Fantasy Football Buy/Sell/Hold Picks (Week 9)
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
Michael Thomas (WR – NO)
If you’ve seen some of the trade questions that have come my way the last couple weeks with Thomas, you’d understand why he’s listed as a “buy” right now. Don’t let a few missed games get in the way of acquiring the only receiver who can contend with Davante Adams for the No. 1 wide receiver spot. In fact, the only receiver who you should want more than Thomas for the remainder of the season is Thomas, and he’s not being valued that way in trades right now.
Darren Waller (TE – LV)
Any time you have one of the top three tight ends have a down game, you should be sending trade offers for them. Tight end has been so unpredictable this year, it’s kind of ridiculous. The wind in Cleveland last week prevented all pass catchers from having big performances, and it should not be held against him. Waller has now seen at least seven targets in 6-of-7 games, which is the greatest indicator of future success. It’s much easier to find wide receivers to stream than it is tight ends, so be willing to part with a WR3 to get Waller.
Terry McLaurin (WR – WAS)
I don’t even care if I’m buying high on him. With Kyle Allen under center, Washington is clearly willing to throw the ball a bit more. Despite being in a neutral game script in Week 6 and a blowout game script in Week 7, McLaurin has seen 23 targets that have netted 14 receptions for 164 yards and a touchdown. Remember D.J. Moore last year? Well, that’s McLaurin this year with Allen as his quarterback in the same offense. He’s a low-end WR1 for the remainder of the season.
Nick Chubb (RB – CLE)
It might be time to go out there and see what it would take to acquire Chubb. The Browns have clearly lost their biggest star in the backfield, as Kareem Hunt has struggled to fill his shoes while gone. The Browns have their bye in Week 9, so another two weeks might be enough time for Chubb to return just in time for the fantasy stretch run.
Robby Anderson (WR – CAR)
It’s a natural thing for fantasy managers to overreact to primetime games, whether it be good or bad. This makes Anderson a great “buy” candidate. He saw eight targets last week and now has eight-plus targets in 6-of-8 games this year. He’s also totaled at least 74 yards in 6-of-8 games, so even though he didn’t live up to our low-end WR1 expectations last week, he remains in the high-end WR2 conversation with the numbers he’s posting.
Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT)
A wide receiver struggled against the Ravens? Call me shocked. I’m sorry if the sarcasm doesn’t come through in text. This was the first full game where Johnson didn’t see at least 10 targets in a game. The Steelers upcoming schedule against the Cowboys, Bengals, and Jaguars is going to skyrocket his value, so get him on the cheap while you can.
Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL)
Trade deadlines are coming up in leagues here shortly, and that means you need to look beyond just a few weeks of schedule. If you’re looking like a playoff team, a trade for Jackson makes a ton of sense. From Weeks 11 through 16, he’ll play the Titans, Cowboys, Browns, Jaguars, and Giants. The lone bad matchup in those weeks is against the Steelers in Week 12, which is before the fantasy playoffs begin. Jackson is a prime buy-low quarterback.
Marquise Brown (WR – BAL)
I’m someone who’s continually been lower than the consensus on Brown, as he’s been too inconsistent to rank as an every-week WR2/3 option. With that being the case, those who drafted him are likely tired of the inconsistency, and willing to let him go at discount prices. Considering how poorly Lamar Jackson has thrown the ball, Brown’s struggles are no surprise. However, if we see Jackson get back to his MVP-type performance from 2019, he’s going to create a monster with how often Brown has been targeted. He can likely be had for WR4 prices right now, but the upside is there if you can live with some volatility until Jackson gets it figured out.
Le’Veon Bell (RB – KC)
This is the time of the year to make deals for guys like Bell. I’m sure you’re wondering why considering he didn’t “crush” his former team in Week 8. It’s because his managers will trade him at this point for RB3/4 prices. That’s great, because not only will he deliver that type of value moving forward through bye weeks, but he also offers league-winning upside should Clyde Edwards-Helaire be forced to miss any time.
Ben Roethlisberger (QB – PIT)
Don’t let one bad game against the Ravens turn you away from Roethlisberger as a borderline QB1 in fantasy. If you trade for him now, you’ll reap the benefits of his upcoming schedule against the Cowboys, Bengals, and Jaguars over the next three weeks. He’ll be viewed as a top-12 quarterback play in each of those games.
Allen Lazard (WR – GB)
The Packers had Lazard back at practice last week, which means he’ll be on the field very soon. Rodgers hasn’t had a consistent option outside of Davante Adams, who teams are going to start bracketing and doubling in coverage. This is going to benefit Lazard massively, as his slot-heavy role should be filled with targets. He’s probably available on waiver wires in most leagues, but even trading for him makes sense given the way Rodgers has played through the first half of 2020.
Players to Sell
Aaron Jones (RB – GB)
This might seem crazy to some, but I’d see what you could get for Jones in a trade. Jamaal Williams has played well enough to turn this into somewhat of a timeshare, which is where it was headed the few weeks prior to Jones’ calf injury. Matt LaFleur has talked about keeping Jones healthy and fresh for the long season, so this could turn into the timeshare it was last year. Jones is still an RB1 but he’s not likely to average 18-plus touches with Williams playing as well as he has. It would take a lot for me to move him, but you should at least be open to offers.
Adam Thielen (WR – MIN)
Thielen was someone to buy when there was just one receiver getting the big target share, but knowing Justin Jefferson has emerged as a legit option to steal targets, Thielen isn’t nearly as attractive in an offense that has thrown the ball just 27.0 times per game. There will be games that you regret getting rid of him, but he could also cost you a week if you’re relying on him for WR1 production. He should be considered more of a high-end WR2 than a WR1.
Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND)
At what point do we say that Taylor just isn’t is who we thought he’d be? I continually see analysts rank him as a top-10 option, only to be disappointed at the end of the day. He’s clearly in a three-man timeshare, and Jordan Wilkins has actually looked better as of late. To see him share as much work as he did out of the bye, it’s clear that Taylor isn’t going to be the 20-touch workhorse that we’d hoped.
Todd Gurley (RB – ATL)
It may be tough to trade away Gurley after he totaled just 46 yards on 18 carries against the Panthers, but there are plenty of fantasy managers who simply scout box scores to see fantasy points, and in that area, Gurley has done well, scoring eight touchdowns in eight games. He’s had one of the easiest schedules in the league, particularly as of late, so you should be taking this last opportunity to sell before his stock bottoms out.
D.J. Chark (WR – JAC)
I really like Chark the football player but I don’t like his situation that seems to have gotten worse during their bye week, as Gardner Minshew is dealing with fractures in his throwing hand. The Jaguars are rumored to be considering rookie Jake Luton under center, which likely means a lot less pass attempts. If you can sell Chark for low-end WR2/high-end WR3 prices, you should exit the situation that’s filled with uncertainty.
Player to Hold
Jamaal Williams (RB – GB)
You might think it’s a good time to sell Williams considering Aaron Jones should be back this week, but I’d hold onto your shares. Not only is Williams going to offer flex-type value with Jones in the lineup, but we’ve now seen what happens if Jones is forced to miss time, which is a running back that’s a plug-and-play RB1. These are the types of running backs you want on your bench for the second half of the season.
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