Fantasy Football is all about opportunity. While the obvious application of this theory refers to the number of opportunities, targets and touches your players get on the field each week, many forget that it also applies to the management of your team as a whole. Every week you have the opportunity to choose who you start and sit, who you grab off the waiver wire and what trade negotiations you engage in. The key to success with both scenarios is identifying the sweet spot between opportunity and likelihood for success and seizing the moment.
Week 4 is historically the week where I have had my most success making trades over the years. This is the week where psychologically most of your league-mates are open to striking a deal for one reason or another. Lets take a look at a few of those potential reasons in an effort to better identify our prey:
- The 0-3 owner – This one is easy to spot. This owner will likely be desperate to shake things up but they will expecting the trade overtures to arrive en mass. Its critical that you approach this owner with respect or you’ll chase them right into the inbox of another trade suitor. Play into their team needs and the necessity to win immediately. Their need to win now will give you added value with your players that have nice week 4 match-ups.
- The injury plagued owner – Step one, be a sympathetic ear. You don’t care about their banged up team but you need to pretend that you do. They have been wanting to gripe for weeks and its your job to be their shoulder to cry on. After you’ve identified where they are weak and listened to them whine, send them a 2-for-1 offer that addresses their injury-caused needs while sending one of their remaining healthy, elite players your way!
- The “drafted a QB too early” owner – First of all if you read any of my work over the summer you know that I am a proponent of drafting an elite quarterback in earlier rounds in situations where it makes sense. That said, I also have done extensive research and know how to cover my bases with key picks later on in the draft. The same cannot be said for some of the average Joe’s playing in your office league. There is a chance that they are struggling at a key skill position and their record is hovering around 1-2 right now with Aaron Rodgers as the only legit asset on their roster. It is your duty to help them get their team on the right track while also upgrading your team with an elite quarterback. Since there are so many viable options at the quarterback position these deals are a slam dunk when you have a cooperative owner on the other side of the negotiating table. Don’t trade situations with them but if you have the right pieces in place it wouldn’t hurt to grab that Tom Brady type to give your already well-built team the edge.
- The blockbuster seeker – These are my favorite but you have to be careful not to dismantle your team during one of these deals. These are the owners who for one reason or another are hell-bent on shaking things up. They have some talent on their squad but it hasn’t been working out so they are prepared to gut their roster “for the right deal.” If you drafted well (which if you are Shark we trust you crushed your draft) its likely that you have some nice pieces you can spare. If you can put together the right package you can usually pry away one or two studs from this type of owner in some sort of 3-for-4 deal. These are rare but there always seems to be one or two each year in every league. If you see an owner shopping in this fashion, look him up and see if you can get a deal done! These deals can make or break your team, so feel free to hit me up on Twitter if you want a second set of eyes on an offer!
Alright, enough strategy for one week, Lets take a look at a handful of players who keep popping up in trade questions this week:
C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos
A lot can change in 7 days. This time last week everyone was celebrating a monster week for CJA where he crushed the Dallas Cowboys for 154 total yards and 2 touchdowns and this week he’s about to lose his job to the ghost of Jamaal Charles. First of all, he’s not losing his job to Charles. While it may look that way in the box score, Charles usurping Anderson is the farthest thing from a done deal. Anderson out-snapped Charles 49-21 (70%-30% between the two of them) in week 3 and while he did get stuffed on more plays than not, he broke out a nice 32 yard scamper against a Buffalo defense that is tougher than you think. Its a small sample size but the Bills have been pretty stout vs. the run so far in 2017 having allowed an average of 14 fantasy points per game to opposing rushers leading into this week 3 match-up. This mark is currently Top-5 in the league as of this writing and certainly a good sign for this very “gash-able” defense from a year ago but it didn’t help C.J.’s stock in Week 3. Lastly, its true that Jamaal scored a touchdown in the red-zone this past Sunday but it was from 12 yards out and not a coveted goal-line touch. While it was a nice run, I would say the score was more fluky than by design. When the Broncos get down inside the 5, expect Anderson to get those carries given his advantage over Charles in the power department. So what’s the play when it comes to C.J. Anderson on the trade market? If I own him, I’m holding tight and acquiring Charles where I can for as cheap as I can. I advise this move not out of fear that he’ll lose his job due to being outplayed but rather out of a need for insurance given C.J.’s lack of durability over the years. If I see an owner shopping Anderson in my leagues, I’m buying. The Week 3 box score doesn’t look good but a 70-30 split in favor of CJA is a solid asset in today’s league, especially if you can get it at 80 cents on the dollar coming off a rough game on the road.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
McCoy started out red hot hanging 159 total yards on the Jets in Week 1 but has since posted back-to-back pedestrian outings. Over the past two weeks McCoy has 30 yards on 26 carries (1.15 yards per carry) and 13 receptions for 82 yards. The receiving has helped him stay out of the complete bust category but he’s yet to score a touchdown on the year and has been ceding some goal-line work to Mike Tolbert. Now Denver and Carolina have solid defenses that have both been tough against the run so far in 17’ but McCoy is supposed to be an elite talent that should perform at a higher level than this, despite any match-up concerns. McCoy’s talent speaks for itself but all of these issues combined give me cause for concern. As we look ahead at the schedule, McCoy has a great “get right” opportunity this week at Atlanta followed by a trip to Cincinnati who just bottled up Ty Montgomery. If McCoy has a big game at Atlanta I might go ahead and sell, just to be done with the situation. Right now the Bills are a Bottom-10 offense that scores less than 14 points per game. After the pre-season fire-sale that the Bills had, I don’t know if there is enough talent surrounding McCoy to support high fantasy output. Combine that with an abysmal rushing clip and Mike Tolbert serving as the goal-line vulture and you have yourself a situation to avoid. If McCoy can put up a decent game this week — sell fast.