Rumblin', Stumblin', Crumblin' – Week 2, 2008

This weekly feature keeps an eye on the potential trade values of the various players you may have on your roster, or might look to trade for. Players who are Rumblin’ saw their value increase in the past week. Stumblin’ means the player’s value decreased, and Crumblin’ means they’re dropping off the map entirely.

Remember the mantra – sell high, buy low. Hopefully these columns will help spark some trade ideas for you.

Rumblin’

Chris Johnson – The preseason buzz was just that – buzz – until he proved something in a real game. Well, that didn’t take long. His 127 total yards and one touchdown certainly caught the eye of fantasy managers, and no doubt his coaches took notice as well. Johnson’s a great start against Cinci this week, and is likely to put up similar (or better) numbers. If you’re thinking about selling high on him, you’ll want to do it now or after next week. The Titans take on Baltimore in week 3 and Minnesota in week 4, which means there’s a pretty good chance that he’ll put up two straight “meh” performances in a row and the bloom will come off the rose somewhat.

Thomas Jones – One of last year’s most vexing fantasy RBs did in his first game what he was unable to do just about every week last season: find the end zone. That alone restores a lot of faith in him. The vibe on Jones is pretty good right now, and I imagine he’d probably fetch a little more trade value than he’s really worth at this point. That was a nice game, but it was against the Dolphins, and this still gives him a grand total of two touchdowns since 2006.

Lee Evans – Not too many people would have predicted that he’d wind up with anything close to his 100-yard performance in week 1, mostly due to doubts about Trent Edwards. Edwards didn’t exactly light the world on fire, but he at least proved that he could be solid against a decent defense and connect on long passes to Evans. All Evans owners need Trent to be is reliable, which is how he looked Sunday.

Hines Ward – Ward is still the man in the red zone for Roethlisberger. With the dangerous Santonio Holmes attracting defenses’ attention and Willie Parker forcing them to respect the run, Ward’s going to have all the looks he can handle. Damn, the Steelers look scary this year, don’t they?

Stumblin’

Randy Moss – Hey Moss owners, remember those days a week ago when the guy who owned Reggie Wayne would have been thrilled to trade him to you straight-up for Randy? Those days are probably over (though it can’t hurt to try – same goes for T.O. and Andre Johnson). The problem with Moss is that everyone remembers how petulant he acted in Oakland. Granted, he was stuck on a truly pathetic team whose offense in no way resembled what the Patriots have now, but I’m still a little concerned that he might start showing signs that he’s no longer giving 100% on every play – especially if Matt Cassel has major struggles. That kind of thing could lead to a world of hurt on Planet Belichick (benchings and suspensions and demotions, oh my!).

Steven Jackson – It’s hard to swallow owning any part of this offense. It’s also difficult to imagine opposing defenses caring about doing anything but stopping Jackson. He’s got “huge bust” written all over him.

Torry Holt – One catch for 9 yards? This offense looks worse than last year, if that’s possible. The Eagles have a solid defense, but is it really that easy to shut him down now?

Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards – For most players who were drafted as high as Anderson and Edwards, one subpar game isn’t enough to raise eyebrows, but there’s a good deal of suspicion out there that the Browns aren’t the real thing. Trading Anderson or Edwards will be difficult this week, and it’ll probably stay that way (or worse) after they face the Steelers this Sunday. All you can really do is ride out the storm and hope the Browns of ’07 reappear soon.

Crumblin’

Maurice Morris – Julius Jones just needed an excuse to take this job from Mo Mo, and this knee injury pretty much seals the deal. Jones is nothing special, but he’s got a lot more experience than Morris, whose career up to this point could be called “inconsistent” if you wanted to pay him a compliment. At best, expect Morris to return to a time-share where he gets 30-40% of the carries.