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Fantasy Football Strategy: Buy Low, Sell High Week 11

Hi everybody, welcome back to Buy Low, Sell High for Week 11 of the fantasy season. As has become the norm lately, we had some big performances from no names and duds from purported studs. Such is the life of a fantasy football player. Still, most of last week’s buys and sells worked out and it’s time to re-evaluate yet again based on this week’s games. I recognize that for some of you, the trade deadline has already passed and in your case, obviously there is only so much you can do with this information (although I still think it’s worth looking over in case there are some tough add/drop options that maybe apply to the analysis here). For those who have a deadline approaching, keep that date in mind and do what you can to make trades happen before then.

Players to Sell

So last week I was saying that it was only a matter of time before Sean Payton let Mark Ingram out of the doghouse and on cue he delivered. While those three touchdowns were obviously magically delicious you can’t expect that kind of output on a weekly basis. However, everybody likes to just pick the marshmallows out of their cereal and skip the grains so you need to paint the picture of optimism with Ingram and sell a league mate on the fact that he’s a beast. You should be able to get a top 5 wide receiver for Ingram at this point with the right buyer. By the same token, I’d be selling on Drew Brees too. He hasn’t had a big game for awhile but he still floats by on name recognition. The fact is that the Saints are playing real defense this year and they’re happy to ride their running backs. Brees just isn’t throwing the ball with the volume that he used to so his days as a top 5 QB are probably at an end – move him to someone who hasn’t yet gotten the memo.

I think we can all agree that Brett Hundley sucks. As such, I don’t really want any part of the Green Bay offense. Jordy Nelson is essentially impossible to trade because he has done just about nothing since Aaron Rodgers went down, but Davante Adams has actually not been that bad. Take advantage of that fact and move him now. He’s going to be inconsistent and underwhelming strictly because of the man “throwing” him the ball.

We’ve now had a number of relatively productive weeks from Isaiah Crowell in a row. This was what we expected of him when many drafted him high. However, I’m not falling for it! Crowell was so dreadful for the first part of the season and the Brown have done nothing to get appreciably better. This is a team that is likely playing for the top pick in the draft and there’s no reason to rest your hopes on a team that should be losing every game to lean heavy on their running game. I still think Duke Johnson is the better play as the pass catching back for a team that will be behind most of the time. Use Crowell’s recent success along with his high draft spot to try to pry away an actual good player.

Many people don’t seem to realize this but Antonio Brown is just as much of a diva as many of his contemporaries. Do you really think he’s going to tolerate too many more mediocre games while Juju Smith-Schuster lights up the scoreboard? There are just too many weapons in Pittsburgh and the offense has been lackluster all year so I’d be willing to gamble that Antonio and LeVeon Bell will be heavily leaned upon while a guy like Schuster fades and puts up inconsistent weeks going forward (think a slightly lesser version of TY Hilton). Sure, Juju will still have value, but you should sell him now while people are only considering his past two games before he comes up with the inevitable dud.

When a previously good player has been sucking all year and comes up with a random huge performance, you should probably view that as an anomaly and look to sell that player (unless there has been some large scale change to the team that would make the performance more credible). DeMarco Murray isn’t going to do this again. The Tennessee run game is crowded and he was just in the right place at the right time for the touchdowns. He didn’t look appreciably better than he’s been, and nothing has changed to support the big game. Sell if you can.

I love Adam Thielen. The dude is basically the new Julian Edelman/Wes Welker type player. He will get a ton of catches and yards with minimal touchdown scoring. On the rare occasion when he does score a TD – he’ll be among the best performances of the week. That’s exactly what happened this week. This is not a player that I’m actively looking to sell, but if somebody now views him as a WR1 and you can get that kind of value in return in a trade for him, I’d do it. Again, he’s not going to score TDs very often and there is some uncertainty on how he’ll hook up with Teddy Bridgewater if the Vikings choose to go that route later in the season. If the right offer comes along for him, you should be willing to entertain it.

