The first quarter of the fantasy season is in the books. Which is a great time to take a look at some Week 5 fantasy football buy and sell options.
The major news from Week 4 was Le’Veon Bell ‘announcing’ his plans to return to the Steelers after we saw Earl Thomas suffer a season-ending injury. Thomas was also holding out during training camp for a new contract and suffered the fate that Bell has been avoiding by holding out. Very unfortunate news for Thomas, but Bell owners rejoice as we finally have an end in sight to the saga. Week 8.
As the season goes on, players will start to perform closer to their preseason rankings making buying low or selling high a little more difficult. While the season is still young, it is important to cash in on the value the player has now before it’s too late, whether it be cheap or expensive. As the season goes on, I will look to include players that are keeps or cuts, especially with trade deadlines in effect. For now, we will roll forward with flipping players for future outlook purposes. Let’s look into it as we head into the Week 5 slate.
Sterling Shepard (NYG,WR)
Shepard was projected to have a big fantasy week in Week 4, and he came through. The combination of a missing Evan Engram and a plus matchup with a backup slot corner allowed Shepard to have his best fantasy week of 2018. After a 17 point (HALF PPR) Week 3, Shepard had a 20.7 point follow-up this week. With 16 catches and two touchdowns in the last two weeks, Shepard is worthy of a sell high consideration.
Shepard has come on since tight end Evan Engram went down midway through last week. The correlation between Engram’s health and Shepard’s production is undeniable at this point. With that, his production window could be limited. Shepard is putting up WR1/2 numbers and in a deep wide receiver field, it should be easy to part with him. The reality of his situation is that he is the fourth offensive option when Engram comes back and he is on a bad team led by a rapidly aging quarterback. Sell high on Shepard while you can before he reverts to his Week 1 and 2 output (7.3 and 3.9 points).
Adrian Peterson (WAS, RB)
Another NFC East player, Adrian Peterson is currently RB12 (HALF PPR). Two 20+ games sandwiching a six-point game has given AP a ‘resurrected’ title in many owners’ eyes. It might be true that All Day still has something left in the tank, but he is one of the more one-dimensional backs in the top tier of scorers so far. That tells me that his performances may be unsustainable going forward. Chris Thompson is always involved as well and so Adrian Peterson is a great sell high candidate.
The Redskins have fed Peterson the ball this season, giving him 56 carries through three weeks (9th in NFL). That number isn’t as telling as it leads you to believe. 45 of those carries have come in two games when the Redskins have held comfortable leads. Peterson gets run into the ground only early in games or when the Redskins are trying to hold a lead. In their one loss in Week 2, Peterson had 11 rushes for 20 yards. Peterson is entirely game dependent and it has worked out so far, but time might be running out. The Redskins won’t be favorites often this season so Peterson’s role will be limited. Chris Thompson offers the team much more offensive flexibility, which also limits Peterson to just a rusher. Peterson will have a tough time on Monday against the Saints who figure to force the Redskins to keep up with their offense. Peterson’s timer could already be started. Sell high on Peterson while his value dependency isn’t as obvious to other owners. Thompson is the back to own in PPR formats.
Geronimo Allison (GB, WR)
Geronimo Allison is technically the third receiver on the Packers depth chart. He is owned in only 51.4% of ESPN leagues, which is a crime. He can be a starter now in all leagues as WR26 (HALF PPR). Since he was drafted so low or not even drafted at all, he holds little perceived value making him a prime buy-low candidate. In four weeks, Allison has topped double-digit points in three and had 9.4 (HALF PPR) the other. His catches/yards/TD line each week are as follows – 5/69/1, 6/64/0, 2/76/1, 6/80/0. Fantastic lines from a supposed WR3 for the Packers.
Let’s be honest, Allison isn’t really the Packers third receiver. Randall Cobb has not done anything of note since Week 1 and is battling an injury that will likely keep him out for his second straight week in Week 5. Allison is recovering from a concussion and could miss this week as well, actually making him an even better buy-low candidate. Cobb has a hamstring injury that could linger, given his injury history but Allison should be fine by Week 6. Trading for him during a week he might not play could prove to be one of your best moves all season. I regret to say I traded him as part of a package for James Conner, right before the Lev Bell news came out and I regret it immensely. Aaron Rodgers will continue to get healthier and Allison will never see the number one corner of his opponents as long as Davante Adams is around. Allison has been on the Waiver Wire Article from Matt Lo since Week 1 and should be owned in all leagues. If he isn’t owned, pick him up now. If he is, then try and trade for him. Oh and he plays the Falcons and the Jets in the fantasy playoffs. That is all.
David Johnson (ARI, RB)
No one would’ve thought David Johnson would be a buy-low candidate after being the third pick in most drafts. But here we are. Owners are fed up with Johnson and probably the Cardinals too. Johnson has struggled rushing the ball this year not having not topped 75 yards in a game yet. David Johnson is still producing well, just not at the level people expected from their first overall pick, much like Kareem Hunt (until last Monday). There is reason to be hopeful about David Johnson and try to buy “low” on the first round pick.
Most of Johnson’s struggles were due to the anemic offense being led by Sam Bradford. Now that Bradford is benched in favor of Josh Rosen, Johnson owners have hope. In Rosen’s first start, Johnson rushed for a season-high 71 yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts. He also added three receptions for 41 yards. Johnson now has 14+ points in three out of four games. His floor has been established already so he can only go up from here. Johnson is the Cardinals best bet to score as he has three touchdowns already. If there were such a thing as a safe bet for a touchdown, Johnson would be on that list. Johnson is going to be at least an RB2 every week going forward and can be acquired for cheaper than he should be. Johnson may not reach his thousand-thousand-yard season, but the offense will be run through him with rookie Josh Rosen at the helm leading to extremely high volume.