25 minutes | Aug 10th 2020

95. Buy, Sell, Take the Flyer – NFC East

The past two seasons, I have written an 8-part divisional series piece titled “Buy, Sell, Take the Flyer”.  As we approach the 2020 season, it’s time for the third annual installment of this series.

In these 8 articles, I utilized ADP (Average Draft Position) to identify two guys I am buying, two I’m selling, and a flyer off each team. Buying and selling have nothing to do with my opinion of the player and everything to do with my perceived value of the player vs. ADP. As for the flyer, these are gut feels on players deeper down in ADP that you are likely selecting in the late rounds of your drafts and in some cases, guys you will find on your league’s waiver wires.

We continue the 2020 “Buy, Sell, Take the Flyer” Series with the NFC East.

Dallas Cowboys LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 12: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys runs with the ball against John Johnson #43 of the Los Angeles Rams in the first half in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) 2020 Buy Sell Take the Flyer NFC East Two Players I Am Buying

Ezekiel Elliott – Overall ADP 3 RB3

With an ADP of 3 overall, you are paying premium and you better not screw up. Of the top-4 RBs, Ezekiel Elliott in my opinion is the perfect blend of safety and upside. Zeke has never finished outside of the top-12 RBs. In his four seasons, his finishes have been RB2, RB12, RB5, and, RB3.

He’s used as a true 3-down player, averaging 340 touches a season. His receiving volume regressed last season, but his rushing TDs hit positive regression. Zeke feels like the safest of the early fantasy running backs, and the fact that he has tested positive for and recovered from COVID-19 puts him in the running for me with the 1.01 selection. Dallas looks like a potent offense which should yield excellent results. I am buying Zeke right where I have him ranked at 3rd overall.

Michael Gallup – Overall ADP 74 WR33

As I prepare for the 2020 season, I am of the opinion that the Dallas offense is going to be one of the highest scoring units in the league. A key component of this high powered offense is Michael Gallup.

Michael Gallup had a breakout season a year ago. In 14 games played, he only had 7 less targets than Amari Cooper and only 82 less receiving yards. He was one of three WRs with 1,100+ receiving yards in 14 games played or less. Amari Cooper got paid and they drafted CeeDee Lamb, leading to some concern for Gallup’s volume. I have no concerns, and I am grabbing Gallup in the 6th round without question.

Two Players I Am Selling

Amari Cooper – Overall ADP 35 WR14

In 2019, Amari Cooper finished as WR10 with 245.6 PPR points, and his teammate Michael Gallup finished as WR22 with 212.7 points.  Cooper averaged 15.4 points per game and Gallup averaged 15.2.  Copper was targeted 119 times and Gallup 113.  Basically, we have a WR1 WR1A situation brewing in Dallas. 

Throughout his career, Cooper has been wildly inconsistent. He had four touchdowns in the first four games, but also had under 50 yards in two of them. The next five games Cooper racked up 562 yards and three more touchdowns. In the final seven games, Cooper failed to reach 100 yards in any of them and only scored one touchdown.  When Cooper has his down games in 2020, Prescott will simply turn to his other two talented pass catchers, not to mention his elite running back, Ezekiel Elliot. In the third round, his inconsistency is too expensive for me and I am selling.

Tony Pollard – Overall ADP 130 RB48

I like Tony Pollard, and he is one the premier “handcuffs” in the game today. Pollard, like a few before him in this series, falls victim to having to find two players off of each team to sell.

Simply put, at the end of the day I just don’t buy into the handcuff theory in fantasy football. I prefer the assets on my team to have stand alone value, and Pollard although talented, is very limited in this offense. In the 11th round, you could do much worse, and I suppose I would consider Pollard more if I wasn’t the Zeke owner for potential trade value alone. If Elliott misses time this take will not age well. I am betting Zeke won’t.

