We made it. Week 7, full of the most significant team byes of the season, is behind us. In its place, a few fantasy football heroes emerged, like D’Ernest Johnson. Then, of course, there were also weekly duds, such as Allen Robinson, whose stock is as low as it’s ever been. Now that a good chunk of players have their week of rest out of the way, there are that many more players to entice your league with in the trade market. It’s time to sell high and buy low especially now that we’re halfway through the regular season of fantasy football.
Each week, I nominate a few trade candidates at running back, wide receiver, and tight end to sell high and buy low on. Let this continue to be a guide on which players to consider acquiring or moving any given week.
For any specific scenarios or further elaboration on the ideas surrounding the inclusion of these players in your trades, find me on Twitter @Colin_McT!
WEEK 8 BYE: Baltimore Ravens, Las Vegas Raiders
Week 8 Sell High or Buy Low Trade Candidates
Joe Mixon; Running Back, Cincinnati Bengals
If you scan the stat sheet from this past Sunday, you will see Mixon’s 12 carries for 59 yards and a score. In a week of fantasy football full of injuries and byes, Mixon put up a comfortable 11.9 points marking his fifth game in a row of at least 10 fantasy points. The Bengals look like legitimate AFC contenders, which actually gives me some concern for Mixon’s rest of the fantasy season outlook.
While the 14.56 points per game average over the past five weeks is nice, three of those games have been saved by a touchdown. Specifically in Week 7, Mixon’s 21-yard touchdown run came in the fourth quarter which immediately boosted his otherwise dud performance.
Most importantly, running back, Samaje Perine, is back after spending time on the Covid-19/Reserve List. He even added a 46-yard rushing score of his own after Mixon’s score to cap Cincy’s dominant win over Baltimore. The presence of Perine immediately, and negatively, impacted Mixon’s role in this offense. They had a dead-even split of 12 running back opportunities each (combo of carries and targets). Additionally, Mixon barely out-snapped Perine playing 54% of the Bengals’ offensive snaps to Perine’s 48% of snaps.
At face value, Mixon is the RB10 overall and doing just fine. If you dig a bit deeper, however, the usage and touchdown dependency is concerning. Now might be your best time to sell high ahead of a dream matchup against the Jets in Week 8. His reps could be limited as the Bengals look ahead toward a potential playoff berth where they’ll want their big money running back as healthy as possible.
D’Andre Hopkins; Wide Receiver, Arizona Cardinals
This is difficult to write as I, myself, have been riding the wave with D’Andre Hopkins. I’m not even sure I’d take my own advice here because he’s a top-five talent at the position. He’s arguably the best in the league right now. However, for fantasy football purposes, there are a few, tiny, annoying, but notable red flags with his WR11 numbers thus far.
The obvious stat that jumps out is Hopkins’ average of one touchdown per game. He’s a top red-zone target of Kyler Murray’s, which makes him hard to let go of. What’s a bit troubling, though, is that of his 117.0 PPR points this season, 35.8% of those points are from those touchdowns.
I’m certainly not taking them away from Hopkins, but in the two games where he didn’t score this season, he averaged just 7.9 fantasy points. Yes, he was dealing with a rib issue. What’s concerning, though, is his dip in targets in comparison to the majority of his career as a top fantasy wide receiver in Houston, but also including last season in Arizona.
Hopkins has been averaging 165 targets for the past six years. He hasn’t seen less than 151 targets since 2016. He’s currently on a 16-game pace of just 107 targets and a 17-game pace of 114 targets. Sure, the Cardinals offense is firing on all cylinders, but that’s just it. Everyone is carrying their weight making Hopkins’ usual, elite production harder to get as the backbone of whatever offense he’s on.
You simply can’t be disappointed by Hopkins so far this season. However, if there’s another wide receiver you have more faith in to average closer to 20.0 points per game the rest of the way, such as Adams or Diggs, then I’d try to sell high. If you need a package of players even to keep your season alive, then move Hop for said package, but make it count. Otherwise, hold and enjoy. Hopkins isn’t worth trading just to trade.
Daulton Schultz; Tight End, Dallas Cowboys
As always, trading a tight end away is easier said than done. Schultz, especially, is a diamond in the ruff. After seven weeks, Schultz slots in at TE5 overall and TE4 on a points-per-game basis. At a position with a lack of consistent production, Schultz is a game-changer for anyone who’s been smart enough to get him on their roster.
