I’m going to place this week’s focus on trading… specifically, how to avoid “poaching.” It’s that time in the fantasy football season where some players will try to secure their position, or elevate it, by trying to take advantage of an unsuspecting team manager. There is an unofficial term for trying to sucker someone into such an unfair trade, but it’s not PC to joke about such things, so I’ll let the gang from FXX’s “The League” handle this…
For now, let’s use the term “Trade Assault & Violation Of Consent,” or TAVOC, for short. Consider the following example…
Just yesterday, I received the following trade offer: Mike Gillislie and Jeremy Maclin for Mike Evans. Now, this isn’t the best example, because it’s not subtle at all, it’s just lopsided. Regardless, here is how to analyze this trade…
1) “Why does he want my guy so badly?”
His conquest is Mike Evans. Evans is already a target monster, and now that the Buccaneers’ running game looks like a M.A.S.H. Unit (they’re starting their RB4 in the top spot)! Doug Martin is still Out, Charles Sims is on Injured Reserve, and capable #3 backup, Jacquizz Rodgers, is also Out. This opens the door for even more passing work from Jameis Winston. This week’s matchup for Tampa is the Falcons, whose heavy offensive attack should force more passes from Winston, while at the same time their crap pass defense should allow a lot of receptions. In other words, Winston and Evans are highly likely to go off this weekend, in a big way.
2) “Okay, well who’s he offering?”
Mike Gillislie’s fantasy appeal drops through the floor as soon as LeSean McCoy is healthy enough to play. Strangely enough, McCoy is highly likely to return this week. Did I mention Seattle allows the least amount of fantasy points to running backs in the NFL? Heheh, Shady. On to Jeremy Maclin. Besides not practicing Thursday, Maclin is once again subject to a complete lack of passing prowess by Alex Smith. Incidentally, Smith, who got his bell rung twice last week AND was seen visibly stumbling afterwards, magically does not have a concussion. He is also expected to be Inactive this week.
3) “Fine. I’ll counter offer and see if this cat’s actually serious.”
I countered with the following: Le'Veon Bell for Mike Evans. This is an even trade offer. I included a message with a not quite so in-depth analysis as above, and a message simply stating “let’s trade top brass for top brass.”
Now, here comes the absolute “non shocker”… my counter offer was rejected. In short, the message is crystal clear… DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE!
I’m back to my “any starting running back vs. San Francisco (they’ve allowed 161 rushing yards and 1.4 rushing touchdowns per game over seven games). I have also been gifted much of my Start/Sip Pourcast for Week 9, thanks to an attempted TAVOC by a fellow fantasy player. Thank you for that!! It would have provided about half my picks, but I typically publish after the Thursday night game has already been played.
Dak Prescott (QB - DAL) @ CLE
Dak is on the attack, and put up big numbers last week against a tough Philadelphia defense. He's got a cream puff of a matchup at the Browns.
Dez Bryant (WR - DAL) @ CLE
I'm going with the Dez/Dak Stack Attack this week! Things are looking up in Dallas. Way up.
Tim Hightower (RB - NO) @ SF
Hightower has earned at least a "running back by committee" (RBBC) approach this weekend, and the 49ers should roll out the red carpet for him.
Mark Ingram (RB - NO) @ SF
I’m betting Ingram gets flex-worthy numbers behind Hightower. I also expect the Saints’ practice squad will put up RB numbers against the 49ers. And the peanut guy. And the drunk dudes in the upper deck. And David Bowie. And Prince.
Devontae Booker (RB - DEN) @ OAK
Booker is off to a great start, and the Raiders have a terrible rush defense, having allowed the tenth most fantasy points to running backs. I expect solid RB2 numbers or better.
Derrick Henry (RB - TEN) @ SD
Titans’ head coach, Mike Mularkey, has already stated that he wants to get Henry more involved, and a nagging toe injury could put superstar DeMarco Murray on a “pitch count.” You get Henry on the field more, the points should follow.
Mike Gillislie (RB - BUF) @ SEA
A likely return by LeSean McCoy should cast a "shady" blanket over Mike's fantasy value. If McCoy doesn't start, Gillislie's good for RB2 numbers.
Jeremy Maclin (WR - KC) VS. JAX
Between Nick Foles subbing at quarterback and Tyreek Hill excelling as a top receiving option, it’s hard to say where that leaves the already underused and underperforming Maclin, but it’s probably on your fantasy bench.
Buffalo Bills (DEF) @ SEA
Much of their early season success was the result of playing the three teams who allow the most fantasy points to opposing defenses. Seattle is playing at home. Wilson may turn things around this week, and visiting teams tend to struggle more when they visit Seattle.
Jack Doyle (TE - IND) @ GB
Dwayne Allen should be back this week, which would knock the wind out of Doyle’s sails. As with Gillislie, however, play him if Allen sits.
Jeffrey Gray is a fire spinner, actor, fitness consultant, and works with M.D. and Osteopathic students on clinical skills. Fantasy Football has ruined his life, and he wouldn't have it any other way. Unless, squirrel! You can reach him on Twitter @graydog or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeff "The Guru" Gray owns Gray Area Fitness, has a BA in Biology from Whittier College, works with osteopathic and medical students at 2 universities, is an avid shooter, acts, writes, and spins fire. Animal lover, Burner, traveller, fantasy football analyst, he's just your typical Tourette's/A.D.D. kid from the suburbs. He currently looks after his codependent dog and neurotic cat. Passion and experience sums it up for The Guru, and new destinations, great shows, cars, and crazy animal adventures are always within his purvey.