This is gonna be a buy low/sell high column with a twist. Normally you read fantasy articles and they all tell you the same things, buy low on L.T. or L.J. right now, gee thanks for that advice, problem is each article is written to be as broad as possible, which is great and all cause you know it includes everyone, but does it really help anyone ? Shouldn’t weather or not you wanna buy low or sell high depend on your record, how the other teams are built in your league and what you need help with the most ? Of course so how can one tell you, that you must go get RB a) and be willing to part with WR b), well first problem is what if you don’t have receiver B or anything close to him ? What if your set at RB’s and you wanna know which ones to trade for a receiver, what if your 3-0 your team is looking stacked no real weak points at first glance, but then you peep the schedule and notice some of your studs have very tough match-ups at the end of the season, hell some might just be starting a vicious stretch that could kill their value and possibly your team if you don’t trade them soon enough. Having what looks like the best team after week 3 doesn’t mean a damn thing, in fact it’s quite possible you could go undefeated all year with a stacked line-up and then you get crushed in the finals because you have Peyton Manning and Joesph Addai and they aren’t getting full PT cause they already clinched their playoff spot, or maybe your convinced Steven Jackson turns it around, ok say he does are you still gonna wanna play him those last 2 weeks of the fantasy season when he is matched up against Green Bay and Pittsburgh. So here I’m gonna tell you what RB’s to grab expecting them to outplay expectations and who to trade or avoid due to bad match-ups and people who will under perform their expectations. Also again since I’m speaking to an audience and not you indivually some of my suggestions might not work for you, so I suggest you look at your team and your schedule the rest of the way, examine your bye weeks, what weeks you have real bad match-up and don’t feel comfortable starting anyone you have, check those last 2 weeks schedule and start planning for the playoffs if you can afford to, check what weeks you need help the most and check who can help you the most those weeks and go after them. After each player I will list what weeks I have marked as big weeks for said RB, with playoff weeks in BOLD.
GET NOW BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE CATCHES ON
~ Willie Parker – Granted he shouldn’t be on this list, cause everyone should have him and no one should be thinking he is anything less than a top 5 back, but I say this cause honestly I think he is the best back to have the rest of the year, so if you have L.T. and can’t wait for him to turn around anymore ( I suggest waiting until after the Chiefs though, their schedule gets much easier ) so more realistically let’s say you have Larry Johnson or Steven Jackson and you can’t wait it out, see if you can convince the guy to trade you Parker, hell in fact if you have anyone besides L.T. I suggest you take a shot and see if you can get Willie Parker. If you have to give up one of them Rb’s and a decent receiver do it, take a look at Parkers’s schedule the rest of the way, this guy is on his way to a monster year 2,000 + yards. These Steelers still love to run the ball and no one except possibly L.T. will outperform him the rest of the way. As for those last 2 weeks of the fantasy season ( keep in mind thats weeks 15 and 16 in real football ) Parker is a great play both weeks as he has Jacksonville in week 15 and St. Louis in week 16, so if you have Parker feel good you most likely got this years best RB don’t trade him, but if you can pry him away from someone somehow just do it. ( weeks 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15 and 16 )
~ L.T. – I know I know again he shouldn’t be on here either, last one I promise. However I do know of some people who have L.T. and are 0-3 and there for are panicking. It’s understandable really, if you took L.T. you took him with the first pick leaving you most likely with not a great # 2 back, which was ok at the time because you got L.T. and he would make up the difference, problem is he hasn’t and your team has suffered, I get it but unless you got holes everywhere and someone is gonna give you an upgrade everywhere and one of these other RB’s on this list, relax and do not trade L.T. he has played against 3 of the best defenses in football so far, they are adjusting to a whole new coaching staff he will be fine and that turn around starts this week in Kansas City and should continue over the next 2 weeks with Denver and Oakland. Now again if you started out 0-3 you can’t afford to worry about the last 2 weeks right now, you have to try and get yourself there, but if you still can make it there without trading him do so, cause those last 2 weeks L.T. is lucky enough to play the Broncos and Lions, 2 teams no one would have trouble running through let alone L.T. ( weeks 4, 5, 6, 11, 13, 15 and 16 )
