“It’s just business. Everything is just business with us: Buy for a nickel, sell for a dime.” – Spiros “Vondas” –The Wire
In my opinion, no quote could ever better encapsulate the meaning of “Buying Low and Selling High” than the one posted above. Whereas Vondas was referring to something else entirely, this quote always comes to mind when pondering the trade market.
Buying an item when it is at its lowest cost and inversely selling an item when it has reached its apex value is one of the first things you learn about when you begin playing fantasy football. Whether it be selling off an RB who fell into a starting role and thrived in that role based on strong line play and replacement level efficiency or buying a WR who underperformed due to poor quarterback play are prime examples of this process.
It doesn’t matter which part of the fantasy football season we are in; there are always values to find and profits to be made. Below we’ll discuss which Defensive Backs to buy and which to sell.
Reshad Jones, Miami S – The beast of defensive backs in 2015 lost over half of his 2016 season due to shoulder surgery. In fact, Jones has dealt with two shoulder injuries since mid-2015. Even with the injury in 2015, Jones dominated, finishing with 136 tackles and five interceptions. If owners of this former Georgia Bulldog are afraid of future injuries, you could pick up this top 5 IDP defensive back for cheap coming into 2017. There is some risk here, but if you have a contender for the next 2-3 years, Jones is a real monster when he is on the field.
Su’a Cravens, Washington S – Cravens is a hybrid defender who was asked to play linebacker in his rookie campaign. Undersized for the LB role, Cravens did not see much time on the field (38% snap rate). Now, with Whitner and Ihenacho as unrestricted free agents, Washington has asked Cravens, the former USC safety, to make the switch back to his college position. At 6’1”, 222lbs, Cravens has good size to play near the line of scrimmage making tackles. Plus, in a full-time starter roll, Cravens will produce IDP1 DB numbers in week one of the 2017 season. Finally, Cravens is only 21 years old, meaning you could have a gold mine out of DC for years to come.
Trae Waynes/Mackensie Alexander, Minnesota CB – Terence Newman is 38, an unrestricted free agent, and likely to leave the Vikings this year. This news creates an opening at the #2 starting CB position in Minnesota. There are two young, talented, but underachieving players in Waynes and Alexander waiting in the wings, vying to take that spot. Whoever earns the job will be targeted often in 2017, playing opposite of Xavier Rhodes so that you can expect plenty of passes defensed and tackles. Waynes and Alexander are on waivers in most leagues, so if you have a few extra roster spots, pick them up, and one (I expect it to be Waynes) will become a high-quality IDP CB once 2017 begins.
Barry Church, Dallas S – Barry Church has been an incredible asset for the Cowboys for the past four years, piling up 434 total tackles since 2013. However, with production comes wear and tear, and at 29 years old, the Toledo product could be on the brink of decline. If you are willing to part with Church a year early, you should be able to garner decent returns from the Cowboys safety prior to his decline.
Casey Hayward, San Diego CB- Hayward had a fantastic 2016, moving from nickel CB in Green Bay to starting CB for the Chargers. The 2012 2nd-round pick was making picks early in 2016, snagging seven in his first 12 games. Unfortunately for IDP owners, after week 13 the NFL realized Hayward was dominating, so they decided to stop throwing his way, thus reducing his statistics drastically. 2017 will be no different, as defensive coordinators will game plan away from Hayward. Therefore, if you can find a buyer who likes the breakout Vanderbilt alum, make the deal and feel good about it going forward.
Logan Ryan, New England CB – Ryan has steadily improved his play over his four years in the NFL, culminating in 2016, when Ryan led the Patriots in tackles with 92. Having such a great season is excellent for the 26-year-old veteran and his earning potential, but that earning potential is also working against this former Rutgers Scarlet Knight in IDP leagues. First, is that Ryan may have priced himself out of New England, and as an unrestricted free agent, the 5th year CB’s future is uncertain at the moment. Second, he will get paid, which usually results in reduced effort and fewer stats for IDP owners to obtain. These factors suggest Ryan owners try to make a deal to unload Ryan and watch him underwhelm for his new owner in 2017.
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