Thursday - Aug 22, 2019

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The Feeding Frenzy: Week 3 Trade Bait

So last week I had some decent calls in this column. I suggested buying low on Cedric Benson, while selling high on Matt Forte, Kevin Ogletree and Adrian Peterson. So overall it was a pretty successful first column of the season if you skipped over the part about trading for Titus Young, right?

However, I took my advice on one player. I decided to buy low and trade for Larry Fitzgerald. I guess I should have waited a week because now you can get Fitz for a sack of magic beans. I mean come on, one catch for 14 yards? His lowest total since his rookie season? Really? I guess if you still want Fitzgerald you can go get him. I doubt his value will get any lower for the rest of his career.
That was the advice I decided to take. Hopefully you took some of my other suggestions instead and said, “I don’t want Fitzgerald. He doesn’t have a quarterback.” It took my “expert’ eye a week too long to come to that obvious conclusion. I can’t help it. I still love me some Fitz. I just hate me some Kolb right now.
In reality it makes no difference to me. I’ll just make more trades this week. I always keep firing. Now here are the players I’m advising to buy low and sell high on after Week 2.

Buy Low

Daryl Richardson, RB Rams – I obviously didn’t see Richardson play a lot in college because Abilene Christian isn’t on TV every week. I actually really liked the Rams selection of Isaiah Pead. Shows how much I know. I picked up this cat in my dynasty league and boy I’m glad I did.
It was originally thought Steven Jackson was benched for a personal foul penalty on Sunday. Then Jeff Fisher said Jackson was dealing with a groin injury. I don’t know, it all sounds funny to me. Either way Fisher got a chance to see what Richardson can do in a real game. Well, it paid off because the rookie looked sensational, totaling 102 yards and catching two passes.

I still think Jackson can play but this kid Richardson brought some extra juice that the big fella simple doesn’t have anymore. Sometimes players come around that you didn’t watch in college and you can see they have talent. Then there are guys who just blow you away. I watch Richardson and he blows me away. I don’t know what Pead is going to do but he won’t be playing running back because the Rams have a stud in Richardson.

Now, we can’t jump the gun here. Jackson isn’t dead. It’s not like Richardson is going to take over and get all the carries if Jackson is healthy. That won’t happen, at least not right now. However, Jackson is an aging back and with age comes injuries.

If Jackson gets hurt and misses like 4-6 games, that could be all Richardson needs. From the looks of him, Richardson will be so productive while Jackson is out there will be no way to get him off the field.
Now a lot of people in re-draft leagues don’t own Richardson yet, so you’ll have to put in a waiver request for him. Last week I said if you got Kevin Ogletree, you should trade him right away because his value would never get any higher.
I’m taking the exact opposite approach with Richardson. If you get him off waivers, hold onto to Richardson. If you don’t get him, try like heck to trade for him now, even if Jackson comes back next week.

At Jackson’s age I don’t see him staying healthy all season. Plus, I think Fisher knows he has a stud on his hands and he’s going to try and get him on the field as often as possible. I’ll tell you how high I am on Richardson. I hold the No. 1 waiver priority in my league and I’m using it on him.
I would never use the No. 1 waiver priority this early unless I thought a special player was available. Last year I held it until I got DeMarco Murray. Well, this week I’m rolling the dice on Richardson. I advise you do the same. If Jackson goes down again (or maybe even if he doesn’t) you’ll have a fantasy stud in Richardson.
Brandon Marshall, WR Bears – I had Marshall ranked very high coming into the season but to say things haven’t gotten off to a great start would be an understatement. Now Marshall did have a strong fantasy outing in Week 1 despite his drops but the bottom fell out against the Packers.

So what do we make of this situation? I say this as a Type I diabetic of 30 years who roots for Jay Cutler to succeed: I think he’s a frontrunner. When things are going well, Cutler can carve a defense up. However, when things start off badly, he folds. That’s just what I think.

I know the Bears line was awful against Green Bay but some of those sacks and poor throws were on Cutler. It’s like if the rush gets to him in the first quarter, he just accepts that it will be there all game long. He starts going down when there’s no one there. So when Cutler is bad, the entire Bears offense is bad and Cutler was really bad last Thursday night.
Granted, Marshall wasn’t much better. For the second straight game he dropped way too many passes and seemed to be unfocused. That’s obviously a concern. Still, when a talented team looks as bad as the Bears did on Thursday, I like to buy some of their players. Remember, Chicago still has four games against the Lions and Vikings. Those aren’t the most intimidating secondaries on the planet.
I still think Marshall is going to have a huge year. Like I said, he had an up and down game in Week 1 and still managed nine catches for 119 yards and a score. So even when Marshall is dropping a few balls he still produces strong fantasy numbers most weeks. I suggested buying low on Fitzgerald because he’s a true No. 1 receiver. I feel the same about Marshall. The only difference is he has a quarterback that can throw a forward pass…most of the time.

The Bears offense won’t have many games where it looks as bad as it did Thursday night. If you find an owner souring on Marshall, see if he wants to part with him and pounce.
Greg Olsen, TE Panthers – Let’s say you’re weak at tight end and looking to upgrade. How about a guy who just caught one pass for 13 yards? You interested? You should be.

Olsen was a hot player this summer and he responded with a decent Week 1 performance, catching six balls for 56 yards. Then against New Orleans Olsen fell off the map and caught just one pass. So has Cam Newton stopped looking Olsen’s way all of a sudden? I don’t think so.
The Panthers had a lot of trouble handling Tampa Bay’s blitz package in Week 1. The Saints blitz more than most team to begin with, so I believe Olsen’s lack of production was gameplan specific. Carolina also went run heavy last week, throwing a total of just 20 passes. Olsen was asked to block more than usual on Sunday and his numbers suffered because of it.
I’m mentioning Olsen because Aaron Hernandez is injured and Antonio Gates is also hurt and to be frank; looks old. Owners of these two tight ends may be looking for some help this week. My suggestion would be to target Olsen for a couple of reasons.
I still think Olsen is going to be one of the better fantasy tight ends this season. In my opinion Week 2 was just a bump in the road. That brings me to my second point. Those owners who lost last week because of Olsen’s putrid performance may be ready to listen to offers. If you’re looking for a tight end right now, I would snoop around Olsen owners to gauge their interest in dealing him.
Steve Smith is a great player but he’s already dealing with a knee issue. Is he going to stay healthy all season? I’m not so sure. Either way Olsen is going to see a lot of targets most weeks. I always say I look at situations and ask if it’s the exception or the norm. I think Olsen catching one pass is the exception. I see around 12-15 fantasy points a week being the norm.

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