Managing a fantasy football team can be like the playing the stock market; you always want to “buy low” and “sell high” when making trades to upgrade your roster. This week our fantasy team of James Morris and Jon Cope give your their opinions on several players who have substantially surprised or drastically disappointed fantasy owners thus far in 2012. Hold on to your Dolphins hat people, the ride is going to get bumpy as we go over this rocky road that is fantasy football in week 3!
Reggie Bush – RB Dolphins
James Morris: Buy. I get asked if Bush is a sell-high candidate because he is ranked #4 overall in NFL.com leagues after week 2. My answer is no, hold what you have and ride this gravy train until the wheels fall off! The Dolphins are going to need a veteran leadership on an offense that is young, so Bush is going to get all the work his body can handle. You can’t expect any RB in the NFL to put up the type of numbers Bush has so far throughout the course of a season, but he WILL get the carries and he has proven he can make things happen with the pigskin in his hands.
Jon Cope: Buy. The Dolphins offensive line is coming along very nicely under a new zone-blocking scheme, and Reggie should have plenty of holes to find moving forward. Also, Reggie is a key factor in the Dolphins passing game so even if he doesn’t rush for 100 yards in a game, he has a good chance to go over 100 total yards.
Chris Johnson – RB Titans:
James Morris: Sell. CJ2K is a “sell at any cost” for me. Look the Titans have 5-turnstiles for an offensive line, and Johnson is averaging just 1.1 YPC because of it. The Titans did nothing to fix a gaping hole in their team via free agency or the draft, and it shows. Send out trades and hope someone sees him as a buy-low guy… get out while you still can.
Jon Cope: Buy. In fact, I just traded Doug Martin for Chris Johnson in one of my leagues. Look, Johnson has been awful in these first two games, but in both games the Titans got behind big early and were forced to abandon the running game. Once Kenny Britt gets fully involved in the Titans passing game, opposing defenses will have to respect the deep pass and that should open up a few more running lanes for CJ2K. I’d expect Johnson to have a nice fantasy day on Sunday against the Lions as he celebrates his 27th birthday in style.
Jamaal Charles – RB Chiefs:
James Morris: Hold. The good news is that Charles is averaging 4.1 YPC this season; the bad news he has just 22 carries in two games. He is coming off ACL surgery, and left last week’s game with knee soreness. You have to remember that not every player is Adrian Peterson, and Charles is certainly not in charge of this one! I would hold on to him because I think he picks up steam in the 2nd half of the season, but you have to bench him this week against the Saints because the Chiefs are going to limit his action.
Jon Cope: Sell. It appears as if Charles is part of a three-way running back by committee with Peyton Hillis and Shaun Draughn with all three running backs averaging anywhere from 5-11 carries per game over the Chiefs first couple of games. As James mentions, coming off the knee injury, there’s no guarantee that Charles will immediately regain the explosiveness that he showed in 2010.
Danny Amendola – WR Rams:
James Morris: Buy. Amendola is a poor man’s Wes Welker, and I would run to the waiver wire and snatch him up right now (owned in just 13.2 percent of NFL.com leagues)! The Rams offense is going to be a rollercoaster ride this season, and Steven Jackson is running on two flat tires these days. Amendola has 25 targets, which accounts for 42 percent of the Rams total throws thus far. You can just stamp U.S. Mail on Amendola’s back because he is going to deliver for Sam Bradford all season long!
Jon Cope: Buy. I’ve been touting Amendola for a few weeks as a waiver wire pickup, and am shocked that he’s still available in so many leagues. He’ll be a consistent fantasy point producer all season long as an underneath receiver who can make yards after the catch. Although I’m fully in favor of you adding Amendola to your roster, I wouldn’t trade for him because his value might never be higher.
Robert Griffin III – QB Redskins As a Top 10 Fantasy QB:
James Morris: Buy. Cam I Am made a believer out of me last season, and RGIII looks like he is in command of the Redskins offense. Even in last week’s loss to the Rams, he didn’t look lost or like the game got away from him. I keep RGIII, but won’t tell people he is off limits. Remember what I said before: Every league has a village idiot, you just have to find him and make him your best friend!
