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Trade Advice: Week 3 Buy Lows, Sell Highs for Fantasy Football


Welcome to our Week 3 buy low / sell high, where we look to provide fantasy football trade advice. With Week 2 now in the books, breakouts and busts are beginning to surface as teams begin to approach mid-season form. Some of those busts will stay busts, but others could see rapid turn-arounds.

Inversely, some of those breakout players are destined to start out hot but fade quickly, while others have what it takes to sizzle all year long. Some players are currently undervalued, making them buy low candidates - and some players are currently overvalued, making them sell high candidates.

Being able to detect which of those categories a player falls into is what separates fantasy champions from the rest. Here are a few players worth buying this coming week, and a few worth selling.

 

Week 3 Fantasy Football Buys

Demarco Murray (RB, PHI)

The only way to truly grasp just how bad the Eagles offense was last Sunday was to watch the game from beginning to end. It looked like Dallas knew Philly’s plays.

In the midst of that implosion, Murray had arguably the worst rushing game of his career. The reigning league rushing champion found himself with -15 rushing yards at one point in Sunday’s debacle and finished the day with 13 carries for a measly two yards against his former team. He couldn’t even score near the end despite getting the ball more than once at the goal line.

Murray now has 21 carries on the season for only 11 yards. For his owners, those are scary numbers. For those who don’t own him, that absolutely screams buy. There’s simply no way Murray’s struggles continue to this degree, not in an offense with so much potential, and there’s promise to be found in Murray’s involvement in the passing game—five receptions for 53 yards in two games. He’ll turn things around, at least somewhat, and if this offense starts clicking like it can we could see an even better Murray than we did last year. It’s time to buy.

Mike Evans (WR, TB)

If you glanced at the box score after the Buccaneers’ tilt with the Saints on Sunday, you likely figured Evans had sat out another week to rest his ailing hamstring. He didn’t.

Evans played on two-thirds of snaps in his 2015 debut on Sunday, yet saw only a few targets and failed to reel in any of them. It was a strong showing for the Buccaneers overall, with Jameis Winston playing much better and Doug Martin proving solid in the run game, but Evans was far from the focal point of the offense and seemed to lack any chemistry at all with Winston.

Owners who drafted Evans to be their WR1 likely aren’t too happy that their star WR has amassed exactly zero fantasy points two weeks into the season. Those who played him last week, which is nearly everyone, are probably a little angry too. That presents an excellent buy opportunity. Evans is simply too talented not to be an integral part of the Bucs’ passing game, and should become just that sooner rather than later.

Dez Bryant (WR, DAL)

In a downright shot to the heart for his owners, Bryant went down in Week 1 with a broken bone in his foot that will likely cost him most of the season.

Despite that injury, and despite the fact that we won’t see Bryant until around Thanksgiving, the star Dallas WR is actually a solid option to buy. Yes, an investment in the injured WR won’t start to pay off for a couple of months, but Bryant is set to return right when things matter most—during the fantasy playoffs. Owners who drafted Bryant likely spent a top round pick on him, which doesn’t bode well for their depth at the WR position. If you happen to have that depth and could endure Bryant sitting on the bench for the next eight weeks, the top-5 WR would be a nice player to have come playoff time.

 

Week 3 Fantasy Football Sells

Peyton Manning (QB, DEN)

Manning was on this list last week as a player to sell, and despite a strong showing against the Chiefs he remains here.

The success of the Broncos’ passing game on Thursday largely falls on the receivers and not the QB. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders kept the offense afloat all on their own, and even managed to effectively mask Manning’s rapidly diminishing arm. It was a good sign to see Manning put up a few TDs and finish with strong fantasy production, but such showings could be rare this year.

His stock is slightly higher than it was at this time last week, which makes it an even better time to sell. While there will be weeks that Manning puts up QB1 numbers, there will also be weeks where he let your team down in a big way. As the season grinds on, the latter of those two will become more and more common. If you have a serviceable backup and could snag an upgrade at another position, Manning is worth the sell.

Larry Fitzgerald (WR, ARI)

Fitzgerald is a completely different WR when Carson Palmer is under center, and the star receiver’s trio of TD’s last Sunday can attest to that.

He’s currently the fourth highest scoring WR in fantasy, and it certainly seems as if we are seeing the Fitzgerald of old this year, but expectations may be a bit too high. While Fitz does do much better with Palmer under center, a pair of easy match-ups against the Saints and Bears are much closer to an offense’s dream than they are an offense’s nightmare, and may have played a big role in Arizona early success through the air.

That’s not to say that Fitz isn’t a good WR, though. He has a ton of potential in Bruce Arians’ offense, but a whole lot of risk as well. He’s a solid WR2 who happens to be putting up WR1 numbers, and if you can get WR1 value for him, go for it.

Dion Lewis (RB, NE)

Among the biggest surprises thus far in 2015, Lewis is in the top-5 of fantasy RBs and has emerged as a legitimate force in the Patriots backfield. That may not last forever, though.

Lewis saw his carries drop from 15 in Week 1 to only seven in Week 2. Although he managed enough elsewhere to actually put up a significantly better fantasy score in the latter of those two weeks, it’s somewhat foreboding for the back’s future prospects. He’s fumbled in each game now, something Coach Belichik doesn’t take kindly too, and has a fresh LeGarrette Blount breathing down his neck.

To make matters worse, few things in fantasy football are more volatile than the Patriots’ backfield. With the game plan different each week, it’s nearly impossible to predict which of New England’s plethora of backs will get the bulk of each week’s work. There will be great weeks for Lewis, but also some for Blount, or Branden Bolden, or Travaris Cadet. All in all, Lewis will likely assume the role Shane Vereen has played the last few years—a lucrative role, but not one conducive of a top-5 RB. If someone is willing to pay for him, take a long hard look into it.

 

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