I am sure that many of you, like I, have been eye-balling this week for a while now. The cruel taste of injury, defeat, and Key Stone Light is fresh on our lips and now we are greeted with the one thing that can make this situation even worse. Bye weeks. In my own league, due to a heap (not Todd) of unfortunate circumstances, I am starting Texans FB/TE James Casey in my RB2 slot this week. I cannot explain the pain this causes me when I look at my team…I’m fairly certain it has already taken a month off the end of my life. Enough about me, let’s talk about YOU! Your league, especially if it’s 12 teams or deeper, has teams in similar situations. This makes the trade market even more volatile, as injuries, byes, and most importantly, the record of the team you’re dealing with all impact how a deal is made. Let’s check out some players and trade situations of note heading into week five, as well as a strategy to try out if your team is in need of boost.

Atlanta Passing Game: The two biggest pieces of the Atlanta passing game haven’t provided the type of returns that fantasy players were hoping for. Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez have been great, but the fantasy point totals of Matt Ryan have been lagging and Roddy White has been solid, but unspectacular. Look at the numbers a bit deeper and you’ll find a great reason to rip open that Velcro wallet of yours and buy these two Falcons. Matt Ryan has thrown a whopping six touchdowns this season, with only ONE to a wide receiver (Big Tony G has been bellied up to the touchie buffet). Ryan’s yardage totals have actually been decent, as he’s thrown for more yards than Eli, Vick, Schaub and Fitzpatrick. When the touchdowns starts pouring in, you better be there with your bowl and spoon.

Try this: Acquiring Roddy White may be difficult because he still carries great name value and hasn’t been too bad this year. I would talk to the owner of White and play up the Julio Jones situation. Casually ask White’s owner what he thinks about Jones’ big week and strong start to 2011. If there is even a hint of anxiety, start with a package like Jeremy Maclin or Brandon Marshall and Ryan Grant. Let them know that this new found “depth” will help them through bye weeks, while you take on Roddy’s “risk.” As for Ryan, see if a hot QB like Freeman or even Fitzpatrick will give the other owner a desired change at QB, while you pick up a nice value.

Ryan Torain: Old Shanny and the ‘skins running game have spun a dangerous web for fantasy players. Getting involved in this situation may seem like a good idea, but listen to my boy Short Round when he says, “Bad move, Doctor Jones!” Everyone is giddy because there seems to be a lead back available on the wire, but check yourself before you…you know the rest. Hightower is banged up but not dead, Helu is still on the team and Torain’s health issues have been well documented. If you were able to snag Torain this week off the wire, attempt to dump him now at his peak value.

Try this: Check out which teams in your league will be crushed with bye weeks in week six. Torain is on bye this week, but could fill in for those teams. McGahee, Chris Johnson, Matthews, Wells, etc.. will all be on byes, so see if their owners are looking ahead to that dilemma and would like to purchase Torain fresh off a big game. See if you can weasel yourself a nice WR2 out of the deal.

Brandon Marshall: This guy has struggled since the Dolphin’s week one shootout with New England, and recently lost Chad Henne for the year. Some, maybe most, would argue that this isn’t much of a loss, but I don’t want any part of this situation. Miami has averaged just a hair over 200 passing yards per game in weeks 2-4, and now they are starting Matt Moore. No thank you. Attempt to rid yourself of Marshall at once.

Try This: When attempting to trade a player in this situation, focus on the player’s total stats when presenting him to a potential trade partner. Despite his struggles since week one, Marshall is still 15th in the NFL in receiving yards. Play up that stat in trade talks and see if you can swipe a mid-level RB in return (aim for a Blount type, but be flexible) before this guy’s value plummets further.

