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!
Reed busted out in a big way on Sunday, pummeling the Bears for 134 yards and a score. He’s completely taken over Fred Davis’s role in this offense, which uses the TE as a passing option much more than a blocking one, and the Redskins offense looks to be trending back up after sticking 45 on a deteriorating Bears defense.
Recommendation: Buy – He’s still very unproven, but if you lost Finley this week or just need a TE, this is probably your last chance to buy in on Reed. He really is that good.
Douglas was a popular waiver addition last week with Julio Jones out for the year, and Roddy White ailing. He’s disappointed before in the starting role, but all he did was come out and torch Tampa for 140 yards and a score, winning the week for many that started him. He’s definitely earned a larger role in this pass-first offense and should be a decent WR2 moving forward.
Recommendation: Hold – He’s at least the #2 option in a pass-heavy attack. Hold unless someone knocks your socks off with an offer or you simply have to make a deal.
Williams’ stock continues to trend up. He’s put up 40+ points over the last three weeks, scoring TDs in all three. Miles Austin continues to look washed up, and there’s been talk of shutting him down with Williams playing so well. With Murray generally questionable, this offense has to pass to win, and can definitely support 3 strong options. If he’s somehow still available in your league, snatch him up immediately.
Recommendation: Hold – He’s STILL not proven enough to bring back much in trade, but I think his rest-of-season value for your team will far exceed his trade value.
Mathews chewed up all the garbage time carries against the already-defeated Jaguars, to the tune of 110 yards and a rushing TD. That now makes 2 straight 100 yard games for Mathews, and if you’ve been waiting to sell him all year, this is your chance. He’s on bye this week and then gets a dream matchup in Washington. Use these facts to sell him as a RB2 this week for something useful before he reverts to being…well, himself.
Recommendation: Sell High – He still doesn’t get meaningful red-zone carries, and still isn’t catching any passes. It’s time to package him with someone else for an upgrade, if possible.
Stacy has cemented his place as the top RB in St. Louis over the last two weeks, going from waiver pickup to decent RB2 play in the process. He’s a part of the passing game and has shown power and agility in the running game. If you nabbed him as a stash a couple weeks ago, its time to cash in. Sam Bradford is out for the year, killing an already poor passing attack. Stacy is going to face a ton of stacked boxes moving forward, and faces SEA twice, ARI, IND, TB, and SF, as well as his bye, the rest of the way.
Recommendation: Sell High – I think his value is at it’s pinnacle right now, and his matchups are killer moving forward, especially without a legit QB.
Allen exploded onto the fantasy scene during weeks 5 and 6, totaling 200+ yards receiving and 2 TD in short order. He was a top waiver addition after week 6, but disappointed owners who started him this week with only 67 total yards in a seemingly cake matchup with Jacksonville. This weak performance, and his bye this week, present a final chance to buy in on Allen – He’s the clear #1 option in a pass-first attack, and his schedule moving forward has DEN (twice), WAS, OAK, and NYG.
Recommendation: Buy – The Allen express is going to blow up after making a stop in Washington after the bye. He’s a strong WR play with upside for the rest of the season.
I haven’t thought about SJax in so long, I almost forgot he existed. You can bet his owners everywhere feel the same way. Lest we forget, the man hasn’t played since week 2. He was a top 12 pick that has been completely useless while eating a roster spot all year long. With reports that Jackson is expected to begin practicing on Wednesday, it’s now time to buy him super low. Remind your trade partner of his tough upcoming schedule when buying, but keep an eye on weeks 12-15, where the Falcons play NO, GB, WAS, and BUF.
Recommendation: Buy super low – His owners are frustrated beyond belief, he’s been terrible and hurt, and especially with so many byes this week, savvy owners can take advantage.
I know…another Falcon? I’m going to throw Roddy in here one last time as a buy-low. He finally sat out a week to get himself better, which as a non-White owner, is what I was looking for once it was in doubt that he would play last week. This does two things: He should finally be healthy, and it torpedoes his value with already irritated owners due to the DNP last week. Throw out a lowball offer to his owner that has bye-week issues – as noted in above, his fantasy playoff schedule is second to none.
Recommendation: Buy low – Finally after a week off, I think a rejuvenated Roddy shines as the #1 ATL wideout for the rest of 2013.
This one set itself up perfectly. In week 5, Hilton unexpectedly went for 2 TD against the Seahawks, and pundits everywhere proceeded to wet themselves about his ascension. With two straight games under 5 fantasy points as an encore, some of the bloom has faded from this particular rose. Let’s use that to buy Hilton low this week. He’s an electric playmaker wherever he lines up, and with Reggie Wayne now out for the year, the path is clear for Hilton to step up and become the #1 WR threat in Indianapolis.
Recommendation: Buy low – Hilton has the potential to be a WR1 the rest of the way if he and Luck can get on the same page.
Garcon owners had to be losing their minds on Sunday. The Redskins were completely breaking out offensively, and Garcon, again, was barely featured. He ended up with 5 catches for 58 yards total. He’s definitely been a disappointment in 2013 with the exception of week 2. Here’s why you should be buying him low this week: He’s the WR1 in an offense that looks to be hitting its stride. The emergence of Jordan Reed will only help take some attention off Garcon, and finally, the Redskins’ next three games are extremely friendly for fantasy purposes: @DEN, SD, @MIN.
Recommendation: Buy low – Throw together a package of less talented but useful players to land Garcon this week. You won’t regret it.
Long gone is the week 5 performance where Rice scored 19 points. Over the last two weeks, he’s combined for a total of 10. To put things in perspective, he’s not even the top scoring Rice in the NFL for fantasy over that span – Sidney Rice has 12. Maybe it’s the blocking, maybe he’s hurt, but if you watched either of the last two games you have to conclude what’s right there in front of you – Rice is a declining back. He looks slow and isn’t elusive, and doesn’t seem to hit the holes with any power. If you took their names away and just went with game footage, Bernard Pierce looks like the much better back right now. Abandon ship.
Recommendation: Sell – Use his name recognition to broker a deal of any kind this week. Some would say buy low, but I’m moving on. The BAL offense isn’t good, and Rice doesn’t have it this year.
So…the Miami coaching staff went into the bye, looked at film, had time to game plan and scheme…and decided that Daniel Thomas was a better rusher than Lamar Miller. I’m so irritated with this situation, and it’s so moronic, that I just have to wash my hands of it. Miami clearly wants to implement a timeshare, and this severely caps Miller’s upside, despite his enormous talent. You’re never going to be able to start Lamar with any confidence unless Thomas goes down. If you’ve got Miller, include him in a deal this week as a sweetener with some upside. He’s just about droppable in standard 10 team leagues right now.
Recommendation: Sell – Get whatever you can for Miller. I love his talent but here’s an example of situation overruling talent. You can’t trust Miami to even serve their own self-interest.