Fantasy Football: Midseason Buy Low Candidates

Nov 2, 2010


By Grant Miller

Every league has at least one guy who thinks it’s a good idea to buy high and sell low. As a conscious fantasy manager, your job is always to find that guy and take advantage of him. With the trade deadline looming in most Yahoo! leagues, it seems appropriate to evaluate our mid-season buy-low candidates.
Here are the winners:

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens
If you’ll recall, Flacco was our quarter-season buy-low QB. Well it seems he is finally clicking, and he can probably still be bought on the cheap. The Ravens’ upcoming schedule is quite appealing, with Atlanta, Carolina, and Tampa Bay in Weeks 10-12, and Houston, New Orleans, and Cleveland in the standard playoff weeks (14-16). Chances are he is somebody’s backup QB and should be easy to acquire.

Lester’s Take: We liked him at the first turn, and now that we’re halfway through the race, we still like him. He has 535 yards and five TDs in his last two games. With that upcoming schedule, he should have a strong finish.

Sleeper Option:  With Detroit and Seattle on the docket for Josh Freeman in Weeks 15 & 16, you could be looking at 2010′s version of Billy Volek.

Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens, and Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
These guys are listed together because their issues are identical – lots of yards and very few TDs. Both guys are averaging 4.0 ypc; MJD has 3 touchdowns, Rice has 2. This is almost purely anomalous; each of these guys’ numbers should “regress toward the mean” as the season continues. Make a strong offer for either (or both!).

Lester’s Take:  While it is hard to acquire a first round pick, these two may be had for the reasons given. MoJo did have 135 yards against Dallas though so it may be harder to pry him away. Of course, he was in on any of their five TDs so there’s a chance. Meanwhile Rice is averaging 119.3 total yards in his past three games. With only one stinker since Week 1, his price tag could be steep.

A guy I would target, and one you’re more likely to get at a discount, is Knowshon Moreno. He plays St. Louis in Week 12 before his fantasy friendly playoffs schedule of Arizona, Oakland, and Houston in Weeks 14-16.

Hines Ward, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Ward suffered with Big Ben out, then thrived with him back at the helm…until this week. The Steelers’ upcoming schedule is sweet, with the only exception being a match-up with the Jets in Week 15 (this is assuming Oakland’s Asomugha is still not 100% by Week 11). Take advantage of Ward’s MNF struggles– and his overall numbers – and lift him off his worried owner’s hands.

Lester’s Take:  Excellent advice. He has four games of three or fewer catches and four games in which he did not even have 35 receiving yards. I’m not as optimistic about his schedule, particularly playing the Ravens, Bengals, and the Jets in Weeks 13-15, but that may actually play into your hands (along with the MNF dud). Any time you can get a player of Hines Ward’s caliber at a discount, you go for it.

DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Before you scoff, consider Jackson’s numbers with Vick vs Kolb at QB: 14.06 fantasy PPG with Vick over 13 quarters, and 12.25 fantasy PPG with Kolb over 8 quarters (standard scoring, non-PPR). What does this mean? The only concern with Jackson is not who’s playing QB, but how well he comes back from his concussion. Because his return date and performance upon returning are questionable, Jackson is kind of a toss-up; but if you can get into his owner’s head, you may be able to swing him for next-to-nothing.
Lester’s Take:  While I agree with your assessment, there are some concerns if you get him. The next big hit could knock him out for the season. That’s just the Devil’s Advocate point of view. If you can get him at a discount, go for it.

Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams is coming off a couple of big games (82 yards vs. STL, 105 & TD vs. ARI) so he may be hard to acquire, but he shares Freeman’s favorable fantasy playoffs schedule.

Visanthe Shiancoe, TE, Minnesota Vikings
With the “shocking” news that the Vikings have released Randy Moss, Shiancoe gets a big boost. The self-destructing Vikings are about two more losses away from playoff elimination, so it’s also increasingly likely that Sidney Rice won’t play this season. Whether it’s Favre or Tarvaris Jackson at QB, Shiancoe should once again be splitting targets with Percy Harvin.

