Tuesday Transactions: Week Two

Eric Hardter


Dynasty football is undoubtedly a marathon, not a sprint. With that said, in-season roster management is still every bit as critical as in a standard re-draft format, and arguably even more so given the potential long-term ramifications. As such, this weekly piece is here to provide you with a dozen moves it might just behoove you to make.

Continuing, these transactions will be broken down into four categories: players you should buy low, sell high, buy high and sell low. The first two are self explanatory and follow the typical stock market analogy, which is that you should pounce when the market fluctuates in your favor – if you can get the most bang for your buck or scoop up the metaphorical penny stocks who have room to grow, it could be in your best interest to do so. Conversely, the latter two categories represent a contradictory stance, and some might even consider them “desperation” moves – however, it’s my belief that buying high beats buying higher, and selling low is preferable to selling even lower.

Before I dispense my advice though, I want to provide one final disclaimer – these opinions are my own, and if you’re higher or lower on any of the players mentioned below you should absolutely stick to your guns. In that vein, given the small sample size thus far in the season I also believe it’s too soon to irrevocably change an opinion you spent an entire off-season cultivating. As such, for now these recommended moves will vary little, if at all, from my summertime beliefs.

In the interest of transparency, here were my week one suggestions:

Buy Low: Michael Crabtree, Khiry Robinson and Dwayne Bowe

Sell High: Le’Veon Bell, Jeremy Maclin and Arian Foster

Buy High: Knowshon Moreno, Kendall Wright and Dennis Pitta

Sell Low: Coby Fleener, Trent Richardson and Lance Dunbar

Crabtree (7-82-1) rewarded patient owners, Bowe split the wealth in Kansas City (second most targets and receiving yards) and Robinson remains a stash for 2015, but could emerge with Mark Ingram now on the shelf. Bell remained efficient but suffered a loss in volume due to game flow, while Foster, now up to 58 touches through two games, remains a high-end play for now. Moreno was hurt on his first carry of the day, while Wright and Pitta fell short of their week one efforts, be it due to total offensive ineptitude or touchdown vulturing. Dunbar increased his volume (11 carries), but did little with it (27 rushing yards). At the time of this writing none of Maclin, Fleener and Richardson has played.

Onto the fallout from week two!

Buy Low

1. Allen Robinson, WR JAX – No one is going to confuse Jacksonville as an offensive juggernaut (just 218 total yards versus a mediocre Washington defense), but someone is going to have to catch the ball. Freshman sensation Allen Hurns has joined oft-injured Cecil Shorts III in the triage unit, possibly thrusting fellow rookie (and second round selection) Robinson into the starting unit. He remains more of a long-term stash, but his potential for immediate production should now spike.

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2. Jason Witten, TE DAL – 2014 has not been kind to the venerable tight end, as he currently sits with a mere six receptions and 46 yards to his name. With that said he’s still second on the team in targets (13), and the Cowboys’ aggregate game flow has ranged from garbage time to (gasp!) running out the clock. I don’t foresee the latter happening too often and Witten remains quarterback Tony Romo’s safety blanket.

3. Torrey Smith, WR BAL – I’ve been known to be stubborn from time to time, and in that vein I’m keeping the faith in Baltimore’s fourth-year receiver. Steve Smith has definitively stolen the show thus far, and Dennis Pitta has functioned as the second option, leaving only ten total targets for Torrey through two games. Such sparse usage can often result in corrective action, and I expect the seam-stretcher to get back on track sooner rather than later.

Sell High

1. Kirk Cousins, QB WAS – More than likely this is only applicable to those in deep leagues or superflex/2QB formats, but it’s worth noting nonetheless. Yes, Cousins was nearly flawless against the hapless Jags, and it’s rumored he’s the better fit for the offense over the injured RGIII. Don’t be fooled though – this is still the same guy who completed 52% of his passes (5.5 YPA) and had a negative turnover differential in 2013 – his true talent likely falls between these extremes, but if someone is willing to bite on the former I’d sell now.

2. Delanie Walker, TE TEN – Much like with Cousins above, I’m not saying Walker is a bad player. In fact I like him quite a bit, and recommended buying him at a discount over the summer. But unless you see him continuing his torrid pace as the team’s most targeted pass catcher (19 through two games), his return might just currently exceed an escalating market value.

3. Knile Davis, RB KC – Once again, it’s not that I’m low on Davis per se. However, it’s disingenuous to project Jamaal Charles-like ability upon him just because he might receive Charles’ workload while KC’s sublimely talented ball carrier is hobbled. JC Superstar has never had a season where he averaged under 5.0 YPC, whereas Davis averages merely 3.86 yards-per-touch during his (admittedly short) NFL tenure – he’s a good handcuff, but simply doesn’t possess Charles’ abilities.

Buy High

1. DeMarco Murray, RB DAL – Two games down, and two 100-yard rushing performances in the books. Murray has always been talented but has been consistently held back by a combination of injury and offensive design. Now the focal point of the Cowboys’ offense and running behind arguably the league’s best offensive line, Murray could threaten to be the NFL’s top ball carrier this year.

2. Danny Woodhead, RB SD – “High” is a relative term here, as I don’t think his cost will be significantly pricier than at this point last week. With that said, even a modest bump to his going rate is worth it, as Woodhead stands ready to shoulder additional work due to the loss of starter Ryan Mathews (rumored 4-5 weeks). Already the top pass-catching back on the roster, this increase in usage could once again yield the high-end PPR RB2 numbers we saw from the diminutive ball carrier in 2013.

3. Jordy Nelson, WR GB – This off-season I distinguished Nelson with the title of “2014’s best breakout candidate,” and thus far he hasn’t disappointed. No, he won’t come cheap, but yes, as quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ top target he will be worth it. If any of your league-mates remain unconvinced or scared off due to his “injury history” and “advanced age,” offer 90 cents on the dollar for this supremely talented pass catcher.

Sell Low

1. Cecil Shorts III, WR JAX – See Robinson, Allen. I know many are holding onto the flashes he showed in 2012, but the truth is that season might turn out to be the exception, not the rule. He was highly inefficient as the offense’s WR1 in 2013, and has now missed seven of his team’s last 34 games. While there remains hope he could revitalize his career in a new offense come 2015, it’s equally as likely he’ll go down as a cautionary tale to the sunken cost of rostering a depreciating asset.

2. Kenny Britt, WR STL – Much like with Shorts above, it’s time to give up the ghost. The off-season puff pieces were nice while they lasted (and certainly beat other “puff” pieces, am I right Josh Gordon?), but Britt has failed to separate himself from an underwhelming group of pass catchers currently led by Brian Quick. I know he’s on a one-year contract and we’ll find ways to keep telling ourselves next year will be better, but the cold truth is Britt hasn’t been fantasy relevant since 2011. You might only get a late-round draft pick in return, but at this point it’s disputably the more valuable asset.

3. Denarius Moore, WR OAK – The “sell low” category is easily the toughest to fill out, as no one ever really wants to give up on theoretically talented young players in a dynasty football setting. Moore is no exception here, but thus far in 2014 he’s displayed the same ineptitudes (five receptions and 37 yards on 13 targets) that have plagued him since an upstart 2011 rookie campaign. Functioning as a deep threat can often times be a low-efficiency venture, but Moore is at the extreme end of this spectrum. Again, you might be cashing out for pennies on the dollar, but even a little something beats nothing.

Follow me on Twitter @EDH_27


eric hardter