Hey there, Razzballers! Hope you are all gearing up for the playoff run and are ready to win some championships! This week, I thought it would be appropriate to also address those in keeper leagues who weren’t fortunate enough to make the playoffs and to begin gearing up for next season. Now is the perfect time to get great keepers and value for next year from teams who are trying to win now- if you can’t make the playoffs, you have little to nothing to lose. For those of you looking for more playoff buys and sells, I made a list with notes right below these “keeper” buys. I encourage you to ask questions, and to follow up on those questions if my answer isn’t satisfactory or clear to you. Please do not be hesitant- I do not at all mind multiple questions or long posts! You can also give me a follow and ask questions on Twitter: @AsherMolk

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:

  1. Trading away two decent/good players for one great player is almost always a great idea. Usually, the person getting the one (presumably better) player wins the deal.
  2. 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…
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

“KEEPER” BUYS 

Kenny Britt, WR, TEN and Jamaal Charles, RB, KAN- These two are on the list not because their talent is a secret- they are two of the most dynamic playmakers at their position. But some owners may be scared after both underwent reconstructive knee surgery after tearing their ACLs. Obviously it’s a serious injury with long rehab, but there is plenty of room for optimism. Both of their injuries occurred in the first three weeks of the season, leaving plenty of time for proper rehab and not having to worry about rushing back for the beginning of next year. Second and most importantly, these are two incredibly young players: Britt is only 23, and Charles only 24. Many fantasy owners will remember the days where an ACL tear was borderline career-ending injuries, but that is not the case today. Surgery and rehab have made magnificent strides in the past 10 years, and the fact that these two are so young mean that these two should come pretty close to returning to full form next year. If your team is out of contention, see if either of them are on teams fighting for a playoff spot- owners would likely give them for a solid starter or bench depth for their attempt at a championship run.

Greg Little, WR, CLE- Its very tough to recommend a Browns player for the long term, but Little cannot be ignored. He is a giant wide receiver at 6’3”, 231 lbs with gamebreaking after the catch ability. The Browns know this, which is a good and a bad thing: because of Colt McCoy’s pathetic arm strength, they put Little in the slot in order for McCoy to be able to consistently get him the ball. But the slot is an incredibly crowded place, with linebackers and safetys clogging the middle of the field after the catch- thus, Little’s talents largely go to waste. He would be much more of an asset if he lined up outside the hash marks where he would get more 1-on-1 opportunities, where he would be able to break a single tackle and churn out long gains after the catch. The Browns have made it pretty clear that they do not see McCoy as a solid starter for next year, let alone the long term answer at QB. They will continue to force the ball into their only pass-catching playmaker’s hands next year, and whoever is playing quarterback next year will certainly have a stronger arm than McCoy, allowing Little to move outside where he belongs. Better yet, he could cost you almost nothing- a perfect candidate for multi-keeper leagues if you are looking for a cheap 2nd or 3rd keeper, especially if you are gearing up for the playoffs and don’t want to sell the farm for a good keeper.

Titus Young, WR, DET- Although he hasn’t shown much production, Titus Young has had a very solid rookie season, learning the NFL game and getting acclimated with Matthew Stafford. It is going to be a pass-happy offense in Detriot for a long, long time and the Lions didn’t use such an early pick on Young this year for no reason- they see him as the long-term complement to Calvin Johnson. Nate Burleson has been siphoning Young’s potential value this year, but lacks explosion and isn’t getting any younger- I’m confident Young will dominate the snaps next year. I think he can be at least a very solid WR3 next year with upside, and is likely very cheap to acquire.

Roy Helu, RB, WAS- Sooner or later, Mike Shanahan will realize that Helu is his best running back. I don’t know if we can bank on that being this year, but Helu’s skill set fits Shanny’s zone blocking scheme very well- it would be a surprise if Helu doesn’t enter next season as the main back in Washington. Ryan Torain has shown absolutely nothing since his “breakout” performance early in the year, and Tashard Choice was so ineffective that they released him and brought up Evan Royster (who would still be on the practice squad if Choice was at all decent). Helu has made progress this season, as evidenced by his passing game prowess- he did next to nothing in the passing game at Nebraska, and had to begin learning it in this lockout-shortened offseason. Now, he is their passing down back.

AJ Green, WR, CIN and Julio Jones, WR, ATL- These two rookies have made big splashes so far this year- they aren’t on this list because they are “sleepers”. But there’s a very good chance that there are playoff contending fantasy teams who are worried about their injuries and would deal them for a replacement for the fantasy playoffs- this is a perfect place to pounce for those outside of the playoff picture. I believe that these receivers’ floors for next year are WR2s, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make the transition Hakeem Nicks made from 2009 to 2010 when he exploded as a sophomore.

