During Week 3 of the NFL season we start to see more trades in fantasy football as teams give up on players and salivate over others. Already this week our fantasy guru James Morris has been flooded with questions about possible trade scenarios. Before giving you his weekly “start ’em” and “sit ’em” advice, James provides a few rules for trading in fantasy football:
1) Be aware and beware: The other guy/girl is no offering you a deal to be fair. They think they are getting the better of the deal, which is why they offered it. If they say, “This is a really fair deal,” you better read it again!
2) This isn’t a card collection: Don’t try and get all the Miami Dolphins on your fantasy team; that NEVER works out. You’re trying to build the best possible team, and I wouldn’t want all the same players from any team in the NFL on my fantasy squad.
3) All you have to do is tell the story right: Refer back to rule #1; you better make it look fair, or they will veto it. The key is to throw in a big name that is not worth owning like CJ2K or Randy Moss and make them think they just stole a Leprechaun and his pot of gold for their yarn.
4) Don’t be afraid to knock on doors: Send out feelers; see who is interested in trading and who just declines with no explanation. You are looking for the village idiot, or person with one too many in them that night, to trade with. You’ll never get told yes if you don’t ask!
5) Don’t be a sore loser: If you ripped someone off and it gets vetoed, don’t go crying on the message board about it. You tried to sneak one past the league and it didn’t work… move on!
Michael Vick – QB Eagles: Vick stumbled his way to good stats, and I think the rust is coming off the Eagles offense. Some of the big box sites are worried about Calais Campbell and Patrick Peterson, but I think Vick can overcome that and put up good fantasy stats yet again.
Andrew Luck – QB Colts: The Jaguars defense is about as bad as their offense, and Luck is the second coming of Peyton Manning in Indianapolis. The coaching staff thinks they found a diamond in the rough in Donnie Avery, and it looks like Austin Collie may finally be ready to take the field. I have Luck as a low-end QB1/high end QB2 and think he could wind up with solid QB1 numbers in the end.
C.J. Spiller – RB Bills: Spiller has been nothing short of a fantast beast since taking over for Fred Jackson. This week he gets the Cleveland Browns and it only means one thing… Spiller is a shark and there is blood in the water! I have him in the top 3 for all fantasy RBs this weekend, and wouldn’t be at all surprised if he finished with #1 stats.
Ryan Mathews – RB Chargers: Coach Norv Turner is confident that Mathews will take the field this weekend, and the Falcons run defense isn’t exactly striking fear in anyone’s offense. I fully expect Mathews to hit the ground running (pun intended) and finish with RB1 numbers.
Pierre Garcon – WR Redskins: The Bengals secondary has already been shredded by the liked of Joe Flacco and Brandon Weeden. Robert Griffin III is for real, and Garcon is going to be targeted early and often by the rookie QB. I see WR2 numbers in his future this week.
Jordy Nelson – WR Packers: Nelson isn’t someone I usually put on the start list. But, with Greg Jennings looking likely to be out this weekend, Nelson becomes a top 10-12 fantasy WR play. The Cowboys defense may be ranked 3rd in the NFL in passing YPG allowed right now, but the Giants came out flat to open the season, and the Seahawks passing attack is less than average. I foresee 100-plus yards and 5-plus catches from him.
Antonio Gates – TE Chargers: Gates is a go this weekend, so get him back in your line-ups. There is nothing cute or mystical about his pick; Gates is a top 3-5 TE when on the field and he is going to be a target for Philip Rivers this weekend.
Chicago Bears defense: This is one of those weeks where I don’t see a sleeper defense; the picks are pretty straight forward. The Bears playing against the Rams offense does make my mouth water though. As much as I like Danny Amendola, I bet the Bears focus on shutting him down just as much as the Jets focus on Brian Hartline this weekend. And Steven Jackson is running on two flat tires these days.
Peyton Manning – QB Broncos: The Houston Texans currently have the #1 ranked pass defense and are allowing just 124.0 YPG in the air. Not only that, but they are sporting a 3-1 INT-TD ratio and Manning started last week’s game by playing pitch-n-catch with the defense three times in the first half of the first quarter!
