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Buy and Sell Week 5 

Week 5 Buy and Sell

Fantasy sports reward you mightily for being early to the party. Last week, in this very space, I extolled the virtues of Andre Ellington and recommended him as a waiver-wire add or buy-low. After Sunday, I have seen piles upon piles of talking heads bring up his name in favorable fashion so if you slept on him for even as short as this one week, it may already be too late.

I am astounded at how much fantasy games have changed in the past twelve years or so. I remember even as late as the early ‘00s, I could easily dominate most leagues just by paying attention to pre-season reports in the local paper or search-engine news hub. There wasn’t the mass amount of to-the-second reporting allowed by a stream of social media outlets. The plethora of podcasts, TV spots, radio shows, or fantasy analysis columns that are now commonplace simply didn’t exist. The accessibility of information has changed the game entirely, and for the better, too.

But, it also makes it harder. Getting the scoop before someone else in your league does and reacting by making the according roster move is much more difficult as everyone has the same information- and accessibility to it- as the next guy. To that end, I’ve decided to adopt in this Buy and Sell what I call the “Andre Ellington Rule.” Every week, I’ll try to offer one name in the “Buy” segment, at the very bottom, in its own special place, that I think rostering will help you get a leg up on your fellow owners. I’ll strive to find a name no one is talking about, a name likely available in even deep leagues. If you’re in a league similar to one of my 12 or 14-teamers that have been active for over a decade, you need this, badly. I’ll give this name because in those leagues, this is the name I’m looking for. This is the help I need… and most importantly this is when I need it. Not after the player has already been touted by every analyst on every outlet possible.

No, I need to be the proverbial early bird.

WEEK 4 BUY!!!
Do your best day-trader impression and click furiously until you have the following on your roster:

Quarterbacks

Terrelle Pryor
Just a reminder in case he’s still out there. If you can add him to a trade as a throw-in, even better. Not only do I consider him an adequate bye-week fill-in, I also would feel relatively comfortable with him as my starter in 10-team leagues (and definitely 12-team ones).

Robert Griffin III
RG3 and his repaired ACL again appears in my “Buy.” He has been serviceable thus far in 2013 but not the fantasy stud we all hoped for. I think as he continues to get stronger, so does his production. Conveniently, up next after his week 5 Bye are the woeful Dallas Cowboys, who are giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to Quarterbacks, a figure likely to go up after Peyton Manning and the Broncos come to town.

Running Backs

CJ Spiller
I suspect you can get Spiller on the super-cheap right now, given his injury, Fred Jackson, and performance. And while those three strikes against him may scare off the feint-of-heart owner, you are not that owner! See what lowball deal will haul Spiller in and make it.

David Wilson
I think his fantasy production begins now. Supposedly, the Giants want to get Brandon Jacobs more involved. I think that’s some sort of code for, “No, just kidding, we have no idea what we’re doing.” Or maybe, “Hey David Wilson, wake up!” In any case, I’m still buying Wilson on the low end if I can.

Frank Gore
Just in case you forgot about him, the 49ers haven’t. They’re a better team when he is heavily involved in the offense and they know it. I value him as a low-end RB-1 moving forward and think you can get him in a trade for less than that in return.

Wide Receivers

Alshon Jeffery
He was here last week, too. If he’s still available in your league after his 21-point (standard scoring) performance in week 4, you’re lucky. Go get him.

Marques Colston
Only one touchdown through four weeks. I think that ratio starts to change. If you want to make a move for him, the time is now before the scores start to come.

Andre Johnson
I view Johnson similar to Colston: the scores are coming. Andre Johnson has 34 catches in four weeks, averaging over 8 catches/week. Catches, not targets. And that includes week 3 when he was forced to leave early with a shin injury. In the three games where he has played the entire game, Johson has 29 catches for 332 yards. Uh. 29/332. That’s a pace that would run out to 155 catches for 1,771 yards over a whole season. That’s insane.

