The Marketplace - Week 2
Posted 9/15 by Jeff Tefertiller, Exclusive for Footballguys.com
This will be a weekly feature looking at the values of players in all leagues, from redraft to dynasty. The focus will be on identifying changes in player values beforehand in order to either buy a player low or sell a player high. It does not matter what type of league you are in, some players are gaining value and some are plummeting. Each week, we will look at a different group of players and examine why they are worth consideration to buy or sell. At the bottom of the article, there will be a "Buy of the Week" and a "Sale of the Week".
These are the players who are forgotten by fantasy owners for a variety of reasons. Owners have much invested in these players and are very disenchanted watching their investment lose value like my IRA. Whether due to injury or situation, the timing is right to buy these players at the lower price. The injury can heal or situation change quickly, so the time window to buy on the cheap closes quickly.
- Matt Leinart is an afterthought in redraft leagues. Many owners do not see the value of owning a NFL backup over a NFL starter. I would suggest that Leinart offers more upside than many of the fantasy QB2s currently on fantasy rosters. Kurt Warner is not known for his durability or good health. Whether in dynasty or redraft leagues, Leinart is a great player to acquire ... especially after Warner has a big game. Warner did not look good in week one. With the cache of receivers in Arizona, Leinart proved this preseason that he is capable of putting up monster fantasy games. Leinart would have a legitimate chance at being a Top 5 fantasy passer if he was thrust into action due to a Warner injury. It would be difficult to not be productive tossing the ball to wide receivers like Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston. Reports out of the Cardinals camp have indicated an increased maturity and dedication to the game for the left-handed thrower. By no means will he be John Elway or Joe Montana, or even Kurt Warner, but the situation alone allows for great potential for fantasy production.
- Jonathan Stewart is now back from the Achilles injury that kept him out of action for several weeks. He is a player that could surprise when after gets in game shape. There is a concern that Stewart will be a player that constantly battles injury. This is a valid concern. He seems to be nicked up often, but the upside is enormous. Stewart is very nimble and fast for a man of his size. We are all too quick to forget that both members of the Panther running game (Stewart and DeAngelo Williams) have battled the injury bug throughout their college and professional careers. While Stewart has proven that he is far from durable, Williams has made it through just one complete season. The recent Achilles injury has successfully decreased the price fantasy owners must pay for the second-year runner from Oregon. Stewart was finally back to action and could be a fantasy starter in a couple of weeks. Let's remember that Stewart was a fantasy starter many weeks last season even while sharing time with Williams. He does not need a Williams injury to be valuable. Against the Eagles, the pair of Panther runners split carries. This was a good sign for Stewart.
- Pierre Thomas is a player who has seen his value drop off with the MCL sprain in preseason. Thomas will probably not be totally healthy for a couple more weeks. Mike Bell is all of the rage after running all over the hapless Lions. Who would have dreamed we would be hearing that again? Reggie Bush is back healthy ... at least for now ... but did not look good. Pierre Thomas is forgotten. We should all take a big step back and remember how prolific Thomas was at the end of last season. He was putting up fantasy points by the boat load. So, what has changed to decrease Thomas' long-term value this season? The Saint offense is still incredibly productive. The pass offense will still move the ball and allow huge running lanes for Thomas. So, the only thing that has changed is the injury that should be fully healed in a couple of weeks? Since that is the case, then Thomas is a player to look to acquire. This uncertainty about the injury opens the door to buy the Saint running back at a reduced price. He could lead many fantasy teams late in the season.
- Donnie Avery is discounted in fantasy circles due to his foot injury and the poor quarterback play in St. Louis. The Rams will rely on the speedy Avery this season. They have few other options in the passing game. Laurent Robinson and Keenan Burton are not threats to catch many passes. Each is a playmaker, but has battled injuries throughout their short careers. Robinson is a good receiver, but the injury bug knows where Robinson sleeps. The Rams let Torry Holt depart to Jacksonville this offseason without hesitating. They knew Avery could be a star in the making. He showed flashes last season. Avery played in the last preseason game, dispelling the fear about the injured foot. The big issue will be the anemic Ram offense and poor quarterback play. This is a concern. But, the Rams will be playing from behind often and forced to throw. Yes, the team has stated that they want to rely heavily on Steven Jackson and the running game. But, that has little chance of occurring in many games. When the team is forced to throw, Avery will be the top weapon. Both Marc Bulger and his backup, Kyle Boller, have plenty of arm strength to hit Avery down the field. He possesses the speed and quickness to get open with ease. Playing soft schedule, including the NFC West opponents, helps Avery be a very good fantasy receiver option many weeks.
- Chaz Schilens is expected to be back from his broken foot next week. It might take him a couple of weeks to get back to full speed. While Schilens is not a household name to many, he could be a huge surprise this season. The preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys opened eyes. He was targeted on most of quarterback JaMarcus Russell's passes. Schilens is still young, in his second season out of San Diego State. He is still learning the position at the professional level. Playing in Oakland only helps seclude him from the fantasy radar of many fantasy footballers. Schilens did start six games as a rookie last year, and averaged over fifteen yards per reception. He is primed for a breakout season. Since he is injured and unknown, this is the time to look at acquiring the Raiders top receiver. Schilens went undrafted in many redraft leagues due to the injury. Even in leagues he is owned, an impatient owner might give up too soon on the youngster. A season with 70 catches and 1,000 yards is not out of the question. He is that good.
Buy of the Week
The Pittsburgh Steelers looked good Thursday night in most areas. The running game, anchored by Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall, was a visible weakness. No, the offensive line did not open many holes against the very stout Titan defense. But, line play is unlikely to improve. Mewelde Moore was effective in the passing game. With the way the line played, Moore will be used a lot when Roethlisberger is employing the "no huddle" offense. Moore is a player that is not rostered in many leagues, and has proven to be a productive back. Mewelde Moore could lead the team in total yards this season. It is very possible. In addition, with the poor efficiency of Parker and Mendenhall in short yardage, Moore could see more scoring chances. Put him on your radar now. He is worth a pick up, especially in PPR (Points Per Reception) leagues.
Sell of the Week
Reggie Bush does not look like the playmaker he was before the knee injuries. He is a player to sell before other owners key in on the fact that Bush is not the player we all remember. There is talk that Bush is not fully healed from the microfracture surgery. He looked tentative and slow Sunday against the Lions. In a game where the Saint offense was prolific, Bush was the only disappointment. It might only take another week for the masses to catch on to the fact that the once-shifty ball carrier is now a shadow of his former self. Also, Pierre Thomas is expected back in action soon. He will limit Bush's touches even further.