DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU - The right buy low window for Hopkins might well be starting in Week 8 after he faces Minnesota this week and Denver in Week 7. Still, if you make an offer now, his owner will know you’re interested when/if they get demoralized by the possible cold streak over the next few weeks. After that, the Texans schedule vs. the pass opens up significantly with Detroit, Jacksonville, Oakland, and San Diego. Will Fuller V is the best #2 the Texans have had for Hopkins, but he can’t take over games the way Hopkins has and will again.
Odell Beckham Jr Jr, WR, NYG - This is an elementary buy low in redraft leagues. Beckham has gone scoreless so far this year and he is talking about losing that loving feeling on the field, but it is almost certainly a temporary state. The Packers will be without Sam Shields again this week, and they have given up massive weeks (6-205-2 and 9-182-1) to Marvin Jones Jr and Stefon Diggs already this season in only three games. Trading Beckham this week is probably not a good idea.
Devonta Freeman, RB, ATL - Freeman is as good as he was at his best last year, if not better. Tevin Coleman has a good grip on his half of the committee right now, but his fantasy value is mostly made up of goal line carries and a few excellent plays as a receiver out of the backfield. Coleman missed multiple games with injuries twice last year, and he is likely to be used sparingly in the elevation of Denver because of his sickle cell trait. Freeman has a tough matchup, but he should get fed and probably remind the Falcons and his fantasy owners that the Falcons offense is at its best when he’s on the field.
Jimmy Graham, TE, SEA (Buy High) - Evan Silva raved about Graham on the couch this week, saying he was regaining his 2011 form. He has put two 100-yard games together for the first time in his Seahawks career. Last year, he didn’t even put two 50 yard games in a row. His return from a patellar tendon tear has been inspiring, but it has overshadowed his return to the fantasy elite. Perhaps his bye will give you a chance to get this strong TE1 in disguise for cheap if his owner also has a second viable tight end.
Spencer Ware, RB, KC - Ware was a true three-down back during his stint as the starter, demonstrating surprising downfield receiver ability for a powerful back, and some wiggle in the open field. Even if Jamaal Charles has enough of the workload to render Ware an unreliable flex play after the bye, Ware will have league winner injury upside, which makes him worth a spot in short bench leagues. In dynasty leagues, I believe Ware has done enough to be the Chiefs lead back next year.
Chris Conley, WR, KC - Conley had a physically dominant edge against Pittsburgh, with a combination of size, speed, and strength that was difficult for defenders to contend with. He is pulling away as the #2 receiver in the Chiefs pass offense, and while it isn’t a robust passing game, Conley has the physical profile of a #1 receiver. His dynasty stock is going to start going up very soon. In redraft, he’s worth keeping on waiver wire speed dial.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, PIT - Just a reminder that Williams has league winner upside if Le’Veon Bell goes down. Don’t let him sit on the waiver wire if dropped, and if you are a Bell owner without Williams, use this moment to try to secure him as long as the price isn’t too stiff.
Sammie Coates Jr, WR, PIT - Coates is getting better and more involved every week, and soon enough one of these deep shots that he is converting will be a long touchdown and week winner in fantasy leagues. Coates is growing into the #2 role long term, and while we’d love to see Martavis Bryant return, we shouldn’t count on it. Coates is a key waiver pickup in redraft and a sleeping giant in dynasty leagues.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE (Sell Low) - Don’t sell Gronkowski in dynasty leagues, but in redraft, it is worth seeing if you can recoup 80-90% of his original late first/early second round value. His hamstring isn’t right and playing on it for two weeks could make getting back to full speed more difficult this year. The Patriots also have a viable #2 tight end who playing at his peak in Martellus Bennett. If I can turn Gronk into Jordan Reed or Greg Olsen and something else that upgrades my lineup, I’d do it.
Marvin Jones Jr, WR, DET - Jones has been excellent as the downfield target for Matthew Stafford, and he’s still definitely a reliable everyweek start, but he’s not the #1 his scoring to date makes him out to be. The Lions have Philadelphia and Los Angeles the next two weeks, and they still have two midseason dates left with Minnesota. If you can use Marvin Jones Jr as the key player in a package to upgrade to Odell Beckham Jr or land a top-end running back, pull the trigger.
Melvin Gordon III, RB, SD - Gordon is still one of the last standing RB1s in fantasy leagues, but his value has been made mostly of goal line carries, with a recent boost from receiving yards and receptions. If you can use Gordon as the anchor in a package to get up to someone like David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, or Ezekiel Elliott, add whatever you have to to close the deal.
Matt Ryan, QB, ATL - I’ll admit to being very wrong about Ryan’s level of play this year and his potential to be a strong QB1. I would still rather have Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers as my fantasy quarterback. With Denver and Seattle on tap, I want to get those trade offers to upgrade my quarterback from Ryan out right now.
Matt Forte, RB, NYJ (Sell Low) - Obviously the best buy low window for Forte has passed, but you might be able to wring something like RB2 value out of him from a running back needy team. He is slowing down quickly, and the Jets have gotten Bilal Powell a lot more involved over the last two weeks. The team’s offense is looking less potent with Eric Decker sidelined and Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing pick after pick, so those copious goal line opportunities from the first two weeks are drying up. Selling low is better than trying to catch the falling knife.