We’re now through a quarter of the season, and the trends we’ve seen up to this point might just be the new normal. With a litany of injuries to high-value fantasy running backs and wide receivers, don’t be afraid to make some major trades to shake up your lineup, whether it’s to consolidate assets for a title run or to cede defeat this year and begin the rebuilding process. Here are a couple of dynasty buys and sells to target in your leagues, but keep in mind the other team’s current situation when initiating trade talks.
All the first-round rookie picks in the world won’t help you acquire Ezekiel Elliott if the other dynasty GM is contending for a title, and don’t attempt to sell veteran contributors like Adrian Peterson to teams clearly in a rebuild and not in position to vie for a championship this year.
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Week 5 Dynasty Buys
Dynasty teams with D.J. Moore on their rosters don’t necessarily need to panic, with Moore having seen a 23-percent target share through four weeks. He continues to play a large role in this Panthers passing game. That being said, Robby Anderson has seen 34 targets to Moore’s 32 through four games, leading the team with a 25-percent target share. Anderson is also getting higher-percentage targets, with an average depth of target (aDOT) of 8.9 yards versus Moore’s aDOT of 12.0 yards.
Thus far on the season, Anderson ranks as the No. 9 wide receiver in PPR formats, and it’s not out of the question for him to finish the year as a high-end WR2 or better. Miscast as a deep threat during his tenure with the Jets, the Panthers have instead utilized Anderson all over the field. By getting him in space, Joe Brady and Matt Rhule are maximizing his ability to gain yards after the catch with his 4.36 speed. Anderson currently ranks third in the league in yards after the catch behind only Alvin Kamara and Terry McLaurin.
It’s sometimes difficult to accept major shifts in dynasty value, but the ability to adapt quickly to these changes in-season grants savvy dynasty players a big competitive advantage. Much like how DeVante Parker recouped his first-round rookie pick valuation in 2019 after years of mediocrity, so too is Anderson after moving to a new role in a dynamic offense.
Contending dynasty teams in need of help at wide receiver should pounce on Anderson, even at the price of a future first-round rookie pick. Teams who lost Courtland Sutton for the year shouldn’t be afraid to trade him for Anderson straight up, and teams who will be missing Julio Jones for the next few weeks could consider selling for Anderson plus a second-round rookie pick. Light ridicule might ensue from league mates upon making such a trade, but those acquiring Anderson will get the last laugh on their way to a fantasy championship.
It’s time to talk about Justin Herbert, who was not among my valued quarterback prospects coming out in the 2020 rookie class. But after a surprise performance against the Chiefs in Week 2 despite seeing no first-team reps that week and a commanding game against the Buccaneers in Week 4 despite the loss, Herbert looks to have a bright future in the NFL. While Anthony Lynn continues to refuse to commit to Herbert as the starter going forward, he’s clearly already a better option than Tyrod Taylor.
He’s made a couple of awful throws that have cost the Chargers wins, but that’s to be expected from a rookie quarterback. It’s equally important to note that Herbert’s production has also kept the Chargers in tightly-contested games against the reigning Super Bowl champions and a very good Tampa Bay defense. Outside of a few costly mistakes, Herbert has looked poised under pressure, and his mobility looks to be a real issue for opposing defenses going forward.
With great matchups coming up against the Saints, Jets, Dolphins, Jaguars, and Raiders, Herbert’s stock could potentially skyrocket if he has big games against these vulnerable secondaries. He’s likely a costly acquisition, especially in superflex or 2QB dynasty formats, but his price will only continue to rise as the season progresses.
Whether contending or rebuilding, teams with need at the quarterback position shouldn’t hesitate to trade for Herbert. He can likely be acquired for an early second-round rookie pick or less in standard 1QB formats, and depending on the league, it may still be possible to acquire Herbert for an early first-round rookie pick plus a second-round pick in superflex or 2QB formats.
Week 4 Dynasty Buys Revisited:
Preston Williams and Jimmy Garoppolo were the Week 4 dynasty buys recommended. Williams continued to disappoint even in a great matchup against the Seahawks, and it’s clear that he’s still recovering from the ACL tear. He remains a dynasty buy with long-term upside at the cost of a mid-second-round rookie pick, though it’s fair to wonder whether he’ll contribute much in 2020.
As for Garoppolo, he was unable to return against the Eagles on Sunday night, but an awful showing from Nick Mullens put to bed any debate as to whether Garoppolo would reclaim his starting job upon his return. With a dangerous assortment of weapons in George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, and Deebo Samuel, Garoppolo has immense upside for the remainder of the year as long as he stays healthy.
