Hey there, Razzballers! Hope you are all gearing up for the playoff run and are ready to win some championships! This week, I thought it would be appropriate to also address those in keeper leagues who weren’t fortunate enough to make the playoffs and to begin gearing up for next season. Now is the perfect time to get great keepers and value for next year from teams who are trying to win now- if you can’t make the playoffs, you have little to nothing to lose. For those of you looking for more playoff buys and sells, I made a list with notes right below these “keeper” buys. I encourage you to ask questions, and to follow up on those questions if my answer isn’t satisfactory or clear to you. Please do not be hesitant- I do not at all mind multiple questions or long posts! You can also give me a follow and ask questions on Twitter: @AsherMolk
Buying low and selling high is quite simple: getting players whose actual value is more than their perceived value, and trading away players whose actual value is less than their perceived value. This works best on impatient owners who just look at box scores, and don’t actually watch players or pay attention to their situation.
Before we get started, there are a few common pieces of advice that I gave to many readers about trading and adding players. I’d like to share them with you:
- Trading away two decent/good players for one great player is almost always a great idea. Usually, the person getting the one (presumably better) player wins the deal.
- NEVER lead with your best or final trade offer! Instead, start small, even offer deals they probably won’t do to start with. This doesn’t mean offer Mason Crosby for Ryan Mathews, 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 Miles Austin or Brandon Lloyd just because you think Sebastian Janikowski will average 1 more point per game than Olindo Mare.
- 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.
Kenny Britt, WR, TEN and Jamaal Charles, RB, KAN- These two are on the list not because their talent is a secret- they are two of the most dynamic playmakers at their position. But some owners may be scared after both underwent reconstructive knee surgery after tearing their ACLs. Obviously it’s a serious injury with long rehab, but there is plenty of room for optimism. Both of their injuries occurred in the first three weeks of the season, leaving plenty of time for proper rehab and not having to worry about rushing back for the beginning of next year. Second and most importantly, these are two incredibly young players: Britt is only 23, and Charles only 24. Many fantasy owners will remember the days where an ACL tear was borderline career-ending injuries, but that is not the case today. Surgery and rehab have made magnificent strides in the past 10 years, and the fact that these two are so young mean that these two should come pretty close to returning to full form next year. If your team is out of contention, see if either of them are on teams fighting for a playoff spot- owners would likely give them for a solid starter or bench depth for their attempt at a championship run.
Greg Little, WR, CLE- Its very tough to recommend a Browns player for the long term, but Little cannot be ignored. He is a giant wide receiver at 6’3”, 231 lbs with gamebreaking after the catch ability. The Browns know this, which is a good and a bad thing: because of Colt McCoy’s pathetic arm strength, they put Little in the slot in order for McCoy to be able to consistently get him the ball. But the slot is an incredibly crowded place, with linebackers and safetys clogging the middle of the field after the catch- thus, Little’s talents largely go to waste. He would be much more of an asset if he lined up outside the hash marks where he would get more 1-on-1 opportunities, where he would be able to break a single tackle and churn out long gains after the catch. The Browns have made it pretty clear that they do not see McCoy as a solid starter for next year, let alone the long term answer at QB. They will continue to force the ball into their only pass-catching playmaker’s hands next year, and whoever is playing quarterback next year will certainly have a stronger arm than McCoy, allowing Little to move outside where he belongs. Better yet, he could cost you almost nothing- a perfect candidate for multi-keeper leagues if you are looking for a cheap 2nd or 3rd keeper, especially if you are gearing up for the playoffs and don’t want to sell the farm for a good keeper.
Titus Young, WR, DET- Although he hasn’t shown much production, Titus Young has had a very solid rookie season, learning the NFL game and getting acclimated with Matthew Stafford. It is going to be a pass-happy offense in Detriot for a long, long time and the Lions didn’t use such an early pick on Young this year for no reason- they see him as the long-term complement to Calvin Johnson. Nate Burleson has been siphoning Young’s potential value this year, but lacks explosion and isn’t getting any younger- I’m confident Young will dominate the snaps next year. I think he can be at least a very solid WR3 next year with upside, and is likely very cheap to acquire.
