The Feeding Frenzy - Week 13 Trade Bait fantasysharks.com Nov 27 '12
I will be changing my column up a little bit for the rest of the season. "The Feeding Frenzy" has been a trading column up until now, focusing on players I've advised to sell high and buy low on every week. However, now that trade deadlines have passed in a majority of leagues, I wanted to keep things relevant.
So instead of my usual "buy low" and "sell high," I'll just look at players to buy and sell at this point. Let's be honest, after Thanksgiving there's no more buying low and selling high. You either like a player by now or you don't. If you still think Ryan Mathews is a stud running back, God bless you. Every league needs someone to finish in last place.
Here are the players I'm advising to buy and sell after Week 12:
Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington -- A couple of weeks ago I traded for Garcon in my dynasty league, and, to be honest, it was a move for next season. I didn't think we would see Garcon return in 2012, and when he did return I thought it would be as more of a decoy.
That was until I saw him pull away from the Dallas secondary on Thanksgiving Day like he was running the 100-meter dash in the Olympics. If that's a guy with a bad toe, sign me up for a bad toe. After watching Garcon on that 59-yard touchdown reception, I'm going to go ahead and insert him back into my starting lineup.
The Redskins are playing as well as they've been all year long, and if Garcon is healthy that now opens up a whole new dimension for Robert Griffin III and Washington's offense. Don't forget, Griffin III is putting up big numbers as a rookie without much at the receiver position. Santana Moss still has some life in him, but Garcon has been hurt and even starting tight end Fred Davis was lost for the season in Week 7.
If you want to get even more excited about Garcon, take a look at who the Redskins have coming up. Garcon gets to go up against the secondaries of the New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys in his final five games. That's a pretty receiver-friendly schedule to close out the season.
As long as Garcon can stay healthy, he could be one of the top-scoring receivers during fantasy playoffs. Defenses will still need to try and stop Griffin from running and that will open up opportunities for Garcon to make plays down the field. If you held out hope of Garcon coming back this season, you may get rewarded big-time.
Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jacksonville -- I've been a big fan of Lewis since he played at UCLA, and it's nice to see him have fantasy relevance again now that the Jaguars have a quarterback that can actually throw a forward pass.
You know what? Forget about the quarterback. Even if you have an inept quarterback, how hard is it to call plays in the red zone that involve throwing the ball up to a 6-foot-6, 270-pound monster? Even in seasons when Lewis doesn't catch a ton of passes or rack up a lot of yards, he should always be a red zone threat. I mean the guy is enormous, and, as we saw two weeks ago against Houston, if you just lob the ball up to Lewis, he's almost impossible to guard.
I actually like Lewis as a decent TE1 play for the rest of the season. I think he's going to be a solid double-digit scorer in points per reception formats and find the end zone a couple of more times over the final five games where Lewis faces Buffalo, the New York Jets, Miami, New England and Tennessee. Those are some nice matchups that Lewis should be able to exploit for fantasy owners in need of tight end help.
In my opinion, Lewis is one of the most underutilized players in the NFL. Don't forget, he made the Pro Bowl just two years ago. You put Lewis on an offense like Green Bay or New England and his production would skyrocket. Now Chad Henne may not be Tom Brady but he also isn't Blaine Gabbert -- who I believe will go down as one of the biggest busts of all-time. Henne makes Lewis relevant again, so he's certainly a player on the rise for the final month of the season.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Cincinnati -- I own Green-Ellis in my dynasty league which is borderline shocking because I think he is the epitome of an average football player. I actually got him as an extra piece in a bigger deal with the thinking I could use him during a three-game stretch against the New York Giants, Kansas City and Oakland. Well, I did, and now the good times are over.
The reason Green-Ellis is average is because he'll never do anything against a tough rush defense, but he can plod over weak ones when his team gets a lead. Green-Ellis' big fantasy days against Kansas City and Oakland are as good as it's going to get for him. Those are the two biggest trash teams in the NFL. In his next four games Green-Ellis faces San Diego, Dallas, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, so the time to sell is now.
Again, I own Green-Ellis. He more than served his purpose for me over the last two weeks. He still has a chance to score from close range every now and then but I would be surprised if he tops the century mark again this season. He has a shot against Philadelphia but it will be tough sledding for him in those other three games.