Depending on your situation at tight end, however, it may be the best time to sell high on Schultz. It’s likely he’s one of two tight ends on your roster, assuming you don’t play in a deep league where you may have actually drafted him. Coming off of the bye, other managers may be more willing to acquire him knowing he’s available each week for the rest of the season.
My only reservation with Schultz is more about the pending return of wide receiver, Michael Gallup. It’s been six weeks since Gallup took the field, but when he did, he saw seven targets against a tough Tampa Bay defense before exiting with an injury. He’s set to return soon, which could eat into Schultz’s 17.4% target share. He’s going to continue to dominate snaps at tight end, but if he doesn’t see the volume he’s been seeing, he becomes just as volatile as most other tight ends in fantasy football.
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J.D. McKissic; Running Back, Washington Football Team
Of course McKissic’s name continues to be a topic of conversation amongst the fantasy football community. The lead back in Washington, Antonio Gibson, is dealing with a hairline fracture in his shin. Yet, Gibson still rolls out there each week. He’s hardly been effective, especially the last two weeks, totaling just 12.0 total PPR fantasy points.
The next few weeks for Washington will likely scare many away from setting their players in fantasy lineups. The Football Team travels to Denver in Week 8, have their bye in Week 9, then have a home date with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Don’t shy away from McKissic. In fact, now is a fantastic time to buy low.
Washington is on a three-game losing skid with no optimistic end in sight. McKissic figures to continue to hog the running back target share away from Gibson during this time. He’s dominated the backfield target share this season with 61.8% and has seen 16 to Gibson’s five the last two weeks.
If Gibson’s leg continues to be an issue, McKissic has the opportunity to increase his touches carrying the ball, as well. He’s only logged so 29 total carries this season. However, the last two weeks, he’s averaging 5.58 yards per carry totaling 67 yards on his 12 attempts.
The time is now to buy low on McKissic to plug into your playoff pushing PPR rosters.
Laviska Shenault and Marvin Jones Jr.; Wide Receivers, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars look to keep things rolling after their first win of the season two weeks ago. A much-needed win, and much-needed bye week, should do this team some good. It’s always worthwhile to have extra practice with a rookie quarterback, too. With that said, go buy low on Trevor Lawrence’s top two target getters, Shenault and Jones Jr. this week.
Looking ahead, all six of the Jaguars’ Week 12 to Week 17 opponents are allowing at least 245 passing yards per game. The Jaguars themselves are allowing the second-most passing yards (297.8) per game. Whether they’re facing off against these pass-friendly defenses or attempting to go toe-to-toe with the Bills or Colts defenses, you can bet they’ll be throwing.
The last time we saw Shenault and Jones, Jr. was in London where they each saw 10 targets. They both posted at least 11.4 fantasy points, with Jones, Jr. finding the end zone to rack up 23.0 points overseas.
The Jaguars are probably the least exciting team returning from the hellish Week 7 grouping of teams that were on a bye. There is value to be had amongst them. So, buy low on these two players that are probably plug-and-play options for their managers anyway. I’m certain they can be every week starters as the fantasy football playoffs quickly approach.
Darren Waller; Tight End, Las Vegas Raiders
This will be the second week in a row Darren Waller doesn’t play. Yes, of course, he’s on a bye in Week 8. His Week 7 absence, however, shook the fantasy football world with a late-week ankle injury that kept him out. In his place, backup tight end, Foster Moreau, had a nice day hauling in all six of his targets for 60 yards and a touchdown.
Make no mistake. Darren Waller is still the lead pass catcher in this offense. Even with sitting out this past week, Waller still leads the team in targets with 55 for a strong 20.7% of the target share.
After a TE2 finish in Week 1 with an astounding 19 targets, Waller has fallen off a bit to TE9 on a points-per-game basis from Weeks 2-6, when he played. That’s still top-10, but those who may have taken Waller early on in their drafts, may not be getting the production they need to pair with the players at other positions they were willing to wait at in order to lock him into their lineup.
With that said, and with Waller on a bye, inquire about his availability. The Raiders are 5-2. Derek Carr is going to continue to lean on his favorite target as they continue to try to stack wins. If Moreau’s Week 7 stat line, or Waller’s less than expected production has his manager frustrated, buy low this week. He’s thankfully day-to-day with that ankle injury and will be back next week contributing in a big way for your team against the New York Giants.
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