Fantasy Football Buy/Sell Picks (Week 2)
Whether you’re buying or selling, here’s a list of players to consider making a move on before it’s too late.
Players to Buy
Alex Smith (QB – WAS)
In a tough road matchup against the Cardinals, Smith put on a clinic completing 21-of-30 attempts for 255 yards and two touchdowns. On top of that, Adrian Peterson is going to take some pressure off him with the way he’s running the ball. With Jordan Reed healthy, he’s got a safe target over the middle of the field, and Chris Thompson appears to be ready to rock. Smith is going to likely finish the year as a top-12 quarterback, and best of all, he gets the Colts at home in Week 2.
Ben Roethlisberger (QB – PIT)
If you drafted Roethlisberger thinking he was going to be your every-week starter… why? We’ve all known about the road struggles over the last five years where he averages almost nine less fantasy points than he does at home. He’ll be at home in Week 2 against the Chiefs depleted defense who’ll likely be without Eric Berry again, making Roethlisberger an elite-level play.
LeSean McCoy (RB – BUF)
I’m not suggesting you spend a lot to get McCoy, but if his owner wants to drop him, you should throw out a low-ball offer. Think about someone like Randall Cobb who is coming off a big game, but will be more of a WR3. It’s hard to find someone who’ll get 15-plus touches per week at running back, and although Week 1 didn’t look good, it was their worst matchup of the season where they pulled McCoy early-on. He’s going to be an RB3, at worst.
James Conner (RB – PIT)
Call me crazy, but I believe Le’Veon Bell is sitting out until Week 10 like his agent suggested. I mean, why would he show up this week if he didn’t show up last week? The terms are the same and one week of wear and tear won’t make a difference. On top of that, his teammates have turned on him. Conner proved to be very capable and should be considered a top-20 running back going forward.
Sony Michel (RB – NE)
After watching Jeremy Hill go down with a torn ACL in Week 1, the Patriots are going to rely on Michel more than they may have wanted to in his rookie year. With Rex Burkhead monitoring a knee issue, it’s very much likely that he and Michel split the workload in the top-six scoring offense. Michel is a true three-down back who’ll also be used in the passing game. Snag him before his owner realizes what he has.
Chris Hogan (WR – NE)
It’s not going to be easy dealing for Hogan, especially when you consider his Week 2 opponent is the Jaguars, so you can wait a week if you’d like. If you do go and try to acquire the Patriots best receiver, make sure you let his owner that you’re not even going to use him because of the matchup (because they won’t want to, either). With Tom Brady alive and breathing as his quarterback, Hogan will bounce back from his slow start.
Josh Gordon (WR – CLE)
After hearing that Gordon was on a 20-ish snap count, he played 69-of-89 snaps against the Steelers. He’s going to be fine once he gets in sync with Tyrod Taylor, as it’s going to take a few weeks considering he missed all of the preseason. Gordon is too good for them not to use and Jarvis Landry attracts enough attention to leave Gordon one-on-one the majority of time.
Emmanuel Sanders (WR – DEN)
Sanders and Case Keenum picked up right where they left off in the preseason, connecting 10 times for 135 yards and a touchdown. This should be a thing all year, as Sanders is playing in the slot over half the time, which is the best area of the field for aging wide receivers. Keenum also loved his slot receiver back in Minnesota, so there’s little reason to doubt Sanders at this point.
George Kittle (TE – SF)
It felt like every time I looked over to the 49ers game, Kittle was getting targeted. The stat sheet shows nine targets (which is a lot), but it felt like he saw 15 of them when the game ended. He also played 52 snaps after not topping 36 snaps with Jimmy Garoppolo last year. Kittle is absolutely on the TE1 radar after an impressive showing in Week 1.
David Njoku (TE – CLE)
You may not be happy with his three-catch, 13-yard performance against the Steelers, but they were a tough team against tight ends. The positive with Njoku is that he played a massive 78-of-89 snaps in that game, which tells you everything you need to know – he’s going to be a thing this year. Njoku is a top-10 play at the tight end position almost every week with those type of snaps.
