Fantasy Football Buy/Sell Picks (Week 6)
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
Jameis Winston (QB – TB)
Some didn’t want to give credit to the play-calling and play-makers for the Bucs while Ryan Fitzpatrick was the best fantasy quarterback in football, but make no mistake about it, Winston is going to do great with the weapons he has at his disposal. Statistically, he was the best quarterback this preseason. On top of the weapons, his defense is bad and his offensive line cannot run-block, which adds up to one thing… plenty of pass attempts.
Baker Mayfield (QB – CLE)
We still haven’t seen the best of Mayfield, as he’s still working his way into the offense after he didn’t see any first-team reps while Tyrod Taylor was healthy. Last week, Mayfield just hung 342 yards on a Ravens defense that hadn’t allowed a passer more than 274 yards since Week 14 of last year. He’s only going to get better as the year goes on.
Alvin Kamara (RB – NO)
If the Kamara owner is tilting after the Monday night meltdown, you need to go and offer them a trade right now. Even with Ingram in the lineup last year, Kamara finished outside the top-15 running backs just once (he finished as the RB22 that week) when he played the whole game. With Drew Brees setting the record and Ingram having fresh legs, the cards fell just right so that Kamara would have a down game. Buy, buy, buy.
Jordan Howard (RB – CHI)
There was some rumblings that Howard was dealing with some sort of knee injury that limited his workload before the bye, though I’m not sure I believe it since he was playing during the second-half in a game where they were up by over 30 points. I believe it was simply a matchup where Cohen better suited what they needed. But make no mistake about it, Cohen will not see 12-plus touches every game. Whatever the case, the Bears offense is only going to get better as they perfect Nagy’s offense, so to snagging a clear-cut goal-line back who’s seeing plenty of volume on the cheap would be wise.
Devonta Freeman (RB – ATL)
Coming off a multi-week knee injury was never going to be easy for Freeman to produce, especially when you factor in how well the Steelers have defended the run this year. The Falcons offense is going to score plenty of points this year, as they’ve shown averaging 26.6 points per game through five weeks. With Tevin Coleman struggling to get much done on the ground, Freeman should start to see a bit more work going forward.
Aaron Jones (RB – GB)
When Aaron Rodgers goes to bat for a player, he usually wins in the long run. He’s been asking for Jones to get more involved in the offense, and though the gamescript in Week 5 didn’t play out that way, this is your chance to buy. The Packers have just one rushing touchdown through five games and that cannot continue to be such a lopsided ratio to passing touchdowns. Jones is going to get more touches, it’s just a matter of when. You can’t wait to trade for him until he does something, because he’ll no longer be a buy-low.
Keenan Allen (WR – LAC)
You always want to look for buying opportunities like Allen right now. He was a second-round pick, so his owner is likely getting frustrated with his lackluster performances, but the vital signs are good. He’s seen 45 targets which ranks 12th-most among wide receivers, and his quarterback is throwing the ball really well this year (13 touchdowns, 2 interceptions). The production will come for Allen, as this is close to the start he had last year where his first nine games were underwhelming, only to finish as the No. 2 receiver in fantasy.
Doug Baldwin (WR – SEA)
This is hard to sell after Baldwin got just one target in Week 5, but hey, that’s why it’s called buy-low, right? If we didn’t have three straight top-15 seasons for Baldwin prior to this, I’d be more concerned, but he’s going to bounce-back at some point. Russell Wilson only threw the ball 21 times in Week 5, which didn’t help the cause, but knowing what state their defense is in, there will be better days.
Corey Davis (WR – TEN)
Davis has had a really tough schedule to start the year and it’s shown in his numbers, but there’s some things you simply have to pay for with wide receivers. Targets. Davis currently ranks 12th in targets among wide receivers, and that’s despite his tough start with cornerbacks. It’s clear he’s the one who the Titans offense revolves around, and knowing that the run-game can’t get anything done, he’ll continue to rack up targets, air yards, and more production than we’ve seen to this point.
Rob Gronkowski (TE – NE)
If there’s a Gronk owner out there who will move him for pennies on the dollar, you should be asking him what he wants. If he thinks he can stream tight ends in 2018 successfully, let him be your guest, because he doesn’t know what’s out there. It’s scary, seriously. In seasons where Gronk has played at least 11 games, he’s never finished outside the top-three tight ends. Knowing that he’s currently No. 7 shows you there’s plenty of rebound in his future numbers. After playing on a short week, Gronk has had 10 days to heal up his ankle before the matchup with the Chiefs.
