Trade deadline decisions: Five players you need to sell now

As a parent, one of the biggest desires is to protect your child. To help them avoid getting hurt. Bad situations and ultimately the bad decisions that follow can seem to come at a slow pace, and all you can do sometimes is to stand there, hoping for the best.

Such is the feeling, at times, during fantasy football trade deadline time. There are certain players that represent fantasy land mines. Their string of success is about to come crashing down in a blazing heap. The trade deadline gives you one last chance to jump ship before it is too late.

Such is the case with the following players. They are the perfect sell-high candidates, and you should take some time to see what interest you can get before you’re stuck with a ticking bomb on your roster.

Tim Tebow, QB, DEN.

Few players have been able to match the buzz that surrounds Tim Tebow. He’s become a pop culture-esque figure despite starting just a handful of games. He’s willed the Broncos to a 3-1 record.

Fantasy owners who look at the bottom line (total points) may be just as star-struck at the moment. In leagues where TDs count for six and rushing yardage is rewarded at a point per each 10-yard clip, Tebow is the fourth-highest scoring QB over the past four weeks.

He’s higher than Michael Vick, Tom Brady, Tony Romo and every other signal caller not named Rodgers, Brees or Roethlisberger.

So why sell now on such a young phenom? Because of the numbers behind the numbers. The Broncos are running a quirky read-option offense that has left opposing defenses befuddled so far – the reason for the change is allegedly because the entire Denver system admits that Tebow will crash and burn if forced to run a typical NFL offense.

So the Broncos have committed to the read-option for the time being, and as long as it works, they’ll likely stick with it – and Tebow.

However, the offense’s longevity is a big question mark. Most every NFL expert suggests it is nothing more than a gimmick that NFL defenses will figure out more sooner than later. They compare it to the wildcard offense that Ronnie Brown and the Dolphins rallied with a few years ago, only to see the trend quickly fizzle as defenses adapted.

So how quickly will defenses adapt to Tebow’s read-option? Most don’t expect it to take much longer – possibly as quickly as by tonight’s game against the vaunted Jets defense.

In other words, it is time to sell – and sell quickly. When the Broncos have to revert back to a more traditional offense, Tebow’s value will fade abruptly. Don’t be holding this hot potato when the music stops.

Marques Colston, WR, NO.

To suggest that Colston is a top-end fantasy receiver is no surprise. He has shown during his long NFL career that he can hang with the best of the best. However, the past four weeks have seen Colston soar to new heights.

In fact, he’s the third-highest scorer among all receivers over the past month, behind just Larry Fitzgerald and Antonio Brown. That trend could continue moving forward. The Saints aren’t afraid to chuck the pigskin around and Drew Brees is one of the best in the business at making plays in the passing game.

However, one thing we can count on with Mr. Colston is that his productive spurts are almost always bookended by injuries. He struggles to stay healthy and is playing on legs that seem to be held together with duct tape and chicken wire.

Plus, the Saints have always been a team known for spreading the wealth, especially among its receivers. While Colston has shown some consistency over the past several weeks, there is no guarantee that Lance Moore or Robert Meachem or Devery Henderson or some guy off the practice squad won’t be the next to break out any given Sunday.

Laurent Robinson, WR, DAL.

Still looking at the top performers at receiver over the past four weeks in PPR formats, and surprisingly Robinson is fifth. That’s especially impressive for a guy who’s averaged less than four catches during that span, and what it means is that he’s been fortunate enough for his catches to come at just the right time and place for him to capitalize.

That luck won’t continue forever, especially with Miles Austin expected back with the Cowboys in the not-too-distant future. There are just too many playmakers (Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, not to mention rookie upshot DeMarco Murray at RB) for Robinson to maintain his torrid pace.

Michael Bush, RB, OAK.

There is no surprise from this writer that Michael Bush has been super-productive lately. Over the past four weeks, he has scored 64 points in PPR leagues, tying him for seventh among all halfbacks during that stretch. However, 52 of those points came in the past two weeks, meaning he’s averaging 26 points per week during the timespan that Darren McFadden has missed with foot ailments.

I have little doubt that Bush will continue to have some value once McFadden comes back – which could come as quickly as Week 12. However, he is not going to maintain elite back status from a stats-standpoint, and if you can get an option with less competition in the near future, you should bail ship.

Reggie Bush, RB, MIA.

Odd pairing here. Two running backs with the same last name who, over the past four weeks, have exactly the same number of points in PPR leagues. Meaning, they’re both tied for seventh among all RBs over the past month with 64 points.

Of course, the receptions help Reggie moreso than Michael, and with the Dolphins continually trying to scratch their way into games – and perhaps into a win or two – Bush will continue to see usage in different formats.

What isn’t good for Reggie is, first of all, his track record. This is his sixth season in the NFL, and he has yet to see a full slate of games. In fact, his overall rushes have consistently seen a down grade each season he’s been in the NFL and his limited durability is one the main reasons behind that.

His yards per carry average is below four throughout his career. This season, the average was similar through the first four games. In the past five contests, that number jumped to 5.7 yards per carry. So, either Reggie suddenly has become a more efficient runner more than five years into his NFL career, or the numbers the past several weeks are a fluke. Another interesting tidbit – Reggie’s three rushing TDs this season all have come in the past two games.

The wheels will fall off at some point, and with rookie Daniel Thomas officially healthy now, expect Bush’s workload to decrease.

2 Responses to “Trade deadline decisions: Five players you need to sell now”


  1. Dante Bruno

    Jzack, I just read this and though I agree with most of it, there are two things I disagree with enough to respond to. Its post Tebow so I can only tell you that would have had this opinion prior to the Jets game. I figure that anyone who is playing Tebow does not already have a top tier option (LOL) at QB. I understand the comparison to the wildcat but Tebow and the Denver offense will evolve out of the read option and thats not what happened in Miami.I don’t think the defenses in San Diego or Minnesota will figure him out enough to slow him down all that much. He has averaged 17.6 points a game after five starts and only four quarterbacks have higher averages than that. Who would you replace him with if you didn’t have them or Eli, Ben or Romo?
    The four games this year that both Robinson and Austin were both playing, (games 6-9) they were both used and Robinson scored in two of those. I think that Robinson owners will get some more great games feom him. D.

  2. jzak

    The problem with Tebow is that almost every NFL analyst who knows what they are talking about suggests that Tebow will never be able to “evolve” out of the read-option. From all accounts, he will only be viable until the read-option becomes as outdated as the wildcat. Will that last far enough to get you through the fantasy playoffs? I really doubt it.
    And who to target? Carson Palmer may have some scared by the high interception rate, but there is little doubt he can play. I would easily want him over Tebow moving forward. Much more week-to-week scoring stability in my opinion.
    As far as Laurent, he has made stats using very limited receptions. I consider that fluky. While DeSean Jackson and other true speed threats (Torrey Smith) can make the most of a lesser amount of receptions, Robinson lacks the skill set to do so over the long haul. Considering his current stat level, I think you can swing him for a more reliable option for down the stretch.