We have hit the quarter pole of the NFL Season and now is the time to take advantage of owners who might be getting desperate. Here are my Week 5 buy-low candidates.
QB – Josh Allen
Placing Allen on this list is based on a combination of factors. For starters, Allen looked horrible on Sunday throwing three interceptions against New England before entering the concussion protocol. Through four games he has thrown six interceptions (and just three touchdown passes) making Allen appear to be hard to trust. However, what if I told you Allen would top 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns this year with relative ease? Rather than look at Allen as a turnover machine, maybe it is better to view him as a quarterback on pace for over 500 yards rushing and double-digit touchdowns. Buy-low before other people take notice.
His rushing equity creates a weekly floor that is significantly higher than most would think it is. Need another reason to like Allen? His next six games are the Titans, Dolphins (twice), Eagles, Redskins, and Browns. Go get him.
RB – Chris Carson
For better or worse, I am going back to the well with Carson. Despite his ball security issues, his touch numbers have been healthy and on Sunday he quietly went over 100 yards and added 4/41 through the air. He also had a touchdown run called back so if you add that to his final stat line, it looks even more impressive. It is hard to imagine that Carson owners aren’t frustrated. After Sunday, they might think it is the perfect selling opportunity. I am more than happy to be on the buying side of that argument as I will continue to bet on Carson’s talent and opportunity. Buy-low while people may still have questions.
RB – Austin Ekeler
Trading for Ekeler, the current RB2 in fantasy, is a sharp move for a couple reasons. With Melvin Gordon coming back, Ekeler’s market share of touches is going to drop off. Since touches are what we focus on with running backs, Ekeler appears to be losing value. The reality is that Gordon has been somewhat injury prone and coming off a long layoff is unlikely to be ready for 20+ touches himself. Ekeler should still see 10-12 touches with 3-4 receptions each week making him PPR viable.
The other variable in acquiring Ekeler is that he is a free agent after this year and, assuming he signs with a team who will give him 20 touches per game (Kansas City and Houston would both be tremendous fits), Ekeler would be a top-10 option in 2020 making him an easy buy-low for me.
WR – Will Fuller
What if I told you Will Fuller ranks 12th in the league with 399 air yards (and an aDot of 17.2) but has just 183 yards receiving? The Fuller breakout (along with Houston’s passing offense in general) is coming soon and he makes for an interesting target. While Fuller’s floor is undeniably low, the ceiling can be massive and his blowup games can be weekly winners. Deshaun Watson missed him on what would have been a 75-yard touchdown last Sunday. You might want to get him before the price goes up.
WR – JuJu Smith-Schuster
Smith-Schuster is fascinating because there are a lot of variables at play. He is now the de facto WR1 in Pittsburgh but without Ben Roethlisberger, the results have been predictably bad. The question you have to ask with potentially buying here is if in a year, when Roethlisberger returns, will Smith-Schuster be capable of living up to the lofty expectations bestowed on him in the preseason.
There are some bad metrics (8.9 aDot, just 17 receptions on 27 targets) but the Steelers have done the best they can to hide Mason Rudolph leaving the receivers without much to work with. While you aren’t likely to get major production this year, this is a long-term play that you are betting on working out next year and beyond. He didn’t catch 100+ passes in 2018 by accident and Smith-Schuster is one of the youngest players in the NFL so there is still plenty to like.