PhinManiacs fantasy experts Ryan Thyer (@bignoahd05) and Eldon Jenson (@EJFootball) offer their picks of players to sign now or target in trades.
Players Ryan is high on and signing in every league:
Matt Jones RB, Redskins
I know this one is obvious-he looked GREAT last week, but I still received questions this week on whether to sign him on waivers. The answer to that question is YES! At this time he is still going to split some carries with Morris, but he is better than Morris. I think the Redskins want Jones to steal this job away from Morris, and they are going to give him every opportunity to do so.
The Redskins are going to run the ball, and they are going to run it a lot. Expect Jones to get more and more carries as the year goes along.
David Johnson RB, Cardinals
Let’s face the facts here - even when Andre Ellington comes back he does not seem to be an every down back in the NFL, and although he was serviceable last week, Chris Johnson is not going to steal any RB jobs in the NFL anymore. David Johnson is the future in Arizona right now, and he is EXPLOSIVE.
He is a superb receiver, and was at UNI as well, and that will translate great as the season goes along. Expect David Johnson to become more and more involved every week in both the run game and the pass game. In PPR leagues he is a must add.
Players Ryan is targeting in low cost trades:
I am one who likes to buy low on guys that struggle early on. Owners get mad and are willing to dump talent because they are not producing enough, after they “wasted” an early pick on a guy that is not producing as he should.
When guys don’t produce, owners lose, and they are ready to dump players for cheap because they cannot afford to lose any more games early, and they sell on the cheap.
This is where a good fantasy owner will improve their team. Be the person that is there to take those “damaged goods” off of a disappointed owners hands, as those are players that can help you later in the season when they get it back together.
Jimmy Graham TE, Seahawks
Graham is not happy. And really he should not be as his role in this offense has been very limited so far. But this is the exact kind of guy that you should start to target in trade offers. If you can get Graham from an owner who is ready to be rid of him, jump on it. Graham still has the ability to have a great season, and his physical tools have not magically diminished.
He is still the same freak athlete at TE that he has been, and you have to figure that the Seahawks will find a way to get him involved and get him back on track for fantasy purposes. If you can get him for the right price now, he can be a difference maker at the TE position down the stretch.
Brandin Cooks WR, Saints
I admit I was VERY high on Cooks this off-season. I thought he was going to have a huge season, and I still think that he can. This offense is obviously not clicking, and with the threat of Brees missing games, Cooks value will drop. This is where you can swoop in and take this headache off of someone else’s hands.
Now is the time to buy cheap, and wait and see what happens with him. Like Graham, the talent is still there for Cooks, and a lot of people do not have the patience to wait on guys to perform. He is a perfect buy-low candidate that you can sit on, and hope that his talent pays off down the road.
Players EJ is signing in every league:
Dion Lewis RB, Patriots
I agree with Ryan that if Matt Jones is available on your waiver wire, you need to trip over every object imaginable to get him signed to your squad. But if Jones is gone, look for Lewis. The initial expectation was that Lewis would simply be a fill-in guy while LeGarrette Blount served his one game suspension, and then Lewis would fade to the background.
Thing is, Lewis played phenomenal, and against stiff defenses to boot. Do we have the makings of the next Curtis Martin? Who knows, but Lewis has the quicks and the moves to stay very involved in this offense. At worst he’s a Danny Woodhead guy and invaluable in PPR leagues. At best? Well, sign him and see.
Donte Moncrief WR, Colts
Moncrief is surprisingly available in 32% of all Yahoo leagues. If he’s available in yours, get him signed. The Colts have struggled in their first two games, and have some offensive line problems, but Andrew Luck is still getting the ball downfield, and Moncrief has seen 19 targets on the year, just two less than T.Y Hilton. I was never high on Andre Johnson as a Colt, and he’s looking long in the tooth so far this season. Moncrief is taking advantage.
Players EJ is targeting in low cost trades:
Greg Olsen TE, Panthers
Olsen won’t necessarily come cheap, as he still carries considerable name recognition. But with only 7 catches for 81 yards and zero trips to the endzone, the Olsen owner in your league may be frustrated that his star isn’t shining as brightly as expected. Offer them a TE with some early scores (Eric Ebron, Kyle Rudolph) in exchange, and if they bite, you’ll certainly reap the benefits over the course of the season.
Johnny Manziel QB, Browns
Nah, just kidding. Stay away, far, far away.
This article was written by Eldon Jenson and Ryan Thyer. Follow them on Twitter @EJFootball and @bignoahd05