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
A.J. Brown (WR – TEN)
“AJB” disappointed in the box score with just three receptions for 38 scoreless yards, but his 29% target share remains elite. Game script simply got away from him as the Titans didn’t need to throw the ball as they cruised to an easy win over the Jaguars. Now healthy following a Week 4 absence due to a hamstring strain, Brown is a recommended bet-on-talent “buy low.”
Tee Higgins (WR – CIN)
The sophomore wideout returned to action in Week 5 against the Packers, catching five passes for 32 yards on seven targets. Higgins doesn’t create the explosive plays that Ja’Marr Chase is capable of, but in the three games they’ve played together it’s the elder who has the edge in target share (23.1% to 22.1%). Of course, the targets are concentrated enough to support multiple wideouts. Week 5 wasn’t Higgins’ time, but the underlying usage remains strong entering a plus Week 6 matchup versus the Lions.
Javonte Williams (RB – DEN)
The rookie was once again more efficient than Melvin Gordon in this one, rushing eight times for 61 yards and hauling in three receptions for 25 yards. The timeshare remained a 50/50 split, however, which makes Williams tough to start in Week 6. However, fantasy managers who can afford to be a little patient should be willing to “buy low” on the rookie. We know that first-year players, as a whole, improve in fantasy as the year moves along. Securing Williams’ services now, before a potential breakout game, could be fruitful.
DeVonta Smith (WR – PHI)
Smith had a solid performance in Week 5 against Carolina – catching seven passes for 77 yards. He hasn’t found the end zone since Week 1, but the underlying usage is very promising. On Sunday the rookie ran a route on 96% of his team’s passing plays while demanding a 30% target share and 31% air yards share. The Panthers’ defense held the Eagles in check for a lot of this one. Bigger days are coming for Smith moving forward.
Kadarius Toney (WR – NYG)
Toney was a questionable first-round draft choice by the Giants, but he’s making the skeptics look silly over the past two weeks. The rookie had an eruption game in Week 5 against the Cowboys, totaling 189 yards on 10 receptions. Toney consistently made Dallas defenders look silly, using his dynamic skillset to create separation. He benefitted from the absences of several pass catchers, and defenses will start paying more attention to him now, but the rookie wideout needs to be rostered everywhere. He warrants aggressive FAAB bids in leagues where he’s still available.
Rondale Moore (WR – ARI)
Through five weeks it doesn’t seem as if the Cardinals want to utilize Moore as a full-time player. However, he’s simply electric with the ball in his hands; and as we learned on Sunday, at hauling in toe-tapping sideline catches. The rookie totaled 97 combined rushing and receiving yards in Week 5. The usage might be volatile for now, but as a first-year player that will hopefully change as the season moves along. Investing in Moore now is simply a bet on talent.
Players to Sell
Trey Sermon (RB – SF)
There was some belief entering Week 5 that Sermon’s patience/vision/power would pair better with Trey Lance‘s abilities than Elijah Mitchell‘s speed would. However, Kyle Shanahan doesn’t seem to think so. Mitchell handled 81.8% of the team’s RB rushing share on Sunday. He was clearly the lead guy and Sermon is shaping up as an RB4/handcuff option moving forward.
Laviska Shenault (WR – JAC)
There was some hope that Shenault would be utilized more following D.J. Chark‘s ankle injury, but it didn’t happen in Week 5 as the second-year wide receiver saw just three targets on the day. Perhaps expanded usage is still coming, but the Jacksonville offense isn’t one to invest in right now. A rookie quarterback and first-time head coach bring enough uncertainty to the table for a player whose role we’re still trying to pin down.
Myles Gaskin (RB – MIA)
Gaskin saw just two touches in Week 4. On Sunday, he suddenly received 10 targets in the passing game, catching all 10 balls thrown his way for 74 yards and two TDs. Gaskin added five rushes for 25 yards on the ground. Miami’s backfield has been impossible to predict on a week-to-week basis. This sets up as a tremendous “sell high” opportunity.
Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF)
The sophomore wideout totaled two receptions for 32 yards in Week 5, both of which were his second-highest marks of the season. Aiyuk’s snaps have been trending in the right direction recently, but the targets haven’t followed. It’ll be difficult to roster him through bye week crunches unless something changes in a hurry.
Justin Fields (QB – CHI)
The rookie was finally named the starter moving forward entering Week 5, but the fantasy points haven’t followed like we expected them to. Over his three starts for the Bears, the rookie has totaled just 25 rushing yards. For comparison, over his past three starts for the Bucs, Tom Brady has totaled 30 rushing yards. Fields’ passing game isn’t developed enough for him to be a fantasy option without the rushing production. He’s a QB2 until something changes.
Player to Hold
Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT)
It was a weird game for Johnson, who saw just two targets but turned them into 72 yards and a touchdown. The long score saved his fantasy day, but it was an atypical game for him in terms of usage. The 25-year-old had seen 10+ targets in all three of his games entering Week 5, so fantasy managers should be willing to look past this one. Pittsburgh draws Seattle on Sunday Night Football in Week 6.
T.J. Hockenson (TE – DET)
Hockenson has disappointed in the box score in each of the past three games, but his number of routes run remains elite. He’s more volume-dependent than fantasy managers would like, and he hasn’t officially broken out into a top-three option at the position, but it’s tough to complain overall. He remains a locked-in top-six option among tight ends.
Chase Claypool (WR – PIT)
It’s tough to invest in the Pittsburgh passing attack with the way Ben Roethlisberger is playing right now, but Claypool’s talent has been undeniable ever since he broke out as a rookie in 2020. The 23-year-old freak totaled 130 yards and a touchdown on five receptions versus Denver in Week 5. Since Week 1, he has had over a 22.5% target share in all three games that he has played. Roethlisberger’s play is concerning enough to keep Claypool from being a “buy” entering Week 6.
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