Only one week is in the bag, I know. There is plenty of football to be played, and most owners who know what they’re doing won’t push the panic button after just one lousy game from his early round stud player.
But looking at player values and their prospective ebbs and flows are critical to being a successful fantasy trader. You’d know that if you read my companion piece: Five tips for successful early season trading.
So which players are ones you want to target at the moment? Which should you look to move?
Players to target
DeAngelo Williams, CAR. Said it all here, but for those who have finger fatigue and can’t bear to click one more link, here is the Reader’s Digest version: Williams had poor stats last week in a game where Carolina was playing catchup early and often, airing it out and limiting carries for their vaunted running backs. The real good news, under the surface of the boxscore, is that Williams had 16 carries to Jonathan Stewart’s five. If this sort of breakdown continues, Williams could be in line for a solid campaign in 2010, starting this week against a much less formidible Tampa Bay defense.
Matt Schaub, HOU. Scoring just eight fantasy points in most scoring formats from a guy who was expected to do big things in what was supposed to be a high-scoring shootout has turned off many a fantasy owner. But Schaub’s lowly Week 1 performance was due more to the Texans exploiting a very poor Indianapolis run defense. He still has some of the best weapons in the game and Owen Daniels will continue to be more and more involved in the passing attack, too. Schaub will rebound, and if he can stay healthy all season, will be a solid fantasy player the rest of the way.
Joe Flacco, BAL. Anyone who looks at actual matchups would have figured that Flacco would have a mediocre Week 1 against the highly touted Jets defense. The silver lining was how effective Anquan Boldin was despite the solid defense and the addition of TJ Houshmanzadeh to an offense that already had some solid pass catching options.
Michael Crabtree, SF. A young talent with lots of promise, his off-the-field antics with tight end Vernon Davis and basic lack of stats in Week 1 are concernign for a lot of owners … to a point where you may be able to get him at a very reduced rate, especially if he struggles again this week against New Orleans. I wouldn’t sell the farm for Crabtree — you have to be at least a little concerned about his prima donna attitude of late — but for the right price, he’s worth obtaining.
Mike Sims-Walker, JAC. Not buying him for much … have much concern about his total disappearing act in Week 1 (yes it was against Champ Bailey, but other lesser-talented receivers have managed at least a catch against Bailey). However, for a very cheap price, you’d be silly not to roster Sims-Walker and hope for the best.
Vincent Jackson, ??. One of the reasons to watch player news closely is to learn nuggets like we did earlier this week. VJax met with the NFL and if the Chargers move him before Sept. 22, he could be back on the field in several weeks. Word is that the Vikings, with Brett Favre, mind you, are serious bidders at the moment. As much as I detest arrogant players, you can’t ignore that he could be very, very valuable with Favre slinging the pigskin his way. Snatch him now and hope he gets dealt in time to make a difference for your team.
Player to consider dealing
LeSean McCoy, PHI. Was at the Philly-GB season opener and was disappointed in how McCoy was used. Before the Kevin Kolb injury, Michael Vick was in on a lot of plays as a second QB, running out of the backfield and racking up yards faster than Paris Hilton racks up credit card bills. This, of course, left McCoy with only a small portion of the carries and pedestrian stats outside of his one TD. The future plans of the Eagles offense is a big mystery, but you better believe that Michael Vick is here to stay and will be a big part of the offense in some capacity or another. A bright spot is this week’s matchup with Detroit, where McCoy should fare well enough to give people hope he will be a major fantasy cog moving forward in PPR formats. However, the schedule gets progressively tougher after Detroit and Jacksonville, leading up to one of THE toughest fantasy playoff matchup for any RB … vs. the NYG in Week 15 and the Vikings in Week 16.
David Garrard, JAC. Garrard’s 25 points of fantasy production in Week 1 was very misleading. For one, he only threw 170 yards, and two of his TD passes went to a less-than-stellar Mercedes Lewis. This won’t continue. Mike Sims-Walker, the Jaguars leading receiver in 2009, wasn’t involved at all in the passing game and his disappearing, while against Champ Bailey, makes one wonder what the season holds. Garrard will have some good games from time to time, and he won’t net you a whole lot in a trade at the moment, but you may get more now than you do when he struggles to notch three TDs again in a single game … as early as this week, perhaps?
Austin Collie, IND. He will have games like this again. His 11 catches for 163 yards and a score were impressive, to say the least, but they also game in a game where Peyton Manning was chucking the ball everywhere, frantically trying to catch up. The Colts won’t be in too many of those situations this year, and Collie has some very good talent to share catches with, namely Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and Pierre Garcon. While he will have breakout games from time to time, I don’t think he’ll be consistent enough to start without giving yourself a large ulcer. Or two.
Brandon Lloyd, DEN. We all expected a veteran journeyman WR to break out for Denver in Week 1. Just didn’t expect it to be Brandon Lloyd. His five catches for 117 yards were sweet, but he still has to compete with Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal and a pair of extremely talented rookie receivers (Eric Decker and Damaryius Thomas) and that doesn’t bode well for consistent fantasy scoring.
Who are your players to target/players to deal? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.