Fantasy Football Week 3 Buy-Low, Sell-High: Buy Javonte Williams, Sell Puka Nacua and D’Andre Swift

Take advantage of your league-mates.

Earlier this week, I highlighted a few trade and transaction opportunities as quick knee-jerk reactions to the Nick Chubb injury. As such, I do not want to rehash too much of that advice in this column. However, I definitely recommend you give it a look over as there are some other good buy low/sell high options there for you to explore.

Keep in mind with any buying and selling article; this is meant to be coming from the perspective of maximizing value. Any time you take a lower-round pick or waiver wire add and convert that player to a higher-drafted asset that you believe in, you have essentially added incremental value to your squad.

Our goal is to keep adding that incremental value over time to put ourselves in the best position to go on a run in Week 15 and beyond. That starts here!

BUY-LOW

JAVONTE WILLIAMS

Full caveat on this one, I’m a huge Stan for Javonte. I fully believe I’m right about him on a logical level, but I recognize that I might just be biased here, so I wanted that out of the way first.

From a talent perspective, there’s never been any questions that Javonte is a beast. He has an innate ability to break tackles at a high level and has also shown the capacity to catch a solid volume of passes. What Javonte has yet to do, however, is put it all together to hit his ceiling.

The buying opportunity exists because somehow he went from limited expectations in the early offseason, when people thought he was too risky coming off of the injury, to unrealistic expectations late in the offseason, when it became clear that he would be ready to roll from day one.

People are already looking at the box score and thinking he isn’t what they hoped, but the volume is there with his 25 carries through two games — he’s also added six receptions to his total. Plus, running backs always excel in a Sean Payton offense. Even in Payton’s last season with the Saints, Alvin Kamara put up roughly 1,300 yards, 9 TDs, and 47 grabs in only 13 games while splitting the backfield.

There’s no reason that Javonte shouldn’t be able to do something similar in a full slate of 17 games once this offense starts to click and he has more time to get comfortable with his knee. That kind of production would make him a top-15 RB this year, and he’s currently the RB34 in PPR leagues. If you can find somebody willing to value him as a Flex player when he should be valued as a solid RB2 – pounce on that.

DAMEON PIERCE

I had much to say about Javonte, but Dameon Pierce is a simpler and more concise target. Having 82 all-purpose yards through two games is not ideal. Yet, he has 26 carries compared to only 11 carries for Devin Singletary, so the concerns about him sharing the backfield evenly seem to not be an issue. The problem so far has been the opponents building early leads, forcing CJ Stroud to throw — taking the ball out of Pierce’s hands. It’s tough to bank on the Texans being competitive this season, but it would make sense for them to slow the game down by incorporating Pierce early on.

HUNTER HENRY

Pop quiz: who is the TE5 right now in PPR leagues? That’s right, it’s… Darren Waller. Come on. I couldn’t say Hunter Henry, it would be too obvious. No, Hunter Henry is actually the TE2 right now in PPR leagues.

This is a rare buying opportunity where you are technically buying high instead of buying low, but it works because people improperly judged his value in drafts and have been slow to correct their thinking. Tight end is a wasteland for talent so the bar is low for a starting tight end in fantasy leagues.

Just a few years ago, Henry was a guy that everyone viewed as a potential top-five or top-six guy at the position. Yet, after an injury-filled and Matt Patricia-led season last year, everyone collectively decided he was done. Plus, there was early steam on Mike Gesicki by best ballers (except from us).

Henry won’t finish in the top two or even the top four, but there’s a chance he could finish as a top-five fantasy tight end once the season concludes. As featured in The Workload Report, Henry put up top tight end dominator ratings in back-to-back weeks.

Anecdotally, I was able to pick Henry up in two 10-teamers this week when he was 55% rostered, but he is now only available in ~25% of leagues.

SELL-HIGH

PUKA NACUA

This seems like some obvious low-hanging fruit, but people have lost their minds over Puka Nacua. He is currently the WR2 in PPR leagues, and for anybody who believes he will finish the season at WR2, there’s nothing I can say or do to help you. Again, this is not to say that he can’t still be a usable asset, but I am seeing people have difficulty recognizing that there is a middle road. He can be good, like WR 25-30 the rest of the way once Cooper Kupp comes back, and still be worth selling off right now as he will not be able to command this absurd target share.

If others in your league view Puka as a flex-type player or a WR3, then you are probably just as well off if you keep him. However, if even one guy in your league gives you a Godfather-like offer for Nacua, you should seriously consider making that move.

This goes back to the incremental value from earlier. If a late-round pick/waiver wire add fetches you a currently underperforming stud, you must make that move to boost your team long-term.

RAHEEM MOSTERT

Can anybody tell me Raheem Mostert’s career high in carries? Answer: 181. Over his seven-year career, he’s broken 100 carries just three times.

Although he’s had 28 carries over two games, that usage should slip soon, and here’s why:

  • Exciting rookie Devon Achane returned last week and should be getting more opportunities in the future.
  • Jeff Wilson is, in theory, returning in Week 5 from the IR. Wilson usurped Mostert last year and was set to be the RB1 before hitting the IR.
  • The Dolphins were the betting favorites to land Jonathan Taylor, and the possibility still exists that they may make a move to acquire him in a few weeks.
  • Even if Mostert somehow survives all that competition, the odds that he stays healthy as a featured back at 31 years old with an injury history longer than Dirk Diggler’s piece seems minimal.

His RB6 pace cannot be sustained due to his lack of pass-catching talents, so the only way he’ll trend is downward from here on out. Take advantage of this now.

D’ANDRE SWIFT

This one is strictly based on hype. After Week 1, fantasy managers dropped D’Andre Swift because of his two-carry performance playing second fiddle to Kenneth Gainwell. After his Week 2 blowup, fantasy owners act like he will be the team’s unquestioned featured back and produce RB1 numbers weekly.

Part of what I am trying to teach all readers is that we must exercise patience and logic. There is always such a thing as ‘in the middle.’ Make no mistake, Swift will be involved in the Philly offense from now on, but so will Gainwell and maybe even Rashaad Penny occasionally. When Gainwell returns, Nick Sirianni will likely revert to a two-or-three-headed committee. Oh, and don’t forget about goal-line vulture Jalen Hurts, his 21 carries, and two scores through the first two weeks.

Frankly, if you are a Swift owner, you don’t want him to get the majority of the snaps anyway because there is no way he’ll hold up throughout the season with a workhorse role. Swift can split carries with Gainwell and still put up solid RB2 numbers in this situation.

If I were a Swift owner, I’d be fine with that. However, due to the fickle nature of owners, Swift is being valued a little too highly, and Gainwell is being forgotten about too quickly. So, if you can parlay that feeling into a trade where Swift is overvalued – do it!

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