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The Feeding Frenzy - Week 14 Trade Bait

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Fantasy playoffs are finally here, and I have to say this hasn’t been my best season overall. It all started when I put my faith in Matthew Stafford way back in August and he sunk me early in the year. I came back strong is some of my leagues, but in others I just dug myself too big a hole that first month.

My best performance actually has come in FFPC’s Pros vs. Joes contest, where I’m currently 14th overall with four weeks to go. I may have even had a shot to win the entire thing if Eric Decker hadn’t fallen off the face of the earth over the last couple of weeks. For a guy that loves to make moves, I find it funny that a draft I did in July and doesn’t allow owners to trade or use a waiver wire ended up being my best effort this year.

So the end is near, and I hope you have all had a great season. Just a couple of more columns left for me before I call it quits. Before then, though, here are the players I’m buying and selling heading into Week 14:

Buy

Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia – Foles is a guy I liked in college at Arizona. You have to remember one thing about Foles: he played for Mike Stoops. If you don’t already know, Stoops is the worst coach in the history of organized football.
 
Stoops was so busy screaming at his players and getting on TV that he didn’t realize Arizona had one of the worst offensive lines in the country and his players quit on him. The one guy who didn’t quit was Foles, who took a massive beating every week and made plays while running for his life.
 
I thought Foles showed a lot of leadership and toughness in college, and I’ve been impressed with his limited action in the NFL. I think people are being a little tough on the guy. I talked above about his college team quitting. Well, it’s not like all the Philadelphia Eagles are playing like their lives are on the line either. Anyone who saw their game against the Carolina Panthers two weeks ago can see that much.

Foles is playing behind basically a second-string offensive line and without DeSean Jackson, but he’s still getting better every week. Does Foles have a ways to go? Sure he does, but the kid has stepped into a hot mess on a team that is about to go through a lot of changes. I think with an entire offseason under a new regime, Foles will be much improved in 2013.
 
It’s still very early in his career, but I liked what I saw out of Foles in college. I witnessed many of those same traits on Sunday against Dallas. If you play in a keeper league, Foles is a guy I would target, and, if he’s the starter in Philadelphia next season, he sets up as a nice later-round sleeper.

As for Michael Vick, he’s all done. He can’t play quarterback in the NFL anymore. Vick had that great seven-game run three years ago but since then he’s been an average turnover machine. Anyone who thinks Vick is still a starting NFL quarterback will face a harsh reality next season. So will the team that signs him. At this point in his declining career Vick is just stealing money.
 
Joique Bell, RB, Detroit – I not only really like Bell as a player, I really like how the Lions are using him. I don’t think Bell would be as effective if a team tried and make him a 20-carry back, but, in his role with the Lions, he’s not only a productive NFL player, Bell is also productive most weeks for fantasy owners.

Because of his role as a receiver, Bell obviously has much more value in points per reception leagues, but in that format he’s averaging just short of 10 fantasy points per week. That’s not bad for a part-time player. As a matter of fact, Bell has scored double-digit fantasy points in five of his last six games, so as the season has gone on he’s really made the most of his opportunities.
 
Bell won’t win you a fantasy title on his own, but he’s the kind of player I love to have on the bench. You never know what’s going to happen to your roster late in the season. Bell is a guy you can plug into your lineup and hope to score double-digit fantasy points virtually every week now.

The Lions really like Mikel Leshoure. I don’t share the same opinion. I think he’s a guy who runs over bad defenses and can score from two yards out. They have a name for running backs like that. They’re called Brandon Jacobs.

While I don’t ever expect Bell to be an every-down starter, I won’t be surprised if his role increases a little bit next season. Bell has shown that when he gets the ball in his hands, good things happen. I would be more than happy to use a later-round pick on Bell next year and let others overpay for Leshoure. Then again, the Lions love to use high draft picks on offensive players, so there could be another guy in the mix by then as well.



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