Fantasy Football: The Art of Buying Low and Selling High

Eric PedigoContributor ISeptember 17, 2010

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 12:  Running back Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans avoids a tackle by defensive back Melivn Bullitt #33 of the Indianapolis Colts during the NFL season opener at Reliant Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images


In the world of fantasy football, understanding the concept of buying low and selling high is an important part of building your team.  The truth is most fantasy owners, like most sports fans, have a short-term memory.  It’s up to you to see the big picture and maximize your lineup early in the season.  The idea is to find a player on your team who drastically outperformed whatever expectations were in place before week one.  Then target a top tier player from another team who may have underperformed in week one.  Every season there are a handful of guys who fit into these categories.  You may have one or two, or you might not have any.  It’s fine if you don’t.  You’ll still have the opportunity to sell high or buy low in later weeks.  It’s just that week one is typically a poor indicator of how things will really pan out, which gives you your best chance to land an elite player for less than he’s worth.  Remember, fantasy owners tend to let their emotions get the better of them.  A lot of great players are traded away after a disappointing week or two.  But they always get it going eventually, that’s why they’re great.  Let’s go over a few examples:

Sell High

Hakim Nicks NYG WR- It’s not that he won’t be good, but he may have just turned in his best performance of the year.  If you drafted Nicks, you probably did so as your third or fourth receiver, not to be a starter.  But now you can most likely turn a bench player into a starter at another position you might be weaker at, like running back.

Steve Breaston ARI WR- He carved up that stellar Ram’s D for 132 yards.  Good trade bait for teams needing WR help.

Mark Clayton STL WR- He seemed to be Bradford’s favorite target in week one, but he’s still Mark Clayton.

Matt Forte CHI RB- I’m not saying to immediately trade Forte because I do kind of like him this year.  But if you were to trade him, you’d get more value now than later.

Arian Foster HOU RB- Right now you could get just about anything you wanted if you traded Arian Foster.  He’s a must start every week.  But he won’t get the 3,696 yards and 48 touchdowns he’s on pace for.  Quick, name a running back that HASN’T had a career day on Indy’s run D.

Chad OchoCinco CIN WR-Chad had a number one type day, but I still see him as a number two fantasy WR.

Austin Collie IND WR- Indy won’t find themselves throwing to get back into games very often this season.  Collie could be decent, but right now you can trade him for someone better.

Buy Low

Ray Rice BAL RB- Rice owners are worried about McGahee’s goal line touches and Rice’s low catch total, you shouldn’t be.

Shonn Greene NYJ RB- His two fumbles are cause for concern, but he’s still worth taking a chance on as cheap as you can get him right now.

Ryan Mathews SD RB- Mathews didn’t impress in his debut against KC, but he’s still the number one RB on a good offensive team.

Matt Schaub HOU QB- Schaub started last season off with an incredibly disappointing game too.  Then he went on to lead the league in passing yards.

Joe Flacco BAL QB- He didn’t have that bad of a game, he just didn’t throw any touchdowns.  But I’ll bet that Jet’s secondary keeps quite a few teams out of the end zone.  Flacco will have a big year.

Jason Witten DAL TE- I’m not sure who we saw week one, but I think that Dallas, and Witten are better than that.

Now go make some moves.  Good luck in week two!