Sell High, Buy Low: Week 3

With three weeks of the 2016 NFL season now in the books, I want to look at the best “buy high, sell low” options pertaining directly to players’ fantasy football production early in the season. It takes some players some time to get going, while others come out hot early in the season based on match ups and other factors that may cloud your expectations for player’s 16-game production. With that said, let’s look at some players you should try to sell while their production is high, and some you should try trading low for while their production is low.

*All based off of ESPN standard scoring statistics*

Sell High

DeAngelo Williams

Williams is the obvious selection here – I could have wrote this in before the season even started. The interim Pittsburgh bell cow is fourth among running backs in fantasy scoring (50 points), but his production is sure to take a hit with Le’Veon Bell returning from suspension in week 4. Williams has the fifth most carries in the league (66); that’s sure to drop with Bell in the lineup. With Bell returning, Williams’ stock may not be as high as you want. But it likely will be higher than it will be later in the season.

Melvin Gordon

Gordon has had a nice sophomore season, but his production is likely to take a hit when his touchdown splurge slows down. Gordon is 7th among RBs in fantasy scoring, but his league-leading 4 touchdowns is a major reason why. He’s the only running back with 50 or more carries but less than 200 yards rushing. His 47 fantasy points are great right now, but this may be the best three-game streak you’ll get from him all season long. Trade him while his value is high, if he doesn’t continue to find the end zone it’s going to drop real quick.

*LeGarrette Blount*

This is a tough one, especially as a Blount owner. I’m loving his production right now, and it’s tough to consider giving him away. Blount leads the league in carries (75) and is second among RBs in fantasy scoring (51), and his four touchdowns are no fluke; the guy is a beast in the red zone. But with Tom Brady returning in week 5 and Bill Belichick’s coaching patterns, how much can we expect out of Blount on a weekly basis when the legendary quarterback returns? I would hold on to Blount beyond week 4 to see how the Patriots use him with Brady back, but if you can get a really good return, I would consider selling Blount while he looks like a top-three back in all of football.

Mike Wallace

Wallace has been a pleasant surprise to those who took a flyer in fantasy drafts, but his fantasy production is sure to take a drop on a weekly basis. Wallace is 9th among wide receivers in scoring, but his receptions (10) and yardage (166) are remarkably lower than the average of those receivers in the top 20 of scoring. In fact, the average receptions of receivers in the top 20 of fantasy scoring is 17, and the average receiving yards is 254 (!!!). Furthermore, Wallace has the least amount of targets (17) of receivers ranked in the top 33 of scoring (excluding Willie Snead’s 16 targets, who missed the Saints’ last game). Wallace has made nice players this year, and he’s been a better fit in Baltimore than fans could have hoped for. But his early-season fantasy production is almost impossible to sustain on a weekly basis considering his usage/presumed role moving forward in the Ravens’ offense.

Buy Low

Ezekiel Elliott

You won’t be able to purchase Zeke for a cheap price, but the point of this section is to find the best players at their lowest value. Zeke’s value is certainly lower now than it was entering the season, and he’s worth the hefty price you may have to pay to get him. Zeke is ranked 13th in scoring among running backs, but he has the third most carries in the league (71). He’s gotten off to a slow start, but his two touchdowns bailed him out in weeks 1 and 2. I expect him to progressively improve as the season unfolds, and now is the chance to trade for him while his price is slightly lower than it was entering the season.

Lamar Miller

Miller has certainly failed to live up to his immense expectations, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s played poorly. Despite being second in rushing attempts (74) and fourth in yards (269), Miller is a disappointing 19th among running backs in fantasy scoring (30 points). Considering his expectations, the Texans’ feature back poses some attractive fantasy value. The fact of the matter is that Miller has yet to have a big breakout game, and he hasn’t found the end zone once despite being targeted 10 times through the air as well. The touchdowns will come, and so will the big games. Try to snag Miller while his value is down.

Odell Beckham

This is the most obviously attractive “buy low” target, and the most surprising too. Beckham has gotten off to a “slow” start while rookie Sterling Shepard has been making a ton of big plays. Beckham is 30th among receivers in fantasy scoring, but you’re crazy if you don’t think that will turn around sooner rather than later; Beckham hasn’t scored through three weeks, but the Giants offense hasn’t lived up to their expectations themselves. I think the Giants will get it together, and Beckham’s scoring splurge is certain to come. Try to trade for him while his value is as low as it may ever be.

Amari Cooper

Cooper is 28th in scoring among receivers, and like Beckham, his scoreless three weeks is the major cause. Cooper is still in an explosive offense, and he’s seen 29 targets through three games (14th among receivers). He’s still put up good numbers, and once the touchdowns come, he will be the highly coveted receiver fantasy owners expected him to be when drafting him in August. Try to trade for him while his value is low, he’s bound to explode in an offense that loves to pass to him.

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