It’s me again… back with the trades for those white vans! But really, we’re here for the buy low candidates, not the childish humor. Alas, you’re stuck with both, should you want the former.
Before we dive into the targets this week, let’s take a quick look at my takes from last week:
The Buy Low List:
- David Johnson – Scored double digits again. Still not where I want him to be, but I am confident he continues to return value, especially as Josh Rosen settles into the offense.
- The Patriots – Sony Michel looks like what I thought he would be, a league winner. Opportunity will be there for him all year (should he stay healthy). Tom Brady and Gronk were a bit of a disappointment in Week 4, but I still like them both moving forward (as outlined in the “Weekend Winners” article). Buy them now.
- Jordan Howard – In the short term, this was a miss. In the long term, we shall see. I was worried about the shift in usage — Tarik Cohen saw most of the work against Tampa — but not enough that I wouldn’t still be looking to acquire Jordan Howard from an angsty owner.
- Keenan Allen – Another less than stellar performance leaves Keenan Allen in the “Buy Low” zone, though his 10 targets continue to suggest positive regression is coming.
- Russell Wilson – It seems to be getting worse before it gets better for Russell Wilson. Wilson did match his season rushing stats (21 yards, this time on just 4 carries), which will buoy his value. I’m still buying.
- Jordan Reed – DNP; Tyler Eifert – Will not play again this year. I’ll eat crow for now on Eifert. Reed is still a target after his bye week.
- Matt Brieda – His week 4 output wasn’t great, and I don’t trust this offense anymore. After a week 5 match-up with Arizona (currently the most favorable match-up for RBs), I’ll be looking to sell him.
- Larry Fitzgerald – This is looking like a lost cause. Fitzy might be hitting the wire if a truly frustrated owner has him. He’s worth the add, should that happen.
The Sell High List:
- Patrick Mahomes – He officially did regress to the mean, but his mean is still nice. I still like my Mahomes/DJax for Watson/Keenan trade after two weeks. This week I play that owner, as DJax sits on a bye. #IcingOnTheCake
- Isaiah Crowell – After 3 plus match-ups, the Jacksonville defense shut down Isaiah Crowell and the Jets. It doesn’t get easier with neutral or negative match-ups in the next four contests.
- Tyler Lockett – After 3 weeks of double digits, Tyler Lockett returned to Earth, netting just 53 yards on 5 catches. With Doug Baldwin returning, Lockett’s opportunity is sure to shrink.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – Lost his job. Has zero value now.
- Buck Allen – Season high 12 touches… didn’t find the end zone… not worth owning.
- DeSean Jackson – A decent week for DJax. He eclipsed the century mark on just 5 catches, and he had about a million air yards. If you got a legit player for him, you’re still happy. If you didn’t trade him before last week, I’d look to do so now.
- Jared Cook – Someone slice me off a bit of Jon Snow… I’m ready to eat some crow.
Looking at the above, I’m pretty happy with my original hypotheses…. Pobody’s nerfect, after all. With our week behind us, let’s check out some buy low opportunities now:
Who to Buy Low after Week Four
This is basically a “who’s been flopping from the first three rounds” list… but isn’t that who you would expect?
The heavy-partying Rob Gronkowski hasn’t had three weeks as bad as the most recent three since his rookie season. What? How is that possible? Please expand. For the first time since his rookie year, Gronk has failed to crack the top 12 at the position for three weeks in a row. Yes, I know he’s a bit banged up, and he might not even play tonight*, but he’s still worth targeting in the trade market. He wins leagues in November and December. This might be your last chance to buy low while people gush about Kelce and Ertz.
*Editor’s Note: Gronk did play, to the tune of six receptions for 75 yards, on seven targets.
There is a lot to love about Dalvin Cook… and lots to worry about for his current owners. Health, a struggling o-line, a less than dominant defense, and shifting game scripts are all in the watch out column. But a 28% tackle evasion rate (tied for 2nd in league after Kareem Hunt) and a 74% snap share when healthy leads me to believe he has a turn around. His schedule also opens up in weeks 6-9.
