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. You can also check out Shawn Siegele‘s Sell High companion piece when it comes out later this week.
Wide Receivers – Weeks 13 through 16
Last week, Leonard Fournette, D.J. Moore, Tyler Boyd, and Odell Beckham Jr. all finally scored. Who will positive touchdown regression hit next?
I’d like to nominate one Mike Williams, also known as the Air Yards King.
Williams ranks 13th among wide receivers in air yards even though he missed a game to injury, and he’s pacing for 1,000 yards in large part due to his massive 20.0 yards per reception average. After scoring 10 touchdowns last year, he has yet to hit pay dirt this year. His volume has been trending down recently — only 12 targets over the last three weeks — but that means his price will be dirt cheap, and his upside is massive if he can get back to scoring touchdowns like he was last year. His average target comes 17.3 yards down the field, so he has the potential to break a big one at any moment. The Chargers have the 11th-easiest schedule for wide receivers over the next month, including two positive matchups in Weeks 15 and 16, the two most pivotal weeks of the fantasy football season.
If you’re in championship contention and need a potential game-changer to tilt the odds in your favor, Williams could be your guy.
Robert Woods is averaging eight targets and 66.3 receiving yards per game. Those are solid fantasy starter numbers. Somehow, he has yet to score a touchdown. The Rams’ difficult upcoming schedule for wide receivers isn’t doing Woods any favors, but he is worth buying in spite of that because his touchdown luck has been so extraordinarily horrible.
At this point, I think I’m legally obligated to include at least one Buccaneers’ receiver in this article every week, and the honor goes to Mike Evans this week because his counterpart Chris Godwin popped off more recently. Evans has three consecutive games with four catches and has just one touchdown in the last month. He won’t be cheap because he has been a stud all season long, but now is the time to inquire and see if his owner is willing to trade him away. The Buccaneers have the seventh-easiest schedule for wide receivers over the next four weeks and the fourth-easiest in Weeks 15 and 16, when they’ll get back-to-back plus matchups against Detroit and Houston.
Evans is another guy who could be a slate-breaker during the fantasy playoffs and help bring you home the trophy.
D.J. Moore was in the Buy Low Report for a few weeks before he finally had an explosion game last week. Curtis Samuel has been listed here for a couple of weeks in a row now; could this be the week where he finally busts a long touchdown? Samuel is on pace for 115 targets and ranks seventh among wideouts in air yards, the type of volume which would normally lead to solid WR2 numbers. However, Samuel’s frustrating inefficiency has suppressed his fantasy production, and he’s currently performing like a lower-end flex play. Carolina has the fifth-softest schedule for wideouts over the next month, including two green matchups against Atlanta and Seattle in the fantasy playoffs in Weeks 14 and 15, respectively.
Like the aforementioned Mike Williams, Samuel is never going to be a safe play, but he has week-winning upside on any given Sunday because of his big-play ability. He’s dirt cheap right now and can start in a pinch.
Starting Tyler Lockett on a week-to-week basis is an absolute roller coaster.
He has just three games this year with eight or more targets and has recorded five or fewer targets more than half the time. Here’s an example to illustrate his inconsistency: In Week 9, Lockett exploded for 152 yards and a pair of scores on 18 targets. In the two weeks since, he has a total of six targets. Owners could be getting frustrated with the mind-boggling inconsistency, and now is your chance to swoop in and buy him. The Seahawks have the fifth-easiest schedule for wide receivers over the next four weeks, so Lockett could end up being a league-winner if he can string together a couple of those high-volume games in a row.
He’s a low-end WR1 with massive weekly upside. Buy.
Running Backs – Weeks 13 through 16
If you had asked me in the preseason to pick one player who I was pretty sure would score touchdowns at an abnormally high rate, I would have said Alvin Kamara.
Through three-quarters of the season, it just hasn’t happened. Part of that is because Drew Brees missed some time, which obviously was a huge hit to the New Orleans’ offense as a whole. But even with that, Kamara having only two touchdowns through nine games is unexpected. With Brees back, it’s safe to expect Kamara to return to the touchdown juggernaut he has been for the last two seasons. The Saints have scored 34 points in consecutive weeks, but their star running back didn’t find the end zone in either game. New Orleans doesn’t have a particularly easy schedule for running backs over the next four weeks, but right now is a rare occasion when Kamara is not untouchable in trades. Take advantage.
Phillip Lindsay has distanced himself as the Broncos’ RB1. He was stuck in a timeshare with Royce Freeman for over half the season, but the former undrafted free agent is now indubitably Denver’s lead running back. There were reports a couple of weeks ago that the Broncos wanted to shift some of Freeman’s work over to Lindsay, and they’ve made good on that promise so far. Although Lindsay was actually out-snapped by Freeman last week, both played over 50% of snaps and the former dominated the latter in touch count (14 to 4). Although the Brandon Allen-led Broncos’ offense isn’t going to score a whole lot of points, Lindsay should still be able to post respectable fantasy numbers because Denver gets the third-easiest schedule for running backs over the next month, including three consecutive positive matchups from Weeks 14-16 (i.e. during the fantasy playoffs).
He’s not a stud that’s going to score three touchdowns in Week 16 to carry you to a championship, but he’s a startable fantasy asset that can be had for cheap if you need an RB2 or flex.
Thanks for reading the Week 13 edition of the Buy Low Report. Check back next week for the Week 14 article.