Trader Joe's - Week 3

  Posted 9/17 by Jeff Pasquino, Exclusive to 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 in Week 3 of the young NFL season, and there are already a number of different opinions and dynamics going on in nearly every league. Some owners are still in love with their teams, thrilled to be 2-0 and putting up tons of points. They won't be trading much, if at all, which could be a mistake. These same owners should step back and see if they were just lucky enough to catch lightning in a bottle for two weeks, or if they really did find a plethora of talent on Draft Day. If they do have players the outperformed expectations, they should be looking to "sell high" while they have a peak in value. You never know what the future will bring for the DeSean Jacksons of the world.

On the other hand, we have some teams that started in an 0-2 hole that look fantastic on paper. Of course the numbers don't seem to add up for some top picks like Larry Johnson, Steven Jackson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, so questions are mounting for these teams. Do you give up on these big names? Is it waiver wire time to replace a stud, in at least name value? Should you clean house or clear the bench in a trade to try and get some replacement help?

Once again this year we will keep the standard format. The questions I receive in the Assistant Coach Forum can be on any topic within your league, but I would advise you that the more general the question, the more applicable it becomes to everyone and thus it is more beneficial to all. The "Who should I trade" questions are still welcome (as long as they follow the format outlined below), but if you'd like to see your question in my column, strategy and/or trade philosophy is highly recommended.

For Example

Team / league specific question:

"I can keep three players. I have Brian Westbrook, LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry Johnson and Terrell Owens. Who do you recommend?"

The better way to generalize the question, yet still get your answer:

"I have three Top 10 running backs (Westbrook, Tomlinson, Larry Johnson) and a Top 10 WR (Terrell Owens), but I can only keep three. Is it better to keep three running backs, or should I keep a top shelf WR and two backs?"

I would request that you include the following regarding your trade questions:

  • Type of league (Dynasty, Keeper, Contract, Auction, Redraft, other)
  • Starting Roster (positions you play each week)
  • Scoring format
  • Number of teams in your league
  • Roster size
  • Regarding keepers - if you ask a "who should I keep" question, please note the "penalty", if any, for keeping a player (i.e. a draft pick)
  • Regarding a trade - post the other team(s) roster(s) of the teams with which you are negotiating
  • Any other pertinent info that would help me to help you

Let's get to some trade talks. In an effort to expedite finding a particular scenario of interest to all of our readers, I will number each question and provide a brief synopsis here:

  • Question 1: Dealing with an injury to your fantasy team
  • Question 2: Acting fast.
  • Question 3: Trades within trades
  • Question 4: Trading with the waiver wire
  • Question 5: Timing of trade offers

So let's get to it.

Question 1

Our first question comes in from "NF300", who has a concern about an injured player and is thinking about a trade:


I am loaded at RB and just lost Colston. I am debating on whether I should push the panic button early and try to trade for a top end WR or see how everything settles out. I tried to target a couple of particular players: Brandon Marshall and Plaxico Burress. The Marshall team and I have traded before in years past, the other team is new to the league. I have had dialogue with both and they seem 50-50 to trades since it is so early. If I push, I think I can get something done.

My Team- PPR League Standard scoring; 10 team league
Start- 1-qb; 2-rb, 3 wr or 2 rb, 2 wr and 1 te; 1-k; 1-def

  • QB- Cutler; Schaub
  • RB- R. Brown, Br. Jacobs, Gore, Chris Johnson, R. Bush, Slaton
  • WR- Fitzgerald, Colston, Bowe, Roddy White, Berrian
  • TE- Scaife
  • K- Kaeding
  • D- Broncos

Team w/ Burress

  • QB-Bulger & Big Ben
  • RB-LJ, Deuce, Mendenhall, F. Taylor, LenDale White
  • WR-Burress, Driver, Devin Hester, Moss, Randle El, Hines Ward
  • Te-Dallas Clark
  • K-Vinatieri
  • D-Steelers

Team w/ B. Marshall

  • QB- Romo, K. Collins
  • RB- E. Graham, S. Morris, DeAngelo Williams
  • WR. Boldin, T.O., B. Marshall, Gage, Courtney Taylor, Patten
  • TE-Fasano
  • K-Kasay
  • D-Bills, Bucs

