The trade deadline has come and gone. Depending on your league, there are either 2 or 3 weeks remaining before the playoffs. Byes are mostly done, so in an ideal world, you can just sit and let your starting lineup take care of business the rest of the way. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. We live in a world of stress, a world of injuries, and a world of uncertainties. We live in a world with real-world fantasy football issues. Issues like Jonas Gray are neither black nor white. It’s unclear how the Bengals will split touches between Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. Is Tom Brady actually good? Is Buffalo a winter version of Atlantis? Will Jordan Cameron ever play again? Issues like these will continue to plague fantasy owners through the playoffs. The only way to really be prepared is to solidify your bench.
That’s why I’m here to help. My weekly Buy/Sell posts will help you decide which players will stick going forward, and which are flukes. The name of the game is value, so if you can buy low and sell high, you’ll be set up to win your league.
Let’s start with budding superstar, Jonas Gray.
Sell: Jonas Gray – RB – NE: Gray took over the Monday Night stage in a big way last week. However, the element of surprise is gone, and he still plays for New England. Much like Safeco Park in Seattle is death to fly balls, Bill Belichek is death to fantasy running backs. Expect Gray to get some carries each week, but certainly don’t expect regular 100 yard games… or anything close to that. If your deadline hasn’t passed, and you can flip him for absolutely anything, do it. Unless, of course, you are incredibly desperate for a RB.
What about injured players?
Sell: Jeremy Hill – RB – CIN: You know, Gio’s back, but a lot of folks are talking about Hill being the main back, or at least stealing quite a few carries from Bernard. My problem with that is two-fold. First of all, Gio’s awesome. He’s super talented, and there’s not much reason Hill should be taking carries away from him. Second, while I agree, Gio’s injuries could keep him off the field a bit, I’ll be surprised if it’s a long-term platoon. I’m rolling with Gio, and selling on Hill.
Sell: Jordan Cameron – TE – CLE: Cameron is going to miss another game this week. This will be his 5th missed game of the season. In the games he has played, he hasn’t had more than 3 catches. This is a lost year for Cameron, who has been dealing with a bum shoulder and multiple concussions. Even if he plays the rest of the year, it’s tough to imagine that he’s going to be playing at 100%, or be anywhere near his normal playing shape. It’s also hard to imagine that he’s going to see increased targets with Josh Gordon coming back to the mix.
Sell: Dwayne Allen – TE – IND: Allen’s injury is being classified as a high ankle sprain. That means he’s likely to miss at least two weeks. Even when he comes back, he could struggle to find his explosiveness off the line, which could hurt his blocking, evasiveness, and jumping abilities. Even if he returns quickly, this is an injury that could limit his playing time.
Buy: Coby Fleener – TE – IND: Dwayne Allen’s dealing with a high ankle sprain. These are generally not rest-a-week-and-return injuries. Fleener could be the top Indy tight end for the rest of the fantasy season. Fleener had some strong games as a starter last season, and put up 144 yards as Allen’s replacement last week. Luck has been targeting his tight ends like crazy in the red zone this season, so Fleener is a guy you must take a flyer on.
Here’s some miscellany.
Buy: Detroit – DEF: Detroit has a tough matchup with New England this week, but afterwards, they’ll finish out the season with Chicago, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, and Chicago again. The interceptions should be flowing.
Sell: Tom Brady – QB – NE: Tom Brady fell back to earth last week against the colts, and he has some tough opponents coming up (DET, SD, MIA). Add some cold weather into that, and Brady’s a somewhat risky start in crunch time.
Buy: Matthew Stafford – QB – DET: Calvin Johnson is back, and the Lions get to face some seriously bad teams down the line. Ignore the dud against Arizona, Stafford should finish the year strong.
Buy: Malcolm Floyd – WR – SD: If you are relatively desperate at FLEX or WR3, Floyd is a reliable option. He’s been seeing 6-7 targets per game over the last 5 weeks. He’s bound to find the end zone a bit more than he has, and with some tough defensive opponents coming up, Rivers will likely look to his most trusted, go-to receivers more often.