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Fantasy Football Strategy: Buy Low, Sell High Week 2

Hi everybody, welcome to Buy Low, Sell High for week 2 of the fantasy season. Last week we talked about Trading 101 and what not to do as a trader. This week (and for the rest of the season) our main focus is going to be my thoughts on who you should be looking to buy or sell in trades. I’m going to go game by game with my thoughts here, but I’ll be excluding the Monday night games because they haven’t happened as of this writing and I’ll be skipping games where I don’t feel like anybody stood out as a buy or sell candidate. I’ll also detail a tough trade decision that I ultimately passed on (and am admittedly regretting having passed at the moment).

Players to Sell

The obvious sell candidate from the Chiefs is Kareem Hunt. The kid is very good but he just had what is likely his best game of the season, if not the best game of his career. I do think Hunt will be good and I wouldn’t give him away for peanuts. I feel like his upside is that of Jamaal Charles from years past (or LeSean McCoy, Brian Westbrook, any former Andy Reid stud) while his downside still represents top 10 value at the position. If I am ranking him for what I expect over the remainder of the year, I’d place him right between DeMarco Murray and Todd Gurley as about the RB7 or 8 this year. If you can move him for a known top level guy (like Devonta Freeman, Melvin Gordon, etc.) you probably can’t go too wrong doing so. I’d also take a solid WR1 for him like Michael Thomas or Mike Evans. Don’t look to sell him but if somebody in your league is all in on the hype, you might be able to make a solid profit from this performance.

In the same game, I’d see what the interest looks like for Mike Gillislee. Many people will have visions of LeGarrette Blount from last year after Gillislee plunged in for 3 TDs this week but I don’t see that here. It looked like James White and Rex Burkhead had enough involvement in the offense that Gillislee won’t be allowed to get the kind of carries that Blount got benefit from last year. Also, Tom Brady is eventually going to get his. Gillislee was put in a perfect position to get his 3 scores this week but when you’re on a pace for 48 touchdowns there’s only one direction to go. If you can get a more stable back who is guaranteed some touches or a high end WR2, I’d be game to move Gillislee.

Kenny Golladay is another rookie who had a huge week. He’s also another rookie who can’t possibly be expected to maintain what he did. If you can sell somebody on the fact that he put up the two TDs this week and had a similar showing in the preseason – you should definitely do that. Golladay is not going to get the necessary volume to be a starter for most fantasy teams. He will have the occasional big play and score some TDs but he can’t be relied upon and I don’t expect him to be better than a prayer as a spot starter. If somebody in your league is buying it and you can get a proven commodity for him, you should pull the trigger.

I love Leonard Fournette. I think he was well worth his draft price and I expect him to have a good season. That being said, he looked great in his debut but he was aided by the fact that the Texans just frankly gave up over the second half and he got unlimited carries. TJ Yeldon was out for the week so we don’t know how Yeldon will impact Fournette’s workload and if Fournette keeps up the workload as it was this weekend, that could be dangerous for a rookie who has shown injury problems in college and the preseason. The rookie wall is real and with a huge workload, Fournette is a candidate to slow down or get hurt over the second half of the season. He’s also going to have a stacked box now that the Jaguars don’t even have Allen Robinson to steal defensive attention. Again, I love Fournette and this is not a hard sell. I still think he’s likely to be strong for the season and I’d probably ride him out for at least the next month before making a move. I’m only including him here because he looked so good that somebody may be willing to pay high RB1 prices to acquire him from you thinking that they’re getting the next Ezekiel Elliott.

Players to Buy

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski (really any under performing Patriots player) are worth kicking the tires on. The sky has been falling in New England since Thursday night and many people around here suddenly think Brady might be too old and that Gronk looked like a grandpa running his routes. This was the same rhetoric a few years ago when the Patriots got blown out by the Chiefs and they won the Super Bowl that year. Gronk did look slow but I think he may have been slightly injured from landing on the ball in his near touchdown. While 33 yards is not a good day, if his touchdown catch had stood, he would have had 50 yards with a TD and nobody would be concerned about him looking sluggish. He’s a big guy, that’s his game, not necessarily speed. If somebody is feeling unsettled about him already, you should pounce. The Patriots are still elite and Brady will still be a beast. The Chiefs are a talented team and defense and Brady wasn’t quite yet in sync with his new receiving weapons. Don’t sweat it. If you can pull Brady on the cheap, don’t hesitate.

