In this weekly article, I will highlight those players who have emerged as Buy Low or Sell High candidates during the previous week(s).
Week 1 is one of the best times to capitalize on a poor showing from a stud player. Fantasy gamers have been waiting all year long for the return of football so they can watch the guys they’ve drafted begin to hoover up points. Because the first week is built up so much, the disappointment from a dud is magnified and multiplied. Going 0-1 is one of the worst feelings in fantasy, and it’s even worse when a guy you have the utmost confidence in lets you down.
These guys were drafted in the mid-rounds so owners will not be as attached to them as they are to their early round selections.
Week 1: 5 targets, one reception, 11 yards. PPR: 2.1 points
Hogan was the recipient of a lot of off-season hype as the supposed best receiving option in New England outside of Gronk. Enough so to see him drafted in the 4th/5th rounds towards the end of the draft season.
This was a down game for Hogan. Hogan averaged 6.5 targets and 3.7 receptions per game in 2017 with Brandin Cooks on the team so should see a solid workload this season. The Patriots change their game plan drastically from week to week and this week just wasn’t a Hogan week. Hogan still was targeted five times with an average depth of target of 13.1 yards, with one target in the red zone. On another day he could have ended up with a decent score.
Week 1: 5 carries, 17 yards; 3 targets, three receptions, 20 yards. PPR: 6.7 points
The Lions were blown away by the Jets, but Kerryon looked impressive as he led the team in carries by a narrow margin, with five carries to Riddick and Blount’s four. He also caught all three of his targets. Running the ball was not a priority for the Lions this week, they are unlikely to see a game script like this again any time soon. Johnson’s three targets were a good indicator that he will also be involved in the passing game. The Lions have a chance to bounce back against the 49ers next week, and if you can pick up the guy who Detroit beat writers are calling the best back since Barry Sanders, do it.
Week 1: 4 targets, three receptions, 32 yards. PPR: 6.2
With the Redskins in complete control this past week vs. Arizona, Alex Smith was not forced to pass the ball a lot, completing just 21 passes. Smith passes the ball short exceptionally well, and Jamison Crowder thrives in the zone in which Smith likes to throw. Crowder saw four targets this past week. This is down from last year in which he averaged seven targets per game. The Redskins play the Colts, Packers, and Saints in the next three weeks so expect them to be passing a lot more in the coming weeks, and specifically passing to Crowder, who I see being a safe WR2 in PPR going forward.
There were also a lot of dud from the top 3 rounds of fantasy drafts this year;
Travis Kelce, Alex Collins, Kareem Hunt, Jordan Howard, Dalvin Cook & Amari Cooper all scored less than 5 points. While it may take more than one week of poor production for their owners to panic but reach out, the Week 1 tilt is real!
Here we are looking for guys outperforming their volume, opportunity or general ability.
Week 1: 10 carries, 102 yards, 2 Touchdowns, 0 Targets. PPR: 22.2 points
Crowell trailed Bilal Powell in carries this week with ten carries to Powell’s 12. Crowell did not feature in the passing game either while Powell was targeted twice. Crowell’s stats were padded in this game by a 62 yard TD run against an already deflated Lions defense. You cannot expect a play like that every week. Take away that play, and you are left with a decent, but not spectacular nine runs for 40 yards and a touchdown.
The best thing about a player of yours smashing it on Monday Night Football is that the world is watching, the majority of your league mates saw Crowell running like a world beater. This should help you be able to flip Crowell for much more than he is worth, this could well be the most valuable he is all season long.
Week 1: 5 targets, four receptions, 106 yards, 2 Touchdowns. PPR: 26.6 points
Another hyper-efficient stat-line padded by a humongous play. If you take away Stills’ 4th quarter 75 yard TD, he is left with three catches for 21 yards and a TD, which again is passable but not a league winner. Stills has been talked up by almost every fantasy analyst I’ve seen this off-season. Following that up with this performance should ensure that his stock is at an all-time high.
The fact that Stills saw only five targets with Devante Parker out of the lineup, and trailed both Danny Amendola and Jakeem Grant, does not bode too well for his usage going forward. Miami travel to the Jets this upcoming week, who made a mockery of the Detroit Lions, Stills could see his perceived value slip away as early as this week. Stills finished as the WR5 week 1 and as such will be high on a lot of people’s lists of targets, start offering him around to the owners of players from our “Buy” section above.
Who are you selling and buying after week 1? Let me know in the comments below. You can also find me on @DFF_MSte.