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Fantasy 411 - Week 6

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Have you ever watched a shark eat? Sharks don’t eat, they devour their prey! With six weeks in the books and the standings starting to take shape, now is the time for you to become the shark of your league and devour your competitors. Now is the time to sniff around for blood in the water and take advantage of an owner who is pounding the “PANIC” button.

Remember when Wes Welker was in the doghouse, on the trading block and on the downswing of his career? All at the same time! No? Well it was only a few short weeks ago. Fantasy football owners are notorious for living in a vacuum and failing to see the bigger picture. After only registering three catches in Week 1, many fantasy pundits were quick to scrutinize the New England Patriots’ slot receiver and his role in the offense.

With four consecutive 100-yard games, Welker is suddenly a fantasy darling again. Smart fantasy owners knew to give Welker more time to see if the stories of his demise were true or not. The point is that while flash-in-the-pan talents like Kevin Ogletree were trendy pickups, the players like Welker, with an established track record, shouldn’t be moved so quickly. Who should you trade, trade for, and what to do with struggling stars? Here are things the way I see them.

Many owners were clamoring Monday morning with the performance Shonn Greene turned in on Sunday, but I’m here to warn you against putting too much stock in one performance. Greene’s 161 yards and three touchdowns came against a porous Indianapolis defense. Throw in the fact that Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight were out with injuries, giving Greene four times more carries than he got the week before, and this has all the makings of a fluke performance. Greene and the New York Jets will face off with a stingy New England run defense next week, and his performance in Week 7 will go a long way in establishing his true value. His value will likely never be as high, so if you get an attractive offer for Greene this week, sell him before the other owner remembers how mediocre he typically performs.   

Chris Johnson was dropped in my league this week, and I can’t even bring myself to drop Dennis Pitta to put in a claim for him. In my league, the Tennessee Titans' fan sits tied for last, mostly the result of abysmal running back play, so I know Johnson wouldn’t get to me anyway. Johnson is not dependable, but it’s not time to give up on him and drop him just yet. Who are you going to pick up when you drop Johnson? In traditional 12-team leagues, there is likely no one available who has the upside that Johnson has. You likely spent a first- or second-round pick on him. The talent is there, but Johnson has yet to perform up to expectations. Don’t give him away for the likes of Vic Ballard. My advice is to hold on to Johnson and hope that he can rebound to generate some trade value or maybe even contribute to your team.

There is no doubting Dez Bryant’s talent; unfortunately there is no doubting his immaturity as well. Bryant drives fantasy owners crazy with his flashes of brilliance followed by lapses of concentration where he disappears for stretches. Bryant had one of those solid games this week that lures owners in. Make sure that you rope a trade partner for Bryant and his antics. The Dallas Cowboys are a mess, and unless they can get their act together, Bryant’s value is limited even without his hot-and-cold stretches.

Bryant is coming off two straight good outings and draws a matchup with the Carolina Panthers this week. I expect another good performance this week to drive his value up for owners. If you have a glaring need and are satisfied with your receivers, make a move to trade Bryant in the next week or two.

Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles are not living up to expectations, getting off to a 3-3 start. Watching the Eagles, I believe that the primary problem with their offense is too much Vick and not enough LeSean McCoy. Vick has a tendency to try and do too much anyway, and with the Eagles asking him to do more, the turnovers are just piling up. Chances are most smart owners will not let you pry McCoy away. Don’t let that dissuade you. Package a lesser back and another position player and try to make a deal. Focus on the low rushing numbers that McCoy has been turning in and put on your poker face to land the deal.

Real fantasy sharks are smart enough to know when there is blood in the water. Pounce on a key move to add depth to your team. Swim with the sharks and be sure you aren’t chum!