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Fantasy High 5: Alfred Morris, Sleepers & Trades

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Fantasy High 5: Gridiron Experts weekly group article where we discuss popular NFL and fantasy football topics from around the league. This week we discuss fantasy trade tactics and tricks, Thursday night games, and Alfred Morris’s fantasy outlook the Shanahan system.

Alfred Morris was starting to lose carries prior to the Skins bye week. With Mike Shanahan’s history of messing with RB’s, what are your thoughts ROS?

Mike RodriguezMike Rodriguez: I have no confidence in Mike Shanahan, and I can see why someone would be concerned about a committee starting, but both of the Skins last two games saw their opponent jumped out to a very early lead. The Steelers and Panthers forced Washington to abandon the run game early, leaving Alfred Morris with only 13 carries in week eight and nine. The Redskins are coming off a bye week and face all three divisional opponents in a row…I guarantee he’s going to get get his touches.
Zhan Mourning: At this point in the season it’s doubtful that a big change will be made. The Redskins really don’t have anyone on the roster right now that could surpass Morris in my opinion. With all being that said, you are toying with Shanahanigans regardless, so anything can happen.
Chris StrongChris Strong: Like Zhan said, the Redskins don’t have many other options as far as running backs go. Morris will probably see the same number of carries he’s seen so far…not expecting things to change at all.
Jody SmithJody Smith: Morris will still be the bell-cow until he starts fumbling or gets hurt and neither of those have been an issue as of late. His carries declined because the Redskins went into pass mode and Morris isn’t much of a receiver, with only five receptions on the season. Evan Royster is the pass-catcher out of the backfield and an option in very deep PPR leagues.
Brian JerzakBrian Jerzak I think the biggest issue is that defenses are catching up to RGIII. They don’t have a lot of talent in DC so the overall drop off of the offense to me is the bigger issue.


Thoughts on Thursday games, do you feel fantasy production is strained from less time to prepare?

Zhan Mourning: Thursday night football weird guyI don’t think so. There have been a few really good fantasy performances on Thursday night games so far this year. I think it seems like its strained because the games in general, from an NFL competitive standpoint, have been alot worse.
Jody SmithJody Smith: There’s much less time for a team to prepare on a short week, especially for the traveling squad. That makes the games for fantasy owners that much more unpredictable.
Robert James: Unless there is an injury involved I don’t see the Thursday night games effecting a players fantasy value. Depending on the injury a shorter week may not give a player time to heal and be in the best condition to play.
Chris StrongChris Strong: Given the NFL has now switched to having a game every Thursday night…it’s possible that going into a game on a short week could effect the way some players normally play the game. With little time to prepare, players might not get the required rest they need in order to play up to their potential…thus this could affect their fantasy numbers.

Brian JerzakBrian Jerzak:I don’t think it matters. The defense has less time to prepare also. I just love football, so the more games we can get during the short season is fine with me. I would watch two 0-10 teams face off if it was on TV.


Who is a productive PPR Wide Receiver Sleeper to stash on a short bench for a playoff run.

Robert James: Darrius Heyward-Bey – Down the stretch the Raiders have some fairly favorable match ups. They have also been throwing the ball quite a bit, partly because their running attack has been so bad, and because they have been playing from behind in most games. DHB has been getting more targets of late, and also possesses that big play capability. With some teams having their QB’s hurt it may effect some top WR, leaving guys like DHB a nice player to have stashed on your bench, or starting for the final stretch of the season.
Jody SmithJody Smith: Laurent Robinson has 24 targets over the past two games, since returning from his injury. Hard to get too excited about any Jaguar at this point, but Robinson looks like Blaine Gabbert’s favorite target and Jacksonville has a nice fantasy playoff schedule: at Miami in Week 15 and vs. New England in Week 16.

Chris StrongChris Strong: I’m a fan of Cecil Shorts. He’s one of the most productive wide-outs on one of the worst teams in the league. His numbers are solid and in the past 3 weeks he’s gone over 100 yards receiving in 2 of them. He’s a good player to keep if your looking for a wide-receiver with some zip, and one that could give you a fighting chance come playoff time.
Ryan Miller: Donnie Avery is a great ppr guy if not already owned in your league. He has more targets than many big name players including: Eric Decker, Andre Johnson, Mike Wallace, Dez Bryant, Jimmy Graham, and Julio Jones. Avery is on a team with a good quarterback and the Colts are a borderline playoff contender so they have all the factors needed for great fantasy production.

