By Jeff Melbostad
Welcome to DFW’s own Buy Low, Sell High, Hold Steady article. Each and every week we’ll 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. And 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. Let’s begin:
Coby Fleener, TE IND – It’s the first week of this young rookie’s season and he’s already getting good looks from his old buddy Luck. He was targeted 10 times and racked up 6 catches for 82 yards. Ten targets puts him on par with Jimmy Graham and Andre Johnson in week 1. Granted, I am as high on Fleener as anyone (ranking him #7 in my TE rankings) but I only see him getting better and the price going up. The kid is a natural pass catcher and his athletic ability is right there with the top guys at his position. This was an encouraging first step from a potential start at the position.
Randall Cobb, WR GBP – Cobb’s performance on Sunday was a sign of things to come. He too was highly targeted with 9 total in the first week. He was used all over the field, even coming out of the backfield on several occasions. When Jennings leaves he’ll be a great weapon in a deadly offense. Now is the time to buy before his value gets too high. Cobb’s targets may decrease or level off with all of the weapons in that offense but they want to get him involved and he’s as dynamic a playmaker as there is. Snatch him up if you can.
Kenny Britt, WR TEN – While it could already be too late, now is your last chance to buy Britt while he’s still relatively cheap. There are definitely owners still worried about his history of injuries and idiocy. Once he starts scoring like a top 10 WR those owners will forget all about those concerns making him unattainable. Britt has shown us he can put up big numbers and the Titans need playmakers in that passing offense.
Donald Jones, WR BUF – A guy who is likely available on your leagues waiver wire is the ultimate buy low. With David Nelson out for the year Jones steps into the WR2 role for the Bills this season. He performed nicely in week 1 catching 5 balls for 41 yards and a touchdown. If he’s rostered in your league he may yet be relatively cheap because of the lack of name recognition both he and David Nelson have. Grab him for peanuts and profit.
Kevin Smith, RB DET – Get while the getting is good. Smith has looked solid every step of the way and is really the only viable RB on the roster (at least in the early goings of this season). The thing is he’s been in and out of the starting lineup and the NFL for a few years now. He’s a mediocre back who fills the role nicely when no other, more talented, bodies are around. His value is likely as high as it will get right now and if you’re thinking of selling then now is the time. Once LeShoure and Best return all bets are off.
Michael Bush, RB CHI – We all know that TDs are an unpredictable commodity. Pass interference penalties called on WR Brandon Marshall were just as responsible for those touchdowns as Bush himself. Don’t forget that Matt Forte is the starter and the better player to boot. With Forte and the other playmakers the Bears now have in that offense there isn’t room for Bush to repeat these types of performances. Twelve carries seems like a lot but remember a number of those came in garbage time while the team had the game well in hand. Sell to the Forte owner while he has some concern about Bush’s involvement in week 1 because I’m not optimistic of this type of game happening again for him.
Alfred Morris, RB WAS – Everyone knows that there is no telling what Shanahan will decide next. But everyone still jumps on the bandwagon of each running back he decides to start. Let’s face it the guys flat out produce in his system. Still, my advice is to get out while you can. He may carry value all year but I wouldn’t count on it. All it takes is one small thing to change Shanahan’s mind and he’s back on the pine for both the Redskins and your fantasy team. If you can get a decent price then you need to sell. I saw him go for a future 1st rounder in one of my leagues and if that’s at all indicative of his value then he’s a “sell high” in every sense of the term.
Kevin Ogletree, WR DAL – Ogletree opened eyes and blind bidding wallets alike this week. If you were lucky enough to already have him rostered or acquire him via waivers I’d definitely be looking to sell. Laurent Robinson paved the way for WR3 hype in Dallas and Ogletree has many drooling over the prospect that he’ll do the same. I just don’t see it with as many weapons as Tony Romo has to throw to. Is it a total aberration? Probably not. But I don’t see him putting up consistent stats all season. Now is the time to trade him to someone who does.
Hold Steady (a.k.a. don’t panic after week 1!)
Mike Vick, QB PHI – Vick had a bad game there’s no doubt about it. Any time a QB throws 4 interceptions fantasy owners will take notice. Yet despite that fact he was still able to put up a very nice fantasy score in most leagues. If he can do that when he looks his worst then I’m not sure there’s a lot to worry about in terms of production. Vick does take a LOT of hits (he took another 11 QB hits on Sunday) so there is an injury concern. Still, no need to panic over the injuries or interceptions. Neither of those should happen on a predictable basis. Roll with the man. He’s talented.
Trent Richardson, RB CLE – 19 carries for 39 yards is a pretty dismal stat line. There’s no question TRich struggled in week one. But don’t panic. The guy is as talented as they come. And the Browns will not hesitate to give him plenty of carries. The yardage and touchdowns will come with that. I know few dynasty players will be phased by one week but redrafters might. Even then I’d warn against jumping to conclusions after week one. It’s true the Browns will struggle this year but they’ll lean on Richardson more than anyone else on the team.
Brandon Weeden, QB CLE – If you thought Vick was bad then Weeden was absolutely abysmal. A 5.1 QB rating is about as bad as it gets. I’ve never seen worse to be honest. But you still need not jump ship. The guy is a rookie QB and games like this (well maybe not games as bad as this) will happen. He doesn’t exactly have world beaters to throw to so take your time judging Weeden. He looked relatively good in preseason and should rebound some. If you’re in a redraft league it may be time to cut bait though.
Greg Little, WR CLE – Are you starting to see a pattern here? The Browns were absolutely abysmal in week 1. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have some young, talented players on their team. Little fits that bill and his stats will come with the overall improvement of this offense. Selling now would be a big mistake. Do yourself a favor and let him ride the pine while this team acquires its identity. Down the road you’ll thank yourself for it.
So there you have it. These are just a few guys that, in my opinion, you should be looking at this week and deciding what to do with them. Whether you have them on your roster or are thinking about acquiring someone the buy low and sell high philosophy is a powerful one. And one you should always look to take advantage of.
Obviously the final decision on these players (and others) is up to you. If you have thoughts on these guys or opinions that differ I’d love to hear them. Hit us up in the DFW forums or post a comment and I’ll respond in kind. Differing opinions is what makes fantasy football fun after all.