Fantasy Football: Who to Sell High and Who to Buy Low After Week 2
With the first two weeks in the books for this NFL season, fantasy owners should have seen enough of their players to fairly value them.
Some players continued to slump while others have stepped up and become relevant in leagues across the nation. Big names have disappointed and the unproven have overproduced.
This list looks at the maximum value of players who should be traded and also designates which players should be acquired right now.
If you play the "name game" and make the correct trades this week, your roster may will become one of the best in your league.
Sell High: Marques Colston
Marques Colston has three consecutive seasons of 1,000 plus receiving yards and seven plus touchdowns, but he is no longer the fantasy gem he once was.
Colston is still a big receiver who will occasionally find the end zone, but he is no longer the only threat in New Orleans. Darren Sproles is the possession pass-catcher, Jimmy Graham is the go-to receiver and Lance Moore is a playmaker. Colston is a decent wideout, but his production will be a question mark week-to-week and his trade value is still high.
Here is how you get rid of him.
Remind your fantasy league that Colston has Drew Brees as his quarterback, and he's a threat to explode every week since he's the No. 1 receiver for the Saints. He has 24 receptions over the past three seasons and is appealing in a PPR setting, with 164 receptions over the past two seasons.
But remember, his trade value far outweighs what his production will be. Sproles, Graham and Moore will have favorable defensive matchups, which will hurt Colston's fantasy production. So get rid of him now, when his stock is at an all-time high.
Buy Low: Larry Fitzgerald
Larry Fitzgerald had perhaps the worst performance of his career with one catch for four yards against the New England Patriots. And if anybody remembers the Achilles heel of New England, it is their pass defense.
He has a career low 67 yards after two weeks, but he will be a top-10 fantasy receiver by the season's end. Whichever fantasy owner in your league has Fitzgerald is obviously frustrated with his production, and this is the ideal time to trade for him.
Here is how you do it.
Convince Fitzgerald's fantasy owner that his production is no fluke. His quarterback situation is a mess, with Kevin Kolb losing the job to John Skelton, then regaining it due to injury. Remind his owner that Fitzgerald doesn't have a Kurt Warner to throw to him or an Anquan Boldin to attract some coverage.
But in reality, Fitzgerald had a career-high 1,411 receiving yards last season with the same exact quarterback situation. The Pro Bowler will come storming back after a disastrous start to the 2012 season and will be the stud that we all remember. His poor start simply decreases his trade value, for now. Once you steal Fitzgerald at a low price, don't be surprised to watch his numbers explode over the course of the season.
Sell High: Cedric Benson
Though Aaron Rodgers hasn't looked that sharp as of late, the Packers are still a passing team. Cedric Benson had a quality 20-carry performance against the Bears, but his touches will be reduced as soon as the passing game finds its rhythm.
With Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones, Donald Driver and Jermichael Finley in the offense, the reigning NFL MVP will continue to shred defenses. But Benson's 81 yards rushing and 35 yards receiving against Chicago will be enough to fool somebody in your fantasy league.
Here is how you deal him.
Remind your fantasy league that Benson has three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. He can still run the ball, but the amount of carries in Week 2 were more than he will normally see. He is the clear-cut starter in Green Bay, but the ground game has yet to be a constant threat since the days of Ahman Green. (Maybe the early days of Ryan Grant).
Benson is a threat lost in an abundance of pass-catching playmakers. His big Week 2 increases his value, temporarily, and he should be traded at his maximum value.
Buy Low: Ryan Mathews
Ryan Mathews' absence decreases his value, but as soon as he is healthy, he will be a monster.
Mathews rushed for 1,091 yards in 14 games last year, with an impressive 4.9 yards per carry. The passing game has always been somewhat of a disappointment in San Diego, and Mathews will carry the load on the ground once he comes back. He is taking up a valuable roster spot on his fantasy owner's team, but deserves a spot on yours.
Here is how you get him.
Convince Mathews' fantasy owner that Philip Rivers has finally become the elite quarterback he was projected to be. Malcom Floyd and Robert Meachem are his two "premier" wideouts, but the Chargers have long been a ground-and-pound team. Remind his owner that Mathews' injury is a clavicle one and that his status should be a question mark even when he returns.
In reality, San Diego is approaching this Mathews injury with extreme precaution because they might need him for the long haul. Once he is back, he will be pushing his five yards a carry and will be making plays and finding the end zone. His injury has left him sidelined and his fantasy owner will be more likely to deal him while he's out. Once you get him, his value will sky-rocket and you will have stolen a gem.
Sell High: Fred Davis
Normally, rookie quarterbacks find extreme value in their tight ends. Well, Robert Griffin III isn't your average quarterback.
Fred Davis has been limited to four catches for 52 yards over two weeks and frankly isn't needed as much in the offense as previously thought. However, his huge 2011 season and the release of Chris Cooley still gives him a high value.
And this is how you trade Davis when his value is high.
Remind your fantasy league that Davis had 59 receptions for 796 yards in his 12 games last year. His numbers were big and his expectations bigger heading into 2012. Compared to the rest of the league, Davis is still one of the better pass-catching tight ends. His presence should be felt on third downs and in the red zone.
But in reality, RG3 and the Redskins have playmakers in other places. Pierre Garçon is the go-to receiver and the rushing attack is still a force for the Redskins. Deal Davis now, when his value is high. Though he might have a good game here and there, trade him at maximum value before the rest of your league values him as inconsistent.
Buy Low: Marcedes Lewis
After his Week 1 performance, the league can relax; Blaine Gabbert is still Blaine Gabbert.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a mess, and the passing game is still quite shaky. But the Jags will have to throw, and Marcedes Lewis will be the main target on most of the throws. His value is still low and he should be dealt for now, before owners realize his worth.
And here is how you get him.
Remind Lewis' fantasy owner that Maurice Jones-Drew is still the threat on offense. When Jacksonville stops running, they have a prized rookie in Justin Blackmon and a huge free-agent acquisition in Laurent Robinson. But don't be fooled, Lewis is still the man on offense.
Gabbert doesn't have the composure or offensive line to be successful in Jacksonville. Lewis is the only favorable matchup on offense and can make plays once the ball is in his hands. He is a threat on third down and in the red zone and should get a fair amount of passes thrown his way. After the Week 2 letdown, Lewis can be traded for at his lowest value. And once you have him, he will break out.