The blueprint to building a league-winning fantasy football roster is much like building a successful stock portfolio; the key is to accumulate as many high performing commodities as possible while minimizing your risk. You want to sell a stock when you believe its value has peaked and buy while the price is still at a value. The results from Week 2 of the NFL football season offer a great opportunity for the savvy fantasy footballer to do just that. Social media and fantasy pundits will tend to elevate any player who had a good week to elite status, while other players whose arrows are pointing up may go somewhat unnoticed. Take the advice of Gordon Gekko (“Greed is good!”) and go build a championship portfolio.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns
[Full Disclosure: I’ve been a diehard fan of the Cleveland Browns since birth.] The NFL schedule makers did no favors to Isaiah Crowell opening up his 2017 campaign against the stout run defenses of the Steelers and Ravens. The results have been unimpressive. He’s rushed 27 times for 70 yards while catching both of his targets for 33 yards. Worse yet, Crowell has only been on the field for 61% of the snaps as the Browns turn to pass-catching specialist Duke Johnson when trailing (which is often because it’s the Browns). This trend should not continue as head coach Hue Jackson knows his team needs to run the ball to be successful. Moving forward, Crowell and the Browns will face the Colts (21st), Bengals (8th), and Jets (2nd) whom have all been generous in allowing fantasy points to opposing running backs. You want Isaiah Crowell on your fantasy team the next three weeks when he finally starts to run wild behind a much improved offensive line. The Crowell owner in your league is panicking after getting such little production for a late 2nd/early 3rd round investment. Send over high name recognition back who had a productive week (but whose own prospects are dim) like Lamar Miller or Mark Ingram and let the Crow fly!
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Calling the Cincinnati Bengals offense, and overall organization, a dumpster fire to start the season might seem too generous to the fans in southern Ohio who paid money to attend those first two games. However, amidst all the chaos and general suck on the offensive side of the ball, A. J. Green has managed double digit PPR fantasy points (12, 11) over the first few weeks of the season. Newly appointed offensive coordinator, Bill Lazor, will look to feature the Bengals playmakers on offense and A.J. Green is without a doubt the Bengals best offensive weapon. While 11.5 points is a decent floor for fantasy points, it seems much less valuable if you spent a first round pick on Green. Use those weighted expectations and the Bengals’ player coup to your advantage. Offer a RB needy owner (isn’t everyone) a high-end RB2 like Carlos Hyde/Mike Gillislee and a WR2 who had a high performing Week 2 such as Emmanuel Sanders/Michael Crabtree. A. J. Green has averaged 18 PPR fantasy points per game over his previous five seasons and you want that top-end, consistent production on your team at a discount.
Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers
It’s been a whirlwind couple of months for Carlos Hyde. From rumors of being cut due to poor fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense to rushing for 124 yards against the vaunted Legion of Boom in Week 2. Hyde has not only produced strong outings for his fantasy owners (13 & 19 PPR points), but any fear of him not being a “Shanahan guy” have been squashed as Hyde has been on the field for 80% of the snaps over the first two games. So, why would you sell a talented RB who is getting a high volume of work? Simple, the chance of Hyde staying on the field for 16 games is minimal. Hyde has a collection of nine different injuries over his three year career causing a loss of 14 games. Worse yet, the toll these injuries have taken on his body (especially a torn MCL last December) increase the likelihood of him missing time this season. Could Hyde play 13-16 games and produce borderline RB1 numbers? Sure, but I’d rather have another owner take on the burden of Hyde’s checkered injury past. Target an owner who is weak at the RB position and has a high-end WR1 (A. J. Green, Michael Thomas) who has underperformed their draft position the first two weeks and offer a package of Hyde and Michael Crabtree or Emmanuel Sanders. Hyde’s chances of getting injured only increases with each passing week.
Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders
Don’t look now, but Michael Crabtree is the first ranked WR in PPR scoring following his three touchdowns, 32 PPR point explosion against the New York Jets on Sunday. Crabtree is the WR2 you want on your fantasy squad. He’s capable of a week-winning, elite performance (high ceiling) but a steady source of double-digit points most weeks (high floor). So, why is he on the sell list? It’s quite simple, his value is currently at its peak and I’m using him to purchase an underperforming stud. The recent bias of Crabtree’s monster performance on Sunday, as well as the underperforming top-flight WRs mentioned above, will drastically help in putting together an offer. If the Zeke or Le’Veon Bell owner in your league likes Crabtree and another RB2 on your team, send them an offer. It’s a long shot, but never underestimate the impatience and stupidity of your leaguemates. Don’t take this as you must trade Crabtree immediately, only sell him for the right deal!
Thanks for reading and please be sure to give me a follow and hit me up on Twitter @DFF_JoshB if you have bought or sold any of these players.