Favorite Playoff Buys- Dez Bryant, Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Santana Moss, Fred Davis, Cedric Benson (average player, great schedule), Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte (There will be owners overreacting to relatively slow past few games and Cutler’s injury, but they are going to lean on him hard)

Sell, Sell, Sell- Dwayne Bowe (Get him off your roster at all costs- the schedule gets impossibly brutal, and Palko is a joke), Laurent Robinson (he will continue to be solid until Miles Austin returns, but will be 5th or 6th priority for touches when Austin does indeed come back), Vernon Davis (Production has been a little better recently, but will go back to blocking with Baltimore and Pittsburgh coming up on the docket)

Keep Buying/More Buy Lows- Percy Harvin, Roddy White, Jonathan Stewart, Michael Vick (very risky, but has the potential for dominance that could take you to the promised land)

Keep Selling- Marshawn Lynch, Plaxico Burress, Jackie Battle, Maurice Jones-Drew

Stop Buying/Not Buying- Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews (still at least an RB2, but injury risk and playoff schedule hurts him), Robert Meachem, Harry Douglas, Jerricho Cotchery, Chris Ogbonnaya, Brent Celek, Chris Johnson (even as a Titans fan, I’ve given up hope. He doesn’t care), Nate Burleson, Rex Grossman (We’ve seen this show before, regression is inevitable. But he will take shots downfield and support Davis and Moss), Jabar Gaffney, Reggie Bush

Stop Selling/Not Selling– Demarco Murray, Tony Gonzalez, Victor Cruz, Cam Newton, Michael Turner (hate to admit this one, but his schedule is really good…I’d definitely still deal him at any sort of decent price though), Arian Foster (he’s only on here for this: Don’t trade him for anything- Schaub’s injury doesn’t hurt his value much if at all), Carson Palmer, Denarius Moore, Antonio Brown, Jordy Nelson (top fantasy receiver in GB now), Matt Forte

 

This will indeed be the final buy low/sell high article that I write this year. It has sincerely been a fantastic experience for me, and I’m very glad I could share it with you all. It was my first year as a fantasy writer, and I thank you all for making this an enjoyable yet challenging experience. You guys are truly, truly awesome! I hope I helped your fantasy teams and didn’t damage them too much! If your deadline extends past this week and you still have questions, keep asking on this page/article or ask me on Twitter. I will now be focusing my efforts on helping Mike Braude do his fantastic “Matchups” column, you can catch me on there as well. Thanks again!

  1. Big Nate says:
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    I’m sitting in fifth place and trying to sneak into the playoffs. We start 2 RBs and 3 WRs with no flex. Current roster looks like this:

    RB1 – Forte
    RB2 – Starks / BJGE
    WR1 – Jordy Nelson
    WR2 – Brandon Lloyd
    WR3 – Hakeem Nicks

    This week my first-round pick Andre Johnson makes his triumphant return so I’m sitting on 4 WRs. I’m trying to deal for an RB2 upgrade and have received an offer for both Jacobs + Bradshaw for Nicks.

    Do I do the deal or work for something better?

  2. Brad says:
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    Keeper league, keep 10: should I trade dwayne bowe and tate for vincent jackson? Both tate and bowe are keepers right now.

    My other rbs are foster, m bush and bradshaw.
    My other wrs are andre johnson, steve smith, miles austin, earl bennett, and mario manningham.

    Does it help me long/short term?

  3. Salty Balty says:
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    I need to choose 2 of these 3 for WR this week. Who should I go with: Harvin, D. Bryant, and/or B. Lloyd. Great column and happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Francis Scott says:
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    Rest of Season:
    Darren Sproles or DeMarco Murray

  5. Big Nate says:
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    Also choose 2 out of this pile of garbage for 0.5 PPR – Titus Young, Damian Williams, Eric Decker, Stevie Johnson. Who’s your favorite? 2nd favorite? Close call?

    Thanks for all you do!

  6. Blake Schmidt says:
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    Keeper question. I am playing for next year we can only keep 3 but it can’t be from the same position. The players I am wondering about are trading Maclin for a future draft pick & keeping Britt . Trading Matt Ryan & keeping Locker. all trades for future picks. Thank you for all the great help this year.

  7. Chris says:
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    You’re done a great job with these articles this year, thanks for taking the time. If I was one to use twitter, I would definitely be a follower!

    I’m at 5-6 and need to win both of the final 2 weeks (including next week’s matchup vs the guy I’m chasing) to make the playoffs.

    Pretty set at all 3 WRs (R White, N Washington, and L Robinson) and 2 RBs (Foster and Forte), but I don’t know who to play at FLEX and QB.

