I made a few big changes this week to my typical Fantasy line-up in hopes that I could shoar up my starters and not have to rely on Brady having a legendary week in order for me to eek out a win. I made a few acquisitions, one trade, and switched some bench players for starters, all in hopes for me to be a little bit more consistent.
I am still starting Tom Brady, who has the most fantasy points for any quarterback, and the most points of any player in the league at this point. However, I am replacing my second starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez. With whom am I replacing Sanchez? Well, if I’m already playing the #1 quarterback in the league, wouldn’t it make sense for me to start the #2 quarterback? Of course, but who is that, and how could I possibly have the #1 and #2 highest point scoring quarterbacks in the league?
Simple. Cam Newton has scored the second highest amount of fantasy points in the NFL. I picked up Cam almost as joke, in fact, ya, I picked him up as a joke. As he stewed on my bench in the preseason, I had thoughts about his potential, but never did I expect two 400 yard games. His performances so far have been record-breaking and unprecedented, and one of them was against Green Bay, one of the best defensive teams in the league. It is still an act of courage to relinquish the starting role to Newton because he is so green and untested, but I can’t consciously keep him on my bench if I think he could reel off another fantasy bombshell of a game. Thus, Cam Newton replaced Mark Sanchez on my starting lineup.
The next changes in my startup were mostly caused by injuries, but I am curious to see if those injuries were blessings in disguise. Marques Colston and Aaron Hernandez both were minorly injured–the recovery time for either is three more weeks tops. Still, I needed to fill their starting positions, and I didn’t like anyone on my bench to do the deed, especially with the pool of talent waiting in the Free Agency ocean. I submitted my waiver wire request for David Nelson, a little known receiver (although he’s 6’5) who plays for the Bills. His quarterback, Fitzgerald, is starting the season aflame, and it’s uncertain whether he continue at this rate. Still, the Bills do not have a deep receiving corps, and with Roscoe Parrish out on injury, Buffalo needed someone to step up to fill the #2 spot behind Steve Johnson. David Nelson has more receptions than the Steve Johnson, the supposed “number one” receiver on the team. Johnson also has two touchdown catches already, which puts him up there with receivers like Greg Jennings, Roddy White, and Reggie Wayne, who all have two. Nelson is physically imposing and a great target, and he benefits from being the number two receiver on his team because opponents focus most of their energy on the number one. Hopefully Nelson plays to his potential and has a breakout year, but his team is still Buffalo, and it’s only been two weeks.
My other big acquisition was Eric Decker, a slot receiver for the Denver Broncos, who is #5 best fantasy receiver at this point in the season. Very few people would have predicted that, and I, among many, do not foresee that trend continuing. Decker is only getting more targets because Brandon Lloyd has been hurt, and Lloyd is returning this week. Plus, Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow are fighting for the quarterback position in Denver, and so Decker can’t hope to have much consistency from this qb; and, whichever Denver quarterback wins the competition, Decker is still stuck with a sucky quarterback. His number cannot be denied, however. He has had two monster games, and if he has another big game with Lloyd in the line-up, then I will start him. This week, however, Decker sits, as I evaluate his performance now that teams know who he is and can prepare for him.
My biggest move this week was a trade, something that is a rare occurrence in our league. If you had checked my emails, you wouldn’t think trades are rare, because dozens of offers float through my email account every week. Other teams want players on your team, and they typically try to rip you off by offering worse players. In my league at least, there are very few trades because of one main reason: both parties in the trade want to be better off after the trade. Because roster size is limited, you can’t just accept five decent players for one good player; you have to essentially have a one-for-one equal trade. So if both teams want to benefit, and most trades are one-for-one, won’t each party in a trade have to think that they are giving away a worse player for a better player? So won’t every trade effectively feel like a rip-off? They are, for the most part, all rip-offs. That, or one side of the trade is misinformed. Either way, trades are suspect and feel oddly black market.
Even in my case, I feel like I ripped off Michael Healey, my friend with whom I made the trade. However, he proposed it. His proposal was: (he offers) Greg Jennings and Dexter McCluster; (I offer) Vincent Jackson. To me, the trade is essentially Jennings for Jackson, and I like Jennings as a more time-tested source of consistent points. It works in my favor that Jackson has enjoyed a hot start to the season, and so I can sell him high, as stockbroker speak goes. I think Jennings is better; Mike thinks Jackson is better–that’s why the trade works. We each think we’re ripping the other off! I amended the terms a little bit, so the final trade was: Jennings, McCluster, and Thomas Jones for Jackson and J. Stewart. The reason we added the last part is because I didn’t want to invest in half of the KC running game, and find out that the other running back was the man to replace J. Charles, so I asked for both. I offered Mike Jonathan Stewart in return, because he already has DeAngelo Williams, so he will now have both pieces to the Carolina handcuff. Again, I feel like I ripped him off because neither Carolina rb is getting many touches, so having both does not benefit. He probably thinks he ripped me off because the KC running game’s future is uncertain, and so both rb’s might be worthless. The trade boils down to Jackson for Jennings, and I like it.
So my lineup this week is (unless I change it because of jitters and insert Decker for Jones):
QB: Tom Brady (#1)
QB: Cam Newton (#2)
RB: Frank Gore (#21)
RB: Ahmad Bradshaw (#18)
RB/WR: Thomas Jones (#67)
WR: Greg Jennings (#17)
WR:David Nelson (#22)
WR/TE: Devery Henderson (#7)
TE: Vernon Davis (#24)
D: Ravens (#7)
D: Lions (#3)
I might put in Eric Decker (#5) for Thomas Jones (#67)