Fantasy Football: Buy or Sell Week 18

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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.

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.

This will be my final Buy or Sell Article of the year. I hope you have enjoyed this journey with me. I am not a gambler whatsoever, so picking prop bet lines was a completely foreign exercise for me before consistently writing this article. I have to say, I am very pleased to finish the year correctly picking over 60% of my lines (even if I go 0/6 this week), and I am especially pleased to have out-picked the three podcast hosts (something I will mercilessly remind them of from now until they inevitably fire me for gloating). Of course, had I actually placed any real money on any of my wagers, the tides of fate would have reversed, and I surely would have finished the year in the red. Such is my luck with real gambling.

Anyways, thanks for reading along. I can’t wait to dive into some off-season articles that will be focused more on fantasy strategy and less on the vice of gambling. Lastly, I want to sincerely thank the Fantasy Footballers for giving me a shot in this crazy industry. I am honored to be part of such a great team.

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 17’s results:

Player Line Andy Mike Jason Nate
Keenan Allen Top 15 WR Sell Sell Buy Sell
Hunter Renfrow 5 receptions Sell Buy Buy Buy
Cordarrelle Patterson Top 24 RB Sell Buy Sell Buy
Odell Beckham 52 Receiving Yards Buy
Terry McLaurin 56 Receiving Yards Sell
Ronald Jones 55 Rushing Yards Buy
2021 Results 54% (25/46) 51% (25/49) 57% (25/44) 64% (64/100)

It was a strong week from each of the Podcast hosts, as each one of them went 2-for-3, albeit in three different ways. I also went 2-for-3 in the Podcast Buy/Sell segment but followed that success with a brutal 0-for-3 on my Bonus Bur/Sell picks… Oof.

Keenan Allen caught a touchdown but only managed 4 catches for 44 yards. That’s a decent day for your fantasy team, but only resulted in a WR24 finish on the week. A lot of WRs had very strong days in Week 17, including some unexpected names like Zay Jones, Cedric Wilson, Braxton Berrios, and Kristian Wilkerson. Hunter Renfrow was another name that finished ahead of Keenan Allen due in large part to catching 7 passes, which was two more than his line of five receptions in this week’s prop. Cordarrelle Patterson, still considered a wide receiver in some format, would not have finished ahead of Keenan Allen, as he continued to disappoint managing to only accumulate 52 total yards and two catches, finishing the week RB37.

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The Bonus/Buy Sell picks were missed in cruel manners. Odell caught a touchdown but only managed 39 yards on 5 catches, as the Rams spread the ball around quite evenly between Beckham, Higbee, and Van Jefferson. McLaurin barely exceeded 56 yards (61 yards), and Ronald Jones got injured early in the third quarter after he was well on his way to 55 rushing yards.

One last set of picks for the 2021-2022 NFL season. Even in I go 0/6 and Jason goes 3/3 (which is impossible, by the way, since we have some overlap in picks), he still can’t catch my correct pick percentage for the year. So this week is a victory lap for me, but that doesn’t mean I will give my picks any less thought or scrutiny. Let’s go!

Week 18 Podcast Buy or Sell Lines

Let’s dive into Buy or Sell from Wednesday’s episode: “Fantasy Q&A + Tilt Hard, Dynasty Download”.

Nick Chubb (RB, CLE) vs. CIN – Top 10 RB

Chubb was the RB3 vs. Cincinnati in Week 9, and Baker Mayfield will not play in Week 18, so the Browns are likely to rely on the run more. However, Jason mentioned that Nick Chubb may be fighting a rib injury. Thus, Jason sold because the Browns are unlikely to run him into the ground with nothing to play for and now thinking about Chubb’s career through a long-term lens. Mike is also concerned about the injury and also sold.

I completely agree with Mike and Jason. The Browns are almost certain to heavily involve D’Ernest Johnson in a meaningless game. There’s simply no reason to heavily involve Chubb in this meaningless game while their star running back is less than 100%. I, too, will sell.

Jaylen Waddle (WR, MIA) vs. NE – Top 18 WR

The Dolphins were eliminated from playoff contention last week, but we all think that the Dolphins will play with maximum effort against the Patriots in Week 18. We’ve talked a lot about how the Patriots like to eliminate the opposing team’s #1 offensive option over this season, and there’s no doubt that the Dolphin’s #1 offensive option is Waddle. Hence, Jason sold this line thinking the Patriots shut down Waddle. Conversely, Mike bought because of Waddle’s consistent volume.

I side with Mike on this one. The Patriots best cornerback (J.C. Jackson) won’t shadow Waddle who spends 61% of his snaps in the slot. Meanwhile, the Patriots slot corner, Myles Bryant, is nothing special. As such, there’s no reason to downgrade Waddle even against the Patriots. Between usage and talent, I think Waddle gets to WR18.

Terry McLaurin (WR, WFT) @ NYG – Double-Digit Fantasy Points

McLaurin has been, frankly, awful in 2021. He’s only achieved double-digit fantasy points four times this season. Yikes! Certainly, some of that poor performance has to do with missing Ryan Fitzpatrick due to injury, but there is no denying that 2021 was a bust for McLaurin. That said, Terry has historically destroyed the Giants. Nevertheless, Jason remained pessimistic and sold, mostly because Taylor Heinicke has been very bad of late. From an alternative perspective, Mike bought the historical performances of Terry McLaurin against New York, believing it will happen again.

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I once again side with Mike. Terry burned me last week in this article, but the Giants are a very bad team. McLaurin managed double-digit points against Darius Slay last week, I think he can barely creep over it in a better matchup.

Nate Henry’s Bonus Buy or Sell

Diontae Johnson (WR, PIT) @ BAL – 6 Receptions

I considered taking the receiving yards prop (77 yards) for Diontae Johnson too, but 6 receptions seemed the more likely bet. Last week, Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball a lot (46 passes), but only accumulated 123 yards. That’s an absurdly low 2.67 YPA. What I am saying is that I trust the Steelers to pass the ball to Diontae a lot, but I don’t trust them to pass the ball downfield to Diontae a lot. I will buy the 6 receptions, which will probably lead to 77 yards against the beat-up Ravens secondary, but you never know given this version of the Steelers offense.

Mac Jones (QB, MIA) @ MIA – 210 Passing Yards

In games not against Buffalo (including a crazy snow game where he threw the ball twice), Mac Jones easily surpassed 210 passing yards. He looked great last week, although the game was against the hapless Jaguars. As we discussed above, Miami is going to give the New England everything they’ve got, but New England has a lot riding on this game. That’s going to lead to more Mac passing. Add in a hobbled Damien Williams, and I think 210 passing yards will be easily overcome by Mac.

Jonathan Taylor (RB, IND) @ JAC – 110 Rushing Yards

Indianapolis needs to win the game to be assured a playoff berth (and to avoid the bizarre scenario where Las Vegas and the Chargers could intentionally tie the game to both make the playoffs). You know Indy intends to ride their workhorse to the playoffs, especially against a Jacksonville defense that has been the 5th most generous defense to opposing RBs. It’s crazy to buy a line this high, but I am still going to do it. Taylor has averaged 27 carries and 132.25 yards per game over the last four weeks, against far superior competition. There is a world where Indy has already won the game by halftime, because Jacksonville is so bad, and the Colts rest their most important offensive piece, but I just don’t see how Taylor doesn’t have 20 carries in a win for the Colts, which is almost assured to happen, even when playing 60% of the snaps. I will buy this crazy high line.

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