This column is a bit different than your weekly waiver wire piece. Here we’ll examine widely owned fantasy football players who have trended up and down dramatically so far this season, with the goal of identifying sell high/buy low trading opportunities. Your comments, contributions, and criticisms are welcome, both in the comments and in the forums. Let’s do this!

Stock Rising

Alshon Jeffery CHI | WR

Jeffery followed up his 100+ yard performance against Detroit with a 200+ yard demolition of New Orleans. He’s scored 20+ in 2 straight games and is emerging as option 1A to Brandon Marshall on the Bears. Before you sell high, consider the next 4 games against terrible pass defenses: NYG, WAS, GB, DET.
Recommendation: Hold – There’s no way he goes for 200+ again anytime soon, but he’s a very strong fantasy option for the next 4 games.

Jacquizz Rodgers ATL | RB

Rodgers ran for 43 yards, chipped in 4 catches, and found pay dirt twice in a close loss to the Jets on Monday night. With Steven Jackson’s impending return after the Falcons bye, this is as good as it’s going to get as far as a sell high. Package Jacquizz and another player, and toss out some offers that upgrade you at WR / RB.
Recommendation: Sell – If you own Rodgers try and sell him and his 2 TD’s this week.

Terrance Williams DAL | WR

Terrance torched the Broncos for 151 yards and a score in one of the most entertaining games I’ve seen in a long time. Most pundits called him raw and drop-prone, but perhaps they should consult again with the Broncos secondary. He separated with ease and looked every bit like the big play maven that Miles Austin is supposed to be. Austin has blown up his hammy yet again; Williams could be in for more work in the coming weeks. The Cowboys next face Washington in a dream matchup on Sunday Night Football.
Recommendation: Hold – He’s not proven enough to bring back much in trade at the moment, but if he gets another start his value should skyrocket in the Dallas passing attack.

Rueben Randle NYG | WR

Randle exploded onto the scene against the brutal Eagles secondary to the tune of 96 yards and 2 scores. He seemed to earn the trust of Eli as the third WR, and looked impressive torching 3 defenders on his way to a score. He’s widely available, and with their season in the tank, and Hakeem Nicks a free agent after this year, the Giants are going to give him more work. Still on the docket for the Giants: 2 games against WAS, DAL, SD, OAK, GB, DET, and PHI again.
Recommendation: Buy – If you’re making a trade this week, be sure to include Randle as the add-in. I think he’s in for a monster rest of 2013.

Fred Jackson BUF | RB

Jackson notched his 5th straight week over 10 fantasy points with authority, running for 2 touchdowns and 53 yards against a tough Cleveland run defense. Who would have guessed on draft day that through 5 weeks, FJax would be a top 10 RB option? Not I. With top 10 pick C.J. Spiller showing consistency only at being inconsistent and injured, Jackson is a strong RB2 play every week with upside.
Recommendation: Hold – Jackson continues to come on strong while Spiller continues to underwhelm. Their timeshare keeps him fresh, and with a long week to get his MCL healthy he should be ready to dominate week 6.

Le’Veon Bell PIT | RB

Bell was on bye this week, so you probably haven’t been thinking about him much. All he did in his first outing of the season (Week 4 in London) was run for 57 yards and 2 scores, and catch 4 passes to boot. His 19 points will look awfully good to an owner thin at RB, and if you have the depth, I’m advising to sell the Bell high. Why? Among the Steelers matchups for the rest of the season: BAL twice, CLE twice, NYJ, CIN, and NE, all of which are top 12 run defenses. Sell him as a high end RB2 this week to a needy owner.
Recommendation: Sell high – The Steelers offense is still kind of a mess, and while I think Bell will help overall, I don’t see him getting to 19 points again anytime soon.

Stock Falling

David Wilson NYG | RB

That’s right…we’re going to do this Wilson thing again. Just when he finally looked decent and scored a TD, he injured his neck and left the rest of the game ‘as a precaution’ according to Wilson. There have been reports that he’s still feeling a tingling in his neck and he has a Thursday night date with the Bears D, a very poor rushing matchup. The chances of him playing this coming week are very low, and this makes for a perfect time to grab him from a despondent, desperate owner for pennies on the dollar. He’s the most talented back in New York by a ton, their RB of the future, and like Randle should continue to see work as the Giants play out their lost season. Editor’s Note: David Wilson is now expected to several weeks due to his neck injury and owners should not be expecting to see Wilson before the Week 9 bye.
Recommendation: Buy low – His owners can’t use him this week, and he’s been so poor that you should be able to snag him for next to nothing.

Roddy White ATL | WR

I hope at this point you’ve absorbed the lesson about playing Roddy White at less than full strength: Just don’t bother. Roddy’s a warrior, and will play at far less than 100% just to distract attention away from Julio Jones. White turned in another stinker on Monday, catching just 4 balls for 45 yards while losing a fumble. It’s a low note in a very melancholy symphony for White owners. Which is precisely why we’re going to buy White going into his bye week. He’ll finally be healthy afterwards and should regain much of his draft day value before long. Buy him as a WR3/4 this week, and you will be handsomely rewarded in weeks 8-17.
Recommendation: Buy low – He’ll be better coming out of the bye, and you can’t ask for a better schedule weeks 13-15: BUF, GB, WAS.

Calvin Johnson DET | WR

Through 5 weeks, Megatron has only 2 weeks of over 10 fantasy points, a week scoring 3, and a surprise inactive this past week against Green Bay. Owners that invested a top 10 pick are sure to be tearing their hair out in frustration. If there was ever a week to acquire Megatron at less than full value via trade, this is the week to try.
Recommendation: Buy – He’s Megatron for goodness sake. If you can buy him at anything less than full value, do so. His fantasy playoff schedule: PHI, BAL, NYG, MIN

Dwayne Bowe KC | WR

I told anyone that would listen in the forums this week that they simply could not trust Bowe, despite his fluky TD the week before. He’s still owned and started as a WR 2/3, but this week he rewarded owners with a third week of scoring under 5 points. It doesn’t matter if Alex Smith can’t or just won’t throw it deep to Bowe – the production isn’t there and Bowe’s biggest asset, the deep ball, has been marginalized. Sell his name while you still can.
Recommendation: Sell – Bowe’s long speed is a poor match for the Andy Reid dink-and-dunk offense. He’ll have a short TD here and there, but good luck guessing when.

Marques Colston NO | WR

So, Colston has been almost as poor as Bowe. He’s got only a single game over 10 fantasy points, and has generally trended downward since week 1, culminating in a fantasy matchup-killing 2 catches for 15 yards in week 5. There isn’t much doubt that he’s lost a step, but he’s still a critical part of the explosive New Orleans passing machine and therefore makes a great buy-low this week. Steal him super cheap from a frustrated owner this week.
Recommendation: Buy low – Last year he had 83 catches for 1100+ yards and 10 TD’s. The big weeks are coming soon. Get in on the ground floor.

Giovani Bernard CIN | RB

After Bernard scored 32 points in weeks 2 and 3 combined, he was anointed as the “next big thing” and lauded as the best back in Cincinnati. Two weeks, and two clunkers later, BenJarvus Green-Ellis has not quietly faded into the night, and Gio has lost some of his luster on the RB2 radar. Savvy owners will take that trade discount and run with it. The Bengals are going to have to open up their offense to continue to compete, and that should mean an increased workload both in carries and catches for the talented rookie.
Recommendation: Buy low – Especially if the Gio owner in your league is down on his luck and in a tough situation due to week 6 byes or injuries.