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
Joe Mixon (RB – CIN)
Let’s start with the negative. Mixon’s target share has decreased from 15.4% in Week 1 to 6.9% in Week 2 to 5.4% in Week 3. That isn’t what fantasy managers want to see, but the Bengals continue to utilize Mixon as a bell-cow running back and he went over 20 touches for the third straight game this past Sunday. Cincinnati draws the Jaguars, Packers, and Lions in the next three weeks. Fantasy football is a volume-driven game. Mixon is seeing volume and the upcoming matchups are strong. Don’t overthink this one.
Tyreek Hill (WR – KC)
Hill was held under 60 receiving yards and without a touchdown for the second straight game in Week 3. It’s unlikely that opposing managers would actually be willing to trade him for a discount, but Hill’s season-long projections haven’t changed. Eruption games are coming for him.
Stefon Diggs (WR – BUF)
Through the first three games of the year, Diggs has yet to register a top-24 fantasy performance among wideouts. Fear not. Buffalo continues to throw the ball at a wildly high rate, and Diggs’ weekly target shares are 28.6%, 27.6%, and 23.3%. His time is coming.
Odell Beckham Jr. (WR – CLE)
Patient fantasy managers are being rewarded entering Week 4. Beckham played on 68% of Cleveland’s snaps in his Week 3 debut (note that he received some extra rest when the game became uncompetitive in the fourth quarter). Furthermore, OBJ ran a route on 85% of Baker Mayfield dropbacks this past Sunday. He totaled 5-77 on a team-high 29% target share and remains locked into an alpha role with Jarvis Landry (knee) still on IR.
Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF)
The sophomore wideout put up a 4-37-1 line in Week 3 against the Packers, and there are some signs that he might finally be free from Kyle Shanahan’s doghouse. Per PFF, Aiyuk ran more routes in Week 3 (44) than Weeks 1 and 2 combined (35). We know he’s talented. Once some additional opportunity comes his way, Aiyuk’s fantasy value should see a steady rise.
Players to Sell
Adam Thielen (WR – MIN)
Fantasy football analysts have been screaming “regression!” when it comes to Thielen for a while now. The reason is that he continues to overperform his expected number of touchdowns based on the yardage he compiles. Entering Week 4, the 31-year-old has scored a whopping 18 times in his past 18 games. Eventually, he’ll stop finding the end zone this consistently. Now feels like a good time to sell high on Thielen.
Mike Davis (RB – ATL)
Throughout the summer, the entire case for Davis’ 2021 fantasy football value was built on expected volume. Unfortunately, Cordarrelle Patterson has been eating into Davis’ playing time early this season. In Week 3, Davis out-snapped C-Patt just 37-26. We can’t value Davis as a difference-maker moving forward.
Ty’Son Williams (RB – BAL)
Williams led Ravens RB in snaps in Week 3, but he saw just five carries for 22 yards. Latavius Murray ran seven times while Devonta Freeman was given three carries. When you factor in the number of designed rushes the Ravens give Lamar Jackson, this becomes a borderline four-man RBBC. Williams isn’t start-worthy for the time being.
Robert Tonyan (TE – GB)
Tonyan was destined for regression entering the season. He finished as the overall TE3 in fantasy despite ranking 24th in targets at the position. This was primarily due to catching 52-of-59 passes in a year where Aaron Rodgers‘ TD% was very much in outlier territory. Tonyan has now been held under 10 yards in 2-of-3 games to begin the 2021 campaign. Fantasy managers can do better for low-end TE1 value.
Joe Burrow (QB – CIN)
The Bengals just aren’t passing as much as we expected through three weeks. Perhaps Zac Taylor knows his offensive line probably can’t handle it, or maybe the team is doing their best to ease Burrow back in. Either way, Burrow attempted just 18 passes in Week 3 against the Steelers. Furthermore, the three lowest passing attempts of his career have come in the three games he has played in this year. He’s a QB2 until further notice.
Kenyan Drake (RB – LV)
The Raiders gave Drake $11 million this offseason and have been without Josh Jacobs for two straight games. However, Drake has run just 15 times for 33 yards during this time and narrowly out-targeted Peyton Barber (?!) 6-5 in Week 3. If Drake isn’t going to make a meaningful impact even without Jacobs playing, then it’s time to move on.
Player to Hold
Allen Robinson (WR – CHI)
Entering Week 4, Robison has yet to finish higher than the WR49 in weekly fantasy scoring. The good news is things can’t get much worse. Robinson managers need Justin Fields to begin developing in a hurry, and for his 25.3% target share to hold steady or possibly even rise. Still, now isn’t the time to sell low.
Jaylen Waddle (WR – MIA)
Among Miami’s receivers, it was the rookie who led the team in snaps, targets, receptions, and yards in Week 3 against the Raiders. Waddle seems to have a strong rapport with fill-in QB Jacoby Brissett, as he was targeted a whopping 13 times this past Sunday. It was mostly on underneath routes, which makes Waddle more valuable in full-PPR formats. Waddle might not be a confident fantasy start just yet, but things are trending in the right direction.
Trey Sermon (RB – SF)
Sermon salvaged his Week 3 fantasy performance with a rushing score, but he didn’t really do much to separate himself from Elijah Mitchell (shoulder) once he returns. Game script also didn’t work in his favor against the Packers on Sunday night, as the 49ers quickly fell down 10-0. Sermon remains a high-upside bench stash for now, but not necessarily someone we can confidently start just yet.
Sony Michel (RB – LAR)
In Week 3 without Darrel Henderson, Michel played on 74% of the Rams’ offensive snaps, but his actual usage was even more exciting. The former Patriot handled 20-of-21 running back carries for LA while also receiving 100% of the RB targets. Michel likely earned some additional playing time with this performance, even when Henderson returns from injury. If Henderson misses Week 4, Michel will once again be a plug-and-play RB2.
Justin Fields (QB – CHI)
Fields and the Chicago offense laid an egg in Week 3 against the Browns, but QB-needy fantasy managers shouldn’t cut bait just yet. It’s true that Fields totaled fewer rushing yards than Andy Dalton recorded in his two starts, but this was mostly due to the Bears’ offensive line, who couldn’t even protect the rookie long enough to let him scramble. The Lions are a much softer Week 4 opponent, though there are questions as to whether or not Dalton will return.
Looking for advice tailored to your team? Check out our awarding-winning My Playbook tool. My Playbook allows you to sync your team for free in seconds. It offers personalized advice for fantasy owners, including a Start/Sit Assistant, Waiver Wire Assistant, and Trade Analyzer. My Playbook will also send you news and alerts specific to your fantasy players. Join over 1 million teams that have been synched for custom advice, rankings, and analysis!