~ Edge – So this isn’t last year, people that drafted Edge are actually happy they drafted him as opposed to wishing him harm ( to put it nicely ) as everyone who drafted him last year felt. Unless your in a league with complete idiots mostly everyone realizes this ( if you are in one of those idiot leagues you probably got it won all ready so relax ) but I don’t think most people realize just how good he will be the rest of the way. Only problem is the Cardinals figure to be behind a lot so they will have to throw but at least they can run the ball and run it well this year. Lucky for Edge owners and future Edge owners he still has games against St. Louis, Detroit, Cinn. , San Fran, and Cleve, with New Orleans and Atlanta in the final 2 weeks, that means he has 7 games left against teams that combined allowed an avg. of 143 yards per game, which means there are plenty of fantasy points to be had by the Edge. ( weeks 5,10,11,12,13,14,15 and 16 )
~ Larry Johnson – Ok some of you probably are wondering why he is here, well for much the same reasons as L.T. if you have him I assume you took him high and he is probably killing your team. I hated LJ at the beginning of the year because of his horrible o-line, mess of a QB situation and overall just being on a bad team, and while all of this still holds true his schedule starts to get drastically easier after this week. However like I said these problems are still there so unless you can afford to sit him on the bench for the next couple weeks and hope for a turn around avoid him, but if you 3-0 and sitting pretty and stacked with RB’s take a shot, cause like I said after this week LJ has 7 weeks against teams that have been allowing at least 125 yards a game, one of them against Detroit in the final week. Keep in mind LJ missed almost all of training camp too and while that normally isn’t a big deal for RB’s be ready for him to turn his season around as soon the Chiefs start to play the Jacksonville’s and Cinn.’s. ( Weeks 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 14, 16 )
~ Marshawn Lynch – I wasn’t as high on this guy as a lot of people were at the beginning of the year. I thought he would get crushed coming from the soft Pac-10 to the NFL, but this boy has proved himself to be worthy. He hasn’t been amazing or unstoppable by any means but he is still being underrated by everyone I’ve talked to, don’t make the same mistake. See if you can get him cheap he will help you especially those last 2 weeks of the year against the Browns and the Giants. Besides that he still has 2 games against the Jets ( and trust me anyone can run on the Jets ask Ronnie Brown ) Cinn, 2 games against Miami and a game against Jacksonville, all teams that give up at least 120 rushing yards a game. If you started off great and are already thinking bout playoff like I am make a move for Lynch before someone else catches on. ( Weeks 4, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15 and 16 )
~ Deshaun Foster – This guy defines underrated right now. He is THE RB in Carolina, they aren’t sold on Williams and Foster has been running the ball well. True he has had an easy schedule but it’s gonna stay that way. Foster is criminally undervalued in most leagues right now and I’m sure he can be had cheap. He has 2 games against New Orleans, a game against the Falcons, Cardinals, 49ers, Seahawks and Jags all left and he should have big games against all of them, while only one of them ( Seattle ) is in the playoffs most of them are down the stretch run if your looking for help during those last weeks. ( Weeks 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 14 )
~ Willis McGahee – I expected things to be going better for Willis here in B-more, I mean he seems built for the Ravens, problem is the rest of the offense is a mess. Good news is most McGahee owners are panicking and trying to pawn him off now, my suggestion of course is to take advantage of this. 2 games against Cleve. a game against St. Louis, Buffalo, Cinn,, Miami and Seattle all are still on the schedule and all are more than winnable games for the Ravens. In all of these games the Ravens D should shut down the other offense and allow McGahee plenty of carries to pick up plenty of yards and TD’s. Miami and Seattle are the playoff weeks and you shouldn’t have any problem playing him then. ( Weeks 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 15 )
~ Rudi Johnson – This really depends on who has him, but I saw some people panic after last week, scared he would disappear and scared he would be hurt. If the injury scares you, theres not much I can say other than I doubt it will effect him for more than a week or 2 at most. So if your in a league where the Rudi owner is thinking like then steal him, as he still has games against the Chiefs, Jets, Bills, Rams, and in the playoff weeks the 49ers and Browns. The Bengals offense is a machine designed to score points and as long as Rudi stays healthy he will do the same and if you want help for those final weeks theres not too many with better playoff week match-ups ( Weeks 6, 7, 9, 11, 14, 15 and 16 )
