This year has been a battle of attrition, and Week 7 brought yet more injuries to key fantasy players like Odell Beckham Jr. and Chris Carson. 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 Alvin Kamara if the other dynasty GM is contending for a title, and don’t attempt to sell veteran contributors like Julio Jones to teams clearly in a rebuild and not in position to vie for a championship this year.
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Week 8 Dynasty Buys
It’s been an ignominious start to the season for Kenyan Drake, and many disillusioned dynasty players are likely frustrated with having started Drake during his down weeks against Carolina in Week 4 and his early exit against Seattle this past Sunday night. But outside of these two disappointing games, Drake has been a serviceable RB2 in fantasy. He quietly sits as the no. 22 running back in PPR formats through seven weeks. And even after missing part of the game against the Seahawks due to the ankle injury, he ranks just ahead of teammate Chase Edmonds, who is currently the no. 23 running back on the season.
Drake has looked every bit the part of a lead back, having played on average 67 percent of the offensive snaps (excluding Week 7), and he’s commanded 80 percent of the carries for Arizona’s backfield thus far. The biggest detriment to his fantasy production has been a lack of touchdowns, but Drake ranks sixth in red zone carries among all running backs with 22 rushing attempts inside the 20-yard line.
It’s certainly possible that Edmonds solidifies his hold on the starting job in Arizona during Drake’s absence in the next few weeks, as he has looked like the more explosive option in this backfield at times. This potential scenario makes Drake a risky dynasty buy. However, it’s also possible that Drake could return to the lead role with fresh legs late in the season when NFL defenses have been worn down by fatigue and injuries.
Contending teams should take a chance on Drake, as he can likely be acquired for an early second-round rookie pick in some leagues with many dynasty GMs having given up on him, maybe even less depending on the league. He’s a cheap fantasy RB2 for the remainder of the season with upside if those red zone carries finally lead to touchdowns.
The disrespect is unreal. Many are treating Mike Evans as a disposable flex play, citing his low target totals and reliance on touchdowns thus far on the season. But allow me to cite an alternative narrative. Evans was limited by a hamstring injury in Week 1 and still managed to score a touchdown; he’s also played through injury these last three games after having suffered a high ankle sprain against the Chargers in Week 4. Despite having played hurt for four of his seven games, Evans sits as the No. 18 wide receiver in PPR formats.
The reliance on touchdowns is a risk, as 39 percent of his fantasy production so far this year has been generated by his six touchdowns. But touchdowns are also exactly what we want for fantasy players, as scoring elevates their weekly ceilings. While I understand that reliance on unpredictable touchdowns is a dangerous prospect, Evans is tied for the fourth-most targets inside the 10-yard line among all wide receivers. As long as he remains a preferred red-zone target for Tom Brady, Evans should continue finding the end zone.
And yes, there are concerns with Chris Godwin and the recently-signed Antonio Brown taking away target share. Much has been made of the fact that in their four games together, Godwin has amassed 29 targets compared to just 12 for Evans. But Evans has been injured for three of those four contests. In the only game where both he and Godwin were fully healthy in Week 3, Evans saw four targets to Godwin’s six.
Perhaps my bias is showing, but this Tampa Bay offense could be the best in the NFL. Even with Godwin and Brown siphoning away target volume, Evans has a fair chance to lead the league in touchdowns this year. Oh, and by the way, Godwin and Brown are both slated to hit free agency after 2020. Evans is a top-10 dynasty wide receiver currently attainable in some leagues at WR3 prices (though he may struggle vs. James Bradberry in shadow coverage on Monday night, so his price might be even lower if you want to gamble on a down game and wait to buy until next week).
Week 7 Dynasty Buys Revisited:
Courtland Sutton and Jordan Akins were the Week 7 dynasty buys recommended. None of the Broncos wide receivers impressed much in a snowy game against the Chiefs, and Sutton continues to be the favorite to step back into the no. 1 wide receiver role in Denver when he returns in 2021.
As for Akins, we continue to await his return from the ankle injury, which could come as soon as Week 9 with the Texans currently on bye this week. Houston may ease him back into the lineup, but Akins figures to step back into the lead tight end role on this offense once healthy and remains among the best bargain dynasty buys.
Week 8 Dynasty Sells
Fresh off a five-touchdown performance in Week 7, there has never been a better time this season to try and sell Baker Mayfield. Last week against the Bengals was the first game in which Mayfield eclipsed 250 passing yards or two touchdowns. Could this be a sign of Mayfield and the Browns’ offense trending up? While possible, it’s hard to say.
