The NFL season isn’t even halfway over, but the fantasy season feels like it’s in the home stretch. unfortunately, there’s still plenty of time for your top players to get hurt. At the same time, there’s still plenty of time for your season to be turned around for the better with a few creative transactions. The NFL changes so much from week to week, that it’s hard to drown out the white noise, and decide which players are deserving of a serious look, and which ones are just a flash in the pan.
That’s why I’m here to help. My weekly Buy/Sell posts will help you decide which players will stick going forward, and which are flukes. The name of the game is value, so if you can buy low and sell high, you’ll be set up to win your league.
Let’s say you need some help at running back:
Buy: Ronnie Hillman – RB – DEN: Hillman is a must-buy for anyone in any format. I don’t care how good your running back situation is, Hillman is the starter in Denver, and he’s going to keep that job when Montee Ball returns. Ball might still be out for a few weeks, but he did very little to impress while healthy. Hillman, on the other hand, has completely trumped Ball’s performance over his last three games. He’s averaging 4.4 yards per carry and upwards of 20 touches per game. Those aren’t groundbreaking numbers, but it’s solid consistent production worthy of RB2 status, and he’s on the most potent offense in the history of the game. He’s not going to be available on your waiver wire, but as Ball gets closer to returning, you might be able to spring a solid deal for Hillman.
Sell: Montee Ball – RB – DEN: The converse of buying Ronnie Hillman, of course, is selling Montee Ball. He’s going to return this year, and he’s going to see some touches, especially in the red zone, but Ball is going to split touches with Hillman in the absolute best case scenario. Wait a week until he’s rumored to be nearing a return, and then sell his ass before he plays. Once he plays, your opponents will see his limited role and his value will plummet. If you want to maximize return on a 2nd round draft pick, you have to be cognizant of his value’s rapidly closing window.
Buy: Jerick McKinnon – RB – MIN: McKinnon broke out in a big way last week against a stout Bills run defense. He put up more than 100 yards on 21 touches. Bridgewater helps, but the Vikings still want to be a run-first team. at heart. McKinnon has done enough to supplant Asiata, so there should be no worries about his role.
Sell: Denard Robinson – RB,WR – JAX: Shoelace is an electric player coming off of a 100 yard week. Can he save the Jaguars? No. Of course not. The Jags are terrible. They block like they only have 4 linemen. Don’t buy into his big week; Robinson is a commodity that should be sold immediately.
Have some holes at receiver?
Buy: Doug Baldwin – WR – SEA: What a week for Baldwin. Days before the game, he finds out that he’ll be taking over Harvin’s #1 wideout role. Even with a lack of preparation time and increased attention from the DBs, Baldwin still dropped 123 yards on the Rams. Now, be sure to temper your expectations, as the Rams are pretty bad, but Baldwin made it clear that he has Russell Wilson’s trust. That should mean a lot going forward without Percy Harvin.
Sell: Wes Welker – WR – DEN: This one is tough for me, because I’ve been high on Welker as a buy-low candidate all season. But after last night’s 2-5-0 debacle, I’ve had enough. I’m not sure if Welker has just lost a step, or if the Broncos are avoiding him, but Emmanuel Sanders has emerged as the clear #3 option behind the Thomases. I can still see a world where Welker emerges as a late season stalwart simply because the Broncos were hiding him or defenses adjust. If he’s the #4 option, though, he’s just not going to see enough passes, even in a pass heavy offense. Nobody’s going to give you anything in a trade for Welker, so if you’re ready to cut ties, just drop him.