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With the dynasty off-season beginning, owners must shift their focus from the week-to-week decisions with hopes of winning the upcoming matchup to more of a long term view of the necessary steps to improve their teams. Near the top of each dynasty owners’ off season to do list should be identifying players to buy or sell in the coming months. In the next few editions of the Dynasty Stock Market, division by division, I will share my opinions on players we should be buying or selling. I encourage you to list your own in the comments are below.
Often, when a fantasy buy and sell list is produced, the assumption is those players are “buy low” or “sell high.” I am sure many of the players I mention will fit into one of these two categories, but not all will. Some of the players I will be targeting as “buys” already have a steep price, but it is a price I am willing to pay, based on that player’s expected future value and level or production. The same is true for players on the other end. There are some players I will be selling, even at a low price, in an effort to rid myself of that player before their value completely bottoms out.
Here is a look at some players to buy and sell from the NFC East:
Kirk Cousins, QB WAS
Cousins, the rookie backup to Robert Griffin III, has played well in his limited opportunity this season. His price is still low and is likely sitting on many dynasty waiver wires. Griffin has missed game action twice due to injury, making Cousins a must own for Griffin owners. There has also already been talk that the Redskins could move Cousins to another team where he might have a chance to start. I think this is unlikely anytime soon, but we have seen players gain value from that situation in the past.
Leonard Hankerson, WR WAS
Hankerson was a player who received a lot of off-season hype a year ago, based on a few things. He had a very impressive game in week ten of 2011 before landing on the injured reserve list. Pairing that with the lack of quality wide receiver depth in Washington and the arrival of Griffin, and dynasty owners were valuing Hankerson as a top 30 wide receiver far before he had earned that. Hankerson disappointed this season with just 37 catches for 531 yards heading into the week seventeen finale. Dynasty owners have recently been rewarded instantly as rookies are performing better, sooner than ever before. We need to remember though, that this will not be the case for all players. Hankerson could be one that lives up to the third year wide receiver rule. His price has plummeted and he could be had for a mid round rookie pick. Considering the Redskins still have a need at wide receiver, Hankerson is worth the risk.
Dez Bryant, WR DAL
Bryant, the Cowboys sometimes troubled wide receiver, is a tough case when identifying players to buy or sell. He has ended the season on a tear like no other. Since week eleven, he is the top wide receiver in the league, averaging over 28 fantasy points per game. Bryant has dealt with criticism about not living up to expectations and being overshadowed by lesser receivers, along with complaints about his maturity off the field. All of those have disappeared the past couple of months as he has dominated in every way. Even when there was a report that a finger injury would cost him the remainder of the season, Bryant fought through it and did not miss a game. Bryant’s value is at an all time high, yet I would still try to trade for him, as I think he has broken through into the top tier of dynasty wide receivers. He will be expensive, but I would give it a shot.
Jason Witten TE DAL
Dynasty owners continue to doubt Witten, whether it is due to age or the variety of options in the Cowboys passing game. Yet, Witten continues to produce. He is currently the TE5 heading into week seventeen. Over the same period Bryant has excelled, Witten is the top tight end in fantasy football. At 30 years old, many owners may be looking to move Witten for a younger option. Players like Tony Gonzalez have proven that older tight ends can have success into their thirties. While this is the exception rather than the rule, Witten has some similarities to Gonzalez. Find the owner looking to dump Witten and take advantage.
LeSean McCoy, RB PHI
Here’s another player who will be very costly. McCoy’s value took a hit when he missed a month due to a concussion and his rookie backup, Bryce Brown, ripped off a couple of huge games. Just as Brown came back to earth, McCoy returned and looked like his old self. Still only 24 years old, McCoy will be a great value in established and startup dynasty leagues this off-season. The recent rumors of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly bringing his offense to Philadelphia should make McCoy owners’ mouths water.
David Wilson, RB NYG
If I could only choose one or two players from the entire league to target as an off-season buy, Wilson would make that list. After fumbling in week one and landing in head coach Tom Coughlin’s dig house, Wilson emerged following injuries to Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown. Admittedly, this is a very small sample size, but in the past three weeks, Wilson is performing as a low level RB2, even with Bradshaw back as the starting running back. Looking back at the current mock draft, Wilson was selected in the early 4th round, while Bradshaw lasted until the end of the 11th round. Wilson’s value is certainly on the rise, but this could be the last chance to buy before he is valued as a RB1.
Pierre Garcon, WR WAS
With his off-season move to the Redskins, many were expecting a breakout season from Washington’s new top wide receiver. Those hopes looked to be fulfilled as Garcon caught an 88 yard touchdown in week one against the Saints. Unfortunately, Garcon later suffered a foot injury in the same game, leading to an overall disappointing season. That game ended up being Garcon’s high yardage game on the season, with one game remaining, and he only scored three more touchdowns. Despite the injury and inconsistent play, Garcon is still valued highly by many, likely due to Griffin and his big play potential. In fact, he was recently selected in the 3rd round of the current DLF Dynasty Mock Draft, ahead of other wide receivers like Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Wallace and Jordy Nelson. If this is the type of value Garcon carries in most leagues, I am selling.
DeMarco Murray, RB DAL
One of the knocks on Murray coming out of Oklahoma was his ability to stay healthy. While he has, at times, looked electric, we have seen him miss game action in each of his first two seasons. After rushing for over 130 yards in week one this season, Murray has yet to eclipse the hundred yard mark since. There is some good news. Murray has become more involved in the passing game. He caught 33 balls for 241 yards this year, outpacing his numbers from his rookie season in fewer games. There are many that still view Murray as a top young running back in the league and value him as such. There are also plenty of owners that value running backs over other positions in general. I would target one of those owners in an effort to move Murray.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB NYG
Bradshaw’s sudden drop in value is somewhat surprising. I have never been a strong believer in him, but he has had success in the past, finishing the past two seasons among the top twenty running backs. He is again in the top twenty, yet his value has plummeted as the rookie Wilson has burst onto the scene. Bradshaw is 26 years old and could be losing more touches to Wilson next season. He has also dealt with injuries nearly every season. Some owners will still place RB2 value on Bradshaw simply because he remains a starter for the Giants. Take this chance to move Bradshaw to someone who still places name value on him.
Check back next week as I take a look at some buys and sells from the NFC North. Follow @RyanMc23 on Twitter