Buy Low Sell High
Trade advice from our own Nick Traicoff
The pain is over. The missing void is filled. Gone are the painful 7 months in which life’s meaning is questionable, known by some as “Offseason.” Finally, those February mock drafts are validated, our itchy addiction finally scratched. Week 1 is in the books, and so brings us our first Trade Market Stock watch. Week 1 can be tricky. Overreacting to both positive and negative developments is cautioned this early, as any owners who changed their names to “Gather Round the Ogletree” last season can attest. Particularly, selling a player with only one week of film is risky. Trends are trends because they happen over time, and 1 week isn’t enough for any type of certainty. Alfred Morris was a “prime” sell-high last year after a 2 TD explosion in the season opener. That turned out great.
On the flip side, it can be a prime buying time for savvy owners with veteran poise who know the value of a full season. As such, this article is heavier on the “Buy Low” side and lighter on “Sell Highs.”
With a potential Week 3 return on the horizon, now will likely be your last chance to get stock in the most unstoppable player at his position for a reasonable price. The Patriots’ narrow win over the Bills highlighted just how enormous a role Gronk plays in this offense, as Tom’s other options too often failed to gain separation and the mismatches Brady picks apart simply weren’t present. With Shane Vereen now out until November at the earliest, Danny Amendola already nursing injuries, and Stevan Ridley’s fumbling concerns, the uncoverable tight end will be the unquestioned focal point of an offense with the one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game at the helm. If a Gronkowski owner is scrambling after their genius “Sudfield Plan” didn’t pan out and will sell him for a 3rd-4th round or lower type prospect, pounce. He’ll debut with 2 TDs and command first round dollars thereafter.
David Wilson and Stevan Ridley
The double fumble brothers have been buried all week, and if their respective owners in your league are approaching the cliff’s edge already, pounce. Highlight Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichek’s infamous “doghouses,” and how history repeating itself for Wilson is just too perfect. Then really understand that both the Patriots and Giants, whether they like it or not, need both of these players to succeed and will give them every opportunity to do so. Both Belichick and also Coughlin have acknowledged as much. Giants will take to the ground early in an attempt to keep Peyton off the field, while the Patriots have no choice but to pound the rock with little left at receiver. These are two borderline elite talents playing in stable-to-explosive offenses, characteristics of quality RB1s. If you can get them for the price of a WR2 who came up big, like Reggie Wayne or Desean Jackson, do so without hesitation.
“What a classic rookie mistake with that fumble.” “He’s averaging a robust 2.92 YPC—yeah that’s great.” These words should be coming out of every owners mouth to whoever has Eddie Lacy in your league if you want a ticket this year’s rookie sensation show. It takes a powerful talent to convert a goal-line plunge on the best front 7 in football, and Lacy ran with tremendous strength all night, shedding tacklers and bursting through the small seams that were provided. This could be his lowest output of the season, and it was a double digit fantasy performance against the league’s premier run defense. Coming to bat against a Redskins defense that Lesean McCoy tore apart for 184 yards last week, I’m predicting this is the week Lacy proves his legitimate RB1 potential and sees his stock sore. Invest now or lose your chance.
We all knew the Seattle Defense was going to be a bear to play against, and Cam actually didn’t look terrible. Greg Olsen crushed a few early promising drives with brutal drops, and head coach Ron Rivera’s unwillingness to go for it on 4th and short kept Cam off the field. Cam was accurate and secure with the football, and showed his ability for quick feet points with 38 rushing yards. But his 125 passing yards tell a much different story, and if his owners didn’t see the actual game tape, they’d know no better. Buffalo is hurting at corner and Newton should have no problem carving them up and proving his worth as a top-5 option at the position. With so much depth at quarterback, acquiring Cam for a low end QB1 and WR3 shouldn’t prove too difficult, and you’ll acquire a player who can win you any given week.
Given the name, it’s doubtful most owners are foolish enough to sell Calvin for much less than he’s worth. Nonetheless, owners should note he had two touchdowns that missed by inches, and if Megatron’s owner doesn’t recognize this beast still owns a tier to himself, strike quickly. If you can give up a lesser WR1 with a low RB2 prospect and get the most dominant receiver in the game, don’t think twice.
