Fantasy Football Buy/Sell/Hold Picks: Week 8 (2021)
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
Darrell Henderson (RB – LAR)
This was supposed to be Henderson’s smash week. Unfortunately, the lowly Lions wound up playing inspired football and kept things close enough to the point where the Rams weren’t in clock-killing mode for the entire second half (as many of us anticipated). Week 7 was Henderson’s first performance where he failed to finish as a top-20 PPR back. Better days are ahead and the utilization remains elite.
Patrick Mahomes (QB – KC)
The Chiefs have real issues right now. Tyreek Hill is battling a quad injury, 32-year-old Travis Kelce is being targeted on shallower routes more frequently than ever before, and the offense never found a reliable third receiver to turn to. Still, Mahomes is just too talented to struggle for too long. It’s unlikely that the Mahomes manager in your league is looking to sell now, but if anyone is panicking we should try and take advantage. Mahomes scored fewer than 10 fantasy points for just the second time in his career on Sunday. The first time was due to injury.
Kyle Pitts (TE – ATL)
It was another big game for Pitts in Week 7. The rookie tight end hauled in 7-of-8 targets for 163 yards against Miami. Over his last two games, Pitts has run a route on 71 of 91 Matt Ryan dropbacks. Of the 96 snaps he has played, 76 of them have come out wide or in the slot. This is fantastic usage for a player who is now living up to the preseason hype. The 21-year-old is now averaging more PPR points per game than Darren Waller.
Tyler Higbee (TE – LAR)
Over the Rams’ past two games, Higbee has played 100% of the offensive snaps while running a route on 92% of Matthew Stafford‘s dropbacks. He has an 18.6% target share during this time and is someone to target moving forward.
Jaylen Waddle (WR – MIA)
It was another strong performance for Waddle in Week 7, as he hauled in 7-of-8 targets for 83 yards against the Falcons. The rookie now ranks 11th in all of football in wide receiver targets. Part of that is due to Miami not yet having a bye week, but the overall usage is notable. His value is trending up entering a Week 8 showdown with the Bills.
Dallas Goedert (TE – PHI)
Week 7 was Goedert’s first game of the year without Zach Ertz. He wound up totaling season-highs in snaps (93%) and target share (14.7%). This is an excellent sign moving forward.
Michael Carter (RB – NYJ)
The rookie benefitted from Tevin Coleman (ankle) not playing in Week 7, but he wound up notching season-highs in routes run, snaps, targets, and catches. Carter’s role is that of a usable fantasy running back. The only issue is the lackluster Jets offense. With RBs difficult to come by, however, his value is on the rise regardless.
Players to Sell
Antonio Gibson (RB – WAS)
Gibson made it through another week healthy, which gives fantasy managers another opportunity to “sell low.” Gibson’s shin issue is concerning enough, but even if he was healthy the role isn’t what we were hoping for before the season. Gibson had a 23.8% target share in Week 1. Since then, it hasn’t been above 8.7%. As of now, he’s an early-down grinder on a bad offense, which doesn’t move the needle for fantasy purposes.
Tee Higgins (WR – CIN)
Perhaps we shouldn’t overreact to one game, but it was frustrating to see Higgins finally receive a lot of targets (15) and turn them into such a low number of yards (62). He caught seven of those targets and didn’t find the end zone while Ja’Marr Chase once again dominated the headlines. Higgins will benefit if the Bengals continue increasing their neutral pass rate, but his ADOT isn’t in the range we want it to be for elite fantasy success. A sophomore breakout continues to look unlikely.
Tyler Boyd (WR – CIN)
In five games with Tee Higgins, Boyd has seen a combined 28 targets. Ja’Marr Chase has seen 37 and Higgins has seen 53. Boyd is the odd man out when all three receivers are healthy. He isn’t a difference-maker in fantasy football.
Player to Hold
Calvin Ridley (WR – ATL)
This was supposed to be the “get right” game for Ridley, but he wound up catching just 4-of-10 passes for 26 yards and a touchdown. The score helped salvage his fantasy performance, but it was frustrating to watch Matt Ryan be able to connect more frequently with Kyle Pitts. Ridley has seen double-digit targets in 4-of-5 games this year, and his target share has been above 20% in each of them. Hold tight for now.
A.J. Brown (WR – TEN)
Positive regression finally hit for AJB on Sunday as he hauled in 8-of-9 targets for 133 yards and a touchdown while finally connecting on multiple deep balls with Ryan Tannehill. Brown’s target share over the past three weeks are 28.6%, 36.0%, and 33.3%. He remains a low-end WR1 moving forward. Don’t sell high.
Jalen Hurts (QB – PHI)
Hurts was once again shaky as a passer in Week 7, but he still wound up finishing as a top-12 quarterback for the seventh straight game. The sophomore signal-caller has scored at least 20.5 standard fantasy points in every game this season. No other QB has hit 17 or more points in every contest.
A.J. Dillon (RB – GB)
Dillon saw just 25% of Green Bay’s rushing opportunities in Week 7, which is his lowest mark since Week 3. His three carries were also his lowest total of the season. Just as fantasy managers began to buy into Dillon as someone who possessed standalone value, this happened. It’s important to note that the majority of his work in recent weeks came with the Packers trying to protect big leads. It’s unlikely that Dillon will ever truly have standalone value as long as Aaron Jones is healthy. However, he’s arguably the top handcuff in all of fantasy football, which makes him a firm hold.
Khalil Herbert (RB – CHI)
In Week 7 against the Bucs, Herbert became just the third running back to rush for 100 yards against Tampa Bay since the end of the 2018 season. It was a spirited performance that likely earned him more playing time once David Montgomery returns. Herbert once appeared to have a short-lived fantasy shelf-life, but don’t go dropping him just yet.
Robby Anderson (WR – CAR)
Anderson has seen 20 targets over his past two games but has turned them into just 25 receiving yards. It’s an alarming degree of inefficiency, but history suggests that things will soon turn around if the volume holds strong. He isn’t a player to get overly excited about, but he also shouldn’t be on waivers in deeper formats.
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