About this time of year, the questions start cycling through the minds of most fantasy owners. Should you make a trade? Is it too early to cut the guy you drafted in the sixth round? Fantasy Chop Shop will strip apart the latest NFL player news and trends, and provide counsel on roster management. Here you’ll find timely advice about when to “chop” (cut a player from your roster) and when to “shop” (buy or sell a player via trade). Fantasy Chop Shop will run every other Wednesday for the rest of the year.
Brady Quinn, QB, Browns
Is it too early to start the debate over whether Quinn or Tim Couch was the bigger bust?
Chad Pennington, QB, Dolphins
Out for the year with another shoulder injury.
Byron Leftwich, QB, Buccaneers
I, for one, won’t miss his wacky throwing motion.
Matt Cassel, QB, Chiefs
Yeah, he threw two touchdowns but he’s still nothing more than a bye week fill-in.
James Davis, RB, Browns
This popular sleeper pick never woke up. He was placed on the IR late last week.
Laurence Maroney, RB, Patriots
I can think of three Patriot RBs I’d rather own instead of Maroney the phony.
LenDale White, RB, Titans
White had more value when he was drinking Patron and scoring touchdowns. He still might have value in TD-heavy leagues, otherwise no.
Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders
Out for 2-4 weeks. Not a particularly favorable schedule when he returns. Cut bait if you see something on the wire that interests you.
Mike Bell, RB, Saints
He might be worth holding onto as a handcuff to Pierre Thomas. Otherwise, you might be able to find a more valuable RB on the wire.
Laurent Robinson, WR, Rams
Thanks for the two weeks, Mr. Robinson.
Domenik Hixon, WR, Giants
He’ll return to action sooner or later but he’s slid down the depth chart.
Joey Galloway, WR, Patriots
Whose doghouse would you rather be in Bill Belichick’s or Tom Brady’s? How about both?
Justin Gage, WR, Titans
Getting out-performed by Nate Washington and Kenny Britt.
Laveranues Coles and Chris Henry, WRs, Bengals
Both players are too inconsistent to merit a roster spot at this point.
Mark Clayton, WR, Ravens
Week 1 performance notwithstanding, Clayton is who we thought he was.
Zach Miller, TE, Raiders
What started out as a promising season for the second-year TE has quickly fizzled. Keep him in mind if/when Jamarcus Russel gets benched.
Arizona Cardinals Offense
If your team is below .500 and you’re in win-now mode, try to stock up on a couple Arizona players. In my opinion, the Cardinals have hands down the most favorable schedule over the next seven weeks (and the rest of the season for that matter). Their upcoming schedule includes six juicy matchups against Houston, Seattle, Carolina, Chicago, Seattle and St. Louis (they also face the Giants in there somewhere). To date, Arizona’s offense has underperformed across the board, which has caused values to drop. While Fitzgerald and Boldin will likely be costly, you might be able to get Hightower, Warner or Breaston below what they’re worth. Also consider acquiring Beanie Wells in case he starts getting more looks.
Brian Westbrook, RB, Eagles
Westbrook may not hold up for the rest of the season but he’ll be golden for the next couple games (Tampa and Oakland). Tampa ranks 30th in run defense. Oakland is 26th. Westbrook is a smart player to target if you need immediate RB help.
Larry Johnson, RB, Chiefs
Seeing Johnson’s name on a list of players to buy might come as a surprise. However, I can’t help but think he’s worth the bargain basement price you’ll pay to land him. Take a closer look at Johnson’s season so far. He’s faced the Ravens, Raiders, Giants and Eagles. Not surprisingly, he was a nonfactor against everyone but the Raiders. Looking ahead the schedule isn’t outstanding but it’s not murder either. Based on the number of carries he gets, Johnson will deliver some useful numbers and is a viable RB3 for the bye week stretch.
Greg Jennings, WR, Packers
With the Packers on a bye and Jennings coming off another disappointing performance, Green Bay’s top wideout is ripe for the picking. When the Packers return to action, they will face Detroit, Cleveland, Minnesota, Tampa and Dallas. Four of those teams rank in the bottom half of the NFL in pass defense. If the Packers can re-tool their offensive line over the bye week, Jennings will re-emerge as a top 10 fantasy WR.
Steve Slaton, RB, Texans
Slaton’s two-touchdown game has elevated his value back to a respectable level. Don’t shy away from cashing in on the second-year back. Yes, he had a couple long scoring plays but he also fumbled again and continued to dance around too much in the backfield. I expect Slaton to perform like a mid-level RB going forward. Don’t give him away but if you can get top value for him, it’s a deal worth making. His schedule isn’t as good as it once looked. The Texans will face the Cardinals, Bengals and 49ers. All three defenses are performing better than expected against the run.
Santana Moss, WR, Redskins
Moss is the ultimate Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde wideout. Yes, he’ll have some great games but they won’t make up for the stink bombs that cost you a win. Last season, he was at his best in September and October, scoring five touchdowns. For the rest of the season, he only scored one more touchdown. Coming off his good showings in Detroit and Tampa, now is the perfect time to deal Moss.
Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens
If you’re a Flacco owner and also drafted a top flight QB, consider putting your trust behind the Ravens QB and dealing your other QB. With a four-game sample size to drawn on, it’s reasonably safe to expect Flacco will continue to deliver quality numbers. He’s performed well against good defenses (SDG and NE) and bad defenses (KC and CLE), at home and on the road. The move comes with a little risk, but if you can substantially upgrade an area of weakness, it might be a risk worth taking.