There are differing philosophies when it comes to trading early in the fantasy football season. Some say it's a good idea, and others believe not enough football has been played to make an accurate read on any given player's true value.
If you're in the latter group, this info isn't for you. If you're in the former, here's our take on a few guys that can be safely traded away, while they still have somewhat high market value.
Pierre Garcon - WR - Washington Redskins
Even though the Washington Redskins took RGIII as the No. 2 quarterback in the 2012 NFL Draft, they may have landed the best quarterback in the draft. RGIII looked poised in his NFL debut—almost too poised—slipping any effort of a blitz the Saints threw at him, and connecting with receivers at will. There's no denying that the rookie has what it takes to be a successful quarterback at this level.
In order for him to be successful, he has to have capable targets. For one quarter, Garcon showed that he was not only a capable receiver, but RGIII's primary one. In just eight snaps, Garcon caught 4 balls for 109 yards and a touchdown. The performance was brilliant. But it began and ended in the first quarter.
Garcon suffered a mysterious foot injury that caused him to miss the remainder of the game. Per his usual, head coach Mike Shanahan didn't provide any clarity to the situation today:
So it sounds like Garcon has some sort of variation of turf toe. Foot turf, maybe? Turf foot, perhaps? Whatever the injury is, it sounds like it will be problematic for at least the next several games. Turf toe makes it difficult for athletes to perform at a high level, especially those guys who need to make sharp cuts.
So while Garcon's specific injury has yet to reveal itself, you can't feel comfortable having him on your team, let alone playing him. Now's the time to go public with him and see what you can get. If he doesn't suit up in Week 2, or if he puts in a subpar performance, you will have lost most of his market value. Sure he may come back to form later in the season, but can you afford to wait?
Kevin Smith - RB - Detroit Lions
We love Kevin Smith. We think he's in an ideal spot for succeeding: a pass-catching running back in a pass-heavy offense. And with Matthew Stafford at the reins of the offense, Smith will never bear witness to an 8-man box.
The issue with Smith, however, is Mikel Leshoure. Leshoure is on his way back from suspension come Week 3. And when he returns, Smith will have to cede full control of the backfield to Leshoure, at least partly. If you hang onto to Smith, you'll feel the pain of Matt Forte owners: dominates between the 20's and looses touches near the goal line. It's not a good look for fantasy owners.
Toss in the fact that Smith is a commercial grade magnet for injuries, and now is the best time to go public with Smith.
Alfred Morris - RB - Washington Redskins
Morris was the bell cow for the Redskins on Sunday. He received 28 carries and was able to translate those touches into 98 rushing yards. Following the game, Washington beat reporter Rich Campbell tweeted that Morris has the No. 1 running back job.
That "right now" head coach Mike Shanahan mentioned? That meant as he was speaking Morris
is was the starting running back in Shanahan's mind. It could've already changed three or four times since then.
Some believe that Morris is going to be Washington's lead back for the remainder of the season. We're not so sure. Roy Helu and Evan Royster will, at some point, get their opportunities. Trying to predict Shanahan's backfield is an impossible task. Without being in the room with Shanny as he rolls his running back die moments before kickoff prevents us from knowing who will play that particular week.
If we knew that Morris would start in Week 2, then we'd advise you to hold off on trading him. Washington plays the St. Louis Rams in Week 2, which means Morris' value could only rise if he plays. That's a big "if" that we're not willing to gamble on. Now is the time to put Morris on the open market. We can think of only a few things more frustrating than owning a Shanahan running back.
Steven Jackson - RB - St. Louis Rams
While Steven Jackson only ran for 53 yards on 21 carries, his stock actually may not get much better over the next few weeks. In Week 1, the Rams lost center Scott Wells (fractured foot) and LT Rodger Saffold. For Jackson, it's going to feel like the linebackers are actually lining up in the backfield with him.
You may not be able to get much for Jackson with his rickety Week 1 performance, but it's more than what you'll be able to get once he turns in a string of bad games. A starting Steven Jackson is better than a sitting Fred Jackson. Target Fred's owner.