Hello Fake Footballers! My name is Asher Molk, and I am really looking forward to 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:
-Smart owners look beyond the box score. The naïve owner will look at Shonn Greene’s Week One fantasy score and see 94 yards and a touchdown- a very solid 15.4 fantasy points! The smart owner is able to dig deeper and see that he averaged under 3.5 yards per carry, fumbled twice, didn’t catch a pass, and carried the ball 27 times because the Jets were up 20 at halftime and 27 by the 4th quarter. Are the Jets likely to be up by that many points most games to give enough carries to a below-averagely talented runner? The answer is no. Take a look at what he has done since then. If this sounds time-consuming, don’t fret- I am here to do the work for you and help you look beyond the box score!
-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 Turner, Michael), or wide receivers who offer nothing after the catch (see Bess, Davone), 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 Harvin, Percy). 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 BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Vernon Davis, think about if you would trade a top 5 pick for a 4th and 5th 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 LeSean McCoy, 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 Antonio Brown 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.
Its almost time for the fantasy playoffs. Time to trade your depth for difference makers! If I have one piece of advice for you, its this: Start your studs. They got you to the playoffs, let them win it for you.
Percy Harvin, WR, MIN- This one has an element of risk/reward attached to it. On one hand, Harvin could return to the field and do what he does best- dominate after the catch. But ankle injuries can be tricky, and there is no guarantee Harvin will be back in the next two weeks. However, the tea leaves suggest Harvin will be back no later than Week 14, and he’s a shoo-in WR1 whenever he steps on the field. Perhaps his owner desperately needs to win this week to make the playoffs and is willing to part with him.
Randall Cobb, WR, GB- Cobb has absolutely caught fire over the past month, only to lay a 4-39-0 egg on Sunday night along with the rest of the Packer’s offense. The bigger concern owners may have with Cobb is the imminent return of Greg Jennings- this is part of what makes Cobb a fantastic buy-low. The Packers have made it clear via comments by the head coach, Rodgers, play-calling, and snap counts that Cobb is an integral part of their offense, and isn’t going away anytime soon. Greg Jennings’ return will come more at the expense of James Jones and Jermichael Finley than Percy Harvin-lite. Cobb would be a wonderful WR2 for the fantasy playoffs. See if your league’s Cobb owner is scared of Jennings’ return.
Eric Decker, WR, DEN- Decker’s production has really slowed down the past three weeks. In fact, he’s totaled a mere 8-102-1 over that span while Demaryius Thomas has continued his dominance. I’m not here to tell you that Decker is going to suddenly become Peyton Manning’s go-to guy or match Thomas’ production- those things simply aren’t going to happen. But as the crystal clear 2nd option in a Peyton Manning-led passing attack, Decker’s numbers should bounce back up to excellent WR2 value like they were for the first 9 weeks of the season. With matchups against Tampa Bay, Oakland, Baltimore, and Cleveland looming, there will be plenty of passing yards and touchdowns to go around in Denver. Decker will re-find his fair share of stats.
Beanie Wells, RB, ARI- Wells’ 16.8pt fantasy day couldn’t be more deceiving. Clearly still shaking off the rust, Wells ran for a measly 48 yards at 2.8 yards per carry against an average run defense. He tallied 0 catches (something that won’t change because he doesn’t play passing downs) and plays behind a bottom-5 offensive line who lost their starting center this week. Sure he gets red zone work, but how many times do you really think Ryan Lindley is going to lead this “offense” to the goal line? I wouldn’t want him as even a flex play with matchups against Seattle and Chicago looming in the fantasy playoffs.
Benjarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN- For back to back weeks, Green-Ellis has surpassed 100 yards and scored a touchdown- pretty new stuff for “Law Firm”. In fact, its something he hasn’t done all season, and it probably won’t happen again. He accomplished these feats against the horrific defenses of the 1-10 Kansas City Chiefs and the 3-8 Oakland Raiders. Green-Ellis is a very average running talent who contributes nothing to the passing game and doesn’t make anyone miss in space. With two average matchups (Dallas and Philadelphia) and two very difficult matchups (San Diego and Pittsburgh) coming up, Green-Ellis should not be considered a weekly advantage at the RB2 spot. Shop him if you have the chance.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, CIN- A solid possession receiver out of Rutgers, this rookie has been a solid contributor to the Bengals over the past five weeks. Taking advantage of 1 on 1 coverage due to the presence of mega-stud AJ Green, Sanu has racked up 16 catches and proven himself a plus red-zone presence with 4 touchdowns over the past five games. The bad news: he’s topped 29 yards once and 47 yards zero times. In other words, he’s the wide receiver version of Scott Chandler: without a red-zone TD, he’s going to hurt you. More bad news: his 4 to 1 catch to touchdown ratio is seriously unsustainable. Sanu does more for the Bengals in real life than he does for fake football teams, and he cannot be considered a WR3 for the fantasy playoffs.