Jon Cope: Sell. RG III is new, exciting, productive- all of the glitzy things that catch the eyes of fantasy owners. However, I’m going to briefly rain on the RG III parade. He has played 2 dome games against 2 defenses that are mediocre at best in St.Louis and New Orleans. RG III still has 6 games left against tough NFC East defense, 1 against the Ravens and 1 against the Steelers. Thanks but no thanks for me on RG III.
Darren McFadden – RB Raiders:
James Morris: Hold. I think you hold onto McFadden for a few more games, but he is certainly on the hot seat. The Raiders employed a new zone-blocking scheme this season, and the team is adjusting. Right now McFadden is averaging just 2.07 YPC on 26 runs this season, a far cry from the 5.4 YPC of 2011.
Jon Cope: Buy. McFadden has had the misfortune of going up against two very stout run defenses in the Chargers and the Dolphins. He’ll also have tough sledding against the Steelers this week; however, the schedule does get easier and McFadden has cupcake playoff matchups against the Chiefs and Panthers. I think McFadden is an elite talent, and just a victim of a tough opening schedule.
Larry Fitzgerald – WR Cardinals:
James Morris: Sell. Fitzgerald has no QB to throw him the ball, and regardless if he has produces in years past despite this problem, he isn’t producing this year. Look, the man has only 5 catches and 67 yards, on 16 total targets; defenses are able to double-team him because Beanie Wells isn’t going to hurt you on the ground and Andre Roberts (#2 WR) isn’t going to instill fear in any defenses heart. If you have Kevin Kolb and John Skelton as your QBs, you should have drafted a QB much higher than the 6th round (Ryan Lindley)!
Jon Cope: Buy. I know, I know, the Arizona QB situation is dreadful, BUT Fitzgerald is such a premier playmaker that I would still “buy-low” on him at this point. Let’s not forget that Fitzgerald had over 1,400 yards receiving last year with Skelton and Kolb throwing him the football. I’m not saying there aren’t challenges for Larry to be productive this season; I just believe his talent will win out in the end.
Fred Jackson – RB Bills:
James Morris: Sell. I cut bait and let someone else deal with the problem in a month. C.J. Spiller has the starting spot in a headlock, and I don’t see the Bills turning the reigns back over to Jackson given Spiller’s production thus far. Maybe they try and showcase him for an off-season trade or something in the final game, but his fantasy value is all but 0 this season.
Jon Cope: Sell. They say “you can’t lose your starting job due to injury”, but in some cases you really can. C.J. Spiller has been so dynamic in the first two weeks, that even when Jackson comes back, I highly doubt that Jackson will receive 85% of the carries as he did during the early part of last year. Also, Jackson is 31, Spiller is 25…this looks very much like a changing of the guard for the Bills at the running back position.
Darren Sproles – RB Saints, Can he be an every week starter at RB, without ever getting a carry this year?
James Morris: Buy. Yes! The guy is in a unique situation where he will be one of the best fantasy receivers in the game, but you can play him at RB and be on cloud-9. Even in non-PPR leagues, Sproles is ranked in the top 20 (top 5 in PPR leagues). If someone is willing to sell you Sproles at a reasonable price, BUY BUY BUY!
Jon Cope: It depends. I hate to be on the fence, but I think Sproles is definitely a must-start in PPR leagues. However, if your league doesn’t reward you with points for every reception, I would say Sproles is a good flex, but not necessarily a great option as a running back. I would rank him around 20th among running backs in non-PPR leagues; so there’s a decent chance you might have two better options at running back. Nevertheless, very interesting that Sproles can be a productive running back option without ever getting a carry in New Orleans this year.
Be sure to check back on Friday, for James’ week three “start ’em, sit ’em” advice.
For more fantasy football guidance, be sure to follow James on Twitter here.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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