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 (see Green-Ellis, BenJarvus), or wide receivers who offer nothing after the catch (see Hartline, Brian), 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 (see Spiller, C.J.). 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 Darren McFadden and Tony Gonzalez, think about if you would trade a top 5 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 Garrett Hartley.
-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.
LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI- I feel this is a fairly obvious one, but there may be some owners who don’t realize McCoy is still a top three fantasy player for 2013. After lighting up box scores in the beginning of the season McCoy has slowed his roll of late, scoring only one touchdown since Week Two and being held under 3.3 YPC and 56 rush yards 3 of his last 4 games. With the Eagles offense in a serious slump, a dip in production like this is to be expected. Their quarterback situation has finally been resolved (Nick Foles has been cleared to play while Vick is out indefinitely once again), and their offensive philosophy hasn’t changed at all. McCoy is the rare running back that can create his own space, so his offensive line play does not matter as much to him when compared to most running backs. If there are rumors in your league about McCoy being on the trade black, aggressively pursue- he shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Giovani Bernard, RB, CIN- Showing a knack for the spectacular play as well as a nose for the endzone as a rookie, Bernard totaled 66 touches in a four-game stretch from Week Three to Week Six. Since then? A grand total of 18 touches for a scoreless 88 yards in his past two games. Don’t let this two-game regression fool you, Bernard is still a dynamic RB2 (especially in PPR leagues) who is always capable of scoring whenever he touches the ball- the exact kind of player you want on your fantasy team. If (more likely when) Andy Dalton begins his annual second-half suckfest, they will probably rely even more on designed plays to their 2nd best offensive player when forcing the ball to AJ Green isn’t working.
Victor Cruz, WR, NYG- I don’t believe this one needs too much explanation. Although he hasn’t scored or topped 86 yards in a month, Cruz is right on pace to match his borderline WR1 production from the last two years. He may be even easier to acquire during the bye-week too. With the Giants SOMEHOW just two games out of first place, you better believe they aren’t throwing in the towel anytime soon. Can it get any worse for them anyway? I’m buying Cruz all the way.
Marvin Jones, WR, CIN- Wow. A four touchdown game? I wonder what the Win/Loss record of teams who had Marvin Jones and Calvin Johnson start for them in Week Eight….I am a buyer in Jones’ talent, just not his opportunity and situation. His breakout game came on when he played just NINETEEN SNAPS! Needless to say, this is a recipe for extreme inconsistency. AJ Green will always be the man in Cincy, and Andy Dalton simply isn’t good enough to support Jermaine Gresham, Tyler Eifert, Gio Bernard and the aforementioned Jones. With Dalton’s track record of 2nd half collapses, Jones will find production even tougher to come by. Sadly, I don’t even consider him a WR3- sell him after the best game he will ever have of his NFL career.
Andy Dalton, QB, CIN- Lots of Bengals in this column today! Hot starts and epic collapses? Sounds like we are analyzing “Scarface” or Andy Dalton’s yearly trend as a quarterback. An insane three-game stretch of 337, 372, and 325 passing yards with a total of 13 touchdowns has catapulted Dalton into the top-six in QB scoring in 2013. But we know how this story ends: with a second-half collapse. It happened in 2011. It happened in 2012. What reason do we have to believe that this weak-armed, surrounding-talent dependent QB will turn it around once the game tape is out and the snow begins to fall? I bet you could get the Jay Cutler or Michael Vick owner in your league interested real quick.
Harry Douglas, WR, ATL- I’m not going to lie: Harry Douglas has exceeded my expectations. Facing an avalanche of doubts, Douglas has answered the call with a two-game stretch of 19/270/1 on a whopping 25 targets. I do like him as a WR3, but if you could find a way to swap him with a true WR2, I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger. He isn’t as talented as Julio Jones or even Roddy White, and has yet to prove he can consistently beat double-coverage- something a team’s top WR must do to be a consistent fantasy factor. And when White returns? He won’t even be the team’s top WR, instead likely fighting for targets with White and the ageless Tony Gonzalez. Again, don’t sell him for nothing- but I don’t think his trade value will get any higher than it is right now.
Keep Buying: CJ Spiller, Steve Smith, Pierre Garcon, Danny Amendola, TY Hilton
Keep Selling: DeAngelo Williams, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ryan Mathews, Matt Ryan
Stop Buying: Ray Rice, Marques Colston (only if he is dirt cheap)
Stop Selling: Philip Rivers, James Jones