Week 6 Fantasy Football: Dynasty Buys and Sells
Week 5 brought more surprises, both good and bad. We got to witness a spectacular four-touchdown performance from Chase Claypool, but on the flip side, we lost Dak Prescott for the year to a gruesome ankle injury. 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 6 Dynasty Buys
In the first three games of the season, David Montgomery played on average 52 percent of Chicago’s offensive snaps. In the two weeks since Tarik Cohen tore his ACL during the game against Atlanta in Week 3, Montgomery has averaged an 83 percent snap share on offense, and he’s averaged seven targets per game. While Montgomery hasn’t yet parlayed this workhorse role into eye-catching fantasy production, he’s quietly been the no. 14 running back in PPR over the last two weeks despite having scored only one touchdown over that span.
This week, Montgomery will face a Carolina defense that’s allowed the most fantasy points thus far to running backs. The Panthers have already given up eight rushing touchdowns through five weeks; they’ve also allowed the seventh-most rushing yards in the league so far, including a 121-yard game to Todd Gurley last week on just 14 carries. With the 14th-most red zone carries and the sixth-most carries inside the five-yard line, Montgomery could be in line for a massive performance against the Panthers’ struggling front seven this week.
Even with the Bears’ offense struggling to score, having scored the sixth-fewest points per game in 2020, Montgomery’s high target share (17 percent through two full games with Nick Foles as the starter) gives him a solid weekly floor in PPR formats, and his high volume of red zone rushing attempts gives him a high ceiling when he does eventually find the end zone more. Many still value Montgomery in the mid RB2 range and haven’t yet adjusted for his new workhorse role. Montgomery is a safe RB2 with fair potential to finish as an RB1 this year in PPR scoring. Contending teams should treat Montgomery as one of the biggest dynasty buys at the running back position.
I would be remiss not to discuss one of my favorite dynasty buys for the past year and a half, Mecole Hardman. As a rookie last season, Hardman led all wide receivers with 11.2 yards after the catch per reception, and his 20.3 yards per reception ranked second behind only Mike Williams. In fact, when placed in the slot in 2019, Hardman recorded the second-most receiving yards per route run behind only Michael Thomas. The biggest impediment for Hardman’s fantasy production thus far has been a lack of playing time.
But with Sammy Watkins leaving the game against the Raiders last week with a hamstring injury, Hardman saw a season-high 69 percent snap share (nice). Though the snaps didn’t translate to production in a game where the Raiders dominated the time of possession, Hardman is slated for extensive playing time on Monday against Buffalo with Watkins expected to miss at least one game, if not more. The Chiefs’ matchup against the Bills is projected to be a shootout with the week’s highest over/under, which is currently set at 57.5 points.
This could be the last chance dynasty teams have to acquire Hardman at the bargain price of a second-round rookie pick. A big performance against the Bills could lead to more snaps even once Watkins returns, which in turn would send Hardman’s dynasty stock soaring. And even if Hardman remains an inconsistent fantasy producer once Watkins returns, here’s a reminder that Watkins is on the final year of his current deal. Kansas City restructured his contract to keep him around for 2020, but Hardman is likely the no. 2 wide receiver for Patrick Mahomes heading into 2021 and beyond. His dynasty value should only continue to rise.
Week 5 Dynasty Buys Revisited:
Robby Anderson and Justin Herbert were the Week 5 dynasty buys recommended. Though D.J. Moore outscored Anderson in Week 5 against Atlanta, Anderson continued to dominate the target share with 12 targets against the Falcons compared to just five each for Moore and Curtis Samuel. Anderson remains a heavy buy candidate.
As for Herbert, he dazzled yet again in primetime with 260 yards, four touchdowns, and no turnovers. Herbert continues to smash every expectation set for him, and there’s every reason to believe that he’s the real deal. His dynasty value continues to rise, and it would behoove teams well to send out some offers for him before it increases even more.
