We are now eight weeks into the season, and that means we’ve got a pretty decent amount of information on which to evaluate player values for the rest of the season. While that is mostly a great thing, it also means that most players are valued appropriately on the trade market which makes it difficult to improve your team via trade. In other words, most trades this time of year are going to be pretty close to equal swaps which can help you at positions but not in the overall quality of your team.
Nevertheless, let’s see if we can still uncover some hidden gems for you to target before your league’s trading deadline hits. We’re talking about buying low and selling high, folks. In order to do that we’re going to have to look past the surface to try to dispel some myths or shine the light of truth on some details that have either been overlooked or blown out of proportion. We need to find places where perception is not matching up with reality.
With that in mind, let’s get you some extra value for the playoff push and propel you through to the championship.
WHY? Myers isn’t going to light it up, but if you’ve got tight end issues he is a very consistent 4-8 points a week. In six out of seven games this year he’s put up at least 3 receptions for 44 yards. Now, that won’t win a matchup for you but it won’t hurt you either. He is very quietly the #15 ranked tight end in fantasy and it would seem that Carson Palmer has developed a level of comfort with him. Furthermore, look at his matchups during the fantasy playoffs in weeks 14-16: Denver (#30 versus TE’s), Kansas City, and at Carolina. Not bad!
WHY? Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity. You can still get this guy cheaply and if Steven Jackson is traded Richardson will become the main man in St. Louis. However, even if Jackson isn’t dealt Richardson is still worth a look. Why? Well, for starters he won’t cost you very much, if anything. At only 12% owned on ESPN leagues, he might even be on your waiver wire. Beyond just that, he’s getting work. In the last four games he’s had 9, 11, 8, and 7 carries plus multiple pass receptions in each of the last three. He does have a bye week right now plus a fairly difficult schedule coming up, but I believe that he is a waiver wire pickup that can get a couple starts for you the rest of the way. Can you say that about all of the guys on your bench? You’ve got room for this guy.
WHY? Palmer has only had one dud this year, back in week 4 before the bye. His receivers are healthy now and the Raiders are also starting to make a better effort to feature Darren McFadden more. Defenses have got to worry about DMC, which creates lanes for Palmer. I like his weapons: Denarius Moore (becoming elite), Darrius Heyward-Bey, Brandon Myers (featured in this article) at tight end, and McFadden and Mike Goodson out of the backfield. Really solid corps there, and Palmer knows how to use them. You may not give Palmer a lot of starts going forward, but if you need a bye week guy or you are worried about your investment in Michael Vick, Cam Newton, Matt Schaub, or Tony Romo… Palmer might be the fix. He’s got games coming up against Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City, and Carolina. That’s looks good to me. Plus, he’s only 64% owned on ESPN, so he might just be a free agent in your league.
WHY? He’s only the #15 ranked wide receiver so far this year, so I think you can still get him for a decent price. He’s starting to come into his own and he’s got a favorable schedule coming up. Heading to Philadelphia last week after the bye he busted out with 123 yards and a score. With two games against the Saints plus Dallas and Carolina he’s got some solid matchups coming. Plus, to top it all off he’s got Detroit in week 16 for your championship. You’re going to have to pay to get him, but I think it’s a strong move.
WHY? Reggie has been great this year. No doubt. Sell him. He’s got tons of value right now and I have my doubts about whether he can keep up this pace. You know, the pace he is on for 123 receptions on 210 targets for 1,730 yards. That pace. He’s not going to keep up that pace, but if you trade him that is the kind of value you can expect back. Remember, he’s a 33 year old receiver with a rookie quarterback backed up with a poor rushing attack plus no other real receiving threat on the field. Yep, I don’t believe he can keep it up either. Okay, you say, but you want more? Alright, how about this: For all of his stats so far this year he’s only got 2 TD’s. We’re talking about an older receiver who lacks that top shelf blazing speed and is only 6’0”. He’s not going to stretch the field and he’s not a big red zone target. You just can’t expect him to get too many scores. Deal him for a receiver that is just as good plus an RB2 type of guy. Big win for you there.
Robert Griffin III
WHY? He’s still got big-time trade value. Everyone wants to own Griffin this year, but listen, he’s still a rookie and he’s not setting the world on as much fire as you think. He’s got 182 yards passing or fewer in three of his past four games and he’s only thrown for 2 touchdowns twice all year. He should be a pretty strong start against the Panthers this week, but then he’s got his bye then Philadelphia, Dallas, and the Giants. Not a stellar lineup. The real value with Griffin is what he can do with his feet, but the Skins have been making a focused effort to keep him in the pocket more to avoid the big hits he was taking early on in the year. I just wonder how much rushing he’ll be doing going forward, not to mention his 6 carries for just 8 yards at Pittsburgh this past week. As with most of my “sells” in this article, I like Griffin a lot… I just think he will do much more for you in a trade than he will on your squad. Did I mention that everyone is clamoring to deal for this guy? Make someone’s day… How about Darren McFadden and Josh Freeman for RGIII?
WHY? Ah, the curious case of Jermichael Finley. Sell him for 20 cents on the dollar if you can. Aaron Rodgers just doesn’t look for him. Why? I could speculate, but that doesn’t matter – the facts are the facts. He’s gotten you 31 or fewer yards in five out of eight games this year. He’s caught exactly two passes in each of the last three games, the last two being Jacksonville at home. Worse, he still hasn’t had his bye. You aren’t going to start him this week or on the bye next week and you’d probably give him at least week 11 off at Detroit to prove something to you. So, you might possibly want to start him in weeks 12 and 13 as the fantasy regular season closes out. But with matchups at the Giants and then against the Vikings, are you really going to touch that? Get Finley off your team. Someone will likely give you something of value for him, but please, set your sights low.
WHY? He’s back to being healthy and he’s put up good numbers the past two weeks, so I think his value has jumped back up on the trade market. I see several red flags with this guy and I think that he’s likely to bring back more in a deal than he will deliver in your lineup. Let us count the ways: (1) He’s already been injured this year; (2) He hasn’t gotten more than 15 carries in a game this year and only 12 each of the past two games; (3) He’s averaging 7.3 yards a carry, which is just not sustainable; (4) He’s got a limited track record; (5) It’s getting colder in Buffalo which may limit his chances in the passing game and he might even have to cede more work to Fred Jackson. Look, he should be fine, but I think the return you get in a trade will have an even greater impact on your squad.