Dynasty football is undoubtedly a marathon, not a sprint. With that said, in-season roster management is still every bit as critical as in a standard re-draft format, and arguably even more so given the potential long-term ramifications. As such, this weekly piece is here to provide you with a dozen moves it might just behoove you to make.
Continuing, these transactions will be broken down into four categories: players you should buy low, sell high, buy high and sell low. The first two are self explanatory and follow the typical stock market analogy, which is that you should pounce when the market fluctuates in your favor – if you can get the most bang for your buck or scoop up the metaphorical penny stocks who have room to grow, it could be in your best interest to do so. Conversely, the latter two categories represent a contradictory stance, and some might even consider them “desperation” moves – however, it’s my belief that buying high beats buying higher, and selling low is preferable to selling even lower.
Before I dispense my advice though, I want to provide one final disclaimer – these opinions are my own, and if you’re higher or lower on any of the players mentioned below you should absolutely stick to your guns. But even given the small sample size thus far in the season, we already have some actionable data. I believe it’s too soon to irrevocably change an opinion you spent an entire off-season cultivating, but you also don’t want to get stuck behind your peers. As such, some of these recommended moves will vary little, if at all, from my summertime beliefs, while others will represent a stark departure.
In the interest of transparency, here were my week four suggestions:
Buy Low: DeAndre Hopkins, Julian Edelman and Todd Gurley
Sell High: Matt Jones, Brian Quick and Carlos Hyde
Buy High: DeMarco Murray, Jimmy Graham and Michael Crabtree
Sell Low: Jeremy Langford, Brandin Cooks and Spencer Ware
Hopkins corralled 14 of 24 targets for 127 yards and a touchdown – not great efficiency, but the volume is there. Edelman could only manage nine of 17 targets for a mere 65 yards, but the usage is at least encouraging. Gurley has turned 37 rushes into 130 yards and a score, to go with seven receptions for an additional 75 yards.
Jones fell flat in week 5 (16 touches for 56 yards and a fumble) but beasted this past week (16-135-1) in a surprising blowout win over the Eagles. Quick (8-112-0) has taken a clear backseat to Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt in the usage department. Hyde saved his week five with a score and six receptions, but performed poorly (14-52-0) on Sunday.
Murray (48-186-1, 5-16-0) continued to dominate the Titans backfield. Graham was on bye in week five, but led the Seahawks in receiving in week six (6-89-0). Michael Crabtree saw a downtick in receptions and yards in week five, but still managed to punch in a score (3-47-1), before having an awful week six (2-10-0).
Langford remains without a timetable for return. Cooks was on bye, before booming in a shootout versus the Panthers (7-173-1). Ware also made me look like a fool, running wild on Oakland while more than doubling up on teammate Jamaal Charles’ touches (24-131-1, 2-32-0).
Onto the fallout from week six!
- Pierre Garcon, WR WSH – Garcon has been one of my favorite low-risk players over the past few seasons. His ceiling isn’t anywhere near what it was a few years ago, but he’s had at least 10 PPR points in four of six games this season. Obviously that’s not special, but in deeper leagues that’s bankable production for little to no cost. He might barely finish the season as a top-40 guy, but he’s unlikely to tank your efforts on any given week.
- Tyler Boyd, WR CIN – Boyd is quietly on pace for a final rookie line of 51 receptions and scoreless 645 yards. The touchdowns will come, though probably won’t eclipse the realm of 5-7 each year while AJ Green and Tyler Eifert are around. The floor is more than reasonable, however, as only three of his fellow rookies currently have more catches. With that said, he doesn’t appear to be considered amongst the upper echelon of freshman pass catchers, making it a good time to buy.
- Tony Romo, QB DAL – Obviously he hasn’t played yet this season, and given how well Dak Prescott has looked there’s a chance he won’t. With that said, there’s a dearth of starting quarterback talent in the league, and there’s always a chance Romo could be shopped to a contender in the off-season. Sure, you run the risk that Prescott doesn’t yield the job and Romo is forced into backup duties next year and beyond, but I think it’s worth taking a chance.
