Calm Before the Storm?

Nicole Cohen
Rotoworld

Welp.

For some of us, the fight was over before it began - if you faced Saquon Barkley, Todd Gurley, Tyreek Hill or Melvin Gordon (or any combination thereof) this week, then there’s a good chance you’re staring down defeat. There’s not much you can do about it either: elite players are going to have elite weeks. All you can do is lick your wounds and hope for better weeks to come. A very special shout out to Bears fans, who had to witness a demoralizing overtime loss to a Brock Osweiler-led Miami team – better weeks are on the horizon, I promise.

But you didn’t come here for therapy or emotional support, you came for trade advice. So let’s dive right in!

Buy

Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings: Diggs jumps aboard the touchdown-deficit bus, driven by tenured driver Julio Jones and takes his seat next to Keenan Allen. Diggs and Cousins showed some red zone chemistry early on this season, with three touchdowns the first two weeks, but none since. He admittedly won’t be cheap to acquire, as he hauled in an impressive 21 receptions for 214 yards combined in Weeks 4 and 5. However, he’s coming off a quiet Week 6, and at least you’ll be buying his floor production, which should include some touchdowns in the near future – think about how much bigger those stat lines would look with a touchdown or two mixed in.



Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns: In last week’s article, we talked about the upcoming schedule for the Browns passing game, focusing on David Njoku. But now that he’s hit pay dirt, let’s talk a little bit more about Landry. Cleveland’s next four opponents are Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Atlanta – all teams with high-scoring offenses and bad pass defenses, especially next week against Tampa Bay, who has surrendered a league-high average of 356 passing yards per game this season. Landry is coming off a couple quiet weeks but is the most reliable pass catcher that Cleveland has, and he should light up the Bucs secondary just like everyone else has.

Keke Coutee, WR, Texans: Deshaun Watson has been sacked seven times in two of the past three games behind a leaky offensive line. The Texans have no pass-catching presence at tight end, so Coutee is the de facto safety blanket, and therefore this “buy” is more relevant for PPR leagues.  After his 15-target game in Week 4, Coutee has only been targeted 12 times combined the past two weeks, but that’s still double what Will Fuller has seen. The two straight quiet games combined with a matchup with Jacksonville on deck in Week 7 should make Coutee very cheap to acquire, if he’s not outright dropped. On its face, Jacksonville may look like a tough defensive matchup for WRs, however, Jacksonville’s weakness is in the slot: Cole Beasley just dismantled the Jaguars’ slot corner, Tyler Patmon, catching nine passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns. While he’ll obviously never approach DeAndre Hopkins’ status as lead dog in the wide receiver corps, Coutee could emerge in a Tyler Boyd-like role.

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks: Even though he claimed he wouldn’t be 100% all season (by all means, use that in your trade negotiations), Baldwin looks to be returning to form. Last week, we were worried that Seattle’s positive game script was the reason for Baldwin’s single-target Week 5, but Seattle had a big lead all game again in Week 6, and Baldwin drew eight targets and produced a solid 91 yards. He now has the bye week to get even healthier, which should make him cheaper to acquire.

Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers: Doubling down for all the reasons listed in last week’s article, and then some – Tyrell Williams going 3-for-118 and 2 TDs (the majority of which was on one drive) is a fluke.

Sell

Eric Ebron, TE, Lions: As Andrew Luck’s most reliable passing game target with the injuries to T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle, Ebron is on a tear. He’s caught 13 of 22 targets for 176 yards and three touchdowns the past two weeks. What’s more, Ebron now has six touchdowns on the season. It’s tough to say when Hilton and Doyle will return, but if you wait until they do, you may not be able to get as much for Ebron. This “sell” is more of a long-term play by trying to get peak value. You obviously need to have another good tight end on your roster – otherwise, just ride Ebron out. Usable TEs are a commodity these days, so you can potentially get a nice haul for Ebron.

Mark Ingram, RB, Saints: Ingram returned from suspension in Week 5 and stepped right back into his 2017 role of approximately 15 carries, with a high probability of a touchdown or two. That is very valuable, and so he is by no means a “must-sell.” That role and solid production should continue from here on out, even if the Saints transition to a more even split with Kamara – we saw in 2017 that both RBs can thrive in a symbiotic backfield. However, the Saints’ next five opponents are the Ravens, Vikings, Rams, Bengals and Eagles. There are some stout defensive fronts in that group, and the Saints may not control those games like they did with the Redskins in Week 5. Kamara is also far too talented to keep off the field, so I expect a more even split going forward than what we saw in Week 5. Ingram should be fine, but his production could be up-and-down during that stretch.

Alex Collins, RB, Ravens: I talked about the Ravens running game in last week’s article. This week, Collins had the big week, as the Ravens played from ahead in their shutout of the Titans. Collins punched in two touchdowns, but only gained 54 yards on his 19 carries. With the Saints, Panthers and Steelers up next on the schedule, game script might be hard to predict for Collins as Buck Allen seems to play more in passing situations.

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks: Lockett has now scored a touchdown in five out of six weeks, but this week (with Doug Baldwin getting more involved), Lockett only gained 13 yards on four targets. That’s a scary floor if not for the touchdown, which bailed him out big time this week. If someone is willing to buy his fantasy points, consider ridding yourself what will likely be frustrating inconsistency moving forward.

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