Buy Low, Sell High: Post Week 1
September 12, 2014 | Asher Molk
Hello Fake Footballers! Asher Molk here, and I’m back for another wonderful year of 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:
– Look beyond the box score! Investigate why a mediocrely talented player did so well, or why a superstar did so poorly. Then ask yourself- are the scenarios that caused those outcomes likely to continue on a game-to-game basis? What is the long-term impact here? Statistics CAN LIE, so think long-term.
– 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, or wide receivers who offer nothing after the catch, 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. 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 Alfred Morris and Kelvin Benjamin, think about if you would trade a top 2 pick for a 4th and 6th 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 Jamaal Charles, 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 Alfred Morris just because you think Sebastian Janikowski will average 1 more point per game than Nick Novak.
– 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.
Dez Bryant and Jason Witten- We knew the Cowboys’ offense could be volatile once in a while, but when considering all of the hype behind their O this offseason, that was more than brutal. Tony Romo full-on imploded in the first quarter after a fumble-six by Demarco Murray, and the game was pretty much over before halftime. In every phase besides the running game, the Cowboys simply looked awful. Short-sighted fantasy owners will see this as a hurricane to run far away from. But sharp owners will see this as a window of opportunity to acquire someone’s first round pick and a PPR dynamo at tight end. It was made clear last Sunday that things won’t be all rainbows for the Cowboys’ offense this season, but like death and taxes, a healthy Dez Bryant (even if he was a little dehydrated) and Jason Witten are a sure thing. I promise you there are owners pressing the panic button out there.
Michael Crabtree- I’m done doubting Crabtree. Two years ago, I must have put him as a sell-high 3 times, only for him to prove me completely and utterly wrong down the stretch as he came alive when Colin Kaepernick’s reign began. A huge disappointment against probably the worst defense in the NFL will create some nice buy-low windows for the 49ers’ number one wideout. Sunday was a reminder that Anquan Boldin is still a force to be reckoned with and Vernon Davis is going to catch double digit touchdowns again, but I’m willing to bet you can flip an Allen Hurns for Crabtree in some of your leagues. This is a rock-solid WR2 with proven chemistry with his quarterback. I’m not scared yet.
Justin Hunter- Don’t let Sunday’s statline mislead you: Justin Hunter is here to stay. Yes, he only finished with a 3-63-0 slash, but we saw all we needed to see usage-wise. He played around 60% of the Titan’s offensive snaps while generating a team-high 8 targets. His playmaking ability and chemistry with Jake Locker was more than evident in the preseason, and his snap count is only going to go up from here. After he explodes against the Cowboys this Sunday, his price tag is going to skyrocket. This is a fantastic chance to grab a WR3 with WR2 potential at a WR4 cost.
Allen Hurns- Hurns has been a great story thus far. A rookie playing his way onto the team in preseason and into a featured role by Week One is quite a feat. But going for over 100+ yards and 2 scores in your first game? History says he has nowhere to go but down. As Chad Henne came back down to Earth in the 2nd half, Hurns all but disappeared. It’s pretty much as simple as Chad Henne + rookie WR + run-first offense = impossible maintenance. Throw in the fact that Allen Robinson, Cecil Shorts and Marqise Lee are only out temporarily, and it’s more likely than not Hurns’ time in the sun has come and gone. This is a slam-dunk sell-high.
Terrance Williams- I actually do like Terrance Williams, but not enough to call him a strong WR3. I will concede he is going to have some huge games due to his situation (explosive offense, single coverage, shootouts, etc.) but the consistency just won’t be there. At the end of the season, it’s likely he’s going to finish 4th on the team in targets behind Bryant, Witten and Murray. I even personally asked a Cowboys beat writer a few weeks ago to predict who will get more targets between Williams and Witten. Unequivocally and without any caveats, Witten was his answer. Add in Linehan’s penchant to utilize his running backs heavily in the pass game, and Williams is simply not a featured player in this offense. He could flirt with 8 touchdowns and 800-900 yards, but I’d try and flip him for Crabtree or package him for Charles/McCoy/Bryant or Demaryius Thomas.
Chris Ivory- Every year, Ivory tantalizes us with his vicious, Lynchian running ability. And every year, his hamstrings turn all “Miles Austin” on us. As Austin and Cecil Shorts have proven, hamstring injuries can seemingly be chronic, and Ivory has had his fair share of lower-body issues. Let us keep in mind that Chris Johnson almost doubled his touches, and that Ivory is still non-existent in the passing game (5 receptions in 4+ seasons). Send along a GIF of his beastly 71-yard Week One touchdown along with any trade offer, and you should be able to turn him into a nice buy-low candidate.