I had assumed that DeAndre Hopkins was going to disappear as a result of the DeShaun Watson injury but that hasn’t been the case. The Texans suck now for sure, but Hopkins has still been productive. Obviously there was special chemistry between Hopkins and Watson and that chemistry does not exist with Tom Savage. I think Hopkins is now a middle to top end WR2 whereas before he was a top 3-5 WR overall. However, since his numbers haven’t dipped off much yet, you might still be able to command a good price in trade for Hopkins. If somebody just hasn’t been paying attention and hasn’t put the connection together that Hopkins is due for a bit of a fall, you should sell him. Otherwise, it’s fine to hang onto Hopkins, just adjust expectations.

The Rams offense is for real. Robert Woods is a talented player. Both of those terse statements are true, yet, I still feel like you need to sell Woods if you can. There are a lot of talented options for the Rams to throw to (yeah, I know, who the hell ever thought I’d be writing this with a straight face) and while Woods has been the clear top dog over the past couple of weeks, I don’t expect the touchdown party to continue. He’ll likely be usable all year and I think his yardage should be fairly steady and decent, but I just don’t see Woods as being a huge touchdown contributor going forward. If somebody now views him as a WR2 when he’s really closer to a WR3, then you should take advantage of the opportunity to sell him for a profit.

Is Rex Burkhead for real? Who the hell knows – it’s the Patriots. They’re just as likely to name him inactive than to feature him (ask Mike Gillislee). The Patriots running game is always too volatile to count on from week to week. Dion Lewis seems like the guy they trust the most and James White also seems to always have a carved out role, beyond that, I want nothing to do with this backfield (and really, I don’t particularly want Lewis or White either). Move Burkhead if you can, there are too many variables and headaches to account for with him.

The Broncos have announced that they are going to look into their team and make sweeping changes because of how gross they’ve been over the past month. At this point, they’re no longer playing for the playoffs, so it makes sense to make changes towards younger guys and see how that sticks. I think that means you have to sell on DeMaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders as well as CJ Anderson if you can. I think Thomas and Sanders will still be featured but they’ll likely have Paxton Lynch throwing to them and Paxton Lynch is about to make Brett Hundley look good. I don’t want much to do with that passing game. On the Anderson end, I still think Anderson is a good player but he’s the kind of grinder that needs 20 carries to be successful as many of his best runs come later in the game when the defense is worn out and I think they’re more likely to try to lean on Devontae Booker because they want him to be the complementary back to DeAngelo Henderson likely as soon as next season. Basically, sell now before the sinking ship fully collapses.

Players to Buy

While his numbers have been under whelming so far, I actually kind of like the fit of Kelvin Benjamin with the Bills and Tyrod Taylor going forward. Benjamin was drafted to be a WR2 for most people and I think he can achieve that level of production going forward now that he’s getting more comfortable with the offense. The Bills had a dreadful game (and have been bad two weeks in a row now) which doesn’t entirely surprise me because I don’t think they’re nearly as good as they started the season. However, I still think they have enough going to support Benjamin and he’s worth the likely limited risk you’d have to take in making a deal for him.

I haven’t mentioned my man Jordan Howard for quite a while. He’s mostly been plodding along and having decent weeks with no huge ups or downs really since early on in the season. This week he was expected by many to blow up against Green Bay and when he didn’t, a lot of people want to call him a disappointment. I don’t really view it that way. His performance was basically in line with what he’s been doing, he just didn’t get as many carries as we’re accustomed to because the Packers stayed in the game more than was expected. I still love the volume and production that Howard gives you and I would look to buy off of this disappointing week for what has been a pretty steady player.

The tale of two Mels continued this week. Melvin Gordon has generally been really good or pretty crappy every week this year. This week was a not so good one, but Gordon has single-handedly won enough weeks this year that I would look to invest if the option is open to you. This is a top end running back.

