Fantasy football is a game of surprises. Overachievers and underachievers present us with a pool of buy low or sell high players. We as owners can filter through these players to find cheap or inflated value. Let’s do just that before we strap ourselves to the couch in Week 4. Barring drastic changes in play or opportunity this weekend, the players I highlight below should hold the same trade value next week. Buying low or selling high on players will help build your league-winning roster. No one wins with the team they draft.
Trey Burton (CHI, TE)
Trey Burton has been very underwhelming so far this season. After an offseason filled with hype about his new starting role in a new Matt Nagy offense, Burton was a popular breakout pick. The offense has not clicked yet, and Burton owners feel the effects. He’s cracked double-digit fantasy points just once and has only 90 reception yards all season. With one touchdown to his name, on a shovel pass nonetheless, Burton has disappointed those who waited to draft him as their TE1.
The tight end field is desolate, making Burton a valuable candidate to buy low and hope he picks it up. The Chicago Bears offense has major room for growth under Nagy and Trubisky. The Bears are averaging just 21 points through three games. With a great defense, the offense has not been needed or relied on. The offense has a chance to get into a nice groove over the next several weeks, however.
The Bears will face the Bucs this week then the entire AFC East after a bye week. The offense has favorable matchups for the next five weeks. Schedules are always important when considering a roster change. Burton had 55 receiving yards on four catches last week- both season highs. Burton could be on the rise already. If the Bears have playoff hopes, the offense will need to step up and Burton will be a beneficiary of the improvements.
Michael Crabtree (BAL,WR)
Crabtree has a productive football season thus far. No weeks north of 12 points (in 0.5 PPR) allowed him to fly under the fantasy radar. Usually a big red zone threat, Crabtree has not scored a TD since Week 1. In the two weeks he has not scored, he produced 8.1 and 9.6 fantasy points. So, he easily has double-digit potential week in and week out, touchdown or not. The Ravens relied on their running backs to score with six between Alex Collins (2) and Buck Allen (4).
As the season plays out, Crabtree will certainly become more involved in the red zone. That’s his bread and butter. Crabtree has a favorable schedule for the rest of the season. Tomorrow he plays the dreadful Pittsburgh defense, so today is a good day to buy him low. Crabtree plays Pittsburgh one more time this season, then New Orleans, and then OAK, ATL, KC, and TB in weeks 12-15 when it really matters. Crabtree can become a valuable flex player or better for your team down the stretch. Get him for a cheap price right now.
Kareem Hunt (KC,RB)
Hunt was a late first round pick this season after a fantastic rookie season put him on the map. He let us down in Week 1; not something owners were happy about with their first overall pick. Since then, he picked it up scoring wise with 14.5 and 16.9 points (0.5 PPR). Those scores are a little misleading, however, and not exactly high enough for such high draft capital.
Hunt is getting the rush attempts you look for in a running back- a strong selling point- but he isn’t doing much with those touches. He is averaging 17.3 attempts per game but averaging only 56 Yds/G on the ground. He surpassed 50 ground yards just once and has not topped 100 total yards once this season. Hunt, who had 53 receptions as a season ago, has just one catch through three games. That one catch went for five yards and a touchdown. Touchdown aside, that is putrid from your number one pick.
Hunt just is not being used in the passing game by Mahomes. He has a difficult schedule the rest of season against run defenses. Hunt could end up becoming a touchdown dependent play if Mahomes doesn’t come back to Earth. If his passing role does not increase, which seems unlikely at this point, Hunt is going to disappoint all year. He can still be sold high thanks to his high draft position, name value and perceived association with the potent Kansas City offense. You will be able to get two very productive players in return for Hunt.
Isaiah Crowell (NYJ,RB)
Isaiah Crowell has two two-touchdown games this year. Talk about inflated value. In a committee with Bilal Powell, Crowell has been the less efficient running back despite the four end zone appearances. Crowell is an extremely inefficient running back, dating back to his days in Cleveland. Between Weeks 2 and 3, he has 28 total rush attempts and has failed to surpass 40 rushing yards in both. In Week 1, he had 102 rush yards thanks to a 62 yard TD run. Otherwise he would’ve been around the same 40 yard mark.
Crowell has been the better fantasy back of the Jets so far- making him better for trade purposes. He has not been the better actual running back, however. Bilal Powell is the more efficient back rushing for 60 yards and 73 yards in Weeks 1 and 3. Powell is also the superior third down back, limiting Crowell’s role and ceiling. As of now, Crowell is touchdown dependent but it doesn’t seem like that because of his high fantasy scores. This makes him someone to trade at his inflated value. Jacksonville, Denver and Minnesota are three of the next four opponents for the Jets, so he probably wouldn’t be on your starting roster anytime soon. So flip him for some value in this weak running back market to someone who is desperate.
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