David Njoku (TE – CLE)
I’ve been saying it for weeks, but buy Njoku before the explosion happens. The Browns aren’t using Duke Johnson much, Jarvis Landry is seeing lots of attention, and Antonio Callaway has been bad. Baker Mayfield needs someone to throw the ball to, so why not the crazy-athletic second-year tight end? He’s now seen at least seven targets in 4-of-5 games and posted season-highs in catches (6) and yards (69) last week. The touchdowns will come soon and you’ll then be unable to trade for him. He’s my No. 7 tight end for the remainder of the season.
Players to Sell
Drew Brees (QB – NO)
You should probably be cashing in on Brees’ early-season performances. To know that they didn’t have much of a run-game and their defense started out extremely slow, it led to inflated pass attempts. With the defense seemingly playing better by the week and Mark Ingram back to help the run-game, Brees will likely settle in the mid-range QB1 territory.
Carlos Hyde (RB – CLE)
There’s a vibe about Hyde similar to the one that was around Ryan Fitzpatrick. Not that it’s right, but it feels like he’s going to have a very short leash. He’s now played five games, and while he’s scored in four of them, he’s also averaged 3.7 or less yards per carry in four of them. The Browns spent a high second-round pick to acquire Nick Chubb and have said they “want” to involve Duke Johnson a bit more. These things add up to declining stock for Hyde, who you may want to sell at his high-point. While it’s possible he keeps the job, see what’s out there and minimize risk.
James Conner (RB – PIT)
There’s some out there who still don’t trust Le’Veon Bell saying he’s coming back after the Steelers bye in Week 7, so it’s possible that you may be able to get value for Conner in a trade. If you know a team who’s had a slow start and desperately needs a win to potentially save their season, that’s the owner you should be targeting with Conner. He’s going to have one more game of relevance, but then goes back to a pure handcuff. If you can get a starting piece for your team, you should probably do it.
Isaiah Crowell (RB – NYJ)
Fantasy football is a weekly game, right? Once we get to playoff time, it’s win or go home. Crowell has surprised everyone (myself included) this year, but you should use his 219-yard, one-touchdown performance as your off ramp. He’s had a few really good weeks, but then a few weeks that will absolutely bury your fantasy team. Prior to his outburst in Week 5, he’d totaled just 69 yards on 32 carries (2.16 yards per carry) in his previous three games, including 3.9 points in one game and 0.3 points in another one. It’s not to say he has no value, he does, but you should be looking to move a piece who could very well get you eliminated in the fantasy playoffs.
Cooper Kupp (WR – LAR)
After suffering the concussion in Week 5, it may be a bit tougher to move Kupp, but I’d put the feelers out there. While I still like him for the rest of the season, he’s not going to be a top-five receiver like he is right now. He’s currently the WR3 in PPR formats with just 41 targets. You’d have to go all the way down to Tyreek Hill at WR13 to find someone with fewer than 41 targets, and we all know that Hill is rather efficient. The point here is that Kupp cannot sustain his crazy level of efficiency, even in Sean McVay’s offense. If you’re able to sell and get anything close to WR1 value, do it.
Demaryius Thomas (WR – DEN)
If you can sell-high on Thomas after his 105-yard, one-touchdown performance, you should. He’s not been on the same page as Case Keenum this year and had it not been for a garbage time touchdown, most would be wondering what to do with Thomas. He does provide name-brand value, but there’s just too many other parts in this offense to expect all of them to produce on anywhere near a consistent basis. If you can land someone like Julian Edelman or John Brown for him, I’d consider that a win.
Kyle Rudolph (TE – MIN)
Some will look at Rudolph’s production and think it’s not bad, and it’s not, though there’s some fine print. He’s just 19th in target share among tight ends. This is a problem because once Kirk Cousins comes back down to earth with his pass attempts, Rudolph is the one who’ll suffer most. When you see Cousins has averaged 45.2 attempts per game and see that Rudolph has averaged just 5.4 targets, it’s a problem. I’d rather have David Njoku going forward.
Eric Ebron (TE – IND)
Any time you see a player go off on a primetime game, his value will be higher than it should be. It’s the whole “I’ve seen it” issue with fantasy owners, as they don’t always get to see everyone play. It’s known as “primetime bias” and you should be using it to your advantage. Forget the fact that Jack Doyle was out, but adding T.Y. Hilton to that list, and then putting them down multiple touchdowns against the Patriots… what did we think was going to happen? Ebron isn’t a bad tight end to own, but his perceived value is likely worth more than his actual value.