In fantasy football, a lot of things can go wrong and a lot of things can go right for an owner. There’s not much worse of a situation to be in than losing one of your best players due to an injury, but having a player underperform his draft position might just take the cake. On the other hand, drafting a player that’s plays exceeding well and over performs for the first few weeks is great for an owner.
It’s a tough decision whether or not to trade that player while his stock is high or believe in him for the long haul, but it is a good spot to be in overall. In this article, we’ll look at a few players on each side of the spectrum and discuss if you should take a risk and buy low on them or sell them high while they are still contributing at a level no one has seen them at before.
When Devonta Freeman was injured during Week 1 of the NFL season, every fantasy football owner knew that it was Tevin Coleman’s time to shine. It seems that every year Coleman is found on lists of fantasy football sleepers or breakout candidates, but every year the Atlanta Falcons run their offense using a two-headed monster of Freeman and Coleman. Since Freeman is a better option catching the ball out of the backfield, he seems to always rack up more fantasy points.
Since Freeman was injured, Coleman has seen his rushing attempts per game rise from 9 in Week 1 to 16 carries in Week 2 and 15 carries this past Sunday. Racking up a total of 140 rushing yards to go along with 6 catches for 32 yards and a touchdown in the past two weeks, Coleman is averaging 15.1 PPR fantasy points per week, compared to when he only scored 11.5 fantasy points in Week 1.
As Freeman nears his return, there is no reason to believe Coleman won’t see his carries and targets take a hit. Freeman will see his fair share of work out of the backfield and when he does, Coleman will return to his regularity of being a FLEX position starter or valuable handcuff RB in fantasy. That is why you should sell high now and target an RB2 that will remain a starter for the rest of the season.
DeSean Jackson has always been known by fantasy football owners to be a streaky player. What I mean by this is that one week Jackson will see two targets and catch a ball for 1o yards. Another week, Jackson will see six targets, catching four passes for a total of 120 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is the speedy guy on the outside for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that can burn teams deep. Some games that works and other games the secondary steps up and stops that from happening.
In the first three weeks of the season, Jackson has gotten his way. After having back to back performances to 100+ receiving yards and at least one touchdown, Jackson came back down to earth, catching only three passes for a total of 37 yards in Week 3. Although his most recent performance didn’t live up to the hype, Jackson is still averaging over 21 PPR fantasy points per game. It is a good idea to trade him while that number remains as high as it is. Target a player that can regularly start in your FLEX position rather than a streaky player like Jackson where you won’t know what to expect from him each week.
This is a unique situation. Gordon was recently traded from the Cleveland Browns to the New England Patriots. After that, the hype that surrounded him seemed to intensify. Understandably, Gordon was inactive on Sunday night for the Patriots as he was still relatively new to the organization. Playing with arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the league, many fantasy owners think that his breakout year is coming, again. However, keep in mind that his first breakout season happened five years ago. That is forever when it comes to the NFL.
Also, when a player joins a new team in the middle of the season, it is hard to contribute right away. There are things like chemistry and getting to know the playbook that takes time. Because of that, owners of Josh Gordon should sell high. Trading him while the hype is still high could net you a solid WR2, something we cannot be sure Gordon will be for the rest of the season. Take the consistent player and pass on the riskiness that comes with owning Gordon.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a player no one expected to be noteworthy in fantasy football. Owners knew he would start the first 3 games of the season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but expected Jameis Winston to take over the starting job after his suspension ended and he returned for Week 4. However, Fitzpatrick has been performing at a level that has seen him be started in many fantasy football leagues. He is averaging 35.8 fantasy points per game among the top scoring quarterbacks in the whole league.
After a dominating start to the season where he put up back to back performances of 400+ passing yards and at least four touchdowns, Fitzpatrick came out on Monday night and didn’t disappoint once again. He passed for over 400 yards again to go along with 3 touchdowns. He posted another 25+ fantasy point performance. Fitzpatrick’s hot start is bound to cool down at some point, most likely sooner rather than later.
