Buy Low/Sell High: Week 7
October 20, 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. 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 7!
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Isaiah Crowell (RB) – Cleveland Browns
Crowell is coming off two straight slow performances, getting shut down by the Patriots and Titans run defenses in that order. Better times should be on the horizon for the Crow, however. The third-year back has been running well when he can find some space, showing great burst and breaking tackles at will. Both the Patriots’ and Titans’ defenses sold out to stop the run over the past two weeks, daring the Browns to beat them through the air. It wasn’t too hard in for New England in Week 5 when Charlie Whitehurst was forced to play most of the game following an injury to Cody Kessler. The offense struggled under Whitehurst, who was cut after that game. Kessler returned in Week 6 and turned in the best passing performance of his career, racking up 336 passing yards and two touchdowns. If Kessler is able to keep this up, opposing run defenses will loosen up, giving Crowell more room to operate. Crowell remains Cleveland’s lead back and top goal line option. He is an RB2 who could be available for RB3 prices at this point.
Antonio Brown (WR) – Pittsburgh Steelers
This may be the cheapest you will ever be able to get Brown as the knee injury to Ben Roethlisberger has Brown’s owners feeling very concerned about his prospects going forward. A report on Wednesday surfaced stating that Roethlisberger could miss 4-6 weeks after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Later, it was reported that Big Ben likes to play up injuries to appear tough and that he could be back after the Steelers’ Week 8 bye. Either way, if your team is 5-1 or 4-2, it may be worth seeing if Brown’s owner is panicking about the injury. If Big Ben returns for Week 9, you will be able to enjoy the services of Brown while only taking a hit this week. It is a move that comes with some risk, as Brown’s production took a sizable hit last year with Landry Jones and Michael Vick throwing to him, but these are the types of moves that win leagues if they pan out. I wouldn’t offer the WR1 off my team, but a package of solid players just might be enough to pry Antonio loose.
Jeremy Maclin (WR) – Kansas City Chiefs
Maclin continues to underperform, but count me among those who think he will bounce back. He gathered just three catches for 49 yards in Week 6 against the Raiders, but the Chiefs had their running game rolling against Oakland, which kept the ball out of the air for the most part. Maclin is Kansas City’s top receiving option by a wide margin and that won’t change. This week will see the Saints come to town in a game which will likely be high-scoring and force the Chiefs to throw the ball to keep up with Drew Brees and the explosive New Orleans attack. Maclin can be trusted as a solid WR2 moving forward and should be attainable at a pretty reasonable price.
James White (RB) – New England Patriots
White is coming off a huge Week 6 which saw him score two receiving touchdowns on eight catches. While it’s hard to say exactly when the Patriots plan on bringing Lewis back, he’s eligible to return from injured reserve at any time and might be ready to return after New England’s Week 9 bye. Look for White to take a back seat to Lewis when he does return to action. Now is the time to see if a running back-needy owner in your league is interested in picking up White based on his Week 7 performance. The two scores should serve as a nice starting point in negotiations, even though we know it is hard to bank on running backs to score on passing plays on a weekly basis.
Jay Ajayi (RB) – Miami Dolphins
In one of the least expected performances of the season, Ajayi gashed the Steelers for 204 yards and two touchdowns. While the performance was certainly impressive, Arian Foster is healthy (at least for now) and this should remain a committee at best as the Dolphins were pretty intent on using Foster heavily while he was healthy. Don’t go selling Ajayi for anything as I’m sure he will be useful going forward, but it’s doubtful that his value will be any higher than it is right now. Also, don’t expect the Dolphins to be playing with a lead very often going forward, which will force them to deploy a pass-heavy offense as has been the case in most games this season.
Jordan Howard (RB) – Chicago Bears
Howard was operating as Chicago’s bell cow back for a few weeks there, topping 90% of his team’s offensive snaps in Weeks 4 and 5, but he saw his workload cut into by KaDeem Carey in Week 6’s loss to the Jaguars. Howard saw just 68% of the snaps while gaining just 34 yards in the process. While he did salvage his fantasy day with a touchdown, he has two tough matchups on the horizon. A Week 7 matchup with a tough Packers run defense will be followed by a date with the Vikings, one of the top defensive units in the league. Making matters worse for Howard is the potential return of Jeremy Langford, which could further cloud the Bears’ backfield.
Thanks for reading, be sure to reach out in the comments section below or @supermt on Twitter with your trade questions or comments.