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. On to the good stuff:
Danny Amendola, WR STL – Injury is never a good thing for fantasy owners right? Wrong. Sometimes injuries provide us with an opportunity to land a player at a discounted rate. We just have to be willing and able to be patient waiting for that player to return. Such is the case with Amendola. Danny put up a respectable 31 catches for 351 yards and 2 touchdowns in 4 weeks before getting hurt. He was also tied for 4th among WRs in that same timeframe with a monstrous 43 targets. That’s the type of production that can lead a nice playoff run when Amendola returns from injury in 5 or 6 weeks. It’s also the type of player that can sustain a dynasty team for many years going forward. Our very own Quinn Miller crowns Amendola as “the next Wes Welker” (something I disagree with if only out of hatred for Quinn), but even if he’s wrong getting “not the next Wes Welker” at the currently discounted rate is a winning idea. Buy low and sell high and you’ll be a happy fantasy owner. 
Pierre Garcon, WR WAS – Dinged and not performing Garcon has only been a part of three games so far this season. Still, he’s a talented young WR and he’s got a fantastic young QB throwing to him. The recipe for success is there. Because of his lack of production (a 8/153/1 stat-line) and his lack of name recognition among starting WRs in the league he should be fairly affordable right now. Reach out and test the waters. If he can get healthy he can be a reliable target for RG3 and if they develop chemistry the two young guys could be unstoppable. So far he looks like a WR3 at best to fantasy footballers but I think he has the upside to be a high-end WR2 assuming he and RG3 are firing on all cylinders. No sense in buying when that happens so nab him now while the upside is still in place.
Hakeem Nicks, WR NYG – A player rarely falls from elite status in the eyes of his owners. Even if the fall is real owners are generally the last to admit it. The amount of frustration Nicks owners are showing right now has me a bit shocked. Sure he’s dinged with what apparently is the never-ending injury. He also has a propensity to get banged up for a few games every year. But there should be no doubt that he IS indeed an elite WR. Once he heals up and returns to the field his production and price will skyrocket back to top-flight levels. Buy now and wait for that to happen. Then remind the current Nicks owner and mock him mercilessly.
Jerome Simpson, WR MIN – Simpson has shown us little to nothing so far. Sure he was suspended and now is dealing with a back issue but the Vikings are going to have to go deep as the season progresses. They need to offset defenses focusing on Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin in the running and short passing game. Simpson provides the skill and talent to do so. They’ve tried to get him involved some but it’s resulted in more pass interference penalties than big plays. Not good for fantasy owners. Still, that won’t be the case forever. Simpson can likely be had for peanuts right now. Maybe he’s even on a few waiver wires. He’s a great guy to grab and hold because I think he’ll be a playmaker for that offense. Just be aware of his recent back issues as that may hold him back and keep him playing limited snaps in the short term.
Bonus Buy – Nick Foles, QB PHI – Mike Vick can’t hold onto the ball. Plain and simple. In week 5 he had FOUR fumbles and two of them were lost to the opponent. On the year Vick has 5 lost fumbles and 6 interceptions for 11 total giveaways. That’s more than New England, Houston, and Pittsburgh’s entire teams COMBINED! He’s been putting up points but his turnovers hurt the team just as much as his legs and playmaking ability helps it. Add to this the fact that Vick is bound to get hurt again at some point with all of the shots he takes and I think we see Foles at some point this year. Foles looked fantastic when he played in preseason and I think he’ll fill in admirably for Vick. He’s likely the long-term solution at QB for the Eagles so buy now while he’s cheap or free. Stash him until he gets his shot.
 I just wanted to include a footnote here in mocking tribute to fellow DFW writer Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman who seems obsessed with footnotes for some reason or another.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB NYG – Wow Bradshaw had one BIG game this week. Rushing 30 times and catching 4 balls for 229 total yards and a touchdown will vault you to the top of many an owners “acquire him” list. Still, let’s not forget that Bradshaw has plenty of competition. Andre Brown stepped in and proved plenty capable when Bradshaw was out with injury. David Wilson is a young stud in waiting who happened to break a 40 yard touchdown himself in week 5. Now that he’s out of the doghouse the team has already said they want to get Wilson more involved going forward. Let’s also not forget that Bradshaw’s history is plagued with injuries and missing periods of time. If that happens I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wilson take the role and make it very difficult for the team to give it back. Sell now while his value is high.
