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.
It’s coming to be playoff time- that means time for teams at the top of the standings to trade their depth for studs, upgrade their starting lineup, and pay attention to playoff matchups. Without further ado:
LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI- Across the Twitter-verse, I’ve noticed trade proposals in which McCoy is being sold for pennies on the dollar. McCoy isn’t living up to his top-3 pick status, but for all the complaining and desperation surrounding him he’s scored below 10 standard league fantasy points just once this season. In other words, he’s still consistent- he is simply operating at his floor. I can’t guarantee you that Andy Reid will lean more heavily on McCoy in the coming weeks because common sense dictated he should’ve done that weeks ago, and Andy Reid’s play calling doesn’t correspond with common sense. But I can promise you that he can’t be used any less, especially in the passing game. If having a rookie quarterback behind an appallingly bad offensive line doesn’t get McCoy more touches, then nothing will. I’m willing to bet we see McCoy have a top-5 RB finish from here on out.
Steve Smith, WR, CAR and Andre Johnson, WR, HOU- Both of these “former” stud WRs were considered WR1s before the season, but oh how times have changed. Currently sitting at WR37 and WR35, respectfully, owners are likely winning to get rid of these guys for absolutely nothing. My readers know I’m all about talented guys who are the top receiving or rushing options on their teams, and these guys are still both 2 for 2 on those counts. Both the Panthers and the Texans have absolute cakewalk passing schedules coming up, and these two are simply too talented and get (or will get, in Andre’s case) too many looks to keep producing as little as they can. Its time to adjust expectations to WR2 status, but I would be heavily in favor of asking the owners of the players what it would take to acquire them. It could be shockingly little.
Percy Harvin, WR, MIN- This one will be short and sweet. There are very few players I would refuse to trade if they were on my team, and Harvin is one of them. The most dynamic NFL WR with the ball in his hands, owners may be scared of Harvin’s injury combined with his brutal playoff schedule. It doesn’t matter. Harvin gets the ball at the line of scrimmage so often that even a shutdown corner will be rendered helpless against him. He may still cost a bit, but owners may have reduced their grip on him.
Felix Jones, RB, DAL- Do you ever see a food on TV that always looks tasty, but once you actually eat it you want to spit it out? That’s Felix Jones. Whenever he grasps the lead back job in Dallas (see 2011 and post-Murray injury this year), we see an opportunity for a perceived playmaker to get the ball 15+ times per game. But every time, we emerge disappointed. Either he fumbles, hurts himself, or is simply ineffective. It’s time to give up the ghost. Jones has NEVER been consistent in either health or production. He’s eclipsed 44 yards rushing just twice this year, and has one more touchdown than fumble. Even if the brittle Demarco Murray doesn’t come back from his foot injury (which he probably will), there is no reason to hope for consistency for Jones.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, OAK- After flashing some breakout potential late last year, Heyward-Bey has cooled down considerably. Failing to separate himself from the pack even when Denarius Moore wasn’t 100%, he is now the 2nd/3rd option behind the talented Moore and possibly Brandon Myers. He’s averaging a mere 3 catches for 46 yards per game with 3 scores, and his productive games have come against the pathetic secondaries of the Buccaneers, Jaguars, and Ravens. Now nursing a hamstring tweak, Heyward-Bey has almost no chance of being a difference maker at the WR2/3 spot for the stretch run.
Joe Flacco, QB, BAL- A popular preseason breakout pick as a QB coming into a contract year set to run a no-huddle, up tempo offense, Flacco responded by firing off an average of 317 yards per game with 8 total touchdowns in his first 4 games. But since then? He’s surpassed 27 pass attempts twice and 33 attempts just once in 5 games, with three of those games resulting in 187 passing yards or less. With injuries coming to Vick, Roethlisberger, Cutler and Alex Smith, there may be a market to sell Flacco. It looks like another stretch run of running the offense through Ray Rice.