Brain and Braun is an article written by two self-proclaimed experts on 80’s music, Three Card Monte, and Fantasy Football; Tom Braun (the Braun) and Chris Dolfi (the Brain). This is normally the part where we share with you the magazines, radio stations, and expert leagues we’ve played in…we won’t waste your time. Bottom line, when it comes to Fantasy Football, let us share the idiot mistakes we’ve witnessed (and made) in the past, and throw in some of the info that has worked for us.
The following is a conversation that actually took place at 9:04 PM, this past Monday night during the Seattle / Oakland game, documented for you; yes, they suffered through it just like you did. (None of the names have been changed to protect anyone…like a good Hollywood tramp, they figure any publicity is good publicity.)
Braun: So Dolf, let’s keep it real. By now, a lot of us know if we are going to the playoffs in our leagues, or if we’ll be dumping extra money into playoff ‘pick-em’ pools to get our late season football fix. And the realization is dawning on more than a few owners that they have thrown away their money, once again.
Dolfi: Wow – I’m impressed Braun!
Braun: With my insight into what so many fantasy players are thinking about?
Dolfi: No, with you actually forming sentences about a 4th grade level. Bonus points for using a multi-syllabic word or two as well.
Braun: That’s it – you’re out of my cell-phone’s “Top Five”!
Dolfi: Oh my god, I was in it? I feel dirty now…
Braun: (laughter) Just shut up and let me finish my thought.
Dolfi: (laughter) Okay, okay.
Braun: So as I was saying; if you are one of those teams that are lackluster, is there anything you should be doing to recoup your losses and make yourself a better team?
Dolfi: Some people are going to tell you to scan the waiver wire and keep trying to put a great team out every week. I’m not one of those people.
Braun: (laughter) What kind of person are you?
Dolfi: Well, I’m not saying I’m not going to try and put together the best possible lineup that I can every week, but really, by this time of the season, you know if you are in or out. Just take a look at what records have made it to the playoffs in past few years of your league. If the worst anyone has gotten into the playoffs was with five losses, and your sitting at a sorry 3-6, Elvis has left the building.
Braun: Okay, then back to what I wanted to get at earlier. What can I do, or even should do, at this point? Start dumping players faster than Jerry Porter wants out of Oakland?
Dolfi: At this point, you have to do what makes your team better. If not for now, than for the future – no matter what it takes. This doesn’t mean cheating or circumventing the rules. Heck, you want to still be in the league next year. But it means offering trades for players or draft picks that gives your team a better chance at winning in 2007.
Braun: Can you give me an example?
Dolfi: Yea. If your team is out of it, but you are still holding on to someone like Torry Holt, like I am in one of my leagues, then you need to push hard and shop him.
Braun: Yea, but that’s easier said than done. Any team who is sitting on top of a 7-2 record at this point probably doesn’t NEED Tory Holt – they are already doing well. Am I right?
Dolfi: You’re right. They probably aren’t in desperate need at this point – but they will be when you trade Holt to their main competition. (laughter) Let me put it simply; most guys realize they don’t have a shot at winning the big money every year. So they are probably willing to sell a few of next years draft picks, for a little insurance this year, and a better shot at winning their league championship.
Braun: Well let me take Tory Holt again… that guy on draft day is typically going in the first 5 rounds, agree?
Braun: But, I know I’m not going to get that now. I want to get something, but I don’t want to get ripped off.
Dolfi: It’s impossible to get ripped off. If you are out of the playoff hunt already, your team stinks. Cobbling together a 3-6 or worse lineup at this point, nothing you can possibly do could make this any worse. Of course, if you were in a full keeper league, you won’t want to give away a guy like Holt for nothing. But in any re-draft or semi-keeper leagues, you just want to get something for him, rather than nothing for him, which is what you’re getting for him now.
Braun: Ok…so Tory Holt draft day; round 5. Tory Holt now?
Dolfi: You obviously want the best you can for the guy. So let me start by saying, ask for more than you think you are going to get, because you’d be surprised at what an owner that is that desperate for the playoffs will pony up to do what he thinks it will take to lock-up his league title.
Braun: You’ve said in past articles to be fair and honest, though. Is this really fair?
Dolfi: It absolutely is. All he has to do is say “no” or make a counter offer. If he accepts it, then apparently he thinks it’s fair – and, really, that’s all that matters.
Braun: So if he wants it, it’s definitely a “fair” trade.
Dolfi: Right, and as far as being honest… This is the time when we are going to be the most honest that we’ve been all season. Being honest now does two important things for us: still keeps our reputation good in the league and more importantly, we are going to use it as leverage to get an even better trade than we might have otherwise.
Braun: How are you going to do that?
Dolfi: It’s one thing to offer an owner one of your studs for a draft pick to help shore up their playoff needs. It’s quite another thing to ask them for that same trade and inform them that you’ll be talking to their three or four biggest rivals with the exact same offer. Also make sure that you tell them it’s not a question “if” the player will be traded, the only question is “to whom”. That way, even though they might not have a glaring hole at a position, they sure as heck don’t want their toughest opponent getting any tougher, especially right before the stretch run to the playoffs.
Braun: You know something. That makes sense. I’d like to take you when I want to purchase my next car. You’re pretty shrewd.
Dolfi: If by ‘shrewd’, you mean ‘smarter than you’… well, I thought that was a given!
Braun: That’s it! Not only are you out of my cell-phone’s ‘Top Five’, I’m hanging up.
Dolfi: Wow – I really didn’t mean to offend Braun, I hope he’s not…
Braun: Okay – I don’t want any of those other goons getting their hands on Holt… what do you want for him?
Dolfi: (laughter) See? Honesty IS the best policy… and you can take THAT to the bank.