Tight Ends

Martellus Bennett
Another case where, when you eliminate one weird game where the Bears were up huge early, Bennett’s numbers are monstrous. Removing the strange tilt in Pittsburgh, the Black Unicorn (his nickname, not mine) has 18 catches for 235 yards and 3 touchdowns in 3 games. Yup.

Julius Thomas
Thomas is coming off of two straight non-double-digit weeks. In the Denver offense, that trend is likely not to continue. If you can get him on the cheap or as part of a larger deal, I really like him moving forward.

And here it is…
The Andre Ellington Rule
You heard it here before the Talking Heads, Steve next door, or any other fellow league owner. The early bird gets the worm.

Kenjon Barner
Words directly from Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera’s mouth: they want to use Kenjon Barner like Darren Sproles. Look, DeAngelo Williams hasn’t exactly impressed and the Panthers are short on playmakers at the receiving position. Steve Smith is past his prime and Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn aren’t exactly reliable (though worth noting: Ginn has caught a touchdown in each of the past two weeks). Barner was reportedly impressive in training camp, has good speed, and frankly could be very interesting paired with a dual-threat quarterback like Cam Newton. I’ve already added him in all deep leagues and am considering doing the same in my 10-teamers where I can afford the bench spot. You should, too.

SELL!!!
Now’s the time to cash in those chips, partner.

Quarterback

Colin Kaepernick
Jacksonville in week 8, Washington in week 12. Those are Kaepernick’s only truly favorable matchups on his remaining schedule. Since week 1, he hasn’t even thrown for 200 yards in a single game. Not good. As you know, this column is about value, and it seems I’m recommending a sell-low on Kaepernick. However, my belief here is that he can still bring a name-value return. Perhaps more importantly, reverse psychology can be used in your favor: the other owner may think he’s “buying low” and be super enthused with the deal, so much so that you may get him to throw in extras. I’m not saying you HAVE to move Kaepernick, but if you wanted to, it wouldn’t be the worst idea.

Also a quick note, yes, I still feel exactly the same as last week on both Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. If possible, I’m selling.

Running Backs

DeAngelo Williams
Apart from Kenjon Barner mentioned above, Jonathan Stewart is due back in two weeks. Get out now!

Danny Woodhead
Fantasy players looooooooove hype. And right now, there’s plenty of it surrounding Woodhead. Keep in mind the Chargers are a pass-first team and while Woodhead is an outstanding pass catcher, there’s also Eddie Royal. And Antonio Gates. Even Ryan Matthews and Ronnie Brown are marginally involved in the passing game. If you find someone willing to value Woodhead as an RB2 after his two-touchdown performance, I think I’d let them.

Bilal Powell
Mike Goodson. Chris Ivory. Rexy Ryan. There you go, three good reasons to sell.

Maurice Jones-Drew After This Week
Just putting it here in advance. The Rams give it up on the ground like no other. If MJD does ANYTHING at all, or even sniffs double digits, I’d move him for whatever I could get… which the real-world team that owns him may also try to do. The best-of-both-worlds scenario would be if he goes off against the Rams and then you get those points and move him immediately after as a sell-high. Awesome.

Wide Receivers

Greg Jennings
It was nice to see Jennings put up a monster week, albeit likely from your bench. Still, his week 4 is clearly the exception to the norm. I don’t see anything close to a repeat in the near future, even if Matt Cassel remains at the helm.

Vincent Jackson
Josh Freeman is officially gone in Tampa, thus signalling the end of Vincent Jackson as a WR1. If I can get equal value in return, or even slightly less, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Tight Ends

Really, I’d hold onto this guy if he was on my team, but if you were in a pinch and could get reasonable value, one big name I’d consider selling would be Tony Gonzalez, purely because his monster week might pique the curiosity of owners in need of a starting tight end. The TE position is so deep you can probably find a suitable replacement and move Gonzalez for an area of need. If that is the case, do it now while his value is at his highest.

Best of luck in week 5. As always you can tweet me @petethegreekff

_PDK