Tuesday Transactions: Week Eight

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. If you’re higher or lower on any of the players mentioned below you should absolutely stick to your guns. With that said, I believe there’s also enough of a sample size thus far in the season where we can begin to diverge from our off-season assessments.

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

Buy Low: Austin Davis, Denard Robinson and Paul Richardson

Sell High: Jermaine Gresham, Doug Baldwin and Matt Forte

Buy High: Tre Mason, Jerick McKinnon and Odell Beckham

Sell Low: Zac Stacy, Jeremy Kerley and Matt Asiata

Davis (15/25, 160, 1/1) fell down to earth in a blowout loss to the Chiefs, “Shoelace” (18-108-0, 1-10-0) collected his second straight 100-yard effort and Richardson (2-20-0) did little in a low-scoring affair. Gresham (4-34-0) lumbered to another pedestrian performance, Baldwin (6-61-0) led the Seahawks in receiving and Forte (19-114-0, 6-54-1) was the sole bright spot in a drubbing by New England. Mason (7-32-0, 1-1-0) again led his team in rushing, as did McKinnon (16-83-0), and Beckham was on bye. Stacy (5-17-0, 3-20-0) was bottled up again, Kerley (2-25-0) did precious little and Asiata (4-1-0, 4-26-0) was primarily a third-down back.

Onto the fallout from week eight!

Buy Low

  1. Matt Ryan, QB ATL – Things were pretty glorious prior to halftime, as Ryan staked his team to a 21-0 lead while tossing two touchdowns and seemingly moving the ball at will. The second half, however, was a different story as Matty Ice was harassed into two sacks, two fumbles and one of the worst interceptions you’ll see all year. With that said, in my opinion there’s a simple culprit – the offensive line. The big nasties up front have been decimated by injury, as a whopping five O-linemen have already been sent to injured reserve. This has clearly effected Ryan, who’s regressed from a solid early season run into more of a fantasy QB2. Overall though, I still have Ryan ranked as a top-5 dynasty option, and would make a play now with the hopes the Falcons can actually stay healthy come 2015.
  2. Vincent Jackson, WR TB – One way or another, I’m a firm believer V-Jax will pay late-season dividends. Popularly rumored as one of the likeliest pieces to be moved before Tuesday’s trade deadline, Jackson could potentially be sent to a contending team with proper quarterback play. Even if he stays in Tampa, I view it as a virtual lock that his production will catch up to his volume (10 targets/game) with Mike Glennon under center. Playoff-bound dynasty squads would do well to acquire his services on the cheap, even if only for depth purposes.
  3. Brandon Marshall, WR CHI – See Jackson above. Following an early-season ankle injury Marshall appears to be back to full health, and has been targeted 29 times over the course of the last three games. Unfortunately, in two of those contests the Bears were taken to the woodshed by both Miami and New England, and the big receiver did little with the volume. With the schedule loosening up following a week nine bye, expect Marshall to return to his previously elite form.

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Sell High

  1. Golden Tate, WR DET – I’m not telling you to ignore Tate’s recent stretch of dominance, but rather to capitalize on it. Since all-world receiver Calvin Johnson was effectively used as a decoy versus the Jets, Tate has averaged a whopping 12 targets per game, which he’s turned into a weekly line of 7.8-119.8-0.6. When Johnson was healthy for the first three games of the year, Tate averaged seven targets per game, culminating in a weekly line of 5.3-67.0-0. Megatron is expected back following the bye, and it’s safe to assume Tate’s numbers will, at the very least, regress to somewhere in between the two subsets listed above. If you can sell on the latter, however, I wouldn’t hesitate to do so.
  2. Tom Brady, QB NE – After a rough early stretch, Brady’s average weekly line over the past four weeks (since the Patriots’ now-legendary trouncing at the hands of the Chiefs) stands at 317 yards and 3.5 touchdowns per game, with nary a turnover. That equates to 27.7 fantasy points per contest, a number which would rank amongst fantasy’s elite. With the offense now fully healthy it’s not out of the realm of possibility to expect this type of sustained production for the rest of the season, leading to yet another QB1 finish for the venerable signal caller. As such, rebuilding squads should look to sell now – even as great as Brady has been playing, at 37 years of age it’s fair to wonder when the end will come.
  3. Darren McFadden, RB OAK – Don’t look now but since their week five bye McFadden has averaged 13.3 carries and 62.3 rushing yards per game (4.7 YPC), to go along with an aggregate 10 receptions for an additional 39 yards. With a touchdown thrown in, that equates to 12.9 PPR points per game, a figure which approaches FLEX consideration. Of course, we all know the downside with Run-DMC, which comes in the form of a highly predictable annual injury (or two). If you can sell him for a future pick, thereby ridding yourself of the inevitable heartbreak he’ll invariably provide, it’s time do so now.

