Our first Week 4 six-pack, released earlier on Friday, focused on buy-low candidates as most fantasy regular seasons near 30 percent completion.
Naturally, we'll turn our attention now to the sell-high guys. We don't know whether you'll be able to flip one of these guys for one of the buy-low targets, but it'd be a lot cooler if you did.
"Sell high on Alex Smith" is something I never anticipated typing, so just wanted to give it a try. Fun times. But not sure yours and my favorite game manager has fully shed that tag just yet, so let's go in a different direction to ensure your potential trade partners at least take you seriously.
1. Titans RB DeMarco Murray — A 75-yard touchdown run has a way of changing optics, eh? Murray went from game-time decision battling a hamstring injury and a 3.6-yard average to ripping off the longest run on the Seahawks during the Pete Carroll era and emerging with a 5.3-yard clip.
But look at what else happened last week: Derrick Henry, one week after taking over the Tennessee backfield following a hamstring for Murray, had 13 carries (to Murray's 14) and has now out-touched the starter a combined 26-23 over the past two games. That's a first for the former Heisman winner, but it obviously won't be a last, and putting Henry in mothballs just doesn't make sense to keep the 29-year-old starter as fresh as possible.
2. Broncos RB C.J. Anderson — Admittedly, we're already a week late on this, but we don't do buy-low/sell-high stories every week, so this will have to suffice. Fortunately, Oakland still has an insufficient 'D,' and we'd expect Anderson, who was out-produced by a still-nifty Jamaal Charles on Sunday in Buffalo, to jump back into the driver's seat vs. the Raiders.
So sit tight until Sunday, but do so with your offers readied to ship out Anderson, currently RB11 overall, as Charles continues to gain traction and 2016 third-rounder Devontae Booker debuts. Anderson started last season on a terror, too, before fading even prior to the meniscus tear. He's never surpassed 213 regular-season touches, never mind the 313 he's on pace for now.
3. Rams WR Sammy Watkins — He torched San Francisco's no-name CB corps for his best game as a Ram — five catches, 101 yards and two TDs, including plucking a beautiful a deep ball and as delivering as determined a goal-line bull-dozing as we've ever seen from him. That Sean McVay said Watkins, who left the game to be evaluated for a concussion after willing his way into the end zone a second time, is good to go Sunday in Dallas is the cherry on top.
Watkins is starting to click with Jared Goff, catching everything in sight and flashing explosiveness each week en route to WR9 overall. He shouldn't apologize for doing it against defenses that have yielded the fifth-most yards (Colts) and second-most touchdowns (49ers) to receivers. But astute owners should pick up on it, and realistic ones should be wondering when Watkins' injury history, and McVay's diverse offense, might catch up to Watkins.
It's a great story and we'd gladly admit to being wrong. But owners could be able to get an unbelievable return on their sixth-to-eighth round investment right about now.
4. Giants WR Sterling Shepard — It pains me to include Shepard, a sterling stud with a bright future who put together his best game as a pro last week — 7-133-1, including a 77-yard touchdown to give the Giants first (brief) lead of the season. He was one of my favorite players coming out of the draft last year, and Shepard has been an ironman while playing more than 99 percent of the team's offensive snaps through three weeks.
But as Beckham gets healthier and a sped-up offense works hard to incorporate Brandon Marshall, there's liable to be an odd man out. And did Jerry Reese tell us what he thinks of Shepard when he added not one but two middle-of-the-field threats this offseason in Marshall and Evan Engram?
Also, Shepard exploded against Philadelphia's lackluster secondary (NFL-high 49 receptions surrendered, 556 receiving yards more than 28 teams), after being quiet vs. similarly average units, Detroit and the Cowboys.
5. Bears RB Jordan Howard — This one may require swallowing nearly as hard as he runs. Many likely missed out on reaping the benefits of Howard's monster Week 3 showing after he was likely parked on the bench, listed as questionable with a shoulder and coming off a disastrous game in Tampa. But Howard was removed altogether from the injury report in Week 4 and salvaged — at least from a fantasy standpoint — a seemingly unsalvageable night at Lambeau with 63 scrimmage yards and a touchdown.
But Howard has been a liability in the passing game, where he dropped another target Thursday night, and if (when) the Bears turn to Mitch Trubisky a week from Monday at home vs. the Vikings, it may benefit the speedy Cohen more than the stronger Howard.
The Bears' schedule relents eventually, but with Minnesota, at Baltimore, vs. Carolina, it's going to be a while. Can Howard owners afford to be patient and wait for the sweet potential playoff payoff (at CIN, at DET, vs. Browns)?
6. Chargers WR Keenan Allen — Not unlike Watkins, with Allen it's hard not to wonder when the bottom may fall out. He doesn't look like a player less than a full year removed from ACL reconstruction, with a team-high 29-196-1 receiving.
He has at least 61 yards, even against Marcus Peters, or a touchdown in three consecutive games. But Mike Williams is nearing his debut. The Chargers have unlocked Travis Benjamin as a big-play threat — he's averaging 17.7 yards per catch and closing in on Tyrell Williams as Philip Rivers' second-most targeted wideout. Hunter Henry is still going to have his big outings before it's all said and done this season.
The Chargers have faltered early despite a reasonable schedule that only gets tougher. Depending on what you can get in return, it's worth at least pondering the likelihood Allen — who, now in his fifth season, has yet to start all 16 games — won't sustain this level of play. He should, though, have a big game against the Eagles secondary Shepard just lit up, so spend the weekend to decide whether you're all-in with Allen.