NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Week 6 Fantasy Football Advice: Buy or Sell Tony Romo? 

At week six in the NFL season, we’re at the point in the year when teams are starting to make changes. Players have had enough work to show if they can handle their jobs, and general managers and coaches will demote underachievers and promote replacements much more liberally. We have quarterback changes across the league, and some depth battles that bear watching.

The Falcons and Dolphins are off this week. There’s actually a lot going on in Atlanta, but fantasy owners will probably need to wait until next week to actually make the additions, since few have free roster space to pick up new players who won’t even play this week (see next week’s column for recommendations there). As for the Fins, if you owned Lamar Miller, you can put down the cyanide capsule – he can’t hurt you this week.

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.

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 6 Buy or Sell fantasy football advice column:


Buy High: Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys – The Greatest Performance No One Started – Unless you boycotted the NFL last week, you’ll know that Romo threw for 500 yards and five touchdown passes, yet lost the game with a late interception, and lost your fantasy game because you had him on the bench. Romo can be a bit hit-or-miss, but even his production earlier this season – 250 yards and two TDs each week – made him a low-end QB1 or high-end QB2. Most owners view him as the latter, but he has a nice string of easy defenses coming up, starting with Washington this week. One can make an argument for ranking Romo as high as number four on the QB chart (though he’s realistically number six right now – still a solid starter).

Buy Low: Geno Smith, New York Jets – Yes, he’s had some struggles, but Smith showed what he can do when he takes care of the ball, throwing three TDs and no picks on Monday night in Atlanta. He won’t post numbers like that each week, but will be a reliable bye-week fill-in or low-end QB2 – which is still much more than anyone really expected.

Sell High: Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams – Bradford got a crack at the terrible Jaguars, and still put up a so-so performance – not bad, but certainly not dominant, or what you needed to win in fantasy. The Rams schedule the next three weeks is brutal (at Houston, at Carolina, vs. Seattle), so leave him out of your lineup until Week Nine versus Head Coach Jeff Fisher’s old team ,the Titans.

Sell Low: (Fumbled) Snap, Crackle (Under Pressure), Pop (Warner), Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings have signed Josh Freeman to a one-year, $3MM deal, which indicates that they plan to play him – but he won’t be ready this week, so it’ll be back to Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel, since whichever one the Vikes go with will need to be replaced. This three-headed monster will wreak havoc on fantasy owners. All of these guys are terrible, so downgrade all Vikings until someone at least proves they can provide stability.

Running Back

Buy High: Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills – Everyone thought Spiller was the man, but Spiller’s injuries and Jackson’s own performance have given him increased touches. He’s been a great dump-off option, too, giving him extra value in PPR leagues, but 100 total yards each week has value in all formats. Since QB E.J. Manuel will miss a few weeks, the Bills will lean even more heavily on their Ambiguously Great Duo, and since Jackson is healthier and the better pass-catcher, he will continue to have the edge.

Buy Low: Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers – Another day, another 80 yards and a TD. Gore continues to do much with limited carries, and although the Niners face a solid Arizona rush defense this week, he can still be safely pencilled in for his usual production. He’s still a great RB2/FLEX option, as even though his ceiling is lower than it used to be, his floor is still pretty high.

Sell High: Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams – He looked good in his NFL debut, but that was against the Jaguars. The Rams offense has failed to move the ball well against real NFL teams, and the Rams still have Richardson and Pead to split carries. Let someone else waste their free agent budget on him.

Sell Low: Willis McGahee, Cleveland Browns – McGahee is the man in Cleveland, but a reversion back to Brandon Weeden dooms the entire offense and probably the Browns’ entire season. He doesn’t have a bad matchup this week (vs. Detroit), but his numbers will be strong from compiling, not from really being effective. Combine that with a schedule that is rife with good defenses, and he’s hard to trust.

Wide Receiver

Buy High: Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers – Allen has really broken out the last two weeks, as he and fellow WR Vincent Brown have been in pretty good rhythm with Marmalard. Allen gets the nod here as he’s bigger than Brown and has proven to be a better red zone target. Who would have thought that the Chargers could have survived the loss of their top two WRs going into the season?

Buy Low: Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars – He’s back! The 2012 first-round pick returned from suspension and picked up where he left off with Pornstache Henne. As long as Henne is behind center, the Jags will actually have a passing attack. They visit Denver, so they will lose badly, but the Broncos were just torched for 500 yards in the air last week, and the Jags figure to air it out as they attempto to score garbage time points. Get Blackmon and Shorts while you still can.

Sell High: Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys – Speaking of that Dallas performance, Williams was one of the major reasons for it, and was really in sync with Romo last week. That said, Miles Austin should be back this week, and Romo has too many other options – Bryant and Witten are still 1 and 2 – to trust Williams every week yet.

Sell Low: Stephen Hill, New York Jets – He may be listed at No. 2 on the WR depth chart, but Hill hasn’t been healthy and he hasn’t been seeing enough targets when he’s on the field. He’s been boom-of-bust, as even his good games have relied on a big catch and little else.

Tight End

Buy High: Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers – For everyone scared of his late-season collapse a year ago, Davis has regained his status as an elite tight end, and so far looks healthy and productive. Keep riding him.

Buy Low: Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons – After a quiet start, Gonzalez has come alive the last two weeks. Since the Falcons could be missing both of their top two WRs as well as their top two RBs, Old Man Gonzo will keep merrily rolling along.

Sell High: Jeff Cumberland, New York Jets – Yes, I said nice things about Jets QB Geno Smith earlier, and a I meant it. Cumberland has a TD each of the last two weeks, but he’s still the backup to Kellen Winslow Jr., and three to four targets a week are not what you need in fantasy.

Sell Low: Dallas Clark, Baltimore Ravens – Clark and Ed Dickson have both been pretty useless, as QB Joe Flacco seems determined to prove that he’s truly the worst Ravens QB to win a Super Bowl – a lofty feat, considering Trent Dilfer. Stay away from non-Torrey Smith options in this pass offense.

Defense/Special Teams

Buy Low: Detroit Lions – The Lions travel to Cleveland to face a Browns team with no decent quarterback or running back. Expect sacks and turnovers in bunches.

Sell High: St. Louis Rams – Sorry to keep piling on them, but they even made Jacksonville’s offense look decent last week. This week they’re in Houston against what should be a very motivated Texans team.


Buy High: Cary Williams, Cornerback, Philadelphia Eagles – The Iggles pass defense has been lousy, but Williams continues to rack up tackles and interceptions, since teams continue to throw at him. He’s actually been a semi-bright spot for them.

Sell Low: Patrick Willis, Linebacker, San Francisco 49ers – Missing two games so far with a groin injury was bad – but watching unknown Michael Wilhoite step into his spot and dominate was worse. Even when Willis is healthy, he may have to fight for snaps or be stuck in a rotation. San Fran’s linebacking corps is impressive not just in its talent and production but also its depth.

About the author: Jonathan Pollak

Jonathan Pollak has finally given in and started utilizing the internet to rant about football. He has been playing fantasy sports since a pencil, paper, and newspaper box scores were needed to calculate stats. His earliest and fondest memories are of Lawrence Taylor hurting people.

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