Week 2 of the fantasy season has come to a close and there are likely numerous 0-2 teams whose owners are wondering what exactly happened at your league’s draft or auction. Although they aren’t likely ripe for the picking just yet, there’s always a chance they are ready to pull the trigger and give up on a player or players they were high on.
With a number of high profile players struggling to get fantasy points due mainly to poor schedules, it’s time to get aggressive on the trade front. As my gramma used to say, “if you snooze, you lose.”
Cedric Benson, Bengals – Benson is here reluctantly and let me explain why. You likely got him cheaply in your draft or auction, he’s coming off two solid games and there are a number of disappointing backs whose owners would love to get some RB depth. The downside is that the Bengals will face the Ravens and Steelers twice and the Vikings once over the remainder of their schedule and last year they were not able to run against solid run defenses. Maybe that’s changed, maybe not. Benson’s likely your third back so check out when you need him. If those matchups aren’t favourable, move him now before his week 3 matchup against the Steelers.
Ronnie Brown, Dolphins – Hey, Brown is coming off a 2 TD, 136 yard performance – what’s not to like? Well, Ricky Williams showed Monday night why the platoon system in Miami isn’t going away any time soon. He’s too good to sit on the bench. The Dolphins run plenty so Brown will be useful against bad or mediocre run defenses but will likely have a number of 40-50 yard, 0 TD performances given their schedule. He’s worth hanging on to this week since they face a severely run challenged Charger defense. After that, it might be time to unload him.
Tim Hightower, Cardinals – Hightower is coming off two nice games. He benefitted in week 1 because the Chargers were hurting at wide receiver and playing from behind, hence his 121 yards receiving. In week 2, they got ahead early and ran often plus backup Chris Wells fumbled twice, hence 72 yards and a TD on the ground for Hightower. The schedule is soft with the Colts, Texans and Seahawks up next so his value could be up. Unfortunately, that could prove fatal if Wells moves ahead of Hightower on the depth chart during that time.
Cadillac Williams, Bucs – Williams is clearly a great story and his fantasy owners definitely got him on their rosters for ten cents on the dollar. However, he struggled in week 2 against a Bills run defense without Paul Posluszny at middle linebacker. His fantasy stats were saved by 56 yards and a TD through the air but that won’t happen many weeks. If Caddy is your RB4 and a team wants him as their RB3 and is willing to pay up, kiss him goodbye.
Trent Edwards, Bills – After two weeks, Edwards is the 8th ranked QB for fantasy purposes. However he has put up decent numbers against a Pats defense that struggled week 1 and a Bucs defense that might struggle all year. Bottom line is that he’s known as Mr. Checkdown for a reason and the weather in Buffalo isn’t exactly balmy in November and December. If someone is buying, you should be selling.
Matt Forte, Bears – Forte will likely never be considered a top five back in terms of talent but he is good enough to succeed in the NFL. He had an impressive rookie season but has struggled during the first two weeks of the season. However, Forte is ready to come out of his slumber with the Seahawks, Lions, Browns, Bengals and Cardinals on the schedule during the Bears next six games. Basically, it’s buy now on Forte before his stock begins to rise. It’s worth noting the Bears face the Ravens and Vikings in weeks 15 and 16.
Steve Slaton, Titans – Slaton’s poor start is even more understandable than Forte’s given he has had to face the Jets and Titans. However, head coach Gary Kubiak called him out this week, hinting the team was disappointed not to have signed Cedric Benson in the offseason. Ouch. With that extra piece of motivation and the Jags, Raiders, Cards and Bengals up next, Slaton should get it going. Week 14-16 matchups against the Seahawks, Rams and Dolphins enhance his attractiveness.
Brandon Jacobs, Giants – 121 total yards and 0 TD in two weeks isn’t what Jacobs owners envisioned. With the Giants surprisingly effective in the passing game and struggling on the ground, Jacbobs owners have to be concerned about the effectiveness of the team’s offensive line and the coming of age passing game. It says here that these are aberrations and the running game will click into high gear for the next several weeks with the Bucs, Chiefs, Raiders, Saints and Cards next on tap. Get aggressive on this one.
Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal, Broncos – Marshall occupied this slot last week and this week he’s joined by his running mate in Denver. Both have been major fantasy disappointments but are too talented not to get it going. Marshall obviously carries some additional risk (editorial restraints restrict from listing all of his issues) but there’s a reason he caught 206 passes over the last two years. If you think Marshall and Royal are too good to be in a rotation with Brandon Stokley and Jabar Gaffney (and you should), then take a look at these two guys.
Carson Palmer, Bengals – With four picks in two games, the rust is clearly showing. However, the Bengals go four deep at wide receiver and Palmer is a big time talent. With Benson running well, the team’s offense could surprise this year provided the offensive line holds up its end of the bargain (no guarantee, mind you). If Palmer struggles this week against the Steelers, see what it would take to get him.
Fred Jackson, Bills – This one is for flex leagues only. He’s not here for poor performance but if Jackson’s owner is fixated on the fact Marshawn Lynch returns in week 4, then grab him. After two weeks, he has earned additional playing time when Lynch returns and there is no reason for Bills coaches to rush Lynch into the mix given Jackson’s outstanding performance. More likely, they will ease Lynch into the game plan, making Jackson pretty attractive over the next few weeks.
Donnie Avery, Rams – This isn’t a ringing endorsement for Avery. He’s been horrible over two weeks but he is the team’s most talented wide receiver. Sorry folks, there’s a reason the Falcons gave up on Laurent Robinson although he has looked good. Odds are decent that he’s available on the waiver wire in some leagues or viewed as a WR5 on many rosters. He’s worth taking a shot on if you can get him cheap.
Willis McGahee, Ravens – Generally drafted as a RB3 or RB4, McGahee is looking like gold after two weeks. We had him as a sell high last week but he ran well this week and looked better than Ray Rice did. Plus, he’s been getting the goal line work.