Fantasy football roundtable: Which player is the best sell-high candidate?
The volume of fantasy transactions, trade proposals and roster shuffling is never higher than it is in the days following Week 1. An unexpected breakout star will suddenly find himself owned in nearly every league, while desperate fantasy owners will rush to shop veterans who looked like they'd lost a step in the season-opener. In this week's roundtable, SI.com fantasy experts Michael Beller, Alex Hampl, David Gonos, Ben Eagle, Bette Marston and Eric Single make the case for players whom you'd be wise to sell high on now.
Michael Beller: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings. Patterson is undoubtedly an explosive player. We saw exactly what he is capable of when he ripped off a 67-yard touchdown run against the Rams last week. However, he also had just three catches on five targets for 26 yards. Part of that was dictated by game situation, but it was still a disappointing total. No player can count on those big plays being there every single week, and yet it seems like Patterson is wholly dependent upon them for his fantasy production. Shop him around while his most recent big play is fresh in the minds of your competitors.
Alex Hampl: Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s totally possible Hurns stays a useful player for most of the year, but his value will never be higher than it is right now. When Cecil Shorts III comes back from injury -- which could be as soon as this Sunday -- Hurns will lose a lot of the volume that made him valuable in Week 1. Ultimately, Hurns is probably the Jags’ third-best receiver, behind Shorts and Marqise Lee. But those two are both uncertain for Sunday, so look for Hurns to have another big day as Jacksonville’s primary target in the passing game -- and then look to trade him at his highest value.
David Gonos: Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos. It’s tough to project the next 15 games off of one week of output, but if you’re going to sell high on a player, I’d go with Ball. I still can’t believe he was a first- and second-round pick this summer ahead of second-year players like Le’Veon Bell and Giovani Bernard. Ball looked slow and indecisive in his first game, but he scored a touchdown. He’ll likely get a lot of touches and plenty of chances, but I don’t see him doing what Knowshon Moreno did last year as Denver's lead back. I’d trade him straight up for Bell and Bernard if I could.
Ben Eagle: Hurns. Too easy? The undrafted Jacksonville wideout was a waiver wire darling ahead of Week 2, but let's not forget: He's a rookie wide receiver. For the Jaguars. As Doug Farrar noted, the Jags love Hurns, but when all is said and done, Week 1 will likely be the high point of Hurns' season.
Bette Marston: Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos. In Week 1, the Indianapolis defense forgot how to cover the Broncos’ tight end, as Thomas caught seven passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns. Thomas plays a huge role for Peyton Manning in Denver's high-powered offense, so while Thomas may not produce every week at the level he did in Week 1, he’ll likely still see plenty of targets throughout the season. All fantasy owners overreact after Week 1, so now’s the perfect time to take advantage of the owners who are just drooling over Thomas’ potential.
Eric Single: Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints. With his seven-catch performance in Week 1, Cooks has secured a leading role in the Saints’ high-octane attack, but the targets will be spread out even thinner once Kenny Stills returns to full health, and it doesn’t look like the ground game will be an afterthought this year in New Orleans. Now that every player in your league knows his name, the market for Cooks should be rife with opportunity. Cooks will entice with explosive plays all year long, but off-loading the dynamic rookie for more consistent assets will do wonders for your week-to-week peace of mind.