Fantasy Football Week 2: Buy-Low, Sell-High Options You Can't Afford to Overlook

John ZaktanskyCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2011

Cedric Benson had a banner day in Week 1 with more than 100 yards rushing and a TD, but don't be fooled. Sell high now before he regresses to his sub-4.0 yards per carry norm.
Cedric Benson had a banner day in Week 1 with more than 100 yards rushing and a TD, but don't be fooled. Sell high now before he regresses to his sub-4.0 yards per carry norm.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Tradeaholics, unite!

You know who you are. Those who eat, sleep and breathe fantasy football trading. Those who get excited about Week 1 of the NFL season not as a chance to see their teams in action, but more to start gauging the best potential trade values and stock watches...whom to trade high and whom to buy low.

While most people aren’t going to bail on their players after just one week of action (especially their disappointing studs) you might be surprised at how fickle some owners can be when they start the season 0-1. Patience goes out the window.

Here are a few very early "buy low, sell high" candidates after Week 1 action.

Buy Low

Vincent Jackson, SD. Again, not too many guys will be bailing on VJax this easily, but he did turn in a real stinker of a Week 1 performance: A measly two catches for 31 yards. He still has a pass-happy Philip Rivers at the helm and will rebound sooner rather than later.

Larry Fitzgerald, ARI. Same type of situation as Vincent Jackson. Doubt you’ll get the other owner to budge, but it is worth a try after a three-catch, 62-yard game against Carolina, a team that isn’t exactly a defensive juggernaut.

Owen Daniels, HOU. Only one catch and one target in the game are both scary considerations. However, the Week 1 contest with Indianapolis was well in hand out of the gates. Daniels is a trusted weapon for Matt Schaub, and his numbers will improve as the season progresses.

Matt Ryan, ATL. There were majorly high expectations for Matty Ice this season after the addition of Julio Jones added yet another big-time weapon. And there still should be high expectations.

Sure the Week 1 stat line was glaringly devoid of a TD, but TDs can be streaky at times. He still managed more than 300 yards against a Bears defense that can be tricky to circumvent at times.

Chris Johnson, TEN. Nine carries for 24 yards would be disappointing for a running back from the middle rounds of your draft…not to mention from a legit first-round talent. Johnson’s six catches helped in PPR leagues, but some owners may be extremely panicked about Johnson’s slow start.

Remember that he missed the entire preseason due to contract issues, so it may take a little bit to be up to speed.

The matchup with Baltimore this week doesn’t make things easier, and Johnson may be available at a decent price by this time next week if he isn’t already.

Shonn Greene, NYJ. Just 10 carries for 24 yards is enough to make anyone worried, especially for a back who has yet to officially carry the full load himself over the course of a season.

However, Rex Ryan has already admitted that he hated the run-to-pass ratio from Sunday evening and will rectify that this week. A matchup with the Jaguars will help.

Sam Bradford, STL. Struggles against the Eagles may have scared some away from Bradford, and others may be leery of the finger injury he currently has. However, remember that his slow start came against the talented “dream team” corners of Philly.

And his finger injury is day-to-day, something that shouldn’t affect his availability for Monday night’s contest against a Giants squad that has been hit excessively hard by the injury bug.

Brandon Gibson, STL. Much of the issues Bradford faced were similar for Gibson, who had to square off against a wicked-good Philly secondary. However, the Giants lost too much talent to be able to stop the pass as well as the Eagles did last week.

The extra boon for Gibson was the injury to Danny Amendola, meaning that Gibson should see a significant uptick in targets moving forward. He will have a breakout Week 2.


Sell High

Cedric Benson, CIN. The 121 yards rushing and a TD on 25 carries was a welcome breath of fresh air to start the season for those who gambled on Benson this season. And his Week 2 matchup against Denver is pretty tantalizing, too.

However, remember that this is the guy who consistently struggles to average more than 3.8 yards per carry. There is no doubt he has lost a step overall. So the 4.8 yards per carry in Week 1 is more a mirage than a sign of things to come.

Wes Welker, NE. This isn’t a knock on Welker for this season. He is in a contract year and will do well, especially in PPR formats. However, no one should expect a repeat of the 160 yards and two TDs he accumulated against the Dolphins Monday night.

A major chunk of those stats came on a historic 99-yard TD run, something that isn’t going to happen every week.

If you can deal Welker, try to get one of the elite receivers who was slow out of the gate, such as Vincent Jackson or a TD-less Larry Fitzgerald.

Ryan Grant, GB. He didn’t even finish with the best running back numbers on his own team, so seeing him on this list may seem weird. However, there are still a number of people that look at Grant as the Green Bay starter at tailback. The reality moving forward is that Grant will be in a timeshare at best.

Cam Newton, CAR. You have to love the 400-plus yards Newton turned in vs. the Cardinals this past weekend. The TDs were sweet, too. It was a historic day for the rookie signal caller.

And I like him this season. I suggested picking him up as an emergency start last week knowing his unique style of play could lead to some savory stats against a mediocre-at-best defense.

However, there are a lot of people who suddenly expect Newton to continue this wild hot streak every week will be in for a rude awakening...likely as early as this week against the Packers.

And, I’ve actually heard in some leagues where people are offering Matt Ryan straight up for Newton. If you can get deals like that, definitely move Newton now knowing he will be an inconsistent commodity this year.

Mike Tolbert, SD. While it may seem sacrilegious for me to be putting one of my major “sleeper” candidates on the sell-high list, I also doubt anyone would have expected Tolbert to produce like he did in Week 1.

The 35 yards rushing and a TD isn’t so surprising. The 9 catches for 58 yards and two more scores was. Tolbert, who played a decent amount in 2010, managed just 25 receptions the entire year. Starting out with nine tells me to expect a natural decline in passing numbers, even though I see his rushing opportunities increasing.

Remember, too, that Antonio Gates is Philip Rivers’ go-to red zone threat. While Tolbert may chip into that some, expect Gates to continue getting the lion's share of passing TDs moving forward.

If you can move Tolbert for an elite back, such as Chris Johnson or Rashard Mendenhall, who will get more consistent carries, than go for it. I would see what options the Ryan Mathews owner in your league has available.

Ben Tate, HOU. The 116 yards and a TD from Ben Tate in Week 1 was very nice. Just remember that it came in relief of an injured Arian Foster, who could be back as early as this week, and it also came against a Colts squad that is notorious for a porous run defense.

Don’t miss some lessons learned for Week 1, our Week 2 waiver wire wonders and favorable Week 2 matchups based on fantasy points against statistics.

And … we’d love to play fantasy football with you in our extremely quick, easy, free and competitive football challenge.