With the start of the canonical fantasy playoffs following this next week’s slate of games, trades and pickups close down in the majority of leagues in the coming days (if they haven’t already). As such, this will be the last Tuesday Transactions until the 2016 regular season begins. Given the totality of the above, this week’s installment will be slightly different, focusing on moves both contending and rebuilding teams can make to either aid in the playoff push or build for the future. Sure, the season might be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean you can’t adjust your roster and leave a lasting impact in doing so.
One last time, in the interest of transparency here were my week 12 suggestions:
Allen Robinson (turkey), Giovani Bernard (stuffing), Javorius Allen (yams), Frank Gore (gravy), Jordan Matthews (cranberry sauce) and Marshawn Lynch (green beans).
Robinson (5-56-1) once again found the end zone, Bernard (10-16-0, 2-51-0) struggled on the ground, Allen (12-55-0, 4-29-1) had a middling day, Gore (19-24-0, 2-13-0) continued to show his age, Matthews (3-60-1) was quiet until garbage time and Lynch had sports hernia surgery.
With that said, let’s take a peek towards the end of the fantasy regular season!
Moves for Contenders
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- Buy the Aging Receivers – Players that come to mind include Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall and Larry Fitzgerald. All three have been on fire lately, accounting for a combined 27 receptions, 290 yards and five touchdowns in week 12 alone. Despite this, age remains more than a number in the minds of many owners, and these veterans could come at a discount. With November ADPs of 23, 63 and 80, respectively, you’re undoubtedly receive production that far exceeds the cost.
- Look for Transient Value – Players such as Shaun Draughn and Scott Chandler encompass this message. Draughn has performed adequately the last three weeks given the limitations of the 49ers offense, turning an average of 20 touches into 86 yards. He hasn’t scored, but his usage in the passing game raises his floor. Chandler should similarly be in line for a temporary bump given Rob Gronkowski’s injury. Much like with the point above, cheap production is the name of the game, and contenders shouldn’t worry about sacrificing a future late round pick to potentially win it all.
- Play the Matchups – The Panthers get the Saints, Giants, and Falcons twice. The Redskins get the Cowboys, Bears, and then the crumbling Bills and Eagles. The Chiefs finish with Oakland, San Diego, Baltimore and Cleveland. This means you can find cheaper “streaming” options such as Jonathan Stewart, DeSean Jackson, Alfred Morris, <insert KC running back here> and possibly even Jeremy Maclin for the stretch run. Apart from Maclin, none of these players should break the bank. Conversely, if there’s a player you’re not sold who has a tough remaining schedule try and get some commensurate value. If for whatever reason you still don’t like Devonta Freeman (Tampa, Jacksonville and Carolina twice), see if you can get Eddie Lacy with a sweetener on top (and so on and so on).
- Pay for an Old Tight End – There just aren’t many difference makers at the position, especially with the dual losses of Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. It might cost you some, but do what it takes to get a guy like Gary Barnidge, Delanie Walker or Antonio Gates. Having a locked in floor with a high ceiling at fantasy’s most fickle position could be the difference between hoisting your league’s trophy and finishing the season as an also-ran.
Moves for Rebuilders
- The Opposite of the Moves Above – Though older players have more “real” value than perceived value, the fact is their prices will dip come the off-season. Situational talent like Draughn and Chandler isn’t going to help you this year. Matchup-based deals aren’t necessary since your matchups don’t matter, and you’re certainly not an old tight end away from taking home a championship. The name of the game is maximizing value, so if you can serve as the trade partner for any of those moves listed above, you could find yourself on better footing come 2016.
- Buy Injured Players – Keenan Allen, Kelvin Benjamin, Dion Lewis and Jace Amaro are just a few of the multitude of young bucks out there who should be able to put up numbers once they return next season. And while their futures remain bright, they’re not going to score any more points in 2015 – as such, the onus is on the buyer in these situations. Contending or not, whoever owns the ranks of the injured reserve is going to be putting up zeroes over the course of the next several games. Given that, a discount could be in store.
- Seek Out Unproductive Rookies – Truth be told, if you factor out the triumvirate of Todd Gurley, Amari Cooper and TJ Yeldon (and to a lesser extent Stefon Diggs), this could essentially encapsulate the rest of the 2015 class. Much of this has been due to injury (Kevin White and Breshad Perriman), while in other cases it’s come down to usage (Ameer Abdullah, Duke Johnson and Jay Ajayi). Sometimes, the players flat out haven’t answered the bell (Melvin Gordon and Nelson Agholor). Regardless, if they’re not contributing, there’s a chance contending teams might be willing to sell them for assets that will. And much like in the scenario above, this could possibly come at a discount, providing you with a cost effective means of building for the future.
- Eschew Traditional “Value” – Continuing with the reasoning from the second point above, there’s value to be had with injured studs. However, just because you’re rebuilding doesn’t mean you can only buy young players. To me, the best way to expedite the rebuilding process is to accumulate as much value as possible. As such, I don’t see any reason why a rebuilding squad can’t put out feelers for veterans such as Jamaal Charles and Jordy Nelson? These are players who will undoubtedly accrue value as the 2016 regular season progresses, at which point they can be flipped for significantly more than the current going rate. No, they don’t fit the classical definition of appreciating assets, but that’s more a byproduct of myopia than anything. The injured, forgotten old guard can still be of some use to all types of dynasty squads.
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I actually traded for Keenan Allen with a guy who ran out of BBID and lost Allen and Kelvin to injury this season. Only cost me Reuben Randle/$75 BBID/1st rounder. Seeing how I have two 1st rounders I have no plans on spending all of my BBID this price seemed pretty low to me. I like Allen more than anyone I would have drafted with that pick.
I am a contender this year with the second best points for in our league this season. I drafted Kevin White in our rookie draft last year. I have an offer for White on the table for Brandon Marshall. Should I take it? I am in win-now mode but I’m afraid to give up White for a 31 year old WR. Thoughts?
Who would Marshall replace in your starting lineup?
Steffon Diggs most likely. I have:
2) A Robinson
I need to start 4.