The Marketplace - Week 14
Posted 12/8 by Jeff Tefertiller and Jeff Pasquino, Exclusive for Footballguys.com
The trade deadline has passed in many leagues. For this reason, we will look at players to buy and sell in the offseason. The next two weeks will look at players to buy and sell in the NFC Conference. The last two will look at the AFC Conference. At the bottom of the article, there will be a "Buy of the Week" and a "Sale of the Week".
This week, we will take a look at players from NFC teams to buy this coming offseason in dynasty leagues.
NFC Players To Buy
Drew Brees is the top fantasy passer for a reason. He should be a player that no dynasty owner is willing to trade away. If you do not have an elite fantasy passer, and can pry him away from his owner, overpay if you must. Yes, the price will likely be steep, but Brees is worth it. He is young (in relation to Brady and Manning) and has a great cache of weapons at his disposal.
Matthew Stafford has been slowed by injuries and interceptions this season. This should go a long ways to reducing his asking price. But, Stafford's fantasy production per game is not that far behind other young passers (like Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco) who are worth much, much more. Plus, a healthy Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew should help next season.
Jay Cutler has played poorly by all accounts. I still believe in his ability. The Bears have little in terms of weapons and a poor offensive line. Cutler is still young and will play better as the rest of the offense is upgraded. Also, there is a rumor floating around that pass-happy Mike Martz still loves Cutler and could replace Ron Turner as offensive coordinator. Cutler is a player to target from a frustrated owner this offseason.
Kevin Kolb proved what he could do with an opportunity earlier this season. He was effective replacing the injured Donovan McNabb. With McNabb's new contract extension, it is unlikely that Kolb will see action unless the veteran misses time with injury. But, the upside for Kolb is huge. He is a very underrated dynasty prospect. Kolb is a player to ask for as a "throw in" this offseason.
Pierre Thomas is underrated due to the presence of Mike Bell. Bell gets many of the goal line carries while Thomas is the back that impresses with his playmaking ability. It has been reported that Reggie Bush will not be back in New Orleans at his current price. This could set Thomas up to be a star next season. He was red hot to end the 2009 season and has played superbly when healthy this season.
Tashard Choice is the forgotten back in Dallas. He is the third option behind Marion Barber and Felix Jones. But, Choice has shown to be a legitimate professional running back. He could start for half of the teams in the league. It will take a string of injuries for him to see consistent touches in Dallas. It is very unlikely that Jerry Jones trades one of his three talented ball carriers this offseason as many conjecture, especially with the injuries the past two years. Why not keep the depth at running back? This will be the time to buy Choice and hold, just like with Michael Turner when in San Diego.
Jerious Norwood is a free agent this season. He brings speed and quickness to any offense. The Falcons are unlikely to bring Norwood back unless he is reasonably priced. Since this may be the only time Norwood will can get a shot at a big contract in the open market, he will field offers. After the concussion and hip injuries, Norwood should be very inexpensive to acquire in fantasy leagues. He is a player to watch the rest of the season.
Anquan Boldin is one of my favorite players. He is consistently underrated due to playing across from superstar Larry Fitzgerald. There is plenty of chatter about a possible trade this offseason of Boldin since he only has one more year left on his contract. Boldin brings a toughness to the table, along with great after-the-catch ability. The HUGE game on Sunday night should speak volumes as to Boldin's talent level.
Greg Jennings has disappointed this season. It has been veteran Donald Driver that has excelled. Hopefully, the Jennings owner in your league is thoroughly frustrated with the inconsistent play from his WR1. Jennings is still very young. He plays in a high octane offense led by Aaron Rodgers. Also, Driver is getting to the end of his career and may not be a Packer next season. This is the perfect time to inquire about Jennings.
Michael Crabtree is an elite talent. He looks as though the missed training camp and preseason are unnecessary. Crabtree plays in an up and coming offense with other talented, young players. While many may criticize the rookie for lack of foot speed, he makes plays and is tough to bring down after the reception. The new spread offense employed by the 49ers has enabled Crabtree to be more productive.
Hakeem Nicks has been slowed by injuries this season. The rookie from North Carolina is a playmaking receiver with great size and the ability to carry an offense. Just ask the West Virginia Mountaineers after the Meineke Car Bowl last year. Nicks racked up over 200 receiving yards and three touchdowns on just eight catches. The Giants' system is one that is difficult for rookies to make a big impact. We can see it now with Mario Manningham and Steve Smith. I expect Nicks to break out in a huge way in 2010.
