Fantasy Football Buy Low Report – Week 0

Rejoice, for the 2017 fantasy football season is almost upon us! As we head into the final week of the preseason, it is important to remember that the NFL is extremely volatile. There is a genuine possibility that the player you drafted gets hurt or underperforms and weakens your lineup. That’s where this column comes in.

Every Wednesday, I will be profiling players to buy or sell in your leagues. I’ll be using the Buy Low Machine, Vegas Totals, and some common sense to help you gain an edge on your league mates. Here’s what to expect.

Buy Low/Sell High Advice

A caveat before we get started. It is entirely possible that several other GMs in your league consume a lot of the same fantasy material that you do. As a result, it is not outside of the realm of possibility that they too may be targeting the same players. I will do my best to prioritize the players that you are most likely to acquire at a cheap cost.

In certain situations, however, I will recommend players that require you to pay the iron price. I will do my best to define what their likely contribution looks like over the coming weeks. I’ll also offer some general advice about what players (specific players or types of players) you might want to consider in trade.

Lastly, I’d like to include this commentary from the Buy Low Machine page:

It’s important to note that identifying trade targets by SOS is somewhat akin to counting cards in blackjack. Not every trade will actually work out. Sometimes the player you trade away with the difficult schedule will still perform well and sometimes the player you acquire with the easy schedule won’t perform any better than if they had an average schedule. But if you make enough “plus” trades over time you’ll end up a winner.

In order to get the most out of your trades it’s important to trade players that have equal value today, but where you’re getting the better player for the future. It doesn’t work to overpay for the player with the easy schedule because you’ll end up sucking all of your advantage out of the deal. For best results focus on trying to find the very best schedules over a period (top 3 easiest) and then put your trade energy into acquiring the very best opportunities.

Your Mileage May Vary

I’m stealing this section from Charlie Kleinheksel’s waiver wire advice column.

  • My advice will be focused on single quarterback, PPR formats.
  • My advice will also skew towards redraft leagues, although it should also be very actionable in dynasty leagues, particularly if you’re trying to win this year. I’ll often provide both redraft and dynasty angles.
  • I encourage you to put specific questions in the comments to each week’s article. Those comments automatically go to our Message Boards. I’ll try to chime in on as many questions as I can, and other writers (not to mention our community of well-informed readers) will jump in as well. I will add that for the most actionable trade advice; please post your roster on the message board. It will help in determining which position you can safely divest while acquiring another usable asset.
  • I’ll also encourage you to make use of our Apps. Our in season apps will help you identify teams with great upcoming schedules, as well as insight into player-specific match ups.

Week Zero Buy Low

No one wins the championship once the draft is over. Certainly, you can construct your roster very well, but by nature, fantasy football is a high variance game. Pull up your waiver wire and trade screens, and let’s get started.


Sam Bradford

Bradford is currently coming off the board as QB22 so it is possible he may be available on waivers. If he is, scoop him up and feel free to ride him for the first five weeks of the season. Minnesota faces several weak passing defenses in the first half of the season, most notably opening the season at home against New Orleans. Bradford is a solid, cheap upside play at quarterback for the opening week and beyond.

Jonathan Stewart

Although not the sexy name in the Carolina backfield, Stewart holds plenty of appeal as a Zero RB target. Currently being drafted as the RB42, it appears that most drafters have forgotten that Stewart has posted at least seven touchdowns and 850 yards from scrimmage over the last two seasons. Given his depressed ADP, I’d assume that he can be had for very cheap from owners who drafted him as a late round dart. Stewart’s first three games come against teams who gave up an average of 100-plus yards per game on the ground. He should be a good bet to return RB2 numbers at the start of the season.

Evan Engram

From a fantasy perspective, rookie tight ends are about as volatile as they come. Much of Engram’s opportunity depends on how the Giants intend on using him this upcoming season. While preseason football is not the best indicator, he has seen work as a receiver. The Giants first two games are against teams that rank in the bottom eight at defending the TE.1 With Odell Beckham’s availability for Week 1 in question, I anticipate that Engram will see a slight bump in targets and should hopefully earn more playing time.


Donte Moncrief

Moncrief is currently being drafted as the 42nd wide receiver. I suspect the decrease in Moncrief’s price has coincided with all the time he’s missed from an AC joint sprain coupled with Andrew Luck’s murky rehabilitation timeline. Earlier this season, Moncrief was being drafted as the WR25, as fantasy players anticipated he’d be able to repeat his incredible TD rates. Given that Luck hasn’t thrown a pass since last December and is likely going to miss Week 1, owning the WR2 on the Colts isn’t appealing. Throw in the fact that Moncrief is set to do battle with several top cornerback units this season and he’s a potential bust. See if you can move him for Marvin Jones, John Brown, Kenny Britt, or Jeremy Maclin.

Carlos Hyde

I’m enthusiastic about Hyde’s potential this season. He’s ostensibly one of the cheapest RB1s being drafted right now. Given that he’s the current bell cow back in a Mike Shanahan offense, Hyde could set career highs this season. However, he opens the season against two defenses that were among the top-seven at defending the RB in 2016. If you extend that out to Week 4 when San Francisco travels to Arizona, he would have faced three units who were among the best in the NFL at stopping the run. This opens a nice buy-low opportunity for Hyde, who will go on to face several teams who are very generous to opposing runners. Right now, I would try to move Hyde for a WR2/WR3 type of player, if possible. On the flip side, if Hyde struggles early, keep an eye out for that Week 5 buying window.

Kareem Hunt

Since Spencer Ware went down, Hunt has shot up draft boards. Currently being drafted as the RB14, I’m confident that he is the perfect sell-high candidate. Kansas City opens the season at New England,2 and their schedule remains moderately difficult until Week 4. The enthusiasm around Hunt has produced a soaring ADP, although he is athletically just a smaller version of Ware. Athletic criticisms aside, Hunt will be the lead RB for Kansas City and is a lock to see the bulk of the carries. That means now is the perfect time to trade him for a high-end WR2. The enthusiasm for Hunt should allow you to steal a player like DeAndre Hopkins or Demaryius Thomas from another owner.

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  1. Per 2016 numbers.  (back)
  2. 2016’s top ranked rush defense.  (back)
By Hasan Rahim | @hrr5010 | Archive

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