Buy High

  1. Donte Moncrief, WR IND – Hakeem who? Despite getting out-snapped by the underwhelming Nicks, it was Moncrief who filled the box score (7-113-1) in Reggie Wayne’s injury-related absence. Dynasty owners and Colts fans alike have been long-clamoring for a third receiver option, and it appears the rookie will be able to provide one sooner rather than later. The price undoubtedly went up on Sunday, but given Wayne’s contract status (free agent at the end of the season), Moncrief could and should continue to rise through the Indy pass-catching ranks.
  2. Martavis Bryant, WR PIT – Take Moncrief, add a round in the NFL Draft, and you essentially have the Steelers’ Bryant. Long on physical skills but lacking in polish, Bryant wasn’t expected to serve as an integral part of the 2014 offense. But with sophomore Markus Wheaton failing to establish himself, Bryant was inserted as another option for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger over the past two weeks. During that time he’s corralled seven passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns, not showing an ability to get open in the end zone. Though Wheaton is still seeing plenty of time on the field, Bryant could very well force him to a third-receiver role sooner rather than later.
  3. Tim Wright, TE NE – No, he’s not Aaron Hernandez (which is obviously a good thing on several levels) and likely won’t ever approach that type of statistical output, but Wright is beginning to see a larger piece of the Patriots’ pie. With the pecking order mostly chaotic behind Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and perhaps Brandon LaFell, and with the way Tom Brady has been playing (see above), this could eventually lead to fantasy viability. Don’t forget that Wright had a fine season as a rookie for the moribund Bucs, and that his pre-season trade more than likely means he’s still catching up on the playbook. Already showing well as a red zone package player, I expect even more out of Wright as the season goes on.

Sell Low

  1. Jake Locker, QB TEN – With seemingly nothing standing in his way, Locker still couldn’t maintain his grip on the Titans’ starting quarterback spot this year, giving way to sixth-round rookie Zach Mettenberger this past week. Though Locker oozes plenty of physical abilities and arm talent, it’s fair to wonder if he’ll ever be able to make it past his accuracy and injury issues. Maybe he’ll turn it around for another franchise in the future, but at the current point in time he’s nothing more than a roster clogger.
  2. Bernard Pierce, RB BAL – Following a 2013 season to forget, many rushed to Pierce’s defense as it related to his anemic 2.9 YPC. The OL was in shambles, the passing game lacked weapons and running mate Ray Rice failed to separate himself either. Unfortunately for his proponents, Pierce’s 2014 season hasn’t gone any better – his 3.6 YPC is easily the lowest amongst the team’s top three backs, and he was a healthy scratch this past Sunday in favor of impressive rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro. The off-season reports of Pierce looking like the top running back in training camp are long gone, and it’s fair to wonder if he has any sort of future in Baltimore.
  3. Brian Hartline, WR MIA – This one cuts me deep, as it’s no secret that I’m one of DLF’s biggest Hartline advocates. Unfortunately, Dolphins coordinator Bill Lazor doesn’t agree with my assessment (the nerve!), and Flyin’ Brian has only seen an aggregate seven targets over the past three weeks, while second-round rookie Jarvis Landry has seen 15 over that same timeframe. Though anything is possible, a third straight 1,000-yard season doesn’t appear to be in the cards, and for a volume-dependent player who’s allergic to the end zone this drop-off in usage could be the death knell for his dynast value.

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eric hardter