Lester’s Take:  Totally agree here. As much as Moss’ arrival helped Harvin, it hindered Shiancoe. He should be able to work the middle more with Harvin taking on more outside routes. The big guy should also be featured more in the red zone.

Dustin Keller‘s best two games came against the Patriots and the Dolphins. He has a second meeting against both teams in Weeks 13 & 14. He also faces Detroit, Cleveland, and Houston in the next three weeks. Hopefully you can capitalize on the seven catches for 134 yards and 0 TDs he’s combined for in
his last three combined.
Also check out:

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46 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. johnoettinger
    November 2nd, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    I feel like i have a team that can score high, it just really lacks depth, which is why i am 4-4. I have:
    qb-b. roethlisberger, m. ryan, b. favre
    rb-m. jones-drew, d. mcfadden, b. jacobs
    wr-a. boldin, c. johnson, w. welker, s.smith (car), r. meachem
    te-zach miller
    Should i consider trading mjd?

  2. LestersLegends
    November 2nd, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    that would leave you pretty thin in week 10 when mcfadden goes on bye.

    depends on the package. Only thing is you don’t need to upgrade your WRs or QBs. MJD and Run DMC are a good one-two punch. I don’t think I would part with him just to add depth. We’re almost past the byes and you want to have the best starting lineup possible.

  3. Grant
    November 2nd, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    @ John: I don’t think you have any depth issues. I would consider dropping Favre for another TE this week, say Shiancoe (if available) or Jacob Tamme. You have a couple of underachieving WRs in Welker and Smith, which I think will come around by playoff time.

  4. Rachel
    November 2nd, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    I have a similar problem, except this week I am particularly weak in QB and WR.


    2 QB- M. Stafford, K. Orton (bye), D. McNabb (bye) ***(must pick up a QB: can pick up campbell waiver wire, or can try to trade for fitzpatrick, brady, or cassel)

    2 RB – M. Forte, A. Bradshaw, L. Blount, T. Jones, K. Moreno (bye)

    1 Flex – RB/WR

    3 WR – R. Wayne, S. Johnson, B. Edwards, A. Collie (inj.), K. Britt (inj., bye), S. Moss (bye), L. Evans (dropping for BJGE waiver wire pick up)

    1 TE – D. Keller

    K – Nick Folk (dropping for L. Tynes)

    TM – Redskins (bye) (dropping for Giants)

    I do not know what to do… M. Williams (TB) is available, as well as L. Moore, D. Hester, B. Tate, J. Knox. I could possibly trade and get B. Marshall. I’m afraid that trading will result in weaking in one or more areas.

    What should I do for QB and WR?

  5. LestersLegends
    November 2nd, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    if the price is right for brady, that may not be a bad play. combining orton and some of your rb depth maybe could land him. i’d probably drop collie and pick up williams or knox.

  6. Rachel
    November 2nd, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    I now just received a trade:

    wants Kenny Britt and Blount for Fitzpatrick….. too high a cost?

    I could off him a counter…not sure what though because I don’t know that I can give up Blount.

  7. LestersLegends
    November 2nd, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    I wouldn’t make that deal. I’d rather roll the dice this week than give up a solid RB and WR.

  8. Rachel
    November 2nd, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    Would Jason Campbell be a decent QB waiver wire pick up?

  9. LestersLegends
    November 2nd, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    not a bad short term fix. is josh freeman available?

  10. Rachel
    November 2nd, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    Nope, unfortunately not. No good QBs are, since there are 8 of us with a 2 QB start. Just Campbell/Gradkowski, Moore, and Tarvaris Jackson.

    The same guy has Schaub though too, so I’m not sure what to do.

  11. LestersLegends
    November 2nd, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    I’d probably roll the dice on Campbell unless an offer made sense for the long term and not just this week.

