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Fantasy Football Advice: Buy or Sell for Week 3

Hayden DeitrickFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2013

Fantasy Football Advice: Buy or Sell for Week 3

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    It was an exciting week for fantasy football owners, and there were plenty of intriguing storylines to follow.

    Week 2 saw projected fantasy studs continue to struggle and out-of-nowhere players continue to thrive.  

    What is crucial for fantasy owners heading into Week 3 is to decide which storylines to buy and which storylines to sell.

    Note: All points are based on ESPN's standard scoring 

     

     

Buy: Eddie Royal as Fantasy Relevant Player

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    Eddie Royal has come out of left field to be a significant contributor to the San Diego offense this season.

    Through two weeks, Royal has scored an incredible five touchdowns, which ties his career high in a season from back in 2008 with the Denver Broncos.

    The question with Eddie Royal is whether or not he can continue to be a fantasy stud, and I firmly believe that he can.

    The reasoning on this is simply a matter of looking at San Diego's receiving options. 

    With Danario Alexander injured before the season began combined with the recent injury to Malcom Floyd, who is out indefinitely, Philip Rivers has very few receivers to choose from.

    Thinking that Royal will score multiple touchdowns for the remainder of the season is ridiculous, but considering the types of screen passes and quick hit routes he is capitalizing on, it is hard to see how defenses are going to stop him from getting the ball in his hands.

    This makes him a great flex play, especially in PPR formats.

    Royal is tied for the lead in targets with Antonio Gates with 14, and there is no reason to believe that Rivers will start looking away from him.

Sell: Stevan Ridley Continues to Struggle

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    Stevan Ridley was projected to be among the top scoring fantasy running backs this season, and owners with Ridley in their starting lineup are probably feeling burned after two miserable weeks.

    Ridley found himself on the bench after fumbling in the season opener against Buffalo.  An injury to backup Shane Vereen gave Ridley the chance to continue as the Patriots' starter, but he managed to only rush for only 40 yards on 16 attempts in Week 2 against the Jets.

    The bright side for Ridley owners is that he is still getting the lion's share of carries.  Ridley's 16 carries dwarfs LeGarrette Blount's four.

    It is not surprising that Ridley struggled against an underrated Jets run defense.  The Jets rank fourth in the NFL in opposing rushing yards allowed with just 59.5 yards allowed per game in contests that included Ridley and Doug Martin.

    The Buccaneers also boast a good run defense, but if the Patriots are going to be successful this season, they are going to have to rely on the run while Tom Brady gets into sync with his bevy of new receivers. 

    With Darrelle Revis and company looking to shut down the Patriots' passing attack, look for Ridley to capitalize in a must-perform week.

Buy: Michael Vick Injury Concern

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    Michael Vick scared fantasy owners in Philadelphia's Week 2 loss to the San Diego Chargers.

    His 33 points on 428 yards passing and three total touchdowns were not what worried fantasy owners this week.

    Instead it was the massive hit that Vick took that served as a cause for alarm.  Vick took a hit to the back of the head, and Nick Foles saw his first action of the year because of Vick's inability to protect himself from the rush.

    Vick has been revitalized in Philadelphia's spread option offense, and he has quickly made himself a top-tier quarterback option for fantasy owners.  Owners who started "safer" options such as Tom Brady or Matthew Stafford are probably going to be kicking themselves this week.

    As amazing as Vick's numbers have been, he is at an incredible risk for injury.  The newest strategy for defending the read option has been to hit the quarterback, and both San Diego and Washington have done just that.

    Vick must learn to protect himself inside and outside of the pocket if he is going to continue to provide fantasy value this season.

Sell: Mike Wallace Consistency

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    Mike Wallace rebounded from a disappointing Week 1 to score 17 points on 115 yards receiving and a touchdown.

    I don't buy for a second that Wallace can continue with his scoring with any amount of consistency.

    As a previous owner that was burned by Wallace's inconsistency, I am definitely biased. 

    While Mike Wallace's big-play potential could win a fantasy matchup in a given week, it could lose it for you.

