Fantasy Football: Buy or Sell Week 17

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Longtime listeners of the Fantasy Footballers will surely recognize the segment “Buy or Sell”, as this recurring segment appears regularly both in-season and offseason. But, if you are unfamiliar with this segment, Andy, Mike and Jason regularly discuss whether they agree or disagree that a given player will meet or exceed some given statistical threshold. For example, the Footballers might discuss whether they think D’Andre Swift will finish as a top-12 running back in 2021, and the Ballers who agree with this statement will “buy” it, whereas disbelievers will “sell”. These discussions are akin to “prop” bets, and they are a lot of fun.

Throughout the season I will recap Andy, Mike, and Jason’s “Buy or Sell” discussions on the Podcast and add my two cents to each line. And as an added bonus I will discuss three extra thresholds. Generally, these props will come from fantasy website projections, so they aren’t meant to be easy!

These predictions are meant to drive engagement! So, let me know if you hate or appreciate my predictions either in the comments here or on Twitter: @NateHenryFF.

Buy or Sell Scoreboard

There is no value in predictions without accountability! So, as promised, I will keep score for myself and Andy, Mike, and Jason (whether they like it or not!) Here are Week 16’s results:

Player Line Andy Mike Jason Nate
Kyler Murray 3 Total TDs Buy Sell Sell
Aaron Jones Top 15 RB Buy Buy Buy
Gabriel Davis Top 36 WR N/A N/A N/A
Ben Roethlisberger 4 rushing Yards Sell
Tee Higgins Top 15 WR Buy
Amon-Ra St. Brown 5 Receptions Buy
2021 Results 53% (23/43) 50% (23/46) 57% (25/44) 66% (62/94)

I am kicking myself for changing my Aaron Jones pick after listening to the Buy/Sell Segment on the show and letting Andy and Mike talk me out of my gut instinct. Always trust your gut! Alas, the Packers really took the foot off the pedal in the second half of the Christmas Day game, and the offense didn’t score a touchdown in the second half after three Aaron Rodgers touchdowns in the first half. Jones couldn’t find his way into the end zone, despite decent volume (12 carries, 6 targets), and couldn’t find his way into the top 15 running backs (RB25 on the week). Kyler Murray only managed 1 total touchdown, a passing touchdown, as the Cardinals offense continued to struggle. And Gabe Davis didn’t play due to a positive COVID test (although the process of buying Davis was clearly correct, as proven by Isaiah McKenzie).

In my Bonus Buy/Sell, Tee Higgins was not just a Top 15 WR, he was the WR1 on the week after exploding with 12 catches, 194 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Also, buying 5 receptions for Amon-Ra St. Brown was as much of a slam dunk pick as I projected – he finished with 9 catches and continued to impress. Finally, in my cheeky pick of the week, Big Ben didn’t even attempt to scramble, and finished the week with 0 rushing yards. I know, it’s silly, but a win is a win!

We’ve got two more weeks on the season, so we will keep plugging away!

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Week 17 Podcast Buy or Sell Lines

Let’s dive into Buy or Sell from Wednesday’s episode: “Championship Choices + Ballers AMA, #JaundiceJason”.

Keenan Allen (WR, LAC) vs. DEN – Top 15 WR

Andy noted that Mike Williams could return this week under the new NFL COVID protocols, even though Mike Williams is apparently unvaccinated. Andy thinks this is a good thing for the offense as a whole, but apparently not for Keenan Allen, because he sold. Mike noted that he ranked him in the Top 15, so he bought. Finally, Jason mentioned that he has Allen ranked at WR14, but he didn’t foresee Allen scoring a touchdown this week, so he sold.

I side with Andy and Jason here, and I will also sell. The Denver matchup ought to slow the Chargers passing game here; Patrick Surtain II, Kyler Fuller, and Ronald Darby have been a strong unit in 2021 – considered a “Tough Matchup” by Mike Clay’s Week 17 Shadow Report.

Hunter Renfrow (WR, OAK) @ IND – 5 Receptions

Mike mentioned that teams are scheming to stop Hunter Renfrow, which has resulted in a mere 5 targets two weeks ago and 3 targets last week. Nevertheless, Mike bought because Renfrow is typically such a target hog. Jason agreed because Indianapolis is a better run defense than passing defense. Finally, Andy sold because Zay Jones is becoming much more involved in the offense.

I will buy for the same reasons I bought Amon-Ra St. Brown having 5 receptions last week. Renfrow is a nice underneath target, so 5 receptions will be necessary against a strong Colts defense.

Cordarrelle Patterson (RB/WR, ATL) vs. BUF – Top 24 RB

Andy mentioned that the Lions and 49ers both completely shut Patterson down, but the Buffalo Bills have been very generous to opposing running backs. However, Andy mentioned that Cordarrelle is not a traditional running back, so he sold. Jason feels like the opportunities for Cordarrelle are still there and bought. Mike brought up Patterson’s age (31), and mentioned that he is a late-in-life running back, so it makes some sense that he’s starting to wear down. As a result, Mike sold.

I will buy. I think Cordarrelle gets involved because Buffalo runs up the score, and Buffalo continues to bleed points to the running back position.

Nate Henry’s Bonus Buy or Sell

Odell Beckham (WR, LAR) @ BAL – 52 yards receiving

Odell saved you with a touchdown last week, but generally, his performance was not what we expected against a struggling Vikings defense. Beckham gets another struggling secondary in Baltimore in Week 17. Baltimore’s secondary has been decimated by injuries and COVID exposure. The new NFL protocols may help some, particularly for Chris Westry, but the Ravens will be replacing Anthony Averett due to injury. No matter how you cut it, the worst secondary in the NFL is unlikely to improve this week. I don’t love picking a West Coast player traveling East in a Buy-Sell, but given how badly the Ravens were scorched by Cincinnati last week, it’s hard to see any way that Odell doesn’t manage a mere 52 receiving yards. I will buy.

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Terry McLaurin (WR, WAS) vs. PHI – 56 receiving yards

There really isn’t another way to say this, Terry McLaurin has been terrible the last 8 weeks (with the exception of one good game against Carolina in Week 11). In that time, McLaurin has averaged 43 receiving yards per game. Now this week he’s going to see shadow coverage vs. one of the league’s best corners: Darius Slay. The last time these two competed, Terry managed only two catches for 51 yards. I will sell this line, especially given what a trainwreck Washington has become.

Ronald Jones (RB, TB) @ NYJ – 55 yards rushing

Last week, my colleague and fellow author, Matthew Betz, sold you on buying James Robinson in DFS by simply arguing “The Jets…” This may be very simplistic, but it’s not wrong. The Jets have been very bad at stopping the run this year, even giving up a ton of yards to mediocre talents like Duke Johnson and Dare Ogunbowale. The Buccaneers are going to beat the Jets, and it likely won’t be pretty. With Fournette out last week, the Bucs rode Jones like a workhorse (20 carries, 3 targets), and I expect more of the same this week. Jones should easily surpass 55 rushing yards against New York with heavy usage.

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