Fantasy Buy Low Sell High
Fantasy football is all about taking advantage of the market’s perception of players and its proneness to overshoot the upside or downside of a player for the rest of the season. It’s easy to say what players were undervalued in retrospect, but in the moment, it is exorbitantly difficult. Each week feelings on players can change depending on how they perform for their teams, and more importantly for us, their fantasy teams.
At Gridiron Experts our “Buy Low, Sell High” column will allow you to keep those feelings in check while making trades or fielding trade offers each week.
The concept of “Buying Low” and “Selling High” is often misunderstood. Selling high isn’t about just trading away players that just had a big week or are playing extremely well. It is more about trading players whose value has temporarily gone up at a pace you don’t believe can continue. Buying low is finding players you believe have underperformed or players you believe can continue to play well; as such their value in the market is currently lower than it should be in your eyes. The idea is to get players that will have a significantly higher value later than they have when you traded for him.
There are many ways a player can find his way to this weekly column including strength of schedule, injury, performance, or usage. I implore you to take these views into account before pursuing trades in your leagues each week.
BUY LOW: Philip Rivers
With offensive guard D.J. Fluker out for at least a month you saw quarterback Philip Rivers turn to the short and intermediate passing game against the Detroit Lions in Week 1. Expect that trend to continue with weapons Keenan Allen, Danny Woodhead, and Stevie Johnson, who are all great after the catch.
Even with Antonio Gates out of the lineup due to a suspension Rivers is a clear QB1, though not viewed as such by many in the fantasy community. The Bengals matchup in Week 2 isn’t great, but don’t forget how well River’s performed last year against tough pass defenses. Use the Bengals matchup as a way to get him for pennies on the dollar.
BUY LOW: Lamar Miller
Lamar Miller carried the ball just three times in the first half of this game dominated possession wise by the Washington Redskins. He started to get things going in the second half and was key in Miami’s comeback in this game. The good news is that Miller’s competition is not at all threatening and he is the clear feature back in this offense. The time of possession difference was actually quite beneficial information for fantasy owners, as I believe his 14 touches in this game to be his floor. He should bounce back next week against the Jaguars; find the panicked owner in your league and pounce before it’s too late.
BUY LOW: Justin Forsett
People still underestimate how good the Denver Broncos defense is, especially against the run. Their swarming front seven was dominant in Week One and Forsett was unable to get much going on the ground or breaking tackles in the open field. The lack of reliable receiving threats in Baltimore is a concern for this offense but I believe this week against Oakland Forsett will be closer to the 2014 form we all expected. He will continue to be active in the passing game in the Marc Trestman offense where even in this poor outing he had four receptions on a team leading seven targets. I’m not ready to panic on Forsett, if the owner in your league is nervous with the emergence of Buck Allen, buying low on Forsett is a risk I’m willing to take.
BUY LOW: C.J. Spiller
The commitment from the New Orleans Saints to get their running backs involved in the receiving game cannot be overemphasized. Drew Brees had 355 passing yards in Week 1 and 154 of those yards went to running backs. The team is lacking at TE and I expect the talent running back core to take advantage of those targets. Spiller is electric in the open field and Sean Payton will find a way to exploit that just as he did with Darren Sproles for so many years. When back from injury, whether that be in week 2 or beyond, C.J. Spiller is a valuable asset in PPR leagues who could outscore Mark Ingram in any given week he is healthy. There is obvious risk here but if you can get Spiller at a discount, the reward may pay off big.
SELL HIGH: Marcus Mariota
His four touchdowns and perfect passer rating gave Marcus Mariota one of the best rookie week 1 debuts in recent memory. This is an opportunity to gain value in redraft leagues for the now leading candidate for offensive rookie of the year. It is clear the game plan for the Titans is to keep things simple for the rookie early on as he finished with just 209 yards against a horrendous Tampa Bay secondary.
The majority of his pass attempts were short passes that required no drop back. The problem with that is when he faces a better defense, not only will Mariota be under more pressure, he will have to work past his first read when these quick-hitting plays are not available. I do not believe this game was a true test to what Mariota will deal with this season. Robert Griffin III comes to mind in a similar situation when he was running a similar offense specializing in short drops and the read option. The difference is RGIII ran the ball more effectively than Mariota and had a much better ground game in Washington. If you can grab QB1 value in return, pull the trigger on Mariota and don’t look back.
SELL HIGH: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
His stat line was impressive in Week One but his first big play should have been easily intercepted. Instead the ball bounced off the defenders fingertips and right into the Tampa Bay tight ends hands. Seferian-Jenkins would have two receptions and a touchdown off the board if the defender could have made that play. With Mike Evans close to returning from his hamstring injury I don’t believe he will be able to keep this momentum going as he will take a hit in red zone targets. He has the physical tools to be a very good tight end in this league but if someone is willing to pay for his top-5 TE performance I have no problem moving on.
SELL HIGH: Percy Harvin
I’m not ready to endorse the Buffalo Bills offense. I think Rex Ryan made the right decision starting Tyrod Taylor but one week does not make me a believer he can support consistent and viable passing options in fantasy. The Colts defense is not even a little intimidating and was susceptible to a few big plays in this game that gave the Bills the lead. 51 of Percy Harvin’s 88 total yards came off of a blown coverage between the safety and the cornerback having a miscommunication pre-snap. Consistency as well as staying healthy has always been Harvin’s biggest issue and this may be as high as his stock is all year. Move him and let someone else deal with the headache.
SELL HIGH: Dion Lewis
Lewis is clearly the best receiving running back on the team, and is a better inside runner than he is given credit. I just don’t trust Bill Belichick. Though I don’t see his fumble against Pittsburg to be an immediate concern, god help him if he looses another in red zone anytime soon. See Stevan Ridley. With LeGarrette Blount back this week I don’t see the upside with Lewis going forward. If someone is willing to pay Shane Vereen 2.0 price, take it and run.
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Joey Holka is from Phoenix, Arizona and an avid Arizona Cardinals fan. He played Division I Hockey at St. Cloud State University where he graduated with a degree in Finance in just three years. Recently completed his first pro hockey season for the New York Rangers minor league affiliate, the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL.
NFL and fantasy football enthusiast that is a self-proclaimed sore loser and an overly competitive person by nature.