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

Colin_KaepernickThe 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 West:

Buys

Colin Kaepernick, QB SF

Second year San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick is one of the hottest names in fantasy football the past few weeks. Since he took over as the team’s starting quarterback in week eleven, he ranks as the QB8. If that was not enough, he posted one of the best fantasy games by a quarterback ever in the team’s playoff win over the Green Bay Packers, throwing for 263 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 181 yards and two more scores. His 181 rushing yards were the most all time for a quarterback in a single game. He has flown up dynasty rankings and draft boards and has been selected as a top ten passer in nearly all early dynasty drafts. Obviously, his value is very high, but I would still be buying. While he is being drafted in the range of quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and Matthew Stafford, his value seems to be much less. I have seen more than a few instances of Kaepernick being flipped for a mid first round pick in this year’s weaker than normal class. That seems like great value to me, especially for a team in need of quarterback help.

Kendall Hunter, RB SF

One player who falls in the “buy low” category for me is 49ers tailback Kendall Hunter. Hunter was not receiving as many carries as many imagined, mostly thanks to Frank Gore’s impressive season, then Hunter tore his Achilles, ending his season in week twelve. This was once thought to be a career ending injury, but in recent years, we have seen Demaryius Thomas and Mikel Leshoure successfully return from an Achilles tear, so there is hope for Hunter. As could be expected, Hunter’s dynasty value has tumbled and he has even been dropped in a number of leagues. Hunter is expected to be practicing in time for training camps and as Gore ages, expect a larger role for him.

AJ Jenkins, WR SF

It took a serious injury to wide receiver Mario Manningham for rookie AJ Jenkins to even see the field this season, as he did not make his NFL debut until week 14, and even then failed to record a reception, including the playoffs. Despite this, I think Jenkins is an excellent buy candidate. The 49ers took him in the first round and that quickly vaulted his dynasty stock as many assumed he would see instant playing time. The fact is though, San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh rarely gives significant playing time to rookies. Viewing the depth chart alone makes Jenkins a good target. While Michael Crabtree has enjoyed a breakout role with Kaepernick at the helm, Randy Moss, Ted Ginn and Manningham are not imposing figures. I look for the team to increase Jenkins’ workload and he should see a much larger role in 2013. At his current price, he is easily worth a shot. He can likely be had for a third round pick in many leagues.

Russell Wilson, QB SEA

Another player who enjoyed a surprise season was rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who won the job from free agent Matt Flynn in the preseason. Wilson responded by finishing as the QB11, thanks in large part to his nearly 500 rushing yards. But, Wilson does not solely rely on his rushing ability, as some flashy quarterbacks have in the past. Wilson also set the rookie record for touchdown passes in a season. Much like Kaepernick, the other breakout quarterback over the past few weeks, Wilson’s value is very high right now and he is bring drafted as a QB1 in dynasty startup drafts. Also like Kaepernick though, his trade value still seems reasonable for many. He could possibly be had for a first round pick as well. Both of these young signal callers make great investments for dynasty owners.

Matt Flynn, QB SEA

The player on the wrong end of the Wilson breakout season was Seahawks backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who had signed with Seattle last off-season as the presumed starter. As we know, Flynn lost the position battle and played less in Seattle than he ever did in Green Bay behind Aaron Rodgers. Thanks to his free agent contract last year, he is now an overpaid backup and there have already been rumors that the Seahawks will listen to offers to trade Flynn. We saw this season there are a number of teams greatly lacking a reliable quarterback, so there is opportunity for Flynn to again step in as the expected starter for a team. He could be had from the waiver wire in many leagues, and would likely be very cheap in a trade, unless the Wilson owner wants to keep him as insurance.

Robert Turbin, RB SEA

Rookie Robert Turbin was a solid contributor for the Seahawks this season, rushing for over 350 yards and collecting another 181 yards receiving. Turbin should continue to prove to be a reliable backup for starter Marshawn Lynch and has the frame and ability to succeed as a starter, were Lynch to miss any action. Turbin’s value varies, based on what I have seen. If the Lynch owner also owns Turbin, he is unlikely to move him at all, barring a huge overpay. If the two are not paired up, Turbin could possibly be had for a second round pick.

