Fantasy Football Week 7: Buy and Sell Stock Report
It was hat-trick weekend as three-touchdown games seemed to be the Week 6 fad in the NFL. From Denver running back Knowshon Moreno to St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford, several players scored a triumvirate of touchdowns.
It's not wise to count on big scoring like that—at least outside of the quarterback position—but are some of these mirages? Here is this week's fantasy stock report.
This article is intended to reflect a "stock market" situation, where you will want to buy a player in a trade at a perceived bargain or sell him for a nice return.
Buy: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
Yes, Tom Brady was a buy-low last week, but he continues to be a good bargain as he awaits the return of tight end Rob Gronkowski.
We all thought he was going to play in Week 6. That proved to be wishful thinking, but his chances could be better for Week 7. In fact, Gronkowski's mom told Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald that her son is "dying to play."
His return will be a boon for Brady, who sorely misses his big, athletic target. When he's back, Brady's production should spike. Buy low while you can.
Sell: Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Last week's big game was not unexpected from Andy Dalton. The Bills, after all, don't have a great defense (ranked 22nd against the pass). A.J. Green got things going too, totaling 103 yards along with a touchdown.
But the Bills make things easy for opposing quarterbacks.
Dalton's schedule toughens up going forward, with the Lions, Jets, Dolphins, Ravens and Browns, in that order. It could be a while until Dalton puts up another 337-yard, three-touchdown game.
Buy: Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans
Yes, this column advised you to sell high last week. That was partly due to the fact that Johnson was going to have a tough matchup against the Seahawks on the road in Week 6.
After crashing back to earth, Johnson can be had on the cheap again. And his upcoming schedule should have you looking to buy.
The 49ers are on tap this week, but they have given up the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Johnson follows that up with games against the Rams (second-most) and Jaguars (fifth).
He then gets the Colts (25th) twice—sandwiched around the Raiders (17th)—followed by the underwhelming Broncos (15th) defense.
His Week 15 matchup against the Cardinals (29th) will be tough in the fantasy playoffs, but fantasy championship week sees him face the Jaguars again.
He might not be a bona fide No. 1 fantasy running back, but he could provide solid production for you during the second half of the season.
Sell: Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
As it turns out, the Denver Broncos have some issues on defense.
How else can you explain the way they were torched by Tony Romo in Week 5 only to follow that up by letting the Jaguars hang around in what was expected to be a blowout?
Running back Maurice Jones-Drew had a relatively strong fantasy day on the road on his way to his best output of the season. It does mark the second consecutive game of 70-plus yards, but how much do you trust him for the rest of the season?
After all, he is averaging an abysmal 2.9 yards per carry, and the Jaguars offense is still the Jaguars offense. Sell high while you can.
Buy: Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Both offenses were held in check until the fourth quarter, and Smith couldn't cash in on the frantic comeback attempt by the Ravens.
Until Week 6, Smith was in the top five in receiving. It was a lack of touchdowns that was weighing his fantasy stock down. Now he has a fantasy dud under his belt.
Smith will be just fine. He's the clear No. 1 receiver on the Ravens, and he should start to find the end zone. The time to strike a deal is now.
Sell: Joseph Fauria, TE, Detroit Lions
Chances are you didn't have Joseph Fauria on your roster. It is even less likely that you had him in your lineup.
If you did, congratulations. You should apply to work at a psychic hotline or buy a lottery ticket. You should also shop Joseph Fauria around immediately, perhaps to a desperate Rob Gronkowski owner.
He had three catches that all went for touchdowns. That is an anomaly.
Buy: Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
This week's subpar fantasy performance from Le'Veon Bell was not unexpected (16 rushes for 34 yards and three receptions for 22 yards). The Jets, after all, boast the league's second-best rush defense.
That great rookie debut in London seems like months ago at this point. But Bell will rebound soon enough. Any run defense will seem lighter than the Jets, and Bell is still the lead back in that offense.
Sell: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos
The last time this column advised you to sell on Knowshon Moreno, he had just come off a seemingly improbable two-touchdown game against the Giants. Mea culpa.
Moreno continues to get the bulk of the carries.
But this time you should sell high because his value has never been higher. He is going to continue to reap the benefits of playing in that offense, but it's hard to imagine him scoring three touchdowns in a game again this year.
If someone is looking for running back help, you might be able to exact a pound of proverbial flesh in return for Moreno at this point.
Buy: Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants
One week is an aberration. Two makes a trend. At least that's what you're going to want to tell your trade partner when you make him or her an offer for Victor Cruz.
The dynamic Giants receiver has had two subpar fantasy weeks in a row, submarining fantasy teams across the globe. Those two duds came on the heels of a 164-yard, one-touchdown performance, but this is a "what have you done for me lately?" league.
Cruz hasn't done much in the past two weeks. Prey on his owners' desperation.
Sell: Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants
Before last Thursday night, it seemed more likely you would see a unicorn prance on screen than Brandon Jacobs running through the Bears defense like a hot knife through butter.
Perhaps he was possessed by the 2008 version of Brandon Jacobs last week.
Whatever the case may be, do you expect this to happen again (22 rushes for 106 yards and two touchdowns)? Moses could have led his people home through the holes the offensive line was opening up against that Bears defense Thursday night.
Prior to last week, Jacobs was averaging just 2.2 yards per carry. His great performance brought him up to a below-average 3.5.