Buy Low Sell High Week 6
Borrowing an adage from the financial industry, “buy low” and “sell high” is a strategy of taking advantage of the market’s perception to overreact to downside and upside trends. Each week of the NFL fantasy season Fighting Chance Fantasy will break down the best opportunities the fantasy football market presents to improve your roster each week. This column intends to identify which players to target and which players to sell before the market catches on. Let’s take a look at which deals to explore ahead of Week 6 action.
A.J. Brown was featured on this list of Week 2 buy-low candidates mainly because a top-10 talent was too good to be held down for an entire season. Eight snaps into Week 3, Brown suffered a mild hamstring strain which left fantasy managers scrambling for replacements on the waiver wire. As we are approaching the mid-way point of the fantasy season it's a great time to take a look at those standings to see who drafted Brown back in September. Managers who are facing an uphill battle after losing three of the first five matchups might be more willing to move on than usual. It's rare in the fantasy season we get an opportunity to add a talent like Brown at a discount. When these opportunities come around they expire faster than avocados on a warm summer day.
Brown teased the fantasy community when he was surprisingly active against a poor Jacksonville defense in Week 5. Unfortunately, the Titans decided to ease Brown back into the offense in a limited capacity. With Julio Jones inactive due to injury, Jacksonville decided to shadow Brown with its best cornerback, Shaquill Griffin. The boxscore looked ugly on the surface with three catches and 38 scoreless yards. What you should take out of this game was Brown's usage in the offense in his first game back. He led the team with a 22% target share and was grounded late due to a predictable Derrick Henry smash game.
Brown's rebound game might still be a couple of weeks away with Buffalo next on Tennessee's schedule. The Bills have been great at shutting down wideouts with just two touchdowns allowed all season. Even with Jones likely back in the lineup, Brown is expected to see a ton of elite cornerback Tre'Davious White in this game. I would not wait for an additional week to bounce on this opportunity. If Brown's talent overcomes the tough matchup then he will once again be untouchable in trade offers.
The curious case of Courtland Sutton continues to befuddle even the best fantasy managers. Typically by mid-October, we should have a good idea of what kind of players we have on our rosters, but Sutton is the exception. After five weeks, Sutton is the WR28 with two top-10 finishes including last week where he gobbled up 31.4% of the target share. This was after Sutton rolled his ankle in last Friday's practice and was added to the injury report with a questionable destination. In the other three games, Sutton didn't finish above WR55.
The last 13 months have been a roller coaster for the 26-years old receiver and unfortunately, his 2021 has been much the same. Sutton's tough-luck injury history began when he missed the 2020 season-opener due to a shoulder injury. The former second-round pick worked his way back to the field only to catch three receptions before destroying his left knee. The Broncos were not sure if it was going to have Sutton active to start 2021 but after a grueling off-season, he was ready to contribute from the first game.
It's understandable to be hesitant to invest in a player with a consistent injury history as Sutton. However, we should consider Denver's offense has also been dealing with its fair share of injuries this season. Teddy Bridgewater was knocked out of a game with a concussion and Melvin Gordon has been missing practice while nursing a leg injury. Albert Okwuegbunam was ruled out early in the week and guards Dalton Risner and Graham Glasnow were battling knee and ankle ailments heading into Week 6. So is it fair to come up with any conclusion on this offense? The Broncos are expected to get Jerry Jeudy back from a high ankle sprain very soon. Denver also has found consistency in Tim Patrick while Jeudy was out of the lineup. Patrick has taken advantage of his increased snaps with five games of 12+ fantasy points. Javonte Williams' talent has flashed at times and looks primed to take over the Broncos backfield when we get to November.
If your season is taking on too much water it's time to take a swing on talented players before it's too late. Sutton at a discount is well worth the investment as he could be a player you don't take out of your lineup the rest of the season.
Sell high articles are so fun when both of your candidates were ruled out, or their situation changed late in the week. Damien Williams was featured here before being ruled out due to Covid-19, and Ricky Seals-Jones now is just keeping the seat warm for newly acquired Zach Ertz. Time to dig a little deeper and take a look at Tyler Lockett and the ailing Seattle offense.
Fantasy managers should plan on not having the dynamic duo of Lockett and Russell Wilson for the next month. With Wilson sidelined, Lockett will be facing Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and Jacksonville before a Week 9 bye.
Lockett has always been the quintessential boom-or-bust player in fantasy football. He stayed on-brand this season with 378 yards receiving and three touchdowns in the first two weeks. That was good enough for two top-10 finishes, and he was the best receiver not named Cooper Kupp in Week 2. But that all came crashing down with 112 scoreless yards in the last three games combined.
Geno Smith will replace Wilson and flashed some ability in relief last week. He led the Seahawks offense with two scoring drives to keep Seattle in the game against the Rams. However, it will be a tall task replacing one of the most consistent fantasy players in the NFL. Wilson is the only player to throw 30+ touchdowns in each of the last four seasons. Wilson has also finished top-12 in each of his nine seasons in Seattle.
The last time Wilson was injured was in 2016. He suffered two separate injuries in the first month of the season, including the season-opener where he rolled his ankle. Just three weeks later, he sprained his MCL against San Francisco. Lockett posted his worst career production-wise that season. Lockett finished with 41 catches (worst), 597 receiving yards (second worst), and one touchdown (worst).
Trading Lockett does come with some risks as his role could change in a Geno-led offense. If Lockett can be a high-volume, highly targeted receiver in this offense, it can save his value - especially in PPR leagues. Lockett could also see more opportunities in hurry-up situations with Seattle's slumping defense.
The Seahawks have allowed a league-high 450 yards per game this season. After five games, the defense has one sack and two interceptions to its credit. This unit could be nationally exposed now that people are not distracted by the wizardry of Wilson and the dynamic offense. Look for Geno to scramble and create plays for DK Metcalf rather than finding Lockett with deep, accurate throws down the field. Include Lockett in trade discussions if anyone believes he still is a WR3 with upside.