Week 5 - Buy & Sell Report
By Mike Beacom
Wire Tap 10-2
The Patriots and Bill Belichick are at it again - you know, messing with fantasy owners' minds.
On Sunday, Belichick rotated fantasy favorite Stevan Ridley with newcomer Brandon Bolden and both backs reached the 100-yard mark. It's something that happens on occasion in the NFL, only usually with a starter and a backup. In New England it's hard to tell which player serves those roles.
Bolden was the more impressive of the two (16 carries for 137 yards, 8.6 yards a carry), which is why he appeals to fantasy owners in dire need of help at the running back position. But be careful: same as with Ridley, Bolden could see 15 carries next week and 5 the week after - it's anyone's guess.
Here are a few other waiver wire candidates to consider …
WR Jordan Norwood, Browns
Mohamed Massaquoi is banged up and Greg Little cant hang on to the ball ... Who you gonna call? Looks like it's Norwood, in this case. He was thrown to 10 times in last Thursday's loss to Baltimore, as much as Little. It was Norwood's first action this season, but doesn't appear to be his last. He's a gamble, but for those hurting at receiver he's a gamble you can probably afford to take.
WR Domenick Hixon, Giants
So much for Ramses Barden's honeymoon. A week after the Giants gigantic young receiver beat up on Carolina (138 yards) the team turned to Hixon in Hakeem Nicks' absence. Many assumed Barden would continue to roll, but Hixon was originally designated the team's No. 3 receiver and it appears he will retain that role after gaining 114 yards (11 targets) on Sunday night. Nicks' knee continues to be a concern, so Hixon could see more reps in the meantime.
The waiver wire isn't the only way for fantasy owners to improve their roster; a well-crafted trade proposal can help every bit as much as picking up an up-and-coming free agent. Here is a look at this week's buy and sell candidates:
WR Jerome Simpson, Vikings
In Simpson's first game off suspension he did well - four catches for 50 yards. The Vikings desperately need help at receiver and it appears Simpson will be that guy. Fantasy owners could find him still available in some leagues, and he can probably be had for a bargain in others. He makes a nice No. 4 receiver to start, with room to grow.
WR Eric Decker, Broncos
Demaryius Thomas continues to receive all of the attention but Decker is starting to see more passes from Peyton Manning. Decker was targeted nine times against Oakland, three more than any other Broncos receiver. He has just one touchdown catch but his stock is clearly on the rise; Decker will be a solid No. 2 by season's end - you can take that to the bank.
WR Leonard Hankerson, Redskins
Hankerson may not have had as many yards as Josh Morgan or Fred Davis but he was thrown to more than those two Redskins receivers combined. Robert Griffin III looked to Hankerson 11 times on Sunday - no other Washington receiver saw more than five looks. Hankerson's chemistry with the league's hottest quarterback is worthy of your attention.
RB Chris Johnson, Titans
Don't walk, run. Find the nearest sucker ¬ fast. And sell! Johnson's 141-yard day against Houston is further proof that there is no telling what the once-great back will do week to week. Bad against the bad, great against the best - it's enough to drive a fantasy owner mad. Johnson's big Week 4 performance boosts his value and makes him marketable again. Don't lose this opportunity to wipe him from your roster.
RB Michael Turner, Falcons
Turner had 171 yards from scrimmage on Sunday, with 68 coming via the passing game. That's unheard of. He even scored a touchdown. Most weeks Turner will be a 60- to 80-yard back but his efforts in the win over Carolina will help fantasy owners market him as something more.
WR Brian Hartline, Dolphins
There are breakout performances and then there are flukes. Count Hartline's 12-catch, 253-yard day against Arizona in the latter category. No way is he a star fantasy player; he has performed well because at this point he is the best of what Ryan Tannehill has to throw to. You can probably get more than you deserve for Hartline. Dump him.
Mike Beacom is a contributing writer for FootballDiehards.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikebeacom