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The Tricks of the Trade – Week 1 Disappointments

The Tricks of the Trade with @TradeMastaur

Week 1 Edition: Disappointments

This Place Sucks.

I don’t need to tell you how brutal this week was for more than half of us playing Fantasy Football as a whole. Even those of you that escaped the week without an injury still could’ve been snake bitten with a nasty loss and a stud that underperformed. So we can sit here and bitch about it or we can try to capitalize on the shift in value that happens early on in fantasy.  

I’ll be hand picking some players I feel are important to most of us and giving my take on their value as we know it. I’m not big on dishing away players this early in the year so there won’t be many guys I’ll be telling you to cut bait with, but believe me, later in the year, that will probably be the bulk of my articles. So let’s enjoy it while it lasts and break down Week 1’s Disappointments.

The Disappointments

Kirk Cousins: 23/40 Passing / 240 Yards / 1 TD’s / 1 INT / 30 Rush Yards / 2 Lost Fumbles

If you’re worried about the Washington franchise (Tag) QB then I think you have every reason to be, at least for the moment. He faced a rabid Eagles defense last Sunday that did him no favors, but he also did no favors for himself either. Passes sailed and the deep ball just felt out of sync with his new weapon Terrell Pryor. The fluidity of last year’s McVay offense seemed to stall out at times, mixed with absolutely no running game to speak of, and Cousins left much to be desired and fantasy teams shaken.

I’m approaching this situation as a hold and if nothing else I’m looking towards the waiver wire for a possible replacement/insurance policy. I saw a lot of trade offers for QB’s this week where too much was being given up just to acquire a player like Sam Bradford or Tyrod Taylor. This early I still think it would make sense to give the new offense a few weeks to gel, but this has my eyebrow raised for the time being.

Hold – Don’t Trade Away – Don’t Trade For

Cam Newton: 14/25 Passing / 171 Yards / 2 TD’s / 1 INT / 3 Rush Yards / 0 TD’s

Anyone who talk’s football with me will eventually figure out I can’t stand Cam Newton. Something about the guy’s ego just pisses me off, comes to think of it I think it’s the fact that it’s bigger than the entire state of North Carolina. So with that said I’m still objectively telling you that Cam is a nice target to maybe try and obtain in the coming weeks. He’s especially a great target if you can steal him away from an owner who may have also drafted Smith, Bradford, Siemian, or Wentz and feel like they may have the QB security to do so.  

What I liked about the Carolina offense was his new weapons are worthwhile players that can help bolster his fantasy value. We actually saw him embrace the short pass to McCaffrey in a game where there wasn’t much urgency to move the ball with such little resistance from the SF offense. Benjamin heavily disappointed with only 1 catch on 5 targets, but again I feel like this was a game flow issue at least for this week. When the opposing team only puts up 3 points, your new on the fly game plan simply becomes, run the ball, eat clock, and get out of this game healthy. If you are disappointed with your QB situation, Cam’s a great option you could get for cheaper with the upside of top 3 weeks.

Hold – Don’t Trade Away – Trade For

Demarco Murray: 12 Carries / 44 Yards / 0 TD’s / 2 Catches / 16 Yards / 0 TD’s

A very frustrating day for the Titans which should have equated to a perfect Murray heavy type game. Close matchup at home is usually exactly when Demarco gets fed, but we just didn’t see the production needed here and that could have limited his carries. He had one run of 21 which only makes the production look even worse than it appeared. Take away that run and he averaged 2.09 yards per carry on those remaining 11. More weapons in the WR Core including huge draft capital invested in Corey Davis and Marcus Mariota leads me to believe the air attack is the trend for the Titans. Henry on his heels and age the constant enemy of the RB and I’m definitely in a slight panic stage on Murray.

I’m not moving the power back unless I can still find a way to get 90-95% of his initial value. I just refuse to move a guy for less after one poor start, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be shopping him or looking to do so in the near future. If Murray gives us a nice start in week 2 against the Jags and I’ll be moving on from Murray quickly.

Hold (Temporarily) – Trade Away (At Value) – Don’t Trade For

Joe Mixon: 8 Carries / 9 Yards / 0 TD’s / 3 Catches / 15 Yards / 0 TD’s

Do it now before Marvin Lewis decides to stop being a stubborn ass like he always starts the season when it comes to his RB core. I’ve joked throughout the years that Bengals young RB’s get Marvin’d because he prefers the stable veteran and makes the rookie earn his way on the field. The hard part of this is that it’s very difficult to earn your way on the field when you get so few attempts and your QB turns the ball over 5 times.  The Bengals offense is going to improve and I believe Mixon will be a big part of that insurgence. He’s an actual 3 down workhorse style back that could be a bit of a league winner in the sense that some teams give up on him early only for him to bust out later in the year.

