Buy Low / Sell High - Week 3
Posted 9/18 by Sigmund Bloom, Exclusive to Footballguys.com
- Darren Sproles, RB, San Diego - Folks, Darren Sproles looks like a future fantasy stud to me. Very few running backs exhibit the combination of an electric initial burst, sick lateral agility, natural vision, a true fifth gear, and the killer instinct to use those tools to their fullest potential. I think he can be a fantasy starter in a committee with LT a la Bush or MJD, and I also believe that San Diego will turn to the committee to preserve LT for the title run. Next year, Sproles will be a restricted free agent. Sproles performance last week was not a fluke, it was based on a ridiculously good skill set. I'm afraid the whole football world missed on this guy because of his lack of size, but if you get him now, you'll have a chance to make up for our collective blind spot.
- Sidney Rice, WR, Minnesota - Talent eventually creates its opportunity, so this is the moment to put offers out for Rice if impatient owners were counting on him to contribute in 2008. He's banged up, and I don't think the QB situation is getting any better, because the culprit is really Brad Childress. Rice owners will need to have patience, but the talent is there for a leap to the top 20 as soon as the offense is in order.
- Laurent Robinson, WR, Atlanta - Once the Falcons got behind vs. Tampa, we saw Robinson, not Michael Jenkins, emerge as the #2 target in this offense. He demonstrated good hands and solid run after catch ability for such a long, lean wideout. Matt Ryan is going to come around eventually, and I expect both Robinson and Roddy White to become decent WR2/WR3s when that happens. The Falcons shouldn't need to pass much to win this week, so next Monday could be the perfect time to get Robinson on the cheap.
- Kevin Curtis, WR, Philadelphia - It's time to deal for Curtis. As we enter the bye week gauntlet, his owners are likely going to be hurting for depth, and his likely week 8 return is still far enough in the future to make it seem distant. Curtis was able to post 77/1110/6 with an inconsistent Donovan McNabb last year. What's he going to do for the 2nd half of the season now that McNabb has regained his form? It's not like a hernia is a knee or Achilles, it shouldn't affect Curtis once he's healthy enough to play. Worried about McNabb getting hurt? Philly has a young talented backup in Kevin Kolb, who should be able to run the offense well, and if he can't A.J. Feeley can. Curtis averaged 91 yards and scored one TD in Feeley's two starts last year. When you're making your offers, remember, he's going to be the #1 wide receiver in a top passing offense, so be willing to pay accordingly - good thing you won't have to since people discount injured players so much.
- Kregg Lumpkin, RB, Green Bay - The Packers have done it again. Lumpkin
was lost in the mix at Georgia, but he looked strong and determined to not
get lost in the NFL. Lumpkin showed a better initial burst and more decisive
running style than Brandon Jackson last week, and whether it's due to injury
or just coach's preference, Lumpkin is going to get more playing time. Just
listen to watch head coach Mike McCarthy said about Lumpkin:
"I can't say enough about him. I feel like I say the same thing every time you ask about Kregg Lumpkin, but he has taken advantage of every opportunity he has been given here. He had a plus performance in the opportunities he had. He's physical. He was involved in some special-teams snaps that he was physical. There are some technical things that he can learn from, and he'll improve on. I definitely felt he improved on an individual basis, and he contributed, and I feel very comfortable going with all three running backs."
- Vincent Jackson, WR, San Diego - It looks like Jackson's hands problems are behind him, and he's finally turning into the player San Diego envisioned when they took him in the 2nd round even though he went to Northern Colorado. Chris Chambers has been scoring on the big plays, but that could change in an instant if teams begin rolling their over the top coverage to Chambers side. With Philip Rivers on his game, Jackson is a solid every-week start in leagues that play three wideouts, and he's got plenty of upside in dynasty leagues with Chambers likely moving on after next season.
- Derrick Ward, Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, New York Giants - Both of these guys look like NFL starting quality running backs, and they have been putting up numbers even with limited opportunity. Brandon Jacobs might stay healthy, but history says otherwise, and if he goes down, both of these backs become solid RB2s. Remember that Jacobs will be a free agent next year, so this could be the starting one-two punch in New York in 2009. If Jacobs stays healthy, another team might break the bank for him. If Jacobs gets hurt, New York might not be willing to pay him what he wants. If they re-up Jacobs, then Ward may look elsewhere for more opportunity since he's a free agent. No matter how you slice it, both of these running backs are due for more work in the future.
- Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland - Everything came together for D-Mac on Sunday. Justin Fargas went down with a groin injury (Fargas had 9 for 43 to McFadden's 5 for 10 at the time). The Raiders were able to lean on the Chiefs because Kansas City couldn't muster any offense with third stringer Tyler Thigpen at the helm. They began opening huge holes, and McFadden's world class speed did the rest. McFadden also fumbled twice, showing his ball security hasn't exactly improved since his days at Arkansas. He's also already suffered a shoulder stinger, and now turf toe. He's only 21, and things might get a lot, lot better, but he also might end up being a one trick pony. There have to be people out there convinced that he's the next Peterson. If I owned McFadden, I'd be hustling to turn him into a truly elite back like Frank Gore or Steven Jackson, or get a different top rookie like Jonathan Stewart or Chris Johnson and a solid throw-in for him..
- Julius Jones, RB, Seattle - Jones will go off this week vs. St. Louis. You can wait for the numbers and trade him on that wave going into the bye, or you can deal him before the game since his new owner can profit from the juicy matchup. Either way, strike while the iron is hot. Jones is a backup quality running back, and sooner than later, he'll end up on the DeShaun Foster career track.
- Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants - Eli likely had his best statistical game of the year against the St. Louis "defense", so it's time to leverage off the expectations that he's going to join the fantasy elite. It ain't gonna happen. Not with that running game, and not with Manning's tendency to only play solid halves or partial games. He still looked inconsistent in the season opener, and there's no reason for New York to make the offense go through Manning. If you can deal him for Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, or Philip Rivers, pull the trigger. If he's not your starter, I would shop him around to a QB needy team pronto.
- David Patten, WR, New Orleans Saints - Patten still looks pretty good for one of the oldest WRs in the league, and he certainly has value while Marques Colston is out. He looked more like Brees security blanket than Jeremy Shockey last week, and he's primed for a huge game vs. Denver this week. If you need him this week, hold Patten and get the offers out Monday and the bye week barrage begins. Otherwise, sniff around for a deal this week.
- Reggie Bush, RB, New Orleans Saints - Bush has started the year like the elite back everyone pictured when he went 2nd overall to the Saints in 2006. The problem is, he's still got a major flaw in his game - he can't run inside. I wouldn't trade Bush just because, but like McFadden, if you can turn him into a more complete back or a young back with more upside, I would probably do it.