Week 6 Dynasty Sells
Just above, I mentioned David Montgomery as a dynasty buy, and Todd Gurley is the “yang” to Montgomery’s “ying.” The two are polar opposites; while Montgomery ranks as the No. 18 running back on the season in PPR formats despite scoring just two touchdowns all year, Gurley has out-performed expectations and scored five touchdowns on just 79 carries. In fact, Mike Clay’s opportunity-adjusted touchdown rankings list Gurley’s OTD at only 3.6 touchdowns based on his workload.
While touchdown regression can be mitigated by overall workload, this doesn’t apply to Gurley. Unlike Montgomery, who’s seeing consistent target volume as a receiver out of the backfield, Gurley has been phased out on passing downs, instead ceding work to both Brian Hill and Ito Smith. With just 13 targets through five games, Gurley has a dangerously low floor in PPR if/when his touchdowns dry up. And with Atlanta’s decimated defense forcing them to play from behind quite a bit this year, the negative game scripts figure to hurt Gurley’s volume of rushing attempts.
Even if he defies scoring rates and expectations this year, his long-term outlook remains murky. Gurley is on a one-year deal in Atlanta, and with free agency looming, it’s uncertain how quickly the degenerative arthritis in his knee could accelerate. With so many injuries at the running back position, it’s understandable if a contending dynasty team has few options but to hold and start Gurley. But expectations should be tempered, as he’s more of a back-end RB2 despite sitting at the no. 11 running back in points scored through five weeks. Rebuilding teams should definitely aim to sell Gurley to a contender for a first-round rookie pick if possible, but even an early second-round pick would suffice.
Five games into his tenure as a Colt, Philip Rivers has targeted a tight end on 21 percent of his pass attempts, a running back 25 percent of the time, and a wide receiver on 54 percent of his throws. T.Y. Hilton leads the team in target share at 21 percent, having seen 32 targets thus far on the season. In theory, all of this sounds beneficial for Hilton, and yet he ranks as just the no. 60 wide receiver in PPR scoring through five games.
A glaring issue barring Hilton from added production is the Colts’ dedication to their rushing attack. Having run on 52 percent of their offensive snaps, Indianapolis ranks as the seventh-most run-heavy team in the league this year. The Colts have attempted the 11th-fewest passes and have thrown for just four touchdowns, fifth-fewest in the league. Despite a high target share, Hilton is still seeing relatively low target volume, tied for 27th in targets among wide receivers.
It also doesn’t help that the Colts’ offense ranks just 22nd in passing efficiency. Even with a season-high 10 targets in Week 5, Hilton logged only six receptions for 69 yards, ranking as just the no. 28 wide receiver in PPR. And it was a rare game where the Colts fell behind and had to throw a lot, which doesn’t figure to happen too often going forward given their stout defense.
Hilton will turn 31 years old in November and is also on the final year of his contract. It’s very possible that Hilton will be a secondary contributor in 2021 and beyond like Emmanuel Sanders is now in New Orleans and only fantasy-relevant when injuries strike those ahead of him on the depth chart. It would be prudent to sell Hilton preemptively before the market catches up, as a wide receiver-needy contender might still pay a late second-round rookie pick for him. Even if you need to add a third to Hilton to get the deal done, it might be worth moving Hilton now before the window closes, whether due to injury or lack of production simply due to offensive woes.
Week 5 Dynasty Sells Revisited:
Ronald Jones and Robert Tonyan were the Week 5 dynasty sells recommended. As expected, Jones performed well in a run-heavy game script against the Bears on Thursday night. But with a more pass-heavy game script projected for this week’s matchup against Green Bay and the looming return of Leonard Fournette from his ankle injury, Jones remains a sell candidate.
As for Tonyan, we’ll see what his target share and red zone usage look like with Davante Adams expected back this week. Again, he’s a fine hold for teams in need of a starter at tight end, but Tonyan is unlikely to be more than a touchdown-dependent TE2 going forward. Dynasty teams should value him properly as such.
Like Meng’s Week 6 Dynasty Buys and Sells? Check out the rest of our Week 6 Fantasy Football lineup!
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