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.
Jordy Nelson, WR, GB- Health has not been Jordy Nelson’s friend the past couple of seasons. Continuing his torrid 2011 pace, lower body injuries ended Nelson’s outstanding start to the 2012 season. A minor knee surgery sent his August draft stock plummeting, but yet Jordy has proved his doubters wrong as he is on pace for an elite 86/1432/14 statline. Of course, it just wouldn’t be fair to let Aaron Rodgers and Nelson keep hooking up for monster stats, so the Fantasy Gods struck down Aaron Rodgers with a broken collarbone. Rodgers’ replacement, Seneca Wallace, looked….replacement level, to put it kindly. However, I’m still buying Jordy Nelson for two reasons: 1. I still see him as an elite WR2 during Wallace’s likely month-long tenure as the Packers’ QB. With more practice time under his belt, he cannot be as possibly bad and ill-prepared (to no fault of his own) as he was on Monday night. 2. Rodgers is scheduled to be back in time for the fantasy playoffs, making Jordy an elite WR1 again when the chickens come home to roost. See if an owner in your league is panicking.
Jordan Cameron, TE, CLE- After starting out the season as the hottest TE in fantasy north of New Orleans, Cameron has bottomed out the past couple games to the tune of a scoreless 5 catches for 85 yards combined. He’s catching passes from the 3rd different starting QB this year, and has scored once since Week Four. The good news? Simply regression to the mean was inevitable, and he’s ready to start taking off again. Most surprisingly, Jason Campbell looked more than competent in the Brown’s win against division foe Baltimore. He’s locked in as a top-five TE1, and Cameron could be riding the bench in your league if he was drafted by the Gronk owner- a common strategy in August drafts.
Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS- Almost, but not quite. That’s been the key phrase for RG3 this season. He looks almost back from his knee injury, but not quite 100%. He seems like he’s primed for a breakout, but then has a two-game stretch of 211.5 passing yards per game with a 1:3 TD to INT ratio and a combined 24 rushing yards. No doubt, the road back has not been as kind to Griffin as his magical rookie season. The good news? He’s clearly still struggling, but is on pace for 4,338 passing yards, 18 passing TDs, and 514 rushing yards. From watching his play on the field, there is nowhere to go but up. The rushing TDs will start coming, and he makes a great trade target for the many who have been plagued with injuries at QB this year.
Nick Foles, QB, PHI and Riley Cooper, WR, PHI- I don’t know exactly what the Raiders defense ate, drank, injected, or snorted before the Eagles game, nor do I want to. Whatever it was, Nick Foles and Riley Cooper thank them for it. What else can be said for a 400yard, 7 TD game for a 2nd year QB who couldn’t win the starting job in camp? Or a 5/139/3 line for a wideout who had surpassed 2 catches and 29 yards TWICE the entire year before Sunday? I don’t have an explanation, but I do have an obvious statement: Their value will never be higher, and (especially with Cooper) their talent and schemes don’t make it likely that they will come close to approaching those numbers again. Offer up Foles and Cooper to the Aaron Rodgers owner in your league, and see what happens. I’d be surprised if a few people didn’t win a championship with a move like that.
Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC- A prince with Matt Cassel, a pauper with Alex Smith. Go figure. Not only has Bowe produced like bench fodder in fantasy leagues, beat writers and analysts opine that Bowe doesn’t look or separate like the Dwayne Bowe of old. A 7/67/0 line isn’t exactly ripe for trade bait, but I’m beginning to think its going to be one of his best lines of the season. Alex Smith, who seems to be regressing, has more than lived up to his reputation of a checkdown machine, as evidenced by Jamaal Charles having 71 targets while no other Chief has paced 60. He’s getting the Michael Crabtree treatment, and its killing his fantasy value- I would hesitate to call him even a WR3, so ship him off whenever you get the chance.
Chris Johnson, RB, TEN- As a Titans fan, I’ve gone through his career with this progression of feelings: from like to love, love to worship, worship to excuse, excuse to question, and finally question to disdain. I’m not falling for the trap again. His 150 rushing yard, two TD performance against the Rams in Week Nine brought back wonderful memories as Chris Johnson made defenders miss and actually ran hard with purpose. But judging off the past couple years, that effort is likely fleeting, and fleeting fast. Let’s also not forget that St. Louis is allowing the 3rd most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, and this was Johnson’s first time surpassing 39 rushing yards since Week Three! Don’t fall back in love with someone you know is going to break your heart.
A couple of obvious ones over here, but here is the continuing list of “buys” and “sells”:
Keep Buying: CJ Spiller, Pierre Garcon, Danny Amendola, TY Hilton, Darren Sproles, Victor Cruz, Gio Bernard, Lesean McCoy
Keep Selling: DeAngelo Williams, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ryan Mathews, Matt Ryan, Marvin Jones, Harry Douglas, Andy Dalton
Stop Buying: Ray Rice, Marques Colston (only if he is dirt cheap), Steve Smith
Stop Selling: Philip Rivers, James Jones