The best way to stay on top in your keeper or dynasty league is to identify the players that can help you and establish their value. A lot of owners were fed up with Ben Roethlisberger during last off-season and because of that, a lot of teams benefited by getting Roethlisberger at a greatly reduced price. Let’s take an early look at some of the buy low candidates early in the off-season.
Carson Palmer QB CIN – Carson’s much maligned 2010 season actually wasn’t all that bad. He was the 13th overall QB in scoring which if you’re looking for a backup is a top notch guy. Palmer has a lot of bad buzz around him with his “bad” season and his uncertain future. We have no idea where he’s going to play and even if he stays with the Bengals who is he going to be throwing to, but Palmer is still an excellent risk / reward pickup.
Ray Rice RB BAL– Rice is another player who is considered to have an “off” year in 2010, but still finished at the 10th rated RB. If you’re in a PPR or yardage league he will continue to be one of the top 5 RBs and Willis McGahee’s uncertain future with the team only means that Rice is in line to get more work at the goal line. He only had 6 TDs this year, so if he continues with his yardage output and adds in some TDs he’ll contend to be the #1 RB in fantasy football.
Pierre Garcon WR IND– Reggie Wayne is angry and in all liklihood not getting a new contract and teams regularly covered Garcon with their #1 CB during the season. For two straight years down the stretch it has been Garcon, not Wayne that Peyton Manning has looked to. The uncertainty of Wayne along with the return of Dallas Clark (along witha host of others) make him well worth a pickup.
Owen Daniels TE HOU– People seem to have forgotten how good Owen Daniels was before his injury. In the last 4 games of 2010 he had 22 receptions, 271 yards and 2 TDs after finally recovering fully from his knee injury. In the 7 games before his injury in 2009 he had 39 receptions for 497 yards and 5 TDs. To put that in perspective Antonio Gates had 37 receptions for 523 yards and 2 TDs through 7 games in 09. With a potent running game and Andre Johnson, Daniels is an elite fantasy TE who is currently very much under the radar.
Michael Johnson DE/LB CIN – Remember all the buzz that he got during the pre-season this year? Apparently the Bengals weren’t reading the press clippings about what a force he could be rushing the passer. Carlos Dunlap took a lot of the sacks that were suppose to be Michael’s, but as the team phases Dhani Jones out for Rey Maualuga (or takes Maualuga out in passing situations in favor of Johnson) the sacks will come for the highly athletic Johnson. Owners who invested in Johnson may be looking to cut bait too early and you should look to seize such an opportunity to get a player who still has the potential to be a force in both standard and big play IDP leagues.
Daryl Washington LB ARZ– Washington was one of the many Cardinals who disappointed this year. He was ranked by many as the #1 rookie LB after the pre-season injury to Gerald Hayes. Inconsistency in his playing time and the players around him put Washington in a bad spot. His first professional off-season should do him a lot of good and if the Cardinals can improve their QB situation it will put Washington in much more favorable situations in 2011.
Roman Harper DB NO– What is fresh in people’s minds is how Harper was abused by the Seahawks in the playoffs. What people have forgotten is that during the regular season Harper had 98 tackles, 6 forced fumbles, 3 sacks and an interception. Harper has never been good in man to man coverage, but when used in supporting the run game he is a force and has been competent in over the top or zone coverage. Send a few mean spirited emails about Harper getting manhandled by John Carlson and then after a little time see if you can get him as a throw in a deal during the off-season.
COMING TUESDAY: Sell Highs for the off-season
Chris January 31st, 2011