Who to Target: A Fantasy Football Trade Column (Week Six)
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 just over a month away from the trade deadline, so start making moves to improve your team while you still can!
Michael Vick (QB, PHI) – Unlucky. That’s what I use to describe Michael Vick. And usually with Vick, unlucky means he suffered an injury. In this case, he’s had several unfortunate turnovers the past couple weeks that could have increased his point totals. In week five, Vick had a rushing touchdown erased by a fumble inches away from the goal line. Swap that fumble for a touchdown, and Vick has more points than Tom Brady in week five. He’s currently the 16th highest ranked quarterback in 2012, but since he’s remained healthy so far, that will definitely change. Expect top 10 point totals from now on, assuming he can continue to remain healthy.
Steven Jackson (RB, STL) – The workhorse of the St. Louis offense failed to reach the end zone yet again in week five, but that really has no choice but to change. The Rams lost their best wide receiver (Danny Amendola) to a broken clavicle, which was nearly life-threatening. With not many other options in the passing game, expect the sure-handed Jackson to become even more of a vocal point as the Rams will look to him through the air more. He has less fantasy points than Brandon Bolden and Pierre Thomas so far. That tells you where his value lies. He should be able to be had from a frustrated owner with relative ease.
(WR, ATL) – He’s a top five dominant wide receiver in this league. No question. Jones has had some rough luck with a hand injury that’s held him back in a couple contests, but his big performance in week five should be a sign of things to come. Currently the 11th
ranked wide receiver in most leagues, Jones is well worth whatever price you’d have to pay for an A.J. Green, Brandon Marshall or Victor Cruz. Grab him before he passes Roddy White in value, which is sure to happen in the next week or two.
Jordan Cameron (TE, CLE) – This is my reach of the week. I assume he’s an available free agent in most of your leagues. Grab him. For those of you who missed on the chance and somebody else already has him, get him on the cheap while you still can. This athletic superfreak is about to bust out in a big way. He would have had a monster game in week five against the Giants if not for a debatable holding call bringing back a long touchdown in which he destroyed the coverage to get wide open in the end zone. He’s going to be a stud by the end of the year.
Alex Smith (QB, SF) – I’m going to preface this by saying I do buy what Smith is doing. He did it all last season. The conservative, mistake-free approach that the Niners have in the passing game is something Smith can execute perfectly. That being said, he dominated Buffalo’s terrible pass defense in week five. That will be the highest point total Smith has this season. The Niners just don’t pass enough, or long enough, for Smith to come anywhere near those numbers on a weekly basis. I’d sell to an owner who lost RGIII this weekend or is frustrated by the lack of production from Vick or Matthew Stafford. As a matter of fact, I’d swap Smith for Vick or Stafford if you can get away with it.
Ahmad Bradshaw (RB, NYG) – This is a three-headed running attack. It is. And while Bradshaw looked like he could dominate a football field by himself in week five, David Wilson also looked good in a limited role. Assuming Andre Brown returns from his recently suffered concussion sometime soon, his impressive play so far will also warrant some carries in his direction each game. I see this split ending up something like Bradshaw getting 50 percent of the carries and Wilson and Brown each getting somewhere around 25 perfect. Sell Bradshaw while he still looks like the workhorse in the backfield.
James Jones (WR, GB) – Backup. Tell yourself 100 times over while you’re currently reaping the rewards from the underrated Jones. He’s still a backup. As soon as Greg Jennings returns from his groin injury, Jones’ production will go back down. It’s nice for the Packers to know they have a reliable backup in case Jennings’ injury lingers or returns, but they don’t view Jones the same way they view Randall Cobb. Cobb is the dynamic playmaker who can jump into a couple different roles on this team, which is why he was viewed as a sleeper by so many before the season started. When Jennings is healthy, the passes will primarily go back to him and Nelson, with an emphasis on getting Cobb more involved. This will leave Jones as the number four option and not worth starting unless someone else suffers an injury. Deal him while he’s still the 13th ranked wide receiver in fantasy football.
Tony Gonzalez (TE, ATL) – Look familiar? Sigh. I’ll eat some crow on Gonzo. I’ve been calling him a sell-high all year so far, and he goes out and puts up huge numbers in week five. But he’s now the number one tight end in all of fantasy football through five weeks. He can’t keep that up at 36 years of age… right? Right? I say no way. Gonzalez is too high of an injury risk at his age, and the Falcons are looking more at establishing Julio Jones in the passing game than anyone else. Even if Gonzalez stays healthy, I don’t see him staying in the top five for the rest of the season. See if you can land another marquee tight end that you can rely on, like Rob Gronkowski or Vernon Davis.