The “Drop Kick”: This is a little strategy I began using this week in my league. If you’re in a deep league or aboard the “Injury/Bye Week Express” as I am, it can be a creative way to manipulate your roster to give you more options. I am a subscriber to the idea of not drafting a kicker if my draft is more than one week before the start of the season, and the “Drop Kick” strategy functions the same way. The idea is that kickers are kickers, and attempting to pick the best one each week is like trying to pick a song at a Karaoke bar…no matter which one you pick, it will probably suck. By dropping your kicker early in the week and adding one additional position player, you have the chance to stumble upon a player whose value increases due to breaking news later in the week. It doesn’t seem like much, but one practice set back/suspension/press conference remark can drastically change the way a player is viewed. In a world where teams are hammered by injuries and byes, any opportunity to snag a player who can contribute should be taken advantage of. Employ the “Drop Kick” to be ahead of the curve…

Try this: Drop your kicker. Now. This is the easy part. Then, stroll over to your league’s waiver wire and get your search on. Look for players who may gain value as the week progresses. Situations such as Rashard Mendenhall’s Injury, Cedric Benson’s impending suspension, or the void left in the Texan’s offense after Andre Johnson’s hammy explosion, all provide opportunities to take a flier heading into the weekend. Keep an eye on any breaking news involving the player after Thursday-Saturday practices/treatments, then re-evaluate your squad on Sunday morning. As you set your lineup, pick the least valuable player on your bench, cut him, and add your kicker for the week. If the player you add is equally as meaningless on Sunday morning as he was on Tuesday, then give him the axe and add whatever kicker is available. No big deal. If your squad is in desperation mode, an additional lottery ticket each week may be worth the work.

Now get out there and kick some ass this weekend. If you do try the “drop kick” strategy, make sure you set your alarm, drop an Advil or six, and remember to add a kicker. I’m talking to you, West coasters…that 10 a.m. start comes early after closing down the local watering hole on Saturday night.

  1. Jay says:
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    I am interested in acquiring White too. Is giving up McGahee and Marshall for White worth it? I have Best, Mccoy, Gore as my other backs already.

  2. George says:
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    I’m in the process of acquiring White…

    I get White/Starks
    I give Stevie/Greene

  3. bluety says:
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    should i trade saints def, and Garcon for tenns. def and Robert Meach

  4. Mikey says:
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    I was on the Casey Train last week but don’t have the fortitude to do it twice. ;)

    Trade advice. I’ve been working a guy all week.
    10 team league, flex is TE/WR only. Vick my QB1, Matthews, Hillis (gulp) my RBs

    I trade Fitzpatrick/Best for his players Stafford/Tolbert.

    Staff gets my bye-week start, plus Vick insurance and major trade material going forward. I’m just nervous about giving up Best when the Lions sked gets easier and he could turn into a legit RB1?

  5. Nick says:
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    The Steelers D has disappointed me all year, and I just picked up the Bills D (vs. the Eagles this week). Should I make the risky move and play the Bills D this week or play it safe with the Steelers?

  6. Jeff Brubach

    Jeff Brubach says:
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    @Jay: With those other backs on your team, I think that would be a good deal for you.

    @bluety: Im more of a defense streamer, so I look at it as pretty much Garcon for Meachem. Garcon had the big MNF game, but it was on only 2 catches. I like the Meachem side, even though those N.O. WR’s are wild cards from week to week.

    @Mikey: ha ya man, Casey is my only hope…there is literally nobody left on my wire at RB. As for the trade, I dont think I’d do it. In a 10 teamer, there has got to be a couple decent free agent QB’s available to plug in for Vick’s bye and in case of injury. I’m a big Stafford fan, but in a league of that size, I’d rather have the depth at RB than QB.

  7. Nick says:
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    Let me amend my previous question–the Buccaneers D is also available on waivers–should I go for them this week vs. SF?

  8. Jeff Brubach

    Jeff Brubach says:
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    @Nick: Pitt’s D has been disappointing for sure, but I’d rather have my D facing Hasselbeck than Mike Vick. Stick with Pitt.

  9. Jeff Brubach

    Jeff Brubach says:
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    @Nick: Pitt D vs TB D is kind of a toss up this week I’d say. Flip a coin.

  10. nick m. says:
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    12-team PPR (6 pts all TD’s). I have Stafford. Should I trade Romo and either Beanie Wells or Felix Jones for Forte?

  11. Jeff Brubach

    Jeff Brubach says:
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    @nick m.: Seems like a lot to give up at first glance, but if you’ve got that kind of depth at QB, then I think Romo and Felix would be a good deal for Forte, who is a certified PPR MONSTER.

  12. creepy peepe says:
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    Need some rb help got (ppr) (starks, ridley, jacobs, HighT and Torrain) would you drop Jacobs for Redman going forward? My te is Dustin Keller would you drop jacobs for Jared Cook or say a titus young?

    Thanks!!!

