When I was a kid, I traded one of my toys to my friend for a Kirby Puckett figurine — which remains the best trade I have pulled off in my life to date. I can’t even remember what I gave up, but I know it was dumb, and I have that Puckett figurine to this very day. So, in a way, you could say I’m a decades-long trade guru, pertaining to life both inside and outside the fantasy football realm. Today, we’ll focus on the latter, and I’ll detail the framework for three-potential season-changing trades you should look into making in your fantasy football league. Notice the word “framework.” While some of the players involved in these deals may be close enough in value to pursue a straight-up deal, it’s fantasy trading 101 to shoot high and then work your way down. Not ever player listed will be a one-for-one match, but evaluate where your potential trade partner has needs, and where you might be able to find common ground. I’ll break down the framework for all of these deals in each blurb, but at the end of the day, we’re looking to steal value at a particular position by moving a player with a higher positional ranking for an asset with a more promising rest-of-season outlook. Alright, let’s go find your Kirby Puckett figurine!

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The Shadow Coverage Report – Week 1

Team: Minnesota Vikings

Opponent: Green Bay Packers

WR1: Adam Thielen

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Jaire Alexander

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Adam Thielen vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents
23 5.5 69 0.5 12.8
Vs. Shadow Coverage
5 5.8 76.8 0.6 14.2
Vs. Jaire Alexander
1 8 125 1 22.5

Season long Recommendation – Start

After a lost 2019 Adam Thielen looks to bounce back quick vs. division rival Green Bay and tier 2 shadow corner Jaire Alexander. Last season the Packers used Jaire Alexander to shadow Stefon Diggs, but with Diggs now gone Thielen will most likely draw coverage from the Packers top corner. The last time Thielen squared off directly vs. Alexander was in Week 12 of 2018. Thielen got the best of Alexander torching the Packers for 8-125-1. A big key for Thielen is he plays a lot of his snaps in the slot, and even vs. notable shadow corners like Marshon Lattimore he has shown he can win in these match-ups. This is why I got a Thielen that sitting him is a bad idea. Did you see what I did there…no…ok moving on. 

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Two weeks to go before the NFL season begins. Training camp coming to a close and position battles and injuries shaping the landscape. There are a few changes we need to pay attention to. Here are my updated LB rankings for your IDP drafts.  

Stock up

TJ Watt moves up from 11 to 8 as a lot of IDP leagues are starting to adjust their scoring systems and I think this helps Watt.  Look for Watt to dominate again this season and compete for the top spot in defensive player leagues.

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I know you’ve been on the edge of your seats waiting for the second half of my linebacker rankings to drop.  Well probably not but since you probably have to draft more than 2 in 12 team leagues, this should be useful.  We see the debut of three rookies for those who asked “Where are the rookies?” in response to my top 25.  We have three tiers here in the second 25 because, well, the differences between these players start to get smaller.  

Remember in leagues where you are starting two linebackers, these are all bench guys/bye week fillers if you were smart enough to take two of my top 25.  Here you want to look for upside if you took players towards the end of the top 25 or you just don’t agree with my rankings. If you took Darius Leonard, look for a guy who has a great matchup in week 7 because, well, you’re not benching him. Ever.  Or you can just go with the boring guy like Matt Milano who will give you tackles week in and week out.


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Last week, I had success with Trent Richardson over Bishop Sankey selection, but unfortunately the wide receiver battle was a dud for both sides. That’s just fantasy football and sometimes, you we have to just deal. I could go on and on about what this game means, and how hard we take our losses, but I want to give you something that we should all know and accept: That no matter how much we think we know about a player, it all comes down to what his team does as a unit. Or in the case of the Rams secondary, what they didn’t do on MNF when they went with the “let’s leave them wide open and see if they drop the ball” approach. Just Shameful!

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This past week was brutally tough on running backs. We saw several of them get injured and there are lead backs who will miss multiple weeks from the Denver Broncos and New York Giants. Factor in Kansas City and New Orleans are on bye this week, and it makes for a minefield of running backs to work through. We’ll help you get through it in this week’s column. Here we go.

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Keeping with the theme of moving into the future while looking at the past, we move on to Linebackers. The top crop of LBs in 2013 had a lot of the expected faces, along with a couple of rookies and some throwback performances by Ghosts of IDP Seasons Past.  But before we get to the top 20, there are others that warrant some discussion:

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Welcome to Bet the Farm, Razzball’s weekly NFL wagering contest. We’re back for our second season and ready to take you on over the course of 17 weeks of NFL play. For those new to the game, here are the rules:

  • You start with $1,000 in contest money to make wagers with.
  • You can wager on the spread or Over/Under for any NFL game, so long as your pick is made by kickoff of that game. The Yahoo Sports Odds page is a good place to get betting lines: you may use the best line you find available when you make your post, but revisions to wagers are not allowed.
  • Your wager must be in an increment of $10.
  • You must beat the House: Therefore, you only receive 90% of your wager for a win ($9 on a $10 bet), but lose 100% of your wager on a loss.
  • Your wager may be any amount between $10 and your full bankroll.
  • New this year: If you lose your entire bankroll, you are allowed a re-buy for another $1,000. Unlimited re-buys are available.
  • New this year: Bet the Farm staff will keep track of the full leaderboard for all participants. However, any player who has taken a re-buy will be listed below all players who have not taken a re-buy – even those with lower current balances. It’s always better to not lose all your money. Players will two re-buys will be listed below those with one re-buy, and so on.
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I already went over my (admittedly vague) definition of a Sleeper and Bust in the Defensive Line version of this article, but it’s worth revisiting. A sleeper is someone who will significantly outperform their draft position, allowing you to improve your team at other positions, while a bust is someone who will essentially do the opposite.

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As opposed to my 2013 DL Rankings, the top spot in the LB rankings is not quite as clear cut. Luke Kuechly took the #1 overall spot in 2012, as a rookie no less, so common sense would tell you that he will only improve in year 2. I’m not one to disagree with Thomas Paine, so Kuechly will appear at the top of my rankings, but he likely won’t be on any of my teams. Unlike the top Linemen, the top Linebackers are not worth reaching for in 2013.

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If you’re looking for a good way to avoid depression in the month following the Super Bowl, I recommend holding a Winter Meeting for your league. This is a perfect opportunity to meet up with your league-mates, award the championship trophy, and deliver your oft-rehearsed excuse why your team didn’t make the playoffs. (Pro-Tip: If […]

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