Every year we see performances we can trust, we want to trust, we regret not trusting, and that we were wise to not trust. Recency bias is often the biggest player in these decisions. We went so long without football and now we’ve seen two games in the 2018 season and everyone wants to know what’s real and what’s not. Well, I’ll be honest, I can’t tell you for sure but if you look into the numbers you can hope to make an educated guess and maybe make a trade that can pay big dividends for your team. Here are some guys to sell high on and buy low on. See if You agree.
Sunday Morning Buy or Sell: Week Three
Sell High Candidates
(Ranks from weeks 1 and 2)
Patrick Mahomes QB, Kansas City Chiefs
2018 – 38/55, 69.1 Comp %, 582 YRD, 10 TD, 18.2 % TD%, 0 INT, 10.6 Y/A, 14.2 AY/A, 15.3 Y/C, 143.3 QB rate
16 game pace- 304/440, 4656 YRD, 80 TD, 0 INT
Mahomes 2018/NFL record (comp. %- 69.1/72),(TD%- 18.2/13.6),(AY/A- 14.2/10.96),(Y/A- 10.6/9.03),(QB rate- 143.3/122.5),(Y/C- 15.3/16.6-Last 35 years)
Along with the fact that Mahomes is on pace to break several NFL records as a rookie, he’s doing so in a highly unsustainable way. His 18.2 TD% is triple that of Aaron Rodgers (6.4) career mark. When Peyton Manning had his NFL record 55 TDs, it took him 659 attempts. Manning completed more passes (450) then Mahomes is on pace to throw if he plays 16 games (440). Mahomes is also on pace for 80 TDs. The 2017 NFL leading rusher has also yet to get going and KC will definitely not be able to ignore him once teams adjust to the current attack. Not to say Mahomes is going to fall completely off but he will regress and his value will never be this high. You thought Deshaun Watson had a crazy string of starts.
Find someone that believes this can continue and target a mid to low end RB1 or WR1. Or a mid to low end RB2 or WR2 and a QB replacement.
DeSean Jackson WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2018 – Caught 9/9 targets, 275 TRD, 3 TD, 137.5 Y/G
16 game pace- 72 REC, 2200 YRD, 24 TD
Jackson 2018/ NFL record (Y/G- 137.5/129),(Y/R- 30.6/32.6)
Jackson is catching a TD on an unreal 33.3% of his receptions. He’s pacing out for an NFL record 24 (23 Moss) TDs, and 2200(1964 C. Johnson) yards. When Randy Moss and Calvin Johnson set these records, they needed 98 rec. on 160 targets for Moss and 122 rec. on 204 targets for Johnson respectively. Jackson is on pace for 72 of each. His career highs are nine TDs and 1169 yards. Are we seeing a truly amazing outlier season with ultra-high efficiency? In my opinion, no. We’re seeing a hot start not likely to continue.
Put Jackson in a package with an RB2 and Target an RB1 or WR1
Isaiah Crowell RB, New York Jets
2018 – 42 touches, 192 yards, 4 TD, 4.5 YPA, caught 4/6 TGT, (three games)- Snap%- wk1 40%/wk2 48%/wk3 46%
16 game pace- 224 touches, 1024 YRD, 21.3 TDs, catch 21.3/32 TGT
If you take out Crowell’s 62-yard run from week one, ( I know we can’t take it away) but take it from his season totals and he has 41 touches for 130 yards (3.09 Yards Per Touch). You don’t need me to tell you that this is not good. Now Y/T and Y/A shouldn’t be used as a final judgment on a player as plenty of other factors besides the RBs skill play into this. (O-Line, loaded boxes, Etc.) It definitely appears that he is the goal line back but his backfield mate Bilal Powell is a quality running back that will get his work too. All the touchdowns won’t go to Crowell alone. He is currently sporting a PPO around 1.03. This is much higher than his career numbers.
Throw him in a package deal with a WR2 and hope for the best.
Carlos Hyde RB, Cleveland Browns (prior to Week 3)
2018 – 65 touches, 218 YRD, 4 TD, 3.8 YPA, 21.7 T/G (three games)- Snap%- wk1 53%/wk2 58%/wk3 58%
16 game pace- 346.6 touches, 1162.6 YRD, 21.3 TDs, 347.2 total touches
If people believe Baker Mayfield is the savior of the Cleveland Browns then they might believe that Carlos Hyde should continue what he did last night with Baker under center. Duke Johnson still occupies the third-down role in the backfield even though he hasn’t gotten a lot of work yet and the Browns did draft Nick Chubb 35th overall in last years draft. At some point, they will want to see what he has. His career high in touches and TDs are 299 and nine.
Find a believer in Baker Mayfield and his ability to make this offense better and couple Hyde with a high-end WR2 and look for a low end RB1
James Conner RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
2018 – 49 touches, 257 YRD, 3 TD, 24.5 T/G , 3.9 YPA, 10.5 YPC
16 game pace- 392 touches, 2056 YRD, 24 TDs
First, let’s start with the fact that Le’Veon Bell can still come back at any time and render Conner irrelevant except in a handcuff role. This would be a shame for Conner owners but it is something that we need to keep in mind. The Steelers also aren’t quite using Conner as much in the passing game as Bell ( Conner 5.5 T/G / Bell 6.4 in 62 career games). They both have a 5.2 Y/T and Conner is on the field for 90.3% of the snaps and getting close to 100% of the running back touches. If Conner remains the Pittsburgh starter he’s a locked-in RB1 all year but again any day Bell can return and Conner is on your bench or to the waiver wire. The Steelers love a workhorse.
