The five day wait between weeks 1 and 2 can be a lonely time. After months of fantasy anticipation, countless hours of research and time spent crafting your league trophy acceptance speech, 0-1 can feel a lot like 0-4. However, this is NOT the time to panic. That’s what the dummies in your league are doing, and obviously you’re the genius of your league because you’re here at Razzball right now. Four days ago, you were certain that you had just assembled the greatest team of fantasy monsters in the universe, so don’t let a week one defeat at the hands of Kenny Britt lead to any rash decisions. Hold onto your studs, but don’t be shy about capitalizing on the panic of others.
Week one was a bit bi-polar and the awesome/crappy performances of a handful of teams have created some nice windows for potential trade value. Here are a few teams to scope out and one trade strategy you’ll be putting to use this week…
ATLANTA: Wow, 12 points. Everyone’s favorite preseason offense managed to play an entire game without getting into the end zone. Hopefully this performance dimmed some of the glow from this offense in the eyes of your competition. All of the pillars were there: 8 grabs for Roddy, 300+ for Matt Ryan, and Turner ran for 100 while catching 3 passes in a game for only the third time in his career. All that was missing were the points, which is where fantasy players feast.
PITTSBURGH: Yes, it was against the Baltimore defense, but this performance was beyond ugly. Throwing 3 picks and a single touchdown is not how we envisioned the season beginning for Large Ben, but that’s all about to change. Check out the Pittsburgh schedule. After consecutive 42-6 beat downs of the Seahawks and Colts, you won’t see a Steeler anywhere near a trade block. Now is the time to strike.
Try this: Scan the rosters of the 0-1 teams in your league and look for those that contain Falcons or Steelers. These are the people in your league most likely to buckle and give up on Mendenhall or Ryan after their week one bombs. Strike up a dialogue with your targeted team and make sure to remind them how nice it feels to start out with a win. I’d throw out the names of buzz backs like Beanie and Hightower to anchor a package for any of the top Steelers or Falcons.
WASHINGTON: Please, settle down. The ‘Skins had a nice week 1 victory over the division rival Giants but let’s not get carried away. Rex Grossman is still Rex Grossman. He’s hopefully older and wiser at this point in his career, but there is a reason he hasn’t been handed the keys to a week 1 start since 2007. Grossman has played more than 8 games in a season exactly once and is the owner of a shiny 42/40 career touchdown to interception ratio. No thanks. Running back Tim Hightower’s productive fantasy day masked a crusty 2.9 yards per carry average. That’s getting down to Marshawn Lynch range and you don’t want to be anywhere near a Seahawks reference these days. Washington has a fairly soft upcoming schedule so the window to trade these guys may stay open a bit longer, but don’t hesitate to flip them at any time.
Try this: Immediately start engaging in trade talks with Steven Jackson’s owner and see if you can work out a deal with a Hightower based package. Hightower is most likely not one of your top 2 backs so you should be able to endure a couple weeks without Jackson and then roll out a serious team when he returns. In terms of Grossman, hold onto him and see if he builds up some more value against Arizona this week before you sell.
DETROIT: The Lions came out in week 1 with a solid 27-20 win over Tampa Bay, in a game where Matthew Stafford was in complete control. The Lions half of that box score is stuffed with points and now is the time to saddle up to this young, explosive offense and all the fantasy greatness it has to offer. If you’re willing to gamble on the enormous injury risks here, there are piles of fantasy points to be had from the Lions. Personally, I love me some gambling and I’ve got already got all my huevos in the Stafford basket. Staff, Best, ‘Tron and even Burleson will be hooking your team up with fantastic fantasy production this season, but trading for them won’t be easy.
Try This: Master the “Pupu Platter” – A savvy fantasy football day trader I know came up with this term, and I love it. The guy has pulled off many a good trade with this strategy and you can too. The term “Pupu Platter” is used to describe a trade offer of multiple lower/mid-level players for one stud player. Instead of a platter consisting of fried shrimp, egg rolls, and beef skewers, you hit the hibachi and fire up a spread with Shonn Greene, Sidney Rice, and Malcolm Floyd as the ingredients. Obviously nobody is going to accept three waiver wire caliber players for Andre Johnson, so don’t be afraid to offer up some decent names.
For example, say you offer up your RB2, WR3 and WR4 for a top running back. The key here is to analyze the deal from the back end. After you complete a trade like this, you will have two open roster spots which will be filled with waiver wire players. The players you subsequently pick up won’t be stars, but could conceivably contribute to your team at some point and THAT is the key to the deal. You can probably pick up two new WR5’s off the wire, which will help offset the loss of your WR3 and WR4. After it all shimmy-shakes out in your Whirlpool, you’re dealing your RB2, WR3, and WR4 for a stud RB and 2 WR5’s. You always want to be receiving the best player in any trade and this is how it can be done.
Now wipe off the barbeque sauce from your remote control, clean up the empty cans of PBR from the weekend and see which owners in your league might be ready to flip the panic switch and hand over an impact player.