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Tag:Calvin Johnson
Posted on: October 15, 2009 5:35 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2009 8:08 pm
 

Buy Low , Sell High - Fantasy Time.

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!

Posted on: September 17, 2009 7:45 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2009 8:05 pm
 

The Viking Ship - Week 2

The Viking Ship - Week 2: Just Don't Beat Yourself

By: Christopher Torola


Last year the Minnesota Vikings only beat one divisional opponent twice... the Detroit Lions

This appears to be an easy 2-0 to start the season for the Vikings; however, there should be some fear of a let down. The game is in Detroit and last year the Lions could have easily have been 2-0 against the Purple. In week 6 at the Metrodome they Vikings took the lead on a fourth quarter field goal near the end of the game, and were only in position to kick due to a controversial pass interference call.

Then in week 14 the Lions either shared or held the lead again until a 4th quarter TD pass to Visanthe Shiancoe. The two teams then traded field goals to give the Vikings a 4 point victory. 

In the two games last year the Vikings outscored the Lions by only a total of 6 points. That being said, I do not think the Lions will win. If the players take them as a serious opponent, the Vikings should crush the Motor-City-Kitties. If I am not mistaken, the Vikings are 11 1/2 point favorites this week, not that i endorse gambling. My biggest concern is that the Vikes will go into this game thinking that they won't have to work for the win.

Some this to watch... Starting with concerns.

- Brett Favre has yet to throw a pass 25 yards down field. He had one 21 yard completion to Percy Harvin. His only other deep attempt resulted in a pass interference call. The concern here is Favre's health, although it is more likey just a case of more time needed to get familiar with his receivers. If he still throws little in a game against the Lions defense that allowed 6 touchdown passes last week, there may be some cause for concern.

- Heath Farwell is on the injury report due to hamstring soreness. He has been limited in practice. This is not good news for a Vikings special team squad that set a record for Touchdowns allowed last year as well as giving up a punt return for a score last week. The Lions did record an 87 yard kick off return and a 43 yard punt return against the Saints last week, although neither resulted in a touch down. 

-Calvin Johnson vs a young Viking secondary. Johnson is going to be a great receiver. He has yet to have a quality QB throwing to him, but has still put up amazing numbers. Look for the Vikings to try to contain him with a double team. If Johnson finds holes in the zone, he has the ability to put up big yards after the catch.

Now for the fun things to watch.

- Adrian Peterson. Currently on pace to rush for 2,880 yards this year, the NFL's 6th 2,000 yard rushing season is not out of the question. It will be fun to watch A.D. all year as he puts up monster numbers on his way to what may be a hictoric season, especially this week against a terrible Lion's defense. The list of backs to rush for 2,000 includes O.J. Simpson '73, Eric Dickerson '84, Barry Sanders '97, Terrell Davis '98, and Jamal Lewis in '03.

- Brett Favre and Percy Harvin. Up until this point it seems that Harvin is fast becoming one of Favre's favorite targets. This could make for an interesting year for the young wide receiver.

The match up between these two has reminded me a lot of another aging Vikings QB and rookie wide receiver. In 1998 the Vikings called back a retired Randall Cunningham to take control of a talented team, with a great offensive line (Jeff Christy, Todd Steussie, and now Hall of Famer Randall McDaniel all made the pro-bowl that year). They also drafted a talented wide receiver with a late first round draft pick who only fell to them because of a history of legal issues. Randy Moss went on to set the rookie record of 17 touchdowns that year.

While I don't see nearly as many touchdown passes due to the prolific running game of Adrian Peterson, I think we may see teams realizing they made a mistake when assessing Harvin's character issues (such as being stupid enough to smoke pot while knowing he was going to be drug tested at the combine). Maybe not to the degree that team's who passed on Randy Moss or Adrian Peterson because of injury history, but teams like the Radiers, 49ers, and Eagles who drafted wide outs before Harvin may end up wishing they hadn't done so. I am guessing that San Francisco (who has yet to sign Michael Crabtree) already wishes they hadn't.

- The Vikings defense against a rookie QB Matthew Stafford and poor offensive line. Going into the season Bleacher Report rates Detroit as the 32nd worst O-line out of 32 teams. This should be a good oppurtunity for the Vikings elite defensive line to score some sacks as well as forcing rookie QB Stafford into some bad throws. The Saints picked the Lions off 3 times and recorded one sack last weekend, and the Vikings should fair much better.

Here is to a great chance at beating the Lions to get to 2-0 this weekend... as long as the Vikings don't beat themselves.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com