Fantasy Football Trades

I, like just about every football fan, love fantasy football. It truly makes me see the game in a whole new way. I have been playing fantasy football since I was in 5th grade. I cheer for the Titans, Steelers, and even (on occasion) the Lions, even though I am STRICTLY a Green Bay Packer fan.

However, despite all my love for fantasy football, there is one thing that bugs the hell out of me about the game: no one ever trades. Every one is to chicken shit to part with certain players that they drafted. For example, in one of my leagues, I have Chris Johnson, Stephen Jackson, Kevin Jones, AND Pierre Thomas, but I can only start two of them. I am trying to trade for some wide receivers and no one will freakin’ deal anything to me. I have proposed easily 10 or 11 trades this week and gotten nothing. Here is some help. The following are three players you should get rid of if they are on your team and three players that you need to get if they aren’t.

GUYS TO TRADE AWAY

Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo

The man has been a monster in the first three games, running for 291 yards and adding another 134 yards receiving with a touchdown. However, that was all while franchise back Marshawn Lynch was serving a suspension. Lynch returns in week 4 and will likely steal a lot of the carries from Jackson. A one-two punch is gold for NFL franchises but poison for fantasy owners. Dump him. Trade him for anyone with upside.

Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina

Stewart had a promising year in 2008, despite being the number 2 back behind DeAngelo Williams. However, this year he doesn’t look to repeat. It’s not his fault, but the Panthers line sucks, there is no threat of the pass with Jake Delhomme chucking all those interceptions, and there is still that pesky little Williams ahead of him. Barring a Williams injury, I don’t see Stewart’s production improving.

Marion Barber, RB, Dallas

This guy has had his ups and downs already. Barber has been banged up by numerous injuries, but has managed to preform nevertheless(203 yards and 2 touchdowns in two games.) However, he missed week three, and even when he comes back he has to look over his shoulder at Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. The Barber name is still worth something though, so trade him for a number 2 wide receiver, or maybe even a better quarterback.

3 GUYS TO TRADE FOR

Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans

He missed the first two weeks with an injury, but Thomas picked up where he left off, rushing for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns in week 3. There was quite a fuss about Mike Bell after he ran hard in the first couple weeks, but New Orleans is Thomas’ team. And the way Drew Brees is throwing the pigskin, the run game will be wide open. He’s probably sitting on some guy’s bench right now too.

Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis

I don’t trust Jackson 100%, but he is on his way up. He is, after all, all that the Rams have, so he will get plenty of touches (69 total touches this year.) This is a guy you buy low and risk as little as possible. Jackson has yet to score, but has back to back 100 yard season. When you do get him, use him in a flex position or when he is playing a favorable matchup.

Percy Harvin, WR, Minnesota

Believe me, I HATE the Vikings. But, Harvin has quietly been having a solid year. He has scored a touchdown each game and is quickly becoming one of Favre’s favorite targets. He touches the ball in a number of ways, from running, to receiving, to returns. And he has the ability to take it in for 6 every time he has the ball. He is being started in only 42.5% of the leagues on ESPN.com, so pick him off a guy’s bench.

Washington Tops #3 USC

It happened. USC lost. It seems like every year, when USC loses, “______ Shocks The Football World” is all over the headlines. So, how did Washington fill in the blank and beat the 3rd ranked team in the nation? They made USC one sided, forced turnovers, and played efficiently.33294_usc_washington_football_large

We all know that USC can run the ball. Running backs Stefon Johnson and Joe McKnight have been electric this year. The question for the Trojans is the quarterback. True freshman Matt Barkley has been okay in the first two games, but not spectacular. Saturday’s game against Washington was the breaking point for Trojan QBs.

Barkley has been pestered by a sore shoulder as of late, so Junior quarterback Aaron Corp got the start against the Huskies. There is a reason Corp was a back up. The man put up pedestrian numbers against a team that didn’t win a game last year. Any time a defense can shut down either a run game or a passing game completely, they have a good chance of winning.

