Buy Low, Sell High, or Hold Steady: Week 11

By Justin Myers

Welcome back to DFW’s own Buy Low, Sell High, Hold Steady article.  Each and every week we cover a number of players who fall into each category based on current values, performance, and player trends.  Player values are of the utmost importance to the fantasy football community.  Striking on a player when his value is low or high makes all of the difference in the world.  These concepts are especially true in dynasty leagues where player values stretch out over a much longer period of time.  So while we’ll focus on some immediate news and production remember that in dynasty we can’t overreact.  One game (or even a few games) a career does not make, but it does definitely give us an idea of what to expect. Now on to the fun stuff:

 

Buy Low

QB - Phillip Rivers

I’m not buying him to be my starter, but it’s strictly a calculated play to get him as my backup with the hope that he “could” eventually get back to his old form if D.Alexander can stay healthy which is very unlikely or if they sign a big time FA in the off-season which is what he’s missing.  I truly treat this game like the stock market.  I want to buy players like Rivers at their floor and hopefully my calculated predictions are correct that they’ll start playing a bit better and then it’s time to sell.  The cost vs risk isn’t much, so why not try this with certain players who’ve shown what they can do at their ceiling.

WR – Antonio Brown and E. Sanders
If I were a betting man I would put my money on Wallace leaving Pittsburgh after this season.  I’m sure they would love to keep him, but he’s going to be seeking a monster payday which as of right now they can’t afford.  If they can’t resign him then there is little to no chance they sign a big time FA which would leave Sanders as the new starter across from Brown.  Sanders has been pretty solid with limited snaps this season.  His targets per game are 8, 4, 4, 7, 6, 2, 5, 2 and 7 which isn’t bad for a #3 WR, can’t wait to see him as an every down WR next season.  Then there is Antonio Brown who is currently hurt which is usually already a good time to buy, add in that the perception of him is that he’s struggled this year.  Throw in Ben’s rib/shoulder injuries and that makes for a pretty good buy low.  He’s received at least 8 targets in every game except for week 8 and then week 9 where he was injured.  Four out of those games he’s had 10-11 targets, so as long as Ben is the QB he’ll be just fine. 

WR – D. Moore
I don’t think people realize how good Moore has been this year, he’s currently 18th with 15 ppg which is a mid-level WR2.  He’s also been in double digits every game this season with the exception of week 2 where he finished with 9.7, pretty consistent.  It also helps that Palmer loves him and is playing well at QB.  He won’t always be a buy depending on the owner, but it’s definitely worth trying to buy at a WR3 price tag.

TE – Kyle Rudolph
Kyle was the 5th ranked TE after 6 weeks, but then he hit a major speed bump when his driver Ponder veered off track.  Over the next 3 weeks he had a total of 8 targets and 2 catches for 17 yards with no TDs.  Last week he had 9 targets, 7 catches for 64 yards with a TD rewarding those that stuck with him.  The reason I’m buying is that this guy has all the tools to be a beast in the mold of Gronk, he just needs the targets.  Some owners will be looking to unload him after the solid game thinking they are selling high, those three stinkers could be hard to forget for some owners.  If they’re looking to sell then I’m looking to buy, plus he’s on bye this week so that “could” discount his price tag a little as well.

Sell High

QB – Carson Palmer

He’s playing pretty well this year as the number nine ranked QB in leagues rewarding 4 points per passing TD.  Although I see him as more of a sell, I can also see him as a buy depending on the scenario.  Owners that aren’t relying on him as a starter should be selling and the owners that are contending even with the likes of Eli, Vick, Romo, etc. should be looking to buy if the price is right to help with a playoff push. 

RB – LeSean McCoy
A lot of people won’t like this pick, but I want to get you thinking about next year and beyond while keeping your eyes open for the ultimate sell high opportunity.

Over the years we’ve been spoiled with Philly RBs like Westbrook and McCoy, but I’m concerned about McCoy’s future production after Reid and Vick are gone.  There are to many questions to expect that he would suddenly return to his 2011 form.