Green-Ellis was a solid RB2 the last two weeks but now he falls back to more of a flex/emergency reserve for the rest of the season.
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver -- I keep hearing coach John Fox trusts Moreno because of his ability as a pass protector. Really? Have you ever watched the guy try and block? He gets pushed back five yards into Peyton Manning every single time he engages with a defender.
Who started the rumor that Moreno is some kind of great pass protector? So basically he can get his body in front of a blitzer? Do me a favor and watch Willis McGahee take on a blocker, then watch Moreno do it and tell me if you see a difference. I'll end the suspense, you will. This is all on tape; I'm not making it up. Go watch it for yourself.
I have no idea what the Broncos are doing here. It's well-documented that I'm a big Ronnie Hillman fan dating back to his college days, but that's not my issue. If Hillman isn't ready to be the lead back, he isn't ready. I can accept it. However, I just don't think Moreno is the answer.
I know one thing - if Moreno is your main running back there's no excuse for Hillman getting three touches and Lance Ball getting none. You know why there's no excuse for that? Because Hillman and Ball where getting more touches when McGahee was playing and Moreno was inactive for eight games. That's why.
I know Moreno is getting the first chance to replace McGahee because Fox thinks it's 1970 and won't play young running backs, so he certainly has some short-term fantasy value. However, come fantasy playoff time I believe either Hillman or Ball will be eating into Moreno's touches quite a bit. They better, or Manning is going to end up in a body bag due to Moreno's exceptional pass blocking skills.
Moreno's numbers weren't bad on Sunday, but if you watched the game he didn't have many meaningful runs. He got some 8-yard gains on 3rd-and-long, but, overall, Moreno didn't get runs that helped out the offense, instead they put a lot of pressure on Manning and the passing game. I think against tougher rush defenses Moreno is going to struggle to run the ball constantly.
I know Moreno will be a hot pickup this week but I don't see him being the long-term answer for the Broncos. Maybe I'm wrong, but I wouldn't close the book on Hillman and Ball quite yet. Let's be completely honest here - scoring 17 points against the Chiefs isn't a banner day for your offense. We'll see how Denver moves the ball this week against Tampa Bay and its top ranked rush defense. I think this is a big game for Moreno and Denver's backfield going forward.
Pittsburgh's Running Backs -- The Steelers backfield was a mess coming into Sunday's game against Cleveland, so what did they do to clear it up? All four running backs fumbled against the Browns. Is that some kind of joke? If you saw that in a movie you wouldn't buy it because it would be too unbelievable.
So the Steelers are using four running backs right now, which is a bit ironic because I think they should use one of their top two draft picks on a running back. I do like Jonathan Dwyer and think he can do some things, but he isn't a lead back for 16 games. Rashard Mendenhall still isn't healthy and there are reports he may not even be back in Pittsburgh next year.
As I've written in this column before, there are 30 guys in college that can do what Isaac Redman does, which isn't much. Chris Rainey is a special teams player and specialty back. So the Steelers are using four running backs right now, but, in reality, they have none.
The guy I've loved since I saw him as a freshman is Wisconsin's Montee Ball. He fell off his sophomore season when he got out of shape, but after rededicating himself to football, all Ball did is set the NCAA record for most career rushing touchdowns.
Ball has great vision and underrated power. In my opinion the Steelers need to move away from these big backs that offer little versatility and go after a more compact power runner like Ball. I think he would help out Ben Roethlisberger a lot and be a great addition to Pittsburgh's offense.
Until the Steelers find a running back they can count on every week, no one in that backfield should be in your starting lineup. That's the biggest fantasy mess going right now.
Week 13 Sneaky Starts
Chad Henne, QB, Jacksonville -- Hey, why not keep riding the hot hand? Oh and he gets to play Buffalo's defense, too.
Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets -- What the heck happened to Arizona's defense? The Cardinals can't stop anyone on the ground, and even Rex Ryan is finally sick of watching Shonn Greene run up the backs of his offensive linemen all the time. Powell is getting the goal line carries now and could find paydirt again this week.