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. I realize it’s only the fifth week of football and many owners are unwilling to trade after four games, but believe me, there are plenty of owners already in panic mode! “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? Probably not. 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.
Give me a follow on Twitter: @AsherMolk. Without further ado, your Buy Lows and Sell Highs:
Julio Jones, WR, ATL- Jones’ ADP skyrocketed to the late first/early second round in the coming days and weeks before the season, and with good reason: he was unguardable when he was on the field his rookie year and in preseason. But he’s been a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde sort of player this season: two games with 11-175-3 and two games with 5-44-0. He has also had an issue with his hand the past two weeks which has caused a minor stir. However, I still have him as a top three fantasy wide receiver. Nothing has changed since the days where he was a worth a first round draft pick. Matt Ryan has been spectacular, and the play of Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez will only help coverage stay off Julio in the long run. Put all that together with an insanely easy passing defense schedule, and you have arguably the best buy low of the week. He’ll probably be untradeable after this bout with the Redskins “pass defense”.
Denarius Moore, WR, OAK- What’s our mantra again folks? That’s right- talented players who can break a game open anytime they touch the ball. Like Julio Jones, Moore had a very promising rookie year that was marred by injuries. Moore has been compared to Mike Wallace for his ball tracking skills and deep speed, and is the clear number one option in a passing game that is desperate for playmakers with the absences of Jacoby Ford and Darrius Heyward-Bey. He finally looks healthy and put up 71 yards against Champ Bailey last week. If you are looking for a cheap WR with WR2 upside, look no further.
Andre Johnson, WR, HOU- In this summer’s drafts, Andre went as a shoo-in 2nd/3rd rounder with most teams comfortable taking him as their WR1- and no one blamed them. Finally looking healthy in the playoffs and preseason, Andre rewarded owners with a 8-119-1 Week One performance. Since then? A grand total of 8 catches. Simply put, the Texans do not have to throw to win games, especially against Miami, Jacksonville, an up-and-down Bronco team, and Tennessee. In their first four games, the Texans have averaged a mere 31 pass attempts per game. However, that is bound to change with the schedule getting more and more competitive. Andre is still relatively unguardable and the first option in the pass game. I am not in the least bit worried about him, and he should be penciled in as your WR1 whenever he plays. The stats WILL come.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, BUF- Keeping Fitzpatrick as your starting quarterback would be an incredibly stupid mistake. Why incredibly stupid? Because we have seen him do this before! For the past three years, Fitzpatrick has started out looking like an absolute stud quarterback. And for the past three years, Fitzpatrick has become waiver wire fodder as the season went on. This isn’t a hard call: the definition of insanity is thinking doing the same thing will produce a different result. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Don’t be the guy who gets fooled three times by Ryan Fitzpatrick. I’m just here to remind you!
Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL- Boldin used to be a guy who would make appearances in the “buy low” section. A former explosive wideout who was a bull with the ball in his hands, Boldin has made a steady decline into pure possession receiver as a member of the Ravens. Yes, the Ravens have transitioned to a new up-tempo offense, but it’s not because of Boldin. Boldin is tied for third on the Ravens with a far more explosive Torrey Smith, and that statistic is even inflated due to his fluky 12 targets last Thursday evening. Boldin no longer has any speed or playmaking ability, playing a sort of “committee” for midrange targets with Dennis Pitta, to whom he plays second fiddle. I wouldn’t even want him as my WR3.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN- It was only a matter of time until the Prince of Plodders made an appearance on this list. Yes, Green-Ellis can get what is blocked, but not an ounce more. Since his decent Week One, Law Firm has barely averaged 3 yards per carry and even fumbled twice- a very alarming statistic for a player who sees the field in large part due to his ball security. If a talent like Ryan Mathews can be punished like this for fumbling, imagine what Green-Ellis could face. Throw in the fact that he sees zero passing down work (a whopping 6 catches for 46 yards on the year) and Bernard Scott’s return, and we have a perfect sell-high candidate. Get what you can for him before its too late.