Buy or Sell baby! It’s good to be back. SO good. And what a first week back it was.
A week 1 which saw 15 teams starting different quarterbacks from the ones that started 2020.
A week 1 which saw Jameis Winston throw zero interceptions.
A week 1 which saw Mark Ingram get 26 carries.
A week 1 which saw three 1st round rookie receivers score touchdowns.
And a week 1 which saw Trever Lawrence throw 3 interceptions on purpose to join a very elite club:
All that preseason build up, hope and optimism all came to fruition in week 1. And for some that fruition is followed by absolute hysteria and panic.
To you, I say fear not – there is always a way out, there is always an answer and in fantasy football, there is always a way to leverage week 1 jerk reactions to your advantage. Better yet, I’ve done the work for you and given you some players to buy or sell, so you can say goodbye to hysteria and panic, and say hello to a better roster.
Allen Robinson – Buy or Sell? Buy
I identified the Jalen Ramsey effect on alpha receivers last week, and actually, A-Rob had a decent game considering Ramsey allowed 32 receptions all season in 2020. A-Rob snagged 6 catches (19% of the 32 Ramsey allowed all of last season, crazy) for 35 yards on 11 targets.
Dalton looked like the odd man out on what looks to be a promising young offence – consistently holding the ball too long, slow to move out the pocket and misfiring in the redzone. Rams D are a tough unit who bring the pressure, but Big Andy looked bad. The superior Justin Fields will be in sooner than later and if you can buy low on Robinson now after a poor stat line and worries over Dalton, make the move.
Ezekiel Elliott – Buy or Sell? Buy
As expected: Part 2.
Again, I explained why Zeke would be a trade target last week and it played out almost exactly – 11/33 on the ground, 2/2/6 in the air with zero TDs. On top of that La’el Collins is now suspended for 5 games, another blow to the Cowboys offensive line.
I’ll be honest, I actually thought Zeke looked sluggish and Tony Pollard looked electric when he had the ball in his hands. Pollard could push for 150 touches this year, but this shouldn’t put you off Zeke. The offence as a whole looked incredible, moving the ball through the air almost at will, while running 77 plays (4th highest in week 1), gaining 30 first downs (2nd highest) and putting up 451 yards of total offence (2nd highest). And you cannot understate the effect the Bucs D has on opposition running backs – they just do not let you run on them, period.
Now go badger, bother and down right pester the Zeke owner in your league to cough up their prize running back (not so much that they block you, but in a nice, friendly, doing them a favour way).
All GB Packers (Aaron Rodgers/Aaron Jones/Davante Adams) – Buy or Sell? Buy
I am a Packers fan and also a Jameis Winston ‘truther’ so this one REALLY hurt. Rodgers looked like he was still thinking of what witty opening line he can begin his next episode of Jeopardy with, while simultaneously p***ing off his arch nemesis, GM Bryan Gudekunst. His passer rating of 36.8 was his lowest (outside of week 5 last season 35.4 vs Bucs – seriously, Bucs D is insane) since week 15 of 2014.
Davante Adams didn’t do anything to hurt you but he suffered the consequences of Rodgers’ beautiful, long haired head being elsewhere, putting up 5/56 on 7 targets. And after they went behind Aaron Jones was #un-freed essentially giving up running the ball for a 5/9 line on the ground. Plus Saints D is no joke against the run so this was another ‘as expected’ stat line, albeit not THAT bad.
I’m willing to bet this was an anomaly, on an opening weekend where we saw 8 underdog wins (most in 35 years), against a (yet again) stout Saints D and where the game just simply ran away from them to the point they pulled the starters with a full quarter remaining.
I think the buy low window is open for Rodgers, Jones and Adams. Go have a poke and a prod for one of the star Packers trio, they get Detroit at Lambeu Field in week 2.
Justin Fields – Buy or Sell? Buy
As I talked about in Allen Robinson’s section, Andy Dalton looked really bad. If he isn’t replaced by Justin Fields by week 4 I’ll be shocked and just appalled as the rookie first round pick adds a complete new dimension to this offence. Fields even stepped in for a couple of plays where he slipped into the endzone for a TD and completed 2/2 passes for 10 yards.
