Fantasy Football Week 9: Buy and Sell Stock Report
Would you look at that? We're halfway through the NFL season. In the blink of an eye, we have made it through eight-plus weeks.
The fantasy football landscape has gone from Earth to the moon, pocked with craters and layered with dust thanks to the ravages of injuries. But there is still plenty of talent left to help your squad, and some of it can be had at a nice price.
How do these players look as "buy" or "sell" candidates this week? Click through to find out.
Buy: C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills
C.J. Spiller has previously been a buy-low candidate, but an ankle injury has decimated his value since then.
The injury has dogged him for weeks now, and it's unclear exactly when he will be back, which means he might miss another week or two.
However, according to ESPN's Mike Rodak, Spiller had some encouraging news for Bills coach Doug Marrone: "Right before the game, he said he felt really good, like he thought he might be able to go," Marrone said. "That's a good sign."
If you can get his owner to stop crying, you might be able to talk him or her into giving Spiller away for next to nothing at this point. Just be sure to hammer that injury point home.
Sell: Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals
You probably picked Andre Ellington up early this season, perhaps hoping he might provide a nice boost earlier in the year.
Until last weekend, Ellington's value was mitigated by Bruce Arians' stubbornness. Rashard Mendenhall's injury, however, opened up the floodgates for your fantasy team.
Ellington went buck wild against the Falcons in a good matchup, racking up 154 rushing yards and a touchdown that came on an 80-yard scamper.
Hopefully, you had him in your lineup. Even if you didn't, now is the time to sell high.
Buy: DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Matt Barkley is your noodle-armed quarterback in Philadelphia, and according to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, he may be starting against Oakland:
There's a good chance the Philadelphia Eagles might give the rookie from USC his first NFL start this weekend when they play at Oakland, a team that was angling to select him around the middle of the 2013 draft. The Eagles traded up to take him with the first pick of the fourth round.
Be sure to put that in your pitch to his owner when you make an offer for DeSean Jackson. He is, after all, a dangerous weapon. All it takes is one big play for him to make your fantasy day.
Sell: Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Four touchdowns. Wow.
Marvin Jones had such a good game that other owners might think he is too hot to handle in a trade. But right now is absolutely the best time to try to sell if you can—he won't be setting records every week now.
Rotoworld adds some interesting statistical info from Jones' big game:
Marvin Jones played on just 19 snaps in Sunday's win over the Jets. Yes, Jones had four touchdown catches and 122 yards while playing on 32.7 percent of the offensive snaps. It's a reminder that although the second-year man is far better than Mohamed Sanu and is a legit red-zone threat, he's not a true No. 2 wideout.
Granted, his selling point isn't just an epic explosion at the expense of the Jets. Jones has scored a touchdown in three straight games, seemingly becoming quarterback Andy Dalton's second-favorite target during that span.
Jones is well worth it on your roster, but you can exact a pound of flesh from a trade partner if he or she is desperate enough for a receiver.
Buy: Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Things were going to get tough for Tony Gonzalez once Julio Jones was knocked out for the season.
Since the star receiver went down for the count, Gonzalez has caught a total of five passes for 56 yards. Opposing defenses are keying on Gonzalez without having to worry about the likes of Jones or Roddy White, at least while the latter heals.
But Harry Douglas has emerged as a legitimate threat, and it's hard to keep Gonzalez down for long. If you can snag him at a low price, do it.
Sell: Kenny Stills, WR, New Orleans Saints
If any team was going to give up a huge game to Kenny Stills, it was the Bills. They seem to have trouble with speedy receivers.
As Dustin Hockensmith of PennLive.com explains, Stills is a high-risk fantasy option:
Disappearing act has traditionally been inherent in this role in New Orleans. … has great reward potential, but perhaps greater risk as he goes all-or-nothing as the Saints' top deep threat. … has just 13 catches in seven games, with nearly half of those coming in his last two games.
Nobody could have expected a two-touchdown effort, and they came on just four targets. As is typically the case with quarterback Drew Brees at the helm, fantasy results can be a bit erratic for his receivers.
Sell high on Stills if you can.
Buy: Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants
It's been a down few weeks for Victor Cruz when it comes to fantasy scoring.
He has scored a grand total of 25.2 standard points over the past four weeks after his explosion in Kansas City—but it's not for lack of effort. Cruz has been targeted 34 times in those four games, and he just hasn't had the big plays he is used to getting.
According to Dave Hutchinson of The Star Ledger, Cruz suffered a scary injury against the Eagles:
Cruz lay motionless on the turf for several minutes as the Giants medical staff sprinted to his side. He didn’t take off his helmet, which most players usually do when they get hurt. He said the medical personnel told him not to because they didn’t know what was wrong.
Several players from both teams took a knee. Some prayed.
Eventually, Cruz left the field under his own power in a slow jog. He then went for X-rays, which came back negative.
Thankfully he was alright, and he even came back to finish the game. But four down games should be enough to lower his price, and Cruz will bounce back this season.
Sell: Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
How many running backs have to work as hard as Maurice Jones-Drew to have a decent fantasy showing?
Jones-Drew has had an average output three of the past four weeks despite scoring just one touchdown. His 11-point "outburst" against the 49ers was not entirely unexpected—San Francisco was giving up the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs heading into Week 8, after all.
The Titans are up next, and they have been equally generous. But the gravy train stops there with the Cardinals, who have given up the third-least fantasy points on average this season.
Buy: LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Things haven't gone too well for LeSean McCoy since Michael Vick went down with a bad hamstring. With Vick's rushing ability out of the picture, opposing defenses have been able to key on McCoy and stop him with considerable success.
However, McCoy is well aware that he needs to produce for his team to have a chance, telling ESPN's Phil Sheridan:
I just wasn’t myself. A game like this, my team needed me, I didn’t show up. I started doing too many individual types of plays, not really going with the plays. I was frustrated. I wasn’t making the plays I usually make. I started trying to make too many things happen. I felt it was my worst performance since my rookie year.
Never fear, the Raiders will be here.
McCoy goes up against that middling Raiders run defense before hitting the soft Packers and Washington run defenses. If McCoy's owner is panicking at all, now is the time to strike.
Sell: Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints
Why would you sell the best tight end in fantasy football after proving he can play through a partially torn fascia? Precisely because he is playing through injury, of course.
Graham gritted his way through the Bills defense in a fantastic performance for the Saints last week, scoring two touchdowns and proving you should never bench Graham if he's in the game. But how much of that performance can be trusted through the rest of the season?
The Bills don't exactly have the best defense in the league, for starters. More importantly, will Graham be able to keep playing through that injury without aggravating it or injuring something else?
Of course, if you're going to trade him away, you had better get something great in return. To be sure, make sure your tight end position will be just fine without him.