Week 9 buy-low/sell-high options in the fantasy stock market
It’s official: we are now halfway through the fantasy season. We know a lot of things, but some things were almost completely unpredictable. What if I were to tell you that despite missing the first four games to a suspension, that Tom Brady would outscore both Russell Wilson and Eli Manning by the end of Week 8? That has actually happened.
You want more? How about this…
- Player A: 65 targets, 32 receptions, 366 yards, 3 touchdowns
- Player B: 56 targets, 36 receptions, 502 yards, 3 touchdowns
In the example listed above, Allen Robinson is “Player A” while Quincy Enunwa is “Player B.”
Here in the fantasy stock market, we look for players who can be acquired at a fraction of their real value, and that is where fantasy championships are made. Just two weeks ago, you could’ve got Aaron Rodgers for the cost of a low-end QB1 (he was in the buy-low section of this very article), and now he’s thrown seven touchdowns in the last two games.
It won’t always happen like that. Sometimes it may take a few weeks for a player to get out of a slump. And you will take that, because you got that player for a fraction of his cost. Here in the Fantasy Stock Market, you’ll not only get the players to buy at their low points, but you’ll also get the ones to sell while their stock is artificially inflated.
Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns
For those who play in leagues with deeper benches, it’s very likely that Coleman is already owned, and that’s fine. This is the time to snag him away before the hype train gets started again. Not only did he display some great ball skills over his first two games, racking up seven catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns, but his injury isn’t a recurring one like a hamstring or a foot injury. If you don’t recall who his two touchdowns came from, I’ll remind you: Josh McCown. He was targeted seven times by McCown in that Week 2 game where he totaled over 100 yards and two scores, and that’s likely a trend that will continue as long as McCown is the starting quarterback. Most don’t realize that McCown is a good quarterback for your fantasy wide receiver. Despite throwing to Travis Benjamin and Andrew Hawkins as his top receviers last year, McCown threw multiple touchdowns in five of his last seven games. Now two games into 2016, he’s thrown multiple touchdowns in both of them. Given the fact that the Browns defense is as bad as it is, there will be plenty of pass attempts to go around. With Terrelle Pryor taking away attention on the other side of the field, and no Josh Gordon return, Coleman is shaping up as an every-week WR2/3 for fantasy teams.
Perceived stock value: WR4 who is the No. 2 receiver on the Browns
Actual stock value: Every-week WR2/3 who is the best wide receiver on the Browns
Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
It’s rare that you’ll find a player on this list who has had multiple strong games, because those are players who often demand a higher price tag. But with Thomas, he’s still being valued below where he should be. This is the case where you want to get in on a player before the entire fantasy world realizes that he’s a borderline WR1. Since Week 3, when he became a full-time player on offense, Thomas has been nothing short of phenomenal. If you were to remove names out of the equation, here are the Saints wide receivers since Week 3.
Thomas is Player B in this chart (Brandin Cooks is Player A, Willie Snead is Player C), so as you can see, he’s clearly the No. 1 wide receiver on the Saints, and also the most consistent. He’s scored at least 12.3 fantasy points in every games since Week 3, and ranks as the No. 14 wide receiver over that time. Keep in mind that he also had his bye week in between that time. I’ve done actual research in my own leagues and was able to trade Demaryius Thomas straight up for him in a league, so his value is nowhere near where it should be. Did I mention that his upcoming schedule is fantastic?
Perceived stock value: Solid WR3
Actual stock value: High-end WR2, flirting with WR1 status
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
If Russell Wilson hadn’t already been in the Fantasy Stock Market, he’d be right here next to Baldwin. While he is still a recommended buy-low, you should be targeting his No. 1 pass-catcher. It’s no shock that Baldwin’s struggles have come right in stride with Wilson’s over the past three weeks. If you were to go and look at the start of 2015, it was a similar story for Wilson and Baldwin, as Wilson had just one multi-touchdown game through the first 10 weeks, and Baldwin had just three touchdowns in that span. It’s clear that Wilson has had to deal with a multitude of different injuries, but he’ll get better as the season goes on. Looking at Week 11 and forward from last year, his numbers aren’t that different, outside of the touchdowns. Expect a rise in touchdowns for Wilson, and Baldwin’s will follow. His schedule is one of the best ones among wide receivers going forward, and he should be a solid WR2 in PPR leagues.
