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 ten suggestions:
Ridley (4-0-0, 1-(-5)-0) actually lost aggregate yardage, Ebron (0-0-0) was goose-egged and Forte remained sidelined (bad week for me, here). Welker (2-13-0) was quiet, Sanchez (26/41, 261-2-3) was a turnover machine and West (11-16-0, 2-48-0) was injured early on. Langford (13-25-1, 3-17-0) buoyed his slow day with a score, Stewart (21-102-0, 1-12-1) ran past, around and through Washington and Bryant was on bye. Garcon (3-43-0) played third fiddle once again, Cameron (2-21-0) salvaged his day with a touchdown and Spiller was on bye.
Onto the fallout from week 11, holiday-style!
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Allen Robinson, WR JAX – The guy just refuses to be denied. After a slow start to the season against shutdown corner Josh Norman, Robinson has accumulated at least 50 yards in every subsequent contest, scoring in five of them (seven total touchdowns). He’s surpassed 100 yards thrice, and positively done work on tough secondaries such as the Jets, Texans and Bills in the process. Apart from Odell Beckham, it’s reasonable to assert he’s the best sophomore pass catcher.
Much like turkey at Thanksgiving, the guy is a must-have. Even if you have to fight customers at the supermarket and deal with price gouging in the process, you do what it takes to bring home the best part of the meal. I’d even consider taking him over some prime rib like Dez Bryant or Demaryius Thomas, provided you can get a nice side dish as a throw-in. Ultimately, this guy deserves to be the centerpiece of your fantasy feast.
Giovani Bernard, RB CIN – Like a dish that can be made in many delicious ways, Bernard has excelled no matter the scenario. Used as a feature back with entire series to himself, as well as a passing down maven, Bernard has been the bastion of efficiency in the process. Literally and metaphorically he’s run laps around backfield mate Jeremy Hill.
With that said, there are many who don’t believe in the third-year runner. Heck, I was one of them this off-season, but things have clearly changed and we have a plethora of new data with which to work. Much like with stuffing, everyone is going to prefer it the way they’ve known it their whole lives – if Bernard’s play doesn’t satisfy a more discriminate owner, you could be getting a steal.
Or sweet potatoes. Whatever. They’re yams to me and this is my column – <pulls sunglasses over eyes> – deal with it!
Javorius Allen, RB BAL – Look, I’m not a huge fan of “Buck,” and actually believed the team preferred Lorenzo Taliaferro before he went down for the year. But I do like yams, despite the fact I know many would disagree. And that’s ultimately the point, isn’t it?
If Allen is yams to you, go out and get him and then eat up. He’s going to get the bulk of the carries due to starter Justin Forsett’s broken arm, and if your trade partner isn’t a huge fan that’s essentially playoff-push start-ability for what could amount to 75 cents on the dollar. In the barren hellscape that is the NFL’s collective running back corps, you could certainly do a whole lot worse right about now.
Frank Gore, RB IND – Look, gravy makes things better. In fact, when it comes to my Thanksgiving meal I slather that sweet sauce on damn near everything on my plate. But it’s not like I’m chugging the stuff right out of the bowl, ya know?
Gore is a great player, but he clearly needs the rest of the offensive plate to improve his situation. And right now, that plate features a fix-in by the name of Ahmad Bradshaw, who had 13 touches to Gore’s 19 this past week. Gore is still the nominal starter, but Bradshaw has history with the team and is clearly trusted in the red zone. If you could sell him for a standalone side, I’d explore that option before he becomes leftovers.
Jordan Matthews, WR PHI – It’s the part of the meal that seems like it’s there just because everyone believes it should be. That’s how I feel about Matthews right now – he’s supposedly the top pass catcher in what was supposed to be one of the league’s best offenses, but a funny thing happened along the way. From top to bottom, the Eagles have disappointed in grandiose fashion.
Matthews has been at the heart of the matter, contributing little more than drops as he’s floundered as the team’s supposed biggest weapon. Apart from an overtime explosion versus the Cowboys in early November, Matthews has been held under 60 receiving yards every game dating back to week two, with only one score. I’m not throwing in the towel on him, but it’s clear he’s over his head without Jeremy Maclin in the fold to deflect attention, much like every other part of the Thanksgiving meal doing its best to hide those obtrusive cranberries. If you don’t like him, don’t pretend to like him – sell him to someone who thinks you should.
Marshawn Lynch, RB SEA – Hey, I love Lynch. Well, I love what he used to be, at least – in fact, just last year he would’ve been in the running for the turkey. Unfortunately, he’s contributed nothing to the plate this year, and nearly every time you’ve started him (apart from an October clash with the rival 49ers) you’ve likely left with nothing more than a bitter taste in your mouth.
Now recent news has surfaced that he might be in line for sports-hernia surgery. At the very least, he appears pessimistic for week 12 versus the Steelers. We’ve reached the point where his spot on your roster is actually taking away from the rest of the spread on the table. Perhaps he’ll return this season, and perhaps he’ll even come back next year and reclaim a bit of his former glory, but that’s far too uncertain as far as I’m concerned. If you don’t want to be stuck with the booby prize of the meal, now’s the time to look towards a trade partner with damaged taste buds.
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