Buy Low/Sell High: Week 11
November 17, 2016 | Matt Terelle
Welcome to our weekly edition of Buy Low/Sell High. The skilled fantasy owner should be using trades to his or her advantage on a weekly basis. One way to do this is to acquire players coming off of slow performances who you think have a good chance at bouncing back. At the same time, you should be looking to deal away players coming off of big performances that you think were a fluke and unlikely to continue throughout the season. As the trade deadline is probably approaching in your league, now is the time to consolidate some bench depth and try to pick up that final piece that will lead you on a championship run. Let’s get going with whom we should be looking to buy and sell for Week 10!
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Jonathan Stewart (RB) – Carolina Panthers
No one gets all that excited when thinking about Stewart. He’s been around long enough that practically everyone has owned him at some point or another and chances are he got hurt during that time. Well, hopefully, Stewart has already gotten his annual injury out of the way this season and could be primed to lead you to the playoffs, starting on Thursday night. Stewart has a lovely stretch of games coming up, beginning with a Thursday night showdown with the rival Saints. New Orleans’ run defense has not been overly impressive this season, ranking just 21st in DVOA according to Football Outsiders. Following this week, Stewart has prime matchups against Oakland, San Diego, Washington, and Atlanta. All of five of these aforementioned teams are top-11 in the league in fantasy points allowed to running backs, with New Orleans, Atlanta, San Diego, and Washington ranked 4-7 in that order. He does have Seattle mixed in there in Week 13, but five out of six isn’t bad. With Stewart coming off a disappointing 13-carry, 39-yard performance against the Chiefs, there’s a good chance he can be acquired on the cheap and he should serve as a solid RB2 going forward.
Michael Crabtree (WR) – Oakland Raiders
With the Raiders coming off their bye and Crabtree mustering just two catches for 27 yards the week before, now could be the time to get Crab for less than his market value. Crabtree has been a rock-solid WR2 this season and his slow, two-catch game in Week 9 came against a Broncos defense that sports arguably the best secondary in the league. On a pass-first Raiders offense, Crabtree already has a mind-blowing 87 targets, second on his team and 15th-most in the league. Furthermore, Crabtree is first on the team in red zone targets with 14, three more than number one receiver Amari Cooper. Those fourteen red zone targets tie him for fifth-most in the league. He does have another tough matchup with Houston this week, but following that he has easy matchups with Carolina and Buffalo coming up.
Jordan Reed (TE) – Washington Redskins
Reed is coming off his slowest game of the season, catching just two balls for 41 yards against the Vikings. Minnesota’s defense against tight ends has been solid this season, which surely played into the weaker game by Reed. Unless you own a top-three tight end, Reed is worth pursuing as we near the fantasy playoffs. Reed is one of the few difference makers at the position and would be an excellent upgrade to the tight end spot on your roster, especially if you have been streaming the position this year. Washington has been a mostly pass-first team this season with Reed operating as Kirk Cousins’ favorite target in the passing game. Reed is second on the team in targets to only Pierre Garcon, even though Reed missed two full games due to injury. With Reed scoring just three touchdowns on the year and ranking second on the team with 10 red zone targets, it is safe to assume some positive touchdown regression is on the horizon.
Marcus Mariota (QB) – Tennessee Titans
Mariota is on a fantastic run, accounting for 12 touchdowns over his past four games and leading the surprising Titans to second place in the AFC South. Mariota isn’t a suggested sell at all costs, but if he’s your second quarterback and you already have a consistent starting option in place, it may be worth shopping the 2015 second-overall pick around your league. At this point of the season, I usually try to shed my backup quarterback anyways to prime my team for the playoffs. The Titans remain a run-first team and it is going to be hard for Mariota to continue this scoring streak as he’s still averaging just 31.7 pass attempts per game.
Ryan Mathews (RB) – Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles’ backfield has become a mess when it comes to trying to figure out who will be the top running back from week-to-week. Two weeks ago, we thought Darren Sproles had seized the lead role, out-touching Mathews 16-to-6. Then last week, Mathews saw 19 carries while Sproles only saw two (along with eight catches). Mathews turned those 19 carries into a big game, racking up 109 yards and scoring twice. This situation has turned into a headache that fantasy owners gearing up for the playoffs should be trying to avoid. At this point, it appears Mathews has reclaimed lead back status, but who knows what next week will bring. Now is the time to cash in on Mathews and try to get a running back with less competition for carries or a solid wide receiver.
Rashad Jennings (RB) – New York Giants
Jennings turned in a solid performance against the Bengals on Monday night. He rolled up 87 yards on 15 carries while also catching three passes for 22 yards. To date that’s Jennings’ best yardage total of the season as the Giants’ ground game has been stuck in neutral for most of the year. Add in the fact that Jennings did so while playing only 60% of the team’s snaps and it’s hard to imagine that this is the start of a hot streak for the veteran running back. That was his highest snap percentage of the season as he has been losing playing time to rookie Paul Perkins. Now is the time to sell Jennings while his value is up.
Thanks for reading, be sure to reach out in the comments section below or @supermt on Twitter with your trade questions or comments.