Buy Low / Sell High
By Sigmund Bloom
July 25th, 2011

We are all prone to hyperbole, but it is not exaggeration, we are about to see a flurry of player movement and team news the likes of which we have never seen in the NFL before. Here are some magnetic north compass points to keep you on course while the winds of this upcoming week blow our opinions every which way...

Buy Low

  • Earl Bennett, WR, CHI - There is going to be a ton of speculation about the Bears talking to this or that free agent wideout, including Sidney Rice from the rival Vikings. Bennett is the most complete WR on the Bears roster right now, and lots of news that his role would grow this year has been overshadowed by the offseason lockout. He's only 24! You're looking at the closest thing Chicago has to a #1 wide receiver right now, and more people will realize that after the free agent dust settles.

  • Bernard Scott, WR, CIN - It's like Mike Brown had a Cedric Benson discount punchcard that says "25 percent off on the fourth arrest". Benson will probably still be re-signing by the Bengals to lead the power running game, but how much need is there for power running in the west coast offense Jay Gruden will install? Bernard Scott is so clearly more explosive than Benson and the new regime will come to their senses and give him the touches he deserves.

  • Wes Welker, WR, NE - At this time last year, we were still speculating whether Welker would miss any games, and how long it would take for him to look like himself even if he didn't miss any. Guess what, he wasn't himself (he admitted as much) and he still caught 86 balls. Welker is a WR1 for PPR leagues, but he isn't being treated as such. The concern that this could be his last year with Brady might open a buy low window in dynasty, and he's a steal in the 4th in redraft.

  • Jacoby Ford, WR, OAK - Chances are the Ford owner in your league knows what they have in him and will hold him as tight as Hugo the Abominable Snowman held Daffy Duck when he thought he was a rabbit. Cast out a trade line just in case they have missed new Raiders head coach Hue Jackson gushing about making Ford a "household name". In redraft leagues, reserve an 8th round pick for Ford. He's exactly the kind of high upside pick everyone should be looking to make after their core starters are assembled.

  • Sidney Rice, WR, MIN - Speaking of only being 24, yes, Sidney Rice is also only 24 (until September 1). The hip injury fiasco was harrowing and some might want to think that Favre made Rice, but the reality is that Rice could easily be a Hakeem Nicks-esque force in a better passing offense. He'll be a free agent and could land with the Chargers in a best case scenario. He'll probably get a big contract with his youth and demonstrated elite talent, and everyone will remember just how good he is, and can be in the future.

  • Tim Tebow, QB, DEN - I'm not a Tebow believer, but there's no doubt that his fantasy value is about to shoot up. At the very worst, you have a better passing Vince Young with a much more stable psyche. He's a perfect target around the 10th round in redraft leagues no matter who your #1 QB is. In dynasty, take his owner's temperature if they are otherwise set at QB. Kyle Orton is as good as gone and that alone will bump up Tebow's value instantly once it comes to pass.

  • Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI - Last chance to get Fitzgerald while the bad taste of last year's QB debacle is still in his owner's mouths. Derek Anderson started week 1 and it just got worse from there if you can believe that. Two rookies and a camp arm later, Fitzgerald got beaten up and posted his worst numbers ever. Kevin Kolb will change that. He's a top five receiver in every format, but might be had for less in trades and early drafts.

  • Le'Ron McClain, RB, BAL - It's easy to forget that McClain was a short yardage and game-killing force back in 2008. He has never kept his desire to carry the ball again a secret, and now he can pick his new team by who makes the best promises about getting him more touches. He should not be on any deep dynasty league waiver wires, and maybe not even shallow leagues.

  • Lance Moore, WR, NO - Just look at Moore's splits with and without Reggie Bush in the lineup and you'll see how valuable he could be this year with Bush likely gone. Just think of him as New Orleans version of Wes Welker or Austin Collie. One of the best values in redraft and dynasty leagues across the board, but when people see how high a priority it is for New Orleans to re-sign him, that will start to change.

  • Steve Smith, WR, NYG and Steve Smith WR, FA - Both Smiths are worth pursuing. Stevonne, or Steve Smiff as I like to call him, should get traded very soon. He'll open up cap room to sign one of the Panthers many younger free agents long term and bring a top 100 pick in return to boot. If he becomes a Charger, everyone who had a chance to get him this offseason will regret not following through. I believe Smiff still has elite talent, he has just been buried under poor QB play last year. Even if he remains a Panther, things will get better. Smith the Giant has bottomed out in value as reports that he may start the season on the PUP spread. He might not be much a fantasy factor until mid-season, but the Giants know how integral he is to their pass offense. He still has a long future of quality WR2 level numbers in PPR leagues ahead of him.

