Hello again Razzball readers! I’ve really been enjoying contributing to Razzball so far and I look forward to answering more questions and helping more fantasy teams. Mike Braude and I will be working as a team and editing each other’s columns so feel free to ask either of us any questions; we’d love to help! And check us out on Twitter at @AsherMolk and @BraudeM
Buying low and selling high is quite simple: getting players whose actual value is more than their perceived value, and trading away players whose actual value is less than their perceived value. This works best on impatient owners who just look at box scores, and don’t actually watch players or pay attention to their situation.
Before we get started, there are a few common pieces of advice that I gave to many readers about trading and adding players. I’d like to share them with you:
- Trading away two decent/good players for one great player is almost always a great idea. Usually, the person getting the one player wins the deal. These kinds of deals are usually a great idea; it’s more beneficial to have the better player on your roster.
- NEVER lead with your best or final trade offer! Instead, start small, even offer deals they probably won’t do to start with. This doesn’t mean offer Mason Crosby for Ryan Mathews, but you never know what a person may say yes to, it’s often quite surprising. If you lead with your best offer, you have nowhere to go but down. Start by being a little optimistic…
- If there are quality players on your waiver wire that you want but you do not know whom to drop, let go of your kicker and/or defense for that player. You can always make a trade to make roster space, or make a game-time decision on whom you want to drop. A lot can happen in a week, and you don’t want to miss out on the next Miles Austin or Brandon Lloyd just because you think Sebastian Janikowski will average 1 more point per game than Olindo Mare.
- Target owners who are close to the bottom of the standings – they are probably the most willing to do a desperation move in order to shake up their team. Also, make sure to target players the owner is likely frustrated with.
A tweet I received gave me an interesting idea. This week, I did not see any significant buy lows or sell highs- many of them are the same that I mentioned in previous weeks. In this column, I’m going to do something unprecedented in the world of sports- I’m going to admit I was wrong. The following are guys that I said to buy or sell that you should stop buying or selling, respectively. Fantasy football is a game that must be reevaluated week to week. No one is correct all the time, and even though I backed up my opinions with evidence I’m not going to pretend I’m an exception from that rule. It is only right that I admit when I was wrong, and not let stubbornness impede important decisions.
Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL- I wrote about Anquan Boldin as a good sell high in week 7, right after he went for an 8-132-0 line against the Houston Texans. He must have heard about my column, because in the three games since then, he’s averaged 6 catches for 91 yards with one touchdown. He could’ve had more too- he drew three pass interference calls in the end zone against Arizona. There is no doubting he has lost a lot of explosion, but Torrey Smith’s presence has opened things up for him, and Flacco has shown an immense amount of trust in him. He’s a proven to be a WR2, with more value in PPR leagues. Trade him if its fair value, but I don’t think he qualifies as a sell high until further notice.
Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL- Like Boldin, I wrote about Tony Gonzalez in week 7. Since then I expected for him to slow down because of their reversion to a more ball control offense. But his targets have not dropped since then- he had 6 targets last week, which qualifies as the second least he’s had all year. There is not a receiver that Matt Ryan trusts more in the red zone than Gonzalez, and he has proven to be a late round steal as a TE1. I have been ragging on Gonzalez since the start of the season, but he has proved he has more left in the tank. He is a more than adequate option.
Demarco Murray, RB, DAL- I had a few detractors on this “sell high” when I wrote about Murray in week 8, and they turned out to be right. I had two issues with Murray: 1. He lacked the talent to keep up explosive production. 2. The backfield would become a committee upon Felix Jones’s return. But Murray has proven me wrong- he is a guy who knows where to run, and shows no hesitation when he chooses his hole. He has 30 carries for 213 yards since week 8, good for a 7.1 yard per carry average. He has played well enough that every indication is that Murray will continue as the lead back getting 15+ touches a game when Jones returns. In a fantastic situation, Murray will likely continue to produce- he has potentially fulfilled the role in an explosive offense that some had for Felix Jones when they drafted him this summer.
Desean Jackson, WR, PHI- As I wrote about last week, buying Desean Jackson is not for the faint of heart- to be fair, I did warn about his ultimate boom or colossal bust potential. But it’s gotten to a point where it’s probably time to stop buying, even after one week. Here’s why: Andy Reid has openly admitted that he uses Desean Jackson as a decoy much of the time to open up the field for Jeremy Maclin and Lesean McCoy. Unlike fellow deep threats Mike Wallace and Calvin Johnson, Jackson brings nothing else to the table. That hasn’t been a problem in the past, but the sample size has been large enough recently to conclude that teams are figuring out how to stop him with just one man sometimes. With the fantasy playoffs coming up, it’s tough to take such a big risk of a goose egg unless your lineup is already very strong. He is beginning to fall off the WR2 radar.
Philip Rivers, QB, SD- Clearly, there is something wrong with the usually Pro Bowl caliber quarterback. Whether it’s a mental block or a physical injury, it is time to stop pretending everything is OK. Rivers is somewhat of a gunslinger, but there is simply no excuse for the volume of turnovers he is churning out: 14 in 9 games (11 picks, 3 fumbles lost). He is still putting out decent yardage numbers, but until last week the touchdowns have not been there to outweigh the negative points of the turnovers- he ranks 11th in fantasy QB scoring. Gates’s return and Vincent Jackson finally getting 100% healthy will help, but there is no reason to believe he is suddenly going to stop giving the ball to the other team.
Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA- When Thomas is healthy, he’s proven to be effective (albeit in a small sample size). But that’s just it- hamstring injuries don’t just go away, as Peyton Hillis, Andre Johnson, and Miles Austin (when he was out earlier in the season- his recent injury was to his other hammy) have so painfully reminded fantasy owners. There are some people who can still perform when they are dinged up (Adrian Peterson comes to mind), but like Beanie Wells, Thomas isn’t close to the same player when he is hurting as evidenced by his 2.7 yards per carry since week 3. Add into the fact that Reggie Bush has stopped playing like Reggie Bush and actually shown some consistency (I still don’t like him as a buy, though) and Thomas is probably in for committee time if/when he returns.
I’m looking forward to answering more questions! Ask ‘em either here or on Twitter: @AsherMolk