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 three suggestions:
Buy Low: Ben Roethlisberger, Lamar Miller and Calvin Johnson
Sell High: Rishard Matthews, Devonta Freeman and LeGarrette Blount
Buy High: Brandon Marshall, Emmanuel Sanders and Tyrod Taylor
Sell Low: Charles Johnson, Bishop Sankey and Andre Johnson
Miller (7-26-0, 1-10-0) was underutilized once again, Roethlisberger remains sidelined and at the time of this writing Johnson hasn’t yet played. Matthews (1-16-0) came crashing down to earth, Freeman (14-68-3, 5-81-0) crushed it once again and Blount was on bye. Marshall (7-128-0) continued his torrid pace, Sanders (3-68-0) had his slowest game of the season and Taylor (28/42, 274-1-1) put up reasonable stats in garbage time. Charles Johnson was inactive, Sankey was on bye and Andre Johnson (0-0-0) failed to corral a pass for the second straight week.
Onto the fallout from week four!
[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]
- Kamar Aiken, WR BAL – Someone has to catch passes in Baltimore, right? With Breshad Perriman recently going under the knife and Steve Smith Sr. missing at least the next week with fractured ribs, it could very well be Aiken. Though he’s disappeared at times this season, he posted a 5-77-1 line in an ugly Thursday night affair, and could be looking at double-digit targets for the next few games, at least. Though you’d be buying higher than you did last week, I can’t imagine him costing much more than a future third round pick, making him a “buy low” in the general sense. As an aside, I’d also look to acquire Chris Givens for the price of free.
- Ryan Tannehill, QB MIA – No, Tannehill hasn’t been great this year. In truth, he hasn’t even really been all that good. With that said, I firmly believe it can only go up from here, as the recent canning of head coach Joe Philbin should bring a sense of stability to the locker room. The offensive line stinks, but the Dolphins offense still boasts plenty of playmakers across the board – I believe we saw enough last year to give Tannehill the benefit of the doubt that his numbers will start to creep back up.
- Antonio Gates, TE SD – I’ll be the first to admit Ladarius Green played better than I expected these past few weeks and will likely still have a small piece of the pie to himself. However, Gates is a future Hall of Famer, and I don’t believe it was an “extra boost” that made him as good as he’s been the past couple years. He’ll return as the team’s top red zone threat, and safety blanket for a quarterback in Philip Rivers, who’s already playing out of his mind.
- Rashad Jennings, RB NYG – The long touchdown saved his fantasy day, but the fact is he’s been pedestrian with his carries (3.2 YPC) all year. He’s also been ceding touches to Andre Williams, who despite lacking talent in his own right seems to be coming on as the potential future starter. There’s a non-negligible chance Jennings winds up as the low man on the Giants’ three-person backfield totem poll by the end of the year, rendering him devoid of fantasy value.
- Ted Ginn Jr., WR, CAR – While credit needs to be given where it’s due, I simply can’t envision Ginn keeping this up. His yardage totals have been modest outside of a 93-yard effort in week three, and he won’t manage to keep up his pace of scoring (three touchdowns on only 12 receptions). Greg Olsen will continue to function as the team’s top target in the passing game, but quarterback Cam Newton seemingly doesn’t care where he spreads the wealth. Devin Funchess will likely become more acclimated in the offense as well, and as such I hesitate to predict Ginn’s age-30 “breakout” season continuing.
- Coby Fleener, TE IND – Be it due to fellow tight end Dwayne Allen being inactive, or backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck refusing to drive the ball downfield, Fleener cleaned up underneath in a week four win over the Jaguars. His 12 targets were second only to star receiver TY Hilton, and also represented 63% of his looks this season. With Allen likely returning soon, along with franchise signal caller Andrew Luck, it wouldn’t shock me if this went down as Fleener’s best game this year.
- Duke Johnson, RB CLE – Boy, that escalated quickly – I mean that really got out of hand fast! After failing to catch a single pass in both weeks one and two, Johnson grabbed six balls last week and another nine versus the Chargers on Sunday. Though he’s left much to be desired as a runner (3.2 YPC overall), Johnson has flourished as a satellite back, catching nearly 90% of his targets. He seems less likely to fall victim to game flow than fellow ball carrier Isaiah Crowell and has the looks of the Browns running back of the future.
- Tavon Austin, WR STL – A punch line for nearly the entirety of his short career, Austin is the one laughing now. Now up to 215 total yards of offense, to go along with 14 receptions and three scores, Austin has pushed himself firmly into WR3/FLEX consideration. For leagues that reward special teams play, Austin offers even more upside, as he’s added another 117 yards and a score on five punt returns. He’ll likely never justify his draft status, but it’s entirely possible Austin is the best receiver on the team, despite the call to arms for Brian Quick. Still likely priced reasonably, Austin should at worst afford solid depth to most fantasy rosters.
- James Jones, WR GB – While some players never become uncorked (I see you there, Jeff Janis), others age like a fine wine. With all his games thus far resulting in either at least 98 yards or a touchdown, Jones clearly falls into the latter category. Pundits can harp on his separation (or lack thereof) from defensive backs all they want, but the fact is he wins contested catches and Aaron Rodgers puts the ball where it needs to be regardless. Though his scoring will likely slow down, I expect Jones to put up WR2/3 numbers the rest of the way.
- Brandin Cooks, WR NO – Every year we seem to have at least a small handful of off-season hype all-stars who simply don’t live up to their price points. With only 215 yards on the season, Cooks hasn’t come anywhere near to his overall WR12 cost late summer. Now I’m not saying he’s a bad player, because I don’t think he is – but many were quite quick to bust out the anointing oils, due largely to a perceived target vacuum in the Big Easy. Instead, Cooks has been losing looks to the running backs, as well as the likes of Willie Snead and the broken down Marques Colston. Cooks is still a valuable asset, but if you can recoup even 80% of your off-season investment, I’d look to do so before he drops even lower.
- CJ Anderson, RB DEN – Be it due to injuries, poor offensive line play or an inability to get into a rhythm due to a timeshare with Ronnie Hillman, Anderson just hasn’t gotten untracked this season. Unfortunately, the prevailing attitude amongst dynasty enthusiasts is to seek cheaper options at the running back position, and if you’re not producing your value can tank quickly (hi there, DeMarco Murray!). CJA doesn’t appear to be reclaiming the backfield anytime soon, and in fact he hasn’t even surpassed 4.0 YPC in any single game yet this season. It appears far more likely his value is going to keep trending down than reverse course.
- Jordan Reed, TE WAS – This one sucks, as I’m a big fan of Reed’s game. However, he just suffered what’s being reported as his fifth concussion, in addition to a sprained knee. Reed is gold when he’s on the field (24 receptions for 278 yards and a score), but that part has unfortunately become more and more challenging as the years go on. I’m normally in favor of buying injured players on the cheap, but it’s definitively time to wonder how many more times Reed can succumb to bumps and bruises before the game passes him by for good.
Follow me on Twitter @EDH_27
- Tactical Transactions: Moves to Make Before Week Four - September 26, 2023
- Tactical Transactions: Moves to Make Before Week Three - September 19, 2023
- Tactical Transactions: Moves to Make Before Week Two - September 12, 2023