Chris Givens, WR STL

Another surprise from this past season was the impressive play of rookie wide receiver Chris Givens. Like many rookies, Givens was slow out of the gate and rarely played until week four. He also missed one game due to a disciplinary issue. So, in the twelve games where he played significantly, he gained nearly 700 receiving yards and scored three touchdowns. That was good enough to rank him as the WR56 in PPR leagues. While those numbers don’t blow any of us away, it made him a solid flex option in his first season in the league, even though fellow rookie Brian Quick was expected to play the larger role. Only four other rookies outscored Givens in this stacked class, but many still have overlooked him. His price tag could be a second round pick.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR ARI

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald suffered through the worst season of his career. His 798 yards were the second lowest, only behind his rookie season. His 71 receptions was his lowest since 2006, when he missed three games. Finally, the four times he found the end zone were the worst career mark for one of the best wide receivers in football. Fitzgerald has displayed over the past nine seasons that he has all the tools necessary to make him one of the best, but he could not overcome the horrific play at the quarterback position. The Cardinals had four options at quarterback this season and each seemed worse than the one that came before. Whether it be Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley or Brian Hoyer, none could successfully and consistently involve the team’s best player in the game. Fitzgerald’s season high for receptions was nine, and that was way back in week three. He only eclipsed six catches once after week five. All in all, it was a terrible season for Fitzgerald.

As we look ahead, it is clear the Cardinals will have a new quarterback to go along with their new head coach. We are unsure of who might be throwing Fitzgerald passes in 2013, but it has to be better than what we have seen this past season – that alone makes Fitzgerald a strong buy low option. Fitzgerald’s off-season workout regimen has been well documented and he keeps himself in great shape year round. Although he will be 30 by the beginning of the 2013 season, he is one who could easily play at a high level for another three years.

Michael Floyd, WR ARI

Rookie Michael Floyd’s season was opposite to that of Fitzgerald. Early on in the season, Floyd rarely saw the field. In fact, it was week eight before Floyd began receiving regular playing time for the Cardinals. The second half of the season showed much promise, including his final game when he caught eight passes for 166 yards and a score. Floyd’s stock was very high during rookie drafts last year. He was the second wideout selected in most rookie drafts behind Justin Blackmon, so his owners are not going to be dumping him for little value. Instead, it will likely take a first round rookie pick, at least, to acquire the former Golden Domer.

Sells

Frank Gore, RB SF

49ers running back Frank Gore is coming off another impressive season, amassing nearly 1,500 total yards and scoring nine touchdowns. These numbers were good enough to place him as the QB10 in PPR leagues. Many, myself included, continue to expect Gore to succumb to a serious injury, yet he has actually been surprising healthy. In his eight years in San Francisco, he has missed a total of only twelve games. Although this is not the picture of health, it is less than many might assume. With that being said, Gore is turning 30 this year and few running backs remain in the top ten beyond that point. The 49ers have also drafted two young running backs, so Gore’s value is tough to nail down. It is highly doubtful you can acquire a first round pick for him at this stage, but if the offer is not good enough, there is a point where you just have to stick with the player until the end. As a Gore owner, I would send out some feelers to find a contending owner who may need some help at the running back position, but if that does not work, it may be best to hold him.

Marshawn Lynch, RB SEA

It may seem crazy to consider selling Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, who is coming off his best season ever, rushing for over 1,500 yards and scoring twelve touchdowns along the way, but that’s just what I’m doing. Lynch’s value is at an all time high as he is being taken in the second rounds of startup drafts. Although many of today’s top players in the league are showing the ability to extend their careers well into their thirties, I still view age as an important qualifier when considering a player’s dynasty value. Lynch will be 27 by the time he steps on an NFL field again, and although that is far from being old, it is also fair to assume that he has little chance of increasing his value from this point. So, if this is his high point of dynasty value, it could be the time to sell. I would not be in a hurry to dump Lynch, but would see if I could use him, likely in addition to another piece, to acquire a rookie like Doug Martin or Trent Richardson.

