Good-bye Week 9, hello Week 10. Let’s look inside the potentially lucrative world of buying and selling fantasy football players and, as Larry the Cable Guy would say: “Git ‘Er Done.”
Marshawn Lynch RB (Oakland Raiders) – Lynch found the end zone twice during a nice Sunday night performance versus the Kansas City Chiefs. He tacked on 57 yards on 14 carries. The fact is Lynch scored versus one of the worst rush defenses in the NFL. One score came after a pass interference call in the end zone that landed the Raiders on the 5-yard line. There are still Marshawn fans that will take this guy for nice flex player in return. Lynch still has a bottom 20 schedule remaining and unless the Raiders see more goal-to-go opportunities, Lynch is nothing more than a bye-week fill in. Look to sell Lynch for an upgrade at the flex position.
Marvin Jones Jr. WR (Detroit Lions) – I was 50/50 on this one, but I ultimately decided to put Jones in the sell-high group. Jones has looked great the past 3 games, but I just don’t see this keeping up. Stafford and the Lions love to throw the ball, and Jones, Tate and Riddick are all great options. I don’t believe Jones is going to fall off the fantasy map, but I think his WR1 numbers will come back down to earth. Right now, there are teams desperate for a WR and, most likely, teams have been using Jones as a flex/WR2. Now is the time to sell for a package of an RB2 and flex.
A.J. Green WR (Cincinnati Bengals) – Green has underperformed since Week 5 and I don’t see much changing. We saw his frustration get the best of him last week, getting into an altercation with Jalen Ramsey, which ended up in the ejection of both players. This Bengals offense is a mess. With matchups versus Denver, Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Chicago, all top ten pass defenses in the next coming weeks, I don’t see Green excelling as a WR1. Regardless, there are fantasy owners who spend a lot go get Green based on his name. If you look closely, Green has only had two big games at the expense of Green Bay and Buffalo, two of the lesser pass defenses in the NFL. Trade him now before his slumping continues.
Adrian Peterson RB (Arizona Cardinals) – I am not fond of putting the same player on the list twice, but after Peterson put up 157 yards on 37 carries there are going to be people looking to trade for Peterson. Just so everyone is aware, Peterson’s two big games have come against two of the absolute worst run defenses in the NFL. Peterson still must go up against teams like Seattle, Houston, Tennessee and Jacksonville. The Cardinals are going to be playing catchup versus most of these teams and it is less likely we will be seeing Peterson bust out 20+ carries again. Expect to see 12-15 carries per game, making Peterson nothing more than a bye week fill in. Sell Peterson based off his two big performances over the past three weeks.
Demaryius Thomas WR (Denver Broncos) – Nothing about this 3-5 Denver offense inspires me. I was riding high on C.J. Anderson after I assumed Denver would utilize him more, which didn’t happen. With the terrible play of Osweiller and Siemian I would completely avoid any Denver WR. Thomas did have a decent week versus Philadelphia, posting a stat line of 8-70-1. Unfortunately, I think Thomas is a TD or bust WR moving forward. With only two double-digit fantasy games in standard scoring, Thomas is a player you should look to sell high now while teams look at his performance from last week as a “promising” sign.
Michael Thomas (New Orleans Saints) – Thomas hasn’t had the year most fantasy owners were hoping for, as he’s had to compete with two great pass-catching backs in Ingram and Kamara. With a healthy Snead and an emerging Ted Ginn Jr. also playing a factor, Thomas is going to struggle to put up WR1 numbers. His obvious regression of 9 TDs from a season ago shouldn’t be a surprise. However, Thomas still sees majority of the targets from a future Hall of Fame gunslinger (Brees). I expect Thomas, who has a playoff schedule vs ATL Week 14/16 and Jets Week 15, to see a lot of action in those weeks. Now is the time to buy Thomas, as his value as a WR1 has taken a hit. Thomas isn’t going to get you WR1 numbers, but he will be a reliable WR2, especially in PPR, going forward. Try to steal Thomas from an opposing GM for next to nothing. I predict Thomas will see an uptick in TDs to end the season.
Doug Martin RB (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – I know this seems like a crazy idea to buy into a RB who just lost his starting QB, was benched, and had more carries than yards last week. But Martin is a prime buy-low candidate. Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t a rookie like Hundley or Beathart with no arm or experience. While this isn’t Winston, Fitzpatrick is a more than capable QB. He is only two years out from leading a less than talented Jets team to a 10-6 record with 31 TDs. The idea of defenses stacking the box versus Martin isn’t realistic. With Mike Evans, Desean Jackson and Cameron Brate on the field, teams will not be able to stack 8 against Martin. He still has RB2 upside, especially with the usage he will see. Offer up a WR like Landry (while he’s still scoring TDs) for Martin to strengthen your fantasy backfield.
Orleans Darkwa RB (New York Giants) – The best part about Darkwa is he won’t cost a lot. Darkwa is nothing more than a reliable flex. But, there is serious RB2 upside here. While the Giants are falling apart, Darkwa has been a bright spot in their offense. Darkwa has averaged close to 5 YPC and has also touched the ball whether running or receiving at least 11 times or more per game over the past three weeks. He’s also averaging 74 YPG in those 3 weeks. Another plus is that Darkwa has a nice schedule ahead of him, with one of the 7 best schedules remaining for RB’s. He does see two tough matchups in Week 15 and 16, but try and get Darkwa for cheap and let him take you into the fantasy playoffs.
Jared Cook TE (Oakland Raiders) – I feel as though Cook may not be easily traded for, as he is a top 5-7 TE right now. But there are people who have Cook as a backup or who don’t value TE’s in general. Cook is the real deal. He has the best schedule of any TE the rest of the season. With Carr looking much better since his return from injury and teams focusing on Cooper and Crabtree, Cook is being peppered with targets. His past 3 games he has 6, 4, and 8 receptions, with 2 100+ yard games. Cook may not be bought “low,” but unless you’re trading for Gronk, Kelce, or Ertz, no TE will cost you an arm and a leg. Cook is a great TE1 to own but also falls nicely into the flex spot for those of you who can play TE as your flex. Moving forward Cooks should be a Tier 2 TE right behind the three players listed above. Buy Cook and place him in that TE spot or flex, especially with the bye weeks still upon us.
Mike Evans WR (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Okay, no one in their right mind is going to just sell you Evans for nothing. But his value is at the lowest it will ever be at. Evans just lost his best friend Jameis Winston and it will decidedly hurt his production. But Evans is nonetheless a WR1 moving forward. His 1 game suspension, accompanied by the thought of Fitzpatrick throwing him the ball, may scare owners away. Fitzpatrick stepped in Week 6 versus Arizona and proceeded to throw for 290 yards and 3 TDs. Evans finished with 95 yards and a TD. Fitzpatrick is an intelligent QB who knows where his bread is buttered. Look for Evans to lead the team in targets, yards, and TDs when he’s on the field, even with Fitz at the helm.