Fantasy Football Buy Low Sell High: Week 9
We have officially hit the halfway point of the season! While the NFL trade deadline ended this week, most fantasy football leagues continue to allow trades up until Week 10. That means you’ve got only two more weeks to make some serious moves to stack your starting roster as strong as possible if you’re heading for a playoff push.
Here are a few players you should consider either buying low or selling high for Week 9:
Larry Fitzgerald had a rough start to the season thanks to the Cardinals poor offensive play calling and lingering injuries. Now looking fully healthy and with former offensive coordinator Mike McCoy out of the way, “Larry Legend” could get back to his more dominant ways.
The Cardinals offense as a whole seemed to have picked it up last week under new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich as Josh Rosen attempted a season-high 40 passing attempts. Though Leftwich is still new to coaching – he was still an active NFL player as recent as 2012 – he was hired by and played under former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians. Arians was quoted in 2016 when he hired Leftwich saying, “I think he’s (Leftwich) got a great, bright future in coaching.”
Fitzgerald has been trending up the last couple weeks with a touchdown in back to back games. He also notched his first game over 100 yards last week and saw double-digit targets (12) for the first time since Week 1 on his way to his first top-10 WR finish of the season. Fitzgerald, of course, has recorded over 100 receptions and over 1,000 yards in three straight seasons and finished as a top-12 WR in fantasy each season during that span.
While it would be optimistic to think that the Cardinals offense could completely return to their Bruce Arians coached form, Fitzgerald seems back on track. He shouldn’t cost more than a high-end WR3 or low-end WR2 at the moment and gives you WR1 upside going forward. Pretty much every matchup the Cardinals have going forward should present positive situations for pass-heavy game scripts as they face the Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Packers, Lions, Falcons and Rams to finish out the fantasy season.
The stars may finally be aligning for the ultra-efficient Aaron Jones to take over as the lead back in Green Bay.
Coming out of their bye last week, Aaron Jones led the Packers backfield with a 61% snap share compared to 25% for Jamaal Williams and 11% for Ty Montgomery according to DailyRoto. Before Week 8, Jones’ season high was only 27% of the team’s snaps while Williams’ previous season low was 38%. Not only has Jones looked to have taken hold of lead back duties, but the team also traded Ty Montgomery to the Ravens near the NFL trade deadline, limiting Jones’ competition.
Aaron Jones’ lack of usage has been one of the most frustrating storylines of the season for fantasy football owners. Coach Mike McCarthy seemed to simply be ignoring the fact that Jones was running at a far more efficient pace than Williams all season. Jones has recorded 6.2 yards per attempt this season on the ground which is best in the league amongst running backs with at least 30 carries this season.
One of the excuses McCarthy used when it came to utilizing Williams more was his run blocking efficiency, but looking at the numbers on PlayerProfiler.com, Jones actually ranks 6th amongst running backs in run blocking compared to Williams’ rank of 52nd. Williams is also only averaging 4.1 yards per touch this season, a full 2.2 yards less than Jones.
Jones offers weekly high-end RB2 value in what will still be something of a split backfield, but his big-play ability gives him plenty of RB1 upside. Do what you can to grab him before he becomes more of a consistent staple on offense.
Chubb was a hot waiver add following Carlos Hyde’s trade to Jacksonville a few weeks ago. While Chubb is seeing consistent work with 18 carries in each of the last two games, he has yet to really provide the big-play threat that he showed in flashes earlier in the season. Chubb is averaging 72.5 rushing yards per game in his last two starts as the lead back with a decent average of 4 yards per carry.
There is plenty of optimism when looking at Chubb’s schedule going forward, however, as he is gifted one of the easiest schedules for running backs over the rest of the fantasy season. It starts with a matchup against the Chiefs this week who give up the most fantasy points to RB’s this season according to Yahoo. Chubb will see defenses who rank inside the top-12 for most fantasy points allowed to the position in five of his next seven games.
Another positive note regarding Chubb’s value is that he seems to have picked up fairly well from where Carlos Hyde left off as a preferred option in the red zone. Chubb has seen 5 opportunities inside the red zone over the last two weeks which is only 1 behind Jarvis Landry for the team lead during that span.
The Browns shook up their coaching staff this week which has been a long time coming. It will be interesting to see what changes are made amongst the team from a usage standpoint, but Chubb’s role looks safe as a near every down back with a firm grasp on a role in the red zone and at the goal line. Chubb provides a safe floor as an every week RB2 with RB1 upside. Some may be a little underwhelmed based on the high expectations they had for Chubb when he took over, making this a great opportunity to buy low before he potentially breaks out for a huge game this week.
The NFL trade deadline gave us a few surprises this season, one of which was Golden Tate leaving the Lions after 4 successful seasons as a leading receiver. Now a proud member of the reigning Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, Tate may see a hit in production from a fantasy perspective.
Tate is leaving a great situation in Detroit where he was the clear-cut receiver on offense. Tate saw 69 targets this season and had a 27.06% market share of the team’s targets which ranks 10th in the league according to DailyRoto. Now moving over to the Eagles mid-season, it’s tough to see Tate demanding such a large share there which could affect his volume and overall fantasy production moving forward.
Zach Ertz is the top option for Philly with 84 targets and a 27.63% market share. Agholor is second on the team with 61 targets this season while Alshon Jeffery has been the preferred option when healthy recording 44 targets this season and a 23.78% market share. Tate should be an immediate threat to Agholor’s value more than anyone as a preferred option in the slot, but will likely move around the formation as needed.
Tate gets his second bye week of the season this week to get acclimated to the offense and playbook, but it will take time to build rapport and chemistry with Carson Wentz. It’s hard to imagine Tate moving directly into a role as anything more than the third read on offense behind Ertz and Jeffery to start. The Eagles also boast a rather intimidating strength of schedule over the rest of the season with matchups against teams who rank top-10 in the least fantasy points allowed to wideouts in five of their next seven games.
Tate has been a solid receiver with 90 or more receptions in each of the last four seasons, but this sudden move mid-season to a new offense crowded with preferred options gives cause for concern.
Miller is coming off back-to-back performances of posting at least 100 yards and a touchdown for the Texans, but is this uptick in production a trend we can expect to continue?
Before Miller’s Week 7 100-yard performance, he hadn’t run for 100 yards in a regular season game since all the way back in December of 2016. Miller has only posted back-to-back 100-yard games in his career once before this back in Weeks 5-6 in 2015 according to ProFootballReference. Before this recent breakout, Miller hadn’t topped 49 yards rushing in his last three games while running at a poor 2.5 yards per carry during that span.
Miller has also had a tendency to slow down as the season wears on and will get more competition in the backfield with D’Onta Foreman coming off injured reserve soon. Miller has been a volume dependent Flex play most of the season who had only managed 1 total TD all season coming into his Week 7 breakout. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where he is all of the sudden a lock for RB1 type of production, especially as Watson rounds back into full health and becomes a constant threat to run it into the end zone on his own.
There is always a market for running backs on the trade market, especially with heavy bye weeks hitting in Weeks 9 and 10. Miller is a great player to use in trade negotiations this week coming off two solid performances. You could even try packaging him with another player to shoot for a running back who offers more consistent value and higher upside. Miller’s days of RB1 value surely won’t last long.