Fantasy Football Buy/Sell/Hold 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
Christian McCaffrey (RB – CAR)
He won’t come cheap, but he will come cheaper than he ever will for the remainder of the season. There’s been no real update on his status, and considering how well Mike Davis has played, some have suggested this could be a timeshare. It won’t. Davis is going to look much more pedestrian against the Bears and Saints the next two weeks. Find a McCaffrey manager who’s started 1-4 or even 2-3, and try to capitalize on their panic.
Joe Mixon (RB – CIN)
“Here we go again.” That’s something Mixon managers have said in the last 24 hours or so. That’s fine. If you missed the last buy-low window on Mixon, you have another one. What his managers don’t realize is that there’s a major fundamental change in this offense through the last two weeks. Over the first three games, Mixon saw just nine targets while Gio Bernard saw 15 of them. Well, over the last two weeks, Mixon has 14 targets while Bernard has just two of them. Mixon is going to be gamescript-proof if this continues.
Tyler Boyd (WR – CIN)
Don’t let a bad game out of the Bengals offense move you off Boyd. He was in what will be his toughest matchup of the season against Marlon Humphrey in Week 5, leading to a potential buy-low window. Now that we know A.J. Green is probably droppable, we must move forward with Boyd as the clear-cut top target for Joe Burrow, who should only improve as time goes on. I’d be buying Boyd as a low-end WR2 with top-12 upside for the remainder of the season.
Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL)
There are some frustrated managers asking me if they should deal Jackson for WR2 and WR3-type players. This is happening because those managers spent a second- or third-round pick on Jackson and they’re lacking depth at the RB or WR position. This is your chance to pounce on the elite quarterback. He missed practice twice this week with a knee issue, limiting his rushing upside, which is why his Week 5 numbers were lacking. He’ll bounce back strong, and you’ll be happy you bought low.
Le’Veon Bell (RB – NYJ)
He returned to the lineup in Week 5, which was great. Unfortunately, it didn’t lead to much production. Still, there’s something to be said for a running back who comes with a 15-touch floor in fantasy this year. Depth is being tested more than ever, and it seems like only a matter of time before Adam Gase is dismissed. If and when that happens, we should see the offense become more functional. Knowing he’s coming off a weak game, this is an opportunity to buy even lower than expected.
Robby Anderson (WR – CAR)
If you’ve been playing fantasy football for a few years, you likely have a tainted view of Anderson; I know I do. But we need to get past that and understand what we’re buying. It’s a new situation with a new quarterback in a new offense. Anderson was signed as a free agent with a clear role in Joe Brady’s offense, and it’s led to him being the team’s No. 1 receiver through five weeks. He has more targets, receptions, and yards than D.J. Moore, though we’re hesitant to completely buy in. He has eight-plus targets in four of the five games, presenting a stable floor. Even if you like Moore better than Anderson going forward, the gap is next to nothing.
Zach Ertz (TE – PHI)
There are going to be questions on my timeline this week asking what to do with Ertz. There will be some who drop him in fantasy leagues, though I’d recommend going in the opposite directions. Have you taken a look at the tight end landscape? Outside of Kelce, Kittle, Andrews, Waller, and maybe Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, there are no locks every week at the tight end position. Ertz has been better with Alshon Jeffery on the field and I believe it’s because teams treat Ertz as if he’s the No. 1 receiver when Jeffery is out. With Jeffery and DeSean Jackson due back next week, Ertz’s production should pick up. You don’t want to pay a lot for him, but his manager likely won’t need a lot to move on.
James White (RB – NE)
Fantasy managers are always looking for that home run at running back, but in 2020, you need guys like White, who’ll provide you with a stable floor at a fraction of the cost in a trade. “But Mike, you can’t trust a Patriots running back.” Not true when it comes to White, who’s posted 11.5 or more PPR points in 24-of-33 games over the last two-plus years. He’s a fine RB3/flex.
