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.
A.J. Green, WR, CIN– Often the 2nd receiver taken in fantasy drafts, AJ Green burst out of the gates to the tune of a 9-162-2 statline. Since then? He’s yet to clear 61 yards and scored only once in 4 games. I’m of the belief that cream always rises and talent always wins in the end, and there are very few more talented players in the NFL than AJ Green. Andy Dalton is definitely an issue- he is holding this offense hostage- but this is going to go down as Green’s worst four-game stretch of the season. With a QB like Dalton, there are going to be valleys. But make sure he is on your team when he inevitably peaks once again.
Andre Johnson, WR, HOU– Considering Johnson’s injuries this season, this one is a little bit risky. But if you aren’t willing to take risks in fantasy football, then you aren’t cut out for it. Sunday was the first time he’s been held under 5 catches all season, and only the 2nd time he’s been held under 76 yards. His schedule REALLY eases up from here on out too, and with all the turmoil in Houston you could get him for really cheap. He will remain one of the most heavily-targeted NFL players no matter who is playing QB, and he will inevitably score more touchdowns by simple regression to the mean.
Michael Vick, QB, PHI– Another risky “buy low”, but one that could win you a championship. We already know he has the potential to be the best scoring QB on any given week, but there are three other reasons I put Vick on this list: 1. The Eagles schedule is an absolute cakewalk for the rest of the season, take a look at it. 2. Their defense is so terrible, Vick is going to be dropping back to pass many times in almost every game. With Vick, that means passing AND rushing stats. 3. Since he was the 2nd QB drafted on most teams and that owner may be frustrated with him, you could get him on your team for probably just some bye-week depth. Sit him until he’s healthy, then unleash him in the fantasy playoffs.
Julio Jones, WR, ATL– Too soon? Sorry.
Alshon Jeffrey, WR, CHI– Please don’t slam your computer shut (yet)! I am a believer in Alshon Jeffrey’s talent and I think he is a slam-dunk WR3 for the rest of the season. However, he has not overtaken Marshall and Forte on the totem pole and still must compete with Martellus Bennett for targets as well. Marshall is the number one guy- teams have just been doubling him and leaving Jeffrey in single coverage. Jeffrey has proved that strategy very flawed, and will force defenses to roll coverage his way as well. In other words, this is likely to come full circle. I guarantee you there are going to be some Jeffrey+DeAngelo Williams/Bilal Powell for AJ Green or Brandon Marshall type trades this week. I hope you’re the side getting one of the latter players.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC– Finally, the road has come to an end for the great MJD. I’ve been predicting his downfall for the past 3 years, but it has yet to be as drastic as this. This is a player who surpassed 3.0 YPC in a game for the first time all season on Sunday, and matched his season-high for catches…with two. Their defense can’t stop anyone. They traded away Eugene Monroe and just placed Luke Joeckel on injured reserve. There is nothing that can save MJD’s season besides a trade, and that isn’t happening. Personally, I have a hard time considering him even a decent flex play week-to-week. He is the rare player who I recommend selling at any cost- get him off your team with any decent offer. I would say wait until he has a better game to sell-high, but I have no idea when he is going to surpass 70 yards rushing again. Sell ASAP.
Chris Johnson, RB, TEN– In the wise words of The Offspring: “What in the world happened to you?” A fantasy dynamo from 2008-2010, Johnson has descended into a boom-or-bust flex play. He USED to run hard. He USED to make people miss. We knew he stopped running hard after 2010, but this year he isn’t even eluding defenders or breaking tackles. The game tape shows a player who is simply getting what is blocked, and that is absolutely it. No longer involved in the passing game or at the goal-line, Johnson needs to make his value with chunk yardage and long TD runs. I would be confident in that happening if he were actually making people miss, but that is far from the reality of the situation. Find an owner in your league who needs the weekly headache of CJ0.9K.