Stop drinking the Koolaid
Make Trades That Make Sense
Whether you are in the middle of a playoff run or calling it a year, fantasy owners should always be thinking about next season. More and more fantasy leagues are switching to keeper league formats, and many implement the ability to trade for future draft picks.
If I could stress one tip for trading fantasy players for future draft picks, it would be to do the math.
For example, if you traded Jamaal Charles for a 1st round pick, many would think they got a great deal, but if you’re in a 12 man 4 player keeper league, you just got ripped off. Let me explain: Unless you have 4 other players that are better than Charles, you just traded away an elite fantasy RB for essentially a 5th round pick. With 4 keepers, 48 players are already off the board before anyone makes a pick at your future fantasy draft, and to say Jamaal Charles isn’t a top 20 player is ludicrous. The best strategy for stock piling draft picks is to be realistic with your future plans. Keep your best players and try to unload the rest.
Are you Buying or Selling?
Sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether you should be buying or selling come the trade deadline. Improving your team for a playoff run may end up back firing if you give away too many future draft picks, so here are a few helpful tips for those on the fence:
- Look at your Total Points For -Do you have a good team that just needs that extra push, or is your line-up solid? Sometimes a fantasy team just needs to have a little faith. There’s nothing worse than trading for a player that plays worse than a player you already have in your lineup.
- Remaining Schedule -Are you about to face difficult opponents? If you are struggling to find wins, not racking up a ton of points each week, and would need a lot of work to win it all, maybe you should start to think about selling and rebuilding for the future.
Fantasy Investments I’ve Made
I’m still waiting on: Kendall Hunter– I really didn’t think Frank Gore was going to last 11 weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I know Gore’s a great power-back with elusive speed and vision, yet it’s his 7th season with over 1750 carries. I was counting on him to slow down late this season. Hunter is being used sporadically this year yet has an impressive 5.2 yards per carry. I refuse to drop Hunter and have been burning bench room to make him fit.
Happy I snagged: Heath Miller– The Steelers passing game was expected to be a two man show this season. Both Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace were to hog enough of the targets that an old veteran like Heath Miller would be too streaky to start each week. He has been very productive for a waiver claim.
Great Value Pick-up: Andy Dalton – A perfect Aaron Rodgers bye week replacement player that is on a team that could turn it around and mimic Carson Palmer’s situation. The Bengals are in a transition mode and remind me a lot of the Oakland Raiders. The Bengals struggling running game may force the team to take to the air even more. If the Bengals can figure out their 2nd WR spot and get tight end Jermaine Gresham more involved, Dalton’s fantasy stock could rise for the next 4-5 weeks.
Fantasy Playoff Advice
Before I jump into a few fantasy football investment players that I like for a playoff run and sleepers for next season, please use these three rules before you think about doing something dumb with your fantasy team entering the playoffs. These are rules to live by:
- Always play your starters! -Stop over thinking things and just let your players play. Match-ups aren’t the end all be all, good players always find a way to put up points. (Jamaal Charles vs. the Steelers Defense last Monday night is a perfect example)
- Don’t Sweat the Details – So what if the guy is listed as questionable on Wednesday morning, he’s got time. Don’t over-react. These players have the best doctors money can buy and the world can’t keep any secrets thanks to Twitter. The “questionable” or “probable” terms are meaningless. What you need to be looking for is whether or not your fantasy player is practicing throughout the week. -If they don’t practice they rarely play.
- Go with your Gut. – Gridiron Experts gives out solid fantasy advice, but a gut feeling should always be the deciding factor. There’s nothing worse than making a last minute switch that you aren’t confident in, it’s your team, you make the call.
Buyers Should Target
The following players are great fantasy gems, sleepers gaining great value, and solid depth players to have on your bench.
Randall Cobb, WR Packers– I can still remember this kid’s first game last season, it was one to remember and Cobb didn’t take long before getting into the starting line-up. If you don’t see the writing on the wall, I can read it to you. It says “Greg Jennings is done in Green Bay.” With the emergence of Randall Cobb, there is no need for Jennings in 2013. Cobb and the Packers are still in the playoff hunt despite the winning record, and will be racking up points right up until the last game of the year.
Denarius Moore, WR Raiders– The Raiders lack a dominant running game and have a below average defense that forces them to play aggressive to remain in every game. Moore is one of the most productive fantasy gems this season, snagging him won’t break the bank.
Aaron Hernandez, TE Patriots– With Gronkowski’s preseason injury, Hernandez’ stock shot through the roof. Despite his nagging injuries all season, Hernandez is a nice addition for weeks 14 through 17.
Josh Freeman, QB Buccaneers- If your fantasy team is strong everywhere except the quarterback position, Josh Freeman would make for an excellent addition weeks 14 to 16. Freeman’s numbers after the bye week have been excellent. Buccaneers are about to face the Eagles, Saints, and Rams throughout most fantasy owners playoffs. He is primed for big yardage.
Darren McFadden, RB Raiders– Depending on the price, Run DMC fantasy owners are likely to let this elite running back go for next to nothing. McFadden’s 2012 season hasn’t been great, yet if you’re willing to take the gamble, the Raiders are about to face off against ideal matchups. Week 15 the Raiders are at home against the Kansas City Chiefs, this could be a monster fantasy jackpot for McFadden owners.
Cecil Shorts, WR Jaguars– It’s highly unlikely that any fantasy owners would keep Shorts unless you were in a deep dynasty league. Acquiring this promising talent shouldn’t require too much in terms of future draft picks.
Sellers Should Acquire and Stash
DeMarco Murray, RB Cowboys– Murray did not have the fantasy season we were all expecting. His fantasy stock could be lower, yet his potential for next season is worth stashing on your bench as a future keeper.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB Jaguars– MJD’s 2012 season was terrible to say the least. Fantasy owners who gambled on him surely missed out. With only one game this season where MJD performed well for his fantasy owners, acquiring this talented RB could be cheaper than ever. He is a player worth stashing for next season.
DeAngelo Williams, RB Panthers- It’s amazing Williams did not get traded at the deadline, yet something must give in the Panthers off-season. My guess would be Williams finds a new place to call home. If you’re stockpiling potentials for keeper options in 2013, I would acquire DeAngelo Williams.
Greg Jennings, WR Packers– Never has a player been so cursed with injuries and bad luck. Like I have been saying for weeks, I expect Greg Jennings to find a new home in 2013, so adding him to your bench gives you a talented wildcard player that could end up on a team to regain his fantasy potential.