Buy Low/Sell High: Week 7
October 18, 2012 | Asher Molk
Hello Fake Footballers! My name is Asher Molk, and I am really looking forward to helping you win your fake football leagues via smart and savvy trading. “Buying Low” and “Selling High” is quite a simple economic principal: give away commodities while their perceived value is greater than their actual value, and try to acquire commodities while their perceived value is lower than their actual value. In other words, trade bad players after good games for good players after bad games! Here are a few trends and nuggets of wisdom I encourage you to follow whilst trading:
-Smart owners look beyond the box score. The naïve owner will look at Shonn Greene’s Week One fantasy score and see 94 yards and a touchdown- a very solid 15.4 fantasy points! The smart owner is able to dig deeper and see that he averaged under 3.5 yards per carry, fumbled twice, didn’t catch a pass, and carried the ball 27 times because the Jets were up 20 at halftime and 27 by the 4th quarter. Are the Jets likely to be up by that many points most games to give enough carries to a below-averagely talented runner? The answer is no. Take a look at what he has done since then. If this sounds time-consuming, don’t fret- I am here to do the work for you and help you look beyond the box score!
-A major trend in my articles (and hopefully on your fantasy teams) will be getting rid of averagely-talented players: plodding running backs who don’t make anyone miss or contribute in the passing game (see Turner, Michael), or wide receivers who offer nothing after the catch (see Bess, Davone), etc. More importantly, you will be trying to acquire explosive, dynamic talents who are capable of changing the game every time they touch the ball (see Harvin, Percy). TALENT IS MOST IMPORTANT!
-Trading away two decent/good players for one great player is almost always a great idea. Usually, the person getting the one better player wins the deal.
-From Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL on Twitter, give him a follow) of Rotoworld.com: Think in terms of draft value and ADP when you trade. If you are thinking of trading away Lesean McCoy for BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Vernon Davis, think about if you would trade a top 5 pick for a 4th and 5th rounder. This practice should help give clarity to your trades!
-NEVER lead with your best or final trade offer! Instead, start small, even offer deals they probably won’t accept to start with. This doesn’t mean offer Mason Crosby for Lesean McCoy, but you never know what a person may say yes to, it’s often quite surprising. If you lead with your best offer, you have nowhere to go but down. Start by being a little optimistic…
-If there are quality players on your waiver wire that you want but you do not know whom to drop, let go of your kicker and/or defense for that player. You can always make a trade to make roster space, or make a game-time decision on whom you want to drop. A lot can happen in a week, and you don’t want to miss out on the next Victor Cruz or Antonio Brown just because you think Sebastian Janikowski will average 1 more point per game than Garrett Hartley.
-Target owners who are close to the bottom of the standings – they are probably the most willing to do a desperation move in order to shake up their team. Also, make sure to target players the owner is likely frustrated with.
Big week for “bye weeks” this week. Smart owners who have deep rosters are going to be at a major advantage. Here are your Week 7 buy lows and sell highs:
Cam Newton, QB, CAR and Steve Smith, WR, CAR- As my regular readers know, I have emphasized that talent is the most important factor in determining a fantasy player’s worth. When push comes to shove, I bet on talent. That is why I am recommending these two struggling Panthers as “buy lows”. Newton seems to have run into the dreaded “sophomore slump” after a dynamite rookie season, and his lack of confidence is evident in his play. His passing yardage totals have decreased each game, ending with a paltry 141 passing yards in Week Five. His rushing scores have helped save him however, and is still 10th in QB fantasy points per game. The bright side? It really can’t get much worse, and the ceiling is still sky-high. Even if he doesn’t improve on his passing (unlikely), his rushing scores will keep you afloat. His primary receiver has been struggling of late as well. Playing through injury, his yardage totals have decreased every game as well. Smith used the bye week to get healthy, and surely the Panthers addressed their passing game concerns. Again, I’m buying on talent here.
Darren Sproles, RB, NO- I would consider Sproles one of the quieter disappointments so far in the season- he hasn’t been awful, but certainly hasn’t lived up to owner’s expectations. He’s eclipsed 64 total yards just once on the season, and scored a pedestrian two touchdowns. He was never a TD machine, but I believe his TDs will increase when his involvement and touches increase. That time is now. It looks like Jimmy Graham is battling a pretty annoying ankle sprain, which makes Sproles’ role that much more important. Throw in nagging lower body injuries for Colston and Lance Moore, and Sproles may be the most stable player on that offense not named Drew Brees. I think we are going to see an explosion in the next few weeks.
Stevan Ridley, RB, NE- Many Ridley owners were scared that he would be sent back to the doghouse after his late fumble in Week Five. Fantasy owners who just pay attention to the box score may think that to be true if they saw that he had his second-lowest workload of the season. If that weren’t enough to scare them, his pathetic 34 yards rushing may have done the trick. Here is the good news: Ridley did not appear to be in Belichick’s doghouse, he didn’t fumble, NO ONE can run on the Seahawks, and he has plus matchups for his next five games. A talented early down/goal line/clock killer back on a fantastic offense? Sign me up.
Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ- This one is another duplicate, so I’ll keep it short. Nothing has changed since Week One in Greene’s situation- in fact, its gotten worse. This game was a perfect storm of playing a team who was in for a trap game coming off of one of the most emotional game of their lives and with their best players injured on defense. I will say Greene actually looked close to average (a step up for him), but the offense is still a huge mess, and running backs do not transform over night. This is the holy grail of “sell high” opportunities.
James Jones, WR, GB- I’ll have to start out this one with an asterisk. DO NOT sell James Jones for nothing- as long as Greg Jennings is out (which could be for quite a while), he is a must-start WR3 with upside. I’m saying if you can get someone like Steve Smith for him, then definitely pull the trigger. He has 7 touchdowns, but only 37 targets- an unsustainable ratio of nearly a touchdown for every five targets (!!!). These things tend to regress to the mean, and if Jennings finds his way back onto the field, Jones may be back to square one. Don’t sell him for peanuts, but I think throwing out some offers would be a fine idea.
Fred Jackson, RB, BUF- Similar to James Jones above, I’m not looking to sell Jackson at all costs like I am with Greene. Jackson has plenty of value and potential, but there is a reason he is on this list. Father Time finally seems to be catching up with Mr. Jackson, a seemingly ageless wonder, and its beginning to show on the injury report and the field. He’s had his share of knee problems, and is averaging a mere 2.9 yards per carry this season. That will likely increase as he gets healthier, but there is one major problem with banking on Jackson- and his his name is C.J. Spiller. Spiller’s play is seriously demanding a more prominent offensive role, and Chan Gailey is no Norv Turner- he will give the more productive, talented back his due. Spiller has been downright dynamite, and Gailey knows how to use him. Just look at the box scores from late last year and early this year when Fred Jackson missed games. Fred Jackson is solid, but doesn’t have a very high floor or ceiling.