Buy Low, Sell High: Post Week 3
September 26, 2014 | Asher Molk
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Hello Fake Footballers! Asher Molk here, and I’m back for another wonderful year of helping you win your fake football leagues via smart and savvy trading. “Buying Low” and “Selling High” is quite a simple economic principal: give away commodities while their perceived value is greater than their actual value, and try to acquire commodities while their perceived value is lower than their actual value. In other words, trade bad players after good games for good players after bad games! Here are a few trends and nuggets of wisdom I encourage you to follow whilst trading:
– Look beyond the box score! Investigate why a mediocrely talented player did so well, or why a superstar did so poorly. Then ask yourself- are the scenarios that caused those outcomes likely to continue on a game-to-game basis? What is the long-term impact here? Statistics CAN LIE, so think long-term.
– A major trend in my articles (and hopefully on your fantasy teams) will be getting rid of averagely-talented players: plodding running backs who don’t make anyone miss or contribute in the passing game, or wide receivers who offer nothing after the catch, etc. More importantly, you will be trying to acquire explosive, dynamic talents who are capable of changing the game every time they touch the ball. TALENT IS MOST IMPORTANT!
– Trading away two decent/good players for one great player is almost always a great idea. Usually, the person getting the one better player wins the deal.
– From Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL on Twitter, give him a follow) of Rotoworld.com: Think in terms of draft value and ADP when you trade. If you are thinking of trading away Lesean McCoy for Alfred Morris and Kelvin Benjamin, think about if you would trade a top 2 pick for a 4th and 6th rounder. This practice should help give clarity to your trades!
– NEVER lead with your best or final trade offer! Instead, start small, even offer deals they probably won’t accept to start with. This doesn’t mean offer Mason Crosby for Jamaal Charles, but you never know what a person may say yes to, it’s often quite surprising. If you lead with your best offer, you have nowhere to go but down. Start by being a little optimistic…
– If there are quality players on your waiver wire that you want but you do not know whom to drop, let go of your kicker and/or defense for that player. You can always make a trade to make roster space, or make a game-time decision on whom you want to drop. A lot can happen in a week, and you don’t want to miss out on the next Victor Cruz or Alfred Morris just because you think Sebastian Janikowski will average 1 more point per game than Nick Novak.
– Target owners who are close to the bottom of the standings – they are probably the most willing to do a desperation move in order to shake up their team. Also, make sure to target players the owner is likely frustrated with.
Jordan Cameron: This is not exactly what owners were anticipating when they drafted Jordan Cameron in the 4th or 5th round as the fourth tight end off the board. Instead of being a difference-maker at a top-heavy position, he’s sandwiched a missed game with two games in which he combined for three receptions. Is it possible Cameron isn’t going to be what we thought he would? Yeah. But with the offense looking respectable and Hoyer being a competent game manager, I’d say it’s more likely than not Cameron finishes with top 4-6 TE numbers when it’s all said and done. He gets a bye this week to get his shoulder to full health, and there’s a likelihood that the Cameron owner in your league drafted Delanie Walker, Antonio Gates, or Travis Kelce as his backup and now sees Cameron as expendable. If you were a Kyle Rudolph or Dennis Pitta owner, I’d urgently target Jordan Cameron.
Matt Forte: How exactly is it possible that Josh McCown as many rushing touchdowns as McCoy, Charles, Forte, Peterson, Lacy, Ball, Martin and Ellington combined? I loved “Zero RB” this year, but I never imagined this. While Charles and Martin have had injury concerns, McCoy has been dealing with severe offensive line issues. Who knows what’s going to happen with Adrian Peterson, and maybe Lacy and Ball aren’t as good as we thought (although I’d keep buying both). I can promise you this: they are much more likely to bounce back into RB1/2 form than keep at their current pace. But while Forte has gone against some decent rush defenses on the road, his offensive line, role and body all remain clearly intact. I haven’t noticed him losing a step a la Steven Jackson, and his schedule begins to ease up from hereon out. I simply don’t see how his workload, talent and situation don’t finally show up in the box score, and I wouldn’t hesitate targeting him in every league.
Demaryius Thomas: This one doesn’t need to be long. Is a slow start, including a showdown with Richard Sherman, going to scare you away from a receiver many took before Calvin Johnson less than a month ago? You could argue his foot is an issue, but Demaryius and Dez seem to be those receivers that always seem dinged up yet somehow find a way to not only play and produce. You get his bye (which should help his foot) out of the way early, and last time I checked Peyton Manning was still his quarterback. The targets are there- he’s tied for 11th in the league right now- and this may be the last chance you get to acquire him.
LeGarrette Blount- Does he even need an “O” in his last name? In the eyes of analysts, Blount’s career has been a roller coaster. First, he’s one of the most talented backs to come out of high school. Then, he (inexcusably) punches a Boise State Bronco, and he’s in deep trouble. Then he comes back from the dead to light a spark in a struggling Buccaneers team as a rookie, only to be forgotten again after a lack of production and the arrival of Doug Martin. Throw in going from being on the roster bubble for the Patriots to rushing for 4 TDs in a playoff game, and we’ve pretty much seen the entire LeGarrette Blount spectrum. I think we know what he is by now: a big, bruising (yet quick-footed) back with no passing down skills who is best utilized as a clock-killer and compliment to a finesse back, and can be used as a starter in a pinch. The fears of an RBBC in Pittsburgh have been unfounded as Le’Veon Bell has arguably been the most impressive back in the NFL thus far, and Blount only comes in to give him a breather and batter his way for some first downs late in the 4th quarter. Even in PPR leagues he somehow outscored Bell against the Panthers, but that makes him the perfect sell-high. When the Steelers are going to be up by 2+ touchdowns in the 2nd half? Blount is a reasonable play. When it’s going to be a close game? He could give you a bagel. Considering the Steelers’ already leaky defense has suffered some major injuries, I don’t know how often Blount is going to be in a position to polish off a blowout.
Jordan Matthews- I will admit this one could come back to bite me, but I’m not afraid to go out on a limb. I’ll begin by saying I really love Jordan Matthews as a player, and he is an incredibly strong dynasty commodity. With the information we have to work with, we can surmise that behind Jeremy Maclin, the passing game is going to be a “share the wealth” situation. One week, it was Zach Ertz. Then Darren Sproles had himself a day. Week 3 was Matthews’ turn to shine. One day, Riley Cooper may even prove himself worthy of a roster spot. Let’s not forget that as the Eagles’ offensive line (hopefully) goes back to full strength in the 2nd half of the season, this will be Shady McCoy’s offense once again (most likely sooner). I think he’s a fine start during the bye weeks, but if you can trade Matthews for a target machine or package him for an elite player in redraft, I think you’ve done yourself a favor.
Brian Hartline- Unlike Jordan Matthews, I’m pretty darn sure this one isn’t going to come back to bite me. Also unlike Jordan Matthews, I really don’t like Hartline as a player. A slow possession receiver who never scores, offers nothing after the catch, and is clearly the (at best) 2nd option in his team’s passing game? Thanks, but no thanks. Even if you made the (drunken/drug-fueled?) mistake of adding Hartline to your roster on draft day, his once-in-a-blue-moon touchdown week may be your only chance to extract yourself from his mediocrity. Throw in the dumpster fire that is the QB play/situation/coaching/leadership on that team, and I wouldn’t be happy with him as my WR5.