2020 Fantasy Football Week 1 - Buy, Sell, and Hold - Sports Illustrated

2020 Fantasy Football Week 1 - Buy, Sell, and Hold

SI Fantasy analyst Corey Parson, AKA "The Fantasy Exec" runs through his list of players to buy low ahead of the curve, sell high, and hang onto ahead of the start of the season.
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Now that the NFL season has begun, let's take a few moments to look at some players we should buy low on, sell at a premium, or just sit back, relax, and just hang onto. This is a helpful exercise to help determine a player's value on your fantasy team.

Players to Buy Low On

Bryan Edwards, Las Vegas Raiders WR

The Raiders used their first pick of the 2020 NFL draft to select Henry Ruggs, the star wide receiver from the University of Alabama. Ruggs is an extremely talented player who should be a big hit in Las Vegas. In the third round the Raiders drafted a lesser-known wideout in the University of South Carolina Bryan Edwards, Edwards didn't have the hype behind him that Ruggs did, but Edwards can certainly play football with the best of them, Edwards left the University of South Carolina as their all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards. He's looked great in Raiders camp Sports Illustrated's Gamecocks Insider Chaunte'l Powell reported this quote from Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden. 

"He was a great receiver at South Carolina. Some of my favorite players I’ve coached come from there," Gruden said. "Sterling Sharpe, Robert Brooks, Alshon Jeffrey, Sidney Rice. We knew he had the pedigree, he’s the all-time leading receiver at that place. But he’s physical, he’s got tremendous hands, he’s a quick learner. He’s a businessman too. He’s got a lot of other interests other than being a great receiver. He’s a really focused young man. We’re happy to have him.” 

The Raiders finished last season with plenty of question marks at wide receiver. Hunter Renfrow played well last year but that was really it. This season, Edwards along with Renfrow, and Ruggs will start for the Silver and Black. If Edwards is on your waiver wire, you should pick him up.

James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars RB

Illinois State rookie running back James Robinson finds himself atop the Jaguars depth chart at running back. From what we have heard from Raiders camp, Robinson should be able to step in nicely for the departed Leonard Fournette. Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has already stated that Robinson can carry the load. Backs that can do that are critical for fantasy managers. We have already seen Robinson go for top dollar in early season FAAB bids, so even if the young back gets off to a slow start do not drop or look to trade him. Once he gets it going he could be a difference-maker. Robinson's ability to catch the football came as a surprise to the Jaguars. I think he runs away with the job, so I would no longer concern myself with Ryquell Armstead.

Kendrick Bourne, San Francisco 49ers WR

I have been singing the praises of Bourne all offseason. The Niners talented fourth-year wide receiver will see enough playing time to make a difference this year. With Deebo Samuel, and rookie Brandon Aiyuk both dealing with injuries, Bourne should be the Niners top targeted wideout in the early part of the season and is only $5,000 on DraftKings this week. He has also proven to be very good in the red zone last season with five of his 30 catches ending up being touchdowns. More playing time and volume make Bourne a top add on the wire going into the season.

Players to Sell High

Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions RB

This is a make-or-break season for Kerryon Johnson, and so far it's not going that well. When the Lions picked up the legendary Adrian Peterson last week, my initial thought was not that rookie De'Andre Swift was in trouble, it was that Kerryon Johnson must not be getting it done, through two NFL seasons Johnson has only played in 18 games, he showed some flashes his rookie season, I actually drafted him in a few leagues last year and he rewarded me by playing in eight games and averaging under four yards per attempt. Detroit Lions Insider John Maakaron reported that Johnson's teammates have been calling him "Knee-Brace Guy" in camp, that's never a good nickname for a player on your fantasy football team.

Evan Engram, New York Giants TE 

For a few years now I have been calling New Orleans Saints Tight End Jared Cook "Big Foot", we always hear about Cook's talent but like Big Foot, no one has seen it, I am starting to feel the same way about New York Giants tight end Evan Engram, for the past two seasons we have heard a lot about his talent but we have yet to see it. To be fair Engram has been injured most of the past two seasons but in sports, your most important ability is your availability, Engram will get every chance to shine in the Giants passing game this season if he doesn't pop early send Big Foot into the woods.

Players to Hold

David Johnson, Houston Texans RB

David Johnson's Houston Texans career got off to a nice start in the season-opening game, he had over 100 yards of total offense and he scored a touchdown, paying off on his $6,000 DraftKings salary. I can see Johnson having more games like this one this season. The Texans offense didn't look that great outside of Johnson and Fuller, but I think it will get better as more football is played. It wasn't that long ago that David Johnson was considered the top offensive player in the NFL. This year, he won't have to shoulder the whole load of the Texans offense but he will be a rock-solid RB2 in PPR leagues. 

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns QB

This time last year, Baker Mayfield was one of the hottest names in fantasy and he was being talked up as a QB1 in fantasy circles. By the end of the season, his name was mud. 

This season with a new coaching staff, an improved offensive line, and healthy core pieces around him, Baker could have the season people expected from last year. Mayfield was the 15th quarterback going off the board in most leagues, so he could be on your waiver wire. If he's there, he is worth a stash as a rebound and actually save your fantasy team this year.