Week 1 Buy/Sell/Hold for Keeper Fantasy Football

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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell

Aug 19, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (26) runs the ball against the Washington Redskins in the first half at FedEx Field. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Each week this season, I’ll be focusing on keeper leagues and analyzing the players worth moving. The buy-low, sell-high mentality may be one of the simplest and most hackneyed concepts in fantasy. But I’d have no problem saying the vast majority of fantasy owners are far too sheepish to pull the trigger on it.

A player performing on all cylinders can be hard to let out of your grasp. And when a stud turns into a dud, it seems logical to avoid him at any cost. But make no mistake; buy-low, sell-high will win you championships if you have the stomach for it. Even more than other strategies, it impacts keeper leagues more than redraft leagues. Imagine turning Kevin Kolb into Peyton Manning; I did once. I’m sure you can guess the exact timing, within a week.

Let’s kick off 2013.

Buy Le’Veon Bell
After the Steelers’ third preseason game on August 19, Bell was diagnosed with the dreaded Lisfranc injury. It’s a foot problem that can sideline a running back at least six-to-eight weeks, and sometimes derail a player’s entire season. Signs have continued to improve, to the point that Bell is even now under consideration for week 2. On September 4, Mike Tomlin ruled out Bell for week 1 not because of injury, but based on missed practice time.

A Bell owner may feel confident with the recent news. But he may also fear that he’s holding an injury-prone, high-risk player. Many of his owners are likely eager to get value in return, especially if he was drafted high. See how little you can spend to get Bell for right now—before he hits the field.

Sell Danny Amendola
It seems already an afterthought that Amendola will lead the NFL in catches in 2013. He starts the season as the only legitimately experienced receiver on the Patriots’ starting roster. He has 196 career catches, compared to Julian Edelman‘s 69, Stevan Ridley‘s nine, Shane Vereen‘s eight, and a combined zero for Kenbrell Thompkins and Zach Sudfeld.

Wes Welker left the team with his NFL-record six season average of 112 receptions. Amendola may only have to fill the biggest shoes in NFL history, but the only history that matters here is Amendola’s medical history. He’s played only 10.5 games per season in his four-year career, including just 12 over the last two seasons. If he stays healthy, he’s obviously on track for Pro Bowl numbers. But if you’re his owner, there’s no doubt you’re shaking in your boots.

Hold Montee Ball
If you drafted him, you’re certainly aware of his final collegiate campaign of 1,830 yards and 22 scores. He holds the NCAA records for career touchdowns (83), career rushing touchdowns (77), scores in a season (39), and consecutive games with two or more touchdowns (13). People who think he doesn’t fit into a Peyton Manning system have forgotten two things. A beast is a beast is a beast. And Manning’s most successful years came with a big back behind him in Edgerrin James.

The Broncos have continually insisted 2013 will feature a mixed backfield. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase said recently, “This is going to be a by-committee backfield. We’ve never shied away from that.” And they piled on to that this week when they named Ronnie Hillman their week one starter. Few experts believe Hillman will lead the team in carries or scores this year. If you believed enough in Ball to own him now, then stick to your guns. Why would you sign up for fantasy football if you’re not willing to follow your own strong beliefs? Wouldn’t it feel worse for Ball to prove you right, after you’ve already moved on?

Stats courtesy of pro-football-reference.com and espn.com.

Dave Major is a writer and comedian suffering from early onset fantasy addiction. When he's not mastering the art of watching three football games at once, Major can be found performing stand-up comedy in New York. Hand over all your trade ideas and keeper questions to
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