Week 6 of the 2013 NFL regular season has arrived, and the focus for fantasy football owners has shifted to which buy-low trades they must make to improve for the playoff run later this season.
All of the following players haven’t played well this season or haven’t played at all, and the frustrated owners that have stored them on the bench may be looking to cut a deal.
Now is your chance to be a smart fantasy shopper.
Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White was selected in fantasy drafts as one of the top players at his position this season, but a high-ankle sprain during the preseason and now a hamstring injury, via Chris Wesseling of NFL.com, has owners flustered.
Add in Atlanta’s bye this week, and now is your chance to get the deal of the season.
With the news that No. 1 wide receiver Julio Jones has gone down with a possible season-ending foot injury, per Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, White’s value begins to skyrocket. While he won’t be an instant factor as he continues to get healthy, White will thrive in the latter weeks of the year (the fantasy playoffs).
If you can pull off a deal for White before his stock rises too high—possibly for someone like Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins or another inconsistent, mid-level talent—now is the time to make a trade.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are coming off the worst offensive game the team has played in years, and fantasy owners are beginning to hit the panic button.
Now is the time to pull the trigger on the blockbuster trade for tight end Rob Gronkowski.
The news that Gronkowski is scheduled to return to the lineup this week, per Pro Football Talk (via Albert Breer of NFL Network), has the buzz picking up around the fantasy juggernaut. Before the price gets out of hand, make a deal that cannot be refused.
If you have a player on your roster still living off the glory of a huge game earlier in the season—look to big names like Dallas running back DeMarco Murray—send a trade that looks one-sided on paper and take the educated risk.
Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots
While the Patriots’ stock is low, fantasy owners should also make a deal for running back Stevan Ridley. With a knee injury keeping him out last week and a time share in New England’s backfield, this should be a trade you can pull off for almost any player that has scored a touchdown this season.
Ridley has too much talent to struggle for much longer. Add in the improvements the offense will make with Gronkowski reportedly coming back to the lineup, and the third-year RB will have the opportunity to win the starting job back once again.
The pass offense will continue to take shape over the coming weeks, and that will open up the running attack. Not only should you buy low on Ridley, but fantasy owners should also be picking up Shane Vereen on waivers and stashing him on the bench.
Whether it’s Vereen (currently on IR) or Ridley getting the bulk of the carries through the fantasy playoffs, you will have them sitting on the bench when one returns to elite form. Buying low is all about long-term reward, and Ridley has plenty of upside.