Fantasy Advice

Fantasy Buy-Lows and Sell-Highs: Before Week 4

By September 24, 2014No Comments

Fantasy football players are like stocks. It’s an easy analogy to make, but it’s an appropriate one. They each have a market value based on performance, public perception, future potential and a myriad of other factors.

Just like stocks, you need to acquire fantasy football players at the right time. With Julio Jones coming off his 161-yard 2-touchdown performance, you may be thinking “I need to trade for him.” Don’t do it. It’s a bad idea. Julio’s perceived value is at an all-time high right now. You’d have to give up the farm to wrestle him away from his current owner.

Instead, you want to strike when a player’s perceived value is low. Maybe a guy’s coming off an unlucky game, but you know he’s a good player. That’s the time to target him. His price will be deflated, and you can take advantage of it. It’s called “buying low.”

Similarly, if you know one of your players is out-performing his long-term value, you can take advantage and trade him away. Your trade partner will overpay, and you’ll come out the better for it. It’s called “selling high.”

So now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get into the guys that you should be buying and selling after 3 weeks of the NFL season.

Note: There are more buy-lows than sell-highs. I’m an optimist, what can I say.

Fantasy Players to Buy Low

Bishop Sankey

This one has a twist: you may not need to even give anything up to get Sankey. It’s entirely possible that he’s sitting on your waiver wire. That being said, Sankey played 29 snaps in week 3 compared to 4 in week 2, and he amassed 60 yards on 10 carries.

He’s clearly the most talented back in Tennessee, and it appears the coaching staff is finally realizing it. Sankey probably won’t be startable for another couple weeks, but he’s the kind of guy who could make an incredible flex come playoff time.

Strike now before his owner realizes that he’s sitting on a fantasy difference-maker.

Demaryius Thomas

As an owner of DT, it’s been a disappointing season so far. He’s WR37 right now in standard leagues, behind the likes of Miles Austin, John Brown, Jeremy Kerley, and Eddie Royal. The good news is that positive regression is likely.

Thomas is tied for 13th among wide receivers with 27 targets, and 7 of those targets have come in the red zone. If Thomas continues to see almost 9 total targets and 2-3 red zone targets per game, you’re going to start seeing 100-yard and 2-touchdown games from him sooner rather than later.

If his owner in your league is a little impatient, you could start seeing those games on your team instead instead of his.

Rob Gronkowski

In week 1, he played 44% of the offensive snaps. In week 2, it was 41%. In week 3, it jumped to 60%, and it should only continue to go up from here. As those snaps increase, so too will Gronk’s targets (he currently has 22 over the first 3 games), and, despite the injuries, he is still the premiere red zone threat in the Patriots offense.

Gronk has been a solid tight end so far, but the owner in your league may have been expecting him to be Gronk circa 2012 right off the bat. If that’s the case, you may be able to trade an average-to-above-average RB or WR for him.

T.Y. Hilton

I was notoriously low on T.Y. Hilton going into this season, and, despite his relative lack of production so far, I’ll be the first to admit that I was dead wrong. He leads all Colt pass catchers with 28 targets on the season, which means that he’s a PPR superstar just waiting to happen.

Through 3 games, his weekly PPR point total has ranged from 9 to 13 points, and that appears to be his floor. Think of him as a version of Andrew Hawkins who can also get behind the defense for a 60-yard touchdown at any point during the game.

Matt Forte

Forte impressed week 1, but has been pedestrian since then. The Bears also played two of the better run defenses in the league those two weeks, and Jay Cutler threw for all 6 of their offensive touchdowns.

With the schedule lightening up, and the natural regression to more of a balance between passing and rushing touchdowns, expect Forte’s fantasy output to increase significantly over the next couple weeks. You’ll likely still have to give up a decent amount for him, but it will probably be worth it.

Fantasy Players to Sell High

Randall Cobb

This one probably worked out better if you sold high on him after week 2, but hopefully you can still get someone in your league to bite. Cobb has 14 less targets than his counterpart, Jordy Nelson, and hasn’t eclipsed 60 yards receiving in a game yet this season.

He has 3 touchdowns on 5 red zone targets, and, at 5’10” and 191 pounds, he doesn’t profile as a consistent high-volume red zone target. All of these things point to some serious fantasy regression for Mr. Cobb. It’s entirely possible that the Aaron Rodgers effect buoys his production for the year, but I’d rather trade him for some value than take that chance.

Terrance West

West has performed admirably over the first three games of the season, but it appears that he’s headed for a nasty timeshare situation coming out of the Browns’ week 4 bye.

West and fellow rookie Isaiah Crowell split both snaps and carries almost evenly against the Ravens in week 3 (with Crowell being the more effective back), and now Ben Tate will be added to that mix. If you can sell a league-mate on West’s impressive fantasy totals so far, don’t hesitate to ship him off.

Reggie Bush

Bush is coming off a big week in which he broke a 26-yard touchdown run, but he was very pedestrian before that. This sort of off-again on-again production is going to be the norm for Bush in 2014, as he’s averaging only 14 touches per game.

His pass-catching ability makes him a hold in PPR leagues, but if you can get a good offer based on name recognition and his big week 3, sell him in standard leagues.

Think Randall Cobb is in for a huge season? Believe that Shonn Greene will keep the Titans starting job? Never heard of a stock before? Get out from under your rock and let me know! I’d love to talk fantasy football.

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Nick Walsh