Questions- I thought about offering Jacobs and Colston for either of the two. Is this too much? Bowe and Roddy White started OK but these trade partners are worried about the QB situation, as am I. If Bowe or White can produce, I may not have to make a move at all
If I wait a week or two, the value of Chris Johnson and R. Brown will probably rise in my opinion, so maybe I will have even higher value to trade with and be able to get more for less?
Both teams above could get desperate for RB quick. Should I let them stew a week or two or strike now ( if I can)?

With so many variables, when is early moving wrong and what's your opinion on the value of Colston in a trade now?

Thanks for the help!!

Here is my response:

Hi NF300,

The loss of Colston hurts many teams, possibly more than Brady if that makes sense. The reasoning is that you feel compelled to hold on to Colston for when he returns, while Brady is gone and can be cut (or IRed) in your league already.

The price you pay here is the dead roster spot for several weeks, which may seem problematic now but will be downright painful when the byes start to roll through your team.

Trade for a WR now and do a 2 for 1 if you can to get a roster spot open again if you're keeping Colston. You will need the room.

Good luck.

Trading due to injury is a tough situation. Holding a guy on a smaller roster gets tough when byes roll through, so make sure it is worth the risk. If ever there is a time to trade quantity for quality, it is in this situation as you get a roster space back as part of any 2 for 1 deal.

Question 2

Our second question comes in from "GD18", who is asking about a possible QB for RB deal:

Hi Jeff,

My roster is as follows:

  • QB - Peyton Manning
  • QB - Jay Cutler
  • RB - Edgerrin James
  • RB - LenDale White
  • RB - Andre Hall
  • RB - Julius Jones
  • RB - Selvin Young
  • WR - Santonio Holmes
  • WR - Chad Ocho Cinco Johnson
  • WR - Vincent Jackson
  • WR - Sidney Rice

I am looking to trade a QB to upgrade at RB. The player who lost Tom Brady has Adrian Peterson, and he might be willing to give up Peterson for Manning.

Should I give up Manning for Peterson?

I can start one QB, one RB and two RB/WR flex positions. All TDs are 6 points, passing yards are 40 yds/point and rushing and receiving yards are 20 yds/point. Total of 12 teams in a non-PPR league.



And here is my reply:

Hi GD18,

Don't hesitate!

Run, don't walk, to trade a QB for Adrian Peterson. The drop-off from Manning to Cutler isn't nearly as bad as it is for Peterson to any of your other RBs.

Good luck.

I couldn't type this fast enough, hence it was a brief reply. Sometimes we over think deals that fall in our lap, so check the FBG News and make sure that the guy that is being offered still has all his arms and legs. Then make that great deal as quick as you can.

Question 3

Our next question comes from "Redbullvodka", who is in the middle of some trade talks:

Hi Jeff

I've got this offer on the table.

Cutler & Eddie Royal for (my) Favre and Calvin Johnson.

My gut feel is that this is too much to get Cutler. I really like Cutler, but Favre isn't the worst QB to have. I think the drop off to Royal from CJ is more than from Cutler to Favre.

My team:

  • QB Favre, Cassel
  • RB LJ, Kevin Smith, Thomas Jones, Jamal Lewis, DeAngelo Williams
  • WR Welker, Calvin, Coles, Lee Evans

His team:

  • QB Brees, Cutler
  • RB S Jax, MJD, Selvin Young, Jonathan Stewart
  • WR Santonio Holmes, Royal, Steve Smith (Car), Chris Chambers

Start 1 QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1 Flex (1pt for 25 yards pass; 1 for 10 rush / rec; 0.5 per rec; 6pts all TDs)

This is his counter to my offer of Favre + Evans for Cutler + Royal (he said the difference between Evans and Royal wasn't enough to make it worthwhile).

Is my assessment right?

Interesting question, and one I get often this time of year. Here is my reply:

Hi RedBull,

This is the "trade within a trade" I've talked about before. He traded in his offer (Evans for Calvin) to upgrade the offer.

