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Dynasty Stock Market: NFC North Off-season Buy and Sell Candidates

The weekly Dynasty Stock Market features not only price checks, but provides player features, draft projections, trade values or a variety of other relevant topics each week to make sure we’re covering everything our premium content followers are demanding.

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 North:

Buy

DuJuan Harris, RB GB

In his two seasons as a professional, Packers running back DuJuan Harris has bounced around the league. As this season drew to a close, Green Bay was dealing with injuries and ineffectiveness at the running back position. They activated Harris and began giving him carries in week fourteen. Even though he was only part of the backfield committee, Harris responded with nearly 200 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Looking forward to the 2013 season, the Packers have few options at running back. Ryan Grant and James Starks have never been reliable options and Alex Green was a disappointment this season. At only 5’7”, it is difficult to imagine Harris carrying the load, but he could continue to be an effective part of the running-back-by-committee. Harris is likely on the waiver wire in many leagues still, and if not, he should be a fairly inexpensive trade target. Expect his value to continue to increase based on his speculative role, just as we saw with Green a year ago.

Greg Jennings, WR GB

Long time fantasy stud wide receiver Greg Jennings had a disappointing and injury plagued season, in which we saw his dynasty value tumble from near the top five range to, according to some, outside of the top twenty wideouts. Playing in only half of the Packers games this season, Jennings collected 366 yards and four scores. After the Packers season ends, he will enter free agency and, thanks in part to the number of receiving options Green Bay already has, is not expected to be back with the team. Although Jennings is already 29 years old and will be 30 soon after the beginning of the 2013 season, it is very likely that he has a few high quality years remaining. It is becoming more and more common to see veteran wide receivers extend their careers to their mid thirties. It is clear that Jennings’ value has fallen and this fact is what makes him a great candidate to buy this off-season. He could likely be had for a late first round rookie pick, or maybe even less.

DJ Williams, TE GB

Another part of the Packers’ offense I would be investing in on the cheap is backup tight end DJ Williams. The entire football universe expects the team to release starting tight end Jermichael Finley, even though his play has been much improved over the second half of the season. If Finley is let go, Williams will be next in line as the Packers’ starting tight end. Although Williams career stat line is not overly impressive, he has a lot of things going for him that could help his value to see a great jump over the next few months. The most obvious has already been mentioned, the potential release of Finley. In addition to that though, is his age (only 24) and the explosive offense of the Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers. If he does earn the starting job, Williams will only see single coverage and could greatly benefit from that, as teams focus on controlling wide receivers Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb.

Kyle Rudolph, TE MIN

It was a strange year for Vikings starting tight end Kyle Rudolph. He entered the season facing huge expectations, at least among dynasty owners. Many owners and experts pegged Rudolph as a breakout candidate and his rankings soared in a tight end field that is very top heavy. Rudolph finished as a TE1 in twelve team PPR leagues, but along the way, he endured three games without a single catch, along with four other games with less than six fantasy points – these are not the statistics you typically want from your best tight end, but he also posted some huge games along the way. Possibly the most frustrating thing about Rudolph for fantasy owners (and Viking fans) is that just when it looked like he had turned the corner, he disappointed in his next outing. Here are the fantasy results of the game following his top four outings: 2.8 FPs, BYE, 0 FPs, 0 FPs. With all of that said, we can expect the Vikings to improve their offense, especially the quarterback play, which will lead to more consistent opportunities for Rudolph. Rudolph’s price is likely lower than it was a year ago, even after a season finishing near the top ten tight ends. He would be an ideal candidate to pair with Greg Olsen, Jason Witten or Owen Daniels.

Matt Forte, RB CHI

Bears running back Matt Forte was another player who somewhat disappointed his owners this season, yet just like Rudolph, still managed to finish as the eleventh best player at his position. With Brandon Marshall dominating the targets in the Bears’ passing game, Forte endured career lows in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. It is reasonable to expect the next head coach of the Bears to utilize a more balanced offensive scheme in which Forte will see increased touches and, hopefully, more red zone opportunities. Forte’s value has clearly taken a hit. In our recent DLF dynasty mock, he was only the seventeenth running back selected and lasted until the fourth round – that is a great value if you focus early on quarterback and wide receivers, and also illustrates the cost it might take to acquire Forte in an existing league. With the weak draft class this year, it will take more than rookie picks to acquire the Bears running back, but he could be had for an up and coming player like David Wilson or possibly a player like Mikel Leshoure, along with a draft pick or prospect.

