Well, that sure was fun! The NFL is officially back and so too is the roller coaster ride that is fantasy football. Week 1 provided us with a little bit of everything on the fantasy front. Several bonafide stars showed out. Others struggled mightily and have caused mass panic amongst their respective owners after just one game. Of course, several unlikely names also emerged to post big stat lines in Week 1. With so many moving parts, there are a number of intriguing names to consider right away when it comes to fantasy football buy low, sell high trade targets.
While overreacting to one week is always dangerous, taking advantage of other owners’ overreactions in fantasy football trade discussions is a surefire strategy. Perhaps no bigger overreactions will take place all season than those coming after Week 1. The following offers some buy low and sell high players to monitor as we turn the page to Week 2.
Fantasy Football Buy Low Players | Week 2
Najee Harris | RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
The poster boy for our first fantasy football buy low, sell high column of the season is Steelers rookie running back Najee Harris. The decision to move on from veteran James Conner in the offseason and spend a high draft pick on Harris was a clear signal that the Steelers are committed fully to the former Alabama standout. Unfortunately, Harris sputtered to just 45 yards rushing in Week 1 on 16 carries (2.8 YPC). In what turned out to be a defensive slugfest between the Steelers and Buffalo Bills, Harris’ low fantasy football point total undoubtedly has his owners nervous.
While buying Harris won’t be cheap regardless given his preseason ADP, there may not be a better week to try and poach him for a discount. Harris was the only running back in the NFL to play all of his team’s offensive snaps in Week 1. Better days are clearly ahead for he and his fantasy football owners.
Julio Jones | WR, Tennessee Titans
Not a great look in Week 1 for Julio Jones in his first game as a Titan. Not only did he get ripped by coach Mike Vrabel for a costly penalty, but he also failed to get it done for fantasy football owners. Jones was held to just three catches for 29 yards in the Titans’ blowout loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Furthermore, the Tennessee ground game was also completely shut down, evidenced in Derrick Henry’s uncharacteristically poor fantasy line.
Better days are undoubtedly ahead for the Titans’ offense. There is simply too much talent for that not to be the case. Look to hype up Jones’ age (32), failure to fit in with a new team and the fact that he is the second receiver behind A.J. Brown in this offense during trade discussions this week. Even if it takes another week or two for the Titans’ offense to fully hit its stride, Jones is well worth targeting as a fantasy football buy-low for Week 2.
Brandon Aiyuk | WR, San Francisco 49ers
Among the potential fantasy football buy-low targets at the wide receiver position is a player who posted a goose egg in the box score to begin the season. 49ers wideout Brandon Aiyuk was held without a catch despite the team’s offensive outburst in a win over the Detroit Lions. Reports indicate that Aiyuk slid down the Week 1 depth chart as a result of a nagging hamstring injury. His absence enabled fellow receiver, Deebo Samuel, to check in as the fantasy WR3 for Week 1. Tight end George Kittle also posted a solid stat line.
Owners who used a mid-round draft pick on Aiyuk are bound to be frustrated. Capitalize on this in trade discussions. While you might have to wait a few weeks for Aiyuk to get back to 100% healthy, he will undoubtedly climb right back into his co-starring role alongside Samuel in this offense moving forward.
Fantasy Football Sell High Players | Week 2
Brandin Cooks | WR, Houston Texans
Who said the Texans would have no relevant fantasy football players this year? After taking it to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1, a surprising number of Texans could generally be considered as sell-high candidates this week. Wideout Brandin Cooks is almost certain to net the greatest return on the fantasy football trades market. A five-catch, 132-yard effort on Sunday saw Cooks post 18.2 fantasy points in PPR leagues. The fact that he did so without even scoring a touchdown can be used to one’s advantage in trade talks.
While it was great to see Tyrod Taylor orchestrate the Houston offense to perfection, the road will only get tougher. The Texans’ next five games come against the Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers, Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. One would be hard-pressed to call any of those five defenses a pushover. A lack of weapons around him will enable the opposition to key on Cooks as the Texans’ primary threat. He is talented enough to deliver more big games, but owners should not wait to shop him given the tough upcoming schedule.
Melvin Gordon | RB, Denver Broncos
The great veteran-rookie debate that was the Broncos’ backfield coming into the season is officially 1-0 in favor of the old guy. Melvin Gordon went off in Week 1, despite the presence of highly-touted rookie Javonte Williams alongside him in the backfield. The 28-year-old turned 11 carries into 101 yards rushing and a touchdown. He added three catches for 17 yards to finish with 20.8 fantasy points in Denver’s win over the New York Giants. That line was good enough for Gordon to be the RB6 in fantasy on the week.
Owners who drafted Gordon are undoubtedly through the roof with excitement given his fantasy football ADP coming into the year. However, it is important to remember that volume is and always will be king in fantasy. Gordon might have been the RB6 for Week 1, but he did so on just 14 total touches. It is almost certain that he will not average 9.2 yards per carry over the remainder of the season. It is also worth noting that Williams saw more carries (14) than Gordon in his very first NFL game. Some of this might have been the byproduct of a lopsided score down the stretch. Nonetheless, owners may not have a better opportunity to sell high on Gordon this season than after this top-10 performance.