James Jones, WR GBP – Jones has had a great last couple of games but that can be largely attributed to the fact that Jennings has been missing time. Jones can and will get lost in this offense at times. As a result, he wont’ be consistent enough to be a reliable fantasy starter. Now that Finley is injured more targets will open up so he may actually be a hold in redraft. But in dynasty leagues now is the time to move Mr. Jones for a decent package. Jennings and Finley will both be back at some point. Plus Jordy and Cobb are no slouches. If anyone is the odd man out in terms of talent among those 5 players I think it has to be Jones. Make it happen.
Tony Gonzalez, TE ATL – Unless your team is in absolute win-now mode you move this guy in every dynasty league you can. This could be his last year. I know we’ve been saying that for some time now but he could retire at any time. That leaves you with nothing but memories on your roster. He’s having a ridiculously good season thus far so the interest should be there from teams looking to win this season. Gonzo is leading the TE position by a significant margin and looks to be as unstoppable as the Atlanta offense itself. To be clear, if you’re in a redraft league you DO NOT move Gonzo. But in a dynasty league you do RIGHT NOW unless you think you can win the title.
Alfred Morris, RB WAS – I’ve been down on Alfred from the moment it was announced he’d start for the Redskins in week 1. He’s a rookie that came out of nowhere and got the starting RB job for Mike Shanahan. Shanahanigans is a very real and very scary thing for fantasy owners. Most, if not all, of us have been exposed to it in one form or another. That said Alfred is starting to make a believer out of me. He’s averaging nearly 100 yards per and 1 TD per game which is nothing to sneeze at for even the best of fantasy RBs. Recently Shanahan has stated that he believes the rook has a “big-time future”. I’m not ready to go after him and if he would’ve been on any of my teams I’d have likely sold him by now. But if you still have him on your roster he’s definitely developed into a strong hold. Enjoy the combination of production and youth right now. If Shanahanigans strike then so be it but this guy is starting to look legit enough that I’m no longer sure it will. And yes my stance on Alfred is starting to flip flop a little. Nothing wrong with course correcting when you realize you may have been off on a player’s value. Don’t ever be afraid to do so yourself.
Demarco Murray, RB DAL – Murray is really struggling for yardage right now. After rushing for 131 yards on opening weekend he has gained just 44, 38, and 24 rushing yards in consecutive weeks since. Murray was never a favorite of mine but you still need to hold right now because of his struggles. He can, and likely will, turn it around at least to an extent. He’s a starting running back in the NFL and one that has no lack for talent. His injury history adds more concern for potential buyers and it all adds up to a very low price for sellers. If you aren’t sold on him (as I am not) then wait for him to have some good games before moving. Patience is important in dynasty leagues so wait for the turnaround and then either move him or ride the production from a guy that should be a RB2 in fantasy leagues.
Justin Blackmon, WR JAX – The rook is struggling mightily. Only 13 catches and 139 yards through five games is definitely not what many had in mind drafting him in either rookie or redraft drafts. Still, his struggles are mostly due to situation. Blaine Gabbert flat out sucks and Jacksonville isn’t exactly a model franchise. The good news is that situations change fast in the NFL. The bad news is that it’ll likely require a good deal of patience before he starts producing. I still think Blackmon can be a target hog in this offense. If Gabbert throws the ball at him 10 times a game then he suddenly becomes at least a WR3. But it may take a change at QB for this guy to really reach his true potential. Regardless now is not the time to sell this kid. Even though you were expecting way more don’t let your emotions get the best of you.
Rob Gronkowski, TE NEP – Drafting a TE along with, and ahead of, the most elite fantasy players (not just TEs) in the league is a dangerous prospect. When that TE isn’t performing like those elite players it becomes downright frightening. Gronk’s numbers so far, while solid for a TE, aren’t what owners necessarily had in mind. Plus he’s got a supposedly nagging hip injury right now. Regardless he’s a top 3 at his position and you don’t move guys like that unless you get a kings ransom. Many will be trying to buy him hoping you feel down on the Gronk for his up and down performance so far. Don’t let them. Laugh in their faces instead and profit when he starts producing the ridiculous touchdown totals he’s capable of.
Hold for Quinn – Calvin Johnson, WR DET – Unless your name is Quinn Miller you can likely stop reading right now because this one is as obvious as it gets. If your name is Quinn then keep reading. Calvin is the best fantasy player in the league bar none. The guy is the epitome of a WR1 and has the size, talent, and production combo to be among the best ever to play the game. After one “bad” game and a lack of touchdown production through 4 weeks you DO NOT under ANY circumstances move the best player in the game. Thanks for reading Quinn.
 “Hold for Quinn” is my new term for “Hold for Dummies”. Quinn isn’t the brightest bulb on the tree so I think it fits.
Another week is in the books. 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.