Last Week’s Question: Which midseason NFL player trade
was most valuable for fantasy?
In Week 10, I discussed the change in fantasy outlook for players
who switched teams midseason (e.g. Kenyan Drake, Emannuel Sanders,
Josh Gordon, and Mohamed Sanu) and asked readers to chime in on
which trade was most important from a fantasy perspective.
For Randy (who might be a little bitter), the choice was easy:
No contest. Antonio Brown [bouncing from the Raiders to the Pats]
to Nowheresville is gonna have the greatest fantasy impact. He
taught us all a valuable lesson about steering clear of headcases.
For me, the first two rounds have always been about talent plus
opportunity (i.e. being on a good offense or at least a team in
a soft division). From 2020 on, those early round picks will be
about talent plus opportunity plus some minimal capacity for adulting.
The Brown fiasco feels like ancient history at this point, but
Gary went back even earlier, since he thinks “none of the
midseason trades amount to much compared to Seattle’s acquisition
of Jadeveon Clowney, clearly the most important trade of 2020.”
Even though Gary focused on a trade completed before the season
was underway, his argument is compelling enough to warrant some
I moved Deshaun Watson ahead of Patrick Mahomes when I heard
about the Clowney trade because I knew Houston’s defense
would struggle without Clowney, especially if J.J. Watt missed
time, which, let’s be honest, was a pretty safe bet. It’s
not a midseason trade, but I didn’t see fantasy analysts
reacting to the pressure Houston’s loss of Clowney would
put on Watson to overachieve. This should have been more obvious
to more people.
Thanks for the insight, Gary--even if it’s not technically
on topic. As TomJ explains, however, it wasn’t an easy topic
to stick to:
Tough question this week. Can I say 'kinda no one' as my answer?
Bennett to Dallas might have a significant impact, if he's able
to be the player he's been in the past. If he can help Dallas
shut down opposing offenses, then in theory Zeke would get more
run if Dallas gets leads. But...Zeke will be involved whether
they are ahead or behind.
Ramsey to the Rams (which made them even more Rams-y...get it?!)
is maybe my top spot, because he'll limit Lockett in week 14 and
Cooper in Week 15, in theory. Those two are likely to be on playoff
teams. Can't say the same for Minkah Fitzpatrick, who gets the
Cards, Buffalo, and Jets in the playoffs, and Browns-Bengals-Browns
before that. Not much fantasy playoff relevance happening there.
So, Ramsey #1. Based on a recency bias, Sanu #2. And...I'll cheat
mildly and say Hyde to the Texans right before the season started
at #3. He might be flexing to help some folks make the playoffs.
My thanks to TomJ for his careful thinking about the impact key
defenders will have on what’s left of the 2019 fantasy season.
And I can’t really nitpick the Hyde pick, since I just indulged
Gary on Clowney. The fact that readers are having to kinda sorta
“cheat mildly” just to have this discussion suggests
that the midseason trades of 2019 don’t have many people
My thanks to everyone who responded.
This Week’s Question: Who is the best bench stash of 2019?
This week Iím challenging readers to identify the best
bench stash of 2019. A bench stash is a player (often a handcuff)
who can come out of nowhere at the end of a season to carry a
team to a championship.
This is a slight twist on a question from Bruce, who wanted to
know about the biggest injury impact of the season. Thatís
a fun question to ponder, but itís hard to generate consensus.
Owners of Patrick Mahomes will say Mahomesí injury was more
important than Saquon Barkleyís; owners of Barkley will
say that his injury was more important than that of Davante Adams;
Iím expanding Bruceís injury question to the category
of the bench stash to force readers to weigh the personnel changes
that have happened vs. those that might happen. Wayne Gallman
really was important in Week 4 in a way that Darrell Henderson
and Ryquell Armstead havenít been, but most people would
rather have the Ram or the Jaguar than the Giant as the last player
on their bench. Allen Lazard showed tremendous promise in Week
6, but would you rather have him or Sammy Watkins (who has done
next to nothing since Week 1) on your bench?
If you think the best bench stash of the year has already delivered,
please say so (and identify the player). If you think the best
is yet to come, please comment below or email me to explain your
rationale for devoting your last bench spot to A.J. Green instead
of Tony Pollard.
Survivor Pool Picks (courtesy of Matthew Schiff)
My apologies to Matthew Schiffís fans for an editorial
oversight in Week 6 that allowed Dallas to be used for a second
time. As a reader brought to my attention last week, the only
mistake in Matthewís top pick this season was the Week 6
pick of the Cowboys, who were ineligible (having been used successfully
in Week 3). Doh!
#3 Vikings over Broncos (8-2; PHI, BAL, SF, lar, NE,
WAS, GB, NO, SEA, ind)
The Broncos are coming off their bye week, which may be the only
thing they have going for them in this matchup against a Vikings
team that is undefeated at home in 2019. If this game were in
Denver, we would avoid it. But when you take this seasonís
lackluster Broncos out of their high-altitude, open air environment
and ask them to compete with a dome team like the Vikings, well,
itís a big ask. We just saw the Cowboys fail to contain
Dalvin Cook in Dallas, so itís hard to imagine the Broncos
containing him in Minnesota. And even if Denver somehow manages
to bottle up Cook, theyíll probably just light a fire under
Kirk Cousins (especially if Adam Thielen can recover from his
hamstring injury in time to be activated).
The Falcons surprised a lot of Survival Pool participants (including
yours truly) in Week 10 by dominating the Saints in New Orleans.
Can they win a second consecutive road game against a divisional
opponent? Sure. The NFL is all about parity, and the 2-7 Falcons
may be experiencing a November rebound. This late in the season,
however, itís very hard to find eligible teams to pick in
favorable situations. Weíve got a great feeling about Christian McCaffery and the Panthers snapping a 2-game losing streak because
theyíre a) at home and b) too talented to keep losing. But
this one really comes down to your evaluation of Atlantaís
Brian Hill (who played well in relief of Devonta Freeman in Week
10). Freeman will miss another game in Week 11, and we already
know that Ito Smith isnít much of a threat in his absence.
If you believe Hill will exploit Carolinaís porous run defense,
stay away from this one. Weíre still rolling with the theory
that Hill must have spent most of the season behind Smith on the
depth chart for a reason, but we could absolutely be wrong about
that. (Emergency use only for this one.)
This pick is all about the winless Bengals being a) terrible
and b) more interested in seeing what rookie QB Ryan Finley has
to offer the franchise in years to come than in winning in 2019.
Finley was thrown to the wolves in Week 10 and eaten alive by
a Baltimore defense that turned both of his turnovers into scores.
The Raiders are inconsistent, but theyíre certainly capable
of controlling any offense as dysfunctional as the one in Cincinnati.
Donít stop at using Oakland in your survivor pool; you might
want to stream the Raider defense in your fantasy matchups this
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.