Fantasy Football Week 3: Buy and Sell Stock Report
What a wild Week 2 it was in the NFL.
At one point, all but one of the early games on Sunday were one-score affairs in the second half. There was plenty of fantasy drama, with many surprises and a few big duds. Rookies across the league made their mark—EJ Manuel, Giovani Bernard, Tavon Austin and DeAndre Hopkins had big games, among others.
But you're not worried about Week 2 at this point. You just want to know what the fantasy stock report looks like for Week 3. Go forth in this slideshow and conquer.
Buy: C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills
Though he did get more than 100 yards against the Panthers last week, running back C.J. Spiller has had quite the disappointing 2013 campaign thus far.
Fred Jackson has outscored him in most scoring formats, something few saw coming after it seemed like Jackson was plodding his way toward retirement during the preseason.
But don't worry. Spiller can't be stopped for long—teams can only hope to contain him. As rookie quarterback EJ Manuel continues to progress, expect Spiller's numbers to increase as the season moves on.
Sell: James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers
What kind of topsy-turvy fantasy world do we live in when James Starks is the first Green Bay player to run for more than 100 yards since 2010?
Here's the thing: Those yards belonged to Eddie Lacy before Washington's Brandon Meriweather went headhunting and knocked the rookie out, and the Redskins defense isn't very good right now.
The timetable for Lacy's return is uncertain, but he should be back soon enough. Starks will go back to being a backup, and his fantasy value will disappear. Pick him up if you must, but you probably won't be able to trade him past this week.
Buy: Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns
It hasn't been a great start to the season for running back Trent Richardson. A good rookie season led to some inflated expectations for him in the fantasy realm, especially considering there is no real competition for playing time.
But Richardson went up against two good run defenses to start the year in the Dolphins and Ravens.
His schedule softens considerably over the next several weeks, with the exception of the Bengals in Week 4. By then, however, it will be too expensive to trade for him.
His owner is panicking. Take advantage.
Sell: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos
Running back Knowshon Moreno had one of the best scoring lines for running backs in fantasy football during Week 2. Does that mean he can be trusted?
He finished last season with a nice flourish, so this isn't completely out of the blue. But outside the two scoring runs for 20-plus yards against the New York Giants, Moreno looked as average as ever.
Montee Ball got nearly the same number of touches, but things went south following a fumble against the Giants. Expect Ball to rebound, and even though Ronnie Hillman didn't get much work, he is still in the mix, too.
Buy: David Wilson, RB, New York Giants
This is it. This is rock bottom for David Wilson this season. Barring injury, of course.
How else can you explain the fact that Brandon Jacobs got off the couch and scored a touchdown against the Broncos while Wilson wistfully watched on the sideline?
Both Jacobs and Da'Rel Scott got more playing time than Wilson, who looked like he was trying to smother a kitten when he did get the ball because he was so worried about fumbling.
He might have been a sell last week, but that's because the market hadn't bottomed out on the second-year pro. Once he stops worrying about fumbling, Wilson will get back to ripping off long runs and making people forget about Jacobs.
Sell: Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw's fantasy stock soared when his backfield compatriot, Vick Ballard, went down with a season-ending injury. But that stock is nicknamed "Icarus"—be careful not to get burned.
Bradshaw looked solid against a good Dolphins defense, but how long will that last? After all, there is a reason he was unemployed until the Colts came calling late in the offseason. That reason is his foot, which has seen plenty of injuries over the years.
It might be difficult to convince someone else he won't fall apart in a few weeks, but you may as well try while you can.
Buy: Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots
It's been a rough couple of weeks for Stevan Ridley, who was benched after fumbling in Week 1 and went up against a tough Jets defensive line last week. But things should improve for Ridley as the season wears on, assuming he holds on to the rock.
There aren't really better options on the New England offense at running back, at least not until Shane Vereen gets back. LeGarrette Blount isn't good for much more than one or two earth-shattering runs a season, and he already had one in the preseason. Leon Washington is a poor man's version of Darren Sproles.
Ridley carried the ball 16 times against the Jets; he just didn't have much room to do anything with it. He will continue to get the majority of the work, and he will break out soon enough.
Sell: Aaron Dobson, WR, New England Patriots
Aaron Dobson scored a touchdown on his first career catch, the first receiver to do that for the Patriots since Chad Jackson in 2006. Jackson had three total career touchdowns and last played in the league in 2008.
Dobson only got significant playing time in Week 2 because of injuries across the wide receiver corps, and he will fall back down the depth chart once players like Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski return.
He should fall off your radar if you were thinking about picking him up.
Buy: Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens
It's not that receiver Torrey Smith has had a terrible start to his 2013 season. He just hasn't found the end zone yet.
That's not for lack of trying on Joe Flacco's part.
Flacco targeted Smith 13 times last week and was able to hook up with him seven times for 85 yards, but Marlon Brown caught the Ravens' only passing touchdown on the day.
Smith will get into the end zone soon enough, perhaps in dramatic fashion with multiple scores, as he is wont to do. Get him while the getting's good.
Sell: Eddie Royal, WR, San Diego Chargers
What a two-week run it's been for Eddie Royal, who has scored as many touchdowns in a two-week span as he did in the past four years combined.
Royal is absolutely a good waiver-wire pickup if he happens to be available in your league. He will probably get snatched up with the top waiver priority, and if that happens to be you, it will be a good opportunity to practice your flipping skills.
The sixth-year pro is a hot commodity, and there are sure to be panicked 0-2 owners in your league. It can't hurt to get maximum value for a guy who is unlikely to score five touchdowns in the next 14 games, let alone in two games like he just did.
Buy: Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Good luck prying Colin Kaepernick from his fantasy owner, but fantasy football makes people do crazy things.
Kaepernick was simply one of the worst fantasy quarterbacks in Week 2, which is relatively unsurprising given he was traveling to play a tough Seattle defense that had the help of The 12th Man at their backs. This came after being a top fantasy performer in Week 1, so his fantasy owner would have to have a really short memory to give him up.
But if there was any way to get him, your window is rather short. Kaepernick should bounce back in a big way against a soft Indianapolis defense in Week 3.
Sell: Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets
The Jets running game got going a bit against the Patriots, and running back Bilal Powell got into the end zone. He wound up with a nice fantasy line, but is this sustainable?
Considering Chris Ivory looked better, the answer is no.
Barring further injury—not a given considering his injury history—it stands to reason Ivory will overtake Powell for the starting job sooner than later. They did trade a fourth-round pick for him, and Ivory has always had big upside.
Even if Powell retains a big share of the work in that backfield, he will be hit-or-miss from a fantasy standpoint on a weekly basis. Better to sell while you can.