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Trade Talks

The fantasy season is still young, but for teams that have struggled early, it’s crunch time. Here are some deals that recently went down in leagues I participate in.

Deal 1

In one league I’m in, the guy who owns Drew Brees was able to pick up Michael Vick prior to Week 2. With only one win through three weeks, he decided that instead of trying to trade Vick, a relatively unproven commodity, he’s rolling the dice with Vick and offering Brees up in trades. He’s a feast-or-famine kind of guy anyway, and figures if he’s going to win, he needs to net pieces in this trade that will get him there. Passing touchdowns are six points, and Brees is sure to bring back value.

He began shopping for trade partners in need of quarterback help. I had Aaron Rodgers, the only quarterback I value above Brees, so I turned him down. Eventually, he found a trade partner (0-3) who shared his desire to make a move. The owner had Donovan McNabb and Joe Flacco, neither of which make you all that comfortable. Rather than play matchups, the owner decided to deal for Brees. The deal that went down was as follows:

Brees and Randy Moss for Ray Rice and Brandon Marshall.  Several owners agreed that it was a fair trade, but could not understand why someone would want to trade their No. 1 pick so early in the season. First, if your team is struggling, you need to make a move. Even if it’s risky, do something. Secondly, a trade’s value is more than just the players involved. You need to look at the entire team, replacement players and upcoming schedule. A few years ago, I traded Edgerrin James, Warrick Dunn (leading the league in rushing) and Andre Johnson (leading the league in receiving) for LaDainian Tomlinson and some others. I had looked at Tomlinson’s schedule and it was incredibly easy. He went on to score 20 more touchdowns that season and my team took off.

In this situation, the guy giving up Brees also gets the replacement value of Vick, a fairly even swap of Marshall for Moss, and the addition of Rice, who steps into the starting lineup. The other guy gets an obvious upgrade at quarterback, swaps Marshall for Moss, and now has Flacco and McNabb as valuable trade chips.

Deal 2

Peyton Hillis has emerged as a player fantasy owners may be able to count on, at least as a flex option. During these lean bye weeks, Hillis is going to be an interesting player to watch. On one of my teams, I was fortunate enough to snag him from the waiver wire following week 1.

In this league, I start a quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and just two flex (RB/WR) position. Hillis’ arrival provides me additional flexibility. I received an offer for Justin Forsett, in which I would receive Devin Hester. I declined, but countered that I’d make backs available for a stud receiver, and that I was eyeing Roddy White. The eventual deal is shown below:

DeAngelo Williams and Forsett for White and Tim Hightower

In this situation, I have Steven Jackson, Pierre Thomas, Hillis and Carolina’s Steve Smith. Smith has been OK, but he’s not going to be as productive as in years past with Jimmy Clausen under center and no running game. So I was looking for a big receiver. I decided to sell high on Forsett, who is boom-or-bust from here on out and ditch Williams, who has been frustrating. I was able to get White, who is a top 5 wideout, and Hightower, who’s been very good thus far. I know Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells is back, but the Cardinals are going to run the ball a lot, and do you really think he’ll be healthy the rest of the season? My trade partner has Percy Harvin and New York’s Steve Smith to sub in for White, and gained valuable running back depth. He had banked on Jamaal Charles breaking out and took him early, and has been hit hard with injuries. Both teams win.

Before making an offer, be sure to consider both sides. Don’t offer Roy Williams for Adrian Peterson. Think about your needs and their needs and think it through. Think about your lineup going forward, replacement values and then start dealing.

Good luck, Sharks.

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