By Craig Rondinone (@CraigRondinone)
It is time for fantasy football owners to channel their inner Gordon Gecko by buying low and selling high!
The opening week of the NFL season was filled with breakout performances by rookie running backs (Dalvin Cook, Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fourcette) and sluggish starts for veteran quarterbacks (Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Andy Dalton). Now is when fantasy owners have to decide which players to trade for now that their values are at low points and which players to trade away now that their values are at high points. When you can master this art it helps round out your roster and increases your chances of winning your fantasy league.
Without further ado, here are the buy-low and sell-high candidates for Week 2 of the 2017 NFL season.
[sc name=”Google Inline Ad”]
Fantasy Football Buy-Low Candidates
Kirk Cousins (QB, WAS)
Sound the alarms! All of the fantasy experts and owners who have always questioned how good Cousins is and how many millions he is really worth are coming out of the woodwork after his mediocre opening-week outing against Philadelphia. The truth is that a bad game from Rob Kelley and the running attack, a porous offensive line and a banged-up Jamison Crowder had just as much to do with Cousins only completing 23-of-40 passes for 240 yards than Cousins himself did. Everyone is allowed to have a subpar game, and Cousins was not as bad as Andy Dalton, Blane Bortles, or Joe Flacco were during the opening week. Look for Cousins to bounce and connect with Crowder, Jordan Reed and Terrelle Pryor a lot from here on out.
Todd Gurley (RB, LAR)
Pessimistic fantasy owners would look at Gurley’s Week 1 effort and focus on his 19 carries for a paltry 40 yards and get discouraged, thinking that defenses will be bottling him up again as they stack the line for the second season in a row. Optimistic fantasy owners would focus on how he scored a touchdown, all the touches he had and that he caught five passes for 56 yards. I am also excited that second-year QB Jared Goff, rookie receiver Cooper Kupp and newly-acquired Sammy Watkins played well enough that defenses might not stack the box against Gurley as much in the coming weeks. Make lowball offers for Gurley now and see if the owner who has him in your league bites.
Eric Ebron (TE, DET)
Ebron was stuffed during the opening week (two receptions for nine yards). Take into consideration, though, that the Arizona Cardinals were the best defense in shutting down tight ends last season, something I noted when mentioned in my under-the-radar booms and busts column last week. Ebron has improved in each of his first three NFL campaigns and at age 24 is primed to have the best year of his career. Feel free to try and acquire Ebron for cheap if a fellow fantasy owner is already thinking about cutting ties with him after his nine-yard week.
Fantasy Football Sell-High Candidates
Tyreek Hill (WR, KC)
I know Hill sliced and diced the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots secondary as if he was Bobby Flay cutting up romaine lettuce for a Caesar salad. His 133 receiving yards and touchdown grab cannot be ignored, nor can the fact he is Kansas City’s No. 1 receiver and should get the bulk of the targets not sent tight end Travis Kelce‘s way. But because of his smallish stature (5-10, 185), it is not yet known whether his body can take the pounding of being a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. Fantasy owners also know that KC QB Alex Smith is infamous for lowering the fantasy value of the wide receivers he throws to. You cannot fault fantasy owners who want to hold onto Hill and see if he’s going to rack up 1,400 yards and a dozen scores because of his freakish-fast foot speed, but you also cannot fault those who are considering trading him now while his stock is sky high.
Sam Bradford (QB, MIN)
Bradford looked like the second-coming of Fran Tarkenton on Monday night, decimating New Orleans’ hapless defense for 346 passing yards and three touchdown tosses. With rookie runner Dalvin Cook keeping defenses honest and with an underrated receiving corps of Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and tight end Kyle Rudolph to throw to, all signs point towards Bradford having another solid season in Minnesota. Fantasy owners know he is brittle (missed 34 games in seven seasons) and has never thrown for 4,000 yards or 22 touchdowns in any season, though. His late-season schedule is brutal, too, as Minnesota plays six of its last nine games on the road, including games at Atlanta, Green Bay, Detroit and Carolina. Bradford has nowhere to be go but down after his awesome opening effort.
Terrance West (RB, BAL)
West barreled for 80 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries in Baltimore’s Week 1 win against division rival Cincinnati. This coupled with the fact that third-down pass catcher Danny Woodhead injured his hamstring and could miss significant time would normally make West owners think he could have a great season. The problem is Buck Allen played more snaps and had more carries than West did, however, and this on-going West-Allen flip-flopping that has been going on since last season does not seem like it will be ending anytime soon. West could be the more productive runner this week, but a couple unproductive carries could lead to Allen getting more touches the following week. I trust West as much as I trust most politicians (not at all), so trading him after his first game has to be given serious thought.
[sc name=”Google Matched Content Ad”]