I like to make fantasy football trades. Really, who doesn’t? We all look at other teams’ rosters, checking out who we might be able to snag without giving up too much, who can make our teams better, who someone might be too low on, etc. Fantasy football trades are fun. Each week, I’ll be writing a column describing some guys I’d be trading for and why. Usually, they’ll be “buy low” guys, but sometimes they’ll just be guys that I might be higher on than most. I’ll also be giving you some sell high guys who you should try to trade away while their values are high. We’re now three weeks into the season and starting to get a better sense of value for guys across the league. It’s a perfect time to start making moves with the rest of the year (and bye weeks) in mind.
Matthew Stafford (QB, DET) – Simply because the Lions-Titans game yesterday was out of this world. But seriously, had Shaun Hill not come in for Stafford at the end of the game due to a muscle strain, Stafford would have been in line for a monster game. He still leads what is a high-scoring offense and is one of the best quarterback options in fantasy football. Pay the price for someone who will be worth it to you the rest of the season.
Doug Martin (RB, TB) – No wonder Greg Schiano wants to keep the ball on the ground regardless of the situation. Josh Freeman is terrible! Martin continues to get heavy work with almost no timeshare from LeGarette Blount (21 touches to Blount’s 4). Martin could be in for plenty of weeks like week three, where he had 74 total yards and failed to reach the end zone. But if he keeps getting this much work, there’s no reason to think he won’t score on an every other game average. Buy him before he has a two touchdown week.
(WR, MIN) – The most dangerous weapon on the Minnesota offense (sorry, Adrian Peterson) continues to be treated as such and remains the focal point of Christian Ponder’s targets. So how can he possibly be a buy low? Harvin has yet to find the end zone this season, making him a low-end number two option so far in standard leagues. With how many targets he’s getting and Ponder’s everyday progression as an NFL quarterback, Harvin has the potential to be a top five wide receiver this season. If someone is willing to take a Dwayne Bowe or even Roddy White for him, I’d do that in a heartbeat.
Jacob Tamme (TE, DEN) – Jacob “Targets” Tamme continues to be more involved in the Broncos offense than the statistics would indicate. He has only has 10 receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown, but he has been targeted more than several prominent tight ends, including Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Gates. I’d expect those numbers to improve soon if he remains a major part of the Denver offense, and especially when Peyton Manning starts getting back in the swing of things more than he has so far in this young season.
Ben Roethlisberger (QB, PIT) – Big Ben put up huge numbers on in week three, as his 384 yards and four touchdowns made him the number one quarterback of the week. It’s a pretty safe bet that he won’t be able to top those numbers at any point the rest of this season. Now, not that Roethlisberger’s a slouch of a quarterback that’s going to tank after this week. He isn’t. But if there’s someone out there who buys into this performance as something that can happen with any sort of consistency, sell to that guy for all he has.
Mikel Leshoure (RB, DET) – Another one of the beneficiaries of the absurdity that was the Lions-Titans game, Leshoure gives Detroit something they haven’t had in quite a while: a powerful, inside runner. Leshoure put up 134 total yards on 30 touches and was able to cross the goal-line, leaving him as the fifth best running back on Sunday. Unfortunately for Leshoure, he plays on a team that is very dedicated to the passing game. The Lions passed over 60 percent of the time in week three. He won’t have too many games this season where he has this sort of impact, and he’s definitely not anywhere near a top five back the rest of the way.
Larry Fitzgerald (WR, ARI) – Kevin Kolb. John Skelton. Kevin Kolb. John Skelton. Did that get through? Okay, good. I’m definitely buying Fitzgerald’s production from weeks one and two more than his week three game. I do think that his quarterback has a significant impact on whether he’s able to be an elite receiver or not. And with his current options throwing the ball, it’s hard to imagine Fitzgerald putting up more than the 80 catches, 1,411 yards and eight touchdowns that he had in a “disappointing” 2011 season.
Tony Gonzalez (TE, ATL) – He USED to be the best tight end in the NFL. Emphasis on the past tense. You can’t possibly buy a 36 year old as the best tight end in the NFL in 2012. You have Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Antonio Gates and even Aaron Hernandez when he’s healthy. Gonzalez, at this point in his career, is not up with the rest of those guys. What he’s done in the first three weeks of this season is truly impressive, but there’s no way he keeps it up, especially with Atlanta’s dedication to providing an environment for breakout wide receiver Julio Jones to explode onto the scene.