Jeremy Maclin is quietly having a very productive season. Playing opposite the playmaking DeSean Jackson leads to many overlooking the talent of the former Missouri Tiger. Maclin has played great when Jackson is out of the lineup. The first-year star helps on returns, too, as the Eagles look to utilize his speed. Maclin came into the NFL a little raw and will improve with another offseason to hone his route running and the finer parts of the position.
Donnie Avery has been productive in a very poor St. Louis Rams offense. He is very quick and will improve with better quarterback play. It is widely assumed that Marc Bulger will not be back in St. Louis next season. The Rams will either draft a passer or sign a good veteran. Kyle Boller is not the answer, either. The overall lack of talent at receiver for the team will only help Avery see more targets and chances to score.
Santana Moss has not had a good season. Jason Campbell has played horribly and missed the speedy receiver all year. Moss could easily have totaled 1,000 yards by now and six or eight touchdowns just on bad passes from his quarterback. Well, Campbell is not under contract in Washington next season. Also, coach Jim Zorn is not expected back, either. Moss looks to have a much better situation next year. It cannot get much worse. Buy now and see what happens. The lack of a running game and an emerging viable WR2 only help Moss' chances of rebounding nicely next season.
Johnny Knox is extremely fast and can beat defenders without much difficulty. He has great hands and catches the ball cleanly out of the air. This is a big thing for young wideouts. Coming from Division 2 Abilene Christian, Knox has needed to work on his routes. In college, he was able to be productive with his blazing speed. The routes are getting much better. Of the receivers currently in a Bears' uniform, Knox has the best chance to be a fantasy starter in the future.
Laurent Robinson was playing lights out before being lost for the season. He was tearing it up. This was a sad outcome for a talented player plagued by injury woes. But, this has led to Robinson being dropped in many leagues. He is ultra cheap right now. Robinson looked like the best receiver in St. Louis before the injury. For the inexpensive price, the payoff could be huge. Robinson was playing like a fantasy WR2 before the unfortunate injury.
Jason Witten has been a disappointment this year. Many, including yours truly, had Tony Romo's BFF ranked as the top tight end coming into the season. The Cowboys have needed their elite tight end to block more early in the season. Before Sunday's game against the Giants, Witten was not getting many pass targets, or scoring opportunities. He had a huge game. Things will improve for the veteran tight end as Dallas upgrades the offensive line.
Greg Olsen is the only productive receiver this season with Jay Cutler tossing the rock. He is very athletic and has soft hands. Olsen is underrated by many in the fantasy community that are all too quick to downgrade the entire Bear passing game. He is still very young and will improve.
Brandon Pettigrew was just starting to come on when lost for the year a couple of weeks ago. Pettigrew is a good blocker and receiver. The Lions have a great young nucleus with Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, and Pettigrew anchoring the passing game. This is the time to buy as the former Oklahoma State star is recovering from his knee injury.
Visanthe Shiancoe has put up great numbers this season. While many other tight ends get the publicity, it is Shiancoe that scores touchdowns and plays in a prolific offense. For the price of a backup dynasty tight end, Shiancoe is young and produces. What more can you ask?
Buy of the Week
DeAngelo Williams has disappointed this season, but the entire Panther defense has failed to live up to expectations. The same running back that finished the 2008 season with 1,600 total yards and 20 touchdowns is not considered elite in dynasty circles any longer. Williams only has a handful of 100-yard games this season as Carolina struggles with Jake Delhomme under center. The Panthers will likely have a different quarterback and could see a coaching change as well. This can only help the running game. The lack of a passing game has led to opposing defenses stacking the line of scrimmage to make the turnover-prone Delhomme make plays. Williams is only 26 years old and has under 900 career touches in his four years as a pro. The minor injury is nothing to worry about. Stewart's big game against the lowly Buccaneers should only help a dynasty owner acquire Williams.
Sale of the Week
Clinton Portis is still having complications from a pair of concussions a few weeks ago. Portis has over 2,400 career touches and looked like he had lost several steps, even before the injury. He turns 29 years old at the start of the 2010 season. Portis is on his last legs and has little to offer the Redskins and fantasy owners. It is best to sell the veteran to a back-starved owner thinking that Portis was still a fantasy starter.