    .5 PPR –
    FLEX: McGahee @ SD, Gerhart @ ATL, D Williams @ IND, Tate @ JAX, or Addai vs CAR (would obviously wait to see if he’s actually playing this week)?….. Only reason I would consider Addai is due to the weak CAR matchup, but he’s been off a long time.

    QB: Palmer vs CHI, Grossman @ SEA, Ponder @ ATL or Locker vs TB?…. Palmer wasn’t great last week and I’ll be using the CHI defense. Usually prefer to avoid starting a QB AND the defense he’ll be opposing if I can. Seems like 1 of the 2 will always do poorly, but I’m not sure if I have a choice this week.

  8. john says:
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    0 ppr. starks, mcknight, addai or tate at 2nd rb? i know, it’s ugly.

  9. Cheeeeeeze says:
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    non-ppr league who do you start:

    2 of: Forte, Micheal Bush (assuming McFadden is out again), or DeMarco Murray

    2 of: Dez, Steve smith (car), or fitzgerald… leaning to fitz and dez

    Thanks for writting and congrats on your first year… this has been my fav weekly football article on the year!

  10. FoReal says:
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    @Francis Scott: Murray and it’s not all that close.

  11. Chris says:
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    @Chris:

    I forgot to mention Ogbonnaya @ CIN for FLEX considerations…..he was my FLEX the last 2 weeks w/ decent matchups and no in-house competition, but CIN is tough and Hardesty is coming back.

    So it’s Ogbonnaya, McGahee, Gerhart, D-Will, Tate, or Addai at FLEX. (Yes, my bench is entirely composed of low end running backs. I’m a shameless RB hoarder.)

  12. EK says:
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    With Fred Jackson out who to go with for a flex spot (non PPR) Spiller or
    M. Williams (TB)?

  13. Lambent Larry says:
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    Tough flex question . . . Kevin Smith vs. GB or Marques Colston vs. NYG?

  14. DP says:
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    Do I cut Felix Jones for CJ Spiller with the news that FJax may be out for the season? He has never been impressive, but will potentially get more of an opportunity than Jones unless Murray goes down.

  15. Steve Stevenson says:
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    Thanks, guys. Great work. With the news that Addai might be ready to go, would you drop Jacobs for him? Strictly a depth play, would not likely start either barring injury.

  16. shiva ring says:
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    Thanks for the help this year. Clinched playoffs and here’s what I am bringing to the playoffs (ppr & point per completion):
    QB: Freeman / Lienert
    WR1: MegaTron
    WR2: B. Lloyd
    RB1: Shady McCoy
    RB2: D. Murray
    TE: Daniels / Fred Davis
    Flx: Ant Brown / M. Lynch
    K: Akers
    Def: Pitt / Cincy

    Clearly my QB situation is bad. Making trades for a QB in my league is next to impossible without giving up one of my studs. I have some roster space to play with (Felix Jones and mo morris are just sitting there). I am thinking of picking up some garbage QBs and playing them based upon matchup. Not much out there – even Flacco and Dalton are gone. Any deep picks at QB that would feature nice playoff matchups?
    Thanks.

  17. Dale says:
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    Starks or Spiller in a 0 ppr?

  18. zandercage says:
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    Hey –

    Need help with Flex this week. Standard scoring –

    J. Stewart
    Harvin
    A. Brown

    Thanks!!!

  19. DANgerous says:
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    Nice read! Need some help…
    Flex spot
    Percy Harvin or Reggie Bush this week? I want to start Bush because everyone clowned on me for drafting him, and also play the league commish who went out of his way to remind me I drafted bush in a league blog, he’s lost 4 in a row and Ive won 5 in a row, If I win this week, I can eliminate him from the playoffs & clinch mine! I am leaning Mr.Percy, because I feel the vikings will use him way more in the backfield this week due to AP being out
    (who I also own)
    Also is starting the Raiders over the Patriots D a good one? Thanks in advance!

  20. Nico says:
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    I need Help. 2 Leagues. 1st one is PPR: bush or spiller. 2nd one NON PPR: Bush, Ingram, Spiller ?

  21. stucky says:
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    percy harvin or mike williams for this week in a ppr?

  22. Super says:
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    Asher,
    Thanks again for the articles….. Didn’t read this one because I’m sitting on second place to earn a bye in the playoffs. Which DEF team do you think will be the best during the playoffs (Week 14(bye), 15, 16)

    For the fun of it. Which RB back would you play this week : Demarco, Bush (or McFadden) or Mendenhall?

  23. phorts says:
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    Thank you for the great reads all year. Got Helu, Little, and a few others on this list in Dynasty. Sadly, already looking forward to next year!

