Before we begin, I’d like to say a big thank you to Steve Spagnuolo and Dave Wannstedt. The defensive coordinators of the leagues two most inept units in New Orleans and Buffalo, Spagnuolo and Wannstedt have helped pave the way for what is on pace to be a record-setting season for offenses and fantasy football teams alike.
SELL: Stevan Ridley
The New England Patriots haven’t had a stable force in their backfield since the days of Curtis Martin. Corey Dillon teased fans with one very good season in 2004, but apart from that, Bill Belichick has opted to use a committee of running backs each year, which somehow invariably ended up with Kevin Faulk getting the bulk of work each season by playoff time. I won’t be convinced Faulk has retired until I don’t see him on the field this January.
The first week of the 2012 season made it appear as if Stevan Ridley had a firm grasp on most of the carries in New England. But in Weeks 2 and 3, Danny Woodhead started eating into his carries. And then in Weeks 4 and 5, Brandon Bolden rushed for a total of 191 yards and even Shane Vereen vultured a TD this past Sunday vs Denver. However, Ridley still managed to put up impressive numbers in part due to the fact that he was facing some atrocious run defenses, and the absence of Aaron Hernandez that has resulted in the Pats focusing more heavily on the run has also played a role. This leads me to believe that Ridley’s value will never be higher than it is right now. He’s third among running backs with 73 standard fantasy points.
By no means should you rush a Ridley trade, but the time is right to try to move him and upgrade to a player who may have gotten off to a slow start.
Players I would target when trading Stevan Ridley: Adrian Peterson, Ryan Mathews, LeSean McCoy, Marshawn Lynch
BUY: Drew Brees
A common mistake in the world of fantasy football, is thinking that a player’s fantasy value is going to be tied to the performance of his NFL team. It’s quite the oppsite in many cases, as the failure of a team can often lead to better fantasy numbers for some players.
Enter Drew Brees. The Saints defense has proved to be one of the most useless groups in recent history, leaving Brees and the offense to pick up the slack.
Being forced to throw the ball frequently to play catch up has made Brees the league leader in fantasy points, passing yards, passing TDs, and most importantly, pass attempts. His 236 attempts this season are 34 more than anyone else in the league. They’re also an indication that Brees will finish the season as the league leader in the aforementioned categories.
Players I would trade away to get Brees: Tom Brady, Michael Vick, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III