The Huskies defense allowed 250 yards on the ground, but because they held Corp to 13-22 passing for 110 yards and an interception, they were the victors of the game. It wasn’t like Washington played spectacular. They just fucked up less than USC, yknow? In addition to Corp’s one interception, USC fumbled twice. The Huskies did not turn the ball over once.

The Huskies aren’t a better team, but they played the better game. That’s all that matters. Efficiency trumped talent.

Highway Robbers of the NFL

The New England Patriots steal. They steal draft picks and players from teams that don’t know what they are getting themselves into. The Pats have always been known for there thriftyness in trades. However, with the recent Richard Seymour trade to the Oakland Raiders, it doesn’t feel like thriftyness as much as it does straight ripping teams off.

For the 29 year old defensive tackle, the Raiders traded a 2011 first round pick. That first round pick is likely to be a high one. In the last 5 first round picks the Raiders have had, 4 have been a top 7 pick. The Pats have ripped off the Raiders before. In 2007, the Pats traded a 4th round pick for Randy Moss.724seymour

To put the crime into perspective, consider this: The Green Bay Packers received a 3rd round pick for Brett Favre from the Jets a season ago. Brett Favre, a first ballot Hall of Famer, has started every game since Week 3 in the 1992 season. Richard Seymour has started all 16 games in a season once in his career and that was in 2002.

I cannot, however, be mad at the Patriots. I would want my team to make every trade that they have made. Hell, the other team (in this case, the Raiders) also has to agree with the trade. There is a reason why teams like the Pats are Super Bowl contenders year in and year out and teams like the Raiders are the bottom feeders of the NFL: intelligence. Some organizations have it, others don’t. Oh yeah and, if it were possible, fire Al Davis.

College Football Week 1 – Big 12 can play defense?

Even though I am a student at a Big 12 school, even I will admit that our defense is… lacking. However, after a solid week one, a few Big 12 teams impressed me with their defensive performances.

Nebraska and Kansas allowed 3 points each and forced 3 and 2 turnovers respectively. A&M held New Mexico to 6 points and forced 2 turnovers. My own school, Missouri, held a high powered (or so we thought) Illinois offense to 9 points and 2 turnovers. Oklahoma’s defense was impressive even in the loss. The Sooners held the 20th ranked BYU Cougars to 14 points and forced 4 turnovers. The most impressive performance,57896.89Georgia-Oklahoma-St-Football.sff however, was Oklahoma State’s D that held the 13th ranked Georgia Bulldogs to only 10 points while forcing 3 turnovers.

The Cowboy’s defense stuffed the Bulldog rushing attack, allowing only 95 yards on a 30 carries. The timing of OSU’s defense was just as impressive. Normally, when a Big 12 defense plays well in the first 3 quarters, they tend to slack off during the 4th. The Cowboys allowed only 59 yards on three drives and forced 2 of their turnovers in the 4th quarter alone.

I know, I know, it is only week one. But, if the Big 12 can play at least a little defense – say, holding an opponent to under 30 points – their offenses can handle the rest. A couple more Big 12 defenses will be tested next weekend. Iowa State plays no. 22 Iowa at home, Baylor plays UConn, and Oklahoma State plays a high flyin’ Houston offense that put up 55 points in week one. Keep your eyes on Big 12 D.

