Buy Low or Sell High?
As if 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, here we are for week 5 of the Fantasy Football season. At this point, you should be suring up your roster to make that final push into contention. Waivers, trades, tough start/sit decisions all need to be made in the coming weeks. If you’re in a normal league, most trade deadlines are coming up in the next three weeks so instead of a weekly recap, I’m going to be giving you some buy low/sell high targets for your fantasy football lineup to help you make that final push into the playoff picture for your league!
Categorizing a buy low product can be difficult because it flirts with the emotion of the owner of said player in your league. Someone who they may have drafted early and are underwhelming, or maybe someone that has been hurt early in the season that they don’t have time to wait around on to get healthy. Let me preface this by saying these targets are solely based on your roster construction. Personally, I will always draft running back heavy because I feel that adds needed flexibility to maneuver late in the season. Whether that be for a premier player or someone to fill out my roster, the running back position is so scarce that I will always stack up on them in the draft but this isn’t the case for everyone so PLEASE read your roster before making a move for Kenny Golladay when your roster already has Tyreek Hill, Terry McLaurin and DJ Chark. Let’s get into this with the buy low players.
Kenny Golladay – Wide Receiver – Detroit Lions – WR59
Let’s start by talking about a guy that I used in my preface. Kenny Golladay is a perfect buy low product this week, especially coming off the BYE where the owner got zero use out of him and you can utilize his positional ranking to leverage against giving up value. To this point, Kenny Golladay has played just two out of the first five weeks of the NFL season. An early injury in training camp and an early BYE week has taken a toll on Golladay’s trade value. This is where you, the smart owner, come into play. Kenny Golladay is on a terrible Detroit Lions team, they really are that bad. However, a negative game script means that Matthew Stafford will be throwing the ball a ton. Although I don’t suggest Stafford as a fantasy option, Golladay is the benefactor of this negative game script. In his two games played, Golladay has saw seventeen targets and has translated this into 10 catches, 119 yards and 2 touchdowns. Not a tremendous stat-line but a serviceable WR2 that you can get for cheap.
Nick Chubb – Running Back – Cleveland Browns – RB11
PLEASE DON’T TRADE FOR HIM IF YOU’RE IN A LOSING SITUATION. It’s weird to see the RB11 as a buy low candidate but 2020. This is a running back that was scorching hot even while sharing carries with backfield mate Kareem Hunt (we’ll talk about him later). A right MCL sprain derailed the hopes of fantasy owners everywhere hoping to ride his consistency into a sure fired playoff spot. Garnering astronomical volume and even better production in Kevin Stefanski’s run heavy juggernaut offense, Chubb had rushed for 5.9 yards per carry and had 4 touchdowns through 3 ½ games this season. If you are in need of a running back and have the depth to stash him for the future success that Chubb will find once he returns, this is the perfect candidate. You will be able to coerce the owner to trade him for a few spot starters and be happy with the inevitable production Nick Chubb will provide you, this is the move for you.
James Robinson – Running Back – Jacksonville Jaguars – RB8
Again, seems a little bit weird to be including a high scoring running back in the buy low column but here we are. James Robinson burst onto the scene as the Jaguars’ lead running back. Not only has Robinson taken the first and second down role, he is being utilized as a three-down back in the offense as well. Seemingly leaving Chris Thompson in the dust, Robinson cruised his way to 57.9 fantasy points between the first three weeks, totaling three touchdowns in route to becoming one of the elite five running backs in fantasy. UNTIL, week four hit. Although his usage is still there, Robinson regressed to the means over the next two weeks, totaling just 20.2 points COMBINED. He scored more than this in a single game in week two. Although Robinson will still take some value to acquire, frustrated fantasy owners utilizing Robinson as an RB1/2 may be willing to move on from him for a low end RB2 and WR2 combo depending on their roster construction.
