Time to start making those trades!!!
By: Christopher Torola
Hello fellow fantasy football junkies. Right now is that magical time of year when you look at your roster and think one of a few things. Hopefully, "Wow! My roster is stacked, is it time to start looking at playoff match ups?". Then there are those thinking, "My team is so close, if I could just rearrange my talent a bit." And of course there are those of you thinking.... "If I don't put together a big winning streak... I'm done." Or maybe your like me and play in way too many leagues, so your facing all of the above.
No need to worry. I have decided to put together a list of some players that will make your team better as the year goes on, as well as a list of guys that you may want to sell high on. I'll go position by position, and list a few guys in each category.
Quarterbacks: Buy Low
- Matt Cassel is a great buy low option. He has increased his numbers week by week as he has regained his health. The Kansas City Chiefs defense is terrible so he is likely to still be throwing the ball late in games, Larry Johnson has proven ineffective this year, and he still has games against 7 bad teams, including the Bills and Browns during the 1st two rounds of most fantasy play-offs (weeks 14 and 15).
- Donovan McNabb is another that may be had for cheap. He was hurt yet again, but he seems to already be recovered from that. The Original Campbell's Chunky Soup Man has already had his bye, has 2 running backs that will catch the ball, and a couple talented young wide outs. He has put up his numbers against bad teams, but he still has plenty of those left, and just look what Kevin Colb was able to do with the Eagle's weapons when he was running the team. McNabb may play even better if he thinks he has to worry about losing his job.
Quarterbacks: Sell High
- Joe Flacco. Of the teams remaining on his schedule, at least 6 look to be tough match ups. His receiving core is old, and not that good anymore. Both Todd Heap and Derrik Mason tend to get banged up. A few of his touchdowns have come off passing plays to Willis McGahee in the redzone. You shouldn't expect that to keep up. As the season goes on Ray Rice should continue to mature and turn passing play calls into rushing ones.
- Tom Brady is an odd choice for sell high, as he has not been meeting expectations this year; however, if you act fast you may be able to trade him to someone who thinks that he is still knocking the rust off. I think that what you have seen from Brady so far, is what your going to get this year. Over the next 2 weeks he plays the Titans and the Buccaneers, but after that he has a bye followed by 5 straight quality passing defenses. If you can still find someone willing to pay top value for Brady.. cash in.
Running Backs: Buy Low
- Pierre Thomas. Thomas was hurt to start the season and missed the first 2 games. Since he has been back he has averaged more fantasy points per start then Adrian Peterson. I know 2 games is a small sample size, but look at what he did the end of last year. Another interesting note is that as Thomas has preformed, Brees has cooled off. It seems the Saints will be willing to get a quick lead and then run the ball with Thomas. He is still being listed on the injury report and limited at practice... you should be able to get him for a song.
- Steven Jackson. Jackson has been running hard this season, but has been unable to find the endzone. That is the difference between Jackson being a decent #2 and a fantasy darling. With a return of Marc Bulger on the horizon, Jackson should see a little less of the 8 and 9 man fronts. He also has a great play-off schedule, that feature the Titans, Texans, and the Cardinals.
Running Backs: Sell High
- Willis McGahee. McGahee has seen a huge amount or red zone success this year, and the Ravens have a line built for running, but there just too many chefs in the kitchen. So far McGahee has seen almost all of the touchdowns, and that is unlikely to continue. Ray Rice is playing amazingly, and is the future of the team. If you can find someone to buy his NFL leading 7 TDs as anything more than an anomaly, trade with them quick.
- Rashard Mendenhall. He is coming off to very productive weeks, and there are a lot of people out there who think he is going to become the guy in Pittsburgh. It seem like almost the only people saying otherwise are the Steelers. This is a risky sell high, because if he does hold on to the starting job, he will put up good numbers... but I think a job share with Willie Parker is much more likely. If you can get good value for him, play it safe and deal him now.
Wide Receivers: Buy Low
- Roddy White. He is coming off a huge week, so it may already be too late to get him cheap. I am assuming the reason for the slow start was his hold out. He played very poorly the first 3 weeks, but as soon as the team had the bye week off, it seems as though Matt Ryan and WHite synced up, and should continue to put up solid numbers.
- Brandon Marshall. Here is another guy the secret may be out on already.He is coming off his 2 touchdown game against the Patriots, but get him if you can. He has posted better numbers each week this season, which makes sense after getting kicked out of practice this pre-season. Marshall may be turning into T.O. Jr, but with the attitude comes the talent.
- Braylon Edwards. Take a chance on him as a player with upside. Don't pay for his 2007 numbers, but look for better then his 2008. It is suppose to take a while for a wide out to make any impact on a new team, but Edwards caught a TD in his first game as a member of the Jets. He actually caught 2, but the refs blew a challenge and reversed the second.
Wide Receivers: Sell High
- Terrell Owens. T.O. isn't as much of a sell high, as an abandon ship. If you have him, you know how bad it is. There still might be someone in your league who hasn't got burnt by T.O. yet, find him and see what he will give you for him. Don't give him away for nothing, but if you can find someone who will give you a viable #3 or low end #2... it might be time to cut your losses.
- Calvin Johnson. Thats right, Megatron. This has more to do with his and his QBs injuries then anything else. I will not be surprised if he misses more then just last week with his thigh and knee injuries. Mix that with the possibility that he will be going with either a banged up rookie or a washed out veteran throwing him the ball, and it may be time to move on him. I am still a big Calvin Johnson fan, but I don't think this is his year. You may want to try trade on his name for big value while you still can
Tight End: Buy Low
- Jason Witten. The talent is still there and the scores will come. As teams start to game plan against the Cowboys running game, we should start to see Witten sneaking past the line backers for 20 yards up the middle on a regular basis. Get him while owners are worried about the demise of Tony Romo and the Cowboys passing game.
Tight End: Sell High
- Heath Miller. Miller has traditionally been a hot starter, but tends to disappear as the year goes on. This could have a lot to do with Big Ben usually getting killed in the pocket, and the Steelers looking for extra blocking. As the Steeler look to build up their running game, Miller will become less and less of a factor in the passing game.
I hope this helps some of you out there. Feel free to throw out some more names, talk about the ones I suggested, or just call me an idiot. Feedback is fun!