Last Weekís Question: Are you glad about
that QB you traded for?
I heard from several readers who are quite satisfied with the trades
they made for a QB. Nick, for instance, didnít mind giving
up Matthew Stafford, John Brown, and Aaron Jones for Tom Brady.
Thatís more than I would have paid for what I consider a trivial
upgrade at QB, but the deal made sense from Nickís point of
view (since neither Brown nor Jones was breaking into his starting
lineup anyway). With Melvin Gordon, Christian McCaffrey, Sony Michel
and Tevin Coleman still on his roster, I can see why he wouldnít
be bothered about Jonesí impressive (and promising) productivity
in Week 10. (I had Jones on my own bench in Week 10, which was fine,
since Gordon and CMC came through like the studs they are. So maybe
converting Jones into an upgrade at QB would make more sense than
watching him accumulate points that donít matter.)
James (whose team bears a striking resemblance to Nickís)
was able to snag Brady for Kenyan Drake:
Iím in a 14-team league and stupidly dropped Ryan after his
terrible Week 1 performance, so I streamed QBs the first several
weeks of the season before picking up Winston after his suspension.
I thought I had my QB situation settled after his early bye week
only to have him get benched a few weeks ago. Fitzmagic was the
only solid stream available with all of the byes that week and a
guy in front of me in the waiver order had two QBs on bye so I knew
I wouldnít get him. I have a pretty good team but after several
couple-of-point losses because of various and disastrous kicker
production (I donít want to talk about it) I was 3-5 and desperately
needed a win so I offered Kenyan Drake (coming off of two productive
weeks in a row) to the RB-needy Brady/Goff owner and got Brady in
return. Brady isnít going to be a league winner and I agree
with you on QB position scarcity but Drake was my sixth RB (behind
M. Gordon, S. Michel, N. Chubb, K. Johnson and A. Jones) so to me
he was worth trading to get a likely top ten QB most weeks and to
spare myself the hassle of streaming rest of season.
I appreciate the point James makes about the hassle of streaming
QBs, especially in leagues with very short add/drop periods (like
the FFToday Staff League). Streaming is easy if you can just make
your selection any time you think about it between Wednesday and
Sunday, but if you have to go through multiple waivers just to
reach a short add/drop window, then you can end up wasting a lot
of time hoping and dreaming for a particular QB only to end up
settling for another at the last second. When I say that streaming
is easy, I mean that itís easy to find QB1 production every
single week by streaming. But streaming can also be a PITA.
I donít know what it is about Brady, but Hugh traded for
him as well:
I traded Le'Veon Bell for Tom Brady back in Week 3, and it has
worked out very well for me so far.
Our league is oldónewspaper and pencil oldóand our
scoring system reflects that. We give 1 point per yard, passing,
running, receiving, and 25 points for touchdowns. This was installed
way back when, so it was easier for everybody to add up the scores
of each player and team.
So in our league, QBs reign supreme, just on the numbers alone.
They get paid the most on auction day, and even middle of-the-road
types are more valuable than top shelf skill players. So a Drew
Brees in his prime is easily worth 2 Todd Gurleyís any day
[in this scoring system]. In fact it is sometimes best to dump
a bench warming skill player, and grab a third or fourth QBónot
because you can play more than one a week, but so the opposition
can't play them against you.
Now that we know Bellís fantasy value is precisely zero,
trading him for anything at all seems like a great choice. Making
that trade back in Week 3 would have been incredibly bold in a
conventional fantasy league, but it sounds like it was practically
a no-brainer in the scoring system Hugh describes. By the way,
I love to hear from readers like Hugh because almost everyone
plays fantasy according to the same default settings on the same
websites these days. Just thinking about a league with 25-point
TDs is fun.
But you donít have to be in a league with unusual scoring
for a QB to salvage your season, as Garyís experience proves:
I agree that drafting a QB early is foolish, but I don't like
streaming them either, so I usually draft two who I think will
be decent. In my league (12 teams, 0.5ppr) I decided to go RB-heavy
in the draft, and I wound up with Bell (2nd pick), Mixon, R Freeman,
C Carson, and A Jones. Quite a haul, I thought. I was one of the
last to draft a QB and I took Marcus Mariota, and then Alex Smith
later. After Mariota laid an egg in Week 1 I dumped him for Case
Keenum. So, Bell does his disappearing act, Mixon gets hurt, and
before you know it I'm 0-4. I need to do something, so I put Bell
on the trading block seeking a quality QB1 in return, and manage
to trade Bell, Keenum, and Tyler Boyd for Philip Rivers, Davante
Adams, and Nyhiem Hines...I couldn't click "Accept Trade"
fast enough! Rivers has been a consistent stud for me and now
I'm 5-4 and in 4th place. Yes, I got Adams, too, but the driver
behind the trade was getting a QB1 for Bell. So, to answer your
question: I am SO glad I made a trade for a QB!
My thanks go out to everyone who wrote in. Iíve only included
a handful of responses here, and clearly I underestimated the
number of satisfied customers in QB trading circles.
