-of-schedule exercise is often a foolhardy one. Most such analyses are based on previous-year statistics, which ignore offseason personnel changes. In addition, in-season developments -- such as the aforementioned examples -- are nearly impossible to forecast.
With a better handle on teams' strengths and weaknesses, Week 9 is a much wiser time to revisit the concept. To do that, I pulled data that I use to create the weekly Matchups Map and ran the remaining strength of schedule by position for all 32 teams.
Based on my findings, here are six players you need to trade for right now:
Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets: There's a bit of a leap of faith involved here, after Anderson's quarterback, Sam Darnold, threw seven interceptions while completing only 52% of his passes the past two weeks combined. That kind of inaccuracy, though, lends itself to lower team-wide price tags on the trade market, and sure enough, Anderson has been cut by more than 20% of his ESPN teams during the past five weeks. Since the Jets' Week 4 bye, though, Anderson has a 22% target share and has played 87% of the team's offensive snaps. Most important, he has the most favorable remaining schedule of any wide receiver, with upcoming games against the New York Giants, Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals. He is a matchups-oriented depth piece to add in advance of the bye weeks' conclusion.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders: Health and perhaps a stronger supporting corps might be the only things standing in his path to an RB1 second half. Jacobs is averaging 5.0 yards per carry, ranks fourth in the league in yards after contact per carry (2.24) and is tied for fourth with five carries of 20 yards or more. He has also amassed his three best single-game rushing yardage totals when facing his three most favorable matchups thus far, which is good news considering that three of his five most favorable for the season arrive in the next five weeks. The Raiders, in fact, don't have a single remaining matchup that grades as poor for a running back. If Jacobs costs anything less than a top-10 running back in a trade, make the deal.
George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers: If his season seems like a disappointment, perhaps you'd be encouraged to learn that through seven games of 2018, he had only 4.7 more PPR fantasy points on two fewer targets than he has through that many games this season. Jimmy Garoppolo's sluggish recovery from knee surgery has had an adverse impact on Kittle's production, but Kittle remains one of the best yards-after-the-catch tight ends in the league, showing flashes of it again in Weeks 6 and 8. Kittle's bye week is in his rearview -- a key factor in evaluating trades -- and he's as good a bet to pace his position in PPR fantasy points as anyone. By the way, he has both of his matchups against the Arizona Cardinals, the worst defense against the position this year, ahead of him (Weeks 9 and 11).
Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots: Talking Michel's fantasy manager down to the price of a high-end flex shouldn't be difficult. He's a touchdown-dependent player with a mediocre 3.3 yards-per-carry mark, his Patriots have their bye week ahead and their five toughest matchups in the next six weeks, and he's a running back on, well, the Patriots, and we all know coach Bill Belichick's reliance on committee arrangements. Here's what's to like: Michel has averaged 19.5 carries, or 64% of the team's total, during the past four weeks, and with Tom Brady's arm strength waning, Michel is going to take on increasing importance in scoring position. In addition, Michel and the rest of the Patriots' running backs have by far the most favorable fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14-17) schedule in the NFL.
Dede Westbrook, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: The neck and shoulder issues that shortened his Week 8, the team's upcoming Week 10 bye and the emergence of DJ Chark Jr. have surely driven down Westbrook's price, but that only means it's the ideal time to strike. Consider that in Weeks 5-7, Westbrook enjoyed a 29% target share to Chark's 24%, and as the team's primary slot receiver, Westbrook is likely to draw the more favorable cornerback matchup. The Jaguars have three amazing matchups on their second-half schedule, all coming at opportune times on the fantasy calendar: Week 13 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Week 15 against the Oakland Raiders and Week 16 against the Atlanta Falcons. Those have been the three most favorable matchups for a wide receiver during the past month. As an aside, also don't deal Chark under the assumption that he can't keep this up.
Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: His poor accuracy is a constant concern for fantasy managers, especially those who play in leagues that harshly penalize turnovers, but that also serves to keep his price tag down on the trade market. Winston is averaging nearly 38 pass attempts per game (sixth highest among qualified quarterbacks), he has two of the most talented receivers at his disposal in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and he's likely to continue to throw, throw, throw, because his defense continues to put the offense in early holes. Winston still has both of his matchups against the Falcons, one of the worst pass defenses in the league, ahead of him, and he'll also draw extremely favorable matchups against the Cardinals (Week 10), Lions (Week 15) and Texans (Week 16).