Buy Sell Hold – Week 7
by The Football Fix
BUY - WR DJ Moore, Panthers
Sam Darnold started off the season hot, which led to some boom weeks from D.J. Moore. He was looking like a true WR1 from both a real and fantasy football perspective but has since slowed down a bit, ranking as the weekly WR49 and WR38 in his last two games respectively.
A big reason for Moore’s dip in production has been Darnold’s dip in performance. In Weeks 5 and 6, Darnold ranks 33rd out of 34 qualified quarterbacks in EPA+CPOE Composite Score. So a lot of Moore’s lack of production recently hasn’t totally been his fault. He still saw 13 targets last Sunday against the Vikings.
Moore also has 380 Unrealized Air Yards this season, which is the third most amongst all wideouts. That tells us that the opportunity is there for Moore to get back on track as a top producer, just as long as he’s able to rebuild that connection with Darnold. He’s had just a 50% Catch Rate in his last two games, compared to his 63.5% overall Catch Rate this season, so you’d expect that to positively revert towards the mean eventually.
Moore is still seeing the opportunity he needs to produce, but he just hasn’t been putting it together in large part due to Darnold’s recent struggles. The usage still suggests that Moore should be able to keep putting up WR1 weeks this season, so buy him now at a discount while you can.
SELL - RB Antonio Gibson, Washington
I really like Gibson as a player and overall talent. He has the profile of everything you’d want in a fantasy running back. Good size, explosive speed, the ability to handle 15+ carries a game, and the ability to contribute as a pass-catcher on any down.
With that being said, Gibson’s season-long outlook looks very shaky following his recent shin injury, which is a stress fracture to his tibia. Since being diagnosed with the issue after Week 3, Gibson has managed to produce a couple of weekly RB2 performances. Last Sunday against the Chiefs though, he was forced to leave much of the game after aggravating his stress fracture, playing just 37.9% of the team’s snaps and scoring 4.4 fantasy points.
I’m no doctor, but a number of knowledgeable medical professionals have made me worried about Gibson’s future status. It’ll be something he has to deal with for the rest of the season before getting an offseason surgery. According to former NFL team doctor David Chao, Gibson’s stress fracture is “significantly bad news.”
It sounds like Gibson’s injury will only get worse as the season goes on, so it’s likely something that will become reaggravated again in the near future. This could ultimately lead to Gibson requiring season-ending surgery and this could happen at any moment. Sell him now while he’s still carrying that Questionable tag every week because I expect him to miss some significant time this year.
BUY - RB Miles Sanders, Eagles
Sanders has been relatively underwhelming this season, ranking as the RB29 overall in fantasy. A big reason for that has been a lack of opportunity and the emergence of Kenny Gainwell in that backfield.
Through the first four weeks of the season, Sanders averaged just 9.25 carries and 2.75 receptions a game. That was good for a 67% Rushing Share and a 10.4% Target Share. Gainwell basically took the rest of the rushing work and actually had a higher Target Share than Sanders in that first quarter of the season.
With that being said, things have changed in the last two weeks. Not in terms of raw usage totals, but in terms of opportunity share. Sanders’ Rush Share has jumped up to 92.3% and his Target Share to 15.9%. As a result, Gainwell has been seeing much less usage, so the Eagles are signaling to us through these usage shares that they want to get Sanders more involved.
Since Sanders hasn’t translated this uptick in his usage share to more raw touches or great fantasy weeks, there’s still an opportunity to buy him very cheap. The Eagles are also in the minority of teams who actually have a higher EPA/play and Success Rate when running the ball rather than passing. So as an offense overall, Philly should stand to benefit from running the ball more with Sanders and I could see them making that move here soon.
Sanders isn’t very expensive at all but could start delivering weekly RB2 numbers again in the coming weeks. His schedule should also start to get a little bit more friendly as the season goes on, so now is a good time to buy low.
HOLD - James Robinson, Jaguars
We need to start talking about James Robinson as being one of the best pure rushers in the league. After losing some early-season snaps to Carlos Hyde, even the totally inept Urban Meyer couldn’t keep the ball out of Robinson’s hands for long.
In his last four games, Robinson has averaged 17 carries, 2.75 receptions, 1.25 TDs, and 21.7 PPR fantasy points per game. Even in the context of this bad Jaguars offense, he’s had some really solid usage and production. When you look at the advanced stats, Robinson’s 1.9 Rushing Yards Over Expected/Rush this season is significantly higher than every other running back in the league.
Robinson is good at football. We all know that and now Jacksonville’s coaching staff does as well. He should continue to see about 18-20 touches a game for the remainder of the season, which will give him a solid floor as a high-end RB2 week-to-week.
The only real reason he’s just a hold and not a buy is because he’s scored 5 TDs in his last four games. If you have Robinson, continue to start him every week with confidence this season.
SELL - WR Allen Robinson, Bears
Robinson has been extremely frustrating this season. He currently ranks as the WR53 overall in PPR leagues and his highest weekly scoring performance was good for the WR49 back in Week 2. A lot of people are ready to throw in the towel on Robinson, and I get that.
For one, this whole Bears offense has been frustrating this season. Justin Fields has had a hard time adjusting to the pros as a passer and this offensive system overall is questionable, to say the least. There’s a good chance that Matt Nagy isn’t the coach of this team next season, but that won’t fix Robinson’s situation in 2021.
Robinson is seeing a solid 24.2% Target Share this season, which ranks 20th amongst all pass catchers. However, this passing offense simply doesn’t have enough volume to make use of Robinson’s decent Target Share. Darnell Mooney even has a slightly higher Target Share than Robinson, and even he just ranks as the WR43 overall in PPR leagues this year.
I still think ARob is super talented, but he’s in a really bad situation for the rest of the season. He could have a singular boom week or two, but I wouldn’t bet on that being a consistent thing. One of those boom games could come this week against an average Tampa secondary. Chicago will be playing from behind and have to throw the ball a lot. But I wouldn’t hold on to Robinson past next week. It won’t be easy to sell him, but make that a priority of yours soon.