Buying or Selling- 5 Story Lines I’m Picking Up and Putting Down this Preseason



By Brian Luzier (@TheFFBoss)

The preseason is an important time for both redraft and Dynasty Fantasy Footballers. Careers can be ended or reigns can be seized, so it’s important for us to pay attention. With information flooding in 24/7 and an awkward blend of 1st and 2nd stringers on the field, it can be hard to decipher the gunk from the gold. In this post I’ll mention five storylines getting attention this preseason, and give you my take on the issue.

  1. 1.       Darius Heyward-Bey is the Colts secondary wide receiver– I find it almost- no, I find it completely laughable that DHB would see playing time over TY Hilton. Hilton averaged an extremely solid 17.2 YPC his rookie season, and looked explosive and shifty. When he wasn’t catching long bombs, he was being relied upon as a “go-to” receiver as evidenced by his 8-66 line in the WC round of the playoffs last year against the Ravens. DHB on the other hand has shown glimpses of what could be, but between poor execution and slippery hands, he hasn’t managed to really put it together. I can appreciate the veteran ability and size DHB brings to the Colts (6-2/219 vs. 5-9/178 for TY) but I just can’t see him approaching his career highs of 64/975/4 which he put up in 2011. I think his numbers from last year are more replicable (41/606/5) with his new teammates. For Hilton the sky is the limit as he put up 50/861/7 his Rookie Year and has shown increased chemistry with Luck this preseason. Conclusion: Selling
  2. 2.       Eddie Lacy is competing with Dujuan Harris for the lead role in GB– Harris surprised many fanalysts last year by showing us it is still possible for the Packers to have a productive Running Back. The problem is how inefficient he actually was as I’ve found many remember him performing better than his stats suggest. His long run last year was only 21 yards, and his longest reception was 16 yards. For a back that plays against boxes as thin as Harris saw, you expect better. It’s not just his single totes which are unimpressive though; his 3.6 YPC in the playoffs last year demonstrated he can be contained. But my real beef with this story line isn’t Harris’ lack of talent; it’s more about how talented Lacy is. After his performance in GB’s scrimmage two weeks ago, and more recently his play against the Rams it’s clear Lacy is as talented as advertised. After being considered the number one RB Dynasty prospect before the draft, your window to pounce on other owners’ fickleness is rapidly closing. If you’re a contender and can pick him up for a 1st, you could push yourself over the top this year. I expect low end RB2 numbers towards the beginning of the season as the GB staff decides how to use him best, but he could easily perform as a Top 15 option in Green Bay. Conclusion- Selling
  3. 3.       Brice Butler– Through two preseason games Butler has put up 5/105/1, on a real beauty of a catch for that touchdown. As you know, I’m a bit of a Streater Believer, but there’s room for more than one fantasy capable receiver per team in the NFL. I wouldn’t expect much out of the Rookie this year, but with the Raiders looking at a high draft pick next year, a big upgrade to the team can come their way via a Franchise QB or an Offensive Lineman to help keep Tyler Wilson upright. I’ve been disappointed in Wilson so far, but he’s only been a professional baller for about 4 months so I’m not throwing in the towel. For someone likely still on Waivers in your league, he’s worth the investment just to see where the Raiders end up in a year. Conclusion- Buying
  4. 4.       Reuben Randle, Sophomore Season Savior– Randle has only put together a 3-for-33 line so far this preseason, but the Randle Hype Train is still going full steam ahead. This is more due to his circumstance than his production, but is certainly tied into his perceived talent as well. With Hixon gone Randle enters his 2nd season on the 2nd string offense of the Giants. With the perpetual GTD status of Nicks and the recent injury to Cruz it appears Randle will finally earn noticeable playing time in consecutive weeks for the 1st time in his career. Manning has supported 3 WRs before, so even if Randle doesn’t end up getting many “starts” I suspect he’ll still see a lot of playing time- both for your fantasy teams and for the New York Football Giants. I’ve seen people asking for a 2014 1st for him which is a bit rich for me, but I’d happily throw a 2nd to an owner for Randle, and would be willing to give 2 2nds if that’s what was required. Conclusion- Buying
  5. 5.       Le’Veon Bell will be the Steelers Bell-Cow Back– I didn’t like Bell coming out, and I like him less now. I understand he was “sexy” because he had such a seemingly clear situation, but you have to stick to talent when picking at the top of a rookie draft, and I just don’t think Bell has much. Towards the bottom of the 1st drafting for situation is more acceptable if a playoff team wants to make a push this season and thinks a rookie can put him over the top, but drafting that way from the 1 Spot is trouble. I expect the Steelers to lean on Big Ben heavily, and from the way Redman and Dwyer (not to mention Lerod Stephens-Howling as a COP guy) are playing this seems like a much more muddled situation than many thought just a few weeks ago. When you add in Le’Veon’s injury rate so far in his NFL career, it is increasingly easy to make a case against him towards the top of Rookie (and Startup) drafts. If there’s someone sending offers your way, I’d encourage you to start taking them more seriously. Conclusion- Selling

That’ll conclude my ramblings this week. Hit me up on the Twitter to kick around any other stories you find interesting, or to talk shop, my doors are open 24/7/365.

Be easy.