Fantasy Strategy: Trading For The Future

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Published: October 22, 2012

Fantasy Trade For The Future

For those of you with strong fantasy teams with winning records, now is not the time to rest on your early season success. With just a couple more wins, your playoff position should be well secured, and rather than sitting back you may want to start thinking playoffs and more specifically playoff match-ups. It’s never too early to trade for the future.

I urge all of the teams at the top of your league to take a look at your fantasy league’s schedule and figure out when the first round of the playoffs begins. Look to see who you will have as far as match-ups are concerned. It would beneficial to look at that week and see if any of your regular starters have bad match ups during those critical weeks. We have all done it before, put together a great regular season only to be knocked out of the playoffs in round one because your usually solid roster under performs.

Do you have Vernon Davis – an automatic start during the regular season – on your roster? If you do, you might want to know he goes up against the Seahawks – in Seattle – in Week 16, most leagues’ title game week. Davis was blanked on last Thursday’s game, and while you could say he wasn’t targeted enough, one could also argue the Seahawks took him out of the game.

Are you a little light at running back? Will you need to use Shone Greene in Week 16? Beware, he will be going against the San Diego Chargers. The Bolts’ defense is allowing 3.5 yards per carry and have only allowed one rushing touchdown in six games.

Now is the time to look at the other teams in your league and see if you can snipe a player off of someone’s roster who might not look like much now, but plugging that guy in during a critical playoff game can mean the difference between a championship and post season disappointment. I am proof it can bring home a championship. Back in 2004 I started my season with six straight wins, but was weak at tight end. I swung a trade with another owner that got me Todd Heap – right about the time he started to get injured every week. He didn’t do much for me, but looking ahead I targeted Donald Driver on my opponents roster and got him to agree to throw in Driver to complete the trade. With my eyes on the playoffs I knew Driver would be playing the Vikings in Week 16. At that time Minnesota had one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Driver made one start for me that year in Week 16 in the championship game. Driver went off for 162 yards and a touchdown, good for 22.2 points in our scoring system. I won the game 107-93 and the guy I beat – you guessed it – was the guy I made the trade with. Here are a few guys who – depending on your playoff system – have good match ups during the playoffs and might be available on the cheap.

Week 14 Hakeem Nicks – Nicks is flying under the radar right now with injury issues and the continued dominance of Victor Cruz. I doubt Nicks will cost much with the production he has put up so far this year, but he has a great match up in what could be round one of some leagues playoffs. He faces the New Orleans Saints. I doubt you need the stats to know the state of the Saints’ defense right now, but here they are through six weeks: the Saints rank 26th in yards passing given up with 283 yards per game, and they have given up nine touchdowns through five games.

Week 15 Ben Tate – The Texans are going to have the division locked up by Thanksgiving, so Tate is going to start to see more runs late in the season. Week 15 (and then again in Week 17) Tate will be facing the Indianapolis Colts. No doubt the Colts will be long out of the playoff race and may be starting to mail it in on defense. Even if they don’t mail it in, they are currently giving up the 29th most rushing yards and have surrendered 159 yards rushing per game and already eight touchdowns, bad enough for second worst in the league. Teammate Arian Foster has been known to get dinged up a bit and I am sure when things are locked up, the coaching staff will be looking to take some carries off of Foster and maybe even benching him down the stretch.

Week 16 Reggie Bush – Outside of one good game, Bush has had a slow start to the season, but in Week 16 he has a home game against the Buffalo Bills. With the crazy AFC East standings, both teams may still be in the hunt for the playoffs, keeping Bush in play. The Bills defense has been awful giving up a league worst 173 yards a game and a league worst nine touchdowns through six games. With Bush’s combo yard potential he looks even more interesting. The Bills have been a bit more respectable against the pass, but still rank just 20th in passing yards given up.

Week 17 Harry Douglas – Douglas might be a stretch, but hear me out. First of all you will be able to pick him up off the waiver wire in most leagues so he costs you nothing but a roster spot. Second, the Atlanta Falcons don’t look like they will be playing for much outside of possibly home field advantage by the final week, so studs Julio Jones and Roddy White might not be in pads when they play the Tampa Bay Bucs who right now rank only above the Washington Redskins against the pass. To make matters more enticing, the Bucs play the run fairly well, so likely the only way for the Falcons to move the ball will be to pass. Even with the Falcons’ backup quarterback slinging the rock, Douglas could be in for nice numbers during garbage time.

Extra points – The Dallas Cowboys finish up against two of the worst defenses in the league – the Saints and the Redskins. If you can pry a Cowboy off someone’s roster cheap, he might be worth a look, regardless of position.

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