- Jay Ajayi, RB MIA – Ajayi has a huge game in an unexpected spot on Sunday, in a game that many predicted the Steelers would win going away. And while I won’t take anything away from him, it’s prudent to remember that game script is more often than not going to favor the Miami run offense, and that Ajayi was mired in a four-way committee as recently as two weeks ago. Arian Foster isn’t what he used to be, but when he’s completely healthy he should, at worst, start taking away a chunk of Ajayi’s market share.
- Mohamed Sanu, WR ATL – Sanu hasn’t topped 50 yards since week one, but scored against the vaunted Seahawks defense while sequestering 10 of Matt Ryan’s targets. I’m not saying this is going to go down as the high mark of the season for Sanu, but his stats on the best passing offense in the league essentially resemble Garcon above, but more expensive. I’d probably cash out for a third-round pick if you could get it.
- Terrelle Pryor, WR CLE – This isn’t a knock on Pryor, who has had defied odds to have an exemplary season so far. With that said, it’s hard to envision his usage (nearly 10 targets per game) continuing when rookie Corey Coleman returns. As Ryan McDowell showed in his Player or the Pick series, the majority of the dynasty community would not sell Pryor for an early second round pick, meaning he’s worth a first. At the very least, it’s worth considering.
- Hunter Henry, TE SD – Looking like the most dominant rookie tight end since Jordan Reed, Henry has cleared 60 yards in each of his last four games, while scoring in three of them. If we were to redraft the rookies, he has a solid case for a mid-first round guy. Simply put, a 21-year-old tight end should be doing what he’s doing. It’s worth paying up for a potential game changer at fantasy’s most barren position, especially when he has time on his side.
- Christine Michael, RB SEA – I’ve been more critical of Michael than most, never understanding why he maintained the value he did despite a lackluster NFL resume. And while it remains likely you could’ve cashed out early and obtained a player who would’ve helped you for years now, we can’t live in the past. C-Mike has put a stranglehold on Seattle’s backfield, and Thomas Rawls isn’t coming back anytime soon. Michael could be a league winner.
- Cole Beasley, WR DAL – The Beasus has caught an astounding 85 percent of his targets on the season, while clearing 50 yards in every contest. He’s also emerged as a surprising red zone option for Prescott, with three scores now on the season. Incredibly, Beasley is currently the PPR WR16, but could probably be had for a firm handshake. He doesn’t possess a traditional sort of upside, but his production has been consistently bankable.
- Rashad Jennings, RB NYG – Jennings finally returned in week six, but could only manage 13 touches for a mere 35 yards. More importantly, he ceded work to Bobby Rainey (8 touches) and Paul Perkins (four touches), rendering this as a worse version of the Raiders running game. With the Giants not looking like contenders, it’s fair to wonder if they’ll see what they have in the rookie. The fact is Jennings hasn’t been able to stay healthy for years, leaving him as a “workhorse” in theory only. He’ nothing more than a roster clogger.
- Tyler Lockett, WR SEA – Remember, just because you sell a player low doesn’t mean he doesn’t have value. According to the October ADP Lockett is still viewed as a fifth-round startup pick, showing that owners haven’t completely lost the faith. And while I expect Lockett’s numbers to improve on what they’ve been, it’s clear he’s behind Doug Baldwin and Graham in the pecking order, and Jermaine Kearse isn’t going away either. Only on pace for 500 yards, Lockett won’t come anywhere close to his current value – apart from blind optimism, it’s hard to assert his value is going to bounce back anytime soon.
- Delanie Walker, TE TEN – Walker’s weekly production (3.4-49-0.4) isn’t terrible, but it’s a far cry from what owners are used to. With only six targets per game, Walker isn’t getting the volume he used to either. It’s quite possible there are just too many mediocre mouths to feed in a run-first offense for Walker to gain his value back. However, given his name recognition, Walker could still fetch a decent price on the market.
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