Carson Palmer – QB Raiders: The Steelers are going to be without Troy Polamalu and James Harrison, but their defense is much deeper than these two studs. Palmer also has a way of imploding as the season wears on, and he isn’t as good as he’s been playing thus far. I have him firmly in the bottom end of the QB2’s and wouldn’t even want to play him in 2-QB leagues if I didn’t absolutely have to.
Willis McGahee – RB Broncos: As tough as the Texans pass defense is, their run defense is every bit as good. So far they are allowing a stingy 72.0 YPG on the ground, and haven’t given up a rushing TD through the first two games. “Whatchu Talk’n Bout” Willis McGahee looked good last week (113 yards and 2 TDs), but that was largely due to Manning’s problems throwing the ball. I don’t think he has the same success this week and wouldn’t count him as anything more than a flex option.
Chris Johnson – RB Titans: The Titans new blocking scheme looks more like a matador playing Olay with the defensive line! CJ2K is averaging 1.1 YPC this season, and now there is talk about Javon Ringer getting a few more touches. The O-Line is atrocious, Johnson is tentative behind the line, and the coaching staff can’t seem to fix either. I’d plant him on your bench and pray to little baby Jesus that someone tries to buy low on him.
Jeremy Maclin – WR Eagles: Maclin was “limited” in practice on Thursday, but he only joined in at the very end of the open portion. Word is that he won’t play, and I am sure the Eagles will keep us guessing all the way up until right before kick-off. And remember, the Eagles play in the afternoon game, so the options are extremely limited if you hold out hope and he doesn’t end up playing.
Brian Hartline – WR Dolphins: Let me first say that I do think Hartline is worth owning, ESPECIALLY in PPR formats. But, after the man racked up 9 catches for 111 yards last week, you can be sure the Jets are going to put Darrelle Revis on him to keep that in check. Sit him down for a week, and then look forward to three juicy matchups before sitting him back down against the Jets in week 8.
Fred Davis – TE Redskins: Despite his 9 targets, which accounts for 16 percent of the teams total thrown passes, Davis has hauled in just 4 passes for 52 yards. I believe Davis has the skills to be a TE1 in fantasy football, but he just isn’t producing on the field. I have cut ties with Davis in favor of either Martellus Bennett or Dennis Pitta in various leagues, and I would suggest you do the same until he comes around.
Seattle Seahawks defense: The Seahawks are owned in 43.1 percent of NFL.com leagues, and this week they get a Green Bay Packers team that is none too happy about losing to the 49ers in week 1. As underrated as the Seahawks defense is, I want no part of them this weekend and would bet dollars to doughnuts they don’t upset the Packers on Monday Night Football.
Question of the week
Q: I just agreed to two trades. I’m honestly not sure if I just saved or ruined my team, it could go either way I bet, but I wanted to hear your thoughts if you have a second. 12 team, CBS, standard scoring, 2RB, 2WR, flex league.
QBs: Matt Ryan, RGIII, Big Ben
RBs: Bradshaw, Wells, Gerhart
WRs: Calvin J., Andre J. Wallace, Colston, Amendola
Due to the injury to Bradshaw and Wells stinking it up, I traded Wallace for McGahee and RGII for Chris Johnson.
My thinking: I can only start so many WRs and QBs; McGahee is an upgrade over Wells, going to get all the carries on a team that looks pretty decent; Chris Johson can cover Brandshaw’s injury and even replace him if CJ gets going this year, huge risk, huge reward. RGIII like Newton is probably going to come back down to earth. Big Ben is decent enough Matt Ryan insurance, who looks like a top 5 QB. Sure it was nice to have Wallace as my WR3, but Colston and Amendola can fill that role. Absent a Calvin or Andre Johnson injury…. I think I did OK. I would have liked to have done better, but, honestly, there aren’t a lot of teams out there with extra RBs or QB or WR issues. (Brian M. Schenker, Philadelphia, PA)
A: I’d lean more towards ruin than save.
McGahee is going to be overshadowed by Manning, and the Broncos won’t lean as heavily on the run as they did last year because of it. I don’t see him having more than mid-low RB2/Flex value going forward.
RGIII is looking like this year’s Cam Newton, whereas CJ2K has some REAL problems with his O-Line. The Titans can’t get a block from a lineman to save their lives, and Johnson is currently averaging 1.1 YPC in 2012!!!!
Check back here on Sunday for last-minute fantasy advice with injury updates.
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