Trader Joe's - Week 15
Posted 12/16 by Jeff Pasquino, Exclusive for Footballguys.com
Welcome one and all to "Trader Joe's", the trading outpost here at Footballguys.com. Over the course of this season this will be the place where we talk about trading strategy and trade dynamics. All types of leagues will be discussed, but given that so many fantasy football leagues are redraft in nature we will focus primarily on redraft leagues.
I will be your usual host and respond to your questions and comments as quickly as possible. The best questions I receive in the Assistant Coach Forum at Footballguys.com will likely also appear in this column, whereupon I will add more commentary.
Just like the seasons, this column will be evolving throughout all 17 weeks of the NFL season. From the first weeks of the year and then to midseason and onward to the playoffs, we will address the timing of the trade market and how the dynamics of the season also play an important part in trading.
Here we are entering NFL Week 16, which means that most fantasy football leagues are in their League Championship Games or Super Bowls this week. It is a huge week, but it also concludes the fantasy football season for almost everyone and marks the end of another remarkable season. Every owner, including the winner of the championship game, will start to look right away towards 2010. So that means that most fantasy football leagues are finished - right? Well, not so fast my friends. Some of us fantasy football fanatics go year-round in this hobby, playing in either Keeper or Dynasty Leagues. That is our focus here in the final installment of Trader Joe's for 2009. While we are still taking trade questions regarding all types of trades and league formats over at Trader Joe's, in this week's column we are going to be taking another look at leagues that go multiple years. Week 13's column was the first part of this discussion, as we addressed many questions regarding in-season trading. We then built upon that foundation and look at the more complex year-round leagues that exist in fantasy football, starting with Keeper Leagues in Week 14. Finally here in Week 16 we will be focused upon helping out the Dynasty League players as the synopsis will look at our best thoughts and ideas for the deepest of the annual leagues.
Also, for those of you who can't get enough of Dynasty and Keeper League information let me point out another article I wrote last week called FBG Futures. It is a look at the Top 100-110 players for 2010 from a Keeper perspective, with each position broken into tiers (from "A" to "C+" letter grades). Since each league is different, you cannot compare a "B" QB to a "B" WR or RB, but hopefully this article will give you some insight looking forward towards next year. As always, if you can't find what you need or want, drop me an e-mail here at Footballguys (email@example.com) and I will see what we can do for you to get your football fix satisfied.
We have a lot to get to, and I think most everyone knows the format for the questions, so let's jump right in to the Redraft League Summary. In an effort to expedite finding a particular scenario of interest to all of our readers, I will number each question according to the original Trader Joe's Week where it first appeared and provide a brief synopsis. So here is a nice and concise synopsis of what we learned from our trading talks this season:
- Week 2, Question 4: Youth has a Price
- Week 3, Question 2: There Is No "Fair Deal"
- Week 4, Question 1: Now and Later
- Week 6, Question 2: Move That Hot Hand
- Week 7, Question 2: A Good Deal Has Extra Benefits
- Week 8, Question 5: Sometimes Dynasty Leagues are "Win Now"
- Week 9, Question 5: Dynasty "Win Now" can Cost Too Much
- Week 10, Question 2: Buying Low With Low Risk
- Week 10, Question 5: Fire Sale Season Is Here
- Week 11, Question 2: Dynasty Conventional Values Aren't Always In Your Team's Best Interests
- Week 11, Question 4: Asking For A Sweetener
- Week 11, Question 5: Dealing IDPs In Shallow Leagues
- Week 12, Question 1: Worry About Next Year Next Year
- Week 12, Question 4: Some Of The Best Deals Are The Ones You Never Make
- Week 12, Question 5: Overvaluing First Round Picks
So let's get to it.
Week 2, Question 4
The team context matters a great deal when making a trade that has long term effects. Youth has a price, and it can be quite high if you are (or were) just one or two players away from a championship. Consider the full depth and strength of a team before making a move that pushes your further out in time and away from winning your league. Some teams can handle moving older players for youth and not cost them their weekly starters, but often they cannot.
Week 3, Question 2
There's only one way to decide if a trade offer is fair - and that's if the other owner clicks "Yes" on the "accept trade" button. If both owners agree that a deal is worthwhile, by definition it has to be fair (in the absence of collusion of course). I may say that Peyton Manning is worth Frank Gore, but if Owner X does not agree with me and he has Gore and you have Manning - guess what? No deal. Some owners are Bill Polian, others are Al Davis. You can't win them all, but you should at least make the offers.
Week 4, Question 1
Here is some general insight about winning now vs. winning later - do both. Yes, that sounds simple and easy, but if you can find 4-8 prospects to stash on your team that have a chance at breaking out and also compete this year, do just that. If half of them pan out (or even just one or two) you'll be ahead of the curve for next season, and you'll also have plenty of roster spots to open up for your next rookie draft. Just understand that you always want a few prospects or younger, developing talents on your squad for the coming seasons, but do not get too crazy with those players. Win something this year too.
