Dynasty Dominance: “Game of Inches”
About a week ago, I sat in front of my TV flipping through the channels like I normally do and just so happened to stumble upon Al Pacino’s famous “inches” speech from the movie Any Given Sunday. Of course this speech got me thinking about fantasy football because I always end up relating most things in my life to the subject.
It got me thinking about how dynasty owners get these small windows of opportunity handed to them on a silver platter every once in a while, but what are you doing to cash in on them. In week one Anquan Boldin went absolutely nuts and his valued peaked higher than it had been in years. It was an opportunity to strike while the iron was hot, yet I wonder how many owners actually cashed in on their winning lottery ticket.
Now, another week of football has come and gone and there are a couple of waiver wire darlings you should have been thinking about selling before week three ever started. Those two players are Julian Edelman and Eddie Royal. With Danny Amendola out for the last two games, Edelman responded in a big way and led all Patriots wide receivers in catches and yards. The ironic thing about this situation is Edelman misses about as much time as Amendola and shouldn’t be relied upon as a weekly starter in any format. If past predicts the future, Royal is also an injury waiting to happen and did we really expect him to score touchdowns on 45% of his catches going forward heading into week three?
If I’ve learned one thing throughout my time as a dynasty owner, it is sell high when you have the opportunity. Realistically I could’ve seen people paying as much as a low end 2014 first round pick for either of these guys and as little as a mid second round pick. Of course you may also be able to get a player equivalent to those values as well. Don’t expect the offers to come flying your way though. You have to be proactive and let people know these guys are available on the open market. It is important to remember players like these two were on the waiver wire for a reason and a profit is a profit. You can never have too many free draft picks or quality upside players on you bench.
On the other side of the fence, every once in a while you get a player with a little more name cache climb his way up the ranks and quickly. If you would have told me three weeks ago DeSean Jackson would be the overall WR2, I would’ve said you were nuts. Yet he has exceeded everyone’s expectations and strung together three nice performances in a row for the first time in years. This is exactly why I’m advising people to sell him with the quickness. The rate he is currently producing at is unsustainable, even for elite talents like Calvin Johnson. There is absolutely no reason to expect even close to that type of production on a weekly basis.
Think about it for a second. You have a 26 year old receiver who has been underachieving for the last two seasons. Guess what happens to speed based receivers like DJax when they reach age 28? Well, they lose a step or two and now all you’re left with is a shell of a player you once knew. From what I’ve been seeing on Twitter, people have been getting what they are projecting to be top three rookie picks in 2014 for DJax. His value has never and probably never will be higher. So think about it like this, who do you think is going to have more value in two years, DJax or guys like Marquise Lee and Sammy Watkins? I guarantee you (as long as one of those two doesn’t pull a Charles Rogers) both Lee and Watkins will be worth three times their weight in gold to the dynasty community and DJax will be an afterthought you hope you can play in the flex spot on a weekly basis.
A perfect example of seeing this in the past is Mike Wallace. Believe it or not, Wallace was a second round pick in startup drafts only two seasons ago, two seasons. He used to be the centerpiece of trade offers, now he is treated like a throw in on most deals. Could he regain some of his former value back? Absolutely, but it will never get back to the point it was in early 2011. There are just too many big names to jump.
If you have been holding Jackson for years upon years waiting for this opportunity, don’t pass it up. Even if you miss out on a few more elite games from him this year, who cares. The future isn’t bright for his dynasty value. One bad game could see his value fall from a top three pick to a late first round pick. The way people value players is that volatile. We live in a “what have you done for me lately” society, which is the harsh reality of this amazing game we play.
So I implore you to contact your league mates, send some trade offers and keep building an empire any way you can. Dynasty leagues are marathons not sprint races. It’s all about how many championships you win in the next 5-10 years. Not about what happens this year.
The inches are all around you. Will you take or give that inch? Sign me up for being a taker. Your window of opportunity could be closing while you’re reading this article.