If you have some stability on your bench or RB2 slot I’d throw it at the panicked Mixon owner who may be thinking that 4th/5th round pick on the rookie was just all hype. They play the Texans this week and it could be two weeks in a row of an underwhelming performance. However two to three weeks is when owners really get antsy. It can be the perfect time to get a guy you believe in for later in the year. Make a move now, or gamble a touch more and wait until next week with your fingers crossed he doesn’t simply just take the job by force in week 2.

HOLD – Don’t Trade Away – Trade For

TY Hilton: 3 Catches / 57 Yards / 0 TD’s

This might take some convincing and maybe a few more weeks of wincing after you’ve made the move, but with each week Luck comes closer to returning, TY becomes harder to trade for. No real need to break down the players talent or performance here, we know exactly why Hilton disappointed and it’s the lack of current QB with no reprieve coming even if Brissett gets the job this week.

Hilton is a WR1 stud with Luck on the field and if you went 1-0 and escaped without any injuries then I’m all about going and getting him. You may be able to acquire Hilton for a steady mid low end WR2 and a flier on the back end or a hand cuff. I’ll be going after him in a few leagues but I’m one of those guys who lost DJ in two leagues, so I may have to be more creative in those ones to hold off going 0-2. This is what savvy traders do, they make the deals that hurt a little now and can payoff 10x later on. Just make sure you know your team can handle the slight 2-3 week hit before you do it.

HOLD – Don’t Trade Away – Trade For

Dez Bryant: 2 Catches / 43 Yards / 0 TD’s

What an ugly game on Sunday night, which I’m sure the NFL was hoping would’ve been another Cowboys Giants last second showdown for their first big prime time match up. Zeke took over the game while Eli and company gave exactly zero resistance back at Dallas. Dak wasn’t asked to air it out and Dez’s production was hurt because of it. However, things are not quickly looking too good for the immediate future of Dez’s possible WR1 campaign with a trip to the Mile High city inbound for week 2.

So this one is paint by numbers buy low for me. More than, more than likely Dez is going to struggle again in their match up against the Broncos No Fly Zone secondary. The schedule remains tough for the Cowboys, but it’s the close games where elite WR’s can thrive. I’d be inquiring about Dez AFTER this week when the value on him will feel like rock bottom for those who undoubtedly took him in the 2nd round as possibly their WR1. I’d really try not to roster him for this week if you can, but as always, if the price is low enough I’d take him from a panicked owner ASAP as well.

Hold – Don’t Trade Away ( Unless equal 2nd round value can be found) – Trade For ( Next Week)

Jordan Reed: 5 Catches / 36 Yards / 0 TD’s

I’m going to be in the minority here but I’m getting off this sinking ship before it’s simply too late. From someone who has dealt with nagging toe injuries (and oh by the way I’m not a pro athlete trying to compete at an elite level) I understand how you can feel 100% one moment and useless the next. You mix that reality in with the history of Jordan Reed and I’m ready to get as much as I can for his name as possible.

Tight end is a position I’m ok punting on in most leagues, so maybe your targets can be a RB or WR in return along with a lower end TE replacement. If you want to target some TE’s that are lower than Reed then my suggestions are Zach Ertz (while you can), Kyle Rudolph, Charles Clay, Delanie Walker, or maybe even Jesse James. Now obviously with a few of those guys you will be able to trade Reed plus another nice piece for but I’m really just washing my hands of the enigmatic oft inured Washington TE.

Don’t Hold – TRADE AWAY – Don’t Trade For


The Wrap Up

Whatever you do, just try not to panic on any of these guys, even if I told you I was a little bit. My greatest tool as a trader is simply being completely content with walking away from a deal. So many of us end up making a deal that wasn’t even close to the original one we offered to a guy because we hung on too long with negotiations or allowed ourselves to be convinced against our better judgment. IF you can find the value in the deal with the aforementioned players then jump all over it, but always trade with caution. If you can let the deal sit for a little bit so you know it’s something you really want to do. Once the deal is made you should feel like you’ve capitalized on an opportunity or trend instead of just scratching an itch to make a deal.

Look out for more Tricks of The Trade articles each week here at all season I’m looking forward to hearing from everybody as we get deeper entrenched into fantasy football this year. You can find me on the Fantasy Life App as @trademastaur and let me know your thoughts anytime in the Clock Dodgers chat or check out my podcast “The Nick and The Dick Podcast Fantasy Football with Spunk”. Just be warned, I may be a bit informal here, but my partners Nick (@Nicktaur) and Josh (@Luckett) only make it worse. Come for the fantasy talk but stay for the jokes and badgering.

fantasy football kid

From the little man and me, until next time.

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