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 14 through 16
The Buccaneers were pretty tilting in Week 13. Although they scored 28 points and threw for 268 yards, Jameis Winston did not have a touchdown and neither Evans nor Chris Godwin had a productive fantasy outing. Evans had double-digit targets for the fifth time this year, but he finished with only 53 scoreless yards. Still, there are reasons to be optimistic — the Buccaneers have the third-easiest schedule for wide receivers over the next three weeks (i.e. the fantasy playoffs), and all three matchups are in the green.
Evans hasn’t scored a touchdown or topped 82 receiving yards since the first week of November, but the boom game is coming soon for the star wideout. Given his still-elite volume and the Buccaneers’ easy upcoming schedule, Evans is a clear buy if your trade deadline hasn’t passed yet. He has a good chance to win leagues this year.
In Week 12, Fuller popped off for seven catches and 140 yards on 11 targets.
In Week 13, he recorded one catch for eight yards on two targets.
That’s about as Will Fuller as it gets. He has game-breaking upside in any given week, but he’s not the most dependable for week-to-week production. However, we want to target those ceiling games because they are what win you championships, especially if you’re going into the playoffs as an underdog and need someone who can put you over the top. From Weeks 14-16, the Texans face the second-easiest schedule for wide receivers, including matchups against the Titans and Buccaneers in Week 15 and Week 16, respectively.
Both of these defenses have given up points in bunches to wide receivers all year long, so Fuller will have a good chance to bust off a long touchdown or two. Although he only recorded two targets on Sunday, Fuller is still clearly running ahead of Kenny Stills as the Texans’ WR2, so I’m willing to chalk up his disappointing Week 12 to a floor game against the league’s best defense. Buy Fuller as he heads into a Charmin-soft stretch of defenses.
Odell Beckham, Jr.
Welcome back to the Buy Low Report, Mr. Beckham, I believe your seat is still warm. OBJ escaped this list for a week after dropping a 6/84/1 line in Week 12, but he’s right back where he belongs after recording just three catches for 29 yards in Week 13. Beckham has become a mainstay in this space because his volume indicates that he should be a fringe WR1 in fantasy – after all, he ranks ninth among wideouts in weighted opportunity rating – but the production has not been there. He is the WR25 in PPR formats on the season, just one spot behind fellow stud Cole Beasley.
The Browns have the eighth-softest schedule for wide receivers over the next three weeks, although they do face off against a difficult Ravens’ secondary in Week 16.
Beckham’s price is much cheaper than it should be right now because he has been severely underperforming his volume. Take advantage.
Mike Williams, the Air Yards King, finally converted some of his air yards into actual yards in Week 13, hauling in five of seven looks for 117 yards (142 air yards). Still, he hasn’t scored a touchdown yet this year even though he is averaging 70.7 yards per game, so he remains a buy-low candidate. The Chargers have the 10th-easiest schedule for wideouts during the fantasy playoffs, and Williams has massive upside if he can turn those long targets into long catches (and maybe even touchdowns!).
Tyler Lockett was so much fun to own last year. You just plugged him in and watched him catch long touchdown after long touchdown.
This year has been less fun.
Although he is WR18 on the year, the points have come in inconsistent bursts. And over the last three weeks, they haven’t come at all, as Lockett has seen just nine targets in the last three games combined. He did not record a touch during Seattle’s 37-30 over Minnesota on Monday Night Football. That’s right: The Seattle Seahawks scored 37 points, and Tyler Lockett had zero fantasy points.
Which is why it’s time to buy. Fantasy owners are understandably frustrated with Lockett’s inconsistency, so you will be able to get a WR2 for cheap. Like the aforementioned Will Fuller and Mike Williams, Lockett has slate-breaking upside every single week. That’s what wins championships. The Seahawks have a difficult matchup against the Rams this week, but they get two positive matchups in Week 15 and Week 16 against the Panthers and Cardinals, respectively. Trade for Lockett while he’s dirt cheap and you could be getting a league-winner.
Running Backs – Weeks 14 through 16
The Saints once again had a strong offensive performance, scoring 26 points against the Falcons en route to a Thanksgiving night win. Their star running back once again failed to find the end zone. Alvin Kamara got 11 carries and saw eight looks in the passing game against a subpar Falcons’ defense, but he was only able to turn those opportunities into 12.4 PPR fantasy points. The Saints have an average schedule for running backs over the next three weeks, but Kamara’s uncharacteristic inefficiency makes him a buy candidate nonetheless.
With Drew Brees back, the Saints’ offense is back to being one of the league’s best, and Kamara should make his way back to the end zone sooner rather than later. Now is your chance to get a high-end RB1 at a discount.
While we’re on the topic of high-end RB1s at a discount, why not throw Saquon Barkley’s name in the conversation? Barkley hasn’t scored a touchdown since October, but he’s still getting the volume necessary to be an elite RB1. The Penn State product is averaging 15.2 carries and 6.2 targets per game, and he ranks fifth among running backs in expected fantasy points per game. Efficiency has been the problem; Barkley is outside the top-12 running backs in fantasy points per game despite his massive workload and ranks 153rd in fantasy points over expectation per game.
Of course, the Giants’ offense isn’t doing him any favors, but that level of inefficiency is still surprising (and a reason to buy). New York has the 12th-softest schedule for running backs during the fantasy playoffs, so Barkley should be able to produce the RB1 numbers we are used to seeing from him.
He’s still Saquon Barkley, so he won’t be cheap, but he’s not as expensive as he should be right now.
Thanks for reading the Week 14 edition of the Buy Low Report. Check back next week for the Week 15 article.