Sam Bradford, QB STL

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford disappointed his owners again this season, finishing as a low end QB2 in twelve team leagues. Although he did achieve career highs in passing yards and touchdowns, the fantasy numbers are just not there to back up how he is valued by some. Before the season began, I conducted some deep research into what I called “Quality Starts” at the quarterback position. While I had never been a strong believer in Bradford before, this data pushed me even further away. I look forward to conducting some follow-up research this off-season, but I expect similar results telling us that Bradford is not a reliable quarterback when it comes to fantasy football. If you can find an owners that is still a fan of the top overall pick from 2010, there are twenty or more other passers that I would gladly take in place of Bradford.

Brian Quick, WR STL

The wide receiver needy St. Louis Rams made raw rookie Brian Quick an early day two pick last season and many dynasty owners made him their first round pick, with the assumption that there would be plenty of playing time to go around. Instead, Quick was inactive for much of the season, only hauling in eleven catches on the season. He fell behind average talents like Austin Pettis and Brandon Gibson on the depth chart. While it is usually not a good practice to give up on players after only one season, I am unsure if Quick has the ability to play in the league and unsure if the Rams will give him a chance. I expected his playing time to increase down the stretch, especially after the team was eliminated from playoff contention and their top wide receiver, Danny Amendola, was dealing with injuries, yet he still saw little action. Some owners may still believe in his ability or just value him based on being a high rookie pick a season ago. I would happily swap him for a second round pick at this point.

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Ryan McDowell
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Chuck Gordon
9 years ago

Is Ryan Williams, RB ARI a good buy low candidate? It appears that he will be in the best shape heading into camp this year and Beenie Wells is on the way out. Just a thought..

Cyrus Miller
Reply to  Chuck Gordon
9 years ago

I’m curious as well, but I think firing the coach might mean that Beanie Wells will stay.

Cyrus Miller
9 years ago

1- Grammar note. You say Gore was QB10, not RB10. Minor, but thought you’d want to know.

2- I think Bradford is a special case where previous statistics are not enough to predict future success. He has taken a lot longer to develop than expected, but he and Locker are two QB’s who could be top 12 guys if the offense around them improves and they grow into their role.

I have seen nothing from either of them to make me think they are guaranteed to be good, but I think that their teams are slowly rebuilding and they will have a chance to throw the ball often.

Sensei John Kreese
Reply to  Cyrus Miller
9 years ago

I think he meant Al Gore. You could plug him in as a QB10 OR a RB10. He invented the internet.

sean mcguigan
Reply to  Ryan McDowell
9 years ago

I agree with Cyrus Bradford a bit misleading….he has had one of worst o lines in each of his three years and no real talent to throw to at all(besides a decent slot guy who is always hurts in Danny A) they have the right coach and the draft picks now to change that IMO. Look for rams to use early picks on o line and will draft at least 2 WR in a pretty deep draft for that position….Bradford could surprise with some talent kid can be very accurate when given time….I agree though if and when the rams make these moves he needs to step big time

wheelholder
9 years ago

i have several of the young players being mentioned in these types of articles,, having the roster space to hold only three,, give me an idea of the ones you think are dynasty worthy,, they are as follows
givens wr stl
jones wr cin
shorts wr jax
hill wr jets
brown rb eagles
gray rb k.c.

Reply to  wheelholder
9 years ago

Shorts for sure. At that point, it’s probably between Givens, Hill and Brown. I’d probably keep Givens and Brown. I like Hill’s talent, but his career is going to languish for a really bad Jets team.

Jay Daily
9 years ago

Minor clarification, Russell Wilson actually tied Manning’s rookie record for TD passes. He had a chance to set the record late in their final game against St. Louis, but instead chose to run the ball in from the 1-yard line.

