Fantasy Football Advice: Buy or Sell For Week 3
We now have twice the sample size with which to evaluate players – but that’s still just two games. Who will continue to produce, and who has already peaked? Who can be expected to improve, and who is clearly done?
Each position has two Buy and two Sell candidates:
Buy High: Get him now, the secret’s out. He’s producing and it’s sustainable.
Buy Low: Keep the Faith. He’s had a rough start, but will find his form shortly.
Sell High: He’s peaked. Trade him now.
Sell Low: Cut bait. Stick a fork in him. Get him off your roster.
With that, it’s on to the week 3 Buy or Sell fantasy football advice column:
Buy High: Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles – He’s baaaack! Continuing the rule of post-hype sleepers, Vick has been a force this season, throwing two touchdown passes and running for another in each of his first two games – plus racking up 428 passing yards last week. Even better, the Eagles may not see a good pass defense until possibly Week 16 (Chicago) – but you can worry about when you reach the fantasy championship game.
Buy Low: Tom Brady, New England Patriots – Who’da thunk it? Brady and the Pats look very mortal, and the normally understated Brady was visibly upset with his young receivers. But the Pats will keep throwing the ball, and the mistakes were made by rookies – expect them to get better as the season goes along. Plus the running game has questions too, so New England will have to keep airing it out.
Sell High: Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers – King Laserface followed up a four-TD performance in Week One with 419 yards and three more TDs last week – but he lost top receiver Malcolm Floyd to injury, and preseason No. 1 Danario Alexander is already out for the year. Wide receiver Eddie Royal stepped up in their absence, but Royal is still just a journeyman who had a career day. Tight End Antonio Gates had eight catches, but put a ball on the ground and his drops, though few, were pretty bad. Marmalard could very well be a solid QB2 in leagues where you need one, but let’s not anoint him as anything more than that just yet.
Sell Low: Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Everyone is already sick of this storyline. His coach hates him, his teammates hate him, the fans hate him, he was abysmal against a mediocre defense, and this week the Bucs travel to New England – where Tom Brady gets to show him up, head to head. If you can find a sucker willing to take a chance on Freeman, go ahead – otherwise, cut him before he hurts you any more.
Buy High: Giovanni Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals – If the Law Firm (BenJarvus Green-Ellis) is the man, then Bernard is at least the First-Year Associate. He saw his number of carries double last week and caught a touchdown pass. Bernard was the first RB selected in this year’s draft, and while Law Firm is a reliable north-south runner, Bernard has an explosiveness that gives a different dimension to the offense. His role will only continue to grow as the season progresses.
Buy Low: Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots – He didn’t make much impact last week, but with Shane Vereen gone until at least Week 11, the Pats have few other options, especially with the wide receivers struggling. Ridley will be given every opportunity to get going, and remember, this was a guy with 1,263 yards and 12 TDs last season. Opposing defenses will never be able to stack the box as long as Brady is under center.
Sell High: Bilal Powell, New York Jets – Week Two was better than the opener, but he’s still splitting touches roughly 50/50 with Chris Ivory, and both have been decidedly mediocre. With some tougher run defenses on the schedule, neither one will have reliable value this season.
Sell Low: Montee Ball, Denver Broncos – The good news is he had 12 carries on Sunday. The bad news is he only gained 16 yards on them, and lost a fumble. The worse news is that Knowshon Moreno asserted himself with 93 yards and two TDs. The Broncos are a pass-first team, and they’re not going to feed the Ball to ball if they have better options available.
Buy High: Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskin Potatoes – Garcon almost single-handedly brought the Skins back last week, racking up eight catches for 143 yards and a TD, mostly in garbage time. That’s still encouraging, however, since he now has 15 catches on 24 targets this season, and some matchups with poor secondaries coming up. Garcon is clearly the man in DC.
Buy Low: Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts – He’s definitely on the downside of his career, but Wayne is still Andrew Luck’s most reliable receiver. Next week’s matchup in San Fran isn’t good, but the schedule gets friendlier after that. He’s still fine as a WR2.
Sell High: Eddie Royal, San Diego Chargers – Injuries opened the door for Royal, who now has five TDs in two games – but he’s never been this prolific before, and the changes of him averaging 2.5 touchdowns per game are zero. Royal is definitely worth owning in all leagues now, but Week Two’s output looks like his peak.
Sell Low: Rod Streater, Oakland Raiders – Streater has become Terrelle Pryor’s favorite target, which is like being the prettiest girl at the goblin prom. Unless the Raiders suddenly develop a real passing attack, you’ll need a real WR option.
Buy High: Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears – Three TDs in two games show that QB Sulkface is comfortable with Bennett, especially in the red zone. He suffered a shoulder injury last week but played through it, so it shouldn’t affect his production much. Bennett is clearly the best non-Brandon-Marshall pass-catcher in Chicago.
Buy Low: Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys – Last week sucked, with only three catches – but Witten saw eight targets. He’s still a safe option going forward, as the Cowboys don’t face too many elite defenses this season.
Sell High: Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans – He caught a touchdown pass last week, and is the top tight end, but the Titans don’t have much of a passing attack, and Walker’s never been a real threat in the past. He’ll probably get another touchdown or two this season – not exactly what fantasy owners are looking for, unless you think you can pick the weeks in which he gets them.
Sell Low: Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions – Week one was a total debacle, so week two only looked like a mild disappointment. Still, the Lions have Megatron, two pass-catching running backs, and veteran Nate Burleson, not Pettigrew, looks like Stafford’s safety valve. With tight ends posting surprisingly big numbers across the board, there’s no need to cling to Pettigrew, especially since he can’t cling to the ball.
Buy High: Denver Broncos – The Broncos have been sturdy against the run, and have six interceptions and five sacks in two games. This week, they’re home against the Raiders. Enjoy.
Sell Low: Indianapolis Colts – The Colts’ defense has been a mess so far, and now they travel to San Francisco to face a Niners team that’s angry and capable of putting up 500 total yards (as they did in Week One). Look for another option this week.
Buy High: Alterraun Verner, Cornerback, Tennessee Titans – The fourth-year pro has an interception in each of his first two games, including a pick-six in Houston. The next two opponents are pass-happy San Diego and the pass-terrible New York Jets, so he will add to that total. He’s still unowned in most leagues, but has proven his value.
Sell High: Aqib Talib, Cornerback, New England Patriots – Speaking of the Jets’ passing game, Talib was Jets’ QB Geno Smith’s best target, hauling in two interceptions. Talib doesn’t get too many tackles, his previous season high was six picks, and he’s never stayed healthy for an entire season. Don’t get too excited here.