Trade Deadline Special: Buy Low/Sell High
So, the Fantasy Football trade deadline is approaching. If you’re looking to improve your roster, which you should be looking into every single week, then you’ve come to the right place. Today we’re going to talk about guys that you can buy low and sell high on. With the term “buy-low” we’re looking at guys that may have been the stalwart, cornerstone type of pick for an owners fantasy team that hasn’t panned out to this point in the year, whether it be from injury or lack of production, that we think will be a big riser in the coming weeks and going into your leagues playoffs. Additionally, with the term “sell-high,” we’re looking at the exact opposite. These are players that you can move now, while they’ve boomed on your bench or in your lineup, for a premium price. So let’s get into it.
Nick Chubb – RB – Cleveland Browns
Given Chubb’s injury status, it shouldn’t take an arm and a leg to acquire Chubb. The Cleveland Browns’ running back has been on injured-reserve since his week 4 injury against Dallas. Recently, Kevin Stefanski indicated that Chubb is progressing in his recovering from an MCL sprain and these comments were followed by the club activating his 21-day practice window. In his stead, Kareem Hunt has had a hard time establishing himself as the backfield’s RB1 and has been spelled by De’ernest Johnson at times. With Chubb being formally activated from IR to face the Texans this week, this may be your last opportunity to acquire Chubb at a good price.
Jonathan Taylor – RB – Indianapolis Colts
It’s been nothing short of frustrating to own the rookie Colts running back to this point in the season. There are weeks that he looks like the no-doubt, bell cow running back for the Colts’ and there are weeks where he gets out-touched by Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines. Statistically, Taylor is still set as the RB17 in fantasy which solidifies his RB2 status but, Taylor has seen his touches diminish every single week since his week 4 matchup with the Bears. This has resulted in 17, 12, 12, 11 and even a 6 carry game most recently. The upside with Taylor? He’s clearly the most talented back in the backfield and has been given goal-line opportunities and has converted on 4 touchdowns to this point in the year. With Frank Reich saying he will go with the hot hand and Taylor getting the first looks as the starter in the backfield, I expect him to solidify himself as the RB1 in Indy.
Lamar Jackson – QB – Baltimore Ravens
This has nothing to do with my belief in the Ravens’ offense as a whole or my belief that Lamar Jackson is an elite passer. The Ravens are a run heavy team and have stuck with that rhetoric for years now. If it’s broke, why fix it? Additionally, we’ve seen Lamar regress to the means after his MVP campaign last season, which I addressed in my preseason rankings but that’s beside the point. Good fantasy football managers are forward thinking owners who look at forward impact as much as immediate impact. This is the thinking with acquiring Lamar Jackson. If you are a projected playoff team at this point in the season, take a look at Lamar’s schedule throughout the fantasy playoffs. Titans, Cowboys, Browns, Jaguars, Giants. There is one lone bad matchup in Week 12 against the Steelers but one week of streaming a QB is not hard to do, especially if you read my streamers and sleepers column every week. If you’re a QB needy playoff team, look to acquire Lamar at a premium right now instead of watching him light it up in the fantasy playoffs for another team.
Todd Gurley – RB – Atlanta Falcons
Gurley has been nothing short of a revelation for fantasy owners who took the chance on him this season. Currently the RB6 in 0.5 PPR, the former Rams touchdown machine has returned to his former self, posting 9 rushing touchdowns through 9 weeks this season. Additionally, Gurley has only posted two single digit fantasy performances to this point in the season. “So Soko, why should I trade him?” Don’t worry my friend, keep reading. Gurley has had the benefit of facing some of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL to this point, and has done well against them. However, Gurley has continued to suffer from inefficiency and has averaged just 2.5 yards per carry over his last 4 games. Yes, the four touchdowns has helped but you can’t continue to depend on touchdowns on a playoff roster. Finally, Gurley’s touchdown dependency may come to an end in the playoff stretch of your schedule as he will be facing the third toughest running back schedule for the remainder of the season. Try to sell Gurley at a premium while you still can.
Zack Moss – RB – Buffalo Bills
You’re seeing a theme among fantasy backfields to this point, aren’t you? Over the last three weeks of the season, we’ve seen Zack Moss out snap backfield mate Devin Singletary and most owners will think that’s a good thing; and to a point it’s not bad. However, Moss was a fall-in touchdown away from posting an 8 carry-16 yard day with just 2 receptions for 30 yards. That would’ve translated into a 5.6 point week instead of the 11.8 point performance he had in week 9 against Seattle. Opposing players will see the snap count on these players and points per game over the last 3 weeks and think that Moss has taken over the lead role for the Bills’ offense. However, the looming factor of Devin Singletary still being involved at the pace that he is, Moss will continue to be nothing more than a dart throw RB3 with touchdown upside unless he completely takes over the snap count or a Singletary injury.
Darrell Henderson Jr. – RB – Los Angeles Rams
The perfect storm occurred for Hendo to take over as the true 3-down-back for the Sean McVay led Rams. Week 2, rookie Cam Akers and Malcolm Brown both get banged up and miss the following weeks in Buffalo and at home against the Giants. Akers returns healthy in week 5 and he immediately sees 9 carries on a 38% snap share. Two more weeks of injury for Akers and he comes back in Week 8. What happens? You guessed it! Nine more carries, a reception out of the backfield and played a 41% snap share. With Henderson’s limited pass catching ability, he will always be spelled by Malcolm Brown on key third down’s and change of pace plays but the presence of Cam Akers will further kill his value. In the games these backs have missed, Henderson has totaled 86 carries for a, per game average of 76.8 yards and has 4 touchdowns in those games. In the 3 games he has shared the backfield duties, he’s totaled 19 carries for 74 yards, averaging 3.9 yards per carry and has not scored. Coming off the BYE, and having two healthy backfield mates, move Henderson while you still can.