Another week, another set of unexpected results in the NFL and the fantasy football realm. And injuries.
What can we glean from last week’s results? Who can you trade away for a nice return? Or who might you be able to poach at a low price from unsuspecting fantasy owners?
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: Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Well, it seems Michael Vick will get his job back.
Nothing is determined yet, but Nick Foles‘ awful performance culminating in injury should get Vick back in the starting lineup rather quickly. It depends on whether Vick is healthy enough to start, but he is a couple of weeks removed from that hamstring injury.
Maybe his owner is fed up with Vick’s injury woes. See if you can steal him before he gets that starting gig back.
Sell: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
We didn’t know exactly what we’d get out of Matt Ryan after he lost receiver Julio Jones to injury to go along with the continued absence of Roddy White. His explosive connection to Harry Douglas was rather unexpected.
Ryan’s big game should be taken with a grain of salt, however. It came against a sagging Tampa Bay Buccaneers team whose defense has begun to crack wide open.
Douglas was the latest receiver to burn Darrelle Revis and Co. on that defense.
Ryan’s schedule toughens up considerably in the next few weeks as he faces the Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks, respectively better pass defenses. They won’t let Douglas run wild, and Ryan doesn’t have many other options.
Buy: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
If you watched Monday Night Football, my condolences. That game was only watchable for fantasy football purposes.
And if you were watching it to see what Adrian Peterson was going to do, you were sorely disappointed. Peterson’s 56 total yards was his season low and the second week in a row he’s had a lackluster game.
Given the state of the Vikings and that offense, you might be able to convince Peterson’s owner that he’s not worth the heartache.
Sell: Roy Helu, RB, Washington
You know the drill. An unexpected performance from a backup player is usually an automatic “sell high” candidate.
In this case, Roy Helu Jr. went off for a hat trick against that incredibly weak Chicago Bears run defense. He played the part of touchdown vulture to Alfred Morris, who was left out in the cold despite rushing for 95 yards.
Helu is Morris’ backup. This isn’t going to happen again. It’s that simple.
Buy: T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
It might be tough to pry T.Y. Hilton from his fantasy owner’s hands given Reggie Wayne’s devastating, season-ending injury. But you might be able to play Hilton’s poor stat lines over the past two weeks against him.
The dynamic receiver caught just two passes for 27 yards against the Denver Broncos. That followed up a lackluster five-catch, 43-yard game at San Diego.
Outside that unexpected outburst against Seattle, Hilton has largely been a dud this season. But his playing time—and by extension his production—should see a big uptick with Wayne gone.
Sell: Harry Douglas, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Savvy owners went after Harry Douglas after Julio Jones went down for the rest of the season. They couldn’t have expected him to produce Jones-like numbers, though.
That’s precisely what he did in Week 7 against the Buccaneers, grabbing seven passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. Matt Ryan took advantage of the increasingly soft Buccaneers defense, and Douglas was the primary beneficiary.
That Tampa Bay defense isn’t exactly a power house, however. As mentioned in the Matt Ryan slide, tougher defenses in Arizona, Carolina and Seattle lie in wait. Sell on Douglas while you can.
Buy: Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns
Josh Gordon should have had a nice game against the Green Bay Packers. Apparently Green Bay shored up its pass defense during the bye, because his dud makes two in a row for No. 1 receivers. (Baltimore’s Torrey Smith was held in check last week.)
Things have been spiraling for Gordon ever since quarterback Brian Hoyer went down for the count in Week 4. But they hadn’t been quite as bad as last week’s two-catch, 21-yard debacle.
Gordon might come quite cheaply after that performance. He should bounce back, whether it’s with quarterback Brandon Weeden or Jason Campbell.
Sell: Brandon Gibson, WR, Miami Dolphins
Brandon Gibson has been relatively productive for the Dolphins, but nobody should expect him to score two touchdowns on a regular basis.
Gibson stole the show from Mike Wallace, who could have had a great game against that Buffalo defense. Don’t expect this to be a common theme for Miami’s No. 3 receiver.
Buy: Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys
The past two weeks have been rather odd for the Dallas Cowboys offense.
On the one hand, Dallas has risen to the top of the NFC East with a couple of victories. On the other, its offense has sputtered against two of the worst defenses in the league.
That sputtering has claimed Jason Witten’s stat line. He has caught just seven passes for 75 yards in the past two games combined.
Dallas will turn things around on offense, and Witten has some big lines left to give this season. Get him while the pickings are cheap.
Sell: Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It was another fantastic week for Vincent Jackson, who caught 10 balls for 148 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Falcons.
This marks the second week in a row when Jackson has scored two touchdowns, both against soft pass defenses. The Panthers and Seahawks—Jackson’s next two opponents—aren’t nearly as forgiving.
Carolina and Seattle currently rank third and fourth, respectively, in pass defense, though the former has played one less game than much of the league. Jackson’s gravy train could come to an abrupt halt this week.
This is the best time to sell high.
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