The concept of selling high and buying low originated from the stock market, which surprisingly has more in common with fantasy football than one would think.
Both require luck to have success, both have players who pay others for advice, both have players who think they know more than everyone else, and both have players that actually know more than everyone else, like Nancy Pelosi and Blair Walsh.
Walsh, the Vikings former kicker, admitted to being a homer. When asked about fantasy football, he said, "I pick up guys who might play more and get more reps, I guess that's the insider trading of fantasy football." Pelosi's answer was less innocent when asked about her version of insider trading.
All jokes aside, the concept of buying low and selling high applies perfectly to fantasy football. After week one the general perception of each player's value wildly swings based on a one game sample size. Fantasy football isn't a one week game, which is why now is the perfect time to trade for a player after they start slow, or trade away a player who had a great Week 1 but isn't likely to replicate that performance.
Here are the players in the best spot to either buy low or sell high on.
All fantasy stats are based off of ½ point ppr scoring.
Sell High: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Before Edwards-Helaire's rookie year the hype about him was palpable. He was projected to be an elite pass catching back in a Mahomes led offense, a perfect fantasy scenario. Unfortunately for past Edwards-Helaire owners, he did not live up to expectations. He was often injured, missing 10 games in his first two seasons. When he was playing, it was alongside multiple other running backs, vastly limiting his weekly upside. I expect both of these trends to continue in his third year.
The Chiefs clearly showed in week one their intent to get all three of their backs involved. With Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon both getting 39 percent of the snaps, standout rookie Isiah Pacheco also received his fair share, getting 23%, a number that is likely to increase.
The two touchdown performance Edwards-Helaire had in Week 1, which helped him score 20.9 fantasy points instead of 8.9, is unlikely to be repeated. Edwards-Helaire averaged 5.5 touchdowns in his first two seasons and I would be absolutely flabbergasted if he continued on his current 34 touchdown pace. Even in the Chiefs' Week 2 win over the Chargers, Edwards-Helaire didn't have the same pop he had in previous games.
With touchdown regression soon on its way now is the ideal time to sell Edwards-Helaire while his value is at its peak.
Sell Confidence: 7.5/10
Buy Low: Ceedee Lamb
Ceedee Lamb fantasy owners have not only taken the panic button out of its box, but are slamming it forcefully after a week one where Lamb put up a measly 3.9 fantasy points. With QB Dak Prescott injured, and set to miss at least the next month, the future looks bleak for the Cowboys offense.
This is the absolute lowest Lamb's value will be for the rest of the season, making it the perfect opportunity to trade for him. Dak being injured is not ideal, but it will not impact Lamb as much as you would think. Cowboys backup QB Cooper Rush started one game last season against the Vikings and put up an impressive 325 yard performance. 112 of those yards were to Lamb, which clearly shows Rush is capable and willing to keep his WR1 fantasy relevant.
Opportunities are king in fantasy football. If your player isn't touching the ball they aren't scoring points. Lamb had 11 targets in week one but only managed to haul in two of those passes. Assuming Lamb doesn't have an 18% catch rate all year and bounces back to his career average of 66%, he should have ample opportunity to put up big points and help you win each week.
Buy Confidence: 8/10
Sell High: Michael Thomas
Michael Thomas had one of the best fantasy seasons of all time in 2019 when he set the NFL record for most receptions in a year at 149. However Thomas has spent much of the last two seasons injured, only playing in seven total games.
The good news for anyone who believed in Thomas and picked him is that he looked as good as ever in Week 1 against the Falcons where he had 20.2 fantasy points and finished as the overall WR8. The bad news is that the majority of those points came on two touchdowns that he is unlikely to score every week.
More bad news is that the Saints defense looked surprisingly awful, resulting in the Saints playing from behind and throwing more. I expect the Saints defense to get back on track, leading to more clock management and fewer points for Thomas.
The final piece of bad news is that In 2021 Saints RB Alvin Kamara averaged 22 touches per game but he only saw 12 in week one. I fully expect the Saints to get Kamara more involved, taking usage away from Thomas. All of these variables that led to Thomas having a great week one are unlikely to keep happening which makes now the perfect opportunity to Sell High.
Sell Confidence: 6.5/10
Buy Low: Christian Kirk
It might not seem like a good time to buy low on Christian Kirk considering he just had a great game, catching six passes for 117 yards in his debut for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Here is why that couldn't be further from the truth.
NFL coaches and GM's are constantly scrutinized about every decision they make, and making the wrong move is a quick way to get fired. The Jaguars are going to make sure they do everything in their power to make Kirk look like a WR1 to justify the massive $72 million contract they gave him. This means they will continue to look his way often, just as they did in week one when he had 12 targets.
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence also looked infinitely better against the Commanders than he did at any point last season. Which is what you would expect to happen after escaping from Urban Myer, who took the advice "kick their asses in practice" literally.
This means Kirk will get plenty of quality targets in an offense that will likely be trailing most of the season. Combine all those ingredients and you can clearly see why Kirk's value will only increase from this point forward. Buy now before managers realize he is a bonafide fantasy superstar.
Buy Confidence: 9.5/10
Buy Low: Kyle Pitts
There is a good chance Pitts had his worst game of the season scoring only 2.9 points in a week one where the Falcons surprisingly found themselves ahead multiple scores most of the game.
This will not be the case for most of the season, and the Falcons will have to air it out to Pitts who co-lead the team in targets with seven.
Better days are ahead for Pitts, he will still be costly but buy now.
Buy Confidence: 6/10
Sell High: Cordarrelle Patterson
Patterson is a sell high for the same reason Pitts was a buy low, I don't anticipate the Falcons to be running out the clock in many other games this season.
Patterson's 22 rushing attempts are unlikely to occur again, given his max attempts in a game last season were 16 and he only averaged 9.4. Patterson's points and usage will also go down once new backfield mate Damien Williams returns from injury.
Sell now because Patterson will not maintain his top 5 RB pace all season.
Sell Confidence: 7/10
Buy Low: Darnell Mooney
In the first game of the season Mooney was not able to display why so many experts had him as a breakout candidate, but that will soon change.
If you did not see the Bears' first game they essentially played in a monsoon. The wet and windy conditions severely limited the passing success for both teams. The bad weather led to Mooney scoring only 1.3 points on a single catch. QB Justin Fields needs somebody to throw to, and Mooney will be that guy going forward after Chicago's top WR Allen Robinson joined the Rams in the offseason.
Buy now while you still have the chance.
Buy Confidence: 5/10
Sell High: Antonio Gibson
Gibson had a great week one scoring 16.5 points without a touchdown, however Gibson has a knack for quite literally fumbling away his opportunities. Last season Gibson had six fumbles and was benched in multiple games because of it.
The newly named Commanders drafted rookie Brian Robinson, who looked poised to take over the starting spot before he was shot multiple times in the leg during an attempted carjacking. Robinson is miraculously already back at practice and set to return around week five.
Gibson should continue to be productive until Robinson's return but I would sell him after a couple good games before the backfield gets too crowded.