Fantasy Fix: Low Buys / High Sells


Oct 13, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) runs with the ball against Washington Redskins linebacker Perry Riley Jr. (56) at AT

The trade deadline in most fantasy leagues is still about a month away.  But now is the time when owners are trying to assess the true value of their players.  Here are some intriguing players you might be able to pry away from your buddy, and others you might look to get some value for.

Buy Low

Ray Rice

Ray Rice has been abysmal.  He was a top 5 pick in just about every draft, yet his performance thus far wouldn’t get him taken in the first five rounds.  However, he is still Ray Rice, and if you’ve got some room to gamble, this star could probably be bought for pretty cheap.

DeMarco Murray

Before getting injured, Murray was one of the top running backs in the league.  DeMarco Murray owners know that, so it won’t be easy to pick him up.  However, if he sits out again this weekend, fantasy footballers might get jittery, afraid that it’s going to be another year of injuries.

Tom Brady

Oct 6, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) waits to go onto the field before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Whaaaaat?  What is Tom Brady doing on a “Buy Low” list?  Well, what is Tom Brady doing with less fantasy points than Geno Smith and Andy Dalton?  The Patriots offense was plagued by running backs who couldn’t stay healthy and receivers young enough to be Tom Brady’s children.  Now, Brady’s got the Gronk back, but even he isn’t yet back to form.  Combine this with a slew of tough defenses in weeks ahead, and you might be able to convince somebody that this just isn’t Brady’s year.

Jason Witten

Before the season began, I warned readers about drafting Jason Witten so high.  He would definitely have a good year, but his numbers wouldn’t warrant the 3-4th round selection.  Now, here’s your chance to pick up a solid Tight End for a decent price.  Sure, the Cowboys are using their TEs to block more, as the young WRs are blossoming.  Nevertheless, Jason Witten is Tony Romo’s favorite target, and he will continue to get his looks.

Sell High

Ryan Matthews

This guy is one of my favorite players, he runs hard and always falls forward.  It kills me to put him on this list, but the reality is that the Chargers will face some tough defenses after their bye, and they much prefer the passing game (for which both Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown are better suited).  Factor in the risk of injury tied to Matthews and there’s a lot of motivation to trade him, even after a couple great performances.

Torrey Smith

All the positive things I said about Ryan Matthews could be said about Torrey Smith.  In fact, I went out of my way to draft him 1-2 rounds early in both of my drafts this year.  While his numbers are pretty great so far (except for one week), the reality is that the Ravens offense is struggling.  Nobody could have imagined a major injury to Dennis Pitta and an underwhelming performance by the run game.  This, along with the team’s inability to replace Anquan Boldin, has led to extra defensive attention for Smith.  If you look at the defenses the Ravens will face after their bye this week (take note of the top corners and safeties on each team), and you’ll see why Torrey Smith might be a smart player to move.


Sep 22, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Star Lotulelei (98) sacks New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) during the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers D/ST

The Panthers defense continues to be one of the most frequently added “players” on waiver wires across all leagues.  Sure, they have done an admirable job, but the four teams they gathered the big points against were the Giants, Cardinals, Vikings, and Rams.  This week they have the Bucs.  After that, it’s the Falcons, 49ers, Patriots, and Dolphins.  Here’s my Kramer impression: Sell NOW!

Golden Tate

If I were you, I’d trade Golden Tate for anything, because I don’t like Golden Tate.  I really liked him at Notre Dame, but he seemed to develop an attitude when reaching the NFL (doesn’t look good on anybody, but especially not on a mid-level receiver).  Nevertheless, he has been the most targeted receiver on the Seahawks, though not by a lot.  Now, Percy Harvin is looking to come back in a couple weeks.  While Harvin will command a lot of defensive attention, I believe it will open up more opportunities for Sidney Rice, not Tate.  Fast, underneath receivers like Harvin usually mean 1-on-1 coverage for deep threats (the safety has to hang low).  Rice may not be the same deep threat he was back in the Minnesota days, but he still fits the mold best on that team.  Tate, meanwhile, is strongest as a possession receiver – his defensive attention likely won’t change.  Expect his production to take a small hit while Rice’s significantly rises, and Harvin emerges.