Buying low, and selling high. Yet another business term that gets tossed around whenever fantasy teams are discussed. The idea is to trade away players that you feel have reached their peak value, and to acquire players that you feel are at their lowest value. This is a high risk, high reward strategy. You are, in essence, moving on from a player while they are performing and acquiring a player who is underwhelming. If the performing player continues their hot streak, this could end up being a huge mistake. Likewise, if the player you “bought low” on doesn’t improve, this can seriously hamper your team. On the other hand, if you get lucky with your acquisitions, they can be league winning moves.
Had you followed the advice in my pre-week 3 Buy Low / Sell High article, you would have made trades for T.Y Hilton, Allen Robinson, and Todd Gurley. You also would have traded away Latavius Murray, Matt Forte, and Tyrod Taylor. So far, those moves would have worked out alright for you.
So, without further ado, here’s who you should be buying and selling before week 5:
Lamar Miller, RB, Texans
Through four weeks, Miller has 106 touches. He also has not rushed for less than 80 yards in a game. At that rate, he is on pace for 424 touches and over 1400 yards. That’s a lot of work, and a lot of opportunity.
So how the heck can he be a buy low candidate? Well, despite this lavish workload, Miller is sitting at RB19 in standard leagues. This is largely due to the fact that he has not scored a touchdown. This streak is bound to end soon, and when it does Miller will skyrocket up the fantasy leaderboards. If you can find an owner who is less optimistic about his future, make them an offer. You might get lucky, and get a stud RB1 for the rest of the season. (It might be a good idea to wait until after he faces Minnesota this week, however).
Randall Cobb, WR, Packers
Yes, Randall Cobb has 13 fantasy points. Yes, he is currently ranked as WR81. Yes, he has been a major disappointment thus far. So why should you buy him? Well, for starters, the price is right. I’ve been asked if Cobb should be outright dropped. That means that his owners are panicking, and will be looking to get any kind of return before they abandon ship.
This is far from a sexy or safe trade to make, however. Cobb is unlikely to return to the WR1 status he enjoyed in 2014. However, it does seem pretty likely that he will rebound to his comfortable WR2/WR3 status. Through three games, he has been graded as the #39 receiver by Pro Football Focus. His schedule is also much lighter for the remainder of the season. Although it is a risky move, if the Packers offense looks better coming out of their bye, then this could end up being a great move for your team.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks
Baldwin enters his bye week fresh off a 5-point performance. This can be attributed to Wilson’s MCL sprain hampering his abilities as a mobile quarterback. The combination of a poor performance, Wilson’s health concerns, and convenient bye week timing adds up to a great time to buy some shares of Baldwin.
The bye week should help to heal up Wilson’s MCL, and once he is good to go again, the Hawk’s offense should look much better. Baldwin has some serious chemistry with his quarterback, and is a WR1 if things break his way. His quarterback is also a borderline buy-low candidate.
Michael Crabtree, WR, Raiders
This isn’t to say I’m not a fan of Crabtree. He has been a dependable fantasy commodity since making the move to Oakland. He appears to have great chemistry with his quarterback, Derek Carr, and is also a serious threat in the red-zone. He proved his red-zone prowess last week, scoring 3 touchdowns against Baltimore.
The problem with Crabtree, however, is that touchdowns are unpredictable. Know who else scored 3 touchdowns in week 4? John Kuhn. The point is, although Crabtree is an extremely solid WR2/3 option for your fantasy team, you can likely find a desperate owner who is willing to pay a WR1 price for him. To add on top of this, he has yet to face Denver, Kansas City (twice), Houston, Carolina, and Buffalo. It seems pretty likely that the current #5 WR is in line for some regression.
Frank Gore, RB, Colts
At this rate, I feel like I’m going to tell you to sell every running back in the league. That really shows how volatile the market is for non-stud rushers. Gore is currently RB15 in standard leagues, and has performed as a reliable RB2 for fantasy purposes. However, there is a lot working against the 33-year-old back.
Chiefly, the Colts are simply looking at their other options at running back. Gore has seen his snap percentage drop significantly. At the same time, the Colts have struggled mightily, which has presented game scripts that are not conducive to the run. Gore’s fantasy output has been saved by touchdowns, but he has averaged only 63 yards-per-game on the ground. After facing a soft Bears team in week 5, Gore will also face off against some tough defenses in the Texans, Chiefs, Packers, Jets and Vikings.
Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
This should be an easy sell to a lot of fantasy owners. Ryan is currently the top quarterback in the league in both fantasy and real life. So why sell? Well, historically, Ryan has started season’s hot, and then faded down the stretch. Also, Ryan’s impressive start to the season should be taken with a grain of salt when you realize that he has played the Buccaneers, Raiders, and Saints. Even his impressive stat-line against Carolina is less impressive when you realize that it’s a game in which Julio Jones feasted on the Panthers rookie corners.
Ryan is currently on pace to break Peyton Manning’s single season passing yardage record. I don’t see that happening. Especially when you consider that his next two weeks are on the road in Denver and Seattle. He also has yet to play the Eagles, Cardinals, Chiefs, Rams, and Panthers once more. Expect him to return to earth in the coming weeks, and try to use him as a bargaining chip in trades while you still can.
Questions, Comments, or need lineup advice? Find me on Twitter @MikeTFR