This article marks the last in our Buy, Sell, Hold series, covering players that we are targeting as potential values, overpriced players, and, in this case players that we need to see more from before slotting them.
Robert Griffen III – If you count on ESPN’s experts to bring you your news and player rankings you’re probably ‘all in’ on Griffen, Jackson and Garcon this season. While we like the hiring of Jay Gruden for Griffen, his struggles last season are keeping us from anointing him back up into the top 6. A top 6 finish wouldn’t surprise us, but if he can’t run, a finish at 15 or lower wouldn’t surprise us either, the good news is you will know if he’s back within a quarter of watching him play.
Nick Foles – This feels like an obvious pick. He lost Jackson, his quarterbacks coach, and the league now has film on the Eagles offense and Foles himself. He didn’t come into the league with expectations anywhere near where he performed last year, so a move back towards the median seems obvious. We want to get a good idea of just how much he is going to regress before we consider making him our number 1 quarterback, or spending top 10 QB money on him in daily leagues.
Knowshon Moreno – Here’s a shocking revolution: Moreno came into camp out of shape, again. This time he’s a Dolphin and they immediately moved him to taking second team reps. Sure, he will eventually get into shape and take over the starting role, but Lamar Miller is younger and faster. If Moreno struggles this preseason a committee situation could pop up. If that happens Moreno goes from a top 20ish back to mid to low 30s. We’re avoiding him in redraft leagues, and will avoid him until week 3 or so in Daily leagues.
Stevan Ridley – Here is our take on the Patriots backfield: we are targeting Vereen as a top 15 back, he will be on the field every 3rd down, passing situations and most of the 4th quarter. James Hill is a definite target in dynasty leagues. He may very well replace both of these guys next offseason. And, as for Ridley, he’s only a top 25 back if he wins the starting RB position and can hold onto the ball. The problem with Ridley is he was a 1,300 yard and 12 touchdown back two seasons ago, that’s a top 10 guy, and last year he killed his owners for picking him that high. Let’s see how he looks in the preseason and what his share of the carries is.
Alshon Jeffery – We were yelling from the mountains when the Bears drafted Jeffery that he was potentially the best WR in the draft and the perfect fit to play alongside of Marshall in Chicago. Too many team underestimate the value of having deep threats on both sides of the ball, it opens up the running game, which opens up the play action game, which opens up the deep ball again. However, so much of Jeffery’s production came a handful of games, if he loses just two of those games he goes from a legit number 1 WR to a low end number 2. If he consistently catches 5 passes for 80 yards and a score over the first few weeks, we will start to consider paying the top 10 pricetag he will certainly start the season with.
Michael Crabtree – The 49ers offense and CK made Anquan Bolding a top 15 WR last season. Crabtree will step back into the role of featured wide receiver and will get plenty of targets in the 49ers offense. Here is the issue with Crabtree he’s been incredibly inconsistent over his career with huge games and games where he’s invisible, has struggled with drops in the past, and of course is injury prone. He’s currently slotted in front of guys like Torrey Smith, TY Hilton and Cordarrelle Patterson, but we’ll use all of those guys over him until we see exactly what kind of player he wants to be this season.
Eric Decker – Don’t be the guy at your league’s draft that looks at his list of players after about 15 wide receivers are off the board and says ‘is Eric Decker still available?’ Yes, he is and there is a reason for that. He’s a legit wide receiver, but we need to see who the QB is. I don’t want a number 2 WR whose quarterback is Geno Smith. Don’t want any part in that. But, if Vick somehow wins the job, Decker is a legitimate top 20 guy and we’re fine with targeting him as a number 2 receiver.