Howdy folks and welcome back to Meta-Gabeing. Over the past three weeks we’ve been discussing concepts that can help us turn a losing situation into one where we have a fighting chance. I figure there’s no better way to showcase these ideas than to give an actual example from one of my own fantasy football money leagues.
In this particular league, the live draft was set to occur two nights after I went under the knife for ACL reconstruction. The first few days had me so hopped up on Percocet that I completely slept through the draft. When I awoke the following morning here’s what I saw:
Not exactly what I was hoping for.
I have a rule for myself, that I never sell underperformers in the first three weeks as it takes some guys that long to get settled in and in football shape. I decided I would ride it out until week four and see where I was at.
Yeah, I’m sure you can guess where that squad landed me.
My first order of business was to evaluate what I could afford to lose and what others in the league’s needs (or perceived needs) were. I realized early on that in a 12-team league this season there is simply no market for a QB outside of the top five. I pitched Vick to pretty much every owner, reasoning that whatever I lost in being forced to use matchup plays at QB each week I would gain in adding a solid RB or WR over my lackluster crew.
Next I sent out some feelers for Andre Johnson. I was extremely low on him coming into the season as I felt the Texans grindy, run first approach would produce his worst stat line in recent years. As I shopped him around I realized that many still viewed him as the perennial WR1 that he used to be and knew that he was going to be a vital piece of the blockbuster deal that would eventually make or break me.
Then there was Gronkowski. A stable of solid TE’s with no prior resumes popped up early in the season making it likely that I could get one of those undervalued gems as a throw in on a deal involving Gronk. I knew he would be a top three TE at the end of the year, but if I figured if I could snag a top eight guy in the deal I would call it a win.
I was also willing to part ways with any of my unspectacular RB’s.
So after countless trade offers, text messages, and near misses I found an owner who:
With all those factors in place I made a deal that had me sending Andre Johnson, Rob Gronkowski, and DeAngelo Williams for Percy Harvin, Kyle Rudolph, and Ryan Williams. In hindsight this trade has clearly hurt my team, but even in just about the worst possible case scenario for me (Williams and Rudolph flaming out) I still have Percy Harvin and I’m not too far behind where I was before.
Hindsight isn’t what’s important here though. What’s important is that I wasn’t winning my league with the team I auto-drafted. I had to pull off a high upside deal that would flame out a large percentage of the time because I didn’t want to finish in the wildcard spot and lose in the first round of the playoffs. What if Ryan Williams hadn’t been injured and turned into a solid 8-12 point a week back? What if Rudolph and the Vikings offense had continued their early season pace? I would be sitting on one of the better teams in the league right now had all those hypotheticals materialized.
As it stands, I’ll most likely miss the playoffs unless some of my guys have an unbelievable mid-season turnaround. Would I do the deal again if given the chance? Every time. Even with the points I would have if I had kept my original players I would still be sitting at 4-4 and on the outside of the postseason picture.
If you take nothing else from this article, don’t be afraid to go all-in on a big deal, and when it doesn’t work out, don’t second guess yourself or vow to never do something so stupid again. It will pay off in the long run.
Follow me on Twitter @CrazyGabey.