Everybody has decided that the big week from Tarik Cohen means the end of Jordan Howard‘s fantasy value. I disagree and I would target Howard if an owner is falling into this trap. Howard had 13 carries and 3 receptions this week and he was on the field at the most critical time of the game (granted he dropped a potential game winning pass, but he was on the field dammit). Howard may not be in for the monster workload he established last year but having Cohen around should keep him fresh and even at this weekend’s pace, he’d get 240 touches over the course of the season. Cohen is too small to be anything but a Darren Sproles type change up back so Howard is still going to do the heavy lifting for the team. Use Cohen’s hype to open up a buying window on Howard (who should now be considered closer to Lamar Miller than Melvin Gordon in value).

Joe Mixon is an interesting player to keep an eye on. He’s not startable at this point in the season but if the Bengals keep dropping stinkers, then they’ll likely turn to their new talented young back to carry the load if for no other reason than to see what they have here. If you can get Mixon for a small price and stash him away for a few weeks, this could pay big dividends down the stretch.

Obviously LeVeon Bell will be better than this. I doubt anybody is selling but if they are…

Jamison Crowder will have better days but to be fair, the Redskins don’t look particularly great right now. I’m interested in Crowder but only if I can get him as a throw in piece to a bigger deal. Often the throw in player gets forgotten and you can get an actual player if you treat them like an afterthought, that’s how I’d approach a deal with Crowder in it and hope to get lucky that he picks it up.

Brandon Marshall is another player like Crowder who will almost certainly be better (he’s not going to end up with 160 yards on the season). It may be easy to convince somebody to give up on Marshall after a disappointing 2016 and his lack of production this weekend. I think once Odell Beckham returns to the lineup, you’ll find that Marshall will get open more often and Eli Manning will look his way. Especially in the red zone. Eli may actually be crap though, so I wouldn’t go out of my way to add Marshall just in case this never gets going as it should.

Trade Analysis

For the promised trade analysis, I was offered the following trade last week (before Sunday’s games):

Odell Beckham, DeMaryius Thomas and Dalvin Cook for David Johnson, Derrick Henry and Kenny Britt.

I debated long and hard about this trade but ultimately decided that the known great production from David Johnson outweighed what I’d get on the other end. Now obviously this was before Johnson got hurt, as I’d certainly go back in time and make the deal if I could now, but at the time here was my thought process.

I figured David Johnson was good for at least 75-100 points more than Dalvin Cook over the season and that’s assuming best case for Cook and worst case for Johnson. I also was looking at a starting Wide Receiver corps of Allen Robinson, Devante Parker, Kelvin Benjamin and Brandon Marshall (yeah, sucks to be me with Robinson’s injury and the awful performances of Benjamin and Marshall). My feeling was that an already injured Odell should only be about 50-60 points better than Allen Robinson (at best) and that DeMaryius Thomas just didn’t represent enough of an upgrade over Kelvin Benjamin to warrant losing David Johnson.

Again, hindsight is 20/20, if I knew that I was going to lose Allen Robinson for the season and that David Johnson was also going to go down to injury, this would have been a no brainer deal, but none of us can predict the future. I still think the process I used to decide against the trade was solid and I would make the same decision given the information I had at the time.

That’s all for this week! I hope you all had better luck with injuries this past weekend than I did. Be on the hunt for people who are already panicking as the first couple of weeks are ripe with overreactions and this is the part of the season where every owner is actively involved and cares. You may be able to steal a great player or move somebody due for a fall if you work the rest of your league mates properly. As always, don’t be afraid to ask about any players you might be curious about in the comments below and I’ll be glad to share my insight.

One Comment

  1. The Wolf

    September 12, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Love most of these calls, but definitely disagree with selling Hunt. I place him as a no-brainer Top 5 RB, and would much prefer him to Mike Thomas (but not Evans). I also think Jordan Howard should continue being avoided. Has never been my cup of tea.

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