Okay, NOW it’s time to panic? With a lot of fantasy managers now very accustomed to the ‘don’t panic trade after week 1’ sentiment, depending on the competitiveness of your league, you likely didn’t strike gold on any buy or sell from last week.
But after two weeks we start to get an idea of what trends look like they’re here to stay, or the week one panic corrected itself dutifully in week two with a bounce back. After all, form is temporary, class is permanent (which honestly, is actually a great, albeit cliched, mantra for any trigger-happy, Bill O’Brian esque traders out there).
With that in mind, let’s move swiftly onto this week’s buy or sell candidates:
Saquon Barkley (RB – NY Giants)
The NY Giants were playing on a short week, but we still saw Saquon Barkley’s snap count double from 29 (48%) to 58 (84%) in week 2. We also saw the efficiency increase, from 2.8 YPC in week 1 to 4.8 YPC. No we didn’t see a very sexy stat line whatsoever 13/57/0 on the ground and 3/2/12/0 in the air. But the increase in snaps and the increase in efficiency is exactly the trend we’re looking for to identify ‘Saquads’ as a trade target. Better days are ahead as he gets eased back in after essentially two full seasons out, go and test the frustrated manager in your league and enjoy more runs like this on your roster for the rest of the way:
AJ Brown (WR – Tennessee Titans)
There’s no hiding the Titans stunk in week 1, but on Sunday you could feel them starting to click. Establishing the run and getting Derrick Henry rumbling is so important for the success of this team, as well as the success of the wide receivers. It’s no coincidence we saw Julio Jones go for 100+ yards as the Titans dialled up the play action at a much higher rate, as Ryan Tannehill dropped back 14 times (31.1%) vs 5 (11.6%) in week 1.
We knew with Julio Jones joining the team it would increase the likelihood of AJ Brown’s production being up and down, but the targets are there (7 and 9 in first two weeks respectively), the offense is on the up and there is still no other receiving competition outside of Julio Jones. Buy AJ Brown now and watch him have a field day against the Indianapolis Colts in week 3.
Tyreek Hill (WR – Kansas City Chiefs)
I’m not saying this will be an easy buy, but in one of my leagues this week I saw the Hill owner admit they were fed up after losing their week 2 matchup to go 1-1. To confirm, Tyreek Hill went nuclear for 11/197/1 in week 1 and likely helped win their manager’s matchup. Yes this week he pooped the bed, with a 3/14/0 line, but so what. If you can get a player like Tyreek Hill, unanimously the number 1 or 2 ranked fantasy WR for 2021, at a discount, then set your Zoom status to away, put your £3 meal deal back in the fridge, stop whatever you are doing and make any sort of offer or enquiry.
Michael Carter (RB – NY Jets)
I know, I hate Jets running backs too. But this year is different, promise! I was one of the many to get stung by Le’Veon Bell and Adam Gase (just typing Adam Gase’s name makes my fists clench), but now they’re both gone it’s time to revisit this backfield. Michael Carter was drafted to be the NY Jets RB1 and in week 1 he was not the RB1. Hell, in week 2 he wasn’t even clearly the RB1 as Ty Johnson was the starter. But Carter and Johnson split snaps almost identically – 33 each, with Tevin Coleman a distant 3rd with 7 snaps – which is a huge step forward for Carter after week 1 seeing just 16 snaps.
Carter was one of the lone bright spots for the Jets this week with an efficient stat line of 11/59/0 rushing, 3/2/29/0 receiving. It might take another two/three weeks but it’s clear to see the Jets are slowly increasing Carter’s workload. His only competition is Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman, not exactly anything to write home about. Buy low now on Michael Carter, or better yet, he might have even been dropped to waivers last week out of frustration.
Marvin Jones Jr (WR – Jacksonville Jaguars)
This isn’t a buy low opportunity exactly, as Marv has got off to a hot start grabbing back to back touchdowns and seeing 19 targets in his first two weeks. This is more of an alert to a generally un-sexy player, that will be VERY sexy for your fantasy roster.
Marvin Jones is the WR1 for Trevor Lawrence and the Jags, who will see themselves in A LOT of negative game scripts. He is also the only established receiver on this team (no DJ Chark does not count I’m afraid, he just hasn’t put it all together consistently yet). Plus, Marv has scored 9 touchdowns in his three of his last four seasons – something not many receivers could claim.
Catching touchdowns is what Marvin Jones Jr does and there’s no reason to believe the first two weeks target total and touchdown scoring trend is an anomaly or unsustainable (he won’t score in every game, obviously), meaning he could easily push for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. Buy low now and you have yourself a WR2 for much less.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – Kansas City Chiefs)
Well damn. I really thought Clyde would see that positive touchdown regression that’s been spoken so much about. But after two weeks it just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. I know I know, it’s just two weeks, and the usage is still there – dominating RB snaps with 72% week 1 and 64% week 2, getting 17 and 13 touches respectively. But it’s so clear to see, and it already was, that this offence runs through Patrick Mahomes, in between the 20s and in the redzone. CEH hasn’t even been very efficient either, posting a meager 3.3 YPC thru week 2.
It’s time to realise that CEH is not the RB1 we hoped he would be, and that Andy Reid’s history of top fantasy running backs was because he simply did not have a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes, who needs and deserves to have the ball in his hands as much as possible. As encouraging as it was to see teammates come out in support of CEH after his first career fumble, it’s time to sell Clyde Edwards-Helaire now and cash in on the hype while you can before it’s too late.
Tyler Lockett (WR – Seattle Seahawks)
Wilson and Lockett’s chemistry is truly remarkable and they look like one of the great QB-WR duos in the league. They deserve to be considered in the same breath as Rodgers-Adams and Mahomes-Hill. Tyler Lockett has put up 1,000 yards and 9+ touchdowns for three straight seasons and looks poised to do it yet again, after two huge weeks going for 278 yards and 3 touchdowns on 16 targets, with a 75% catch rate. Lockett is up there among the top 10/15 receivers in the league and in fantasy likely sits as the number 1 receiver thru week 2, regardless of scoring.
To be clear, I am not endorsing you sell Tyler Lockett, he’s going to be brilliant for fantasy this year. Do not sell him for any offer that comes along, clearly. But if you can get someone in your league offering you a package valuing him as the WR1 in fantasy, you should be taking that in a heartbeat. For example, if you’re being offered a low end RB1 (Carson/Harris/Gibson) plus a WR1/high end WR2 who maybe hasn’t satisfied the owner just yet (AJ Brown/Mclaurin/Allen/Jefferson/maybe even teammate Metcalf), then take it now and don’t look back you lucky, lucky son of a gun.