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.
Dez Bryant, WR, DAL- What’s the only way to quiet a squeaky wheel? To oil it. The same can be said for wide receivers- they’ll stop making noise if they get their targets, and boy has Dez Bryant been squeaking on the sideline. There is no excuse (besides injury) for a player of Bryant’s caliber having only two targets in an entire game- offensive coordinator Bill Callahan has already said they are going to work on getting Dez the ball more over the bye week. Although he hasn’t scored in two weeks or topped 72 yards in three, Dez Bryant is still easily a top-four WR1. If there is anyone in your league who thinks he is closer to that 8-12 range, snatch him up.
Tom Brady, QB, NE- I was a Tom Brady apologist for much of the year, but then I watched the tape. Without Rob Gronkowski, Brady hasn’t even been above average- his receivers are not 100% at fault for the rough transition into 2013. But much of this is moot, as Gronk is back with a vengeance. I’d consider Brady in the 6-8 QB1 range until he proves he is more consistent, but I’m willing to bet the numbers will be there by the end of the year- as they always have- with Tom Terrific. If you’re an Aaron Rodgers owner or Jay Cutler streamer, this could prove to be a bargain.
Cecil Shorts, WR, JAC- Although Shorts has only scored one TD on the year, Week 10 was only the second time since Week One he’s been held below 7 receptions. Shorts’ situation hasn’t changed the entire year- he’s going to be a heavily targeted receiver (on a team that lost Justin Blackmon) on a squad with almost no running game that figures to be trailing- a lot. When Chad Henne is your QB, there are bound to be off games, but I’d still call Shorts a PPR WR2 with a chance to break out down the stretch like he did last year.
Jermaine Kearse, WR, SEA- Jermaine Kearse, its’ been a fun ride. Watching you highpoint catches with fantastic body control and finish off flea flickers has been quite entertaining the past two weeks. Unfortunately, Kearse’s time in the spotlight of fantasy relevance is over. With prized free agent acquisition Percy Harvin finally getting a chance to see the field, this run-happy team is going to have even less targets to go around. Kearse had only caught 3 passes in a game twice this season- its not like he was consistent anyway. He could be the throw-in that gets you the player you need for the stretch run.
Tavon Austin, WR, STL- Like Kearse, watching Austin fill up the highlight reel recently has been amazing- he’s finally showing why he was a top-10 pick in April’s NFL draft. But contrary to popular belief, Austin doesn’t appear in line for a bigger role going forward. In fact, Austin’s breakout game only saw him play 15 total offensive snaps- not a recipe for success when Kellen Clemens is your QB. He is not a WR3/4 to be relied on, so ship him to someone who only looks at the boxscore.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC- Like a cockroach, MJD just keeps making himself fantasy relevant right as everyone writes him off. I’m not coming off of my stance: he’s lost all big-play ability, and depends almost entirely on goal-line scores on a 1-8 team that’s going to be behind in most games. He’s averaging 3.0 yards per carry and has yet to top 75 rushing yards even though he’s averaging almost 16 carries per game. He’s caught more than two passes only twice this year, and is averaging 7.2 yards per catch. There is no light at the end of the tunnel, and I would not want to be counting on him as an RB2/Flex down the stretch.
Besides the obvious ones, here are more buy/sell opinions for you:
Keep Buying: CJ Spiller, Victor Cruz, Jordan Cameron, Jordsy Nelson
Keep Selling: DeAngelo Williams, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ryan Mathews, Matt Ryan, Marvin Jones, Harry Douglas, Andy Dalton
Stop Buying: Ray Rice, Marques, Steve Smith
Stop Selling: Philip Rivers, James Jones, Nick Foles