CATCH ‘EM ON THE REBOUND
It’s that time of year at the Pick-Up Joint, the annual pressing of the panic button that results in multiple big-name beauties being put back on the market. And this season in particular there are more than a few post-Brad Pitt Jennifer Annistons just waiting for you to come along and sweep them off their feet.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers
Through three games Lacy ranks 48th in fantasy scoring amongst running backs, thanks largely to a brutal opening slate in which he’s faced the 1st, 5th, and 8th-ranked run defenses. The good news is, Lacy won’t see another top-10 RB-stopping unit until Week 15—and the 10 defenses he faces between now and then all rank 14th or easier at shutting down RBs. Lacy has been one of the more frustrating first-round picks; do someone in your league a solid and take him off their hands.
Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
Does it make you feel any better that through Week 3 of last year Allen had just three catches for 30 yards? Makes his 12-109 through three weeks look positively rosy; after all, Allen finished 17th in WR fantasy scoring in 2013. Allen’s opposition has been tough but not so tough as to justify his underperformance, and his stat line is about to get a boost with a pair of home dates against the Jaguars and Jets; make a play to add him to your roster before his price tag goes back up.
Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals
Floyd hasn’t broken hearts just yet, but you can fan the flames of discord with his current owner by point out he’s still without a touchdown and could have Drew Stanton as his quarterback the rest of the season. In actuality Stanton isn’t that bad, and concerns about his inability to throw the deep ball seem unfounded after Floyd’s 5-114 last week. But you don’t need to mention that when talking trade; instead, point out how Larry Fitzgerald is outtargeting on Stanton’s watch and John Brown is stealing all the scores.
GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE
Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals
Not that Dalton has been awful in guiding Cincy to the top of the AFC North; hey, he caught a TD pass for you in addition to the two he’s tossed. Wait… what? Yes, that’s right, Dalton has just two touchdown passes on the season. How much is Hue Jackson’s new offense impacting his numbers? After ranking 8th in attempts last season, averaging 36.6 per game, Dalton currently ranks 25th in pass attempts (averaging 28 per game)—behind behind Russell Wilson and just ahead of Kirk Cousins, who’s played less than two full games. It’s not going to get much meatier for Dalton, so sell that his bye will be behind him and hope your trading partner doesn’t dig too deeply into the numbers.
PUT A RING ON THAT THING
Andrew Hawkins, WR, Browns
Hawkins is still flying under the fantasy radar because he hasn’t scored a touchdown yet and, well, because he’s a Brown. But put his numbers side-by-side next to PPR deity Pierre Garçon and Hawkins stands up just fine: 22-227-1 on 32 targets for Garçon, 22-244-0 on 32 targets for Hawkins. Josh Gordon isn’t coming through that door any time soon, Jordan Cameron will likely be in and out of the lineup with various maladies… and Hawkins will simply keep churning out PPR productivity. As of Monday night he was still available in 35% of MFL leagues, less owned than even Gordon. Wouldn’t you prefer two months of stats to the possibility that Gordon recaptures last year’s magic for a brief window late? Of course you would.
Owen Daniels, TE, Ravens
Dennis Pitta’s dislocated hip will take him out of the lineup for the rest of the season. What will Gary Kubiak do without his star tight end? Of course, he’ll turn to the guy who was a rock star for him in Houston. Daniels has an injury track record himself, but after a one-target, one-catch week he likely disappointed those who scrambled to add him after the two-TD prime time game. Grab him now and get Kubiak-offense productivity out of him until his next injury hits.
DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH
Stepfan Taylor, RB, Cardinals
Maybe some astute owners snapped up Taylor after the Cardinals put Jonathan Dwyer on the shelf, only to kick him back to the curb when he touched the ball once in Arizona’s Week 3 win over the 49ers. Capitalize on their rash decision; Andre Ellington is no bastion of health, and while the Cards’ schedule against the run is far from fantasy-friendly you can rest assured at some point during the coming weeks Ellington’s insurance will have fantasy value—be it on the field or as trade bait to help the Ellington owner in your league with his or her insomnia. Just keep mentioning that bum foot…
Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars
Fellow Jacksonville rookie Allen Hurns remains the flashy fantasy play, thanks to his big Week 1 first half and a 63-yard touchdown last week. But it’s Robinson who has seen his targets climb each week, from three to six to 10 last week. With Blake Bortles at the helm and the Jaguars likely playing from behind there will be garbage-time fantasy opportunities for stat-padding among Jacksonville wideouts. Cecil Shorts will get his when healthy, but among the rest of the receivers Robinson seems to be the most trustworthy fantasy option. Low risk, potentially high reward.
DON’T GIVE UP ON ME, BABY
Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers
Perhaps the only Buc to actually have a good day during Tampa Bay’s unmitigated disaster of a 56-14 loss to the Falcons last Thursday was Martin. Backup Bobby Rainey, threatening to steal his job, put the ball on the ground twice and looks like he can’t be trusted with touches. Mike James, who successfully subbed in last season during the Bucs’ RB injury woes came on and produced negative-one yard on five touches. Martin, meanwhile, is now more than two weeks removed from his awful debut (nine carries, nine yards) and expected to be recovered from his knee injury as well. The Bucs will want to give Mike Glennon some help in this offense, and a healthy, non-fumbling Martin should be able to deliver that. Expectations for Martin are at an all-time low, making him a solid trade-for candidate as well.