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.
The playoff pictures and standings are beginning to take some shape in your leagues. Teams near the bottom WILL be desperate to make moves. See if they are willing to make trades involving the following players:
Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR– Jonathan Stewart owners’ dreams finally came to fruition on Sunday. Well, kinda. Although he only touched the ball 13 times for 46 yards, he played a whopping 58 snaps compared to 5 for “timeshare” partner Deangelo Williams. Coach Ron Rivera confirmed that they gameplanned to make Jonathan Stewart the feature back, as they realize their offense needs a kick in the pants. Stewart is clearly the more talented runner, and the coaches finally realize that. As a feature back, Stewart has elite RB1 upside- this is evidenced by a 5 game stretch in 2009 when Deangelo Williams got injured. He averaged 20 carries for 118 yards per game with 5 touchdowns. Cam Newton has complained about the playcalling, and the coaches may be best off installing a more solid base offense with more power running plays instead of the shotgun option. I cannot stress this enough- get Jonathan Stewart on your team ASAP.
Calvin Johnson, WR, DET– If I were to tell you in August that through 7 weeks Stafford and Johnson were to connect on a total of 0 touchdowns, what would you have said to me? Sadly, that is exactly what has happened. I’ll make this blurb quite simple: Calvin is probably the best position player in the NFL. Stafford has elite arm talent. Calvin is still averaging over 6 catches and 99 yards per game- this is his absolute floor. Talent usually wins out in the end, and Calvin is still the top receiver in my book. Grab him from owners stupidly selling him.
Danny Amendola, WR, STL– After lighting up the league in the first five weeks of the season, Amendola went down with what turned out to be a very scary collarbone dislocation. Scheduled to be out for at least 6 weeks, Amendola actually made a return to limited practice this week, and is now scheduled to be back after the Ram’s Week Nine bye week. Sam Bradford is looking as confident as he ever has, and he targets Amendola relentlessly as shown by Amendola’s 48 targets over his first 4.5 games. He is going to be a PPR asset down the stretch, and you may be able to get him for cheap.
Reggie Bush, RB, MIA– I’ve been a Reggie Bush hater for a long, long time, but I’ve finally had no choice but to now consider him a fantasy asset. Proving last year was not a fluke, Bush is averaging 95 total yards per game with a 4.4 per carry average and nearly 3 receptions a game while playing through a gimpy knee sprain. Using the bye week to rest up, Bush has a pretty nice schedule going forward. With the scary exceptions of Seattle in Week 12 and San Francisco in Week 14, Bush is going to face some downright bad rushing defenses: Jets, Colts, Titans, Bills twice (!), and the Jaguars are all on the docket. With Lamar Miller inexperienced and Daniel Thomas sincerely awful, Reggie Bush is a lock for a minimum of RB2 production if he stays healthy.
Chris Johnson, RB, TEN– Ah, the allure of Chris Johnson. Puts up 3 games under 25 rush yards, and then turns in an 18/195/2 performance. Sorry to remind you, but we’ve seen this before. Johnson exploded against awful run defenses last year, only to somehow find a new low when the going actually got tough. This is the perfect time to get this once-great headache off of your team and find someone more consistent. Go find the Lesean McCoy owner and work out a deal. CJ?K is still a beast when holes open up for him, but he simply gives up on runs and looks for the big play when those holes aren’t there.
Kevin Walter, WR, HOU– Walter has had a couple of nice games this season, but it simply isn’t sustainable. I know that no one thinks Walter is a surefire WR2/3 starter, but there are people who think that he is a solid WR3 fill in/bye week option- I’m here to tell you he is waiver wire fodder. He is the 3rd or 4th passing option on a strictly run-first team who possesses no talent after the catch. Instead of rostering Kevin Walter, grab a lottery ticket with upside: Ryan Broyles or Titus Young would be much better owns. See if you can get either of them for Walter.
Josh Gordon, WR, CLE– I’m not here to deny that Josh Gordon is a playmaker- he is a long, fast wide receiver with (usually) good hands, and he has a pretty bright NFL future ahead of him. In fact, Cleveland sacrificed a second round draft pick to pluck him in the Supplemental Draft. However, he has been held to 40 yards or less in 4 of his 7 games so far, and has yet to catch more than 3 passes in a game. For now, Gordon is a pure deep threat with a rookie quarterback (who has admittedly played quite well)- a recipe for some ridiculous inconsistency. I recommend knocking on the door of a Kenny Britt owner and working out a trade.