One of my all-time favorite movies is “Trading Places”.
The climax scene shows Louis Winthorpe (Dan Aykroyd) and Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) buying and selling orange juice stocks at the right time. The revenge plan against the Duke Brothers was executed perfectly (due to insider trading) by taking advantage of vulnerable stock traders who overreacted to a bogus crop report.
This is exactly what fantasy football players in overhaul leagues are trying to accomplish with business goals.
Identifying which players to buy low and which sell high can go a long way in determining a fantastic league.
With that, here are four players you should value more than other owners in your league, and four more you should be willing to let others take your hands off your hands.
Fantastic business targets
RB Jonathan Taylor, Foals
Colts’ Marlon Mack injury has been a blow to the team’s top forward in each of the past two seasons. However, it paved the way for a huge role for rookie running back Jonathan Taylor.
The Wisconsin product only had 26 of 74 possible shots (35%) but should be the clear rusher from the start to move forward. The most impressive stat on Sunday? Taylor caught six passes (on six targets) for 67 receiving yards, not bad for a player who had a reputation for being a poor wide receiver in college.
The Colts still have one of the best offensive lines in the league and a very supportive schedule. With another running back Nyheim Hines having a massive Week 1 (8 receptions, 73 total yards, 2 touchdowns), fantasy owners may actually be concerned about a split backfield going forward. Take the opportunity and try to acquire this potential league winner running back.
WR N’Keal Harry, Patriots
It’s always easy to enjoy the gut reactions of Week 1, and after watching New England quarterback Cam Newton total just 155 passing yards, fantasy owners may be concerned about the progress of the game. Harry production. However, after entering the field for 51 out of 64 (80%) snaps, the rookie’s playing time solidified.
Harry (five receptions, 39 receiving yards) and Damiere Byrd (0 receptions) dominated the wide receiver’s shots while veteran Julian Edelman (58%) was eased into action after wearing an injury designation before the week 1. Harry also lost a potential touchdown with a fumble in the end zone in the third quarter. There was also some skepticism that he would even play in Week 1 due to a shoulder injury.
The Patriots are expected to see an increase in negative play scripts with upcoming games in Seattle and Kansas City in the coming weeks. With Edelman, 34, still healing injuries, now is the time to trade for the young offspring from New England.
WR Jalen Reagor, Eagles
Similar to Harry, Reagor’s status for week 1 was uncertain. He joined quarterback Carson Wentz on a 55-yard reception for his only catch of the day. Reagor led all of the Philadelphia spreaders with 40 of 68 (58%) possible snaps.
The TCU-rookie is the clear WR1 for the Eagles and will see his opportunities and production increase over the next few weeks.
RB Joshua Kelley, loaders
Anthony Lynn gave the rookie UCLA rusher the highest praise this week, after the Chargers held on for a 16-13 victory at Cincinnati.
Kelley saw 12 carries for 60 yards and a rushing touchdown. Expect its snapshot count to increase but its short distance work to remain. He is Austin Ekeler’s see-through handcuff and an injury-free league winner.
Fantastic sales candidates
TE Rob Gronkowski, Bucs
In a game with the All-Pro Mike Evans was limited by injury, Gronkowski totaled two receptions for 11 yards. With the development of tight end OJ Howard, there won’t be enough volume to support Gronk as a TE1 fantasy. Look for business partners who live in the past.
WR Sammy Watkins, Chiefs
Watkins scored 7-82-1 against a Texans secondary ranked 25th by PFF heading into the season.
He now gets face-to-face against the top three units over the next three games, as they hit the road against the Chargers (second) in Week 2, the Ravens (first) in Week 3 and host the Patriots (third) during the week. 4.
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RB Malcolm Brown, Aries
Brown provided a two touchdown repeat in his Week 1 last season. He has seen 44 of 73 possible shots (60%) and rookie Cam Akers’ role is only going to grow. It’s time to sell high on Brown.
TE Jimmy Graham, Bear
Graham saw 80% of the snaps, but only contributed three catches for 25 yards. He landed a touchdown, but it was during a miraculous comeback in the fourth quarter that can’t be trusted.
Expect other tight ends Demetrius Harris and Cole Kmet to continue to see increased opportunities for the waning Graham.