Take the Flyer

CeeDee Lamb – Overall ADP 121 WR47

The role previously held by Randall Cobb (83 targets, 5 catches, 828 yards and 3 touchdowns) is now occupied by former Oklahoma WR, and Cowboy’s first round draft choice, CeeDee Lamb.  Lamb, even as a rookie, is a vastly superior WR when compared to Randall Cobb and will command more than the 13.9% target share Cobb saw a season ago.

For the most part I am limiting my exposure to the rookie class in redraft this season. With the unknown looming large this offseason, it makes sense to hold the “devil you know” approach. CeeDee Lamb is an exception for me, and in the 10th round I am taking a flyer on the devil I don’t.

New York Giants EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 10: Darius Slayton #86 of the New York Giants scores his second touchdown in the second quarter against Matthias Farley #41 of the New York Jets during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 10, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) 2020 Buy Sell Take the Flyer NFC East Two Players I Am Buying

Darius Slayton – Overall ADP 111 WR43

Darius Slayton comes into an interesting situation in 2020. In 2019, he lead the team in snaps with 65%, 7% higher than the next closest player in Golden Tate. As the #3 Wide Receiver on the team, to lead them in snaps is something interesting and potentially valuable. When you look at the snap counts, there are equal amount of targets between Slayton, Tate and Sterling Shephard. After his 2019 showing, you would expect Slayton to up his reception percentage. This potentially makes Slayton, himself, much more valuable in his 2020 campaign.

I am a firm believer in second year quarterback Daniel Jones as well in 2020. The start of the season is likely a rough one for the Giants, but after Week 4 things should improve. This potentially adds a second buying window on members of the Giants offense. For me, Slayton is a value addition in the 9th round and a WR that if healthy destroys his WR43 ADP.

Daniel Jones – Overall ADP 125 QB14

If you read my 2020 Bold Predictions article, you will know that I am a fan of Daniel Jones. In 13 starts in 2019, Jones’ 16-game pace in 2019 was 384/608 for 4,032 yards, 32 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and 15 lost fumbles, with 372 rushing yards and 3 scores.  That stat line equals 282.48 fantasy points in a standard scoring 4 point per passing league.  Aaron Rodgers was QB10 last season with 282.38 points.

With all his weapons, especially Saquon Barkley and an improved offensive line, Jones’ turnover rate will decline dramatically.  Jones will have 3 solid WRs, a top tier TE, and one of the top two running backs in football.  I have Jones ranked 13th currently, and as the 2020 season plays out, I plan on moving him up those rankings. That makes him an easy buy for me here.

Two Players I Am Selling

Evan Engram – Overall ADP 71 TE6

The biggest question when it comes to Evan Engram is, can he stay healthy? When he is healthy, he’s proven to be one of the best fantasy TEs in the game. He showed what he is capable of by finishing at TE5 in his rookie season. Engram is the one of two TEs to have a top-12 TE season as a rookie since 2010 (Rob Gronkowski being the other). Prior to his season ending injury in 2019, Engram was TE6 through nine weeks.

The reality here is he has missed 19 games over his first three season and is coming back off a Lisfranc injury. Bad feet scare me in fantasy football. The other factor lingering in the back of my mind is that when this offense is healthy he is a complimentary piece. He has done the majority of his damage in fantasy when a key Giant component goes missing. I struggle with Engram, and I am a going to leverage the perceived value at TE later in the draft this year and sell a player I really like.

Golden Tate – Overall 140 WR53

New York has three receivers who could all be considered the No. 1 option in Golden Tate, Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard. The odds of it being Golden Tate as he enters his age 32 season, in my opinion, are remote.

If the Giants remain healthy in 2020 Tate should struggle for targets, especially when you add in Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram in the passing game. Tate will likely be the last one drafted in all leagues, for a reason, and even though he showed some fantasy relevance in 2019 after returning from a 4-game suspension, I am passing on him in the 12th round and looking for a player with more upside.

Take the Flyer

Kaden Smith – Overall ADP 439 TE60

I do not believe in handcuffs in fantasy football, I really don’t. That said, I believe in owing Kaden Smith just in case. In his rookie season a year ago, Kaden Smith totaled 31 receptions, 268 yards, and 3 touchdowns which amounted to 75.8 PPR points and a TE35 finish.

