Week 5 in Fantasy Football: 5 Players You Should Be Trying to Sell
The 2012 NFL's opening month is in the books, which means trade talks in your fantasy league are probably starting to heat up.
By now, there's a good chance you're realizing your squad isn't as balanced as it seemed upon the completion of your draft. Stocked full of running backs but short on receivers? Have two stud QB's and think you should use one to bolster another position on your roster?
Surely one of your opponents is in the midst of an all-out panic after a winless start, willing to gut his or her roster if doing so will bring a short-term opportunity to get one in the "win" column.
Or, maybe, someone has simply been keeping an eye out for early overachievers, and you own one of the players sparking interest in a potential deal.
You never know what type of haul your early-season stud could bring in if you don't show your opponents that he's available, right?
If you want to build your team into a well-oiled machine, one that can contend for a title, you've got to shop for the best parts.
Here are five players capable of drawing some serious attention that can help you find what you need.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB (Pittsburgh Steelers)
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Despite the Pittsburgh Steelers' 1-2 start, Big Ben has been lighting it up, averaging more than 300 yards per game and eight touchdown passes.
So, why sell him?
Piling up numbers through the air does not spell success for The Black and Gold.
Pittsburgh's offense isn't the same without Rashard Mendenhall in the backfield, and the numbers show it. Roethlisberger has thrown 40-plus passes in two games already in 2012, and the Steelers lost both times.
In fact, they've lost six of the last eight games Roethlisberger has attempted 40 or more passes in.
Not exactly a recipe for success.
Mendenhall is on the mend from last year's torn ACL, and the Steelers are desperately hoping his return provides a spark in the ground game. If all goes according to plan, Big Ben's stellar numbers will slowly begin to settle down.
Roethlisberger hasn't had more than 26 passing TD's since 2007. After three games, he's on pace to finish the season with over 40. Four of his eight scores, however, came against a pitiful Oakland Raiders defense in Week 3. He's yet to face an AFC North defense, where he was held to just seven scores in six games against divisional opponents in 2011.
If you drafted Big Ben, there's a solid chance he isn't your starting QB. Dump him off to someone who views him as such and let him or her deal with the headache when his production starts to decline.
Michael Turner, RB (Atlanta Falcons)
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Atlanta's stud ball-carrier lit up the stat sheet on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, crossing the century mark in rushing yards and adding a 60-yard TD catch as well.
While Turner's 103 rushing yards on 13 carries sounds promising, it's the amount of carries that should actually be of concern to fantasy owners.
The 30-year-old running back is averaging under 14 attempts per game in 2012, and the Falcons are 4-0. They're winning games behind Matt Ryan's arm and a ball-hawking defense, not by asking Turner to carry a heavy load.
The 60-yard TD catch on Sunday was a nice bonus, but please, don't expect it again. It was the first reception for a score of Turner's career, and counting on him contributing in the passing game consistently is a pipe dream.
The former workhorse running back has carried the ball at least 300 times in three of the past four seasons, but it's clear that won't be happening in 2012. Turner is coming off of two solid weeks against poor defenses, and there won't be a better time to shop him than right now.
Vincent Jackson, WR (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
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Jackson's six-catch, 100-yard performance against the Washington Redskins Sunday likely caught your eye, and you weren't the only one.
What your opponents may not know is that V-Jax has a habit of being one of the most inconsistent wideouts in fantasy football history.
One week, he's red hot. The next, ice cold.
Jackson racked up 1,106 receiving yards in 2011 but recorded only three catches or less in 10 of his 16 games. That's a total value killer in PPR leagues, and the odds of guessing which week he'll come through are 50/50 at best.
Jackson eclipsed the century mark in Week 2 and Week 4 with a TD in each game against the New York Giants and the Redskins, respectively, but he has only five receptions for 76 yards and no scores in the other two games this season.
Tampa does have a favorable schedule the rest of the way, but the odds of Jackson's suddenly becoming a reliable fantasy option week in and week out are extremely slim.
Someone will get lost in his upside, but it doesn't have to be you. Get out while the value is considerably high (304 yards, 2 TD in four games) and find a player who can help your team every Sunday.
The last thing you want is to be saddled with one of Jackson's trademark disappearing acts when your fantasy championship is on the line.
Mike Wallace, WR (Pittsburgh Steelers)
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Wallace is showing no ill-effects from his summer holdout, catching a TD pass in each of the Steelers' first three games this year.
He started hot last year, too.
The speedster's first three games in 2011 were 100-yard performances. He had at least 70 receiving yards in each of the Steelers' first eight contests and scored five times.
Wallace failed to eclipse 70 receiving yards in any of his final eight games, though, and scored only three touchdowns during that span.
Roethlisberger's late-season injuries were a part of the issue, but the emergence of WR Antonio Brown and dominance of Pittsburgh's D played an even larger role.
Brown had 80 or more receiving yards in five of the Steelers' final eight games in 2011, and the defense held opponents to single digits on the scoreboard in five of their last six. When the D is shutting down opposing offenses, Pittsburgh is going to pound the rock more than they pass the ball.
In reference to Brown, he's received more targets (29) then Wallace (22) to this point, too. Brown signed a five-year, $42-million contract extension in the offseason and will be an explosive threat for this offense all year.
Don't expect Wallace to vanish the way he did last year, but Pittsburgh has several other threats on offense, including tight end Heath Miller.
I'm willing to bet someone in your league is overreacting to Wallace's hot start and would be willing to part ways with a valuable player in return for his services. It likely wouldn't happen straight up, but the right combination of players could put you in a better position to win games down the road.
Jamaal Charles, RB (Kansas City Chiefs)
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Charles caught everyone's attention in Week 3 when he ripped off 233 rushing yards on 33 carries against the New Orleans Saints. Peyton Hillis had left the game with an ankle injury, and it was the explosive Charles who was left to gash the pitiful Saints defense all afternoon.
Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, Hillis was inactive, and No. 25 took advantage once again. Charles rushed for 92 yards and a score on 17 carries and added 55 receiving yards.
He's healthy and running free, but the competition stiffens starting in Week 5 against the Baltimore Ravens and doesn't let up.
Kansas City goes into Tampa (No. 1 against the run heading into Week 4) after Baltimore, and Hillis will garner some carries when he gets healthy.
I'm not saying dump Charles at all costs, as he's still a home run threat with the potential for a few big games moving forward. But the schedule doesn't look friendly (until the playoffs, which could be another reason to keep him) much of the year, and the Chiefs may be forced to rely heavily on the passing game if their season continues to slip away.
What I am saying is that a 233-yard day puts Charles back on the map and surely has people drooling over the thought of benefiting from his next breakout performance.
He's not a touchdown hog by any means, with just one this year and 19 in 52 career games. So how much would you really be losing? Odds are his torn ACL from Week 2 of 2011 caused him to drop in your draft, anyway.
Either way, it can't hurt to throw his name out there. Several fantasy teams will be loaded with talent at one position and deprived of it at another this time in the year.
Take advantage while you still can.
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