  24. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Big Nate: Look for something better. Try to package Green-Ellis and Nicks for a good RB.

  25. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Brad: It helps you long term, but I would be very, very leery of giving away Tate if I owned Arian Foster. You definitely get a boost in value, but its incredibly risky. If you believe you truly have a shot at the championship then consider it, but Tate is arguably the most valuable handcuff in fantasy.

  26. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Salty Balty: Thank you, happy Thanksgiving to you as well! Gotta go Lloyd and Dez.

  27. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Francis Scott: Murray. Its a little closer in PPR, but still definitely Murray.

  28. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Big Nate: Steve Johnson and Williams. Johnson is the best option, while Decker and Young won’t get very many targets and catches (for different reasons though). Williams is the best bet for looks.

  29. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Blake Schmidt: Really like both ideas. See if you can swing maybe Palmer for Ryan, but I do think Locker is intriguing.

  30. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Chris: Thanks! You gotta go Palmer and McGahee, it isn’t very close. I know its inconvenient to start your QB against your defense, but at the end of the day your best players are your best players.

  31. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @john: I’m gonna say Tate- I see at least 10 carries for him.

  32. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Cheeeeeeze: Definitely Bush and Forte, but the wide receivers are very, very tricky. Gotta start Smith in my opinion, and probably Fitzgerald. I love Dez though. I’m actually going to say go with your gut here- 3 elite options.

  33. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Cheeeeeeze: And thanks for the kind words, really appreciate it!

  34. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Chris: Still McGahee

  35. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @EK: I’ll go Spiller- at least he’s guaranteed touches.

  36. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Lambent Larry: My vote is Colston, but its kinda close.

  37. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @DP: Go for it!

  38. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Steve Stevenson: Thanks! And yea, go ahead and do that.

  39. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @shiva ring: If people like that are gone, then there’s no point in replacing Freeman. I think you may be pleasantly surprised by him due to his schedule. Stay the course with him.

  40. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Dale: Spiller is probably the safer play

  41. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @zandercage: I’ll go Harvin- he is probably going to receive the most touches out of the three. But its close, wouldn’t blame you if your gut said Stewart or Brown.

  42. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @DANgerous: Go Harvin- best bet for you to put that gloating commish away! And go Raiders defense against a Cutler-less Bears offense.

  43. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Nico: (either Reggie or Michael) Bush over Spiller or Ingram in both.

  44. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @stucky: Harvin

  45. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Super: Nice job! I like the Steelers and Ravens defense- I know its a boring pick, but they are both fantastic real life defenses with easy schedules. And I gotta say Michael Bush- he is almost guaranteed 30 touches. Then Mendy, then Murray.

  46. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @phorts: Thanks for reading! And thats a great thing about Dynasty leagues- there is always more to look forward too. Hopefully you’ll be dominating next year!

  47. Benny says:
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    need a flex in a .5 point per ppr league: Tate or Spiller?

  48. Oilcan Giuseppe says:
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    @Asher….ppr league,could you rank these WR’s ROS?….

    V. Brown,Moss,SImpson and Douglas.

  49. Steve says:
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    Great column.

    Just lost Fred Jackson. I have Rodgers, Tate, Gore, Dez, Wallace, Olsen. Harvin on the bench. Do I roll with Tate? Or try to move Dez or Wallace for a #1 RB and get Harvin in there?

    Thanks!

  50. alaugh says:
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    Have you seen, or do you know where I can get a 2012 ranking for keepers yet? I’m out of playoff contention and I’m trying to set up my keeper for next year. A top 10 or top 20 ranking list would be helpful if a full ranking list isn’t out there. Thanks.

  51. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Benny: I’ll go Tate, even though he won’t catch many passes. But it’s close in a PPR league

  52. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Oilcan Giuseppe: Moss, Brown, Simpson, Douglas

  53. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @Steve: If you can get fair value for Dez or Wallace I’d move them for a great RB, but Tate should be a fine fill in. I like Harvin though.

  54. Asher Molk

    Asher Molk says:
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    @alaugh: Hmm I’m really not too sure- I’d suggest asking Chet “Doc” Gresham, he’s very knowledgeable with that kind of stuff.

  55. Rocky says:
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    Hey Ash, really contemplating a risky trade here. I was thinking of offering Forte and Gates for A Pete. I have Gronk as my starting TE, with Mendy and Murray as other rbs. I am not liking Barber’s split involvement in the offense and don’t really need Gates. I don’t need to win next week, and the guy I am dealing with will get a chance to knock out the 2nd seed giving me the bye in the playoffs. Should I do it?

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