  12. Rachel
    November 2nd, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    K. So what would be the right price for Brady? Ahmad Bradshaw, and McNabb?

  13. LestersLegends
    November 2nd, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

    I’d try that, though McNabb may be hard to move given the question marks surrounding him.

  14. Rachel
    November 2nd, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    K will do, thanks so much for all the advice! :)

  15. LestersLegends
    November 2nd, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    Hey, not problem.

  16. Rachel
    November 2nd, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    Can I bother you for one more question? Would Matt Cassel be good to try to trade for?

  17. 3rdStoneFromTheSun
    November 3rd, 2010 at 2:39 am #

    Amendola? is he a #1 now?

  18. LestersLegends
    November 3rd, 2010 at 4:51 am #

    I don’t think he can handle the #1 role.

  19. LestersLegends
    November 3rd, 2010 at 4:51 am #

    You could try to trade for Cassel, but I wouldn’t give up too much for him.

  20. DD
    November 3rd, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    Who is a better flex/utility play this week: Johnny Knox, Mike Sims-Walker, Darren Sproles, or Marion Barber?

  21. LestersLegends
    November 3rd, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    I’d roll with Knox. He’s been more consistent than the rest.

  22. Dave
    November 3rd, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    What do you think about playing McGahee and Tolbert this week?

  23. LestersLegends
    November 3rd, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    I don’t love it, but you do what you have to do on bye weeks.

  24. Jestin
    November 6th, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    Guy in my PPR league has Rodgers and Shiancoe, I have HMiller. I have Andre, TB Mike, Wallace, Knox and SRice at WR, Schaub at QB, and grabbed Blount off of the waiver. Debating if I should just offer Knox and Miller or Rice and Miller for Shiancoe, or should I go big(he needs RB help bad) and offer Schaub, Knox, Blount, and Miller for Rodgers and Shiancoe. Any thoughts?

  25. Grant
    November 6th, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    @ Jestin: Can you share the rest of your team with us? In either case you appear to be offering too much, but I’d particularly like to see your other RBs …

  26. Jestin
    November 6th, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    Sure Grant, appreciate the help:

    QB: Schaub
    WR-Andre, TB MikeW, Wallace, Knox, SRice
    RB-McCoy, Moreno, Blount, FJackson

    The areas I feel I’m weakest are QB(Schaub’s been disappointing) and TE (Finley got hurt, grabbed Miller off the wire). It’s a 14 team league with a 4 man bench. I’d like to use my depth at WR and RB to at least improve at TE, but if I can improve at QB that’d be great too. I want that optimal starting lineup come playoff time, but don’t want to trade a potentially great playoff performer i.e. Moreno and TB MikeW like you noted above. The two teams I’m targeting that are at the bottom of the rankings but have TE’s and QB’s I like have the following rosters:

    Team A

    QB-Rodgers, Sanchez
    RB-Benson, Stewart, Cadillac, Barber
    WR-Maclin, Bowe, Nelson, Driver

    Team B
    RB-Gore, DeAngelo, Hart, MBush, BJackson, Woodhead
    WR-Ward, Boldin

    Got any suggestions on offers I can make, or is it best to hang tight? Latest reports seem to indicate that Rice’ll be back, so wouldn’t that diminish Shiancoe’s proposed boost (thinking playoff time) and maybe I shouldn’t bother trading for him? Witten on the other hand should continue at a high level-that team’s record is only bad because they drafted Alex Smith as the starting QB and grabbed Ben late in the draft, plus DeAngelo’s lack of production. He could barely make but be dangerous for the playoffs, he knows it, and I don’t want to ruin my team for Witten. Please help~


  27. LestersLegends
    November 6th, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    Agree you’re offering too much. Shiancoe hasn’t shown he’s out of the woods yet. I’d stick with what you got.

