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 11 through 14
Even though Samuel only has 68 targets compared to 79 for D.J. Moore, the Panthers’ top two wideouts are dead even in weighted opportunity rating (WOPR) through 10 games. The third-year wide receiver out of Ohio State is quietly on pace for 121 targets and 1,856 air yards, but his fantasy production has been severely lacking for a player getting such solid volume, as Pat Kerrane discussed last week in his article about Samuel’s unfortunate inefficiency. Samuel is averaging just 6.5 yards per target, but that should improve in the near future because the Panthers have the easiest schedule for wide receivers over the next four weeks. In that time span, they get two matchups — including this week — against a Falcons’ defense that has been shredded by opposing wide receivers all year long.
Samuel is a big play waiting to happen and has seen at least six targets in eight consecutive games. He ranks 19th among wide receivers in expected fantasy points on the season. Having Kyle Allen at quarterback is obviously going to negatively impact his efficiency, but having such a large discrepancy between expected fantasy points and actual fantasy points just comes down to variance. He’s clearly the best buy-low candidate in fantasy football right now and has a great chance to return dividends as soon as this week against a subpar Falcons’ defense.
Let’s stick with Panthers’ wide receivers for just a little bit longer. Although Moore has been putting up respectable fantasy numbers as of late, it could be so much more. Moore is on pace for nearly 100 receptions, more than 1,200 yards, and … two touchdowns. He ranks 13th among wide receivers in expected fantasy points and has double-digit targets in three of the last four games. As we discussed with Samuel, the Panthers have the easiest schedule for wideouts over the next four weeks. Both Panthers’ pass-catchers should be able to take advantage. Buy them both.
Odell Beckham, Jr.
It has not been Beckham’s season. Or the Browns’, for that matter.
But he’s still seeing decent volume, and you can probably get him for less than you should be able to because of how down the public is on him right now. Beckham is still on pace for 140 targets and ranks among the top-10 wide receivers in both WOPR and expected fantasy points. Over the next four weeks, the Browns have the eighth-easiest schedule for wide receivers, although that stretch starts with a tough matchup against a stingy Pittsburgh defense. He probably won’t end up performing like the first-round pick he was drafted to be in August, but he’s getting WR1-type volume and not putting up WR1-type numbers. With the easy schedule coming up, he’s a clear buy candidate.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Julio Jones has fewer touchdowns than you’d expect.
It seems like it happens every season, and yet here we are again. Julio is on pace for a massive 148/94/1,406 season, but he has only four touchdowns through nine games. Michael Dubner pointed out that Jones is inside the top-20 among wide receivers in expected touchdowns since Week 5, but he hasn’t actually scored a touchdown since then.
The Falcons have the fifth-easiest schedule for wide receivers over the next four weeks, including a matchup against Tampa Bay’s sieve of a secondary in Week 12. Julio’s name brand will keep his asking price from dropping too far, but owners might be starting to get frustrated with his lack of scoring. Buy now with a soft schedule coming up.
Chark was included on last week’s list, and he’s here again because the Jaguars didn’t play last week. Jacksonville has the sixth-easiest schedule for wideouts over the next month and Chark is still getting solid volume even though his fantasy production has dropped in recent weeks. He has been scoring touchdowns at an unsustainable rate – six scores on 69 targets on a below-average Jaguars’ offense — but he’s still on pace for 76 catches and 1,230 yards. He’s an underrated buy candidate heading into the home stretch.
Woods is on pace for 80 catches and 1,000 yards. It’s not great compared to what he did last year, but those numbers aren’t killing you. He ranks 21st among wideouts in expected fantasy points per game.
He has not scored a touchdown yet this season. It’s pretty remarkable for a guy to be on pace for 126 targets and go more than half the season without finding the end zone. That’s almost Julio-Jones-in-the-first-half-of-2018 impressive.
Although Woods will face a difficult schedule over the next month, he’s still worth buying because of his horrible touchdown luck. Regression to the mean will do its thing and Woods should be able to put up WR2 numbers for the rest of the year, especially with Brandin Cooks sidelined with a concussion. He ranks 38th in PPR fantasy points per game, so you should be able to get him for the price of a WR3. Easy decision.
Running Backs – Weeks 11 through 14
Barkley is not going to be cheap. But he is as cheap as he’ll ever be. The second-year stud hasn’t topped 72 rushing yards in any of the last four contests, including a 13-carry, one-yard stinker against the Jets last weekend.
None of that matters because he’s still Saquon Barkley. Trust the larger sample size of top-tier performance rather than the last few weeks of disappointment. The Giants have a bye this week, but their schedule opens up significantly after that. In fact, Barkley only has one negative matchup left in the fantasy season: Week 14 versus Philadelphia. Otherwise, it’s going to be smooth sailing for the former second-overall pick, and he has the potential to put up league-winning numbers a la 2017 Todd Gurley the rest of the way.
Another Buy Low Report, another Leonard Fournette sighting. The Jaguars had a bye last week so Fournette didn’t have the opportunity to rack up even more touches and yards without scoring a touchdown, but this week they’ll get an Indianapolis defense that has been fairly stingy against opposing running backs this year. And it doesn’t get much easier after that; Jacksonville has the fifth-hardest schedule for running backs over the next month.
Fournette is worth buying in spite of that because his negative touchdown luck is so insane that it offsets the difficult schedule. Fournette is on pace for nearly 400 touches and 2,000 total yards, but he only has one touchdown on the season.
Let that sink in. Fournette is on pace for nearly 400 touches and 2,000 total yards, but he only has one touchdown on the season.
He ranks second in expected fantasy points per game but doesn’t carry the perceived value of a Dalvin Cook or Barkley. He’s a must-buy player despite the tough matchups.
Thanks for reading the Week 11 edition of the Buy Low Report. Check back next week for the Week 12 article.