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Fantasy Football Roster Renovation (Week 2)

Sep 10, 2019

Every week, fantasy football owners run into roster issues and conundrums that can leave them flat-out stumped. Unsure how to handle an injured starter? How long should you hold out hope for a disappointing high-round draft pick? We’ll help fantasy football owners navigate all of these questions and more in our series ‘Fantasy Football Roster Renovation.’ Our writers tackle your roster issues below.

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I had multiple players go off in Week 1, and want to take advantage of my new-found depth. What should I do?

Week 1 studs are nothing but excitement. These breakout players build suspense and create a fantasy experience you get excited about for the next 15-to-16 weeks. Evaluating the performances of these unexpected breakouts is the first step in understanding what kind of fantasy player you have. Were they big-play dependent? Or were they actually featured in the offense and looked like they could develop a consistent fantasy floor? Analyzing their stats, such as snap counts and targets, gives you a bigger picture of their performance and will allow you to make an informed decision. One decision could be to trade the player(s) for a high return. That is certainly doable, but I would only look to acquire a player with a consistent fantasy floor in return, which would likely require multiple players to be traded away. Always remember to slow down. This is just Week 1 and the season is long. Depth is a great problem to have because you never know when the injury bug will hit your team.
– Garett Thomas (@GarettThomas)

You have to take a hard look at the players that surprised in Week 1 and ask yourself if that production is sustainable. Sometimes there are players that were undervalued that show us that they were taken too lightly in the offseason and hammer that point home in Week 1 and every week after that. Other times a player had an outlier performance in Week 1 against a favorable matchup. I remember last year when New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell came out of nowhere to have 102 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns on just 10 carries against the Detroit Lions, and people thought the Jets may have found their running back. That game accounted for almost 15 percent of his rushing yards and 33 percent of his rushing touchdowns on the season. He had three more good games on the year, which were a two-touchdown game in Week 3, a 219-yard rushing performance in Week 5, and a 98-yard rushing performance in Week 12. The rest of the season was three games where he did not play and nine games with less than 50 yards rushing and only one additional touchdown in those nine games. He was the 31st ranked running back due to four fantasy viable games. Sometimes Week 1 is a sign of a breakout season. Other times it is a time to sell high and trade to a fellow fantasy owner. The big question to ask yourself is if you can see that player duplicating the performance or whether it appears to be an outlier. It is important not to be too excited about one good performance.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)

I approach this differently in redraft compared to dynasty leagues. If I have multiple players go off from my redraft team I will normally roll with them. In dynasty, depending on the player, I will hold on to them (I’m a truther) or sell quickly. Age will also come into play. DJax would be a guy I would try to trade at a high value due to age and knowing his history of being an inconsistent fantasy player. A player like Hollywood Brown is one I would keep because he is young, and I personally believe he’ll flourish no matter the offense. A player like John Ross, who is taking advantage of a situation (A.J. Green out), is also someone I will trade ASAP. Many will buy into the idea that he’s now legit and his value could not be higher. Sell him now.
– Marc Mathyk (@Masterjune70)

The answer need not be more complicated than this. Consider which performances are sustainable (by looking at the opportunity and determining if that opportunity will continue), and aggressively try to trade those players whose opportunities will regress to a level which relegates them to your bench. Ideally, you will be able to take two boom players and package them for one high-end player who disappointed in Week 1 (e.g., Nick Chubb). You’ll want to consider why these players boomed as well, whether it be the absence of another player, matchup, or some other external factor. Always try to use any bonus depth to increase your starting lineup’s power.
– Mark Leipold (@LeipoldNFL)

If you had players unexpectedly go off in Week 1, you need to evaluate whether you should keep those players or take advantage of their newfound value. Sammy Watkins, Austin Ekeler, Evan Engram, Mark Andrews, and John Brown are certainly worth keeping unless you can get proper value for them. Marlon Mack, Mark Ingram, Derrick Henry, DeSean Jackson, T.Y. Hilton, Alshon Jeffery, and T.J. Hockenson each have value but can net you a surplus in a trade. If you find yourself with more depth than you need, look at teams that need starters and try consolidating a couple of players for their studs.
– Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski)

Enjoy your new-found depth. Some players who may see their roles change like Austin Ekeler should be dangled in trade talks, but if you landed Sammy Watkins you are going to want to keep him on your roster. Do not trade players you drafted as starters because DeSean Jackson, Marquise Brown, and LeSean McCoy went off on your bench. If you can include them in a package for a player you know will be more consistent you have to consider it, but the key here is patience outside of the outliers. Sell Danny Amendola and Jamison Crowder. Malcolm Brown is also someone to sell if he made it onto your roster. Other than that, hold your depth. Week 1 should be proof enough that depth is needed as stars will get hurt and miss time.
– Raju Byfield (@FantasyContext)

I had multiple players disappoint in Week 1, and am suddenly concerned about my lack of depth. Help!