Tee Higgins (WR – CIN)
He’s now played more snaps, run more routes, seen more targets, and recorded more production than A.J. Green over the last three weeks. We figured that Higgins would eventually be Green’s replacement, but it’s taken a lot less time than we anticipated. It was a tough game against the Ravens, but it presents you with an opportunity to buy low on the Bengals No. 2 receiver.
Matthew Stafford (QB – DET)
We’ve watched Stafford improve every week this season, finishing as the QB21, QB19, QB15, and then QB9 right before his bye week. A lot of that has to do with the return of Kenny Golladay, a player he obviously missed the first few weeks. Looking at his upcoming schedule, it’s things fantasy managers dream of with matchups against the Jaguars, Falcons, and Washington over his next four games. I’m expecting his value to rise considerably during that time.
Mecole Hardman (WR – KC)
We’ve been seeing an increase in Hardman’s offensive snaps recently, which is certainly an indicator of success, but we also watched Sammy Watkins pull a hamstring last week. Hardman was always a dual handcuff to both Watkins and Tyreek Hill. This is going to unlock a lot of opportunity for him moving forward, and we already know his efficiency is off the charts.
Players to Sell
Julio Jones (ATL – WR)
Some think that Jones will return next week and be the same player we were used to for the last decade or so. I’m not one of them. His hamstring injury has been lingering since the start of the season, and playing through it has resulted in re-aggravating it twice. The Falcons just fired thier head coach after starting 0-5, so there will be no rush to get him back on the field. He’s someone I’d be willing to sell at a slight discount to rid myself of the risk.
Mike Evans (WR – TB)
Evans has averaged just 54.2 yards per game on the season, which isn’t great considering Chris Godwin has been out for three of the five games, though the six touchdowns he’s scored has helped mask the lack of yardage. Unless you think Brady is going to continue to post a 6.1 percent touchdown-rate, Evans is likely going to come back down to earth.
Darrell Henderson (RB – LAR)
We heard Sean McVay say before the season that he wanted to model his run-game after Kyle Shanahan’s. He’s certainly done that through five weeks, as the load has been split up with almost no predictability. Henderson’s touches per game have been: 3, 14, 21, 9, and 19. We had Malcolm Brown as a popular target after Week 1. We had Henderson as a popular target after Weeks 2-3 and now 5. It would not shock anyone if we see Cam Akers be a popular target in the near future. If you’re okay with the unpredictable nature, great, but most managers want someone they can trust in their lineup. With matchups against the 49ers and Bears on tap, take advantage of the Week 5 performance and sell high.
Mike Davis (RB – CAR)
It was a fun ride while it lasted for those who snagged Davis off the waiver wire. The ride isn’t over just yet, but it has hit its peak, which is when you need to sell. He has matchups with the Bears and Saints over the next two weeks, two of the better run defenses in the league. After that, McCaffrey will be back in the lineup. This is your time to cash in, as you may not have another opportunity.
Teddy Bridgewater (QB – CAR)
It’s been an impressive start to the season for Bridgewater, enough to the point where desperate managers might actually give you some value for him. This is the time to try and cash in now that he’s coming off back-to-back 20-point performances. You want to do that before the other managers realize he has matchups with the Bears and Saints on deck. In 1QB leagues, I’d argue he’s droppable, but maybe you can find someone to give you some value in a trade.
Player to Hold
Todd Gurley (RB – ATL)
Yes, they just played the Panthers. Yes, it seems like a great opportunity to sell high. While I somewhat agree with that, I need to remind you that he’ll play against the Vikings, Lions, and Panthers (again) over the next three weeks. There’s going to be another opportunity to sell high on Gurley, so my advice would be to hold on through the heart of bye weeks.
Brandin Cooks (WR – HOU)
Some may be quick to want to sell Cooks after the big game, and while I’m not opposed, make sure you get a top-40 receiver in return. The removal of Bill O’Brien could unlock Cooks a bit more in the offense, though we had struggles with him dating back to the second half of the season with the Rams. This could be a flash in the pan, but whenever a receiver gets over a 33 percent target share, you must pay attention to what may have changed.
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