Roy Helu, RB, WAS- Sooner or later, Mike Shanahan will realize that Helu is his best running back. I don’t know if we can bank on that being this year, but Helu’s skill set fits Shanny’s zone blocking scheme very well- it would be a surprise if Helu doesn’t enter next season as the main back in Washington. Ryan Torain has shown absolutely nothing since his “breakout” performance early in the year, and Tashard Choice was so ineffective that they released him and brought up Evan Royster (who would still be on the practice squad if Choice was at all decent). Helu has made progress this season, as evidenced by his passing game prowess- he did next to nothing in the passing game at Nebraska, and had to begin learning it in this lockout-shortened offseason. Now, he is their passing down back.
AJ Green, WR, CIN and Julio Jones, WR, ATL- These two rookies have made big splashes so far this year- they aren’t on this list because they are “sleepers”. But there’s a very good chance that there are playoff contending fantasy teams who are worried about their injuries and would deal them for a replacement for the fantasy playoffs- this is a perfect place to pounce for those outside of the playoff picture. I believe that these receivers’ floors for next year are WR2s, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make the transition Hakeem Nicks made from 2009 to 2010 when he exploded as a sophomore.
Favorite Playoff Buys- Dez Bryant, Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Santana Moss, Fred Davis, Cedric Benson (average player, great schedule), Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte (There will be owners overreacting to relatively slow past few games and Cutler’s injury, but they are going to lean on him hard)
Sell, Sell, Sell- Dwayne Bowe (Get him off your roster at all costs- the schedule gets impossibly brutal, and Palko is a joke), Laurent Robinson (he will continue to be solid until Miles Austin returns, but will be 5th or 6th priority for touches when Austin does indeed come back), Vernon Davis (Production has been a little better recently, but will go back to blocking with Baltimore and Pittsburgh coming up on the docket)
Keep Buying/More Buy Lows- Percy Harvin, Roddy White, Jonathan Stewart, Michael Vick (very risky, but has the potential for dominance that could take you to the promised land)
Keep Selling- Marshawn Lynch, Plaxico Burress, Jackie Battle, Maurice Jones-Drew
Stop Buying/Not Buying- Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews (still at least an RB2, but injury risk and playoff schedule hurts him), Robert Meachem, Harry Douglas, Jerricho Cotchery, Chris Ogbonnaya, Brent Celek, Chris Johnson (even as a Titans fan, I’ve given up hope. He doesn’t care), Nate Burleson, Rex Grossman (We’ve seen this show before, regression is inevitable. But he will take shots downfield and support Davis and Moss), Jabar Gaffney, Reggie Bush
Stop Selling/Not Selling– Demarco Murray, Tony Gonzalez, Victor Cruz, Cam Newton, Michael Turner (hate to admit this one, but his schedule is really good…I’d definitely still deal him at any sort of decent price though), Arian Foster (he’s only on here for this: Don’t trade him for anything- Schaub’s injury doesn’t hurt his value much if at all), Carson Palmer, Denarius Moore, Antonio Brown, Jordy Nelson (top fantasy receiver in GB now), Matt Forte
This will indeed be the final buy low/sell high article that I write this year. It has sincerely been a fantastic experience for me, and I’m very glad I could share it with you all. It was my first year as a fantasy writer, and I thank you all for making this an enjoyable yet challenging experience. You guys are truly, truly awesome! I hope I helped your fantasy teams and didn’t damage them too much! If your deadline extends past this week and you still have questions, keep asking on this page/article or ask me on Twitter. I will now be focusing my efforts on helping Mike Braude do his fantastic “Matchups” column, you can catch me on there as well. Thanks again!