J.J. McDermott, NFL Columnist at Fantasy Football Maniaxs
Each year there are players who put out reliable stats on a weekly basis on game day. Unfortunately, there are players whose performances one week are the highlight of their year and then are silenced in other weeks.
The goal is to realize who these players may be and sell them while their value is high. Here are some players who performed at a high level after week one but may not continue to perform at that higher level all year round.
Trade them now, while their value is high:
Donovan McNabb – McNabb made the Rams’ defense look like a high-school team on Sunday. McNabb won’t have that kind of success this week against the Cowboys though; missing his top two wideouts. The big question surrounding McNabb is how long can he stay healthy for?
Drew Brees – After losing star receiver and go to guy, Marques Colston, Brees is faced with a difficult task of replacing such a player. The remaining receivers play will be a large factor in if Brees and the Saint’s passing game will still put up decent yardage. Brees will, without a doubt, miss his large red-zone target in Colston for the next four to six weeks.
Michael Turner – Don’t get me wrong, Turner is a phenomenal runner that should put together a decent season, but many other running backs will make the Lion’s run defense look bad this year.
Matt Forte – He ran all over the Colt’s defense on Sunday, running for 123 yards and a touchdown in the Bear’s opening win. Forte was a beast in college and many people questioned the second-round pick used on him was too high.
But this is still the Bear’s offense we are talking about here; they lack quality receivers and steady quarterback play. If Forte faces a team that stacks the box to force the Bear’s to throw, Forte will become non-existent in the game.
Randy Moss – Yes, I went there. Moss plays a huge part in the Patriot’s offense but without Tom Brady, will he still step it up or give up like his play in Oakland? Matt Cassel played well in relief against a weak team, let’s see how well he produces in the coming weeks and see if Moss will continue to be as big a threat in the passing game.
One thing is to be certain, do not expect the same stats as last year from Moss.
Lee Evans – Last year, his play was on and off, driving fantasy owners everywhere nuts. There is hope that Evans may stay consistent this year after posting a 102 yard effort to begin the season as well as the drafting of receiver James Hardy to take pressure off Evans.
Unfortunately, Hardy was not a factor in the Bills' Week One win over the Seahawks. Unless Hardy or another Bills receiver steps up, Evans production may suffer from inconsistency once again.
After realizing who the inconsistent players are in the league, you look for the players that put up numbers for you each week. If the trade-price to grab them is low, you snatch these players up while you have the chance.
If the price is right, grab them:
Aaron Rodgers – Connecting 18 of 22 passes for a touchdown and adding a running score, Rodgers certainly looked sharp to begin the season. There are some questions about his ability to stay healthy, but you have to love the level-headed, hard-working player that he is.
Jay Cutler – Cutler picked apart the Raiders' solid secondary in a romping over the Raiders on Monday Night Football. Even without his favorite target and No. 1 receiver, Brandon Marshall, Cutler threw for 299 yards and two scores. Cutler’s numbers should only better with Marshall back in the lineup for the start of Week Two.
Reggie Bush – He put up great numbers, totaling 163 yards rushing and receiving in Week One. With Marques Colston out four to six weeks with surgery on his thumb, Bush’s touches will increase.
Chris Johnson – You don’t draft a running back in the first round and not plan to use him. The Titans ground game sure looked good with the addition of Johnson against Jacksonville, putting up 127 total yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut.
With Vince Young’s injury and current controversy for his commitment to his team, the Titans will continue to rely on their ground game.
Earnest Graham – In many fantasy drafts, Graham’s stock fell for fear that free agent Warrick Dunn may steal carries. Dunn is the least of Graham’s worries, as he put up 91 yards on just 10 carries and added 27 yards receiving in Week One.
The best part of Graham’s performance was coach Jon Gruden telling the media afterwards that he needs increase Graham’s workload.
Jerricho Cotchery – Brett Favre’s new favorite target certainly looked the part against the Dolphins, going for 80 yards and a score. Not every team will be a cakewalk for the Jet’s offense, but Cotchery will be Favre’s go-to target throughout the season.
Calvin Johnson – It is no secret anymore but Johnson will be give a breakout performance this year. Limited last year with an ailing back injury, Johnson only played to half his potential. He started off the year with a seven-catch, 107-yard game. The Lions' run-first offense will open opportunities for Johnson in the passing game.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks to see whose stock rises or falls and whom you should pick up in your league!