As we head into Week 3 of the 2018 fantasy football season, I wanted to drop some random thoughts on you all. Some topics relating to buying low (and if some of these players go nuts in Week 3, you may miss out), other topics relating to selling-high. Let’s get into it!
Big Stats Are Coming: Kareem Hunt, Ezekiel Elliott, Odell Beckham, Davante Adams, David Johnson
Looking for the biggest names in fantasy football that are not yet living up to expectations? But, players that I fully expect to begin playing like the studs that they are?
Kareem Hunt has been under-performing so far this season, which is shocking given that the Chiefs have been scoring insane amounts of fantasy points through two games. Hunt had just 49 yards rushing in Week 1, with no receptions. In Week 2, he did rebound a bit, rushing for 75 yards and one receiving TD. This offense doesn’t have to rotate producing fantasy football monsters each week, there is enough fantasy production to go around. And, given that the passing attack destroyed both the Rams and Chargers, you can bet defenses will make the Chiefs run the ball in the coming weeks. Defenses will try game planning around stopping the Chiefs’ passing attack. If you own Hunt, do not sell-low. Even if he has a mediocre week in Week 3, do not sell him off at second-round value or anything. I think he erupts in Week 3 against the 49ers, and most importantly, I think he once again starts pulling in passes.
Despite scoring in both Weeks 1 and 2, Ezekiel Elliott has struggled to find his inner Zeke so far this season. He rushed for 69 yards in Week 1, and 78 yards in Week 2 (with little receiving action in both weeks). Those numbers aren’t awful, but it goes to show how dominate Zeke is capable of being if this is his disappointing play. That 120/2TD rushing game is on its way… it might just be here in Week 3 against the Seahawks.
Odell Beckham had a strong Week 1, pulling in 11/111/0TDs… but, then he busted in Week 2, dropping a line of 4/51/0TDs. While Eli Manning and that Giants offense is capable of providing some inconsistency in 2018, there is a ton of firepower in New York, fire power that should often keep the Giants in great field position. All year. Wins and losses won’t matter, losing games won’t drive down the value of fantasy players like Saquon Barkley or Odell Beckham… in fact, playing from behind in the third- and fourth-quarters will often be a good thing for a player like Beckham, who will thrive late in games and pull in those occasional ‘garbage’ touchdowns. Get ready for a double-digit TD season out of Beckham… even with 0TDs through two games of play, I predict Beckham has over 12TDs in 2018.
Davante Adams has actually been rather good through two weeks, but his ‘perceived’ value seems lower than it should be. He posted 5/88/1TD in Week 1 and 8/64/1TDs in Week 2. This guy has strong low-end WR1 value moving forward. Don’t sell-low, and consider buying low next week if he has just a mediocre outing in Week 3.
David Johnson has been awful, and the Cardinals have been even worse. DJ is typically a match-up proof runner, meaning if the team is getting crushed every week, they will feed him grips of receptions, and his stats will be his stats no matter if it’s via the air or ground. While this hasn’t been the case through two weeks, it’s just been 8 quarters of play. So many are ready to write his entire season off, but look what just happened to the Browns fantasy football players the moment Baker Mayfield jumped into the Browns’ starting lineup! Josh Rosen could enter the game at any point in Week 3, or start Week 4. I predict one of the two… then we shall see a different offense. Even if Rosen has ups and downs, he will shake things up, and we should see DJ get used differently. Don’t sell even close to low, and don’t hesitate to buy-low, especially in dynasty.
Stashes: Mark Ingram, Derrick Henry
Mark Ingram is not yet back from his four-game suspension, and Derrick Henry isn’t getting close to starter-type touches. Both should exit Week 3 without seeing huge bumps in value, thus you can buy even lower next week verses this week. Both have monster upside down the stretch in 2018, so consider taking stabs at trading for them. Henry has lots of injury risk, but he won’t be getting starter touches all season long, obvious by the fact that he is a great buy-low and currently being underutilized so far this year.
What to make of LeVeon Bell and James Conner for Weeks 3-16?
I just posted a newswire report on this, read it below:
NEWS: LeVeon Bell a good buy-low in fantasy, or is he out until Week 11?
Smitty’s Take: The truth about this situation is that it’s much more cloudy and unpredictable, on both sides of the ‘will he return’ debate, than each individual side admits. No one knows if LeVeon Bell will report in Week 3, 4, 5 or 11… to suggest that him sitting 2 weeks indicates that a 10-week holdout is a guarantee, well, that’s just not risk-free thinking. It would be reckless of me to say to fantasy worlds: “this will workout – make a trade for him!” However, I feel that it is equally reckless for some newswires out there to suggest that the two-missed games, and soon-to-be three-missed games, indicates a 10-week holdout is a certainty. And, this analysis is everywhere! And, I’m not calling out anyone on our awesome SleeperU forums, it’s not your fault to fall victim to this thinking… but, I’m seeing it all over the forum, and all over other message boards… the consensus all over (for non-Bell owners) is that Bell is a lock to sit 10 full weeks because he sat 2 weeks (soon-to-be 3). Now, is it more likely that Bell takes this the distance and holds out until Week 11 (so that he can play 6 full games and get credit for an accrued season)? Sure, each week that he holds out, him taking this the distance becomes more likely. But, how likely? Is it a 50/50 thing that turns into a 40/60 thing? Is there already just a 5% chance he returns? No one knows, and of course I do not know either. The only thing I know is that it’s a knee-jerk reaction to assume anything at this point. If you own Bell, don’t sell low. Even if he plays 6-7 games, it will likely be at the level of a top 1-5 overall fantasy scorer. That’s going to be in the 1,000 total yard range and 6-8TDs. That’s if he does sit out an entire 10 weeks… You have to ask yourself, if you’re selling low, is this all you’re getting back in your trade? A 1,000-yard/6TD receiver? Don’t sell-low, folks. And, if you don’t own Bell, take stabs at acquiring him at WR2/3 prices. Clearly a big chunk of Bell owners are in panic mode right now, I think it’s safe to say it’s buy-low season on Bell. Via our Ask Smitty A Question feature, I get dozens of questions on this weekly. Easily dozens. I have been asked if one should sell Bell for players like Lamar Miller and Corey Davis. Yes, if Bell sits up until Week 11, you may miss the playoffs and his return is meaningless (at least in redraft); however, would a sell-low trade really change anything for you? If not, then holding out hope he returns sooner vs. later is the only play here. At the risk of sounding reckless, I have a feeling this won’t play out like the majority are expecting, and the majority thinks that LeVeon Bell holds out until Week 11. I have no bias here, James Conner is my #2 Bold Prediction for all of 2018, you can almost assume I have more to gain if this goes in the direction of Conner starting 10 games. I hope he does in many ways. That doesn’t change that this situation has two sides. That’s all.
Note: Do not sleep on adding Jaylen Samuels in all formats, folks. He is a free agent in something like 80% of all leagues, if not way more as many will drop him heading into this week. James Conner is a beast in Bell’s absense, but both Conner and Samuels have tremendous skill, and either will be a top 10RB when starting games for the Steelers. Conner has never been a full-time back in the pros, and him holding up on a workload usually given to the best back in football, it’s not nuts to assume he gets banged up at some point. Like I screamed “Grab James Conner” all July and August long, I’m screaming now… GRAB JAYLEN SAMUELS despite the fact that I love James Conner. Remember that both James Conner and Jaylen Sauels, as a duo, were my #2 Overall Bold Prediction for 2018.