This week’s question: Can you
justify your single-QB format?
This week’s question comes from Jeremy, who is sick and
tired of the way quarterbacks are valued in fantasy:
This [lack of QB scarcity] is exactly why I moved our league to
a 2 QB league a few years ago. How can arguably the most important
position on the offense, not be integral in fantasy football?
It wasn’t right. So, I added QB as another option for the
flex spot, while also tinkering (lowering) QB points so they were
more in line with RB/WR points. Now most teams in our 14-team
league start two QBs each week (except maybe during bye weeks).
It has given a whole new life to the QB spot. We see QBs being
carefully drafted and traded especially if someone is trying to
fill in for a bye week. Now, that doesn’t mean you have
to have 2 QBs to win, the team two years ago won the league with
just one starting QB the whole year.
There was some reluctance at first, but just about every owner
has come to embrace the change now.
It is kind of weird that the most difficult position in professional
sports turns out to be less of a differentiator in fantasy than
RB or WR or in some cases TE. But the fact is the only positions
I care less about in fantasy than QB are kicker and defense (of
which there are precisely as many “starters” as there
are QBs). Let’s face it: Scarcity drives value in fantasy,
and single-QB leagues generally don’t create enough scarcity
at QB as at the other skill positions on offense.
So why isn’t everyone playing in a 2-QB league? Are people
committed to 1 QB because that’s how real football is played?
Or is it because (like me) they’re addicted to the depth
they can achieve at other positions by streaming QBs? Please comment
below or email me
to let me know why you think most leagues are sticking with the
Survivor Pool Picks
Trap Game: Eagles at Saints
With 6 teams on bye, Week 11 presents a tight slate. The biggest
spread has the Eagles as 9-point underdogs in New Orleans. Vegasí
low opinion of the defending Super Bowl champs is understandable
in light of their loss to an uninspired Dallas team in Week 10.
The not-so-high-flying Eagles are now two games behind the Redskins
in what is arguably the most disappointing division of the NFL.
The 8-1 Saints, by contrast, havenít lost since their Week
1 visit to Tampa Bay and appear to be heading to the NFC Championship.
Everything points to a Saints win: home-field advantage, talent,
momentum. But thatís exactly why I wonít touch this
one. Yeah, itís probably the safest pick of the week, but
it makes my skin crawl to contemplate betting against the Eagles,
who are better than their record indicates and probably looking
forward to playing in a cozy dome rather than their chilly home.
I have a hunch the Philly defense will jell this week and rattle
the cage of Drew Brees, turning this into a let-down game from
Pick #3: Cardinals over Raiders (7-3; GB, NO, CHI, LAC, CIN, car, TB, IND, oak, phi)
Byron Leftwich, the newly appointed offensive coordinator in Arizona,
has breathed new life into the Cardinal offense (and resuscitated
hopes for owners of David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald). The hapless
Raiders donít have anything like a Byron Leftwich to be
excited about. After losing Amari Cooper to Dallas and both Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant to injury, the Oakland receiving corps
now consists of Seth Roberts, Brandon LaFell, and Marcell Ateman.
Good luck with that, Oakland. The Raiders appear to be playing
for the top draft choice in 2019 (i.e. tanking), but they canít
afford to let the apathy show in their home games. However, as
the visiting team in this one, look for Oakland to phone it in
Pick #2: Buccaneers over Giants (7-3; no, LAC, hou, GB, CAR, MIN, IND, PIT, KC, atl)
The Giants are 2-point favorites at home in this one, but I want
the Bucs. The New York rushing game is next to last in the NFL,
and the passing game (though statistically better) is painful
to watch. Things should be especially rough on Eli Manning this
week with former teammate Jason Pierre-Paul back in town and eager
to show his old team what a mistake they made in dealing him to
Tampa, where he has racked up 8 sacks so far this season (just
2 less than the Giants as a team). I hate picking visiting teams
in survival pools, but I expect former Jet Ryan Fitzpatrick to
feel more at home in Met Life Stadium than Manning on Sunday.
Pick #1: Panthers over Lions (8-2; BAL, LAR, min, JAX, NO, GB, LAC, CHI, dal, KC)
The Panthers were a better team than the Lions before Golden Tate
left Detroit, but not so much better that I would have considered
betting against Detroit at home. That changed with Tateís
departure. Matthew Stafford has been sacked 16 times in the past
2 weeks, and the Detroit coaches have proven that even when they
find their way to a running game, they will immediately forget
whatever they learned and relapse into the familiar pattern of
desperation passingóonly with fewer downfield weapons than
they used to have. Sure, Cam Newton has been uneven this season.
But he remains a poised and gifted athlete with a versatile weapon
in Christian McCaffrey. I donít see how the Lions can keep
Mike Davis has been writing about fantasy football since 1999--and
playing video games even longer than that. His latest novel (concerning
a gamer who gets trapped inside Nethack after eating too many shrooms)
can be found here.