If you believe that the difference is too great, you have to say no and move on.

Good luck.

The "Trade Within a Trade" is a concept I get asked about each year, and it is really a great way to look at deal negotiations. Take "Offer A" and compare it to "Offer B". See what players got switched and decide if that was an upgrade or downgrade to the offer, then act accordingly. Looking at trades and negotiations piece by piece can be quite valuable.

Question 4

Question 4 is a bit different, but trading concepts still apply. "Zigzag" writes:

I am tired of getting 3rd place in my league.

8 Teams, Keep 4 each year, All TD 6pt, no PPR, rushing/rec yards 10=1pt, turnovers -2, no bonuses

We start 1QB/2RB/3WR/1TE/1PK/DT

  • QB- Brees and Cassel - Garrard, Kitna, and Warner are available
  • RB- ADP, S.Jackson, Portis, Forte, Chester Taylor, Pierre Thomas . (Available RBs-- LenDale White, Hightower, Steve Slaton, Norwood, Julius Jones, Andre Hall)
  • WR-Calvin Johnson, T.J. Housh, Santana Moss, Galloway- (Available WRs- Bryant Johnson, Mason, Vincent Jackson- Engram and Branch)
  • TE- Winslow- (available- Owen Daniels, Miller, Heap, Fasano)

My Questions

  1. Should I trade a RB for a good WR? Do I trade Portis or S.Jackson and get a stud? I could pick another RB like Slaton or Hightower for the future
  2. Should I stand pat and stash a Seattle WR on my bench to round out my WR corps?
  3. What would you do to make this team better?

And my answer:

Hi zigzag,

I'm not sure that Cassel is better than Warner. I might take Warner off the wire.

In general you need more help at WR with just 24 starters in your league. I don't see you having 3 of the Top 24. I'd consider moving a RB or a RB/WR pair to get a better starter and grab a goal line vulture like Hightower.

Good luck

Some trades are made with the waiver wire. The goal is still the same - getting better players for your fantasy team. The advantage of course is that you don't have any negotiations or other owners to deal with to make the move. The evaluations are still similar as you want the best available talent for your squad. Compare what you have versus what is available and make those moves.

Question 5

Our last question in Week 3 comes from "arlingtonpark27", who is talking trade as games approach:

I'm in a 12-team, 1/2 PPR, 1 pt / 10 yds rushing/receiving non-keeper league. We start 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K & 1 Def with a roster size of 15.

I would like to make a play for Ronnie Brown, but just trading Fred Taylor doesn't seem fair. I'm strongly considering trading Randy Moss & Fred Taylor for Braylon Edwards and Ronnie Brown. Should I pursue this option or add more to the deal or totally restructure the deal? We can also add draft picks, if that helps. Thanks for your help!

My team:

  • QB: Delhomme, Kitna, Schaub
  • RB: ADP, Fred Taylor, Felix Jones, Chester Taylor & Pierre Thomas
  • WR: Randy Moss, Reggie Wayne, Torry Holt & Santonio Holmes
  • TE: Owen Daniels, Zach Miller
  • K: None
  • D: Minnesota

His team:

  • QB: Favre, Warner
  • RB: Addai, Ryan Grant, Ronnie Brown, LenDale White
  • WR: B. Edwards, Andre Johnson, Ocho Cinco & Eddie Royal
  • TE: Tony Scheffler
  • K: Josh Brown
  • D: Green Bay

This seems like an average question, but there's a key point coming:

Hi arlington,

I'd go ahead and make the offer, see what happens. Find out what the other guy thinks, you never know what will work.

You have to watch your timing here as when trade offers are made late in the week then you leave the door open for a bad deal over the weekend / during the games.

Good luck.

The concern here is leaving an offer on the table as games kick off over the weekend. Do you really want a possible trade out there that is one click away from transacting? What if the players get hurt and the other owner decides to sell you damaged goods before you get to revoke that deal? Don't leave yourself open to this ugly possibility. Close all trade talks before the games start for that week.

So that will do it for the Week 3 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.