BUFFALO, NY – OCTOBER 07: Running back LeSean McCoy #25 of the Buffalo Bills runs with the ball against the Tennessee Titans in the fourth quarter at New Era Field on October 7, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

LeSean McCoy has been a buzzing player in both fantasy and real-life football recently. This has a lot to do with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team that drafted him, losing their starting running back, Jay Ajayi, for the year with an ACL injury. Now McCoy is being linked to the team in trade talks, catching the attention of running back needy fantasy team owners. They will try to take advantage of McCoy’s slow start and attempt to buy him low. Don’t fall for it. Hold on to him, because the potential return will not match up to his output for the rest of the season.

Trade Rumors

The biggest reason fantasy football team owners are going to be trying to buy McCoy low are the rumors of him being traded. Ever since Ajayi went down for the Eagles rumors have been swirling about a possible reunion for the McCoy to his original NFL team. Sean McDermott didn’t exactly strike down the rumors either, acknowledging that they had gotten calls, but not saying trading McCoy was off the table.

The trade makes sense for both sides. McCoy is in his 10th season and is 30 years old. Right about this age is when running back’s play starts to see a significant decline. The Buffalo Bills are basically rebuilding this year around rookie first-round draft pick Josh Allen. Their offensive line is not up to par to even let them think about playoff contention. The Eagles on the other hand are. After winning the Super Bowl last season, they haven’t gotten off to the start some expected this year. Still, at 2-3, and with no other team in their division with more than two wins at this point, they are still favorites to win their division.

McCoy can help them do that, and he wouldn’t have to do it all with other backs like Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement still on the roster. The Bills would probably love the opportunity to move on from McCoy before his age completely catches up to him. They would also jump at the chance for an extra draft pick.

Starting to Get His Legs Under Him

The reason many owners might be willing to part with a big name like McCoy is because of his slow start. Until last week, he hadn’t even eclipsed 100 total rushing yards. He missed week three with a rib injury, but the other three games he never even got 10 carries. Many fantasy players wondered if his age was finally catching up to him.

To his credit though, the entire Bills offense was out of sorts for most of that time. After attempting to start Nathan Peterman in Week One, his ineffectiveness caused the team to thrust the rookie Allen in as the starter a week later. The first week the offense looked in sync was week three, which McCoy missed. Then when he came back week four, he wasn’t really given a chance to run the ball, only seeing five carries as the Bills were shut out 22-0 by better than advertised Green Bay Packers defense.

McCoy finally looked like the real Shady, rather than a shade of himself last week. He finally got a full workload of 26 total touches which he turned into 108 total yards. This performance proved that he still has plenty left in the tank and that he should improve as the offensive unit starts to settle in. This is promising for fantasy people regardless of whether an NFL team trades for him.

Dearth of Running Backs

The biggest reason why owners should hold onto McCoy is the current fantasy landscape. Even though McCoy hasn’t performed well up to this point, the running back market is in shambles at the moment. Le’Veon Bell’s holdout continues, and other top dogs like Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, and Devonta Freeman are dealing with injuries. It will make their owners desperate to get some help, but McCoy’s numbers to this point will not net him much of a return.

Players trying to get him are not likely to offer a running back with any more upside than McCoy. The tight end market is even worse, so it is even less likely a trade will include anything viable in that regard. From there, quarterbacks are a dime a dozen. So, unless it is a two-quarterback league, solid starters can be picked up as free agents after they clear waivers. Just in general, it is not smart to let go of a running back for a tight end or quarterback.

In most years, the best way to get a decent running back is to offer a few above average wide receivers. This year, however, taking that offer would be unwise. There are more wide receivers putting up consistent numbers than usual, many of them still unclaimed. Most teams have a bench full of borderline starting-caliber wideouts. Running backs, however, are a different story. With McCoy’s outlook improving by the day, players need to not take the bait on any trade offers they get, unless they are just blockbuster deals.

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