Other players to consider trading for: Kyler Murray (QB4; Easy Scheduile), Tyreek Hill (WR5; Touchdown consistency), Lamar Jackson (QB11; progression candidate), Jonathon Taylor (RB13; volume will create more end zone opportunity), Michael Thomas (WR151, owner frustration/WR1 upside)
As is the opposite of the “buy-low” products, “sell-high” candidates are players that have been productive to this point in the season that may see their role change or share playing time due to an injured or suspended player coming back. These are the players that you can talk up with stats and fantasy rankings to this point in the season and flip them for somebody that will not see a decrease in role going forward. As an example, I was able to talk the Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB13) owner into trading him for a package headlined by Melvin Gordon (RB10). So let’s get into some sell-high candidates.
Melvin Gordon III – Running Back – Denver Broncos – RB10
As I spoke about before, Gordon is the perfect sell high player to highlight. Melvin Gordon has been nothing short of steady in route to his RB10 performance through the first four weeks of the season. This was highlighted by his 23 carry, 107 yard, 2 touchdown, 25.8 fantasy point performance in week 4 against the Jets that thrust Gordon back into the “elite” talks around the fantasy world. Please do not be one of those fantasy owners who buys into this hype. Denver has repeatedly said that they will take a committee approach to their backfield. With Phillip Lindsay being activated off the IR, it seems as though Gordon’s days of being a workhorse running back are numbered in Denver. Though Gordon has brought you bright spots through the early part of your schedule, now is the perfect time to target a TRUE RB1 to replace him with.
Mike Davis – Running Back – Carolina Panthers – RB11
It feels terribly to speak of a staple of my flex spot so loosely but it is time for fantasy owners to move on from Mike Davis. Listen, I don’t want to put Mike Davis in this column either but with Christian McCaffrey receiving tests on his high ankle sprain today (with results expected Wednesday) it seems as though he is nearing a comeback to action and thus goes the value of Mike Davis. Davis has earned the right to be kept on every roster as a handcuff in case of emergency if CMC does end up reinjuring his ankle but there will never be a more peak time to trade Davis than right now with the reemergence of CMC looming. Flip Davis for anything you can get, as he’s nothing more than an extremely valuable handcuff option upon CMC’s return.
Calvin Ridley – Wide Receiver – Atlanta Falcons – WR2
Coming into the season, I think only my colleague Sam was able to properly predict the rapid ascension of Falcons’ wide receiver Calvin Ridley. What’s most concerning about rapid emergence into fantasy stardom is the rapid regression to the means that Ridley is currently seeing. This is not to say that Ridley still isn’t going to be a WR1 throughout the rest of the season. Especially with Julio Jones still sidelined after reaggravating his injury, Ridley will still see plenty of targets and maintain a fairly great baseline. However, the donut that he put up against Green Bay is something that may happen at an average rate as well without his running mate on the field. With the absolutely bonkers stat line that Ridley has produced to this point, you very well could pull an RB1 and another piece for Ridley’s monster production.
Adam Thielen – Wide Receiver – Minnesota Vikings – WR1
Much like Ridley, I don’t think that a HUGE regression is in store for Thielen either, I’m more interested in the value that Thielen presents right now. With a defense that is in the bottom of the league and Stefon Diggs’ departure to Buffalo, the Cousins/Thielen connection will continue throughout the season. With the emergence of running mate Justin Jefferson, defenses are made to be aware of more than one target as well. However, a fantasy WR1 will fetch you an astronomical trade that should include a RB1, low end WR1 and probably another piece. If you find yourself flirting with contention and have Thielen on your roster, now may be the time to move Thielen for this landslide of a deal.
Other players to consider trading: Josh Allen (QB5; Schedule concerns), Myles Gaskin (RB23; hard to see value going any higher), Dalvin Cook (RB2; soft tissue injury concern), Tyler Lockett (WR8; Regression candidate), Todd Gurley (RB9; Bad defense + RB = Bad game script), Amari Cooper (WR12; Dak Prescott injury)
With my favorite time of the year incoming, fantasy tradeline, the clock has officially started ticking down and you will see tweener teams start to get antsy to get them into their final quest for contention. Now is the time to strike gold on the trade market. Go get that player that you see has an easier schedule than they’ve had to date, go get that player that’s had a crazy target volume but hasn’t come down with as many receptions yet and take a chance on that guy that should progress to his means. As always, follow me on Twitter at @bsokowoski and go get your title!