-Pierce

2009 NBA Draft Lottery Analysis


  1. 1.    Los Angeles Clippers – Blake Griffin, F, Oklahoma

This pick seems like a no brainer. Griffin is the most explosive and entertaining player in the draft. The Clippers got a superstar in the first overall pick. Grade: A+

  1. 2.    Memphis Grizzlies – Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn

Thabeet is the most the intimidating defensive presence in the draft. The Grizzlies can center their team around Thabeet. He is not the best scorer and needs to learn to play the post. But, at 7 foot 3, he has the tools to be the next Mutumbo. Grade: A

  1. 3.    Oklahoma City Thunder – James Harden, G, Arizona State

Harden is a little bit of a reach here, with better guards still available in Tyreke Evans and Ricky Rubio. Harden does execute the fundamentals better than anyone. He is solid all around, from scoring to defense. Harden will join a young Thunder team that needs another scorer outside of Durant. Will Harden be that scorer? Grade: B

  1. 4.    Sacramento Kings – Tyreke Evans, G, Memphis

The Kings got an outstanding scorer in Evans. His talent, believe it or not, is still raw. The Kings need help everywhere, and sleceting a point guard was a great starting point to the rebuilding process. I like Rubio better than Evans because Rubio is more of a pure point. However, Evans is a better scorer and is more tested than Rubio. Grade: B+

  1. 5.    Minnesota Timberwolves – Ricky Rubio, G, Spain

Rubio is the rawest player in the NBA, but could develop into the best. He hasn’t been tested but plays the point extremely well. The Timberwolves can center their team around this player. Rubio is going to need a couple years to develop, but Rubio is upside in the purest sense. Grade: A-

  1. 6.    Minnesota Timberwolves – Jonny Flynn, G, Syracuse

An outstanding point guard, Flynn gets a team involved better than any other. The Timberwolves took Rubio with the pick before, why take another point guard that isn’t the strongest scorer? Great player. Bad Pick. Grade: D+

  1. 7.    Golden State Warriors – Stephen Curry, G, Davidson

The best pure shooting player in draft is unproven and going to an unproven team. He isn’t the most athletic or durable, but Curry can carry a team. NCAA teams knew that Curry would get the ball and couldn’t stop him. Golden State is the Davidson of the NBA, except they will play teams that have Kobe and Lebron. The Warriors needed a primtime player and they got a matinee player. Grade: C

  1. 8.    New York Knicks – Jordan Hill, F, Arizona

Hill is a great wingman that can score and play defense. He is a solid complementary player, but not the best player to center a team around. The Knicks didn’t get their man in Curry, but Hill is not a bad alternative. Grade: B

  1. 9.    Toronto Raptors – DeMar DeRozan, G, Southern California

DeRozan is inconsistent, but is inexperienced and could develop into a great guard. I see him as the poor mans Tyreke Evans. Raptor fans shouldn’t panic if he struggles his first year or two, because DeRozan needs to grow into the role of an NBA player. Grade: B-

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Brandon Jennings, G, Italy

Who? As a Milwaukee Bucks fan, I am offended by this pick. He is raw, raw, raw talent. Jennings is inexperienced, but could be groomed into a great guard by Michael Redd. Jennings isn’t has great upside, but the Bucks need upside and experience. Good job, Milwaukee. This is why you break my heart every year. Grade: D

11. New Jersey Nets – Terrence Williams, F, Louisville

The now Vince Carter-less nets got a solid wingman in Williams. Williams is athletic and the most fundamentally sound outside James Harden. The Nets selected the player that fit their team best, not the best overall player and that’s why I like this pick. Grade: B+

12. Charlotte Bobcats – Gerald Henderson, G, Duke

The Bobcats stay local by selecting the Blue Devil Henderson. Henderson is athletic and fun to watch. He is a little inconsistent, but he is growing into a great scorer. Henderson also plays great in transition and is an above average penetrator. Grade: B

13. Indiana Pacers – Tyler Hansbrough, F, North Carolina

Big Ty is experienced, professional, and a hard worker. Hansbrough can be a great bench or complementary player in the NBA, but is not athletic enough to put a team on his shoulders. He has great character, but not a lot of upside. Hansbrough is a reach at the 13th pick. Grade: C

14. Phoenix Suns – Earl Clark, F, Louisville

The Suns have dealt away Shaq and Amare, and replace him with underrated Earl Clark. He doesn’t play up to his size, which is a reason not to pick him after getting rid of two outstanding big men. Clark is a solid, unflashy player, and not a very sexy pick. Grade: C+

First Place Surprises in the AL

   As of May 10th, the Royals, Blue Jays, and Rangers are leading their divisions in the AL. All three are unlikely teams in first place. The Royals and Rangers are perennial losers that both finished under .500 last season and the Blue Jays play in a loaded division with the Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Rays. The question remains: who can hold on to there first place spot? Well, none of them.

