Week 1 in fantasy football has come and gone. Some players have gotten hurt, others have had their roles re-defined. Some players stepped up while others lost control of their proverbial bowels.
The first week of the season is likely the most active one on the waiver wire. So many unexpected things happen that there’s a definite need to reform the bottom of your bench. That said, the NFL changes so much from week to week, that it’s hard to drown out the white noise, and decide which players are deserving of a serious look, and which are just a flash in the pan.
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 the Ray Rice situation:
Buy: Bernard Pierce – RB – BAL
Pierce has been Rice’s backup for the last two seasons, rushing for about 500 yards in each of those seasons coming off the bench. Now that Rice is no longer a Raven, Pierce is the best option to pick up the slack. he knows the offense and the team trusts him. Baltimore has an offensive line built to run the football, and Pierce fills in nicely. He’s definitely worth a waiver pickup if he’s available, as he could be a top 15-20 back by the end of the season.
Sell: Justin Forsett – RB – BAL
Forsett is a hot name right now. He came out of game 1 with more touches and better results than Pierce. Owners are flocking to him like he’s the Fappening right now. I’m just not buying it. There’s a reason that he hasn’t averaged more than 4 carries a game since 2010. He’s undersized and just not that good. I think the Bengals were expecting Pierce to be the featured back, so when they saw Forsett on the field, they expected pass. While his 70 yards rushing and 5 receptions look nice, I’m sticking with pierce, and seeing if I can flip Forsett to a team that just lost Ray Rice.
The Broncos seem likely to get Wes Welker back sooner than expected, as the NFL unveils their new drug policy and has been rumored to be ready to reinstate Welker and Gordon. So, how should you deal with your Broncos receivers?
Buy: Wes Welker – WR – DEN
The announcement hasn’t been made official yet, so the person in your league that owns Welker might not realize how soon Welker could be back. If you can catch that owner unaware, you could get a solid deal on him. He’s been cleared to play by doctors, so let go of any worries about his concussion. Even if he doesn’t come back until next week, or even if his suspension isn’t overturned, Welker is a very valuable commodity to have, especially in PPR leagues. He’s a possession receiver that has made himself a favorite target of the best QB in the league. If your team can survive while he’s out, he’s going to elevate your playoff roster to elite status.
Sell: Emmanuel Sanders – WR – DEN
I love Emmanuel Sanders’ game, but with Welker returning, he’s a WR3 or WR4 at best. The Broncos throw the ball a lot, he’s likely going to be behind Welker, D. Thomas, and J. Thomas in targets. He’s a very hot name right now, and his Week 1 stats back it up. But you’d be wise to sell him now before the luster wears off and he’s averaging 3 catches per game.
The Packers looked pretty bad against the league’s best defense. Don’t buy into the poor stats from the passing game, but there might be some reason to worry.
Buy: Jarrett Boykin – WR – GB
Boykin emerged as a favorite target of Rodgers at the end of the year. He was dropped like crazy after Thursday’s game where he wasn’t thrown to once. Boykin was matched up with Richard Sherman for most of the game, and the Packers had clearly made a decision to avoid throwing in Sherman’s direction. Aaron Rodgers is a master at spreading the ball around, and without a TE like JerMichael Finley, the Packers #3 wideout is a vital part of their offense. Look for Boykin to bounce back and put up some very solid numbers in the coming weeks.
Sell: Eddie Lacy – RB – GB
This is a tough one. Lacy is one of the best backs in the league, and plays in an offense that runs a lot of plays. However, he lost his starting Center before the season began, and he lost his starting tackle before the first game ended. The sixth man in that line, Don Barclay, is also out with an injury, meaning that the Packers offensive line is made up of a mix of first, second, and third stringers. I’m not sure how much the SpaghEddie Monster’s production will decline, but considering how much of a return you could get for a first round pick like Lacy, you might be better off trying to flip him now, just in case.