Six weeks are in the books, folks. Hopefully you all emerged one win better, and are fully prepared for things to get wild. Your league’s trade deadline is only a few weeks away and nearly every team will be attempting to bolster their lineup. Trade negotiations will catch fire and the chatter in your league will reach higher decibel levels. Message board pleas, rants, and proposals get posted more frequently this time of year, which is why we love playing this game. At this very moment, my own league is reaching “Cancun spring break” levels of wildness. It is now up to you to mix it up with your league mates and ensure that your league isn’t “T.G.I.Friday’s on Wednesday at 8pm” wild, but “three day bender in Thailand” wild. I sure know where I would rather be. Here are a couple of fantasy situations to check out this week, and an idea regarding a hot topic in the world of fantasy trades.
Tampa Bay Offense: Last week, the Bucs offense finally took a step in the right direction. Josh Freeman cracked 300 yards, Ernie Graham had a very productive day at RB, and three of the Tampa Bay wide outs got involved. This is a young (more so when Blount returns) offense that has the tools to succeed, and after a sluggish start to the 2011 season, this is the time to gauge the value of these players in your league. The upcoming schedule is decent, with Chicago at home this week and then a rematch with New Orleans coming after their bye. I expect Mike Williams to explode in the upcoming weeks and am hopeful that Freeman can keep his momentum rolling, so check in on these players now.
Try this: Use Tampa Bay’s week 8 bye to your advantage. This is a scenario where you don’t necessarily have to “buy low,” but “buy due to bye.” We could even go with “Buy buy bye” if you’ve got N*Sync on blast in your headphones right now…I’m not judging. Check out the teams that own Freeman, Williams, Graham, and even Arrelious Benn (a good throw in if a deal is in the works). Check to see if they have a stack of guys on bye in week 8. If so, attempt to relieve them of their issue. Start negotiations by discussing the other team’s week 8 dilemma and see if you can swing a favorable deal for one of these swashbucklers and ease their bye week burden.
Greg Little: There are not many players available on your waiver wire that have the potential to seriously impact your season down the stretch, but Gregory B. Little is one of them (not sure what his middle name is, but it’s probably badass). If he is still out there, this is your chance to make a serious addition to your squad. Little was promoted to the starting lineup in week 6, and the opportunity was not wasted as he grabbed 6 passes for 72 yards on a team high 12 targets. This 6’3’’ 231 lb stallion has all the makings of a star, and will be reaching that status sooner, rather than later. There aren’t many chances to get one of these guys at this level of value, so pounce now.
Try this: If you’re in the 76% of Yahoo! leagues where he’s available, please pick this guy up immediately. Congratulations, you are the proud new owner of a WR who could either help your team, or be a nice pawn in your elaborate 3-team trade web that somehow nets you Darren McFadden (trust me, I think up impossible schemes like that too and they always work much easier in my head). What if he’s already owned? Take out your wallet, flip it upside down, and shake out all of the recent waiver wire WR’s you’ve added. Victor Cruz, Denarius Moore, James Jones, Doug Baldwin, etc.. Start there and offer these guys up for Little. Hell, throw two of them together and see if that gets you close. If no deal gets done, begin creeping higher. Eric Decker, Heyward-Bey, Santana Moss…keep going until you are in low WR2 zone if you have too. Get this deal done before this Sunday’s juicy matchup with Seattle’s weak secondary.
Say No To Veto: (As always, the stories and accounts in the Smash Back are factual. All events and names are 100% real…mostly because I like making fun of the guys in my league).
I used to LOVE voting to veto other team’s trades. The rules of my hometown league were created with a requirement of 7 (out of 12) votes of “approval” before a trade was official. Anytime I saw a trade that was even 1% lopsided, I enjoyed smacking my mouse and submitted my vote to veto. I loved feeling like The Punisher of fantasy football…out to bring justice to unfair trades. Then, in September 2008, my entire prospective changed.
I was in Vegas for a bachelor party for one of my buddies from college. Sorry, no more details about that…there is a chance my mother may read this. So, I was standing in front of the Palms, when my phone got an explosion of text messages. Once I sifted through the shrapnel, I found that my two pals Chuck and Mikey had just made a trade of Edgerrin James for the Packers defense. Now, Edgerrin James had some crap-filled years at the end of his career, but he was coming off 1400 total yards and 7 TDs in 2007, and was just traded for a DEFENSE! I quickly dismissed this notion, as there was no way it would pass league vote. Then, inexplicably, it managed to slide through. Both guys made posts on the league site explaining why they made the deal, and the deal was approved. Dumbfounded, I stood in Vegas wondering what the hell was happening to my league.
As I returned home, I began to see the light. Both guys, whether I agreed with their rational or not (which I absolutely did not), had proved that collusion was not a factor. After that was established, I really couldn’t argue with approving the trade. Just because Chuck got a good deal, I couldn’t bring myself to stop the transaction. I felt like a new man as my league then voted to require an “approval vote” only if someone alleged collusion. We haven’t voted on a trade since.
Try this: Have you seen some crazy trades in your league this year? Then I’m sure you have seen the ensuing “message board battle” and threats of quitting. Not fun. If your league encounters this, contact your commissioner and propose this idea: Have each owner involved in the deal write an email to the commissioner outlining (in-depth) their reasons behind making the trade. After the commish reviews them, post a quick synopsis on the league site to illustrate to the entire league that collusion isn’t an issue, because collusion is the only reason a trade should ever be blocked. This seems strange at first, but trust me, trades are best handled this way. Just because one team gets the “initially perceived” advantage of a deal, doesn’t mean it should be blocked. After all, that’s what we are all trying to do…make trades that make our team better while giving up as little as possible. Don’t get angry if another owner makes a trade you don’t agree with…perhaps you should have gotten yourself involved in the trade discussion as well.
In case you’re curious, the 2008 season continued, as the “trade veto” option in our league did not. The trade that spawned this entire controversy ended up involving a running back who ran for a mere 500 yards that year, and a defense that allowed 24 points per game and was 26th in the NFL in rush defense. Unbelievably (or perhaps not), both Chuck and Mikey’s teams finished 2-11.