  • Santana Moss, WR, WAS - None of us paid that much attention to Washington's poor excuse for a pass offense last year, which means we mostly missed that Moss can still ball. I expect him to return to Washington, and as long as John Beck or Rex Grossman do a decent impression of Rex Grossman from the last three games of 2010, Moss should be a solid WR2 in PPR leagues. He's universally underrated, but his quality should get attention through his new contract and the large role that will come along with it.

  • Owen Daniels, TE, HOU - It got lost in the lockout's negative tidal wave of news, but the Texans did re-sign Daniels to a long-term deal that shows confidence in his ability to pick up right where he left off in 2010. Although his season-end numbers were disappointing, Daniels posted a 80+ catch pace again once he was healthy, and we can't forget he finally showed up in the red zone in 2009 before his ACL tear. He's a likely top 5 TE in PPR leagues that can be had a TE7 or later.

  • Mark Clayton, Donnie Avery, WR, STL - One of these guys will become the apple of Sam Bradford's eye this season. Clayton's first four games project out to 88/1200/8, which is definitely achievable for a #1 wide receiver in a Josh McDaniels offense. Both of these guys are dirt cheap, but Clayton's value will rise upon re-signing with St. Louis, and Avery's will spike once the reports of his speed being back are confirmed in camp.

  • Brandon Lloyd, WR, DEN - Why are people trying so hard to come up with reasons to doubt Lloyd? Yes, a repeat as the #1 fantasy wide receiver is unlikely, but at worst Lloyd will be a high-end WR2 this year. His numbers were just as good with Tebow as they were with Orton, and even a cursory look at his tape reveals that there was nothing fluky about his production. He might not have earned your league's respect, but he should have yours in trade talks or on draft day.

  • Austin Collie, WR, IND - The plug could get pulled on Collie at any time, there's no doubt about it. Still, you have to love that he was fearless upon both returns from concussions. Oh, and he was the #1 fantasy wide receiver when he was knocked silly the first time. That upside is more than worth the risk that you are left empty-handed at the reasonable prices Collie is fetching in dynasty leagues and drafts right now.

  • Brandon Jacobs, RB, NYG - I don't think it will happen, but Ahmad Bradshaw could leave the Giants in free agency. Unless the team signs DeAngelo Williams, that would be a big bump to Jacobs value. Although we think of 2010 as a down year for Jacobs because Bradshaw seemed to overtake him, Jacobs ran as well as ever, he was a stud any time the Giants won, and by the end of the year the team had returned to a more even split between the two backs. Jacobs is a perfect bench back and available at a discount... for now.

  • Tashard Choice, RB, DAL - Way back in 2008, Choice looked like the best RB on the Cowboys roster. The team hasn't given him much of a chance to prove that lately, but Felix Jones and DeMarco Murray's injury history indicates that could change by necessity. The buzz created by Choice ripping through the Steelers, Ravens, and Giants defenses has taken three years to wear off, so now you can get him for a song. Do it.

  • Lee Evans, WR, BUF - I might be like that Japanese guy on the undiscovered island still fighting WWII when it comes to defending Evans value, but I refuse to give up on him. Evans finally has a legit threat across from him in Stevie Johnson, and the Bills coaches have insisted that Evans will do a lot more than run deep routes to clear out room in the defense this season. I will go down with the Lee Evans ship, tickets are plentiful and cheap, come and join me!

  • Sell High

  • Kevin Kolb, QB, ARI - Wait, didn't I just pump up Larry Fitzgerald because of Kolb's impending arrival in the desert? Sure, but that doesn't mean that Fitzgerald will make Kolb a good fantasy QB. Kolb as the heir to a very good Philly pass offense seemed worth investing in. Kolb in Arizona with Fitzgerald and a rag-tag young group of targets... not so much. At best Matt Cassel, and possibly Matt Moore. Trade him on the heels of the news of his NFL trade if you can.