Players to Sell
Pat Mahomes (QB – KC)
Look, I understand you want to keep a guy who just lit the world on fire in Week 1, but that’s when you’ll get the most value for him. Two of his four touchdowns traveled a distance of about six inches, as he shuffled the ball forward on essentially a designed handoff. Kareem Hunt also did nothing in this game, which will change and limit the potential of Mahomes. If you believe Mahomes is going to be a top-five quarterback in his first season as a starter, don’t sell, but my take is that he’s going to be a great streamer who is going to have some ups-and-downs. You can likely get someone to pay more than he’s worth as a quarterback, so I urge you to get out and explore.
Dak Prescott (QB – DAL)
The worst fears were realized in Week 1, as Prescott simply has no one to throw to in this offense. On top of that, the offensive line didn’t look nearly as good without Travis Fredrick under center and Conner Williams playing at guard. It’s probably tough to find someone to buy him, but in a 2QB league, I’d take someone like Tyrod Taylor or Mitch Trubisky over him.
Devonta Freeman (RB – ATL)
Freeman has now topped 12 carries just twice since Week 4 of last season, and one of the games was with Tevin Coleman out of the lineup. Not quite RB1 territory, eh? On top of that, he’s dealing with some sort of knee issue that will give the Falcons a reason to play Coleman a bit more.
Jordan Wilkins (RB – IND)
If you were to sit down and watch the Week 1 game against the Bengals, the Colts desperately wanted Wilkins to be “the guy” in the backfield, but he was very mediocre and they slowly moved more towards Nyheim Hines as the game went on. With Marlon Mack slated to return in Week 2, try selling him off as the leader in a timeshare. In reality, he’s just a handcuff to Mack.
Austin Ekeler (RB – LAC)
In a game they were trailing big throughout, Ekeler played more than he typically will. His 22 snaps were somewhat low considering the game script, so don’t plan on production on a weekly basis. He’s playing behind Melvin Gordon, who they said they wanted to have more of a role in the passing game. I mean, do you think Rivers is going to target RBs 18 times per week?
T.Y. Hilton (WR – IND)
Not only did Andrew Luck appear to not want to take shots down the field, but Hilton is playing a less attractive role than he used to. The last time Luck played, Hilton played over 57 percent of his snaps out of the slot, which is great to escape coverage against top cornerbacks. In Week 1 under Frank Reich, that number was down at 23 percent. This is not great for Hilton, who was already a volatile fantasy option.
Doug Baldwin (WR – SEA)
This is a risky proposition, as you’re likely selling for pennies on the dollar, but Baldwin’s new MCL tear (which is a sprain) is on the opposite knee from the one he was nursing this preseason. So he’s essentially got two bad knees right now, which isn’t great for a wide receiver who relies on route-running to get open, as he’s one of the smaller wide receivers who’s fantasy relevant.
Phillip Dorsett (WR – IND)
If you snagged Dorsett hoping for lightning in a bottle, you got what you wanted in Week 1. Now I suggest capitalizing on that before the Patriots play the Jaguars in Week 2 and Dorsett is shut-out. If you aren’t going to use him then, you won’t want to play him in Week 3 due to a lackluster performance, and then Julian Edelman is back in Week 5. See how it all unravels? Sell Dorsett on his big performance if possible.
Eric Ebron (TE – IND)
Despite finishing with a line of 4/51/1 against the Bengals, Ebron isn’t someone you want to count on if his snaps remain status quo. Why? Well, he played just 36-of-82 snaps in that game (43.9 percent). If you want to point out his targets, that’s a mistake, too, as Luck threw the ball 53 times in this game. If Luck averages somewhere around 35-40 attempts, that would put Ebron around 3-4 targets per game, which is not enough.
Greg Olsen (TE – CAR)
This might seem obvious, but as of the time I’m writing this, nothing has been determined. Bottom line, Olsen wasn’t a great tight end to own with Christian McCaffrey getting all the targets he does, and now that he’s injured his once surgically repaired foot, Olsen is a code-red sell for whatever you can get. Yes, I’d trade him for George Kittle, Trey Burton, or even David Njoku right now.