  28. LestersLegends
    November 6th, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    I don’t think I’d go too crazy trying to get Shiancoe. Miller is adequate in 14 team league. Witten may be too costly. What are the QBs of the person that has Celek? Maybe you could buy low on him.

    I’d offer Blount, H. Miller, and Knox for Witten and B. Jackson.

  29. Jestin
    November 6th, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    Ya, can see it’d be too much to offer on Shiancoe. The guy who has Celek has Ryan and Freeman. Looking at the schedule and how Celek has played with Vick, I’m thinking that Schaub and Miller for Ryan and Celek would be a downgrade.

    Also, could you explain the trade offer w/Blount, Miller and Knox for Witten and Jackson? Until the playoffs, I prob. gain, but as Blount benefits from the generous TB Wk14-16 schedule, my concern is that he plays best when I need him the most. Other problem now that I look at it is that the Cowboys won’t be playing for anything end of the season (sad to say as a ‘Boys fan) but PIT will. Maybe I should target the owner of Flacco and Tamme instead?

  30. Jestin
    November 6th, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    The Flacco and Tamme owner has the following team:
    QB-Cutler and Flacco
    RB-AP, LT, Addai
    WR-Austin, Meachem, Manningham, Crabtree
    TE-Tamme, Cooley
    He’s from Chicago and has Knox in another league, had Schaub last year and wanted him this year. Question is, has Schaub’s name value dropped too far? I’m thinking Schaub, Knox and Miller for Flacco and Tamme, which I’d def. take (Flacco’s schedule is nice at the end of the year and he’s coming into his own). He may counter with Flacco and Cooley-I’m concerned with Cooley’s injury history, so would probably reject. Your thoughts?

  31. LestersLegends
    November 7th, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    Maybe try that with Fred Jackson. Blount has been a force, but I’m not sure you start him over mccoy and moreno, if knowshon stays healthy. Witten has been the best TE not named Gates, but he doesn’t have the injury concern right now.

    Tamme had a good game, but it was against Houston. with collie coming back and garcon healthy, is tamme a lock to be an improvement of miller? Not sure that he is.

  32. Jestin
    November 10th, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Tamme had a huge game, but worried about this back concern that just came up..trying to see what the status is on that, and the owner’s willingness to trade. Another guy I know has Zach Miller and Shonn Greene..Ryan Mathews got injured on his team, and he needs help in general..should I make a move for those two, or maybe just Greene, and if so, what should I offer?

  33. LestersLegends
    November 10th, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    tamme should be fine. i wouldn’t expect he would be willing to deal. if you can get zach miller at a discount, i would like that. plus greene would be a bonus.

  34. Jestin
    November 10th, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    I’m trying to get him to move on Tamme, not sure if it’ll happen. Was thinking I’d offer Sidney Rice, Fred Jackson and Johnny Knox for him. That would leave my team w/the following:

    WR-Andre, Wallace, TB Mike W
    RB-McCoy, Moreno, Blount, Greene
    TE-ZMiller(has a bye this wk, otherwise I’d trade HMiller), HMiller

    Do I make the move? Knox isn’t any better than my existing WR’s, won’t start Jackson over McCoy, Moreno or Blount most games. Rice if he returns to form is a bit of a loss, but do I really miss anything if I have Andre, Wallace and TB Mike? Zach Miller is a clear upgrade over Heath every week. Greene may play like he has, but if LT gets hurt or his ypc continues to dip below 4, his carries will increase behind that great OLine and suddenly he’s my 2nd best RB after McCoy. What do you think?

  35. Jestin
    November 10th, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    Got an offer, he’ll trade Tamme for Wallace. Really hate to part with Wallace, but thinking with my other WR’s I’ll be ok, and that I’d improve enough at TE that it’d be worth it. Can you rank the following offers:
    1. Tamme for Wallace
    2. Tamme/Flacco for Schaub/Wallace
    3. Tamme for TB Mike Willliams/HMiller
    Please rank in preference of which you’d rather do, and note if each is fair or not. Trade deadline is the 12th..this is both exciting and scary!