Although Cleveland’s offense ranks top-10 in rushing DVOA, their passing offense leaves much to be desired, coming in at league-average at just 16th in the NFL. Part of the issue is lack of volume, with the Browns ranking as the second-most run-heavy offense in the league. And when they have called passing plays, Mayfield’s play has been subpar. He ranks 36th in accuracy, and the offensive line isn’t to blame. The Browns’ line currently ranks 10th in pass protection, but even with time to throw, Mayfield ranks 33rd in clean pocket completion rate.
So how to account for Mayfield’s big day against the Bengals? Quite simply, Cincinnati’s defense is bad, ranking 26th in passing defense. Something to keep in mind though is that Mayfield has the easiest schedule of any quarterback going forward. Despite his struggles, he could produce as a QB1 rest of season, but it’ll be difficult to determine whether he can be counted on as a long-term starter in the league. A continued run-heavy approach and the loss of Odell Beckham Jr. are also concerns.
If you think Mayfield can take advantage of his easy schedule going forward, he could be worth holding for contending teams. But for rebuilding teams, it would be prudent to minimize risk here and explore selling this week after his blow-up game vs. the Bengals. If however, no other team in your league is buying after the one big performance, Mayfield isn’t a must-sell right this minute, as there’s potential for his dynasty value to rebound if he does produce with the easy schedule going forward. But even then, dynasty GMs should set a calendar reminder to consider shopping him after the conclusion of the 2020 season.
With four straight games of double-digit scoring in PPR formats, Travis Fulgham has been a hot topic. Given this recent Twitter poll where an astounding 66 percent of respondents voted that they would rather have Fulgham over Mike Evans for the rest of the season, it would seem as though we’ve reached peak hype levels on Fulgham. It’s absolutely time to sell in dynasty if you haven’t already.
Let’s first give credit where credit is due. The former sixth-round draft pick figures to remain part of the Eagles’ offense going forward given the rapport that he’s built with Carson Wentz and what he’s accomplished over the last four weeks. The Eagles promoted Fulgham to their active roster following Dallas Goedert‘s injury in Week 3, and Fulgham subsequently contributed two catches for 57 yards and a touchdown in Philadelphia’s win over San Francisco in Week 4. From Week 5 to Week 7, Fulgham has accounted for a 29 percent target share with Goedert out.
To be clear, Fulgham has week-winning upside against an inept Dallas secondary, so it’s fine if you want to wait to sell him until after that game. But beyond this matchup against the Cowboys, Philadelphia has their bye in Week 9 with Goedert slated to return in Week 10. Jalen Reagor could also return in Week 10, and Zach Ertz is eligible to return from injured reserve in Week 11. It’s uncertain whether Alshon Jeffery will play at all this year, or if he’d see many snaps over Fulgham given what we’ve seen from the latter, but his pending return could further cut into Fulgham’s recent hefty target volume.
As I said with Phillip Lindsay last week, I applaud the undrafted players and late-round draft picks who break out and make a name for themselves and wish them success. Hopefully, Fulgham will parlay this recent hot streak into a lucrative deal when he hits free agency this coming offseason. But from a dynasty lens, his target share is about to plummet, and he’s an obvious sell given his current valuation by much of the dynasty community. It would be advisable to sell for any second-round rookie pick.
Week 7 Dynasty Sells Revisited:
Phillip Lindsay and A.J. Green were the Week 7 dynasty sells recommended. Prior to suffering a concussion, Lindsay saw nine carries and zero targets as a receiver in the first half of the game against Kansas City compared to eight carries and two targets for Melvin Gordon. As mentioned last week, even in a best-case scenario, Lindsay would be in a timeshare with barely more than half the touches in this backfield. With the recent concussion, Denver could be even more reticent to give him a lot of touches. Hopefully, you sold Lindsay after Gordon’s missed game in Week 6.
As for Green, he continued to see high target volume in Week 7 with the Bengals passing the ball a ton. He could be a decent WR3 or flex option rest of season and is no longer a must-sell, but teams should still be looking to move Green for more reliable wide receiver options, even if they’re in contention this season.
Like Meng’s Week 8 Dynasty Buys and Sells? Check out the rest of our Week 8 Fantasy Football lineup!
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