The NFL trade deadline has come and gone with no moves of consequence being made for fantasy football owners. But, that doesn’t mean this week hasn’t been eventful as Sidney Rice was diagnosed with a torn ACL; Percy Harvin’s hip flared up, but it isn’t believed to be a major issue; Nick Foles has been cleared to play and will start against the Raiders; and finally both Julius Thomas and Zac Stacy avoided the dreaded high-ankle sprain.
The fantasy trade deadline has not yet passed in many leagues, which means there is still time for those bubble owners to make a move or two that could get them back into contention. The thing I notice most of the time with trades in fantasy sports is that owners make a move to get names, not necessarily players that will make their team more balanced or competitive. Let’s go over the top 3 rules for trading in fantasy football right quick.
1) Look at stats, not names. Maurice Jones-Drew has the name, but in fantasy terms he is ranked #22 in NFL.com’s standard scoring format. Tom Brady also has a name, but he is ranked #20 in the same scoring system. Don’t trade for guys who have names because a name has never added points to a fantasy total.
2) Listen to everything, but believe nothing. Too many times the other GM will tell you how good the player is, or how he is ready to break out, or why he has been bad so far. All I hear when that happens is blah blah blah. If he is SO good, why are you trying to trade him? Because you know what the rest of us know, that he is a bust, his fantasy value is dropping because of injuries, or some news is out there about him that you haven’t heard yet. Before making ANY trade, do your due diligence with research and make sure there are no surprises.
3) Depth is nice, but it is also wasted points on the bench. For instance, say you are a waiver wire savvy owner and already have LeSean McCoy, Giovani Bernard, Zac Stacy, and Andre Ellington at RB, and Drew Brees and Joe Flacco. Another owner is willing to trade you Mike Glennon and MJD for Flacco because his starter is Peyton Manning and he doesn’t want to risk playing Glennon against the Seahawks. Should you do it? No, you shouldn’t.
You see, MJD is pure depth for you and will never see the fantasy field with those RBs in front of him. And, you will want to cut Glennon the second he hits your roster because he will never play over Brees. Then you have to look at the other side of the equal sign as well. He gets better because he gets a legit QB2 in Flacco while giving up a guy who has been a headache all season long in MJD, and a QB that he got off the waiver wire just a week or two ago. So in the end, you give the other GM a shot at winning, while piling up more bench points that are wasted. The moral of the story: Only do a trade if it makes YOU better. Bench points are wasted points.
So now we know some basic rules for trading, let’s look at some guys you might want to consider trying to grab off the waiver wire for the bye-week fillers.
Terrelle Pryor is available in 52.6 percent of NFL.com leagues despite being ranked #19 overall at the QB position this season. Remember from above, Brady is ranked #20 and he is owned in 99.9 percent of NFL.com leagues. I’m not a huge fan of Pryor’s because he just doesn’t look like a QB that will have longterm success in the NFL. But, the Eagles defense has holes and offenses do put up stats against them. So far this season opposing QBs are averaging 22.9 fantasy PPG against them, 8th most in the NFL. Pryor is not a terrible option if you have [Peyton] Manning, Matthew Stafford or Colin Kaepernick on bye this week.
Shane Vereen is due back from the short-term I.R. in week 11, and is owned in just 49.2 percent of NFL.com leagues. Andre Brown should hit the field in week 10 (following the team’s bye in week 9) and is owned in24.7 percent of NFL.com leagues.
To say the Patriots need a shot in the arm on offense is an understatement, and Vereen should be the shot they need. Brown on the other hand is clearly better than both Peyton Hillis and Brandon Jacobs combined (from a talent standpoint), and those two guys have combined for 280 yards on 69 touches and 3 touchdowns the last three weeks. You will have to sit on him for two weeks, but fantasy sports is chess, not checkers. Think two steps ahead and you will be ready for the fantasy playoffs.
With Reggie Wayne done for the season, Darrius Heyward-Bey moves into the Colts WR1 slot. He’s owned in just 13.4 percent of NFL.com leagues because he only has 35 targets this season. But, he should see enough looks now to make him worth owning in most formats. The drawback with DHB is the catch percentage of 51.0 this season.
Over the last three weeks, Marvin Jones has hauled in 15 passes for 250 yards and 6 TDs. Despite those amazing numbers, he’s owned in just 2.4 percent of NFL.com leagues. What in the world is going on with NFL.com owners? He obviously has Andy Dalton’s eye, and the coaches are drawing up plays for him. Go grab this man before he makes someone else’s fantasy roster better!
And lastly, for those looking for a plug-and-play defense this week, I’d give the Tennessee Titans defense a play in week 9. Simply put, Kellen Clemens is hesitant, not accurate enough to play QB on the NFL level, and not even reading out of the same book as his receivers. Adding insult to injury, he has a short week to get ready for a Titans team that is coming off a bye. I could see the Titans as a top-5 ranked defense when all is said and done this week.
Check back on Friday for James’ week 9 projections.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.