Week 1: Buy/Sell Column
Week one is officially in the books and it was a wild one. There were plenty of fantasy points scored and while some were expected, many, were not. Which players are for real? And which just had a fluke week? Will the booms come back down to Earth? Will the duds stay down in the dumps? This is the first article of the weekly buy and sell series. This series will take a look at some players we should be buying and others we should be selling.
Mike Evans – WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It was a rather quiet Thursday night for star-wide receiver Mike Evans. He ended the game with three catches for 24 yards on six targets. This was fewer targets, receptions, and yards than Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, and Leonard Fournette. He was essentially Brady’s fifth option. Not what fantasy managers want from someone they drafted as a wide receiver one or high-end wide receiver two.
This is a perfect opportunity to buy low on him. It can’t get much worse than this performance and we all know what type of numbers Evans can produce. Since being drafted in 2014, he has put up at least 1,000 yards in every season. A model of consistency with high touchdown upside, Evans will see much better days.
Ezekiel Elliott – RB, Dallas Cowboys
If there is a fantasy manager in your league panicking about Dallas Cowboys running back, Ezekiel Elliott, do yourself a favor a send out an offer. His value will never be this low again. Playing against one of the best defenses in the league, Elliott recorded 11 carries for 33 yards, while adding two catches for six yards. This is not what you want to see from a first-round pick.
However, there is a silver lining. He played on 83% of the offensive snaps. This is the usage fantasy managers love to see. It is not a question of whether the team wants him out there. It was the fact they were playing an elite run defense in a game that turned into a shootout. The Cowboys' offense will put up massive yards and points this year with Dak Prescott healthy again. With their talented pass catchers to relieve some of the pressure on the run game, Elliott will have no problem returning to form.
Melvin Gordon – RB, Denver Broncos
Melvin Gordon is coming off a monster week 1 where he scored 20.8 fantasy points in PPR leagues. This would put him as the running back six on the week. Against the New York Giants, Gordon put up 101 rushing yards and one touchdown on 11 carries, while adding three catches for 17 yards.
I’m using this great fantasy performance to immediately sell high on the running back. Not only did he play on only 50% of snaps, but if we take out his 70-yard touchdown run, it would have been a disappointing day for him. Rookie running back Javonte Williams actually had more rushing attempts (14) while playing on the same percentage of snaps. I think it is only a matter of time until the rookie starts to increase his snaps, thus, making Gordon an afterthought. Even if the two continue to evenly split for the next few weeks, Gordon’s value will never be higher. Now is the time to get something in return for a player that has a good chance at being phased off the field as the season continues.
Christian Kirk – WR, Arizona Cardinals
In what was an offensive explosion for the Arizona Cardinals, fourth-year wide receiver Christian Kirk was able to put up 24 fantasy points in PPR leagues. He caught all five of his targets for 70 yards and two touchdowns. This is an easy sell for me.
We have seen Kirk have his boom games, but he has also put up plenty of duds. He is currently third in the wide receiver pecking order behind DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green. Kirk played on just under 60% of offensive snaps. While this was more than rookie wide receiver Rondale Moore, who only managed to play on 20 of the 68 snaps, he looked good. Moore secured four of five targets for 68 yards.
I think it is only a matter of time before Moore forces his way onto the field for more playing time. Whether this takes Kirk off the field or takes targets away from him, I do not trust him rest of the season for fantasy purposes. Undrafted in some fantasy leagues, if you are rostering Kirk, now would be a great time to sell.
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