Another top end running back who has fallen on tough times lately is Leonard Fournette. I did beat the drum a month ago to sell on Fournette before he hits the rookie wall, but I wasn’t expecting an injury, a bye, a suspension and a huge dud game all to happen in a row. His owners may have forgotten what seems like the now distant huge first month plus that Fournette gave us and if so, I’d be willing to gamble on Fournette for the right price. As I said before, I expected Fournette to cool down the stretch, so I’m not paying for what he did to start the season, but I still think you want a guy who is going to get volume at the running back position and certainly Fournette has volume and talent, so if you can get him for a moderate price you should do so. Ditto pretty much all of this sentiment for Kareem Hunt as well by the way.

Dez Bryant was banged up coming into this week so I expected a down week anyways as Dez isn’t usually great when he’s playing hurt. That being said, everyone is willing to write the Cowboys offense off now that there’s no Ezekiel Elliott and I’m not in support of doing that quite so fast. I still think the Cowboys can be useful on offense, I just think they had a hard game. I’d look to Dez for much better numbers going forward and if his owner is already bailing – don’t be afraid to relieve them of Dez.

I still believe in the talent of Julio Jones. This is one of those times where I’m just going to ride or die with a certain player to pull out of their funk based on talent. The Atlanta offense isn’t close to where it was last year, but Julio is Julio and I still think we have some big games in store up ahead. Many owners have given up at this point, and you should look to trade a hot hand for him if you can. Devonta Freeman was a major target of mine coming into this week because again, I’m betting on talent here. Obviously he was a huge dud because of the concussion (can anybody ever get hurt late in games, instead of after 2 damn carries!). As of this writing, I know Freeman is out for at least one game with the possibility for more. If you can get him cheap, he can be a help during the fantasy playoffs but otherwise you can’t give up too much for him at the moment even though I like the talent.

Trade Analysis

This week was another busy trade week for me with 4 trades:

DeMaryius Thomas and Adrian Peterson for Brandin Cooks and Devonta Freeman

Obviously this trade looked much better before the Freeman injury. I was looking to sell both Peterson and Thomas and I was high on acquiring Freeman so this met my standards on both accounts. Unfortunately, this was not the only league that I acquired Freeman in and it’s probably going to cost me a playoff spot in one of them.

TY Hilton and Jay Ajayi for Mike Evans and Kenyan Drake

I gave full reasoning last week for why I didn’t like Ajayi moving forward and I stand firm with my feelings on that. Others on this site feel strongly the other way about Ajayi and it’s possible that they’re right. This is one of those trades where I could end up with egg on my face but I wanted to move on from the volatility of Hilton and I just don’t believe that Ajayi will get enough touches or TDs to warrant consistent play. I also am still holding out hope for Mike Evans, Julio Jones, etc. to flash the kind of numbers that they had last year because they still have the talent.

Zach Ertz and Carlos Hyde for Devonta Freeman, Marcus Mariota and Adam Thielen

I love Ertz and I feel decent about Hyde but this is a league where I had Jameis Winston and desperately needed a QB, I also like Thielen (even though I’m selling after a huge week). Again, it comes down to Freeman and his injury. This is obviously a trade I regret in hindsight but only because Freeman got hurt, otherwise I like the return I got here.

DeMaryius Thomas and Jordy Nelson for Mike Evans and Damien Williams

Damien Williams was a throw in here as I don’t have huge expectations for him. Realistically I wanted to sell on Thomas and Nelson because I just don’t see Nelson having much value for the rest of this season and I’m worried about what Paxton Lynch is going to do to DeMaryius. I’ve already stated my love for Evans so this was all about just trying to acquire elite talent and hope it can carry me.

That’s all for this week! Hopefully you guys have been more lucky than I have with the injury bug, it especially hurts when you trade for a player and he gets hurt that same week. Try to look past the injuries and make some moves as we get closer to the trade deadline and as always, holler at me in the comments below!

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