~ Frank Gore – Like Rudi I know some Gore owners who are panicking, not so much cause they don’t believe in Gore but because the 49ers offense looks anemic, and while I can’t very well argue with that I can say the schedule does get easier with a six week stretch where they play the Giants, Saints, Falcons, Seahawks, Rams and Cardinals as well as a week 15 match-up with the Bengals, if people are looking to trade Gore it’s cause they haven’t looked at the schedule ( no Woody Paige ) and like I’ve been saying this whole column, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT. ( Weeks 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15 )
~ Thomas Jones – He was very underrated last year, even more so before the season since he is no longer splitting carries, however the people that were down on him probably feel good about being down on him still and thats fine as long as your willing to realize he is about to turn it around. First 2 weeks they played against 2 of the best defenses in football and to be honest the Jets o-line is a mess but last week in the second half Jones put up 92 yards against the Dolphins, looking like he is finally comfortable in the offense and ready to be the Thomas Jones we all know from last year. I know your saying but that was against the Dolphins, point taken but whats this whole post about, TJ’s schedule is full of good match-ups, ,with 2 games against Buffalo, a game against Cinn, Giants, Miami and Cleveland TJ can definitely be an upgrade to your team on certain weeks. ( Weeks , 5, 7, 8, 13, 14 )
TRADE NOW WHY YOU CAN STILL GET THE BEST VALUE
~ Travis Henry – Ok so I just yesterday noticed this. I got Henry on 2 of my teams and as I was looking at my match-ups the rest of the way I noticed he only has 4 favorable match-ups the rest of the season. Now while normally I wouldn’t be so concerned with the Broncos rushing game but the fact that they can’t stop anyone from running and Jay Cutler just does not instill any confidence in me yet, I see them being behind in too many games and with Shannahan’s games he likes to play stealing TD’s from his starters clutches I think now is as good a time as ever to trade Travis Henry to someone who will give you great value while you can still get it. Right now he has 4 match-ups I like ( Detroit, week 9, K.c., week 10 and 14, and Oakland week 13 ) however he still has 2 games against the Chargers, 1 against the Colts, Packers Tenn. Chicago and Houston, everyone of those teams has held their opponents to under 100 yards rushing a game most under 90, trade Travis Henry before everyone else figures that out as well.
~ Lamont Jordan – I’m a big Lamont fan have been since he was backing up Curtis ( Chris Berman’s favorite ) Martin, Jordan has gotten off to a great year, it is no fluke the guy is for real, the Raiders however are not, and their schedule doesn’t get any easier, he has 4 match-ups I like and a bunch of games I expect the raiders to be out of by the start of the second quarter, meaning lots of passing not so much running, Ronald Curry will benefit greatly from this Lamont however will suffer. Good match-ups the rest of the way are Miami week 4, K.C. week 7 and 12 and Denver week 13 and week 16 against Jacksonville he is a decent play as well) However they also have San Diego, Tenn, Houston, Chicago, Minnesota, Green Bay and Indy on their schedule and I wouldn’t feel comfortable playing him any of those weeks, put him on the block now while he is still hot and get something good while you still can.
~ Steven Jackson – This is another one that depends on who has him, if you have him and can afford to wait it out do it go for it, problem is you won’t get full value for him now especially with him hurt, so theres a couple things you can do, depending on how bad you need help you can settle for your best offer now, if it’s someone I said try and get think about it strongly, probably take it, if not wait it out just a little longer. I wouldn’t play him the next 3 or 4 weeks based on match-ups and his injury but after that he has Cleveland, New Orleans, San Fran, Seattle, Atl. and Cinn. and assuming he is healthy by then he should be back to the Steven Jackson we knew from last year. His last 2 weeks are brutal match-ups no matter how much he looks like last year so maybe you wanna let him play Cleveland and the Saints work his value up and trade him for someone with better playoff match-ups.
Remember you can follow all the advice you want from where ever you want to gather it but whats good for you might not be good for everyone else, so you have to balance the needs and strengths of your team, assess where you need help the most and where you can afford to give up some talent ( if your stacked at WR and need Rb help trade one of your stud receivers or vice versa ) and always, always look at your match-ups and see what weeks you don’t like them and see what can be done about it.