Week 1 is finally upon us. I’m super excited to see how everything plays out after a summer full of fantasy hype. Fantasy football buy or sell options usually aren’t a popular topic this early in the season. But with all the controversy, position battles, and key information floating around the league, it would be a crime not to talk about buy or sell opportunities. We’ll try to navigate the news and noise. Each week I will provide players that I think are good trading pieces or targets and a little bit of background as to why I think that. Let’s get into it.
LeSean McCoy: BUY
LeSean McCoy, otherwise known as the offense of the Buffalo Bills, is not being valued as that. Some of this has to do with the fogginess of McCoy’s legal situation and some has to do with just how terrible the Bills are expected to be this year. News flash: the Bills offense wasn’t too great last year either and McCoy still finished as the RB7 in PPR. How? Because McCoy is one of the best, most consistent pass catching backs in the NFL. He averaged 4.8 targets per game in 2017, which was brought down by a two week stretch where he saw one total target.
McCoy is a lock for five targets a game and will be used even more in the passing game as a check-down target for Nathan Peterman/Josh Allen. After all, a catch for no yards is as good as a rush for ten yards. Give me LeSean McCoy catching passes all day. He gets insane volume and represents a value that a lower rank this year. Last season, he earned the 4th most rushing yards and 2nd most attempts, so expect for McCoy to be worked all season long. The Bills’ schedule is pretty attractive as well with no scary matchups other than the Vikings (Week 3) and potentially the Bears (Week 9). People seem to not want to invest in McCoy, so buy low and sit back and watch him produce consistently every week.
Marquise Goodwin: SELL
All aboard the Marquise Goodwin hype train. One of the most talked about players of the draft season, the 49ers wide receiver flew up draft boards as people started to realize his potential and assets. He possesses top speed and found solid success at the end of last season in Pierre Garcon’s absence. Marquise Goodwin is a good football player and will score long touchdowns thanks to his speed. However, I don’t think he is going to get the volume he needs to be a WR2, which is how many are drafting him. Pierre Garcon, the target vacuum, is back. Garcon is now healthy and is still the WR1 in my eyes until Goodwin proves otherwise.
If opposing teams treat Goodwin as the WR1 of the 49ers then he is going to see tough matchups all year long. His schedule is one of the most daunting in the league. I anticipate Goodwin will start out Week 1 being shadowed (and shutdown) by Xavier Rhodes. Here are some other cornerbacks he will match up with throughout the season. I’ll warn you, it isn’t pretty. Darius Slay, Casey Hayward, Patrick Peterson twice, Marcus Peters/Aqib Talib twice, Janoris Jenkins, Chris Harris Jr., and Kyle Fuller. Good luck. That schedule paired with the uncertainty of his production is enough to steer me away from Goodwin at his current value. Other people aren’t on the same boat as me at this point, which makes him a great sell-high candidate for me.
Royce Freeman: BUY
The rookie running back from Oregon, now of the Denver Broncos may not seem like the cheapest buy right now, but by the end of the year he will be one of the biggest steals of the draft/season. The Broncos listed Freeman as the starter on the depth chart as of only a few days ago. The idea of a Devontae Booker-Royce Freeman committee may still be haunting some. Don’t believe that.
Royce Freeman is superiorly talented compared to Booker, who already had his chance to be a bell-cow back last season and failed miserably. Freeman will win this job outright in no time. He’s a rookie so there is no sample, but he has the potential to be a 1,000 yard rusher with pass-catching ability (anticipate around 40 receptions). I am trying to get as many shares of Freeman as I can as my RB2 and will confidently play him there every week. He has no scary matchups this year with the only defenses worth noting the Rams and the Browns. I believe Freeman can be a league winner in 2018 if he scores enough touchdowns in the blue-collar Denver offense.
Keelan Cole: BUY
Keelan Cole is now considered the number 1 receiver in Jacksonville but is still ranked only WR40 for Week 1. He isn’t getting the attention he deserves, which makes him a great buy- low candidate. Cole shined at the end of last season. In Week 15, Cole went for 168 yards and a TD on 7 receptions. In Week 16, he went for 108 yards on 6 receptions. Marquis Lee sat out both weeks. Marquise Lee is out for the entire upcoming season so why aren’t people more excited about Keelan Cole?
There was a lot of buzz when Lee went down but that seems to have faded. Cole is a cheap target that could become a WR2/3. He gets to play the Texans and Colts twice each and the NFC East, one of the weaker divisions. A good amount of favorable matchups make Cole more attractive as a “sleeper.” People undervalue the Jaguars pass game even though Blake Bortles consistently finishes as a top 15 QB. Those points have to go somewhere and Cole figures to be the second offensive weapon in Jacksonville.
Thanks for reading about my Week 1 fantasy football buy or sell candidates. I hope these suggestions help you strengthen your roster and gain a winning season. Follow me on Twitter @travisfinkel for more content or @ me with comments. Also, check out great weekly content for redraft, DFS, and dynasty leagues from The Fantasy Authority!