Be patient with your studs. Temper your expectations for Week 1 standouts. Davante Adams is still going to finish the season as a top-10 receiver. Jamison Crowder, on the other hand, the current WR18, will likely finish outside the top-36. Overreacting to one week is never recommended. With that said, Week 1 can clue you into potential usage patterns and is often the biggest waiver wire week of the season. Cut the end of your bench for some high-upside players who are still sitting on your league’s waiver wire.
– Raju Byfield (@FantasyContext)

Unfortunately, I’ve had many more fall into the disappointing category already. Rookie running backs like David Montgomery, Miles Sanders, and Darrell Henderson come to mind. Keep them in dynasty as their value will rise — then when it does, that’s when you sell. In redraft, keep them on your bench unless the bench is so shallow and you need to make a change. Rookie wide receivers like Parris Campbell, Deebo Samuel, and Miles Boykin are holds in dynasty for the same reason. However, in redraft, none of them are worth holding. More seasoned vets like Vance McDonald, Brandin Cooks, or Devonta Freeman are more concerning. They are all holds in all formats mainly due to the fact that you won’t get much in return right now and dumping them after a poor week is foolish. All three are still valuable, but you might want to bench them until they prove otherwise. Most importantly, if you believe in them, believe the offense they are on, then keep them because they should all come around eventually. You can’t give anyone a game to decide whether or not they are busts for the year. I was one week too hasty with Amari Cooper last year and dropped him in a redraft league a week before he was picked up by Dallas and ended up losing in the playoffs to the guy that picked him up. Believe the talent will always rise to the top. Patience is a virtue we all need more of.
– Marc Mathyk (@Masterjune70)

Week 1 is a great time to sell high, but it’s an absolutely terrible time to sell low. With all the buildup in the preseason, people tend to overreact when players don’t perform to expectations right out of the gate. Players like Mike Evans, Nick Chubb, JuJu Smith-Schuster, David Montgomery, Aaron Jones, Miles Sanders, Davante Adams, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., Travis Kelce, and George Kittle may have underperformed, but under no circumstances should you sell low. In fact, see if you can buy them at a discount in your leagues.
– Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski)

Disappointments are going to happen every year during Week 1. It’s just part of fantasy football. These players have to get adjusted to their offense and get comfortable on the field, something that used to happen during the preseason until recently. You will undoubtedly weigh your waiver-wire options. Just because you feel a player is cut-worthy it does not mean that the move is right for your team. For your fantasy team to improve, you have to be able to add a player that will make your team better, immediately or down the road, compared to the player to be cut. So, evaluation into the player you are adding is paramount. Plus, take into account that this was only Week 1 and that some of these “breakout” players on the waiver-wire could have just had a good week. Don’t overreact and keep a level head. Week 2 could show a completely different story.
– Garett Thomas (@GarettThomas)

This will align with my advice if you had multiple players boom in Week 1. Determine the cause of the bust, and if it’s not opportunity-related, don’t panic and don’t sell low. If your player busted because he did not get the opportunity you expected (e.g., fewer carries, fewer targets), that’s a problematic sign. If there were other factors such as a bad matchup, poor blocking for running backs, or inaccurate targets for wide receivers and tight ends, understand that and be aware so that you know to hold onto them. The most important factor is whether the problem was opportunity or efficiency.
– Mark Leipold (@LeipoldNFL)

Last year, Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton had one reception for 15 yards on five targets in Week 1 at Green Bay. The entire Bears’ offense struggled after two good drives to start the game, and they were outscored 21-3 in the fourth quarter of an epic 24-23 Green Bay Packers’ win. Burton would recover and finish as the seventh-ranked fantasy tight end. The Bears would go 12-3 in their next 15 games, the Packers would go 5-9-1 in their next 15 games, and they were never more than one game above .500 the entire season. Running backs and receivers do not have 200 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns every week. David Johnson was a top-10 running back last year, which amounted to 86.6 scrimmage yards per game and 0.6 touchdowns per game. If a player looked really slow or he was not involved much in the offense, that can be reason for concern and you should see what is available on the waiver wire after a bad week. The worst thing you can do, though, is to start holding a fire sale where you sell off all your high fantasy draft picks and chase players that had one good game. The Minnesota Vikings just had a game in Week 1 where they threw only 10 passes for the first time since 1969. This isn’t the time to sell their entire passing offense. Statistical outliers happen in Week 1 as much as they happen in Week 10 and now is not the time to hit the panic button on good players having a bad week. There are still 15 games to go and a lot of fantasy football games to be won with the roster you drafted a couple weeks ago.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)

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