John Lanfranca
JL's Observation Deck - Week 6

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Fantasy football, believe it or not, is an emotional game. Managers will change their value and perception of a certain player based on a couple factors, including their most recent performance, and more importantly, their performance when playing for their own team. If managers in your league suffer from the endowment effect - valuing their own players much more than the consensus - then it will make it difficult to make a trade; but you can’t be sure until you try.

Steps to becoming a contender -

1. Gauge the value perceived by the owner of Arian Foster.

Foster complained about the potential 50/50 split between him and Ben Tate and the coaches responded by giving him his normal workload back. He is not only clearly the featured back, but actually has shown to be much less worn down than even I expected he might be coming off such a large workload. The scary thing about him, he has already played Tennessee, Seattle, Baltimore and San Francisco yet still has performed well without having any of the preseason to work out the kinks. With the Houston Texans expected to lean on the running game going forward due to Matt Schaub ’s inconsistencies, and the fact that the Texans still get Jacksonville twice, Indianapolis twice, Denever, St. Louis and Oakland on the schedule; Foster is easily a top-five running back going forward. And, he has just as good a chance as anybody to score the most points going forward from the running back position.

2. See if the manager of Alshon Jeffery is trying to sell high.

If that manager is trying to ‘sell high,’ he is making a mistake because Jeffery has not only earned the trust of Jay Cutler , but he won’t ever earn the double teams that Brandon Marshall sees at times. Cutler has been trained by coach Marc Trestman to take what the defense gives and Cutler will continue to do that by hooking up with the much improved second-year man out of South Carolina. Jeffery might not have another 200-yard receiving day, but consistent performances can be expected with his role in the offense now. Expect top-20 production from him from this point forward.

3. This is an obvious one, but not enough people do it - offer as many 2-for-1 trades as you can.

This is the deepest crop of receivers the league has ever seen due to it being a passing league. If you can package a middle-of-the-pack running back like Alfred Morris or Knowshon Moreno with a solid wide receiver and acquire an elite player, absolutely do it and don’t look back. When I say ‘elite player,’ there are only a handful of running backs that fit the bill - Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles , Reggie Bush , Matt Forte , Marshawn Lynch , LeSean McCoy and Arian Foster . Managers out there with a losing record who have one of these players will be considering making a change this week, and offering them a 2-for-1 trade to acquire one of these proven, consistent studs is the route to go. You will be able to find a receiver to plug in as your WR3.

4. See if other managers in your league still believe the quarterback pool is deep this year.

Remember how every single ‘expert’ said to wait on quarterback before the season started? Well ask the managers who waited on Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton , Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan if they feel like they should have taken a stud quarterback a round earlier. If you find somebody out there to be your trade partner where you acquire one of the five (and a half) quarterbacks who you can trust, go out and get them. Those five being Peyton Manning (likely completely off limits in your league), Aaron Rodgers , Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo and possibly Matthew Stafford . Stafford is the riskiest of the bunch due to the injury to Calvin Johnson , but if healthy Stafford is right there with Rivers as somebody whose offense will still live through the air on a consistent basis. Even using Andrew Luck , who hasn’t been inconsistent by any means, would be worth it because the Indianapolis Colts are more committed to the running game than ever and the big games from Luck will be few and far between. Getting one of those big five quarterbacks will make your team more consistent, and more explosive, especially if you are dealing with a manager who still believes in the potential of Newton, or who believes the quarterback position really doesn’t matter too much in 2013.

5. If you are an A.J. Green owner, find a member of your league who still values him as a top-10 wide receiver and get the most value you can from him.

Teams have finally realized what kind of shortcomings Andy Dalton has, and they are taking away the one thing he does well - throw to his one All-Pro receiver. It’s not Green’s fault, but there isn’t another top-notch wide receiver that has less weapons around him, including the quarterback throwing to him. Yes, Giovani Bernard , both tight ends and Mohamed Sanu are nice pieces, but they aren’t attention grabbing players. Green will continue to be the focal point of every single defense the Bengals go up against; do what you can to take advantage of his name recognition.

Follow me on twitter @JohnnyLFootball, and, as always, don’t be afraid to ask me some question regarding any trade situation you may find yourself in. Thanks for reading.