Buy Low, Sell High After Week 2


A star is only as good as the team around him, particularly when it comes to the offensive line. Look for the trade table edge with some in depth analysis of offensive line play. Give the guys doing the grunt work their due and reap the benefits yourself. 


BUY LOW, SELL HIGH 

In almost all popular american sports the boundaries delineating the field of play are stationary, a set structure limiting where players can and cannot go, controlling how a player can find success. A basketball out of bounds is a turnover, an untouched puck over the redline is icing, and a baseball over the fence is a home run. However, this is not the case with football. The most important line in football is constantly in flux; that is the line of scrimmage. Static at the beginning of the play, the line of scrimmage changes based on the often over looked "big uglies", offensive linemen, battling in the trench. This group is crucial to opening up the field of play for quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers, and is therefore an important though less obvious factor in fantasy success. With that in mind, let's look at some players who's trade value hinges significantly on the success of their offensive line.

SELL HIGH:

A.J. Green - This listing could also read as "buyer beware". While Green's fantasy output has been moderate this season, his value in any trade talks will certainly be inflated by his game breaking reputation. However, it does not seem likely that Green will live up to that reputation this season. Green's production is unfortunately tied to the performance of Andy Dalton who is off to a red (see what I did there) hot start, but who has taken 0 sacks so far. Dalton is highly dependent on pocket protection with a 2014 quarterback rating for games in which he sustained multiples sacks of 62, compared with 101.5 in games of one sack or less. Combine this information with the upcoming schedule of BAL, KC, SEA and BUF (BUF, BAL, KC were 1, 3, 5 respectively in sacks in 2014 and SEA returns Cam Chancellor to sure up their pass D) and it is tough to project a bright future for Green. Owners planning to ride out this stretch, hoping for Green to shine when it matters in the playoffs, should be cautioned by a playoff-matchup gauntlet featuring CLE, SF, and DEN, all of which were top 10 in pass defense in 2014.

Demarco Murray - Normally at this point in the season, it would be best to practice patience, but given Murray's situation, it may already be too late to make a move. Murray was the benefactor of the best offensive line in football while with Dallas in 2014.  Dallas excelled at providing gaping wholes at the line of scrimmage (1st in adj. line yrds, 2014*) and sustaining good blocking into the second level and in the open field (2nd in both, 2014*). Open lanes and athletic linemen clearing space down-field helped Murray amass a league leading rushing total, a stat that most significantly distinguished him from other fantasy backs in 2014. However, fast forward to 2015 with Murray mired in Chip Kelly's brand of offense. Even though the Eagle's offensive line is talented and very productive in the red-zone (1st in short/goaline yrds, 2014*, explaining how 5'3 Darren Sproles became a goaline threat) they do not supply the power blocking at the line of scrimmage that suits Murray's downfield style (29th in adj. line yrds, 2014*). Add the likely-hood of touchdown vultures (which you can read about in LeSean McCoy's 2014 fantasy obituary) to a fresh hamstring injury, and it might be best to see what you can get for Murray's 2014 resume.

BUY LOW

Jamaal Charles - It may seem ridiculous to consider a player who was likely a top 3 pick coming off 14 and 15 point games to be candidate for buy low, but Charles may just be getting started. Kansas City's offensive line is actually under performing their standards from the recent past (7th in 2014, 2nd in 2013 and only 14th in 2015). Reports suggest that KC's offensive line has actually improved over the off-season and is building continuity which should lead to even more production for Charles. Further, Charles has continued to hold his own in the passing game (13 trgts/ 2 games) despite the incorporation of Jeremy Maclin and a huge game from Travis Kelce.

Carson Palmer - Arizona's offensive line play was miserable in 2013 leading Palmer to suffer multi sack games of 4, 5 and 7! sacks not to mention three more games of 3 plus sacks. Not surprisingly Palmer, under constant duress, threw 24 tds with 22 ints. After the line improved in 2014 (One 3 sack game Palmer played) Palmer was able to throw 11 tds with only 3 picks, but unfortunately fell to injury. So far in 2015 Palmer has been successful with 7 tds and no ints. Look for this success to continue as long as Palmer remains healthy and protected.

These are players who you might want to target at this point in the season. It it is still early so play it safe, while holding out for a deal you can't refuse and check back to fantasy 4'um.

*indicate stats from http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol2013





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