Week 5 Dynasty Sells
Any league mates who only look at the box scores on Tuesday mornings are likely extremely pleased with Ronald Jones‘s 111 rushing yards and six receptions against the Chargers, but stat lines don’t tell the whole story. LeSean McCoy left the game early with an ankle sprain, and Kenjon Barner was forced out with a concussion, both of which occurred after Leonard Fournette was already declared out pre-game due to an ankle sprain of his own.
This slew of injuries to the Buccaneers’ running backs led to a season-high in both carries and receptions for Jones. However, while Jones was effective as a runner, he failed as a pass-catcher. All nine of the targets Jones saw came in the first half of the game with him catching six of them for a meager 17 yards. And after Jones committed three drops in the first half, the Buccaneers instead turned to Ke’Shawn Vaughn in the second half as the receiving back, and he converted two of his three targets into 22 yards and a touchdown. Jones didn’t see a single target after halftime.
I was admittedly too optimistic on Fournette, having listed him as a dynasty buy, albeit a risky one, in my Week 3 Dynasty Buys and Sells article two weeks ago. Even prior to Fournette’s high ankle sprain, neither he nor Jones was able to seize control of the backfield. Jones has often struggled as a receiver despite offseason work to improve, and it would seem Tampa Bay is content with utilizing a committee backfield barring injury.
Jones has another good projected run-heavy game script on Thursday night against the Bears with Fournette, McCoy, and Barner all likely out again, but there’s a good chance we’ll see Vaughn heavily utilized on passing downs. Jones is projected to be a game-script dependent flex play for the remainder of the year, and a risky one at that once Fournette returns. A mid-second-round rookie pick would be a good sell price unless you absolutely need Jones in your lineup to win in Week 5.
This one should be fairly obvious, but sometimes in-season injuries can allow for sell-high opportunities to even seasoned dynasty teams. Robert Tonyan was a trendy DFS pick for Monday night, and he certainly hit big with six receptions for 98 yards and three touchdowns, all of which were career-highs for him. But is he really a reliable tight end option in fantasy going forward? Maybe, but the more likely scenario for Tonyan is inconsistent fantasy production as a touchdown-dependent TE2.
For starters, the Falcons had previously given up four touchdowns to tight ends in the first three weeks of the year. Already entering the game with both of their starting safeties in Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal out with injuries, the decimated Falcons secondary could do nothing to stop Green Bay after then losing both second-string safeties Damontae Kazee and Jaylinn Hawkins during the Monday night game. Some might say that Tonyan’s hat trick was almost inevitable given the circumstances.
But looking ahead after the Packers’ Week 5 bye, Tampa Bay, Houston, Minnesota, and San Francisco are Green Bay’s next four opponents, all of whom defend against the tight end fairly well.
And then there’s the issue of target volume or lack thereof. Even with Davante Adams and Allen Lazard both out on Monday night, Tonyan’s six targets ranked third behind Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Jamaal Williams, both of whom tied for the lead in targets with eight apiece. Adams seemed closed to suiting up against the Falcons and should be ready to go in Week 6, limiting Tonyan’s scoring upside upon his return.
And although Lazard will be out for four to eight weeks following his groin surgery, he’s expected back by the fantasy playoffs. Tonyan is a fine hold for contending dynasty teams that scooped him up off the waiver wire a week or two ago and need immediate help at tight end, but he’s a clear sell for any second-round rookie pick for teams who have other options at tight end or are not in contention.
Week 4 Dynasty Sells Revisited:
Brandon Aiyuk and Emmanuel Sanders were the Week 4 dynasty sells recommended. Aiyuk scored a highlight-reel touchdown on Sunday night after hurdling a defender near the goal line, but with George Kittle back dominating targets and Deebo Samuel getting healthier, Aiyuk’s target volume figures to remain inconsistent. He is still a recommended dynasty sell if you can get a 2021 first-round rookie pick, which you likely can after his dazzling performance in primetime.
As for Sanders, he led the Saints in targets, receptions, and receiving yards against a hapless Detroit secondary, but Michael Thomas likely returns this week, which will relegate Sanders back to WR4 or iffy flex status for fantasy purposes. A third-round rookie pick is realistic, and you might even get a second-round pick after Sanders scorched the Lions. The window to sell is quickly closing…
Like Meng’s Week 5 Dynasty Buys and Sells? Check out the rest of our Week 5 Fantasy Football lineup!
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