Alshon Jeffery, WR CHI

Bears rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery entered the season with a great deal of criticism, mostly about his effort and physique. Even though he missed six games in the middle portion of the season, Jeffery answered most of his doubters. Again, Marshall dominated the passing game, yet the raw rookie amassed respectable numbers, including 367 yards and three touchdowns.  At only 22 years of age, Jeffery is a great player to invest in and could offer long term return on the investment. Jeffery owners likely used a first round pick on the former South Carolina wideout and are unlikely to part with him for less than that, but again, the class is not nearly as deep as past years. It may be another season or even two before Jeffery can be plugged in as a weekly starter, but he makes an excellent trade target this off-season.

Titus Young, WR DET

Other than the off the field tragedies in Dallas and Kansas City, there may not have been a worse story this season than that of Titus Young, the Lions second year wide receiver. The insubordination and lack of effort he displayed has been well documented and is not worth rehashing. The question now that the Lions season is over is, can Young recover from this? So many times, talent prevails and the player, no matter the offence, gets a second or third chance. I think that will be the case for Young, but I am anxious to see which team will give him that chance. Nonetheless, Young is only 23 years old and has shown the talent to succeed in the league. It is tough to place a current value on Young, but many owners might be willing to sell at a discounted price. Young is worth stashing at the end of your dynasty roster in hopes he gets his head on straight.

Sell

James Jones, WR GB

Jones enjoyed a career year in 2012. He set career highs in receptions (64), receiving yards (784) and his fourteen receiving touchdowns led the league. He was more than an adequate replacement for Greg Jennings, who missed much of the season due to injuries.  Jones though, is already 28 years old and the Packers have two young and more talented receiving options in Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Much like Leshoure, a great deal of Jones’ fantasy output came from touchdowns. In fact, 37% of Jones’ 226 fantasy points were from scores. While this is very impressive and carried many fantasy owners to the playoffs, it is difficult to repeat and we can expect some regression in coming seasons. Even with his great year, Jones does not have a lot of dynasty value. It would still be a wise idea for Jones owners to explore moving him after such an impressive season that he is unlikely to repeat.

Adrian Peterson, RB MIN

This might be one I come to regret, which can happen when you doubt one of the greatest running backs of all time. We all felt the effects of doubting Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s ability to come back from his torn ACL at the conclusion of the 2011 season and all he did was eclipse 2,000 yards and come oh so close to breaking Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record. There is nothing negative to say about Peterson’s 2012 campaign. Factoring in the injury, it had to be the most impressive season by a running back ever. There are some things for dynasty owners to be concerned about though. Peterson will be 28 by the beginning of the 2013 season. This alone is not something that should scare owners away, but when you add that to the fact that he had a career high in touches, including 348 carries, I begin to worry about his future value. Finally, consider the fact that Peterson’s rushing statistics are a lock to regress next season, and now is a good time to explore moving Peterson, but only for a King’s ransom.

Mikel Leshoure, RB DET

Although he missed the first two games of the season due to a drug related suspension, Lions running back Mikel Leshoure ended the season as the RB18. Leshoure had a total of 798 rushing yards with an impressive nine touchdowns, meaning nearly 30% of Leshoure’s fantasy points came via touchdowns. With players like quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson the Lions will remain a pass heavy offense. Johnson owners remember the multiple times he was stopped at the one yard line this season and the fact that the best wide receiver in the game only found the end zone five times this season – those are both events that are unlikely to repeat themselves in 2013, leading to fewer goal line chances for Leshoure.

Brandon Pettigrew, TE DET

The Lions starting tight end had another respectable season in 2012. Until his injury in week 14, he was TE11, averaging around ten fantasy points per game. My concern about Pettigrew is that I think we have seen his best already. I don’t think he ever cracks the top five tight end tier. Pettigrew will be 28 by the time the 2013 season begins, and although this is not too old for a solid fantasy tight end, rarely do we see a true breakout performance beyond this age. As a Pettigrew owner, I would look to move him for an older option that might give me short term production like Owen Daniels.

