Buy Low Sell High: Week 7
We are nearly at the halfway point of the fantasy season now which is really quite shocking. With some teams hurting with multiple players on a bye week, you could find some owners who are in serious need of a win to turn their season around. This presents a great opportunity for you to swoop in and snag a high caliber player at a bargain rate. Teams ravaged by injuries or flat out underperforming draft busts are also prime targets at this point in the season.
Here’s a list of a few players you should be targeting in trade talks to buy low and a few players you may have on your roster you should consider selling high:
Allen started the season hot catching 8 passes for 108 yards and 1 touchdown in Week 1 but has cooled ever since. He has recorded just one top-20 WR finish over the last five weeks and has an average finish of WR37 during that span. The targets have still been there, however, and when you look at Allen’s game logs from last season, there are some pretty interesting similarities.
Allen scored a TD in Week 1 last season but was then held out of the end zone all the way until Week 11 when he broke out of a slump to put up 12/159/2 on the Bills. He went on a tear from there on to accumulate 6 TD’s over the last seven weeks of play while also going over 100 yards in five of the last seven games as well.
When comparing some of Allen’s key stats from last year as well, there aren’t really any glaring contrasts. His yards per reception are down a bit from 13.7 last season to 12.1 this season but he is still averaging about 6 receptions per game on average per Pro Football Reference. Philip Rivers is slinging the ball just about as good as ever this season and with a remaining strength of schedule that looks about average as far as fantasy points allowed to wide receivers this season, we could easily see Allen go on another late-season tear that catapults him back into the mix of elite receivers. Buy low on last season’s overall WR3 while his touchdown drought is still intact.
John Brown was enjoying a sizzling hot start to his season having scored a touchdown in three of the first four games. Brown also managed at least 86 yards in three of those first four games as well. Things have slowed down over the last two weeks, however, and Brown hit a new season low with only 3 targets last week while teammate Michael Crabtree stole the show with a 6/93/1 line against the Titans.
This presents a great opportunity to buy low on Brown, the Ravens best deep threat option, right before a prime matchup against a Saints defense that has given up the most fantasy points to wideouts this season. The Saints are allowing an average of 229 yards a 2 TD’s per game to wideouts this season and have been burned by big plays all season long.
Despite Brown’s down two weeks, he’s still leading the Ravens with 424 receiving yards and 3 receiving TD’s. Brown’s 20.2 yards per reception also ranks second most amongst wideouts this season. The Ravens have been very successful giving all three of Crabtree, Brown, and Snead a fair amount of looks in the passing game this season but no one really presents quite as much upside as Brown.
Lastly, the Ravens have a complete cakewalk when it comes to their strength of schedule for the remainder of the season with six of their last nine opponents ranking top-10 in most fantasy points allowed to wideouts this season. This includes a very attractive set of matchups during the fantasy playoffs in Week’s 14-16 against the Chiefs, Buccaneers and Chargers. Brown’s health seems to finally be cooperating with him and he is finally realizing his true potential which has been just amazing to see. He’s a great player to buy now as a WR3 who will give you WR1 caliber big game potential over the second half of the season.
A player who just doesn’t ever really seem to get quite enough credit in the fantasy world worth buying at the moment is Brown’s running back, Carlos Hyde. Last season’s RB8 in PPR leagues, Hyde wasn’t really a hot ticket in fantasy draft’s but has offered his owners a nice return as the current RB16 in PPR leagues on FantasyPros.com.
Hyde is another player who started the season on a high note but has come down over the last few weeks. He totaled 5 TD’s over the first four weeks of play, highlighted by his 103 yard, 2 TD performance in Week 3 against the Jets. While Hyde hasn’t exactly lit it up between the 20’s this season averaging just 3.4 yards per attempt this season, he has more than made up for it with a voluminous workload and high-quality touches.
Hyde’s 114 carries (19 per game) ranks him third amongst all running backs this season according to PlayerProfiler.com behind only Todd Gurley (129) and Ezekiel Elliott (117). Hyde also ranks third amongst running backs with 34 evaded tackles this season as well, despite a low YPA total. What has really given Hyde a boost is his role in the red zone and at the goal line. Hyde ranks third in the league with a 45% market share of red zone opportunities per DailyRoto behind only David Johnson (63%) and Todd Gurley (53%). Hyde also leads all running backs this season with 10 goal line carries.
