I was pretty high on Rashard Mendenhall early on, putting him in the 1st round of my rankings and now he is one of the few every down backs that is quietly going about his business on every down. Even with backups to backups at quarterback he has been productive and with Big Benjamin back he should have a lot more room to roam. With a bye this week it could be a good time to try to pry him from someone in a bye bind. You won’t get him cheap, but sometimes you have to pay for quality (as I plan my bi-monthly trip to IKEA). I would trade him straight up for many #1 backs right now.
Just like any of these buy/sell recommendations, you have to get good value in your return player and just about any player can move into the other category with the right offer!.
Ray Rice: There is nothing that makes me really worry about him. He looked ok when he did get work on Sunday and the guy is still an elite talent. Denver has been tougher on RBs than their usual, not being tough on RBs default position, but I’d put an offer out for him before the Denver game just in case.
Michael Bush: If you read from bottom to top you’ll know I said to sell on McFad, so I guess that means you have to buy on McBush, or a better nickname than that. Oh, and conform to the rest of America’s reading direction!
Marques Colston: Yes, he is a wildcard because Brees likes to throw to everyone and their dog. Payton’s dog has 2 targets this season (deep sleeper). Colston still leads the team with 27 targets and leads the receivers in receptions. His lack of TDs is what is really killing his fantasy value, but that will change.
Brandon Lloyd: I was so close to putting him in the sell column, but then thought, unless you are playing with actual toddlers, your leaguemates will see you “selling high” a mile away. Turn the tables on them! Make them believe you are a sucker that only goes after the flavor of the week. Of course you have to be careful here. You don’t actually want to buy high, but giving anyone for Lloyd might feel like buying high to the other owner. He is averaging 10 targets a game and 18 yards a catch. These numbers won’t last, but he’s not going to completely go away anytime soon.
Hines Ward: Ward never feels like a player you must hold onto even when he is playing well. His upside isn’t great, but his consistency is. Like Mendy, he is on a bye, which is a good time to trade for someone if you are ok with starters for that week. Ward’s numbers are down with Roethlisberger suspended which also helps. Yes, his owner might value him more with Ben coming back, but he or she isn’t going to think he’s the bees elbows, but I would much rather have him on my team that a lot of receivers. Mike Wallace is another buy, but for some reason it seems like it will be harder to get value for him. You can always try though.
Marshawn Lynch: Will this guy ever be traded!? Maybe. The Packers are in great need and now the Eagles are worried about McCoy’s ribs. Nothing is for sure, but he’s worth grabbing off waivers or slipping into a bigger trade just for the possibility of a trade.
Darren McFadden: All that Michael Bush hype in the preseason was real and now we’ll get to see him as the main guy since it looks like McFadden might miss week 5. Run DMC always seems to tweak something here and there and probably can’t handle a full workload for a season. I hate trying to sell McFadden right now with his hamstring injury, but his prospects aren’t going to get much better anytime soon. If you are in a PPR league I wouldn’t be as quick to deal him.
Peyton Hillis: Hillis is the #1 back for the Browns. He has a good offensive line, but he also isn’t that elusive and gets hit, and tries to hit people. That wears down a defense and helps him finish out games, but how often do you think the Browns will be salting away games with a lead? Not often. Oh, and getting hit that often means your body also wears down. He’s a solid RB right now and that is often a hard thing to come by, but if you can get something for him I’d give it a shot.
Lance Moore: I don’t think Moore goes away completely, but he isn’t going to surpass Colston in targets and when Reggie Bush returns his targets are going to fall. You have to be careful with any Saints receiver and know they are going to have up and down games, so expecting Moore to continue getting as much work and production is going to leave you sitting in your pajamas drinking Schlitz and watching Springer.
Kyle Orton: He may not be regarded well enough to sell really high on him, but his passing yards are crazy. I love Orton because he was probably a free agent pick up, but Orton is known for starting off well and wearing down. He’s also been without Moreno and now he gets the Ravens this week. If you have Orton as a backup and feel good about your starter I think you should find someone with a QB problem, which there are a few, and see if you can strengthen your WR/RB starters.
Tight Ends: I’m sure a few of you grabbed someone like Dustin Keller or Aaron Hernandez when you saw Zach Miller start slow. It makes sense, but now they are all doing well and are worth starting. I just don’t see any reason to hold onto bench tight ends, especially if they have any trade value at all. Even if your starter gets hurt, there will be startable matchups on the wire. It sucks, but you need to win now. Put your resources into your starters.