  13. Calogero says:
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    Deal Mathews and Manningham for Best, McGahee and Julio?

  14. Jeff Brubach

    Jeff Brubach says:
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    @Calogero: Pretty fair deal. I like Julio quite a bit. Even though Matthews is on the rise, I think I’d do it.

  15. Joeless Shoe says:
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    “Drop Kick” is a nice one. You can also “Drop D.”

    That’s two lottery tickets a week.

  16. Calogero says:
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    Alright, I’m actually the side dealing FOR Mathews…just wanted to see if the other team might consider it. Manningham is his #2 WR and he lacks depth, so he might take the deal.

    I have a lot of RB depth and wanted to upgrade, and Mathews is probably going to establish himself as a true RB1 soon if he already hasnt, and I think Manningham is a solid buy-low. He got a vote of confidence from the OC and the folks at PFF said he actually had a good game everywhere except the stat sheet. He’d be my #3 or 4 WR (Fitz, Santana, Decker), so he’d be mostly a bye filler or flex for good matchups.

  17. Jeff Brubach

    Jeff Brubach says:
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    @Calogero: I see what you’re saying. Like I said before, its a pretty good deal for both sides. Matthews is definitely worth dealing for at this point, so I wouldnt argue one bit.

  18. Calogero says:
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    @Jeff Brubach: The other dude already has McFadden and McCoy, so it’s kind of unfair that he even has Mathews. But, like I said, his only good WR is DeSean and the only other WR on his roster are Manningham and Sims Walker.

  19. Jumz says:
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    Brew it’s great you are doing this! My question is who should I go with as my flex in a PPR, Ryan Grant, Jacoby Jones, or Addai?

    Miss ya buddy, hope all is going well.

    Jimmy

  20. anthony says:
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    I want to take advantage of an 0-4 team owner. Wanna see what u think.

    I get matt forte
    I will give him lesean mccoy and julio jones.
    Too little? Or fair?
    Or bad trade for me?
    My recievers are calvin welker desean and santana
    My backs r arian mccoy beanie n grant
    Non ppr league

  21. passarelli says:
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    Thanks answering all questions…

    Need some rb help got (ppr) (starks, ridley, jacobs, HighT and Torrain) would you drop Jacobs for Redman going forward? My te is Dustin Keller would you drop jacobs for Jared Cook or say a titus young?

    Thanks!!!

  22. anthony says:
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    I’m thinking about it and maybe I should just offer beanie and julio. He has no reciever depth. Best he has is wayne.
    I think that would work better for me. Lol

  23. Mac says:
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    Trade Marshall for Sproles in .5 ppr?

  24. Jeff Brubach

    Jeff Brubach says:
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    @George: I like that deal. Go for it.

    @creepy peepe: Doesn’t sound like Mendenhall’s injury is too serious, so I’d hang onto Jacobs unless you are really strapped for an RB this week. As for TE, Cook has serious talent, but I don’t know if I’d make that move just to add a backup TE.

    @Joeless Shoe: Good call, I’m a defense streamer as well so that would work nicely.

    @Jumz: Thanks man! Jones has some monster upside but hasn’t taken advantage of situations like this in the past. Tough call for sure, but I’d go Grant. McCarthy was really talking about feeding him tons of carries before the kidney issue and it appears he’s ready to roll.

    @anthony: I agree with you. He’s the one in a desperate situation right now. Start with the lower offer and work your way up.

  25. Commish Cauda says:
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    12-team, 0.5ppr…Start QB/2RB/3WR/TE

    I lost Jamaal Charles and have been scrambling at RB ever since…

    My RBs are Benson, DeAngelo Williams, Brandon Jacobs, DeMarco Murray and Bernard Scott

    My WRs are Fitz, Vincent Jackson, Victor Cruz and Burleson

    Trade Fitz & DeAngelo Williams FOR Felix Jones & Sidney Rice?

    What if he won’t do Rice but will do Garcon?

  26. flyinhawiianpizza says:
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    I want to try and make a run at Roddy. I’m pretty stacked at WR already, but I’m all about buying low on him right now. Here’s my current situation in a 10 team, non-PPR league:

    QB: Cam/Schaub
    RB: McCoy/Beanie/Felix/Starks
    WR: Fitz/Austin/Holmes/L. Moore/M. Thomas/Garcon
    TE: Graham

    The idea of a Fitzgerald, Austin, Roddy corps is making me salivate. Any way I can get this deal done offering Holmes + a RB not named McCoy?

