Thanks to the addition of a 17th, game, there isn’t exactly a great way to measure the quarter-mark of the NFL regular season anymore. However, thanks to that extra game, we can say that the fantasy football season is now officially 25% complete. Week 4 provided yet another wild dose of action, offering several top fantasy performances and a number of back-breaking fantasy duds as well, With four weeks complete, the itch to try and improve rosters via trade is likely growing for the vast majority of managers. That’s where this column is here to help!
Read on for this week’s fantasy football buy low, sell high candidates, including Mike Williams, Dalvin Cook, Jonathan Taylor and Tyler Lockett. The following breakdowns and analyses can be used to help guide your trade discussions and weigh fantasy football player values heading into Week 5.
Fantasy Football Buy Low Players | Week 5
Mike Williams | WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Had the Chargers played on Sunday instead of on Monday night, Mike Williams would’ve undoubtedly found himself included among this week’s fantasy football busts. After three impressive outings to begin the season, Williams was a no-show against the Las Vegas Raiders. He could only muster but a single reception for 11 yards, finishing with 2.1 fantasy points. The fact that it came against a banged-up Raiders defense makes it all the more disappointing.
While Week 4 saw Williams drop a major fantasy dud, it should be noted that he is still the WR5 on the season overall in PPR leagues. That’s quite the nod to just how impressive and reliable Williams was over the first three games. If there was ever a buy-low opportunity on a top-5 receiver, this is it. Remember, consensus preseason expectations for Williams were nowhere near being an elite fantasy football wideout. Managers can talk up his Week 4 dud in trade discussions and potentially land him at a tremendous value. With Justin Herbert under center and matchups against secondaries that range from suspect to downright awful in each of the next five games, Williams should rebound just fine from Monday’s disappointment.
Dalvin Cook | RB, Minnesota Vikings
Rewind back to preseason fantasy football drafts and it’s highly unlikely that many would’ve predicted Dalvin Cook to be outside of the top-30 scoring RBs through four weeks. Well, that’s precisely where the Vikings’ tailback sits. After another disappointing effort in Week 4 that saw him yield just over six fantasy points, Cook is now the RB31 on the season overall in PPR leagues. That’s a far cry from what he was drafted to be with an ADP of 1.02.
While it hasn’t exactly been pretty for Cook so far, there are so many factors here to suggest better days are ahead. For starters, the most obvious argument is the fact that he missed the Vikings’ Week 3 game altogether with an injury. He also briefly left their Week 4 contest before being cleared to return. Oh, and besides having his touches reduced in this latest disappointment, Cook was also trying to produce against a nasty Cleveland Browns defensive front. The other thing working against Cook is his inability to find the end zone. He has scored just one touchdown over the first four weeks. That number will undoubtedly experience positive regression, assuming good health for Cook going forward. While Cook still won’t be a cheap player to buy, now is the time to try and acquire him at a discount.
Damien Harris | RB, New England Patriots
In all honesty, we could probably include running backs that go up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers every single week in this buy low, sell high column. That’s because absolutely no one can run on the Bucs front seven right now. Patriots lead back Damien Harris was no exception to this in Week 4. He accumulated a whopping -4 rushing yards on four attempts. A pair of receptions saved him from having negative fantasy points total for the week. Still, he was outside of the top-50 at the position for the second straight week. The Patriots’ offensive line has struggled to begin the year. The expectation that they will get things turned around along with no more matchups against the Buccaneers’ run defense make Harris a buy-low target ahead of Week 5.
Fantasy Football Sell High Players | Week 5
Jonathan Taylor | RB, Indianapolis Colts
After losing each of their first three games to begin the season, the Colts were able to take out some frustration against the Miami Dolphins in Week 4. Running back Jonathan Taylor was a big part of that process. He rumbled for 103 yards rushing and a touchdown, his first of the season. He also added three receptions to finish as a top-10 fantasy football RB on the week. On the season overall, Taylor is now the RB20 following this strong performance. Unfortunately, betting on this to continue seems quite risky.
With the Colts leading for most of Sunday’s game, there was no urgency to pass like there has been in previous games. As a result, Taylor was able to garner the majority of offensive snaps. However, he only played 51% of Indianapolis’ snaps in Week 4, still barely the majority. Both pass-catching back Nyheim Hines and the likely soon-to-be-traded Marlon Mack played 31% of snaps in Week 4. Even if Mack moves on, Hines and Jordan Wilkins will still factor into the Colts’ offense. Even though he posted an excellent fantasy line, Taylor still failed to garner a true workhorse role in the team’s Week 4 win. It seems unlikely that he will at any point this season. Fantasy managers should move quickly to sell him after this top-10 result.
Tyler Lockett | WR, Seattle Seahawks
While we aren’t exactly recommending to seel Tyler Lockett high off a strong performance, his overall body of work thus far in 2021 still qualifies. Despite finishing with just 6.4 fantasy points in Week 4, Lockett is still the WR10 on the season overall. However, his lack of consistency has already shown up. It was only two weeks ago that Lockett finished as the WR2 in PPR leagues. This week’s disappointing effort saw him come in as the WR69. Personally, that’s a range of outcomes far too vast for me to get excited about having Lockett on my roster. In addition, the Seahawks’ continued commitment to the run game (even if it means giving Alex Collins double-digit touches) could further limit the upside of their receivers going forward. Move on from Locket ASAP and thank me later.
Darnell Mooney | WR, Chicago Bears
While it’s hard not to pull for Darnell Mooney as a player, fantasy football is about winning championships. If you are a Mooney owner and have an opportunity to sell him high this week after he was the WR15 in Week 4, do not hesitate. For as talented as he is, Mooney’s fantasy value figures to face a hard cap all season long due to poor quarterback and offensive line play in Chicago. While this past weekend went better for rookie QB Justin Fields and essentially all involved not named Allen Robinson, keep in mind that it came against a horrendous Detroit Lions defense. A sheer lack of trust and upside lead to Mooney being a sell-high candidate following this big performance.
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