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.
This week, I’ve decided to do a little bit of “theme-grouping” for the buy lows- lots of ’em I like right now. Let me know what you think! Give me a follow and ask questions on Twitter: @AsherMolk
Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI, and Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS- Here we have two wide receivers coming off of injuries. Obviously Garcon missed more time, but both have been relatively quiet save for one big game each. Not counting their “big games”, they have combined for 10 catches for a mere 113 yards in 5 games- not exactly the WR2 production we have expected from both of them. You know I am a believer in talent, and these guys have it in spades as the best receiver on their respective teams. RGIII seems ok from his concussion scare, and Vick is showing signs of settling down. I think these guys can be had for a bargain and pay nice dividends.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE, Antonio Gates, TE, SD, and Jimmy Graham, TE, NO- This trio of tight ends were taken as the top 3 guys at their position in many drafts- top 4-5 at worst. Gates has been on this list before, and I’m here to tell you I’m still buying. He looks just fine on the field, and was a bad offensive PI call away from a very solid game. Gronkowski has been scoring TDs, but has cleared over 75 yards receiving just once, and has had dud games two of the past three weeks. Graham has also been scoring touchdowns, but hasn’t gotten the yardage totals that his owners have been used to. I’m slightly concerned about his ankle injury, but the Saints have a bye week and it doesn’t appear to be of the dreaded “high ankle” variety. Why am I not concerned about these tight ends? Three reasons: they all have above average quarterbacks (Graham and Gronk have elite ones), they are all at worst the second option on every passing play, and they are all the top options in the red zone. Buy, buy, buy.
Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN, and Matt Forte, RB, CHI- These players have three things in common: they are both coming off of considerate lower leg injuries, both are elite players at their position, and both have NOT been scoring touchdowns. Since Week One, these players have a combined two 100-yard rushing performances and a grand total of 0 touchdowns. Week-to-week, touchdowns are by far the hardest statistic to predict- they ebb and flow. The scores have been ebbing for a bit too long now, and these trends tend to reverse themselves. Most importantly, they are the centerpieces of their offenses and both look close to 100% healthy. Fantasy owners tend to get frustrated when their players aren’t scoring touchdowns, so this is the perfect time to buy on these RB1s.
Robert Meachem, WR, SD- After an offseason of hope and “puff pieces” from coach Norv Turner, Meachem was projected to be a 65-1000-7 type of guy by many- or at worst a decent WR3. But “should or could” and “actually is/are” rarely ever meet, as evidenced by Meachem’s performances from Weeks 1-4. In those weeks, he combined for 6 catches for 92 yards, AKA waiver wire fodder. But a first half explosion against arguably the NFL’s worst defense made for a solid 3-67-2 statline, and brought back memories of Meachem’s days as a productive deep threat in New Orleans. Don’t buy it for a second. Rivers and Meachem clearly haven’t been on the same page the entire year, and one fluky game doesn’t change that. Floyd, Gates, and Mathews are the primary receivers on this team, and with talented youngster Vincent Brown due back soon, Meachem may somehow become less productive. I’d sell him for almost anything.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG- Bradshaw has been on the “sell high” list before, but he is here again to show you that I am still selling. He looked pretty good last week, but keep in mind that he was running against the 26th ranked run defense that lost its nose tackle and best linebacker in the middle of the game. I’m not a believer in “injury prone”, but there is a difference between random injuries and players wearing down due to chronic conditions. Bradshaw has had a plethora of surgery on his feet and ankles- I’m not trusting him to hold up for another 10+ games with the talented David Wilson slowly getting back into the mix. He still has value, but throw him onto the end of your trading fishing rod and see what you can reel in for him.
Michael Crabtree, WR, SF- I will never stop emphasizing the following- we want explosive playmakers on our team who can make people miss and break a game open in one play. Crabtree does not come close to fitting that bill. As a slant/short route specialist in a game-managed run heavy offense, its more of a fluke when he catches a long touchdown. In fact, it was his first touchdown and first game over 76 yards the entire season. I simply do not see the upside when analyzing his talent and offensive situation. Vernon Davis is the best passing option on this team. I think Crabtree can be an okay WR3, more so in PPR leagues, but there isn’t much to hope for here.