This was a really weird week of games in the NFL. This happens at least once a year and the key from a fantasy perspective is to see through the smoke and mirrors to find what is real. Is Andre Ellington really a dynasty fantasy asset? Is Tyler Kroft worth an add? Are all Raiders players a downgrade with David Carr hurt? Who is Austin Ekeler? No seriously, who is he? Who is J.D. McKissic? If I had put J.D. McKissic and Austin Ekeler in my column last week would you have even known if these were real people or if I had made those names up. With that being said let’s take a look at some players whose value have gone up or down this past week. One of the above-mentioned guys will even been a value up.
Over his last two games Dalton has tossed 6 TDs without throwing an interception including throwing 4 TDs this past week. Normally I would probably not pay this too much attention but it comes directly after the team replaced their offensive coordinator. More impressive than those other numbers is his completion percentage in those two games (77.8% and 83.3%). This is what has my attention because Dalton does have some weapons with AJ Green, Joe Mixon, Gio Bernard, Tyler Boyd and Brandon LaFell. Not to mention a good group of TEs. I am optimistic that Dalton can show himself to be a low end starting dynasty fantasy QB or very high-end backup. After the first couple of weeks of the season I don’t think many people would have been buying that.
Buy, Sell or Hold – If you own Dalton hold, but if you don’t have him I would try and get him.
I watched a lot of the Cardinals-49ers game the other day as my wife is a Cardinals fan and I honestly felt bad for Palmer. He is getting hit on just about every pass he throws. I just don’t see how, at age 37, he lasts the entire season behind that offensive line. This is not an indictment on Palmer, who is as tough as they come, but more the reality. Palmer also has a tendency to make some poor decisions when under pressure and those decisions lead to turnovers. What is disheartening is that Palmer has a ton of talent around him even with David Johnson on the shelf. With a receiving core lead by future Hall-of-Famer Larry Fitzgerald, Jaron Brown, John Brown and JJ Nelson there is plenty of talent to throw the ball to on this team. The challenge is going to be keeping Palmer upright and healthy enough to get them the ball.
Buy, Sell or Hold – If you can sell Palmer and get anything for him I would do it. If not, hold and hope he has a good game and then sell as quickly as you can.
This isn’t breaking news – the Browns are not a good team. As a result, they are often losing in their games and frequently it is by a significant margin. Duke Johnson is their pass catching back and losing by a wide margin leads to the team throwing a lot which becomes a lot of targets/catches for Duke. As a prime example in Sunday’s 31-7 loss to the Bengals, Duke caught 9 passes and the week before he caught 6. While Isaiah Crowell is the better runner than Johnson he will cede touches to Johnson as the team becomes more pass heavy in games. While Johnson will never be an RB1 due to Crowell’s presence he is a great PPR RB2/3 due to the likelihood of targets.
Buy, Sell or Hold – Buy now if you can at a fair price, and if you own him you might want to see what the market will bear while he is on a good run.
Coming into the season I thought Crowell was going to have a monster year. The Browns spent a lot of money upgrading their offensive line and the team figured to lean on Crowell heavily to keep them in games. So far, this year things have not gone well. Crowell has rushed 46 times for just 134 yards or 2.9 per attempt. This is way down from his 4.8 yards per attempt last year. Now he has faced some pretty good defenses in Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cincinnati, but still one would expect more. Even more concerning is it seems Duke Johnson’s role (see above) is expanding. All in all, things couldn’t be off to a worse start minus an injury for Crowell.
Buy, Sell or Hold – Sell to anyone who sees value here and if the price is low enough might be worth a buy. At some point you would think Crowell gets it going more than he has thus far.
This is a perfect example of a guy who is taking a role and making it his. Taylor’s number of catches has gone up in every game thus far this year. In addition, he is a punt returner adding value in Dynasty Sports Empire leagues. While Taylor’s number don’t jump off the page at you, he doesn’t have 100 total receiving yards yet, it looks like his role will continue to expand. Let’s face it, the 49ers don’t have many other reliable options in their passing game beyond Pierre Garcon. If Taylor can show he can make plays consistently his path to opportunities is clear. It also appears that Brian Hoyer trusts Taylor as he was the target on a few key plays late in the game this past Sunday.
Buy, Sell or Hold – I would buy Taylor, or if I owned him I would hold.
It is hard to put up big fantasy number when you can’t hold onto the ball. Through Oakland’s first three games Cooper had 6 drops. Combine this with David Carr’s recent injury and it is a recipe for fantasy disappointment. Beyond these factors Cooper’s numbers are just not impressive thus far this year. He has only 12 catches through 4 games for 110 yards and 1 TD. These are not the numbers you are looking for from your WR1 or WR2. Especially after putting up 83 catches for 1,153 yards and 5 TDs last season.
Buy, Sell or Hold – I would hold Cooper or see if you can buy low.
Tyler Eifert gets hurt quite often. If Tyler Kroft can produce games like he did this past Sunday with 6 catches on 7 targets for 68 yards and 2 TDs he might pass Eifert on the depth chart. In the last three years Eifert has played 1, 13 and 8 games. Kroft should have an opportunity to play and produce. Andy Dalton likes throwing the ball to the TE especially in the red zone and this could make Kroft a valuable piece moving forward.
Buy, Sell or Hold – I would hold on buying and hold if you have him to see if he can repeat last week’s performance and become a dynasty asset.
As I wrote a few weeks ago with Jared Cook, sometimes you just have to realize a player’s best days are behind them. Unfortunately for Reed it seems this could be the case for him. He has had too many injuries including concussions and is battling a broken toe and injured ribs/shoulder. At some point in time the body just won’t let you be what you were. It is a shame for Reed as he is an amazing player when healthy. Sadly, he just isn’t healthy very often.
Buy, Sell or Hold – I would sell if you can.
As always, good luck to all in Week 5.