Week 6, Question 2
If you are making moves for the longer term, consider moving players that are currently hot and that you suspect may not have long term value. Miles Austin leaps to mind, and I don't know if I am sold on Mendenhall (although he looked very strong vs. Detroit). Get those underperforming or lesser performing players you want for the long haul now and move that hot hand.
Week 7, Question 2
When you can start to get better starters, your bench means less and less at that position. That's a key trait that some Dynasty owners overlook. If you see teams in your league with 5-7 quarterbacks, I'd be willing to bet that they don't own Peyton Manning. Grabbing a stud or two at a given roster spot allows you to cut some dead weight (or trade them) and stock up at another area of need.
Week 8, Question 5
Trade evaluating in Dynasty leagues can be difficult. I've long been a proponent of grabbing good players and riding them into the ground - why get rid of them? I understand the want to get better and younger, but if you are in a position to win a league championship, you owe it to yourself to try and lock that up. Do not always build for next year, that's a January to August job. Win the trophy when you can.
Week 9, Question 5
That last statement is the biggest words of advice I give out in multi-year leagues. Never let a short term decision dictate your long term goals of a multi-year team. Making a bad move during a fantasy season has ripple effects that can last for years. I'm a fan of going for championships when you have that opportunity, but be smart about it and do not throw away too much of the future for the "Win Now" mode.
Week 10, Question 2
This is a nice deal for Avery, and it is a great example of "Buying low". He's also mitigating risk by getting the whole group of RBs in that Texan backfield, so if Slaton does stumble again he has Moats to rely on just in case. Buying low with reduced risk is a great way to improve your team, especially if the price you pay is very acceptable.
Week 10, Question 5
When a team in a multi-year league realizes that they are no longer able to compete for a championship this season, it becomes an interesting dynamic. Teams in the hunt start to circle these teams, much like sharks in the water around a dying seal. You'll start to hear about a team conducting a "Fire Sale" as they try and rebuild, and that's usually the signs of a white flag flying for this year as the owner looks down the road. Be cautious if this is you as you could sell items short, but it is a great buying opportunity for teams looking to win the league this year. A word of caution, though - remember that other teams are also in the hunt, so do not spend too much of the future for the present, because if you don't win the league this year you could be waiving that white flag next season yourself.
Week 11, Question 2
Considering hindsight is 20/20, this deal is now a no-brainer given Westbrook's concussion recurrence. Forget about that though - when you have a chance to improve your team's overall starting lineup, you do it. It really doesn't matter if you are overpaying to make a deal happen - after all, you are the one trying to make a roster move. Give more than someone else might to get a player that can help you. Make the deal happen even if other owners may question why you'd pay so much. That's fine as long as your team puts up more points on the board than the other guy.
Week 11, Question 4
Sometimes you need to squeeze a trade partner a little. If he comes to you with an offer, he certainly is looking to deal. Scan his roster and see if there is something that could really help you out right away or soon and ask for that as a "sweetener". Getting a player that can help you cover a bye week should be just enough to make the deal happen and both teams can walk away happy.
Week 11, Question 5
I covered it pretty well I think as far as collecting running backs, but the extra part I wanted to point out in passing on this deal is that you should almost never trade for an IDP in a league like this. IDPs in leagues where only a handful are starters are much, much easier to find and collect than just about any other position. If you can move a stud IDP for a good offensive player, always do so.
Week 12, Question 1
Quite often multi-season league players in Keeper and/or Dynasty Leagues get all wrapped up in their decisions on who to keep and who to deal as the trade deadline approaches. Remember, there's a reason why you are playing this game - it is called winning the league. Don't sweat your keepers - especially if there are just a couple - when you are on the verge of a championship. Win the league and worry about 2010 when 2010 comes.
Week 12, Question 4
Sometimes you need to forget about wheeling and dealing and hold on to your
studs. Some of the best deals are the ones you never make. Also keep in mind
that every deal you turn down is another endorsement of your current roster.
If the general rule is that the winner of a trade is the person who gets the
best player, keeping the best one on your team is a winning proposition.
Oh yeah, I also got the "Andre Johnson goes off" part right too. :)
Week 12, Question 5
First round picks are treated like gold in dynasty leagues, but more often than not they are Fool's Gold - only worth what they can fetch in a deal. Some owners treat them like they are about to be the next Adrian Peterson and a mortal lock in getting a stud for the next decade - but the real truth is that they are lottery tickets that can lose value very fast on your league's draft day. Never place too much emphasis on them even though a stud may be there waiting in the wings - veteran values are often a better option. To each their own in grabbing the next young stud who shakes Roger Goodell's hand in April, but I for one am always leery of gambling too hard on the next rookie stud. If a great deal comes along and I can get a player who has proven himself already at the NFL level, I'll make that move and not look back.
So that will do it for the Week 12 edition of Trader Joe's, and I sincerely hope that I helped some of you owners out there to think about some trades and new ways to improve your team. Until next week, I'll see you at Trader Joe's.
Trader Joe's from the Assistant
Coach Forum at Footballguys.com.
The Dynasty Draft Pick Calculator, written by Jeff Pasquino. First introduced here.
Tricks of the T.R.A.D.E., written by Jeff Pasquino.