Week 8 marks the beginning of the second half of the fantasy regular season. This a prime opportunity to solidify rosters for the playoff push or make blockbuster all-or-nothing buy/sell trades that can salvage records on the cusp.
The general rule is to “buy low/sell high”. Since everyone is familiar with this heuristic, it’s more important to understand when buying high makes sense. Players can’t help you win from the bench so if you’re sitting pretty with one or two losses, consider buying high as you approach your playoffs.
Buy/Sell Running Backs
Buy: Derrick Henry
Derrick Henry is the ideal target to buy in week 8. Not only is he on a bye-week but he is coming off a 13-yard/ zero touchdown game where he averaged 1-yard per carry.
The Henry owner is probably frustrated with the uncertainty of the Titans backfield and salty after what was perceived as a favorable matchup. But check this out: Henry not only faces Baltimore (145.3 yards per game), Cincinnati (111.3 yards per game), and Indianapolis (124.7 yards per game) three of the four weeks after the bye, but his playoff schedule includes Arizona, San Francisco, and the L.A. Rams: all positive rushing game scripts.
If possible, acquire DeMarco Murray in this deal. They are probably owned by the same team.
Buy: Jordan Howard
While Jordan Howard can be a tough buy, he is vulnerable to trade having not scored since Week 4 and the Bears offense looking inefficient with their rookie QB, Mitchell Trubisky. Howard has his bye in Week 9 which lowers his trade value but his upcoming game against the New Orleans Saints (114 yards per game) can be a turnaround.
After the bye, Howard faces Green Bay, Detroit, and San Francisco all at home and a potential championship matchup against the Cleveland Browns who despite their perceived strength against the run, have arguably only faced one top 10 running back: Le’Veon Bell in Week 1 who was coming off a pre-season holdout. The question is whether the Browns defense is for real.
Sell: Ezekiel Elliott
If there was ever a gift for the paranoid Ezekiel Elliott owner constantly refreshing Twitter to find out the latest news on the suspension, it was a 200+ total yard game which included three touchdowns. As of right now, Elliott will play Week 8 against the Redskins even further increasing his trade value. So my advice: propose a trade with Elliott and ask for everything. LeSean McCoy, Doug Baldwin, and Michael Thomas? Sure. Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, and Jordan Howard? Yep. And throw in David Putney just because you feel like it.
The psychology of this trade is to make that other owner sweat over pressing that “reject” button when a prize like Elliott is within their grasp. The likelihood of a lopsided trade being accepted is low but following up with a slightly lesser offer could seem like a more reasonable deal. This is one of those two or three-for-one trades that can revitalize a team decimated by the 2017 injury plague.
Sell: Aaron Jones
Every season there’s at least one fantasy darling that is found money off the waiver wire. I can’t think of a better candidate than Aaron Jones who, FAAB investment aside, cost most owners nothing to acquire. Although he’s heading into a bye, still consider trading off his name fresh off a 100+ yard rushing game with a score because, after Week 8, the schedule isn’t really kind.
Set expectations realistically. Not every trade has to be a home run; sometimes it’s even better to just get on base so consider Aaron Jones your one-time Get out of Jail Free Card to fill a hole you’ve sustained at another position either by under-performance or injury. Think a Marlon Mack and Sterling Shepard, Latavius Murray and Jarvis Landry, or the unthinkable: Tyrod Taylor and Joe Mixon.
Buy/Sell Wide Receivers
Buy: DeVante Parker
The wide receiver position is probably the most volatile it’s been since the Zero-RB Era. If there’s a player worth holding on to at all, it’s hard to pry them from an owner that just doesn’t want to see a goose egg in their starting lineup. Also, it’s too late to buy low on Amari Cooper. That leaves players coming off an injury and DeVante Parker has not only missed two games but faces some pass-friendly matchups in the second half of the season. Oakland, Tampa Bay, New England (twice), Buffalo, and Kansas City make up six of the next nine matchups. All of them rank in the bottom 10 in passing yards per game. Unless his status for the season keeps him out of games, he could be a gamble worth the risk.
Buy: Demaryius Thomas
Yuck. I know Demaryius Thomas hasn’t caught a touchdown pass since Disney’s Moana premiered but you know who else knows that? The Demaryius Thomas owner (if he or she has children under age 5). If you can get him with a throw-in, you could potentially benefit from the Bronco’s favorable passing schedule in the weeks leading up to the playoffs including Kansas City, New England, Oakland, the New York Jets, Washington, and Indianapolis who all rank in the bottom half against the pass. The gamble could pay off for owners who lost all of the Green Bay and Arizona WRs who lost their quarterbacks in the past two weeks.
Sell: Will Fuller
Will Fuller is the Aaron Jones of wide receivers and owners lucky enough to start him the past few weeks are more than likely sitting on a winning record. It’s difficult to part ways with a hot player, especially at a premium position but here are some facts that could take the luster off Fuller enough to consider selling high.
Will Fuller is the number 2 WR catching passes from a rookie QB. While Deshaun Watson has been amazing, the likelihood of him performing so far beyond expectation is low. Add to that the Texans second-half schedule that includes games against Seattle, the L.A. Rams, Baltimore, Jacksonville, and Pittsburgh, it is easier to imagine that Fuller’s best days are behind him.
Sell: Nelson Agholor
This is where we are: selling high on Nelson Agholor. Agholor has had some incredible fantasy performances of late which should make other owners take notice if he appears in their inbox. Should you sell because he has bad late-season matchups? Maybe. He faces Denver, Chicago, Seattle, the Rams, and the Giants which could be tough.
Does he have an upcoming bye? Yes, in Week 10 he’ll be out with the rest of the Eagles. But what makes Nelson Agholor a great sell high? He’s Nelson Agholor! If you can get a Julio Jones, Kelvin Benjamin, or Dez Bryant for him, do it. Ask for Chris Thompson or Jerick McKinnon, even. Whatever you do, just get something for Agholor while he’s “a thing”.