Chad Henne is no world-beater, but he worked wonders for Shorts last season and could do so as early as this week against a horrendous Oakland secondary. Cecil himself claimed to be open all game against the Chiefs, insinuating his awful quarterback, who will miss the contest with a hand injury, missed him on several occasions. He played on all 71 of his team’s offensive snaps and received a juicy 11 targets. With even simple competency at quarterback, Shorts will rise.
Wait a Week or Two:
Trent Richardson – Price might be even lower after a matchup with Baltimore’s elite front seven. Let the value drop even more than toss out the bait. All the catches that Reggie piled up against the Vikings will be flying Trent’s way in Week 3.
CJ Spiller -- Carolina’s Kuechly might make this the top front-seven unit in football. After a date with the group that held Beast Mode to 43 yards on 17 carries, Spiller will be ripe to pluck.
Marshawn Lynch – Though he’s gone off against the 49ers before, Beast Mode will likely be caged until a Week 3 matchup with the Jaguars sets him free.
Chris Johnson – Others will say “Buy” after his 70 yards on Sunday. Wait until the matchups get really juicy after his Week 8 bye. Until then, the sledding is generally tough.
Tom Brady – Whenever Gronkowski is back, buy then. Until that, let his price drop.
Before I get into the players I wanted to remind owners it is not advisable to sell high with only one week of game film, and generally at least one more week of film can help identify trends in usage and ability. With that disclaimer:
Vick is going to be an animal in this offense that seems tailor made to his strengths…until the injury comes. And given the rapid rate of plays and the consequent shots Vick takes, it is only inevitable. Ideally, you had Vick as your QB2 and can ride this wave until it all crashes with a viable QB1 waiting behind him. Yet, if an owner is willing to toss a mid-to-high WR2 or RB2 for the Eagles quarterback, it’d be wise for your long-term success to give it great consideration.
Carson Palmer… which kind of also means Larry Fitzgerald
Larry Fitzgerald’s mesh with Carson Palmer and Arians’ vertical scheme was as advertised – explosive. Yet Carson was facing pressure the entire game, with Levi Brown just abysmal in earning the lowest Week 1 lineman grade from Pro Football Focus. As much as I love seeing Fitzgerald unchained by a competent quarterback, the Drew Stanton shackles might sadly come out sooner than expected if this line doesn’t improve. Nothing suggests it will. If you can gain a comparable WR1 –maybe even Dez Bryant after his horrible Week 1 – and a flex RB prospect, you’ll add stability to your squad.
Talk up that awesome TD on the Chargers first possession… and hope the other owners already went to bed and missed how Mathews was in on only 20 offensive snaps, less than Ronnie Brown. And the Chargers had a lead for much of the game! Moreover, he ran only 4 pass routes all game, suggesting his role will be strictly one dimensional. Given the lack of quality options at the running back spot, you could very well capitalize on a performance that remains unlikely to repeat itself given the inexplicable usage. All this, and the injury concerns haven’t even been brought up. A low WR2 to high WR3 like Erick Decker would make more sense and should be available for Mathews.
Noticing a trend? Injury concerns crowd this list, and while true players like Vick and McFadden could keep having huge weeks to boost their price, an injury is lurking in every hit they take. Sell up how much more explosive this offense will be with Terrell Pryor (truth), and how McFadden will fight through injuries since it’s his contract season. When McFadden is riding the pine with a shin injury in 2 weeks and you’ve got a rock solid WR2 putting up numbers, you’ll appreciate it.
Brian Hartline, Leonard Hankerson, and any other WR5 who exploded this week
It’s doubtful many owners in your league will pay premium dollars for a single performance from a bench WR talent. Yet, if you can gain more depth at the RB bench spots and acquire a premium handcuff like Bernard Pierce or Michael Bush, try throwing out a few offers.
- Post Draft Rookie RB Rankings
- 2017 Pre-Draft TE Rankings
- 2017 Pre-Draft QB Rankings
- 2017 Pre-Draft RB Rankings
- 2017 Pre-Draft WR Rankings
- 2017 Pre Combine Rankings
- Postseason Cheatsheets
- Tight End Rankings Week 17
- Wide Receiver Rankings Week 17
- Running Back Rankings Week 17