By Jeff Melbostad
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. 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 do it:
Denarius Moore, WR OAK – One of the most hyped players this offseason and toward the end of last year was Denarius. No one hesitated to pile on the praise including his quarterback and coaching staff. Well the hype has swung full circle. Moore suddenly has competition with the Oakland receiver flavor of the day. One day it’s Heyward Bey, the next Rod Streater, and Criner is a big body that could steal looks at some point. So Moore’s value is as low as it’s been in a while. I haven’t really been a fan of his because of the Raiders tendency to only produce hype at the WR position. Still, he’s the most talented wideout on the team by a good bit and injuries have played a big part in his lack of production thus far. Now is the time to make a play for him.
Jamaal Charles, RB KCC – To say Charles has been mediocre so far in 2012 is an understatement. Sure he had a decent yardage total in week one but last week finished with a dismal 3 yards on 6 carries. Word is he’s still experiencing soreness in his knee and that is the most likely cause of his struggles. When healthy he’ll be the dynamic playmaker we all know and love. So buy while he’s still banged up and struggling. Because I don’t doubt he will turn it around. Once that happens you’ll need to pay top dollar for the privilege of owning him.
Greg Jennings, WR GBP – Injury concerns and speculation of Jennings leaving the Packers are in favor of a cheap buy. The Packers offense hasn’t been what we’re used to seeing thus far but they’ve played two very good defenses and without their top WR at times. There is likely some credence to the fact that he may not be on the team next year but he’ll produce numbers while he is. Get the best WR on the best NFL offense while you can, and if he leaves next year hope for a solid landing spot. I think he’s good enough to perform at a high (or even higher) level just about anywhere.
Jay Cutler, QB CHI – Yes he’s a dolt. No you don’t like him. Sure he had a dismal week 2 performance. But he’s a talented QB with more weapons than he’s ever had. His value was sky high going into week 2 and equally low coming out. Of course 4 picks and 7 sacks will do that to a guy’s value. Still, the truth lies somewhere in the middle and Cutler is a super solid QB2, possibly a QB1 in deeper leagues. I’d suggest you find a disenchanted owner buy him up while the hate is still fresh.
Cedric Benson, RB GBP – Benson looked pretty darn good in week 2. He was used extensively as the main RB throughout the game playing 70% of the snaps. He also put up a decent stat line of 116 total yards and 4 catches. Maybe someone believes he’s the answer in Green Bay. To me, he’s a replaceable talent in a passing offense. One that was almost out of the league a month or so ago. Sell while you can get some value and be happy you did.
CJ Spiller, RB BUF – This is a hard sell to make because his top notch talent is finally paying off for those that drafted and believed in him. But Spiller is being valued like a top 5-10 back right now. While he’s producing on that level right now I’m not sure he can keep up the torrid pace. He’s good. Maybe really good. But his value is more than his true worth right now and that’s the definition of a sell high.
Danny Amendola, WR STL – If this wasn’t Amendola’s career game I will be very surprised. It was an extremely encouraging performance though. 15 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown isn’t something that comes along every day. He may continue to be a target hog but if he becomes a focal point teams will stop him. The WR talent surrounding him is just not good enough to draw coverage away on a consistent basis. Also, let’s get one thing straight. Amendola is not the next Welker. No one is. Welker is a once in a generation type player. You won’t find many slot receivers (if any) that can boast his combination of skill, production, and situation.
Jermichael Finley, TE GBP – This is admittedly more of a gut call at this point but Finley has long failed to live up to expectations. The guy has all the talent in the world but a ten-cent head. He can’t seem to put it all together. He has a case of the dropsies, which doesn’t help his rapport with Aaron Rodgers. Add to that the fact that he (well his agent technically) decided to spout off about A-Rod not being a good leader and I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see his targets drop. He’s not well liked in Green Bay and is likely working his way out of town. Maybe he’ll produce just fine on another team but he’ll be hard pressed to end up in a situation this good again. I’d sell while you can still get top 5 TE value for him.
David Wilson, RB NYG – Andre Brown who? He’s the guy everyone is talking about right now. He got the carries instead of Wilson in week 2 with Bradshaw going down. It sounds as though Bradshaw will miss some time (for sure the week 3 game) so there’ll be plenty of carries to go around. Wilson is a top-notch talent who just happens to be in Coughlin’s doghouse right now. A couple big plays will turn the coach’s attitude around real quick. So don’t panic over a guy like Brown who’s been on and off teams over the past few years.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR ARI – Production and quarterback play are not working in Larry’s favor right now. He was limited to one catch in week 2, which is certainly terrible for him. The coaching staff states it was because of the Patriot’s defensive game plan and maybe that’s true. The more concerning aspect is the horrible QB situation in Arizona. But Fitz has overcome that a number of times before. He can produce regardless of circumstance and is an absolute monster on the field. Don’t forget how talented this guy is. I have no doubt he will overcome and return to his usual production again soon.
Chris Johnson, RB TEN – Johnson has been disappointing owners for a while now. His struggles date back to last year and many (including myself) are starting to get very, very worried. Since week one of 2011 the guy is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry. He just looks like he doesn’t have the same drive as he did in 2010. His offensive line does him no favors and looks as bad as any in the league. But these are the reasons why you don’t sell now. Wait until he had a couple good games and then he becomes a sell. His talent is good enough that the big games will happen at some point. At that point you sell when you can get reasonable value in return.
Fred Davis, TE WAS– Davis has just 4 catches for 52 yards on 9 targets thus far. Not the stat line believers in Fred were hoping for by any stretch. Still, RG3 is looking like the real deal. And Davis has the talent to produce as a very good TE. I’m not as high on him as some but if he can be had at a discount now and you’re a believer then you have to make a play. His upside is definitely higher than this and he’ll almost certainly produce better stats going forward.
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.