Buy Low Opportunities Heading into Week 9 (Fantasy Football)
The real NFL trade deadline came and went without any huge trades for fantasy purposes, but that doesn’t mean we stop trading in our fantasy leagues. We all have plenty of time to shore up those last weak spots in our starting lineup before it’s time for a championship run. This week features a lot of big names, as the breakout stars are only going to show up this late in the season because of injury.
Gabriel Davis – WR, Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are probably the best team in football this year, and their offense is electric. Stefon Diggs has surpassed all expectations and Josh Allen is the rare difference-maker at the QB position. A lot of the preseason hype centered around the third head on the totem pole, Gabe Davis. The second-year wideout has been solid, but his roller-coaster performances have been difficult to predict. He’s finished in the top 15 at his position three times this year, but he landed outside of the top 50 in the other five weeks. Davis is the definition of “boom or bust” – reminiscent of Desean Jackson in his prime. The reason you want to get him on your team is that he’s the type of guy that can win you a championship but won’t cost you the WR1 price that his upside would normally command. Very few players have the ability to finish as the top overall receiver in a week, and Davis has already done that. He faces off with the Jets, Vikings, Browns, and Lions over his next four games – all of which could deliver big results. Now is the time to steal him away, following a rough performance in a primetime game.
Amon-Ra St. Brown has taken a weird path to be where he is, after a red-hot start and a subsequent icebox afterward, with some injuries sprinkled in. This past week he returned to the field and put up another dud, and the monster known as “the fantasy bust” is potentially starting to rear its ugly head. The trade deadline brought a lot of action, and the Lions made one of the biggest moves from an offensive standpoint. Detroit shipped T.J Hockenson off to Minnesota, which should lead to even more targets out of the slot for St. Brown and company. He commanded double-digit targets in his first healthy week back, and the Lions should be adding D’Andre Swift to the offensive mix full-time sooner rather than later. St. Brown still has plenty of high-volume boom weeks ahead of him, and he’s already past his bye week. He’s an excellent target for teams looking to bolster their WR2 spot.
Josh Jacobs – RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Any time you have even a small window to snag a top 10 fantasy back, you should consider going through it. Josh Jacobs has been a huge surprise in every sense of the word, but right now there is so much negative press around the Raiders’ offense that you may be able to get him for a discount. Jacobs only played on 55% of snaps in the Raiders’ blowout loss to the Saints and he only carried the ball 10 times because they were playing from behind throughout the contest. This usage makes perfect sense, but this type of game script isn’t likely to happen every week. Jacobs faces off with Indianapolis, Denver, and Seattle over the next three weeks. All of these should be tight contests that will allow the ground game to continue to feast. If you have a league mate who is more worried about the Raiders as a whole, then now is the time to pounce.
Mark Andrews – TE, Baltimore Ravens
The fantasy TE2 has logged back-to-back weeks outside of the top 20, and his managers have to be frustrated regardless of the reason why. To make matters worse, his backup Isaiah Likely stepped in and exploded in his absence. It’s very common for people to overreact to a backup player’s performance over a short time period, so this all may add up to panic on the part of the Mark Andrews drafter. If they were someone who paid attention in the preseason, then they would already know exactly how good Isaiah Likely is in this role because he dominated his preseason opportunity. All of that hype added up to nothing, as Likely hasn’t been a factor in the Ravens’ offense when Andrews is healthy. The purple birds’ stud tight end faces off with a tough Saints’ defense and then has his bye week, so there is a good chance we are heading into Week 12 on the back of four straight rough performances for Mark Andrews. The reason you want to try to get him now is that his owner may be thinking it’s the perfect time to sell, given all of these surrounding factors. Their loss can be your gain because Mark Andrews isn’t going anywhere in the long term. He will still be ready to dominate at full health when the fantasy playoffs come around. If you are a five or six win team looking to get over the hump, he’s a great option.
Tyler Boyd – WR, Cincinnati Bengals
A lot of the hype surrounding the remaining Bengals pass catchers was put to rest when Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd had somewhat underwhelming performances on Monday night. Ja’Marr Chase is likely to be sidelined for a long time, which boosts the prospects of the two other talented receivers. After a disappointing first game, I fully expect Tyler Boyd to be cast aside by a lot of people that started him, expecting instant gratification. Since handcuffing doesn’t work the same way with wide receivers, it was reasonable to expect Boyd to take some time to ascend now that he’s higher in the pecking order. He will see tighter coverage, different looks, and more targets now, regardless of what happened in the first week. The buy window is still wide open, and may have just gotten cheaper.