The Strength of Schedule Streaming app allows you to see which players have the easiest or most difficult upcoming schedules, a potentially league-winning edge that gives you the opportunity to buy players right before they explode in plus matchups.
Welcome back to the Buy Low Report. As usual, we will combine insight from the SoS Streaming App and the RotoViz Screener to identify players who are buy-low candidates. The SoS Streaming App reveals matchup data for each fantasy position. The Screener reports expected fantasy points (EP) — which measures the value of a player’s opportunities — and Fantasy Points Over Expectation (FPOE) — which measures a player’s efficiency.
Wide Receivers – Weeks 4 through 7
The Antonio Brown experiment ended after one week in New England, meaning that Josh Gordon is Tom Brady’s WR2 once again. Gordon drew 11 targets in Week 3 — although Julian Edelman did miss a good chunk of the game with an injury. Edelman’s injury is not believed to be serious, but his Week 4 status could be in doubt, which would be further boost Gordon’s value. Even if Edelman plays, Gordon still holds immense value as the WR2 in New England’s offensive system.
Gordon didn’t have a bad week in Week 3 — six catches for 83 yards — but it could have been so much more. He ranked eighth among WRs in expected points last week but placed only 30th in fantasy points.
Nonetheless, Gordon owners should be optimistic, because the Patriots’ upcoming schedule couldn’t get much better.
That’s right: Four green matchups. Over the next month, New England has the third-easiest schedule for WRs. Buy “Flash” Gordon now.
Over the last two weeks, Sammy Watkins has the third-fewest FPOE — which is difficult to accomplish when Patrick Mahomes is your QB. For reference, Demarcus Robinson has scored 16.5 FPOE over the last two weeks, Mecole Hardman is 16.4 points over expectation, and Travis Kelce sits at plus-14.3. Somehow, Watkins has been the lone inefficient WR in Kansas City, making him a prime buy-low candidate heading into Week 4.
Here’s the thing with Kansas City: It doesn’t matter who they play because Mahomes is capable of lighting up any defense. In Week 1, the Chiefs dropped 40 on Jacksonville. Last week, they scored 33 against a tough Ravens defense. Now, the Chiefs’ schedule opens up a bit after starting the season with two difficult matchups in three weeks.
Over the next four weeks, Kansas City has three matchups in the green. The lone exception is a Week 5 bout against the Colts, who will be without star safety Malik Hooker for the next four-to-six weeks. For now, Watkins has massive week-to-week upside as Mahomes’ WR1, and he is capable of retaining WR2 value even after Tyreek Hill returns from injury.
Jarvis Landry has quietly earned 23 targets over the first three weeks and could be in line for even more work with David Njoku out of the picture. Unfortunately, Landry has only converted those 23 targets into 10 catches for 161 yards, but it’s encouraging that the opportunity is there. Landry has the fourth-fewest FPOE among WRs, largely due Browns’ offensive struggles as a whole.
Although Cleveland’s offensive woes are concerning, it has only been three games. There’s still plenty of time for Baker Mayfield to make a second-year leap. Regardless, Landry is still worth buying even if you aren’t a believer in the Browns offense. He’s on a 123-target pace right now and his asking price is nowhere near what it should be for a player receiving that type of volume.
Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. will have their work cut out for them in Week 4 against a stingy Baltimore defense1 before drawing a couple of easier matchups against the 49ers and Seahawks in Week 5 and Week 6, respectively.
Through three weeks, Davante Adams has not lived up to his first-round price tag. He has 21 targets — the same number as Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Adams has 198 receiving yards and has yet to score a touchdown.
But don’t panic just yet.
We said it last week with Mike Evans, and it applies to Adams this week. He’s still Aaron Rodgers’ WR1, and his schedule is about to open up. If the Adams owner in your league is panicking, the time to buy is now. In Week 4, he’ll face a weak Eagles secondary that was already vulnerable before Ronald Darby got injured. Adams is poised to smash under the lights on Thursday night.
Running Backs – Weeks 4 through 7
Leonard Fournette is getting bona fide RB1 volume. After three weeks, he ranks sixth among RBs in expected fantasy points. But, he hasn’t delivered bona fide RB1 production, ranking 17th among RBs in actual PPR fantasy points.
This is simply a situation of buying the volume. Fournette has been getting elite — dare I say generational? — usage as a receiver through three games, totaling 20 targets for 14 receptions and 94 yards. Combine that with a more-than-adequate 43 carries, and you’d be looking at RB1 scoring most of the time. However, Fournette’s efficiency has been subpar; he’s averaging 4.2 yards per carry, 4.7 yards per target, and hasn’t scored a touchdown yet. Still, he’s a buy low candidate based on sheer volume.
Furthermore, his upcoming schedule doesn’t look too difficult. Over the next month, the Jaguars’ schedule ranks 12th in the NFL for RBs. It’s not amazing, but it’s definitely good enough for the former fourth overall pick to get back on track.
Royce Freeman ranks 24th among RBs in total EP largely due to his expanded receiving role. The former third-round pick has 13 targets in three games — including 12 over the last two weeks — and ranks 16th at the position in reEP. The Broncos aren’t a high-powered offense, but they have proven capable of sustaining two fantasy-relevant backs given their involvement in the passing game.
Freeman almost had an explosion game on Sunday, but a horrible holding penalty negated an 18-yard TD. However, the Oregon product should be in line for a breakout game soon. The Broncos had the second-toughest schedule for RBs over the first three weeks, but they have the 10th-easiest over the next month. Freeman has solid standalone value despite his current timeshare with Phillip Lindsay, but he has RB1 potential if anything were to happen to his backfield counterpart.
Thanks for reading the Week 4 edition of the Buy Low Report. Check back on Tuesday afternoon next week to read the Week 5 article.
Image Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Josh Gordon.
- Although Baltimore is working without Jimmy Smith at the moment. (back)