Is Joe Mixon coming back this week? It appears likely. It also looks like Giovani Bernard isn’t going to be at full health this week*, so Mixon would be a plug-in starter for your lineup. What about Doug Baldwin? With Tyler Lockett also nicked up, Baldwin is the WR equivalent of the aforementioned Mixon. Both guys should be plug-and-play starters for teams with weak holes, but if you can afford a “prove it” week.
*Editor’s Note: Giovani Bernard has been ruled out for the Bengals game against Miami.
Le’Veon Bell was in the news again. This time because he thinks he wants to come back in the Week 7 / 8 time frame. In my opinion, this makes him an immense value. I personally think that he’ll completely take over that backfield, assuming the exact role we thought he’d have when we put him in the consensus top four players. And he’s likely on a team that is 2-2, 1-3, or even 0-4 as they didn’t have a first round pick in their lineup.
I am not a fan of the New York Giants offense, but I do think better days are ahead for Odell Beckham, Jr. in the coming weeks. OBJ eclipsed 10 touchdowns in 3 out of 4 seasons, with the lone short coming last year as he was injured. He still leads his team in opportunities, and we know Eli is terrible and tends to stare down his number one option. I expect a big week from OBJ, so buy now before the window closes.
I’m all in on Kerryon Johnson. If the KJ owner isn’t paying attention, the box score isn’t going to stop a trade for Johnson. He’s not getting opportunities as he should, as he’s so much better than Blount. Per @LateRoundQB, Blount’s 22.9% success rate is less than half of his rookie running mates’ (47.4%). He’s also a very solid piece to include when sending trades to a savvy owner, as they see the potential for league winning.
This one is tougher for me, as I’m from Wisconsin, but I’m trying to snag Aaron Rodgers where I can get him. He looked healthier last Sunday, as his scrambles featured slightly less hobbling and slightly more running. This offense has yet to click, and the Rodgers owner probably has another viable QB on their roster. If you can pry him away for half his draft day cost, you might find yourself in possession of the November/December QB1.
Keenan Allen is still on my targets list. He had double-digit targets last week, and he’ll continue to be featured in this offense. Tom Brady and Russell Wilson remain on my buy list, pending the price. I’m now halting offers on the Bears RBs, however, because I want to see how that snap count shifts after a week 4 explosion with Cohen in the backfield.
Selling “High” Gets Harder
As the season wears on, it becomes harder each week to identify good sell high targets. If someone repeats their success through 4 weeks, shouldn’t it be safe to assume that continues? Not always. Who do “I” think doesn’t have a great shot of continuing this dominance?
Calvin Ridley’s touchdown rate is unsustainable. Teams will start accounting for him, which is another great reason to buy Julio Jones. However, Ridley simply will not sustain this production level. It’s also worth noting that despite the 6-to-0 touchdown ratio, Julio still has more PPR fantasy points than Ridley.
Lamar Miller, a darling of mine in the preseason, simply looks old and washed. Deshaun Watson has looked much better the past two weeks, but Lamar’s production hasn’t matched his QBs. If you can still get something for the name and role, do it.
Eric Ebron is a great start this week. He takes on New England tonight, and his offensive mates T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle are on the shelf. That means double-digit targets are incoming for this stone-handed receiver. While Ebron may have 3+ drops tonight, he’s likely to have double that in catches, giving him one more game of production. You should be able to sell him before this week to a panicky owner or after this week when we hit the bye season. (UPDATE: He was indeed a good start, notching a bunch of points on 2 TDs and over 100 yards… he remains a great sell high going into next week).
As I mentioned, selling players high is getting harder and harder, so go out and pawn off your over-achievers now — before their value returns to Earth. That’s all you get this week. Good luck trading, good luck picking starters, and may the injury gods smile down on your players.
As always, go tell your friends… or don’t.