Dynasty Shopping Mall - Trade Deadline Moves, Part One
Posted 11/12 by Jeff Tefertiller, Exclusive to Footballguys.com
Just like any other shopping mall, this one will have different products at different levels of quality and price. In this series, we will shop around at different stores like Bloomingdales, Macy's, Sears, even the Dollar Store and look for products to buy. The focus will be on value. Many times the expensive products are worth the price. Some times they are not. We will examine opportunities to buy at a reasonable price compared to value. The products we are purchasing are fantasy players for our dynasty team. This study will examine players to either buy or sell at the trade deadline. This is the time of year that fantasy owners need to have an honest evaluation of their team. What are my chances to make the playoffs? Can I go very far? Are the best players on my fantasy team past their prime? Will the players on this team look more attractive this offseason, or less? These are the types of questions that need to be asked. The next two articles will address players that could be on the move in the coming weeks. This article will examine players to sell if you do not feel your team is good enough to go far in the fantasy playoffs. Even if you have an awesome team, you might have some players whose value will drop off in the offseason. I am not a believer in not making a deal just because it would make other teams better. If it benefits me and my team, I am all for it.
Portis has been an elite fantasy back this season. He is the reason many fantasy teams are doing well. The Redskin offense goes through the former Bronco. The team is riding their star to the playoffs. For a back with loads of career touches coming into the season, Washington is giving Portis a ton of carries. He is not breaking the long runs as in the past, but is grinding out first downs on a consistent basis. Portis has a good chance to lead the NFL in carries, and set a career high in carries. The heavy workload is a major concern, especially for fantasy teams that are not in contention for the title. What will 2009 bring for the 27 year old? Have the career carries taken a toll? Time will tell. But, the strong fantasy numbers are what many notice.
- Outlook: Clinton Portis has very impressive numbers so far this season. He is the sole running back that gets consistent carries each week for the Redskins. One thing Jim Zorn has instituted is that he rarely uses Ladell Betts or other running back, relying solely on Clinton Portis. This is great news for 2008 Portis owners, but scary for the future. The Redskins have ridden their stud running back to a strong record this season. Without him, the team would be languishing around .500. Going into the week 10 bye, Portis had a commanding lead over the entire NFL in rushing yards.
- Store: The Gap
- Price: 20091st round pick and a whole lot more.
- Recommendation: Sell unless you have a legitimate contender. The veteran runner could fetch a king's ransom. Fantasy teams that are not great bets to win it all may look to sell high, real high.
Donald Driver has been a reliable receiver for many years. He was Brett Favre's go to pass catcher for many years. Many wondered how Aaron Rodgers would fare taking over for #4. He has played very well. The running game has disappointed. Ryan Grant is having trouble getting past the line of scrimmage. This allows opposing defenses to gear up to stopping the passing game ... and Rodgers has still performed very well. Driver is a good fantasy WR3 or WR4 for the fantasy playoffs, leaving a perfect time to sell. His value could take a huge hit when James Jones is completely healthy. Plus, there is the risk that the veteran receiver is not in Green Bay in 2009.
- Outlook: The Packers have drafted well the last three seasons, getting Greg Jennings, James Jones, and Jordy Nelson in the last three NFL Drafts. Driver's contract gets expensive after the 2008 season and he could be jettisoned to a new team in 2009. Jennings is the WR1 for the Packers. Driver is just the possession receiver at this point in his career. Opposing teams are focused on shutting down Jennings, leaving Driver open. In addition, the James Jones knee injuries have led Aaron Rodgers to lean on the veteran more than expected. This is good for fantasy owners looking to sell.
- Store: Sears
- Price: 2009 2nd round pick and a decent prospect
- Recommendation: Sell. Driver might be tough to sell in the offseason if he ends up on a team that is not as strong of a passing team. The huge game against the Titans in week nine should aid in finding a buyer.
Sammy Morris/LaMont Jordan
Laurence Maroney has teased owners for the last couple of seasons. Now he is injured and lost for the season. Maroney was sharing carries with three other backs: Sammy Morris, LaMont Jordan, and Kevin Faulk. It was difficult to rely on any Patriot back in a passing offense that does not run the ball a ton to begin with. Now, Morris and Jordan have found themselves on the injured list. Morris and Jordan are productive when healthy. The Patriots know how to run the ball. They have run more this year because of the injury to Tom Brady. These two backs have benefited. When healthy, they are an ideal RB3 or flex player for the playoff run. The pair are attractive to many fantasy owners who have been bitten by the injury bug. But, while they have been shelved, BenJarvis Green-Ellis has picked up the slack. He has played well. It is unknown who will start when Morris and Jordan are back healthy.