What are some tricks you use for evaluating and making trade offers?

Sean Herman: I like to look at the last 3 games and the next 3 games. The season total average numbers can be skewed if a guy has one monster game. Recent numbers and future schedule strength are good indicators on what you will get from a guy. A lot of times people get hung up on the names, but the numbers are much more important, especially the recent ones.

Mike RodriguezMike Rodriguez: Amber Heard from The Rum Diary Unless a team is riddled with injuries or the fantasy owner is one of those guys who is obsessed with trading for the sake of trading, it’s unlikely they’re sending you the cream of the crop. What you need to do is evaluate the players that are coming your way and determine if they have any value in improving your team. If the players offered to you are no more than a bunch of shiny big names that are going to sit on your bench, say “No”.

For those looking to make an offer to a owner, start by asking for more than what you really want, without being insulting. If you’ve ever seen the movie The Rum Diary with Johnny Depp (skip it, Amber Heard was the only thing good about it) there’s this scene where these crooked real estate guys discuss a tactic with the local government to increase taxes of the town by 5%. They know that no matter what they ask for there will be public outcry. So the strategy is to ask for a 10% tax hike and bargain for 5%. That way the people feel they got the  better end of the deal, while those asking for the tax increase got exactly what they wanted. –Sneaky deaky, but it works
Zhan Mourning: When making a fantasy trade offer, I simply look for a struggling or impatient fantasy owner. Swoop down on them like a vulture, and make an offer they can’t refuse. I will always over pay with multiple players ( bench filler) or future draft picks to get what i need to make a playoff run.

Ken Reiser Look at what match ups your players have for the playoffs and how they have played so far. If you can exploit a trade for a player with favorable match up for the playoffs, that could be valuable going forward.

Brian JerzakBrian Jerzak: I am sure this isn’t a big secret, but I look at two things. The first thing is who do I have to replace the guy I am losing. How big is the drop off going to be? Can I replace the guy I am losing? I don’t care too much about depth when evaluating a trade offer. The other thing I always look at, especially if I am in the playoff hunt, is who is the guy I am getting playing during round one of the playoffs? A bad match up in Week 15 and I might not pull the trigger.

What frustrating streaky fantasy player you’re tired of dealing with?

Sean Herman: Eli ManningEli had good games in weeks 4 and 5. He had OK games in weeks 1, 3, 6, and 7. His one “great” game comes with an asterisk because he threw 3 INTs (but did have 510 passing yards and 3 TDs) in week 2. His last 3 weeks would count as terrible. With the bye this week I am hoping that he is able to figure things out. Each week you may get the good Eli or the bad Eli…
Mike Rodriguez: Antonio Brown
Zhan Mourning: Brandon Lloyd. He ranks 3rd on the team in receptions and 2nd in touchdowns, yet you would never know it. He seems to disappear all the time on one of the most productive offenses in the league.
Chris Strong Vernon Davis has been letting me down in the past few weeks…he’s not putting up the typical type of numbers he should be…if I’m lucky he’ll get me over ten points maybe half the time.
Ken Reiser Michael Turner is my least favorite fantasy player. Some weeks he is the man, some weeks he lines up for a super matchup and whiffs entirely. Drives me insane!
Robert James Chris stole my first choice of Vernon Davis, but there are so many to choose from. Another guy I’m becoming more frustrated with is Darren McFadden. He shows up every other week if your lucky, and now to top it off he’s injured. I’m just hoping that once he comes back, and with a favorable schedule McFadden will produce for the playoffs.
Jody Smith: In a consistently streaky kind of way, Vincent Jackson’s stats have gone up then down in every single game this season. That should continue again this week as the Bucs play Carolina’s average-at-best secondary.
Brian Jerzak: Chris Johnson. He started out slow, but has been good during the middle part of the season. His swings in production are all over the place. Charles gets my honorable mention. Same deal – great one week and a non-factor the next.


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