  • Both he and Westbrook are and were great don’t get me wrong, but how do we know the system didn’t make these two RBs what they are or were?  I’m sure they would’ve been solid regardless, but I think this exact system fit their games perfectly.  The pass-first approach of Reid offenses allow for a ridiculous amount of receptions which they both racked up every year.  When Gore had Norv Turner as his OC a few years back he caught 4-6 balls per game.  He was a gem in PPR, after Norv left his catches tailed off immediately.  I’m just trying to point out that the coaches and scheme have a lot to do with the success of pass-catching RBs.
  • How do we know defenses won’t just stack the box vs the Eagles trying to force turnovers and mistakes by Foles and stuffing the run in the process?
  • How do we know how long it will take to find a productive QB assuming Foles isn’t the answer?
  • The line is pretty bad this year, how do we know how long it will take to get that fixed?

A lot of folks assume that things can only get better for McCoy after the departure of Vick and Reid, but I’ll caution you to be careful of what you wish for.  And if you get the right monster offer you should at least consider it and remember that there are a lot of questions surrounding the Eagles moving forward.  I expect to see a lot of responses on this one so bring it.

TE – Gonzo
He’s been absolutely amazing this season, he’s the #1 TE right now.  If you are a top 3 favorite for a Championship I’d hold, if not you need to be realistic and decide if you think you really have a good shot at contending.  If not then you need to consider selling him ASAP as this is the highest his stock will ever be again after his 11 catch, 122 yard and 2 TD performance vs the Saints who are the worst defense in the NFL right now.  He is more than likely done after this season which would leave you high and dry with nothing in return.  But, I’ve seen him moved for V.Davis and also Witten straight up recently and that was before this last game.  I’m the ultimate gambler, but even with Vernon struggling you have to consider a move like that if you aren’t a true contender.  It’s just the smart play and it’s also a move I recently made in one of my leagues trading Gonzo for Vernon. 

TE – Greg Olsen
Everyone falls in love with the monster games, Olsen had one of those monster outings in week 10 with 9 catches for 102 yards and 2 TDs.  The truth is that those were garbage time stats after the game was already out of hand.  Plus, Denver is absolutely horrible vs the TE position.  That was only Olsen’s 4th game of the year in double digits, on top of that this game also skewed his YTD numbers.  Before that game he was 14th amongst TEs with 9.94 ppg, and now he is the 7th ranked TE averaging 12.3 ppg.  Is this an illusion or a sign of things to come?  He’s on my sell list so you already know my answer.

Hold Steady

QB – Eli Manning
A lot of folks including myself are nervous about the 2-time Super Bowl QB.  He started off well with 20+ ppg between weeks 2 and 5.  Weeks 6 and 7 he scored in the teens, and the last three weeks he’s scored in single digits.  Not the kind of trending you want to see from the highest scoring position in fantasy football.  Eli had a really consistent year in ’11, but folks quickly forgot that he has a tendency to be streaky at times.  Eli is too good to think this will continue and he has too many weapons with Nicks, Cruz and Martellus.  He’ll bust out of this slump soon enough.  Just remember this is the absolute worst time to sell right now as his stock is in the toilet.  At the same time a lot of owners are so focused on trying to make the playoffs that they aren’t even trying to capitalize on a great buy low opportunity with Eli.

RB – Darren Sproles

A lot of folks are reading the recent news that Sproles has been practicing.  You’ve waited for him to get healthy, so this one is simple as you don’t want to sell since you’re just now getting him back.  But, in a few weeks after he’s proved he’s healthy and productive I would be selling as he’s getting up there in age.  I’m sure he has a year or two left but I always prefer selling a year to early rather than a year to late.  After a good week or two from Sproles his value should be back to where it was pre-injury, I’d maximize his trade value and move him laterally for a younger RB with similar production.