Weird thing about Wilson, it seems like he’s still got to win some people over. Most of the opinions I read on him are that he’s a QB2, or great compliment in a QBBC. Maybe it’s the Seahawks conservative offense, maybe people still feel his performance was fluky, or possibly are concerned defenses will figure out how to stop him.

I saw a lot of Seahawk football this season though, and whatever “it” is, Russell Wilson has “it” in abundance.

MikDev87
9 years ago

I’m in PPR league that has a lot of bonuses for touches (catches & carries), yardage (passing, rushing, and receiving), and completions. I have the luxury of having Brees, Wilson, and Kaep all rostered on my team and I have a division rival wanting Kaep really bad. He offered me Miles Austin, Kendall Hunter, and the 8th pick of 2013 draft. I declined it and asked for a straight up swap of Kaep for Randall Cobb. His team is absolutely stacked at WR by having Calivin, Julio, and Cobb as his three starting WRs. Am I being crazy to think I can/should be asking for this type of deal? He needs a QB really bad and he knows how important QBs are in our league because of the bonuses that are given out.

MikDev87
Reply to  MikDev87
9 years ago

My WR corp is pretty se by having Welker, Colston, Crabtree, Wallace, and DeSean. We start three WRs and I feel I have no need to trade Kaep for Austin and a RB who just tore his achilles. I’m not too fondnof this year’s draft picks either, especially the 8th pick. Cobb could easily start for me, regardless of what I have at WR already.

Reply to  MikDev87
9 years ago

I don’t think it’s crazy. I would absolutely move Kaepernick while his value is hot, especially since you already own Wilson and Brees. I would rather have Cobb. I think you might need to add in something else, though. I’m sure Cobb will be drafted as a top 10 WR for dynasty start-ups, so that’s probably in the first three rounds, whereas Kaepernick is probably going to go as a QB10 or so, and that’s probably in rounds 7 to 9, so there is a definite disparity in draft position for both. But, float the offer and find out how much he really wants Kaepernick. If you can get Cobb for Kaepernick straight up, that’s a big win for you.

MikDev87
Reply to  Scott Peak
9 years ago

Thanks Scott. Yeah we’ve been throwing offers back and forth, but nothing can be reached. He offered Cobb and the 8th pick of the 2013 rookie draft for Kaep and Crabtree. I countered with Kaep and DeSean, but he rejected. I think that I’m just going to hold him and hope to see him continue to get better and better.

9 years ago

Hey, Ryan.

Nice article. I liked your picks.

Question on Kendall Hunter. How do you think LaMichael James, Anthony Dixon and Kaepernick factor into the Niners backfield? I have Hunter on one keeper league/dynasty league, and I’m debating whether I will keep Hunter, Michael Vick or Jake Locker. We can keep 9 offensive players. I have RG3 as my starting QB. I wanted to keep Hunter, and I traded for him during the season for that purpose. Then, of course, he shreds his Achilles. That sucked. Right now, I’m debating whether I will keep him, or Vick/Locker. Do you think Hunter flashed enough ability to still be considered the future replacement for Gore? Do you think Kaepernick might reduce the value of a Niners running back, similar to the effect Cam Newton has had on diminishing the value of DeAngelo/JStew? I am starting to think mobile QBs like Cam and Kaep could theoretically adversely impact productivity of running backs, particularly at the goal-line. Thanks.

sean mcguigan
Reply to  Scott Peak
9 years ago

I am in same boat as you(traded for hunter) but ever indication is he will be back ready to go for training camp and recent Achilles injuries have been overcome with seemingly no lingering effects(d Thomas leshoure) kid is very very talented and gore is hitting 30 with a ton of carries should be ….I just picked up James on the cheap as insurance San Fran is a hard core running team whoever emergies as lead back after gore(may happen even next year) will have a lot of value and hunter could be that guy

Chris Howat
9 years ago

I got Kaepernick for a mid and late first round pick in a 16 team league. Did I overpay?

shady23
Reply to  Chris Howat
9 years ago

No. You stole him.

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