  36. LestersLegends
    November 10th, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    love this time of year.

    I like option #3 the best. you upgrade at TE and still have Andre and Wallace.

    If you move wallace you’re left with aj, mwill tb, and knox with what’s looking like a top five TE from here on out. I suppose I’d do that, especially with rice coming back. I’d prefer option #3 though.

    If you want to roll with flacco over schaub, I suppose option 2 is better than option 1.

  37. Jestin
    November 11th, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    Looks like he’s down with option 2. Pull the trigger?

  38. LestersLegends
    November 11th, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    If you’re comfortable with Flacco being an upgrade over Schaub then I’d say it’s a pretty good deal. I’m glad Tamme’s back checked out.

    In my 8-team keeper league I traded Fitz for Gates and Maclin, meaning the owner, who knows his stuff, is banking on Tamme as his #1 TE. He’s probably a top 3-5 TE going forward.

  39. Rachel
    November 11th, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    K. Orton, B. Farve, S. Hill <—– PICK 2

    A. Bradshaw, L. Blount, K. Moreno, M. Forte, BJGE, T. Jones <—— PICK 3

    R. Wayne, S. Johnson, Santana Moss, B. Edwards [A. Collie (out), K. Britt (out)] <——– PICK 3

    For a kicker I have L. Tynes, and for defense Giants… do you think Giants will be better than Tampa Bay vs. Carolina? (They are still available)

    What do you think?
    I know this is quite an involved question..I appreciate all the help! Thank you very much…

  40. LestersLegends
    November 11th, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    odd men out are favre, Moreno, BJGE, Thomas Jones, Britt, Collie, Moss, TB D

  41. Jestin
    November 12th, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    Ok, got an offer from an owner wanting Schaub, Wallace and Blount for Flacco, Tamme, and Crabtree. Figure if my other backs are McCoy, Moreno and Fred Jackson, I’m fine there. Crabtree has upside if they get things going, and the Flacco/Tamme and Schaub/Wallace you already said you’re good on. Do this deal?

    Also, trying to make an offer for Shonne Greene. Was thinking of offering Fred Jackson alone, but not sure if I should add Knox or Sidney Rice. Greene’s going to see a pickup in carries (btw, I’m in a PPR league) but wanted to see what you think. Would you do:
    a. Jackson for Greene
    b. Jackson/Knox or Jackson/Rice for Greene
    Please advise.

  42. LestersLegends
    November 12th, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    I don’t think I’d do that deal giving up blount. Moreno is injury prone and it’s hard to rely on FJax as your RB2.

    You can try to deal FJax for Greene straight up initially, and if he wants more you can throw in Knox. I wouldn’t deal Rice now. He could be huge down the stretch.

  43. Jestin
    November 12th, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    Appreciate all the help here, lots of deals being discussed in our league. Would you trade FJax and Rice for Greene and ZMiller? I’d get my upgrade over HMiller, potential on Greene, and I keep Schaub, Andre, TB Mike, Wallace, McCoy, Moreno, Blount, etc. Granted I don’t get the upside of Tamme or possibly Flacco over Schaub, but I’m not trading as many pieces, and would still earn a net positive.

  44. Jestin
    November 12th, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    Appreciate all the help here, lots of deals being discussed in our league. Would you trade FJax and SRice for Greene and ZMiller? I’d get my upgrade over HMiller, potential on Greene, and I keep Schaub, Andre, TB Mike, Wallace, McCoy, Moreno, Blount, etc. Granted I don’t get the upside of Tamme or possibly Flacco over Schaub, but I’m not trading as many pieces, and would still earn a net positive.

  45. LestersLegends
    November 12th, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    yeah, i’d do that. you don’t know what rice will be like this year.

  46. Michal Nabers
    July 5th, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

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