Fantasy owners are looking at one of the best high sells of the season. Fitzpatrick is currently a backup quarterback for most fantasy teams, meaning trading him for a consistent FLEX position player is a good move. It’d be even better if you trade him to a quarterback-needy team where a player like Fitzpatrick could net you an RB2 or WR2. Take advantage of that opportunity while you still can.
After suffering a right knee bruise in the season opener at the Philadelphia Eagles, Freeman’s fantasy owners sighed as they moved him from starting running back to a spot on their bench. They knew they would be missing a consistent producer on their team. After missing both Week 2 as well as Week 3, Freeman has begun to fly under the radar. Tevin Coleman has performed well for the Atlanta Falcons in Freeman’s absence, leaving many fantasy owners wondering how Freeman will do once he returns.
Freeman is close to returning, which shows that his injury was not nearly as bad as it could’ve been. Once he is healthy and back in action, he will be the starting running back for the Falcons once again, barring any unexpected surprise. Many fantasy owners hate dealing with injured players, meaning this is a perfect opportunity to buy low on Devonta Freeman. Although he might not see your starting lineups for a week or two, giving up a package of a WR3 and an RB3 would not be a bad option to pursue. Go get Freeman while you can still get him for a relatively cheap price tag.
Among a talented core group of wide receivers on the Detroit Lions, Kenny Golladay has shined for the team. Outscoring both Marvin Jones Jr. and Golden Tate through three weeks has proven that Golladay could begin his pursuit in becoming the best fantasy wide receiver on the Lions. Many fantasy owners have expected Golladay to outperform his draft position and so far, he has not disappointed. He has started the season with three straight games in which he has caught at least 6 passes and has scored over 17 PPR fantasy points in each game.
After hearing this, you may be wondering why Golladay is listed in the buy low section of this article. This is because of recognition. Almost every fantasy football owner knows the names of Tate and Jones Jr. as they have been producing for years. When it comes to the Lions, that’s who they think of first. Because of this, you may be able to still get Golladay for a reasonable price. If he continues to play the way he is currently, he will rise up the rankings and soon be seen by owners as the true starting WR2 that he can be for the rest of the season. Before his name becomes too popular, trade an older WR2 for this young player and watch him grow and succeed throughout the rest of the season.
In this instance, it is a case of opportunity. After Greg Olsen got injured in Week 1, fantasy football owners wondered where his targets would go. Look no further than Devin Funchess. The young wide receiver is now the number one option for Cam Newton when it comes to the passing game of the Carolina Panthers.
After only catching three passes for 41 yards in the season opener, Funchess performed at a higher level and hauled in 7 passes for 77 yards, resulting in 14.7 PPR fantasy points in Week 2. He even increased his point total in Week 3, catching 4 passes for 67 yards and scoring a touchdown, which netted his fantasy owners 16.7 PPR fantasy points.
Expect the usage he saw in Week 2 and 3 become the norm for him. He will continue to see more targets and have more receptions and touchdowns as the weeks go on. For now, go trade for him while you still can. I would not disagree with something similar to what I proposed with Golladay. Trade an aging WR2 for Funchess and watch the young player go out and perform for your team.
After missing most of the 2016 NFL season with the Minnesota Vikings due to injury, Cook was a player many fantasy owners either loved or hated coming into this season. They thought he would breakout or he would be a disappointment as the season coming off an injury could easily turn out to be. Through the first three weeks of the season, Cook has performed right in the middle of those two sides.
He averaged 12.8 PPR fantasy points through the first two weeks of the season, showing he could produce rushing out of the backfield as well as catching a few passes each game. After a hamstring injury declared him out for Week 3, it is reasonable that some fantasy owners thought they were experiencing déjà vu. Another injury for Cook. However, Cook looks to be ready to return in Week 4. There should be no worries there. As the weeks go on, the Vikings will begin to increase Cook’s workload as he becomes more and more a part of their offense. For now, look to the fantasy owner that expected more out of him and offer to trade him an RB2 that is exceeding expectations. In that case, you could grab Cook for a price many wouldn’t have thought you’d have been able to before the season started.
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