Check back next week when I identify some buys and sells in the NFC West.

Follow @RyanMc23 on Twitter

Ryan McDowell
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Chris Howat
9 years ago

Very similar to the forums posts. I love you guys!

Chris Howat
Reply to  Chris Howat
9 years ago

There’s that big Dougie smile!

Chris Mertz
9 years ago

What should one expect or seek out for James Jones, both in terms of current players or draft picks?

Reply to  Chris Mertz
9 years ago

That is going to vary quite a bit. It all depends on if you can find someone that really believes in him. I would dance for joy if I could get someone like Crabtree, A. Brown, or Maclin for him.

Chad Hibray
Reply to  Chris Mertz
9 years ago

I think you have to be realistic about him. Aging, a little uncertain situation for next year and the years after (what if the Packers bring in another WR or retain Jennings?).

I have a lot of WR depth (Mega/White/Austin/Brown/Moore…12 team league) so I felt comfortable agreeing to a 3rd round pick in 2014 and a 4th round pick in 2015. A 2nd or 1st would have been fantastic, but with only so many teams even interested in him to begin with, I knew I had to limit my expectations too.

Chuck Gordon
9 years ago

Can DuJuan Harris be at least a 15 to 20 carry back, or is that expecting too much? He runs like he is shot out of a cannon and looks better than the other backs on the Packers current roster.

Ryan Krcil
Reply to  Chuck Gordon
9 years ago

I agree with Ryan.

I think its just a matter of time before GB uses a top-ish pick on a RB or two and hits on one or both. Harris is not overly talented and could (and would) be easily beaten out.

flyersfan1981
9 years ago

Greg Jennings can “likely be had for a late first rookie pick, or maybe even less.” I don’t own Jennngs, so maybe a Jennings owner can weigh in, but I can’t imagine anyone would give up Jennings for a lottery ticket/project with a late 1st rounder in a weak draft. If you own Jennings, you probably held onto him all season and aren’t going to sell so low now…

ben nelson
Reply to  flyersfan1981
9 years ago

I agree. I own Jennings in a deep 12 team PPR league. I’d consider trading him, but not for an outside the top 20 WR price. I wouldn’t move him for a late 2013 1st. Maybe I’d do it for a first and a young upside WR/RB, but that’s only because my team is at least two years away from competing for a title.

If Jennings ends up in a decent situation he’s likely a top 10 WR (year-to-year) for the next 3 years. I’m not giving up on that probable production on the cheap.

flyersfan1981
Reply to  ben nelson
9 years ago

Exactly…how many times on here do the writers stress never to give up on a known commodity for an unknown? I mean a healthy Jennings isn’t likely going to do worse than a WR3 worst case scenario. And if you are going to give him away for a draft pick, why not wait until next year when he can improve his value a little and you can get a pick in a stronger draft? I have to imagine the average 1.9, 1.10, 1.11, or 1.12 don’t pan out into a consistent starter. Giving up Jennings for “a late first or maybe even less” is selling a talented guy at an all-time low, I just can’t imagine any owner selling for that…

flyersfan1981
Reply to  Ryan McDowell
9 years ago

A deal like that makes more sense…a lottery ticket and a potential running back combo…I would agree that his real value is closer to that. I still don’t think I would sell him for that, but I could understand depending on situation/needs…keep up the great work!!

While I have you on the hook, what are your thoughts on Alfred Morris? He was totally left out of your NFC East article and I just acquired him late in the season. I got a fair deal for him, and I have a RB core of MJD, Morris, and Moreno as my main 3 backs heading into next season. I also own Helu, Rashad Jennings, D. Richardson, and Pead…I just don’t know if I should be holding or selling him and Helu as Morris’ value is high and could go higher in the playoffs.

Ryan Krcil
Reply to  flyersfan1981
9 years ago

Getting rid of Jennings now is going to be similar to selling a stock after it has a short dip. It’s going to go back up. Just be patient and wait it out; and if you really want to get rid of him in 6 months he will be worth more than.

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