   The Royals are the team with the best shot of contending in their division after May. These lovable losers from theZack GreinkeMidwest are young and fiery, but altogether inexperienced. KC’s pitching is a big reason for their success. Starting pitcher Zack Greinke is 6-1 with a nasty ERA of 0.51. Pair Greinke with closer Joakim Soria and the KC has an automatic win. The Royals have the lowest ERA in the AL with 3.49 and the lowest WHIP in the AL with 1.29. Youth and inconsistent hitting will be the Royals achilles heel. The Royals ranked in the bottom half of almost every major batting statistic, including 12th (out of 14) in batting average. You can’t get by in this league on pitching alone.

   The Blue Jays are at a disadvantage of playing in such an outstanding division. Lead by the pitching of Roy Halliday (6 wins), the Jays have jumped to a 21-12 record. However, the Red Sox are getting hot and are 19-12, and the Yankees have just gotten A-Rod back, which could jump start their season. The Blue Jays have been hitting better than any team in the league, ranking first in batting average and runs scored, and ranking second in on base percentage. Toronto has troubles closing out games, though, recording only 6 saves as a team on the season. The Blue Jays need a consistent closer to finish of games, especially in divisional games.

   The Texas Rangers are a peculiar team. They don’t have any superstars, nor any players that are dramatically overachieving. Yet, they are getting by and are currently holding a 1 game lead on the Angels for first. 34-year-old pitcher Kevin Millwood leads the team with 3 wins, but also has three losses. Third basemen Michael Young is having himself a productive year, but nothing spectacular. With the Angels heating up, I don’t see the Rangers picking up their level of play. They are faceless and don’t have any real leaders, they will sputter out soon.

On the Clock: Miami Dolphins (#25 Overall)

Needs: WR, DL, LB

   The Dolphins were one the surprise teams of 2008, winning 11 games and the AFC East division. The Dolphins are solid at every position on offense EXCEPT wide receiver. The starting receivers? Ted Ginn Jr. and Greg Camarillo. Uh-uh, ain’t gonna cut it. On defense, the Dolphins could use help at defensive line. Matt Roth led all Dolphins defensive lineman with 5.0 sacks last year. Someone other than the linebackers need to put pressure on the QB.

Choice #1: Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolinanorthcarolina_hakeem_nicks

   Nicks could be the big time receiver the Dolphins hoped Ted Ginn Jr. was two years ago. In 2008, Nicks grabbed 68 balls for a whopping 1,222 yards. That’s an 18.0 yards per catch average. Nicks also added 12 receiving touchdowns and 1 rushing touchdown in 2008. One slight against Nicks could be his size. At 6 foot 1, Nicks is an average receiver as it goes for height. Which could steer the Dolphins away, seeing as they already have Ginn. Be that as it may, Nicks is a big time player and a chains-mover.

Choice #2: Larry English, DE/OLB, Northern Illinois

   Not a whole lot has been said of English, perhaps because of him coming out of Northern Illinois. However, English is a DE/OLB tweener that would be a great fit for a 3-4 defense. English is quick, 4.78 forty time, which will play to his advantage in the NFL. Questions about his size may hurt his draft value though. At 6 foot 2, English only weighs 245 pounds. However, this 2008 MAC Defensive Player of the year can disrupt the backfield, with 14.5 tackles for a loss and 8 sacks. English is another player from a smaller school with great upside.