On the surface, those numbers do very little for me. When peeling back the layers of the onion, my opinion changes. Evan Engram was lost for the season with a Lisfranc injury in Week 9. Kaden Smith made his Giants debut in Week 10. From Weeks 10-17, Smith was TE10. Kaden Smith will likely not be drafted, even in the deepest of drafts, but if there is a TE that I am taking a flyer on due to pure upside, it’s Kaden Smith.

Philadelphia Eagles ARLINGTON, TX – DECEMBER 09: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) looks downfield for an open receiver during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles on December 9, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) 2020 Buy Sell Take the Flyer NFC East Two Players I Am Buying

Carson Wentz – Overall ADP 97 QB12

In 2019, Carson Wentz appeared in 16 games for the first time since 2016–his rookie season. Hopefully the injury-prone label is behind him, and he can be considered a top-12 Fantasy quarterback again. Spoiler alert: I believe he can, and he is.

Alshon Jeffery likely starts the season on the PUP list, and during the offseason the Eagles added three rookie receivers (Jalen Reagor, John Hightower and Quez Watkins). In addition, they traded for Marquise Goodwin (UPDATE: Goodwin is choosing to sit out the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns). These additions to the offense to pair with Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, DeSean Jackson, Miles Sanders and Boston Scott, are massive upgrades. Wentz averaged 19.7 fantasy points per game last year, including seven games with at least 23 points. He accomplished this with less than desirable receivers for the majority of the season. Should Wentz and his pass catchers avoid injury in 2020, Wentz has upside that vastly exceeds his QB12 ADP.

Boston Scott – Overall ADP 135 RB49

Boston Scott became a necessity for the Eagles at the end of last year and actually produced when called upon. From Weeks 14-17 a season ago, Boston Scott saw 47 touches (11.75/game), and was the RB7 with 82 PPR fantasy points.

The sample size is small, and it did coincide with a massive amount of injury to the Eagles pass catchers, I get all that, but when it comes to opportunity cost, and the very likely role that Scott will have as a pass catchers in his offense, I am going to be buying him at RB49 in the 11th round.

Two Players I Am Selling

Miles Sanders – Overall ADP 14 RB9

On the flip side of buying Boston Scott is the selling of Miles Sanders. The major reason that I am selling Sanders is that I believe the Eagles still have some work to do building out that backfield.

Since 2016 when Doug Pederson took over as Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, the Eagles have averaged 441 rush attempts a season and his “lead” back has averaged 157 carries and 176 total touches a season. There is a lot made of the Eagles desire to have a running back by committee approach for a reason. Sanders, of all Pederson’s backs, led in rush attempts (179) and touches (229) during his tenure. There is a potential for Sanders to be a top-12 back if the Eagles do in fact roll into the season without adding to the backfield. I am buying they add and therefore selling this talented back at RB9.

Zach Ertz – Overall ADP 41 TE3

Zach Ertz had himself a record breaking 2018 season, as a result I was all about regression for him in 2019. He did regress, but not nearly as much as anticipated. 280 points and TE2 finish in 2018 turned in to a 216 points and a TE4 finish in 2019. What I find interesting is Ertz’s splits last season. From Weeks 1-8 he was TE7 averaging 10.7 points per game. Other than DeSean Jackson, the Eagles were, for the most part, healthy.

The back half of the season when the Eagles were ravished by injury at WR, Ertz was TE3 averaging 16.8 points per game. In addition, Dallas Goedert was becoming more and more involved in the Eagles offense, especially in the red zone. I believe that these two TEs cannibalize each other and the additions of Jalen Reagor, and to a lesser extent John Hightower, balance out the distribution in this offense. Ertz remains a top 12 TE, but let someone else take him at pick 41, and find your value later in the draft.

