Trade Bait: Keeper Moves…Like Jagger
Are you the kind of fantasy owner who’s constantly scrambling to take advantage of perceived (and real) changes in fantasy value, bombarding fellow league members with an onslaught of tempting trade offers? I’m here to tell you you’re not alone, and to tender some suggestions for prospective deals. After Week 10, you should be able to discern your playoff chances, and whether you want to make a run in keeper leagues or start prepping for next season. I actually woke up with that catchy-as-hell Maroon 5/Xtina song in my head as keeper league ideas bounced through my brain, so let’s focus on making some shrewd little moves…like Jagger. I’ll take it from here.
Keeper leaguers to acquire
Andy Dalton, CIN – It kind of goes without saying that Cam Newton should be a top target of keeper league deals, but the chances of landing a player that’s already as immensely valuable as Newton is slim, especially because the team that’s been plugging him in week after week is probably near the top of the standings, and in no mood to part with their cash cow. Dalton, on the other hand, isn’t among the Top 15 QBs this season, and is likely languishing on somebody’s bench. While the division is a tough one from a fantasy perspective, we’ve seen signs that the Pittsburgh and Baltimore juggernauts are losing some of their defensive dominance, while the upstart Bengals are developing into the kind of team that can create short fields and myriad opportunities for its offense. Dalton seems to be able to make all the throws, and he’s got a shot at throwing for 3,000 yards and 20+ TDs this season. With a guy like A.J. Green in his back pocket, those will be reachable benchmarks for the red-headed wonder every year.
DeMarco Murray, DAL – I’ve never believed that Felix Jones would be the every-down answer in Dallas, and Murray is helping to make a case for a dramatic shift in the organization’s RB plans. The rookie back has already rushed for 674 yards on just 100 carries. It’s hard to determine what exactly it will take to pry Murray from his owner, but the price could be lowered by the imminent return of Jones to the Dallas backfield. Any way you slice it, Murray looks like the workhorse for the foreseeable future in Big D, and he’s worth grabbing for prospective value – regardless of how things play out down the stretch in 2011.
Julio Jones, ATL – The hamstring problems are a concern; nobody wants to be tagged an injury risk in his rookie season. But the playmaking ability of this talented rookie receiver outweighs whatever issues he’s had in the past several weeks. A healthy Jones promises to supplant Roddy White’s WR1 numbers in Atlanta as Michael Turner get solder and Matt Ryan starts pushing the ball downfield a bit more. The price for Jones will be steep, but it’s worth grabbing a guy like him (or Cincinnati’s A.J. Green) before their value skyrockets into stud country over the next few seasons. If you can’t afford Green or Jones, I’m bullish on Kansas City neophyte Jonathan Baldwin – who’s a couple years experience and a healthy QB away from stardom.
Keeper leaguers to deal
Shonn Greene, NYJ – He came off the field early on Thursday night with an injury, and he’s having a relatively disappointing year on a team that used to rely pretty heavily on its running game. Some owners still erroneously believe that the Jets need to run the ball more to be effective, but that’s just not an option if your guys aren’t blocking. Barring a return to the offensive approach (and line components in the Damien Woody/Alan Faneca mold) that blasted gaping holes in opposing defenses during the 2009 campaign, I just don’t see the Jets being a great running team again with Greene shouldering the load.
Mark Ingram, NO – Ingram is averaging just 3.7 yards per carry and isn’t nearly the presence we thought he’d be in this New Orleans offense. While many (including me) believed that Ingram would both lend an interior running presence and be active in the passing game, Sean Payton’s philosophy is firmly entrenched in the multi-back approach, preferring the undersized scatback for handling passing downs. Ingram is a huge trading chip, because he’s a rookie with a seemingly bright future in the right system. But I’d be moving Ingram and focusing on adding players who can help me in 2012, and the chances are that Ingram isn’t that guy.
Aaron Hernandez, NE – I know, the guy‘s an absolute monster in the red zone and can have huge games and stat lines like a No. 1 WR. But it’s pretty obvious that he’s just another receiver in the current double-TE scheme that’s been vaulting Rob Gronkowski to super-stardom. As long as Gronkwoski is in New England, I don’t see Hernandez as the monster performer he was predicted to be heading into his rookie year. You’ll still be able to snag some top talent for him, and there are plenty of teams looking to upgrade at TE.
Antonio D’Arcangelis is a fantasy baseball and football writer from Upstate New York. He’s written for Fanhouse.com and Rotoexperts.com, among several other sites, with columns syndicated on SI.com and Yahoo.com. Antonio has 10 years experience as a fantasy writer and currently provides content for FFToday.com, FanDuel.com and DraftBuddy.com. He can be reached via e-mail and on Twitter.
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