Fantasy Football: Time to buy low on Montee Ball

Montee Ball
Montee Ball

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a rough start to the season, and a tough schedule coming out of the bye week, it’s a perfect time to buy low on the Broncos’ Montee Ball.

Personally, I hate sophomore running backs.  Anyone who has followed me on Twitter long enough knows this.  However, the track record of running backs playing with Peyton Manning is too good to ignore.

Through three games, Ball has rushed for 165 yards on 49 attempts, good for a pedestrian 3.4 yards per attempt.  Now, he very well could be the next Trent Richardson — although I think Eddie Lacy is more likely to be that player, but I digress — but there’s a better chance that Ball turns it around in the offense that the opposing defense is focused on shutting down the passing attack.

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Things won’t get easier for Ball out of the bye week, as the Broncos will face the Cardinals, Jets and 49ers, all of whom have a stout run defense.  More than likely, the Ball owner knows this, and they are looking to bail.  Be the one in your league to pick him up, as the Broncos get the Chargers, Patriots, Raiders, Rams and Dolphins after that.  If you are 2-1 or 3-0, make the move to get Montee Ball.

Other buy-low options:

Keenan Allen — If he doesn’t go off this week against the Jaguars, I’m officially going to be nervous.  I didn’t like him much going into the season, but he’s much better than what he’s shown in his first three games.  Trade for him now, because if he goes off this week, you may not get another chance.

Rob Gronkowski — I have a man crush on Gronk, so I’m biased.  However, as his snaps increase each week, his price tag will, too.  If you want Gronk, now may be your last shot to get him.  Remember,  a case can be made that he’s the top tight end in fantasy when healthy.

Aaron Rodgers — Do I need to say anything?  He will be fine, as will Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford.

Larry Fitzgerald — Look, it hasn’t been great for Fitzgerald this year.  He was invisible in Week 1 and Week 3, but he had the targets in Week 2.  John Brown won’t be consistent all year, and all signs point to Carson Palmer returning in Week 5.  Fitzgerald doesn’t have the value that he once had, but he’s still a serviceable No. 2 or high-end No. 3 receiver.  While Michael Floyd is the receiver you want in Arizona, Fitzgerald is still top five in red-zone targets for wide receivers.

Eddie Lacy — Read Rodgers, Aaron for Lacy and Matt Forte.

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DeAndre Hopkins — Hopkins has gone bananas so far this season, and owners may be looking to sell him for what they can get.  Get him now before they can actually sell-high on Hopkins.  With all due respect to Andre Johnson, Hopkins is the best receiver in Houston.

Demaryius Thomas — Go get him now.  Seriously, open a new tab and make a trade offer.


Martellus Bennett

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

As for the sell-high players, we first have to talk about what selling high on a player really means.  If you can get higher value than what the player is really worth, you do it.  It doesn’t mean you should go out there and automatically trade him.

Take for instance Martellus Bennett.  With the state of tight ends right now, it would be hard to move Bennett.  However, if you were one of the smart owners who drafted Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham or Julius Thomas, you really don’t need Bennett.

Look for an owner who is playing the tight end carousel each week, or someone who fell victim to injuries at the position.  Bennett has always played better with Jay Cutler at the helm, but he’s also started off red hot before fading down the stretch.  Trade him before he fades, and go get yourself a good No. 2 or No. 3 receiver or running back.


Other sell-high options:

Darren Sproles — I got Sproles wherever I could this year.  Week 1 and Week 2 showed you what he’s capable up, but Week 3 showed you the frustration that comes with starting Sproles.  He’s going to have an up-and-down season, and he’s still a very solid No. 2 running back in PPR formats.  However, if you find someone who loves him and values him as more, don’t be afraid to trade him.

DeMarco Murray — Trade the No. 2 running back in fantasy? Crazy, right?  While I would need a haul for Murray, I wouldn’t be opposed to trading him.  I’d move him for a package of Montee Ball and Julian Edelman in a PPR league, or straight up for Calvin Johnson or Jimmy Graham.  By trading Murray, you run the risk of trading away a top-three running back this year.  However, you also minimize the risk of injury, which Murray has an extensive track record of suffering.

Steve Smith, Sr. — I’ve been wrong so far about Smith, and Joe Flacco absolutely loves him.  He’ll remain a great option going forward, but will he be a top 10 wide receiver? No.  If someone sees him as that, take advantage.

Kirk Cousins — Cousins was exceptional against a horrid Philadelphia Eagles’ secondary last week, and he looks like he could be the real deal.  Hell, if Jay Gruden made Andy Dalton a top five quarterback in his system, why not Cousins?  It could happen, but I just can’t forget what I saw from him last year.  His stock is as high now as it may be all season.  Find a Tom Brady or Robert Griffin owner, and make a deal.

Marshawn Lynch — You can pretty much as for anything you want if you trade Lynch.  He doesn’t look like an old running back, and he’s the top running back in standard scoring formats thus far this season.  I still have concerns with his workload, so while it would take some serious stones to move him, don’t totally dismiss it.  No players should ever be untouchable.

Rashad Jennings — Bonafide fantasy stud, but I’m concerned about his 34 carries in Week 3.  Either grab Andre Williams now, or sell-high on the do-it-all back for the Giants.



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