The Fields owner in your league might have someone like Russell Wilson who very much #cooked in week 1, and wants to free up a roster spot for a WR/RB they can potentially use in their line-up. If your roster is QB needy – maybe you punted the position and took someone like Fitzmagic late in the draft (who is now looking at a lengthy absence) – I’d be willing to throw a speculative offer for my WR3/4 or RB3/4 their way to see if it tickles their fancy. Once Fields takes over he’s got top 5 upside, and that could be very soon, so go shoot your shot for the upside before it’s too late baby!
Deebo Samuel – Buy or Sell? Sell
Everything about the 49ers this week was baffling – Trey Sermon announced as a healthy scratch, Raheem Mostert injured after two drives (this is not baffling, but rather predictably annoying), 6th round rookie running back Elijah Mitchell going for 19/104/1 on the ground and Brandon Aiyuk garnering 0 targets and 0 catches…just why?
Most baffling to me was Deebo Samuel going 9/189/1 on 12 targets. The YAC monster put on a clinic in this one which included a 79 yard touchdown.
Now I’m not saying sell Deebo because he’s not very good, Deebo is a very good receiver and he absolutely will have big games here and there. But Aiyuk won’t have zero targets again, and they won’t have the pleasure of playing Detroit every week. If you can sell Deebo for someone like Allen Robinson, Terry Mclaurin or Mike Evans, pull the damn trigger baby.
Mark Ingram – Buy or Sell? Sell
He may not even be rostered in your league, but if you happen to roster him – congratulations.
Even though I’ve put this below Deebo Samuel, this has got to be the most obvious sell high of the week. Again, if he’s even on your roster.
Magic Mark got 26, yes, 26 carries against the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday as they salted away an unlikely heavy lead, to eventually beat the Jags. Meanwhile Phillip Lindsay and David Johnson also managed to get 8 and 6 touches respectively, along with a touchdown each.
This backfield was predicted to be a (at least) three-headed monster and although Mark Ingram got the majority of early down work AND does seem to be poised to be that guy for the Texans, this team will not be holding many/potentially any more leads anytime soon. I’d put my house, my car and my collection of Pokemon cards on Ingram not getting anywhere near 26 carries again this year. If you can sell Ingram high for RB2 value then snap it up, bite their hand off, take it to the bank and run away with it.
Jamaal Williams – Buy or Sell? Sell
We heard reports that Jamaal Williams would be heavily involved in week 1, and that splitting carries with D’Andre Swift would be a real possibility (I spoke about this last week identifying Swift as a possible trade target after week 1). And that was absolutely the case yesterday, as Williams put up an impressively efficient 9/54/1 on the ground and 8/56 on 9 targets in the air.
This was a game in which the Lions fought back resiliently after being down 31-10, bringing it back to 41-33 to eventually lose. I don’t expect the Lions to be able to generate this much offense throughout the season – 430 total yards (7th highest in week 1) and 84 plays (1st in week 1). In 2020 they averaged 62 plays per game (28th). I expect Swift (who was also very efficient – 104 yards, 1 TD on 17 touches) to be edge further ahead of Williams in touches (who also had 17 touches) and as a result this could be the highest his value will be all year. Much like Ingram, if you can sell for RB2 value for Williams then take it and run.
Melvin Gordon – Buy or Sell? Sell
Another running back who before the season was drafted in the mid-late rounds of drafts, due to being in a committee/faces tough competition for touches.
Gordon is not a bad running back and in 2020 he even finished as the RB13 in standard formats. But Gordon was largely held in check vs Giants on Sunday apart from a huge 70 yard touchdown run.
Rookie Javonte Williams actually out touched (15 to 14) and out snapped (34 to 32) Gordon, albeit being outproduced by the veteran. But to see Williams do this in week 1 only points towards the trend continuing and potentially even taking over the job entirely.
As per above, in week 1 we want to identify players in positions which are uncertain but they pop off for a huge week, leading to their value being inflated. And Melvin Gordon’s week 1 is the prime example of this – if you can see a roster in your league with an RB or WR that struggled week 1, has a path to consistent weekly volume with no rookies nipping at their heels, then make your enquiries now.