    The tale is in the targets for Wallace.  Last season, he averaged just seven targets per game.  In Week 1, Wallace had just five targets, but in Week 2, he was targeted 11 times.  As a big-play receiver, Wallace cannot be counted on to get a large amount of targets weekly.

    Worse yet, Wallace had less than 50 yards receiving seven times last season, further illustrating his status as a boom or bust receiver.  With a 100-yard difference between his reception yards from Week 1 to Week 2, Mike Wallace truly is consistently inconsistent.

    Mike Wallace can definitely provide great fantasy value, but his inability to produce on a regular basis is certainly a detriment to his overall value.

Buy: Martellus Bennett as a Top-Tier Tight End

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    Martellus Bennett was the hero that Chicago needed to hold off the Vikings in Week 2.  

    Bennett scored two touchdowns and and had 76 yards receiving, which was good for 19 fantasy points; second only to Jimmy Graham.

    It is clear that Bennett is becoming an integral part of the Bears' offensive scheme.  He has been targeted a combined 17 times in the first two games, and ranks only second to fantasy stud Brandon Marshall in receiving yards.

    With defenses focusing on Marshall, Bennett will keep seeing a high number of targets.  Bennett has shown he has a nose for the end zone, and that makes him very valuable as a tight end option.

    As of Week 2, Bennett was only owned in 84 percent of leagues.

    If he is available in your league, he's an investment worth making.

Sell: Eli Manning Continued Struggles

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    Eli Manning had a miserable outing against the Denver Broncos this past week.

    Playing from behind forced Manning to throw the ball 49 times.  He completed just 28 passes for 362 yards and one touchdown.

    What hurt his fantasy numbers most were the four interceptions he threw.

    Without a run game to rely on thus far, defenses have been able to sit back and cherry pick Manning's passes.  At times, receivers were seeing triple coverage from the Broncos' secondary.

    With the weapons around him, though, Manning has all the tools to succeed this season.  

    Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Rueben Randle and Brandon Meyers have all shown their capability to catch the football this season, and if the Giants can put together some semblance of a running game, Manning should have an easier time getting them the football.

    Manning's seven interceptions are a cause for concern, but not outright panic.  

    If you discount the turnovers, it is easy to see how Manning's five touchdowns and 812 yards passing can provide fantasy owners with a solid starter at quarterback.

    With a favorable matchup against a Carolina secondary that has allowed an average of 293.5 passing yards this season, Manning should see a return to form that has made him a solid fantasy starter in the past.

Buy: Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, and James Jones as Top Receivers

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    It is typically difficult to make two wide receivers from the same team fantasy relevant weekly.

    Aaron Rodgers has been spreading the wealth around this season, though, and three Green Bay wide receivers have been gaining significant fantasy points.

    In Week 2, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, and James Jones combined for 41 fantasy points.  

    Nelson was the least targeted of the three receivers, but he was the recipient of two touchdown passes.

    Cobb and Jones, on the other hand, benefited from more targets.  Cobb caught nine passes for 128 yards and one touchdown, and Jones caught 11 passes for 178 yards.

    What was made apparent in Week 2 is that Aaron Rodgers is talented enough as a passer to make three wide receivers relevant in fantasy.  

    If the Packers continue to be as pass heavy as they have been in the first two weeks of this season, these three receivers are viable wide receiver options for your team.

Sell: Knowshon Moreno Being Fantasy Relevant

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    Knowshon Moreno scored two touchdowns against the Giants, and many fantasy owners may be enticed to utilize him moving forward.

    Not surprising considering Moreno's 22 fantasy points was second only to Marshawn Lynch.

    My advice is to take his Week 2 success with a grain of salt.  

    With two other talented running backs in the Denver backfield, it is hard to believe that one of the three is going to break away from the pack.

    If one of the backs were to become fantasy relevant, it would likely be Moreno, who knows the Denver system and can be trusted to block for Peyton Manning more so than the other two backs.

    That being said, Denver is not going to turn away completely from Montee Ball or Ronnie Hillman. 

    The nature of the Broncos' hurry-up offense is that the running back will rarely leave the field.  That means that if Moreno is on the field, he stays on the field.

    I continue to believe that we are looking at a time split in the Denver backfield, and this great week from Moreno will likely not change that.

     

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