- Outlook: Maroney should be the top Patriot ball carrier for 2009. But, the pie will be split up so much that it is tough to rely on any one of the four. With Brady coming back in 2009, the Patriots will be back to their pass-happy ways. Yes, a New England rusher will have some big games, but consistency will be lacking just like in 2007. The Patriots will run the ball a lot the remainder of the 2008 season. They cannot expect big games from the quarterback position, and the team can control the clock with a strong running game. Plus, the weather will get nasty very soon, making it even more difficult for the Patriots to count on the passing game under the direction of Matt Cassel.
- Store: Macy's
- Price: 2009 3rd round pick and a prospect
- Recommendation: Sell. The two runners are injured and will soon be healthy. One or both will be productive later this season. Just due to age, Jordan will have the greater value in 2009. Morris is well into his 30s, while Jordan could be the next Corey Dillon in New England.
In training camp, the early reports were how Ricky looked great. He was reported as being as strong and quick as his early years. This dream came to a rude awakening when the season started. We now know that the 31 year old is past his prime. Williams has lost a step, or three. He is slow to the hole and cannot get to the edge of the defense. Ricky has not been a picture of health throughout the last few years of his career. There is a good chance that Williams will get nicked up at some point in 2008. Last season, it took six carries before he was out for the year. Ricky Williams has an impressive resume with over 9,000 total yards. But, at this point in his career, Williams is playing for the money. Ricky has to play as long as possible to clear all of his debt. But, fantasy owners should use the huge game this past week as an opportunity to sell.
- Outlook: Ricky plays second fiddle to Ronnie Brown and does not get enough touches a game to be a viable fantasy option. Williams does get some redzone carries, which boosts his selling market. The Dolphin rushing offense is inconsistent week to week. Williams owners have to hope for an injury to Ronnie Brown just to make their player startable in a given week. This signals the time to sell to someone that still holds out hope that Ricky is serious about football and will be good going forward. The innovative "Wildcat" formation employed by Miami is the only way Ricky Williams is able to find running room. The 51-yard touchdown scamper against the Seahawks bears this out. This will be the norm for most of the rest of the season.
- Store: Dillards
- Price: 2009 2nd round pick
- Recommendation: Sell as fast as you can. Ricky is not startable most weeks and is a huge risk at his age.
Marvin looked pretty good in preseason after battling injuries last season. His teammates said he was back to his old self. Peyton Manning and the rest of the Colt offense have not looked like they were on the same page, but could improve as the season rolls along. Marvin Harrison has put up tremendous numbers throughout his long career. Not many receivers can boast of more than 1,000 receptions for over 14,000 yards and 124 touchdowns. Harrison runs precise routes and can get open. He brings name value in trade talks. But, age and the balky knee will continue to minimize the big plays from the former Syracuse star. In addition, the offense has not been able to consistently move the ball well through the air. The timing is off. The offense looks out of synch. Also, opposing teams like the Steelers in week ten are trying to take away Reggie Wayne and make Manning throw the ball to Harrison. In that game, the veteran still only caught three passes.
- Outlook: Many Harrison owners are living off of the past. The ineptitude of Colts offense has not helped Harrison's production at all. Peyton Manning and his receivers look out of sync. There have been injuries to the running backs, putting even more pressure on Manning. Plus, the offensive line is just now getting healthy. Fantasy owners of the 36 year old have to know that there is not much time left to sell. It might take a big game to create the opportunity to sell high. But, Marvin Harrison owners should be marketing the veteran pass catcher to every owner that is in the playoff chase.
- Store: Old Navy
- Price: 2009 2nd round pick
- Recommendation: Sell if you can find a buyer. There is a chance that Harrison may not be healthy when the fantasy playoffs roll around. Even if he makes it all the way through the season 100% healthy, you never know if this is his last season as a pro.
Timing is everything when trying to sell a player before the fantasy playoffs. Owners of the above players should be on the lookout for willing buyers.