Perception: How you see something given the available information.

It’s probably the single most important word in talks of trades and “buy low” , “sell high” type guys.

It’s amazing how our perception of a player can change on a weekly basis. I wrote about perception and overreaction over at, but I’ll build on it a little here. Perception can sway dramatically either way – good or bad – on just a single game performance. This is something that’s evident in several instances of this week’s “buy low” and “sell high” players.

A player can easily go from one list to another after just one week. It’s all because of perceived value, and it doesn’t even have to make much statistical sense. It’s simply about the general impression a player makes in fantasy circles, and by the very league mates that you are trying to defeat on your way to a championship.

Even though a given player is a great “buy low” candidate, is his owner a fan of that team? Or did that player’s owner stay with him last year? Does that owner have some sort of unnatural bond with the player?

Those are just examples of why any given fantasy owner can have an unhealthy attachment to any given player. These are factors that affect the perception of players, and they reduce the possibility of a trade happening.

With that said, here are my “buy low” and “sell high” options for week 9:

“Buy Low” Candidates

Quarterback Cam Newton

The quarterback that fancies himself as “Superman” has gone through what could be any passer’s kryptonite the past three weeks. Seattle, Dallas and Chicago… those three teams can make any quarterback a bit nervous. Those defenses have been three of the best passing defenses (if not overall defenses) in the league. From here on out, Cam’s schedule gets considerably kinder to opposing passers, and that trend starts this week at Washington. Over the rest of the season Cam’s matchups will include Tampa Bay, Kansas City, San Diego and New Orleans. I firmly believe he will rebound nicely and can be had at a very nice price right now.

Running Back Darren McFadden

There is still way too much “bust” talk going around with DMC. Though he hasn’t been putting up the first round type points you drafted him for, he is still putting up solid numbers. I know he’s been here pretty much every week, but I will keep pushing him so long as I believe he is being undervalued.

Running Back Jamaal Charles

Sure, his production trended downward his last three games which culminated in a dismal 5-carry day that not even Romeo Crennel could explain. This mostly is just a gut call for me, but I believed in JC through his early season struggles and I still believe in him now. I also think that the coaching staff will be sure to quell any criticism of underusing him and feel him the ball… a lot. I expect bigger, better things from the Kansas City running back.

Wide Receiver Reggie Wayne

After three straight weeks of less than 100 yards and no touchdowns, your league’s Reggie Wayne owner may be starting to feel like the honeymoon is over between him and Luck. I believe they still have plenty of chemistry. Luck is still looking Wayne’s way plenty, and Wayne still leads the league in targets. With plenty of opportunities, the fantasy points will abound again.

Wide Receiver Dwayne Bowe

Honestly, this is something I never thought I would be saying. I never even owned him myself before this year, but now that Quinn will be returning to the bench and Cassel is healthy again I do believe Bowe can be acquired for near bargain bin prices. He should see a nice rebound in fake football point scoring. It would also help him considerably if KC fed Jamaal Charles the ball again.

“Sell High” Candidates

Wide Receiver Brandon Lloyd

He had a 2-touchdown day in London against the Rams, but those were also the only 2 catches he had on the day. He tallied 28 yards between them. I believed in him early in the season when I saw plenty of targets going his way, but the problem is that I think it’s just not working. It seems to be one of those situations where there is not enough chemistry between Lloyd and Brady –  especially on the deep ball. That was the main reason he was brought in, but that’s not what he has become. I would sell him for just about anything with upside at this point. I may have said I was “all in” in one of my first article’s for this site, but now, I fold.

Running Back Chris Johnson

He has had a couple dream matchups for a running back over the last couple of weeks. He got to run free against Buffalo and Indianapolis, but the thing is, he didn’t even run all that well against Indy; a team in the bottom rung of the rushing defense ladder. Whenever he sees a decent run defense, CJ?K is too inconsistent and typically a non-factor.

Running Back Doug Martin

I would “sell high” on the “Muscle Hamster”, but this is not in anyway saying he will be relegated to a fantasy bench. With the loss of Carl Nicks, I do believe Martin’s value does take a step back. While he was knocking on the door of RB1 numbers and value, he now is pushed back down to solid RB2 value. Tampa Bay will still feed him the ball a lot, which is something you need in a fantasy back. They do firmly believe in him. Just without the large and talented guard clearing the way, it’ll be a tad harder for Martin to find a hole. Don’t panic, but feel free to sell high. See just how much you can get

Wide Receiver Titus Young

He just came off of a great game, but he does have a rather tough schedule ahead. The biggest concern for me though is his 2.38 average yards after the catch. He needs a high volume to really sustain his value. It’s not to say he will tank, but that coupled with his rough schedule, we may see very up-and-down weeks from Young.

Continue to put feelers out there in your league to gauge who is anxious with one of their guys. Capitalize on fantasy owners that want to overreact. Be aware of the perception your league mates have of their players … or yours. It’s how you make trades that win fantasy championships.