There are just about eight weeks left until the fantasy football playoffs in most formats, so it’s time to analyze your team’s strengths and weaknesses, then make a valiant effort to address them via the waiver wire or trade market.
While most waiver wires are barren at this point, your best bet may be to try your luck wheeling and dealing with your competition.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when proposing a deal:
- Be sure analyze your opponent’s teams to make sure the players you’re offering will actually benefit their team.
- Check out the players your opponents have on bye weeks — you may be able to pry idle players from your opponents if they’re desperate.
- Avoid low ball offers. They’re less likely to deal with you if your initial offer is weak.
- Send a message along with your offer. Inform your potential trade partner your rationale and ask them what they think.
- Don’t get attached to your players. Yes, most of us do this for fun, but it’s way more fun when you win. If you get attached to your players, you’re less likely to part with them.
- Think of players like stocks. When a stock is high, sell it. When a stock is low, buy it.
With that said, some of the fine staff members here at the Fix have listed their best “buys” and “sells” for week six:
Buy: CJ Spiller
If you’re a risk averse fantasy owner, the uncertainty about how carries will be split between Spiller and Fred Jackson as well as uncertainty about Spiller’s health probably scare you away. But the upside with Spiller is so enormous (i.e. top 5 back) that you should take on whatever level of risk you perceive there to be. Spiller has more yards after contact per attempt than any other back with 25% or more of their team’s carries by more than a yard and a half, and he forces a missed tackle once every four touches, which is third best in the league. Take advantage of a few down weeks that will end up being a slight hiccup in an otherwise amazing season.
Sell: Matt Forte
Matt Forte has averaged over 300 touches in each of the last four years (sixth most over that time span), and his touches have gone from 379 down to 314 down to 288 down to 255. This year he’s on pace for just 217 touches. Some guys don’t need a ton of touches to provide big fantasy production and Forte has stemmed the fantasy decline by breaking big plays in the past. However, this year just 3.4% of his carries have gone for 15+ yards as opposed to 8.8% last year, and it stands to reason that Forte’s breakaway ability might be on the decline after more than 1,300 career touches.
Written by Brett Talley. Follow Brett on Twitter @TheRealTal.
Buy: Maurice Jones Drew
First and foremost, the Jaguars are on a bye in week six, meaning many Jones-Drew owners are likely down a top rusher for their matchup. And although the former Bruin is just outside the top ten in rushing yards (11th, 408 yards), he has just one score on the ground -- which could frustrate owners, especially in standard leagues. The lack of touchdowns on the ground isn’t exactly representative of how he’s running, but more about the strength of the run defenses he’s faced through five weeks -- including Minnesota and Chicago -- who are both in the top four against the run thus far. The road ahead gets easier for MJD, as he is slated to go Forrest Gump six more times against run defenses that are currently in the top ten most generous to ball carriers (Colts, Titans x 2, Raiders, Jets and Bills). It may cost you an arm to get him, but not the arm-and-a-leg that it would cost to acquire a current top five rusher.
Sell: Vernon Davis
There is no disputing the fact that Vernon Davis entrenched himself as a top five -- maybe even top three -- fantasy tight end option for the remainder of the season. He’s reeled in 20 passes for 303 yards and four touchdowns through the first five weeks of the season. Despite the early success, Alex Smith has only looked Davis’ way 27 times, which doesn’t even place him in the top 15 for targets among tight ends. Most importantly, tight end appears to be deeper than ever, with six of the top 15 scoring tight ends in Yahoo! standard leagues being owned in less than 70 percent of leagues (Chandler, Rudolph, Cook, Olsen, Pitta, Dressen). Try and parlay Davis with a lesser wide receiver or running back for an upgrade at that same position, then scoop a replacement off the wire.
Written by Alan Harrison. Follow Alan on Twitter @TheFantasyFix.
