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Wed, October 31, 2012

Buffalo Wild Wings Fantasy Football Bites: NFL Trade deadline impact?

With the NFL trade deadline approaching and so many teams on the bubble, many fantasy players are speculating on which players will see improving (or worsening) scenarios.  This goes back to the post from a couple of weeks ago, and a player's opportunity as well as their surrounding variables such as QB, O-line, change of schedule, etc.  but the problem with this speculation is a) we don't know which players will move and b) we CERTAINLY don't know where they will land.

 One trade happened last year that had any impact, Carson Palmer to the Raiders.  His move pushed a viable QB to the top of the fantasy free agent heap and his arrival in Oakland spelled brighter days for Moore, Heyward Bey, and Jacoby Ford.

This year, the rumors are swirling about Steven Jackson, Deangelo Williams, Steve Smith (Carolina) and Dwayne Bowe.  While the thought of one of those players moving to another team is tantalizing, we have NO IDEA what the end result will look like and if it will be better.  Our recommendation is, unless it costs you almost nothing to make a move, DON'T DO IT. 

If Steven Jackson (nearing the dreaded 3,000 carry mark on his career) were to go to a RB starved team, would it really help his stock that much?  The Packers have already proven they are best off just passing and even in the red-zone, their goalline back has been Kuhn or Rodgers.  The Cardinals are quickly taking themselves out of the race, and behind that leaky offensive line, it would be no better for him.  No, the real impact here is that Daryl Richardson's stock continues to rise, and if Jackson were to move Richardson's value is basically doubled (he goes from flex to RB2?)

Deangelo Williams is probably on your waiver wire right now, and this one you may want to use a free agent pickup to acquire.  Not that we see a move coming, but just that it will cost you NOTHING to get him!  If he landed in Dallas for instance, he could be viable for a week or two, but would then find himself again on the bench when Murray returns.  But considering some of the other one-week wonder running backs we've seen this year, again, Williams is worth a speculative pickup.  Again, the real impact of Williams moving would be clearing the lanes for Jonathon Stewart to finally build some momentum with 15-20 touches.  Stewart is the guy you want if this move happens.

Steve Smith is an interesting name, but the chances of the Panthers moving him are slim to none.  As it is, he just had a nice game and his owner probably won't part with him, meaning you'd have to overpay.  Let's say he went to the Ravens...he goes from being the clear #1 target of Cam Newton to the #2 at best, maybe #3 target of Joe Flacco.  Probably not a great situation for reliability, he'd have some great games, but some real clunkers as well.  A Smith trade would hurt the value of EVERYBODY on Carolina, and probably wouldn't help the value of anyone on the team he ends up on EXCEPT the starting QB.  The ideal landing spot for him would be HOUSTON, where I think he'd actually help open up  running lanes and give Schaub a reliable downfield target while opening things up for Andre Johnson.  I think the Green Bay blowout was an eye opener for the Texans, if they get behind, they don't have the weapons to catch up, and Smith would present an opportunity for them to run with the big dogs in a wide-open shootout (against the Patriots!) 

The Chiefs are completely lost and need to reevalute what they are doing on offense.  Dwayne Bowe is the ONE guy I'm thinking has some serious potential in the trade market.  His contract is up, and his greatest asset is his size and athletic ability, and adding him to an undersized/undertalented receiving core like the Bills, Bengals, Vikings, Dolphins, Eagles, Seahawks, or Jets could mean major improvements to those entire offenses, especially in the red zone.  But perhaps the poor QB play of most of the above teams is just too much of a negative for his value to really improve.

With all that in mind, some people are right now formulating trades for the hot-names that the Florios and Schefters have been speculating about, but is it really worth it?  Generally, no.  If you think about it, the player is moving to an entirely new system where it will take weeks to get up to speed.  Only if the player is underperforming and you can BUY LOW is it worth it.  If nothing else, moves like this help the players on the team they left behind, giving them a chance to emerge from their previously murky position on the depth chart.  

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