An underperforming RB1 and a mid WR2
Buy Low Candidates
Antonio Brown WR, Antonio Brown
2018 – Caught 18/33 TGT, 160 YRD, 1 TD, 8.9 Y/R, 54.5 Catch%
16 GM pace- Catch 144/264 TGT, 1280 YRD, 8 TD
If your worried about Brown’s production, don’t be. At the pace he’s on he will hit the hundred target mark by the Steelers 6th or 7th game. He is also dealing with a career-low PPO at 1.33. Brown is generally in the 1.5 – 2 PPO range as you see here…
The pace probably won’t stay quite this high, but he is getting a 32.7% Target share. The yards and touchdowns will come. Brown has a career-low Catch% (54.5%/ career 65.8%) and Y/R (8.9/ career 13.4) I don’t see these trends continuing as his role hasn’t changed and his aDOT is not far from his career avg (10.2/ 10.55), Teams will have to start accounting for JuJu as well. Now I know people won’t give up Brown for much of a discount, it’s just something to look in to.
High-end WR2/ low-end WR1 and an RB2
Kareem Hunt RB, Kansas City Chiefs
2018 – 35 touches, 129 YRD, 1 TD, caught 1/2 TGT, 5 YRD, 3.7 Y/T
16 GM pace- 280 touches, 1032 YRD, 8 TD, catch 8/16 TGT
Kareem Hunt is currently on Pace for 280 touches in 2018. This would leave him 45 touches behind last year’s mark, a huge decline. This can most likely be attributed to the extreme effectiveness and efficiency that Patrick Mahomes that we’ve seen in the early season. He also has a 3.7 Y/T mark this year which is down 1.8 Y/T from last year. Again the rookie quarterback plays into this as in the early going so far this year teams have probably been game planning to stop Hunt and trying to let the rookie beat them. Well, Mahomes has done just that so teams will naturally have to start game planning for the air attack which should open up lanes for Hunt. 55 receptions may no longer be in the cards for Kareem but as defenses start to play farther back he will have more opportunities underneath. Hunt is one of only 11 backs receiving a 70% or greater snap share and he is much better at home then he is on the road…
The Chiefs have already played two games on the road.
A high-end RB2 and a WR2
David Johnson RB, Arizona Cardinals
2018 – 28 touches, 118 YRD, caught 6/11 TGT, 4.2 Y/A, 5.5 Y/R, 1 TD
16 GM pace- 224 touches, 944 yards, 8 TDs, catch 48/88 TGT
Johnson is on pace to be about half as productive as his break out 2016 campaign (2016- 373 touches, 2118 YRD, caught 80/120 TGT, 20 TDs). His Y/R is less than half his career average (11.2) and his Y/A is over a yard less than his career average (5.3). the talk lately has been getting him more involved in the passing game running routes out of the slot. This may require a quarterback change as we see Sam Bradford is not one to overload his RB1 with targets like Johnson will need.
This would be a big boost as he is currently on Pace for 32 fewer targets than his 2016 season. the offense is going to hold him back throughout the year so now I do not think he can repeat is amazing production from two years ago. At the same time though I definitely do not think he is this bad all of a sudden. The Cardinals will figure out ways to get him involved.
Find a panicked owner and see if you can work a deal for an RB2 and a low-end WR2.
Dalvin Cook RB, Minnesota Vikings
2018 – 35 touches, 185 YRD, caught 9/12 TGT, 13 A/G, 3 Y/A
16 GM pace- 280 touches, 1480 YRD, catch 72/96 TGT, 0 TD
Cook is coming off a very serious injury in 2017. Players in his situation are often a little more susceptible too soft tissue injuries as they adjust back to game speed. the Vikings are almost certainly slowly warming him up to ease this process because they have a very capable backup and Latavius Murray. He’s averaging 5.5 ATT less per game then he did last year in his short run and this should surely go up as the year goes along. Already with 12 TGT in the passing game, we know this is his role. Cook is going to be sitting out week three so his value should not increase at all unless an injury happens to Murray. The week off will also be good for him as playing on these injuries can make them linger. Cook is also one of 11 backs with a 70% or greater snap share.
Find a frustrated owner that thinks cook is in a real-time Share. Offer a low end RB2 with a consultant workload and a low-end WR2/ high-end WR3.
Keenan Allen WR, Los Angeles Chargers
2018 – Caught 14/19 TGT, 175 YRD, 1 TD, 73.7 catch%, 87.5 Y/G
16 GM pace- catch 112/152 TGT, 1400 YRD, 8 TD
In any season Keenan Allen has played 14 or more games (2013,14, and 17) he as a catch percentage under 68% (67.6%, 63.6%, and 64.2%). This year he is catching the ball at a 73.7% clip. People have also been worried that Mike Williams will take a lot of the red zone work away from Allen. Having Williams there though is not that big of a change from having Hunter Henry or a younger Antonio Gates in the lineup. He is a big body Target a lot like they are. If he keeps this current pace he will exceed his career mark for REC and his TD opportunities will come around. People probably aren’t panicking too much yet on Allen but you might be able to find an owner that expected more.
An overachieving WR1 like DeSean Jackson coupled with a mid RB2.