News & Analysis

Fantasy's reverse stock market: Who are the buy-highs and sell-lows?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) runs against the Atlanta Falcons during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Welcome to our bi-weekly look at the fantasy football stock market from a reverse perspective. If you had a dollar for every time you’ve heard someone say to “buy low and sell high” you’d probably have enough money to pay for all of your leagues’ entry fees.

Like the stock market, success in this game often comes down to which owner finds the best value on draft day and throughout the season via trades and waiver wire moves. However, sometimes it is still OK to buy or sell late. It’s better to be late to the party than to not attend it at all.

With that in mind, we take a look at a reverse stock market of sorts. Here are some players that are still ascending and some that have yet to hit rock bottom.

Buy high

Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins

For the second straight week in Week 11, Cousins accounted for three touchdowns and finished as a top-three fantasy quarterback. He’s now finished inside the top 12 at the position in six of his 10 contests this season. Week 11 also was the fifth time he eclipsed 300 yards passing in game during 2017.

Cousins has played like an elite fantasy quarterback in the Redskins’ pass-heavy offense. He’s done it mostly without a true No. 1 receiver or a workhorse running back. The season-ending injury to Chris Thompson, who accounted for 510 yards and four touchdowns receiving, will hurt. However, there are enough weapons left for Cousins to continue to find success.

With some decent matchups still on tap (Giants, Cardinals, and Broncos included) expect him to keep up his solid play down the stretch. With free agency likely looming, a big finish from Cousins could help lead to a big pay day this offseason.

Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

The stellar run of success continued for Kamara in Sunday’s win against the Redskins as he broke 100 total yards for the third straight game and the fourth time in five contests since the team dealt Adrian Peterson to the Cardinals.

Kamara has scored in six of his last eight games — including four straight — and has five touchdowns during that span. He is getting it done as a pass catcher with 28 receptions on 33 targets for 300 yards and two touchdowns and has been very productive running the football (6.6 YPC/3.3 YAC).

Since Week 6, when Peterson was shipped out, the only running back who has posted more fantasy points than the Saints’ rookie is his teammate, Mark Ingram. It is unprecedented to see one team offer up two RB1 producers much less the top two over such a large period, but that is exactly what is happening right now in New Orleans.

Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks

Graham is starting to look like his old self. He has found his way into the end zone seven times over his last six games. He hasn’t seen of a stretch of production like that since he scored eight TDs Weeks 3-9 of the 2013 season.

This is easily his best season as a Seahawk. He’s already eclipsed last year’s TD total (6) and is on pace to surpass his 65 receptions. His 7.1 targets are up from 2016, but the yardage numbers are down. His 8.3-yard average depth of target and 5.8 YPT this season fall short of the 10.2-yard aDOT and 9.9 YPT marks he hit a year ago.

Russell Wilson is looking at Graham more often and definitely has learned how he best fits the offense. He still falls a bit below the Gronk/Kelce/Ertz Tier 1, but Graham is the first name on the list of candidates of Tier 2 tight ends.

Sell low

Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opportunity is a key word when discussing the value of fantasy runners, and the opportunities have been there for Martin. He’s had 20 or more touches in four of his past five games. But like the rest of the fantasy assets in Tampa he has disappointed.

Martin averaged 5.7 YPC in his first game of the season in Week 5, but hasn’t cracked 4.0 YPC in a game since. He is averaging 2.5 YPC to go along with a 2.2 YAC over his last five games. Of the 25 running backs with 50 or more rushing attempts, nobody has a lower points-per-opportunity mark (0.22 PPR/0.19 standard) during that span.

Based off his volume, Martin cannot simply be dismissed for fantasy purposes. The Bucs have underperformed, but the weapons are still there. At this point the veteran should be viewed a low-end RB3/flex option with a low ceiling.

DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins

The hype has been there from the beginning for Parker and he has shown flashes of potential, but it has yet to all come together for the third-year wideout. Injuries have been a consistent factor and were again earlier this season when he dealt with an ankle issue.

His targets have been as consistent as any receiver in the game this year when he’s played. Parker has been targeted eight or more times in all but one game, but has only reached 10 targets in a contest once.

The problem is he isn’t doing much with the targets. The wideout has only scored once all season and has just one game with over 80 receiving yards to his credit. The loss of Ryan Tannehill had a bigger blow Parker’s potential than most realized. He remains an intriguing long-term prospect, but is losing his luster in redraft leagues.

Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys

The wheels are falling off fast with the Cowboys’ offense and all of their players have seen their fantasy values take a hit. Witten’s value was starting to fade even when things were going well.

He started the year off with 17 receptions on 19 targets for 156 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the opening two weeks. Witten has just 18 receptions on 23 targets for 168 yards and one TD in his other seven games. Since Week 3 he’s only TE28 in standard leagues and TE24 in PPR.

Dallas as a whole seems to be headed in the wrong direction and owners that have been forced to rely Witten are better off taking a chance with a younger TE such as O.J. Howard or Adam Shaheen that seem to be coming into larger roles as their teams head down the stretch.

Fantasy Featured Tools

PFF Edge
Unlock Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft
Learn More
$39.99 / yr
$9.99 / mo
PFF Elite
Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS
Learn More
$199.99 / yr
$34.99 / mo