Overtime: Fantasy football stock report

OvertimeLetting go can be the hardest aspect of fantasy football. It’s tough to ship out one of your top draft picks for a guy off the waiver wire. We grow too attached to our Chris Johnsons and Mike Wallaces.

Admitting you were wrong is step one. Step two is removing almost all human elements from your approach to this game.

Evaluating players without any emotional connections or preconceived notions is challenging. But it’s necessary, especially if your team has been stumbling around and needs a change.

I make just about every decision in my life according to the expected value, which is, in layman’s terms, the long-term average outcome of a scenario. Fantasy sports are no different.

Enough football has been played that we can now project the future using real data, trends, patterns, and results. Forget where they were drafted and how much you like them. These are players whose stock is rising and falling. Therefore, these are players you should trade for and away.

 

UP 

Tony Romo

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Romo usually makes for a good punch line — unless the crowd understands football. In which case, they know that Starter Cap is having a career year. And they’re crafting trade offers for him as I type this.

Romo’s fantasy stock is benefitted by perception. No one likes the guy. On top of that, he’s viewed as the hard median of fantasy quarterbacks. In reality, he will be a top five passer going forward. Take advantage of the disdain.

Phillip Rivers

Remember step one? Here’s the blueprint:

I said before the season that Rivers was shot. I was ready to bury that wily song of a gun underneath Qualcomm Stadium. Turns out, I was wrong.

There it is. Rivers has crawled out of the abyss. He’s in Romo’s area of being a top tier thrower who remains undervalued. Let the Rivers owner think he’s selling high.

Running backs with two healthy legs that can gain yards

The difference between the number one back (Jamaal Charles) and the number 12 back (Gio Bernard) is 53 points. Charles is six points away from lapping Bernard.

Finding someone with a shred of reliability to fill your RB spot is damn-near statistically impossible. Two backs (Charles and Matt Forte) have been good for double-digit numbers all year. Two.

Outside of the top seven runners, it’s a free for all.

Eddie Lacy

Option #1 for those who need a ball carrier — so, like, everyone. Lacy is talented, in a good position, and can be had for a reasonable price.

Zac Stacy

Option #2. St. Louis ran well on the Texans, neutralizing J.J. Watt in the process. Stacy has solid pad level control and is built like a small tank. Expected value is lowered due to the risk, but it’s worth it considering the running back climate.

Justin Blackmon

Blackmon is a young Anquan Boldin. He has strong hands and bullies cornerbacks with ferocious slant routes. He’s made the Jaguars sort of frisky as well. That’s a legendary accomplishment.

Blackmon’s 19-326-1 line since coming off suspension is real. Go invest.

 

DOWN

Colin Kaepernick

Kaepernick could gain steam down the stretch, but we’re playing the odds, and the odds aren’t in his favor. With teams scheming for the read-option, he’s had to stay in the pocket and play a more traditional style. The lack of pass catchers and experience has made for a rocky ride.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady has 1,480 yards, eight touchdowns, four interceptions and 79 fantasy points. Player A has 1,552 yards, eight touchdowns, six interceptions and 81 fantasy points. Who is Player A?

It’s Andy-freaking-Dalton. This isn’t really an indication of Dalton’s success. Rather, it’s a loud warning shot signaling Brady’s bleak fantasy status.

Use that pretty face as trade bait to score Rivers or Romo.

Patriots’ receivers

In theory, (insert Patriots receiver here) should be aided by the return of Gronkowski. He probably will be — for a random two or three weeks. The success of wideouts in Foxboro is too unpredictable. Move on.

C.J. Spiller

Had you asked me to map out the worst possible 2013 for Spiller before the season started, here’s how it would’ve looked: E.J. Manuel gets hurt, Spiller suffers his own injury, and Fred Jackson regains touches after playing well as a fill-in. Maybe sprinkle in some suspect offensive line play, too.

Oh, hey, every one of those things has happened. Spiller for Lacy doesn’t sound crazy in late October.

Martellus Bennett

Bennett’s fantasy impact is too predicated on targets in the red zone. He delivers pedestrian numbers if there’s no touchdown attached to his line.

With that said, he is an ideal example of a very good real football player who will get slighted for his fake football production. Fantasy has skewed too many opinions of players in unfair directions. So it goes.

If I could get 11 other people to play in a league that rewards in-line blocking, I would. Then I’d take Bennett early.

Eli Manning

Absolutely remarkable.