  • Cedric Benson, RB, CIN - The stink from his latest arrest is probably still hanging around Benson, but a re-signing in Cincinnati could dissipate that foul odor. It also emanates from his performances vs. all of the rushing defenses he faced last year that weren't in the bottom six of the NFL. Benson is starting his slow swirl down the drain, don't take the ride with him.

  • Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA - Squeeze whatever you can out of that Tecmo Bowl run from the Saints game before people realize that Charlie Whitehurst or Tarvaris Jackson will be the starting QB for the Seahawks this year. Lynch can't run against defenses that don't respect the pass. Do you respect Whitehurst or Jackson? Me neither.

  • Mike Sims-Walker, WR, JAX - Sims-Walker was very impressive in 2009, and most reports had him gearing up for a big contract year in 2010. Fast forward to the present and MSW is probably not even in the two top tiers of free agent wide receivers. I doubt he gets starter money or a starter's role in free agency, but many still want to see him as a quality NFL wide receiver. I'm not saying he can't find his 2009 form again, but his value is sure to drop once it is made clear that most around the league are valuing him based on his 2010 performance, not '09.

  • Malcom Floyd, WR, SD - I was one of Floyd's biggest backers when he languished on the bottom of the Chargers depth chart, but now his value has become overinflated. He's more of a one-trick pony (a good trick as a big agile downfield receiver with deceptive speed) who has had trouble staying healthy for his whole career than a young breakout passcatcher on the rise (he is turning 30 on September 8 after all). His value peaked with quasi-#1 status while Vincent Jackson was trying to win a staring contest with AJ Smith. If he doesn't return to San Diego, his stock could plummet. Get out while you can.

  • Steve Breaston, WR, ARI - Brandon Stokley knows a thing or two about what Breaston is going through. Put up huge numbers as a #3 in a stratospheric air show, and people think you can be a good starting wide receiver. Breaston has more all-around game than Stokley, but he has his share of knee issues and he's definitely more of a complement than a focus for a passing game. That 1000-yard campaign in 2008 is getting smaller in the rear view mirror, and Breaston should be in yours very soon if you own him in a dynasty league.

  • Mike Wallace, WR, PIT - Wallace is being anointed as the next big thing, untouchable in dynasty leagues, and going in the top 10 in some early redrafts. I just don't see the complete game to become a true #1 deserving of that kind of status. He'll be in the top five wideouts sometimes, but be outside of the top 25 many others. Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown are quality young wide receivers in their own right, and Wallace will have to share with them as they too improve with development. Try to turn Wallace into Dez Bryant or Santonio Holmes and more in your dynasty league and let someone else take him in the top 25-30 picks in your redraft.

  • Ryan Mathews, RB, SD - Mathews was basically Mike Tolbert's backup at the time of Tolbert's scary neck injury vs. Cincinnati, and yet the buzz around him is almost as strong as it was at this time last year. There's no way I would build a dynasty team around Mathews or take him in the first three rounds of a redraft until he demonstrates that he can stay healthy. I would trade Mathews for Mark Ingram in a heartbeat. I wasn't all that impressed with Mathews running last year, either, and his stats were fattened by a feeding frenzy vs. a Denver team that had mailed it in for week 17. No thanks.

  • Jordy Nelson, WR, GB - That Super Bowl sure does have a way of sticking out in our minds, doesn't it? Nelson's value may go even higher when James Jones is inevitably signed somewhere else in free agency. I still see Nelson as the #3 target at best this year with Donald Driver still around and Jermichael Finley back in the mix, and as Driver fades, second-round pick Randall Cobb will come on. See which team in your league is envisioning Nelson as one of Aaron Rodgers future go-to guys and get the peak market value for him before the season starts and everyone sees that his role isn't going to grow to nearly what it was in the win over the Steelers.

  • Mario Manningham, WR, NYG - Derek Hagan. Eli Manning was without Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks for two weeks last year, and he chose to target Derek Hagan more than Mario Manningham. The ominous air around Smith's knee is inflating Manningham's value by the day as folks just look at last year's numbers as a floor and project Manningham as a starter. Perhaps he could start for some teams, but the Giants know that he is inconsistent and somewhat unreliable as a starter for them. He is best suited as a #3 who picks on nickel backs and distracted safeties. I was able to turn him into Brandon Lloyd this offseason. You might be able to get even more than that.

  • © 2011 Footballguys - All Rights Reserved
    SitemapAdvertise With UsHelp/SupportPrivacy Policy