Take the Flyer

Jalen Reagor – Overall ADP 138 WR52

Last year, the Eagles’ wide receiver corps was horrendous. The Eagles were in desperate need of a new receiver which was seen in the draft. With the Eagles’ first-round pick, they selected Jalen Reagor out of TCU. He showed in the combine just how fast and explosive he can be. At TCU he was the deep threat on the outside, which the Eagles’ have shown they like to do with DeSean Jackson.

At only 5’11”, it remains to be seen how well his skills will translate to the NFL, which is full of bigger defenders who have the potential to out muscle him for jump balls. Rookies often take time to adjust to the NFL, but Reagor is someone you can take a chance on late in drafts because of potential immediate opportunity.

Washington Football Team FOXBOROUGH, MA – AUGUST 09: Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice (29) breaks through the line during a preseason NFL game between the New England Patriots and the Washington Redskins on August 9, 2018, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Redskins 26-17. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) 2020 Buy Sell Take the Flyer NFC East Two Players I Am Buying

Antonio Gibson – Overall ADP 156 RB52

Washington drafted Gibson in the 3rd round this year. He’s a very intriguing player carrying the skill set that can translate into fantasy production in his rookie season in the passing game. The sudden release of Derrius Guice makes this rookie running back even more exciting than he already appeared to be.

Washington still has a crowded RB room, but the only player really in his path was Derrius Guice. If Gibson can carve out a role in the ground game as well as the passing work, he could become interesting for fantasy. Even though I am buying Guice at his ADP, it is also wise to buy Gibson at his and hedge my bet here.

Steven Sims – Overall ADP 295 WR85

Terry McLaurin was a find for the Washington Football Team last season, as he led the team in all receiving categories. There was another rookie wide receiver, Steven Sims, that became a factor down the stretch in 2019 and shouldn’t be dismissed.

He dressed in all 16 games a season ago, and for the most part did absolutely nothing. He did, however, perform well in the final three games of the season. In Weeks 15-17, Sims totaled 16 receptions on 29 targets for 190 yards and 4 touchdowns. This small sample in which he was WR7, combined with Washington not having a true #2, adds up to a WR that I am buying as this excellent value.

Two Players I Am Selling

Terry McLaurin – Overall ADP 58 WR25

In the first three weeks of Terry McLaurin’s NFL career, he found himself sitting at WR10. The remainder of the season, McLaurin was the WR36 in PPR scoring. He finished with 93 targets for 919 yards & 7 TDs in 14 games and played well above anyone’s expectations.

New year, new expectations, and a repeat of exceeding them is unlikely. Dwayne Haskins is far from a proven talent, the run game in Washington will be better, and the Washington Football Team has added talent on the offense to join McLaurin. All of these factors, plus the fact that McLaurin will see each team’s best cover man in 2020, adds up to regression. I believe that McLaurin will struggle in 2020, be one of the year’s biggest disappointments, and as a result I am out at WR25.

Dwayne Haskins – Overall ADP 262 QB32

Haskins looked lost through his first seven starts and I don’t see much reason for that to change as we approach 2020. His yards per attempt (6.7) ranked dead last in the league, and he failed to exceed 19 completions in a game a year ago.

Aside from Terry McLaurin, the weapons are unproven in Washington, and Haskins will need to show major growth in Year 2 before he is declared anything more than waiver wire fodder. Dwayne Haskins should not be owned in 1QB redraft leagues in 2020.

Take the Flyer

Antonio Gandy-Golden – Overall ADP 368 WR88

The injury to Kelvin Harmon will open the door for Gandy-Golden to make it into the starting lineup opposite Terry McLaurin. While we don’t expect Dwayne Haskins to throw more than 20-24 touchdowns this season, Gandy-Golden should be able to top 60 targets in his rookie season, which will lead to some fantasy relevant weeks. Gandy-Golden is truly a flyer, someone is going to end up being teh WR2 in this offense, it likely isn’t Gandy-Golden but at this price let’s say we take the flyer and find out.

Thank you for listening to Buy, Sell, Take the Flyer – NFC East

For more fantasy football content, follow me on Twitter @RotoHeatSully and subscribe to the Sully’s 2 Cents Podcast as well as the RotoHeat YouTube Channel.

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