|2015 Weeks 11-17||7||7.1||5.7||84.3||1.57|
|2016 Weeks 1-8||7||6.6||5.4||68.8||0.29|
Perceived stock value: WR3 who regressed more than expected
Actual stock value: WR2 whose play will pick up as Wilson’s does
DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans
There are a few words that you don’t want to be associated with your star running back. One of those is “hamstring”; another is “toe.” Especially when that particular running back has totaled 188 touches through eight weeks and has a second-round pick waiting behind him to steal work. Murray has without a doubt revived his career in 2016, but seeing him slam the ball down on the sidelines after a non-contact injury — as he did Thursday — is never a good sign. He left the game for a while, seemingly to get X-rays, only to return to a game that Derrick Henry was dominating. Murray did handle a few more carries, but appeared walking gingerly at times. It was enough of a concern that the team had him go for an MRI, which they said was “precautionary.”
If Murray wasn’t feeling some sort of pain, I don’t see why they would have done one. On top of that, the Titans coaching staff has said that they will “monitor Murray’s practice reps.” It sounds like he may be dealing with some sort of turf toe injury, which can severely limit a running back’s ability. And we mustn’t forget the fact that Murray had missed 12 games due to injury over his previous five years. When you see how well Henry played in Week 8, it’s very likely that he starts eating into Murray’s workload. As a matter of fact, it’s the right thing to do. Murray is still a solid fantasy player to have on your team, but his perceived value will never be higher than it is right now.
Perceived stock value: Elite RB1
Actual stock value: RB1 who may be affected by a toe injury more than some like to think, moving to more of a timeshare
Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins
Crowder is one heck of a football player, but there is not a chance that he keeps up the production that he’s had over the last few weeks. After posting lines of 7/108/0 and 9/107/1, Crowder now sits as the No. 16 wide receiver in standard leagues and No. 15 in PPR leagues. What you have to know about his last two weeks is that the matchup was as good as it gets versus the Lions with cornerback Quandre Diggs (graded No. 156 of 184 in coverage), and then the Bengals with Joshua Shaw (No. 84 of 184). You have to give credit to the Redskins for using him as much as they did, but you also can’t forget the previous three weeks where he saw a combined 10 targets. He’s only topped 58 yards once outside of the last two weeks, and has surprisingly been very touchdown dependent, ranking eighth in the NFL in touchdowns. DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon have combined for just two touchdowns, so look for the pendulum to swing the other way pretty soon. Love Crowder as a football player, but still think there’s no way he remains a WR2 for the rest of the season.
Perceived stock value: WR2
Actual stock value: WR3 who will see some regression in the touchdown category
Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Sell Jay Ajayi. Has he played well his last two games? Absolutely. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We need to talk about his upcoming schedule and what it means for his fantasy prospects. It starts this week against the Jets, a team that allows just 3.7 yards per carry to opposing running backs, and that is with them playing against names like Jeremy Hill, LeSean McCoy, Spencer Ware, Christine Michael, Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson and Terrance West. Not only will the Dolphins play them this week, but they’ll also play them again in Week 15, the second round of your fantasy playoffs. This is just the tip of the iceberg for Ajayi, as he will play just one defense the rest of the year who has allowed more than 3.9 yards per carry to running backs, and it doesn’t come in the fantasy playoffs. That game (against the 49ers) will come in Week 12. He will have one of his toughest tests in the first week of the fantasy playoffs, against the Arizona Cardinals. When projecting Ajayi for massive totals, you need good game scripts, and it’s hard to predict that happening with the remaining schedule for the Dolphins. Trade, trade, trade!
Perceived stock value: Rock-solid low-end RB1
Actual stock value: RB2/3 whose value has peaked