Buy Low/Sell High: Week 5
October 6, 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, treating the trade market like stocks on Wall Street. 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. At this point of the season, I usually like to try to consolidate some bench depth and go after a big time star who has been underperforming. Let’s get going with whom we should be looking to buy and sell for Week 5!
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Lamar Miller (RB) – Houston Texans
Miller has been operating as one of the few bell cow backs in the league this season. The former Dolphin has seen 93 of the Texans’ 112 non-quarterback rushing attempts thus far. That’s good for an 83% share of the team’s carries. Miller has turned those carries into 351 yards, but he has yet to find his way into the end zone. The lack of scoring is why Miller’s current owner may be willing to let the fifth-year back go. We know the Texans want to run the ball and Miller is certainly due for some positive regression in the scoring category. Add in Miller’s effectiveness in the passing game (13 catches on 15 targets through four weeks) and you have a high floor player who has a good shot at finishing the year as one of the top scoring running backs. All he needs to do is start finding the end zone. After taking on the Vikings this week, Miller doesn’t have many tough matchups coming up and he has an especially tasty Week 6 matchup with a terrible Colts run defense.
Brandon Marshall (WR) – New York Jets
I was going to tell you to try to buy low on Odell Beckham, Jr. here, but I felt like that one goes without saying. If you can get Beckham for a reasonable price from his owner, you should make that move. I’m similarly bullish on Brandon Marshall, however, and he could come a bit cheaper than Beckham will. Marshall is coming off two straight tough matchups. Two weeks ago he attempted to make plays, but his quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was too busy throwing six interceptions to get the ball into the hands of his receivers all that often. Last week, Marshall lined up across from Richard Sherman and the Legion of Boom. He held his own, hauling in four catches for 89 yards and a score. Marshall is now practicing fully after dealing with a hip issue in the beginning of the season and stands to see a huge workload for as long as Eric Decker is sidelined with a shoulder injury. Marshall has WR1 upside going forward but should be attainable for WR2 prices. Be sure to point out Fitzpatrick’s interception-fests over the past two weeks to Marshall’s owners.
Rob Gronkowski (TE) – New England Patriots
Gronk, to put it kindly, has been a bit of a disappointment so far this season. His hamstring injury held him out of the first two weeks of action and he has followed that up with one catch for 11 yards in his past two games while spending most of his time blocking. Then, on Tuesday, reports surfaced that his hamstring is not right. Clearly the star tight end is working his way back to form, but I’m willing to take a chance on Gronk even if takes him another week or so to get there. Regardless of your fantasy team’s current record, it’s worth getting a price check on Gronk. If you are 4-0 or 3-1, you can likely wait out the week or so that it takes Gronk to get back to doing Gronk things. If your team is 0-4 or 1-3, this is the kind of bold move that can turn your fortunes around. Is there some risk involved here? Sure, but Gronk is a true difference maker at the toughest position in fantasy to get production from and that is hard to ignore.
Melvin Gordon (RB) – San Diego Chargers
Gordon has been an RB1 at the quarter-point of the season, but his touchdown scoring is masking some concerning trends. Gordon is coming off of two straight cake matchups against the Colts and Saints and he returned fantasy value by scoring three touchdowns in those games. What is concerning is Gordon’s inefficiency over the past two games. Against the Colts and Saints, Gordon had 35 carries for just 71 yards. If that’s all he can muster against those swiss cheese run defenses, there’s definite concern for when his schedule toughens up. An easy matchup with the Falcons looms in Week 6, but the schedule gets more difficult after that, with the tough run defenses of Carolina, Miami, and Tampa Bay coming up in the near future.
Frank Gore (RB) – Indianapolis Colts
Gore turned in a fine game against the Jaguars in London, rolling up 68 yards and a touchdown while adding five catches for 27 yards in the air. A concerning trend, however, developed with Gore only playing on 44% of the team’s snaps. He hardly played in the fourth quarter as the Colts were trailing and went into hurry-up mode. The Colts’ coaching staff leaned extensively on rookie Josh Ferguson while in their hurry-up offense. If this becomes a trend, Gore could become a game script casualty more often than not heading forward. With the sad state of Indianapolis’ defense, I don’t expect this to be the last time the Colts have to play catchup in the fourth quarter.
Will Fuller (WR) – Houston Texans
To be clear, I’m not going to advise that you have to sell Fuller. I’m a big fan of the rookie and I definitely think his hot start is for real. This is more of a reminder to get Fuller’s name out there in your league and get a price check on the impressive rookie. While Fuller has been very impressive in his rookie year, his role as Houston’s deep receiver is going to make him a boom/bust player. On weeks he booms, he’s likely to return WR1/2 value, but he’s going to have some slow weeks as well. Again, don’t go trading Fuller away for anything, but it would be a good idea to see what leaguemates are willing to pay for Fuller. It could surprise you.