It’s a good thing Richie Incognito doesn’t affect fantasy football. Well, unless you are a Lamar Miller owner.
Everything is coming up Philly, though, as the first-place Eagles—who would have thought that three weeks ago?—continue to be a boon to fantasy owners across the country.
The fantasy mana raining down from the heavens in Philadelphia makes Indianapolis look like a desert after last week, though. How did last weekend’s performances affect fantasy stocks across the league?
Click through to find out.
This article is intended to reflect a “stock market” situation, where you will want to buy a player in a trade at a perceived bargain or sell him for a nice return.
Buy: Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have had a rough season, but the last few weeks have been particularly brutal on the offense.
Arizona, Carolina and Seattle are ranked 14th, second and seventh in total defense, respectively. It was going to be tough for Atlanta to move the ball, and it had to try it without receiver Julio Jones.
Tony Gonzalez has had a particularly tough time, though he did have a nice game against the Panthers. That game was sandwiched around a pair of duds, though, and his latest 29-yard effort might have his fantasy owners disgusted enough to part with him for a pittance.
Sell: John Carlson, TE, Minnesota Vikings
John Carlson has two touchdown receptions in the past four years. That includes last week.
Losing Kyle Rudolph was a blow to the Vikings defense, but it finally elevated $25 million backup John Carlson to a starting gig. He took full advantage with a huge game on Thursday Night Football last week.
Of course, it helped that Carlson went up against that Washington defense, which has given up the seventh-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Don’t buy Carlson’s long-term viability.
Buy: Bernard Pierce, RB, Baltimore Ravens
At least that’s what Ray Rice‘s owners must be feeling after a season of disappointment. Apparently, he has been disappointing enough to give Jim Harbaugh pause about who to feature going forward, via Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun:
“What would that mean? One guy is the featured back by definition?” said Harbaugh during his Monday news conference when asked whether he has considered making Pierce the featured back. “Both those guys are going to get a large number of carries, and I think whichever guy is playing better should get more carries as we go forward. Both of those guys have to play for us to play well. You can’t have one back carrying the ball 35 times nowadays, and we don’t need to do that. We think we have two very good backs, but I don’t think [replacing Rice as the starter] would be the solution.”
That might be clear as mud, but it is no endorsement of Rice going forward. That means Bernard Pierce—who averaged 4.9 yards per carry as a rookie—could see some serious run if he gets things going in the coming weeks.
Sell: Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
It wasn’t quite the seven-touchdown performance for Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles, but he had another great game.
Granted, it’s going to be tough to hold on to that lofty rating—Foles is eventually going to turn the ball over a few times if statistical regression has anything to say about it.
Unlike last week—when Foles might have been difficult to trade away simply because his performance was absurd—you can make a good case that he is worth a great deal in trade negotiations.
Buy: Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Dez Bryant hasn’t exactly been himself lately, which could be a big reason why Tony Romo had such a dud performance last week.
The stud receiver has been dealing with a litany of injuries this season, most notably a back injury that was reported as a potential herniated disc before that story was eventually debunked. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t dealing with a bad back that might be affecting his play.
Bryant was targeted just twice last week, and his owners were fortunate that his only catch went for 44 yards. Hopefully he should heal up soon, though, and it’s tough to keep a receiver of his caliber down for long.
Sell: Riley Cooper, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Like Nick Foles, Riley Cooper had his second consecutive big game. Like Foles, you should sell high while you can.
Cooper appears to have become a favorite for Foles, but that doesn’t guarantee production down the line. Cooper won’t be facing defenses sponsored by Charmin like he has over the past two weeks.
Okay, scratch that, Washington is next on tap for Cooper, but then he hits a much tougher defense in Arizona.
The fact remains that Cooper is the No. 2 receiver in that offense that also features LeSean McCoy out of the backfield. Statistical regression is coming.
Buy: Trent Richardson, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Why would Trent Richardson be a “sell high” last week and a “buy low” today? Because his value could not be lower after the bomb he dropped against the Rams last Sunday.
That is to say, he bombed, and it was a nice matchup to boot.
Granted, who could have predicted the horrendous showing Indianapolis had at home last week? The 38-8 thrashing at the hands of a mediocre St. Louis team forced the Colts to pass the ball early and often, neutering the running game.
But Richardson hasn’t been effective with the Colts this season, averaging just 2.8 yards per carry since being traded for a first-round pick. Which is why he is basically cuttable.
Why should you pick him up? Well, the Colts aren’t just going to stop giving him the ball—when they’re not losing by 30, at any rate—just because of inefficiency. A blind squirrel finds a nut on occasion, which means Richardson might have a good game or two in him yet.
Sell: Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
Finally, the real Mark Ingram has shown up. Right?
It looked like Mark Ingram drank a six-pack of Red Bull before the game, minus the trips to the restroom. But let’s be realistic here—Dallas might as well change the team’s name from the Cowboys to the Sieves the way that defense is playing.
Come on. Does this really need much explanation? Mark Ingram has been awful for much of his career. One good game doesn’t change things much, especially given his counterparts in that backfield actually had better fantasy outputs.
Buy: Mike Wallace, WR, Miami Dolphins
Second-year man Rishard Matthews stole the show in Tampa Bay, and he probably stole some of Mike Wallace‘s statistics in the process.
The unexpected two-touchdown outburst wasn’t enough to save the sinking ship, though, and Wallace’s fantasy owners might be ready to bail on him. It has been a rough season for the $60 million receiver, but he is still the No. 1 in Miami.
Put in an offer. Maybe include a newly picked up Matthews.
Sell: Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams
What an incredible breakout game for the rookie receiver. This was the Tavon Austin we were all hoping to see when the Rams traded into the top 10 to draft the diminutive receiver.
Of course, that performance is not sustainable.
Austin had over 300 total yards and three touchdowns, but it was all one big mirage. Both his offensive touchdowns came on just two catches, which came on blown coverage by the suddenly horrendous Indianapolis defense.
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