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: Charles Sims, Matt Ryan and Chris Conley

Sell High: Darren McFadden, Alfred Blue and Antonio Andrews

Buy High: Stefon Diggs, Gary Barnidge and Orleans Darkwa

Sell Low: Arian Foster, Alfred Morris and Mychal Rivera

Sims (6-22-0, 3-24-0) had one of his slower games, Ryan (37/45, 397-2-1) had his biggest fantasy game of the season and Conley (1-6-0) couldn’t build on his week seven momentum. McFadden (20-64-0, 6-49-0), while inefficient, dominated touches, Blue (14-39-0, 5-33-0) was his typical plodding self and Andrews (16-64-0, 3-18-0) put forward a middling performance. Diggs (6-95-1) once again led the Vikings in receiving, all Barnidge (7-53-1) does is score and Darkwa (4-23-0) was injured after drawing the start. Foster was officially placed on IR, Morris was on bye and Rivera (0-0-0) was held without a target.

Onto the fallout from week eight!

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Buy Low

  1. Le’Veon Bell, RB PIT – By now, everyone knows my recommendation when it comes to talented players who suffer season ending, but easily rehabbed injuries – buy, buy, buy! You can usually get them on a discount, especially if your trade partner has designs on winning this season. Bell, the consensus number-one ball carrier for the past year or so is no exception, as many are dropping him below Rams rookie Todd Gurley. This is certainly no indictment, as Gurley seems like the real deal, but nevertheless it represents a fluctuation in value, no matter how minute. Even if he’s only depreciated nickels on the dollar, Bell now represents a smart acquisition for owners looking to 2016 and beyond.
  2. Brandon LaFell, WR NE – Given how well the Pats were playing while LaFell was on the shelf, it wouldn’t have been surprising if he returned to a marginal role. Instead, after a drop-filled nightmare last week, the former Panther sequestered another seven targets, easily relegating fellow wideout Danny Amendola to a reduced weekly stature. Though Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski remain the offense’s top two threats, it’s easy to see LaFell’s role continuing to increase, and he could provide WR3 (or better) value moving forward.
  3. Chris Givens, WR BAL – I’ve always been a fan of Givens, and never quite understood how he seemingly disappeared from the scene after a strong rookie season. However, though the path was certainly circuitous, Givens is officially back on the radar due to a season-ending injury to the venerable Steve Smith Sr. And while I expect Kamar Aiken to be the primary beneficiary of Baltimore’s newfound target vacuum, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Givens step up as the team’s WR2. For the price of free, you could do worse for an end-of-bench stash.

Sell High

  1. Jacob Tamme, TE ATL – Sure, Tamme was a man on fire on Sunday, but it also stood as only the third time this season he bested 10.0 PPR points. And while he’s sprinkled in a few other solid outings thus far, he’s also been held to under 7.0 PPR points in four games. In other words, Tamme’s weekly outlook is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get! Though it’s true the injury to Leonard Hankerson should theoretically result in Tamme sustaining targets, I’d rather cash out if a reasonable opportunity presented itself.
  2. Heath Miller, TE PIT – Take what I wrote about Tamme above, then rinse and repeat. Look, I like Miller as a player, and believe he’s hung on a lot longer than most expected. But the fact remains week seven will stand as more of an aberrant performance, with Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant likely to remain ahead of him in the pecking order. Given that the tight end position is barren hellscape of talent, it would behoove owners (who likely have better options, anyhow) to test the market.
  3. Nate Washington, WR HOU – Much like with Tamme and Miller above, I have no issue with Nasty Nate. In fact, he’s been able to do what players like Terrance Williams couldn’t, which is step into the starting lineup and actually produce. Of course, it’s the former that remains the problem – Cecil Shorts III is going to return sooner rather than later, likely capping Washington’s target share. “High” remains relative, but once again it can’t hurt to make a few offers.

Buy High

  1. Carson Palmer, QB ARI – Not only are Palmer’s aggregate numbers (2,386-20-6) spectacular, his consistency has set him apart from many of his positional peers. To that point, the Cardinals quarterback has at least 300 yards or multiple touchdowns in every game this season, hitting the former benchmark five times and the latter six (overlapping three times). He’s averaging 21.2 points per game, and more importantly has yet to fall below 17 points in a single contest. Essentially, he’s everything you’re looking for at the position – his ceiling can win you weeks, while his floor won’t ever lose you any. He’s worth the investment.
  2. Michael Floyd, WR ARI – As it turns out, Palmer isn’t the only ascending player in the desert. To that point, Floyd has now scored in three straight games, while accumulating eight targets in two of them. In the process he’s once again showing an ability to win in both the intermediate and deep game, reminding us all that he was a former first round pick for a reason. Teammates John Brown and Larry Fitzgerald continue to receive more press, so while Floyd’s price has gone up, it’s still manageable. If he continues to play as well as he has, that could change soon.
  3. Alshon Jeffery, WR CHI – If you break it down to a per-game average, there’s been little to no difference between what Jeffery has done this season and the numbers fantasy WR1 DeAndre Hopkins has put forward. To that point, Jeffery is not only acting as a ball hog (12.3 targets per game), he’s making good on his market share by corralling a weekly 7.7 receptions for 114 yards and 0.7 scores. Yes, the sample size is small thus far in 2015, but it’s not as if this is some new phenomenon – Jeffery was fantastic last year too, and also in 2013. He won’t come cheap, but if Jeffery keeps it up he could find himself as a perennial top three-five dynasty asset.

Sell Low

  1. Marquess Wilson, WR CHI – Similar to Washington above, Wilson performed reasonably well when called upon. Unfortunately, with Jeffery back to full health and monopolizing looks, Wilson simply doesn’t have that role anymore. To quantify that position, Wilson has only been able to secure seven targets over the past two games, turning them into a paltry 68 scoreless yards – not exactly similar to his two-game binge in weeks four and five where he popped off for a combined 12-165-1. Though Eddie Royal and Matt Forte are set to miss a few games, I still can’t get behind endorsing Wilson, especially given first-round rookie Kevin White is lurking for 2016 and beyond. It’s easy to see his value continuing to steadily decline.
  2. Branden Oliver, RB SD – When rookie Melvin Gordon was busy fumbling the ball all over the field, Oliver got his chance and promptly did little with it apart from some usage in the passing game. Now that Gordon’s punishment is seemingly over, it’s challenging to see Oliver rising above number three on the depth chart. Much like with Rivera last week, you’re probably not going to get much (if anything) in return here, but don’t forget – roster spots are a form of currency as well. And while Oliver is, if nothing else, a fairly solid player, you could likely find more upside on the waiver wire.
  3. Isaiah Crowell, RB CLE – The dirty truth of Crowell’s 2014 campaign was that he wasn’t all that good, functioning inefficiently in the run game and hardly at all in the passing attack. In fact, Crowell’s season would’ve been largely forgettable if not for his eight touchdowns, which accounted for a whopping 38% of his PPR fantasy points. Now the scores just aren’t coming, and we’re left with a mediocre ball carrier who’s losing work to two other running backs in Duke Johnson and Robert Turbin. It wouldn’t shock me to see this three-headed monster of a situation continue for the duration of the year, capping Crowell’s fantasy ceiling – I’d look to recoup what you can while his name still carries a modicum of value.

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eric hardter