While Duke Johnson finally had himself a decent day last week, he hasn’t been much of a threat to Hyde all season despite being on the field for 42% of the teams snaps. Rookie Nick Chubb has shown some flashes of his big-play ability as well but has been a complete afterthought on this offense.
Lastly, Hyde is another player who has a super attractive ROS schedule. Hyde faces teams that rank inside the top-10 for most fantasy points allowed to running backs this season in six of his last nine games according to Yahoo!. This is a great opportunity to buy low on a player you should be able to feel pretty confident about locking into your RB2 slot for the remainder of the season.
Just when the Latavius Murray hype had died down and he had let down owners who started him in even the best of situations, he randomly exploded last week for 158 total yards and 1 TD against the Cardinals. This is great news if you’re in that more or less 56% of people who still own Murray as he finally gave himself enough value to be used in trade negotiations so that you maybe won’t have to just drop him outright.
Before last week’s outburst, Murray was only averaging 3.5 YPA on the season and hadn’t found the end zone once. Murray was oddly not even being used as a weapon in the red zone or at the goal line as he didn’t have a single opportunity in those situations since Week 1 per DailyRoto.
Murray, of course, has only been afforded this expanded workload as of late thanks to Dalvin Cook nursing seemingly endless nagging injuries. As Cook works his way back to full health, he will slowly fade Murray into what will likely be a feast or famine role as a touchdown or bust option. Outside of last week, Murray was not a reliable option anywhere in your starting lineup, and he should continue those struggles even more so when Cook returns.
Flip Murray now as a part of a package deal. If you snagged Murray and are not a Dalvin Cook owner as well then your first target for trade negotiations will be an easy pick.
Before last week, Duke Johnson was one of the bigger busts in fantasy based on the expectations of him coming into the season and his mid-round ADP. Johnson is even sporting a mid-30% ownership percentage in Yahoo! leagues at the moment. Somewhat similar to the situation with Latavius Murray, this is a scenario where you basically just want to get out on a poor investment and something is better than nothing.
Johnson has been held under 6 points in PPR leagues in 4-of-6 games this season but is coming off his best game of the season where he totaled 109 yards on 6 touches. Despite seeing the field for 42% of the team’s snaps this season compared to 51% for Carlos Hyde, Johnson just hasn’t found a place on this new look Browns offense. Johnson hasn’t topped 6 touches in a single game this season, compared to last season where he was held to 6 touches or less only twice all season.
There hasn’t been any kind of positive trend showing that Johnson will break out of this career-low slump that he has been in, which makes him somewhat of a desperation sell at this point. There is still some relative name value since Johnson did finish as the RB11 in PPR leagues last season and he’s coming off a solid game yardage-wise. I would shop him around in package deals with a WR3 or shaky WR2 type and see if you can’t secure a more steady, consistent player from an owner who may be hurting with depth issues or bye week blues.
The tight end landscape in fantasy continues to be a head scratcher this season where guys like Austin Hooper, Jared Cook, and Eric Ebron reside within the top-8 overall. Hooper has seen an especially odd spike in opportunity over the last two weeks with target totals of 12 and 10 respectively. He’s managed 9 receptions in each of the last two games combining for 148 yards and 1 TD over that span for finishes as TE3 and TE1 respectively as well.
A lot of this could have something to do with both Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu being banged up. It also doesn’t hurt that Hooper was going up against the Steelers and Bucs over the last two weeks who each give up the first and second most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Hooper won’t see a matchup anywhere near that generous again until Week 16 and he had never seen double-digit targets in a single game in his career before the last two weeks.
With some bigger names returning to the tight end position like O.J. Howard, Evan Engram and Greg Olsen, it could be quite possible we don’t see Austin Hooper return top-5 status again all season. Given the state of the position, however, there is a great market for tight ends in trade talks and given the high volume nature of the Falcons offense this season, Hooper might not be too difficult to sell. If you have another similar matchup-based starter option on your rosters at tight end, I would dangle Hooper out there this week and see if you can’t get anyone to buy on his recent success.
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