Buy Low Opportunities Heading into Week 8 (Fantasy Football)
There were some really unfortunate injuries that happened this past weekend, and they served as a cold reminder of how fragile NFL seasons can be, even for the best players in the league. We are turning the corner on the first half of the year already, which means we are on a collision course for running back handcuff season and the fantasy playoffs. This week’s buy low recommendations feature a couple of genuine studs, alongside a few guys that aren’t getting the respect they deserve.
The Bucs’ offense as a whole has been a complete mess, but both Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are locked into their usual roles within the offense. Evans saw 15 targets this weekend, but “only” hauled in nine of them for 96 yards in a losing effort. Those of you that watched the game probably saw his egregious drop in the first quarter that would have been a walk-in 76-yard touchdown, but a lot of your league mates might not have. Evans is still a big-time target for the GOAT, but there may be people who are concerned that the Bucs’ offense is dust. Even if this turns out to be Brady’s true decline, it’s only going to improve the target totals for the guys in the passing game as they play catch-up. Efficiency will be replaced with consistent volume. The next four weeks bring juicy matchups for Brady and company against the Ravens, Rams, Seahawks, and Browns. All four of these games should be fairly high-scoring competitive affairs. Evans is on the runway right now, so it would be a great idea to climb aboard before takeoff.
Kirk has been on this list before, because I personally feel that he’s an underrated asset who has shown enough consistency to warrant lineup lock, and has a ceiling that’s higher than a lot of guys in his range. He’s averaging over seven targets per game, and he saw another ten this weekend. The Jags face off with the Raiders, Chiefs, Ravens, Lions, and Titans after their tough Week 8 matchup against Denver. That type of schedule can help you secure a playoff spot, and most people see Kirk as a middling asset instead of the true WR1 for his team. He’s far and away the top option in the passing game for Trevor Lawrence, and his volume will keep his weekly floor high. This is the type of move that not everyone thinks to make, but can help you secure a playoff spot and potentially win you a league.
Michael Carter – RB, New York Jets
Breece Hall was well on his way to an offensive rookie of the year award when he went down this past weekend, which makes an already brutal injury so much worse. The promising star running back is done for the year, but the show must go on for the 4-3 team in New Jersey. The Jets’ front office acted quickly by trading for James Robinson, but I wouldn’t be so quick to assume he will inherit all of the work that Hall was seeing. The most likely scenario is an even split, but there is a much higher chance that Michael Carter acts as the 1A than people will have you believe. The Jets have shown how much they like Carter through his early season usage and his continued work behind Hall’s emergence. Carter has finished in the top 35 at the position for three weeks in a row, despite Breece Hall dominating for fantasy purposes. When it comes to the running back position, the one thing we’ve learned is that a lot of coaches will go with the guy that they trust in the system first, and in this case, it’s clearly Michael Carter. James Robinson will take some time to acclimate, and it’s very possible he will be in a backup role and stay there. On top of the situational factors, it also seems to be flying under the radar that Michael Carter is really good. The Jets invested significant capital in him in the draft, and he has produced well when given the chance. He’s a primary add for me in leagues, and you won’t have to pay as much as he could be worth.
A.J Brown – WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Any time you try to trade for an alpha wide receiver on a top team in the NFL, it’s not exactly “buying low.” I’m well aware of this, but the concept here is to see a positive return on your acquisition cost. A.J Brown is not going to be easy to trade for, but he also might never be cheaper. He’s averaging roughly 8.5 fantasy points per game over his past three contests, and he was on his bye last week. There is always a psychological component to trading, and the optics for a lineup with A.J Brown in it haven’t been as good as the person who drafted him expected as of late. Over the past three weeks, he contributed three points, 12 points, then zero points. Not exactly setting the world on fire. If you can use this to your advantage, then you could acquire a top-tier talent who faces the Steelers, Texans, Commanders, and Colts over the next month, and who already had his bye week. Even if you have to pay high-end WR2 prices for him, it’s going to be worth it.
Tyler Higbee – TE, Los Angeles Rams
Similar to A.J Brown, the past couple of weeks hasn’t been up to par for Tyler Higbee managers. He only saw two targets in Week 6, and he had his bye in Week 7. This means that he has produced nothing for his managers in back-to-back weeks at a position that is very replaceable for the vast majority of fantasy teams. The reality is that the Rams’ tight end is one of the only reliable volume producers at the position, and he’s past his bye. The schedule for the Rams is favorable to the TE spot going forward as well. Higbee saw a season-high 14 targets against the 49ers, who they play in Week 8. After that, he faces the Bucs and Cardinals who both rank inside the top ten in fantasy points given up to tight ends. He could very well be a top-five option over the next month, but he may end up on some waiver wires as fantasy managers make room for bye week fill-ins and injury replacements. He should be easy to acquire right now and will help you lock up an unpredictable position in your lineup.