  27. Jeff Brubach

    Jeff Brubach says:
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    @Commish Cauda: I got hosed by Charles too, I feel you. Im not sure about about this deal. It will significantly drain your WR’s. I would try to get a slightly better WR in return than Rice, but dont do the deal with Garcon or anyone less than Rice.

    @flyinhawaiianpizza: Pretty nice looking team you’ve got here. I would give it a shot with Beanie and Holmes. Beanie is off a big game so perhaps they would bite if they needed RB help.

  28. vinny says:
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    Hey Jeff,

    I’m stacked at rb with Foster, Mathews, McFadden, and Felix. I need a #1WR real bad. I don’t think Felix gets me a #1 so which one of my big 3 should I trade?? I like all 3 very much so I’m having a hard time with this. Thanks!

  29. Neil Scneider says:
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    getting Fitzpatrick,Tomlinson for White,Cutler. Should i go ahead with the trade ?

  30. EYYOITSMEJERRY says:
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    Is it ever too early to start thinking about playoff matchups? I have two undefeated teams (okay 1 has a tie). Forte in both. Love the value from him considering I draftet him as my RB2 in both leagues. Would you trade Forte for Foster? Foster has some nice matchups during playoff time.

  31. Jeff Brubach

    Jeff Brubach says:
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    @Mac: Not sure if I’d do that, depends on your RB needs, of course.

    @vinny: That’s a serious stack of backs. I would start by fishing around to see what Felix will actually get you. You may be able to swing a pretty solid #2 WR out of the deal. I’d keep all three of the other backs if at all possible. They are beasts.

    @Neil Scneider: What side are you on?

    @EYYOITSMEJERRY: I think it’s still a bit early for looking at playoff matchups, but I wouldn’t argue with that trade at all. Foster looks healthy and should be getting tons of carries from here on out.

  32. Neil Scneider says:
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    I am giving up White+Cutler for Fitzpatrick+Tomlinson.
    my QBs in a 2 QB league are Cutler and Roethlisberger, both get sacked all the time.
    my team is heavy on WR-
    have a couple of Tier 1 WRs- Mike Wallace, Steve Smith.
    Tier 2 – Steve Johnson, A.J. Green
    thinking that it is a fair trade considering I need a decent QB and RB.
    So I am on the side that is trading away White. ( currently on my roster )
    appreciate your comments

  33. Jeff Brubach

    Jeff Brubach says:
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    @neil scneider: that’s an awful lot to give up..try to get a better rb than tomlinson in addition to Fitzpatrick.

  34. friar says:
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    Could I get your thoughts on a couple trade proposals? I’m trying to upgrade my WR shituation and have come up with a couple of proposal ideas. Could you tell me, for each trade (1) do you think it’s fair (i.e. has a chance of being accepted) and (2) which side gets the better value?

    A) Give Jahvid Best for Maclin and Graham
    B) Give McFadden for Roddy White OR Fitzgerald (which one should I target?)
    C) Give Tolbert for Maclin

    Thanks so so much!

  35. Jeff Brubach

    Jeff Brubach says:
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    @friar: I think all three are pretty close to being fair. I’d take Best in “A”, McFadden in “B” and Maclin in “C”

  36. bluety says:
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    My team Vick, CJ, Ingram and Ridley or Redman…. Nicks, Maclin, Decker, A. Brown and Plax. My TE is Witten. Should I trade Ridley and Witten for S. Jackson and Brandon Pettigrew? Thanks

  37. Jeff Brubach

    Jeff Brubach says:
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    @bluety: I think I would do that. Steven Jackson didnt have any setbacks last week, and he’ still the horse there while Ridley will split carries more, although he’s very talented. Sounds pretty good.

  38. Jay says:
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    I was offered Roddy and J. Cook for D. Thomas and Gronkowski. I have Gates as my other tight end, and Mendenhall, ridley, greene, forte as rb’s. Should I make this trade even though I have Andre and Stevie Johnson as my wr’s?

  39. Jeff Brubach

    Jeff Brubach says:
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    @Jay: I’d hold off. Thomas will be good the rest of the way and youre backs need help more than your wide outs, I would say.

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