Fantasy Football: Three Must-Have Players for a Playoff Push

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It’s hard to believe, but the fantasy football regular season is already close to concluding for the 2017 calendar year. At this point, owners should have a sound idea of where their roster stands. In redraft or dynasty leagues, those that are contending need to proactively prepare for the postseason. This could entail assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a starting lineup, which in turn might require a trade to take place. With that idea in mind, the purpose of this article is to reveal three players that are worth acquiring before the fantasy postseason who are appreciating in value and can help assist in making a playoff push.

Alvin Kamara

As a third-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, Kamara was viewed as a polarizing prospect out of Tennessee prior to the beginning of the regular season. Sure, his landing spot in New Orleans helped alleviate some uncertainty. At the same time, the 21-year-old was expected to join an established tandem of running backs in Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson. Little did the fantasy community know that the latter part of that duo would be traded to the Arizona Cardinals before Week 6 of the NFL schedule.

Since Peterson’s departure from New Orleans, Kamara has registered 27 rushing attempts for 160 yards and one touchdown. Over the same span, he has accrued 11 receptions for an additional 110 yards. Even more, the rookie tailback has posted weekly PPR finishes of RB22 (Week 6), RB11 (Week 7) and RB9 (Week 8) overall across the team’s first three weeks without the presence of Peterson. Of course, over that same duration, Ingram has out-touched Kamara 80-38 as a whole and currently ranks as the RB10 overall in PPR formats entering Week 9 of the 2017 campaign.

Given the volume New Orleans has devoted to both Ingram and Kamara as of late, both should be viewed as highly coveted assets in PPR scoring for the remainder of the fantasy year. Kamara is the recommended trade target in redraft or dynasty leagues, as he simply costs less than that of Ingram at the present time.

Stefon Diggs

Ladies and gentlemen, now is the time to purchase shares of Diggs at a discount while the opportunity presents itself in fantasy circles. Remember that from Weeks 1- 4, the 23-year-old ranked as the WR1 in PPR scoring. Over that span of time, Diggs delivered two tremendous fantasy performances with receiving lines of 7-93-2 (Week 1) and 8-173-2 (Week 3). Since then, a groin injury has forced him to miss multiple contests and be limited in two others. In the process, Diggs has frustrated fantasy general managers with limited availability on the NFL gridiron.

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With Minnesota’s bye on the horizon this week, Diggs is an advisable trade target in virtually all formats. It is entirely possible that owners are becoming impatient with the wide receiver’s lingering durability concerns, which presents a buy-low opportunity before the fantasy playoffs. Keep in mind that the Maryland product was able to return in Week 8 in limited fashion by participating in 75 percent of Minnesota’s offensive snaps, which is a promising sign for his value moving forward.

With rumors surfacing around an imminent return for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, fantasy owners should be proactive and capitalize on Diggs’ recent struggles. On the season, he stands as the PPR WR19 with 27 receptions for 422 yards four touchdowns. There’s some risk associated with trading for Diggs in redraft since his groin injury could resurface, but now is the time to purchase dynasty shares of the wide receiver that is approaching elite territory at his skill position with a reduced price tag.

Evan Engram

Regardless of his label as a wide receiver or tight end, it is clear that Engram is a natural pass catcher in the NFL. Rookies rarely make an impact at such a high level in fantasy, so the Mississippi product’s success to this point is rather remarkable. While his role has benefited from the absence of Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, Engram has proven over recent weeks that he has been a hidden superstar all along.

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Across the New York Giants first seven games, Engram has collected 30 receptions for 342 yards and three touchdowns. Even more impressive, consider that the 23-year-old tight end has tallied a minimum of 4 receptions for 44 yards in all but one regular season game this season. The rookie’s target share has also elevated his success thus far, as his 53 targets are more than the respective totals of Michael Crabtree (51), Kelvin Benjamin (51) and Jordy Nelson (42).

To date, Engram ranks as the TE7 in PPR leagues. Since it is usually far too expensive to acquire the services of Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce or Zach Ertz in fantasy, Engram resides as an alternative target via trade at the tight end position. Even with Sterling Shepard nearing a return, Engram should be viewed as a surefire TE1 for the remainder of 2017 in redraft and dynasty structures.