Friday - Jan 22, 2021

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Good Call/Bad Call: Week 7

This is the perfect time in the fantasy football season to make a trade in your league. Everyone in your league knows what their team looks like, where they are strong and where they are weak. They know whether or not they need a certain position and what players with whom they can afford to part.

While there are no rules to making a trade, there are some things that you should think about before offering one. Most of the time if you want to improve your team, you need to be proactive about it. The other guys in your league don’t know who you’re willing to part with or where you want to improve. Negotiating a trade isn’t that hard to do, and here are some things to think about.

One, in order to get a trade done you have to improve both your starting lineup and the guy that you are trading with. Why would the other guy want to make his team weaker? The amount of points that your trading partner should be expecting from his starters each week should go up after the trade, along with yours. Trades are made to benefit both teams.

Second, most trades take negotiating. It almost never happens that the first trade you offer gets accepted. You can send a trade that benefits you more than the other guy to let him know that you want to get the ball rolling on a trade, but don’t make it too lopsided or you’ll offend the other guy. You should be expecting a counter offer, or to speak with your trading partner in order to get the trade done. You probably value your players more than the other guy, and he values his more. After all, they are your players.

Third, don’t offer a trade where you give a bunch of mediocre players for one stud player, unless the other guy has a ton of holes on his roster. Why would the other guy want a bunch of okay players that will probably go on his bench? Trading is a fun part of fantasy football, and this is the time to do it, with injuries, bye weeks and waiver wire wonders affecting each team differently. Now onto the calls for this week.


Carson Palmer gets traded and gets the start this week against Kansas City? While it probably would be better for Palmer to get more than four days to digest the playbook for Oakland, he is a veteran player and is playing against a very weak Kansas City defense. Palmer will probably make some mistakes, but scrambling around and finding the open receiver shouldn’t be all that difficult for him. Kansas City has allowed Donovan McNabb and Curtis Painter to both put up two touchdowns on them. I’d say Palmer has more talent than those two. Plus, those two only have five or six more weeks of experience with their playbooks and playmakers than Palmer does. I’m actually going to suggest you start Palmer this week with guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tom Brady, Eli Manning and Michael Vick all on a bye this week. Go ahead and take a shot with your new waiver wire pickup.

Josh Freeman gets to play a Chicago defense that ranks almost exactly the same as the New Orleans defense he dumped more than 300 yards and two touchdowns on last week. As an extra added bonus, when Cam Newton played in Chicago in Week 4, he had two rushing touchdowns as well. I’d say Freeman has a good chance at a rushing touchdown and a couple passing touchdowns as well. Freeman will make a good bye-week fill in and should net you some good points this week while playing Chicago in London.

Detroit has only allowed two passing touchdowns at home this year, and only once have the Lions allowed more than one in any game. Matt Ryan has had one touchdown a week for the past four weeks. Ryan seems to be in some kind of funk that he can’t figure out how to get out of. This week in Detroit is not going to be the week he gets out of it. He has had a hard time finding his stud receiver Roddy White, even with his new toy Julio Jones out of the lineup. Last week Harry Douglas had more yards than White. Ryan needs to find out what is missing and this isn’t going to be the week he discovers it. Starting Ryan this week would be a bad call.

Sam Bradford got himself a new receiver to throw deep balls to. It’s too bad he is nursing a high ankle sprain. It might take a few weeks for Bradford to get acquainted with Brandon Lloyd, but when he does and he’s healthy, it is really going to help his fantasy value. Last week the Dallas defense was able to hold Tom Brady to 289 yards and two touchdowns. A hobbling Bradford isn’t going to come close to those unstudly numbers. Sit Bradford this week and wait until he’s healthy.

Running Back

Jackie Battle put up 119 yards on 19 touches in his first game as the Chiefs’ main ball carier. After a week off and more first team reps, I’m expecting Battle to hit it big this week against Oakland. The Raiders defense ranks second-to-last in points given up to running backs, and allows almost five yards per attempt. If you’re debating on whether or not to start Battle, this is the week to do it. Next week he plays San Diego, which ranks in the Top 10 in both rushing and passing.

The Chicago defense allows a league-worst 5.4 yards per carry, and an average of 121.8 yards per game to opposing runners. Earnest Graham showed he could produce those types of numbers when he got the start last week in place of the injured LeGarrette Blount. Expect Graham to have another good game this week with Blount out for at least one more week.

Dallas has only allowed one rushing touchdown on the season, although Tim Hightower did have a receiving touchdown in Week 3. Steven Jackson is healthy again, but gets a hard matchup with the Dallas defense this week. If you’ve got an option with strong upside this week, I’d sit Jackson and wait for a better matchup against New Orleans next week. If you can, try and trade away Jackson now that he’s healthy. His rushing schedule is horrible for the rest of the season. He doesn’t have a matchup against any team in the Bottom 10 of rushing defenses and plays seven teams in the Top 10, including Dallas this week. I’d sit him and try and trade him as soon as possible.

Maurice Jones-Drew has a tough matchup this week against a Baltimore defense that has only allowed one touchdown to running backs all year. Jones-Drew has only broken 100 yards rushing once this year, and that was against a Carolina defense that ranks last in points allowed to running backs. I think all those carries that he has on his legs, that I pointed out before the season started, are starting to slow him a bit. I’d sit Jones-Drew this week.

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