Fantasy Football Week 8: Buy or Sell Mike James, DHB and More
Welcome to Fantasy Hell.
After a week of major injuries to defensive stars, the offensive skill position players joined their teammates in the nurse’s office, and this upcoming Week Eight and Week Nine each have six teams on bye. Just about every fantasy player is scrambling for a replacement for at least one position this week. Only 26 teams in play and a league without IR spots is a recipe for pulling your hair out.
The Ravens, Bears, Texans, Colts, Chargers and Titans are all off this week, and for the Bears and Colts in particular it will give them a chance to sort through injuries (Bears QB, and Texans QB, RB, LB). With so many teams off again the following week, don’t rush to pick any of their players up, unless you have a full roster and are sitting at 5-2 or better.
Each offensive position has two Buy and two Sell candidates:
Buy High: Get him now, the secret is 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. He’s also someone you may not have heard of.
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 8 Buy or Sell fantasy football advice column:
Buy High: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions – Seven touchdowns and over 600 yards the last two weeks, and now he gets to face the Cowboys at home. It’s a crapshoot as to who gets the non-Megatron targets, but as long as he keeps completing the passes, you don’t need to care. Keep roaring with him.
Buy Low: Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers – He didn’t do much in the air but put in 68 yards on the ground last week, and he seems to be over his early-season woes. This week he faces the Jaguars in London – the game should be out of reach by afternoon tea time.
Sell High: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons – Ryan is still an every-week starter, as he’s been consistently good. He has three tough defensive matchups coming up though, starting with a trip to Arizona, who doesn’t allow many passing yards, then to Carolina with its good pass rush, then home versus Seattle, arguably the top defense in the NFL. Throw in the loss of his top two WRs, and you can definitely downgrade him. If you have another starter-level QB, it may be a good time to trade Ryan for more help at RB and WR.
Sell Low: Kellen Clemens, St. Louis Rams – Hahahahah no. Not only is he Kellen Clemens, but he faces Seattle this week. Should be a loser league star, however.
Buy High: Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos – The inexplicable decision to give the game away with Ronnie Hillman will weigh heavily on the minds of Denver head coach John Fox and QB Peyton Manning. Moreno is arguably the least explosive option in the crowded Bronco backfield, but he’s also the most sure-handed, the best blocker, and the most consistent. Fox and Manning should have learned their lesson, and keep Moreno in for all the snaps he can handle. He still won’t get more than 15 carries per game, but combine that with five catches and an end zone trip each week and he basically becomes a RB1 in this year of poor back play.
Buy Low: Mike James, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – He’s the hot pickup this week, with Doug Martin expected to miss the rest of the season. Don’t bet the house on him though – Martin was a disaster all year, and the Bucs team is in total disarray. He’ll get touches, yes, but he’ll need to prove that he’s going to do something with them. The Bucs face Carolina’s strong front this week and then travel to Seattle, so he really may not get it going right away. Add him if he’s available, but don’t be afraid to cut him if he winds up splitting carries or ineffective.
Sell High: Chris Ivory, New York Jets – Ivory got the ball a whopping 34 times against the Pats, but Bilal Powell probably won’t be forgotten again. The 104 total yards come out to only 3.1 yards per carry, and he actually lost you point with one catch for negative yards. This week’s game in Cincinnati doesn’t bode well for rushers on either side. If you’ve been relying on Powell, you need to pick up Ivory, but neither one is a good play this week.
Sell Low: Peyton Hillis, New York Giants – When 36 yards on 18 carries is considered a triumph, you have serious problems. Yes, he caught five balls for 45 yards, and also got into the end zone, but Brandon Jacobs could be back this week and David Wilson and Andre Brown will return eventually. The detritus of injuries and six byes are making him a hot pick-up, but he shouldn’t be.
Buy High: Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals – He’s scored each of the last two weeks and has increased his targets from Andy Dalton. This week’s matchup versus a strong Jets run defense, plus attention to A.J. Green and the TEs in the passing game, could see Jones in one-on-one coverage all day. He’s definitely worth a roll of the dice at WR3.
Buy Low: Darrius Heyward-Bey, Indianapolis Colts – The Colts are on bye, but everyone’s still scooping him up off waivers. A strong preseason didn’t translate to the regular season, but the loss of Reggie Wayne for the year, plus the continued struggles of the Indy running game, elevate T.Y. Hilton and DHB to definite WR2 status at worst from Week Nine onward.
Sell High: Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns – He’s had some great games but the Browns are still terrible, will probably go with a new terrible QB (Jason Campbell) and have a terrible matchup (in Kansas City). Plus the trade rumors are swirling, and until we’re sure where he’ll end up, you need to be careful. Last week was his first real dud, but with the rough schedule and no support, he’ll be the target of constant attention from defenses.
Sell Low: Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – He’s been hurt, ineffective when healthy, and has little rapport with rookie QB Mike Glennon. Vincent Jackson is really the only Buc worth owning in fantasy right now (except for James, if you’re desperate).
Buy High: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots – Gronk finally made his season debut, hauling in eight passes (14 targets) for 114 yards despite good coverage by the Jets. He has now announced an event at Harvard in November that gives him an excuse to Gronk all over college girls. This man is back, 100 percent. Enjoy.
Buy Low: Andrew Quarless, Green Bay Packers – Jermichael Finley is seemingly clinging to his life, so Quarless, a block-first TE, will take over the job. He’s never been a pass-catcher at any level, but with all the injuries to the Pack receiving corps, it’s not inconceivable that he get some good opportunities.
Sell High: Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns – He came back down to earth after a hot start, plus he has the same problem as the aforementioned Josh Gordon: new QB, bad matchup. Not a strong play this week.
Sell Low: Levine Toilolo, Atlanta Falcons – Some people expected him to contribute after Jones and White went down. Some people were wrong.
Buy Low: New Orleans Saints – The Saints D has actually been pretty good this year, another reason they’re off to a 5-1 start. This week they host Buffalo, and although Thad Lewis has played very well at times, he’s still a scrapheap QB who doesn’t have enough protection – he’s been sacked nine times in two games. They have had some problems vs. the run, though, although a steady Spiller/Jackson diet won’t produce points in bunches anyway, as the Bills will try to eat clock and keep Breesus Christ off the field.
Sell High: Arizona Cardinals – The Cards D has faded after a promising start, thanks in part to injuries up front. They were gashed on the ground the last two weeks, and although Atlanta doesn’t have great weapons anymore, they’ve been making do with a committee approach – over 100 total rushing yards in three straight games now.
Buy Low: Adam Jones, Cornerback, Cincinnati Bengals – In the words of a former Prussian King, “Aw sh*t! Here comes Pac-Man!” Jones has made his living the last few years as a nickel corner, but the injury to Leon Hall pushes him back into the spotlight. We don’t know how well he’ll hold up; next week versus the Jets won’t provide too big a challenge, at least – but teams will definitely challenge him until he proves himself. The other corner, Terence Newman, is questionable, but his health would actually improve Jones’ value – teams will go at Jones rather than Newman. Fun fact: This would also reunite the CB pairing for the 20008 Cowboys!
Sell High: Jason Hatcher, Dallas Cowboys – Speaking of the Boys, sell high on Hatcher this week. He’s had a great season, but will see more blockers as he’s proven to be the only threat left on the Dallas D-line. This week the Boys visit Detroit, where Matt Stafford is actually tied with Peyton Manning as the hardest-to-sack QB in the league – both have been dropped nine times on 289-290 dropbacks. The Bengals, with their strong defensive ends, were unable to get to him at all last week.