Friday, October 10, 2008

Buy, Sell, Buy, Sell

This is a point in the fantasy football season where a deal can make or break your season. Football is particularly tough to make predictions for, because the game is so violent and so dynamic that many players can lose their jobs due to injury or ineffectiveness. This is particularly true of running backs, which of course are the backbone of most fantasy football teams (and is the reason I recommend investing heavily in your quarterback and wide receivers).

So how do you know what moves you should make, and what moves you shouldn't make? Well, there's no surefire way to tell, and anyone who says they can is lying. It's a lot like poker in that regard. The idea isn't to make one right decision by acquiring one specific player. The way you win is by making as many correct decisions as possible. This includes waiver acquisitions and making trades, but also includes not making trades.

Here are five guys you should buy low/not trade. Following that will be a list of five guys you should sell high/not trade for.

Buy Low/Wait It Out
  1. Chad Johnson - You may not like his attitude, but his talent is as good as anyone in the league not named Moss or Owens. Five straight years of 1250+ yards and 7+ TDs says to me that this slump won't hold.
  2. Ryan Grant - I don't think he'll be able to get to last year's post-bye-week pace (roughly 100 yards and a TD per game), but he's going to be productive. And as the weather demands more of a ground game, Grant will rise to the occasion.
  3. Steven Jackson - Chances are, his owner won't part with him for that much under the pre-season value, but if you can get any kind of discount on Jackson, go get him. He's a no-brainer fantasy stud.
  4. Torry Holt - Word is, the first thing new coach Jim Haslett did when he took over the Rams was tell Al Saunders to give Holt the damn ball. Good enough for me.
  5. Matt Hasselbeck - When he lost Bobby Engram, Nate Burleson, and Deion Branch early, you knew Hasselbeck was going to have a rough start. But Engram and Branch are getting healthier, and Hasselbeck is too good to be held down for too long. Also, the Seahawks play the Rams and Jets in weeks 15 and 16, not bad playoff matchups.
Sell High/Don't Buy The Hype
  1. Brett Favre - It's a nice story, but Favre isn't going to have many more 3 touchdown games, let alone 6 touchdown games. I think he'll still be productive, but if you can find someone who thinks he's an elite level QB, let them pay for him.
  2. Reggie Bush - His point totals are bumped by three (count 'em, three) return touchdowns. Teams will stop punting to him, and with Deuce McAllister getting healthier, Bush will turn into just a solid receiver.
  3. Kurt Warner - Warner is only a few weeks removed from being uncertain as the starter in Arizona, and only a week removed from a 6-turnover game. If the Cardinals begin to slip and Warner returns to his giveaway ways, I could actually see the team going with Matt Leinart. That means, sell sell sell.
  4. Felix Jones - Jones won't get more than 8 carries a game, and some play in the return game. But his scoring right now isn't bad for a flex option or backup RB. Move him now and get someone you can rely on.
  5. Laveranues Coles - Coles' season numbers are bumped by the Arizona game, when he had 44% of his receptions, 41% of his yardage, and 75% of his TDs. Make a move while his averages still look impressive.

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