Buy: Ryan Mathews
Let me start by saying I do not believe you should pay anywhere near what Mathews' pre draft value was, but I do believe his floor is a low-end #2 while his ceiling is much higher than that. He is a good buy low if his current owner is worried about Jackie Battle starting the past two games or Ronnie Brown getting some 3rd down work. As these guys get more snaps it only becomes more clear that Mathews is the best talent of this group, and it is so painfully obvious that even Norv Turner can't misinterpret it. I would rather have Mathews over guys like McGahee, Mendenhall, Turner, etc.
Sell: Wes Welker
After causing his owners to panic to start the year, Welker has averaged 125 yards on over 10 catches his last 3 games and scored his first touchdown of the season last week. If I could trade Welker and get value close to what Welker has given me the past 3 weeks, I wouldn't hesitate to do so. While there is a chance that Belichik and McDaniels will realize that Welker should remain a focal point in the offense, there is also a chance that once Aaron Hernandez and Julian Edelman return the field we'll find Welker back on the sidelines for a lot of snaps. Guys I would give Welker up for include Demaryius Thomas, Reggie Wayne, etc.
Written by Ilyn Yeh. Follow Ilyn on Twitter @Ilyn.
Buy: Brandon Lloyd
Through Week 5 Brandon Lloyd is 14th in the league in targets with 45. Welker leads the team in targets with 56, but during the two weeks that Aaron Hernandez started, Lloyd had a combined 21 targets to Welker’s 16. Believe it or not, Lloyd will benefit from the return of Aaron Hernandez. His return will complicate the defensive assignments allowing Lloyd more room to operate, and the targets that Welker has been benefiting from go to Aaron Hernandez when he is healthy.
Sell: Jordy Nelson
Jordy Nelson has been brutal so far this season. With James Jones beating him in touchdowns and targets at the moment, it begs the question whether Nelson will continue to struggle. I believe he will. The offensive line has been brutal, and less time in the pocket for Rodgers is not conducive to a successful down-field “deep-ball” passing attack. If you can get Reggie Wayne or Marques Colston for him, I’d do it in a heartbeat. If you have to shoot a little lower, I’d try that as well.
Written by Josh Kay. Follow Josh on Twitter @Rays_Nut1292.
Buy: Julio Jones
Jones' three best games this year have all been on the road, where in 10 career games he has 61 catches, 1,013 yards and nine TDs. His career home numbers are all much less than his road numbers, but just think if he can come close to matching those road numbers. He's Matt Ryan's most targeted receiver through five weeks, and he should've had at least one more TD this season, as he dropped one in Week 2. Julio has top-three upside for the rest of the year and his keeper value is sky-high.
Sell: Michael Turner
As expected, Turner's value has been heavily touchdown-dependent, and in the high-powered Atlanta offense the touchdowns should continue to be there for him. But Turner's on pace for over 60 fewer carries than last year, and in three of five games this year his yards per carry has been less than four. His 171-yard performance against the Charmin-soft Carolina D was fluky, as he scored on a 60-yard touchdown reception where he somehow outraced a couple Panthers defenders. Sell Turner high on his touchdown value for someone like Adrian Peterson or Matt Forte, or even Darren Sproles in a PPR league.
Written by Andrew Miller. Follow Andrew on Twitter @44AMiller.
Buy: Matthew Stafford
A clear cut top-five quarterback before the season, he is now considered closer to top 10 by many. I'm not buying it. He has struggled a bit, but still been in double figures each week and coming off a bye week after scoring 22. I think he is still a top-five quarterback and will have more weeks like he did last week.
Sell: Alfred Morris
It's not a worry of Shanahan giving other backs the carries anymore, it is just the fact that Morris is being considered a solid RB2 by most people and I don't think he can keep that up. I've got him in a league and I'm thrilled with his performances, but I'd sell him for a more established runner if I could because I don't think an unheralded late-round rookie is going to keep running for 100 yards on a regular basis.
Written by Steve Mims. Follow Steve on Twitter @nwsportscards.
Thanks to all of the contributors to this week’s round table.
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Best of luck in week 6!