To Trade or Not to Trade, well that was a mistake.

Week 1 in the books and for many fantasy owners this is the time to freak out.  You took the plunge on taking Chris Johnson in the first round and now, well, now you’re worried that he’ll never produce like the CJ2k of 2 years ago.  Maybe you drafted Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson knowing that Stafford and Megatron would hook up a least once a game, but that didn’t happen and now its time to reconsider your entire draft strategy. 

Listen, take it easy, its one week.  Wes Welker will be worth his third round pick, and don’t feel bad that you did not draft Kevin Ogletree (secret: nobody did….shhhh).

Ever fantasy season owners lose their minds after a sluggish first week and begin making whole sale changes that they wind up regretting in the end.  Allow me to tell you a story about the 2010 Fantasy Football season.

Imagine if you will, a warm breezy Arizona evening.  I’m sitting with a member of one of the fantasy leagues I’m in that year and this is our conversation.  The names have been changed to protect the stupid.

Me:  Rough week man, But you’ve got the talent to get things on track
Mo:  I don’t know man, I really expected big things out of Calvin Johnson, and I don’t think I can rely on this Arian Foster kid, he’s slow to the hole and I’m not sold on him, but I don’t think they’re going to work together.
Me:  Don’t be foolish, you’re good, just ride out the wave…

2 Days later:

Mo:  I have a trade proposal I want to run by you.
Me:  OK, whatcha got?
Mo:  I give up Calvin Johnson and Arian Foster, but in return I get Jahvid Best and LeSean McCoy, and they both had great weeks
Me:  Well I’m not positive on Foster but I think he’ll be solid, so him for McCoy is a swap, so you’re giving up Megatron for Jahvid Best?
Mo:  Did you see him last week, he was the only thing going in Detroit, he’s going to take catches away from Calvin when Stafford checks down, he’ll be open all day.
Me:  If that’s your read, then go for it.
Mo:  I think I will.

I don’t know if you remember Arian Fosters 2010 campaign, 1,616 yards and 16 Touch Downs, it was pretty good.  And Calvin Johnson, yeah he was the first receiver off the board after his 1,120 yards and 12 TD’s. 

So here is how someone, who I consider to be a stellar Fantasy player, hoodwinks himself.  Calvin Johnson started the 2010 campaign against the Chicago Bears, and the Bears defense held him to 45 yards receiving and no scores, not Megatron like.  Arian Foster that year started with a monster game, 231 yards and 3 scores, time to sell high right? It was for Mo. 

Contrast those two players with who he got.  Jahvid Best, if you think about him today, it literally makes his head hurt, but when you look at what he did in his first game as a rookie, 14 carries, 20 yards 2 scores (he had a 65 yard run brought back) and 5 catches.  LeSean McCoy put up 35 yards rushing and a score along with 47 yards receiving. 

When you break down the trade, it looks as if Mo is trading Calvin Johnson for LeSean McCoy which makes sense since he did need running backs.  And believing in Jahvid Best overall upside was worth more as a receiver and runner than Foster, whom he considered to be an over-rated running back in a pass happy system (The Texans chucked the ball a lot 3 years ago).

At the time, with the limited information that was available to Mo, he assumed that he could identify strengths and weaknesses that he could extrapolate over the whole season.  He pulled the trigger and smiled, he had used that silly Foster kid to get a talent like Jahvid Best.  And he was rewarded, in week 2, LeSean McCoy exploded, 120 yards rushing and three TD’s; and in the same game, Jahvid Best went for 78 yards rushing and 2 scores, oh and 154 yards receiving and 1 more score. 

Also in week 2, Calvin Johnson got 50 yards and a score, and Arian Foster dumped 69 yards rushing and 69 yards receiving, but no scores.  Mo Wins…. Not exactly, by the end of the season Best was out injured and McCoy got trounced in production value by Foster. 

The best part to the story is the last week of the season, playoff time.  Who is going for the championship? Mo, and his trade partner.  Care to know who won the league that year? Well, Arian Foster put up 180 yards and 2 TD’s in week 17. What did McCoy do? 44 yards rushing, 41 yards receiving, a solid game to be sure, but guess who walked with the trophy…

The moral of the story is this:  When you draft your team, know that they are not nearly as good as you think they are immediately after the draft, but at the same time, they are not as bad as they show in the first week or two of the season.  You picked you’re guys, now you have to roll with them.  At least till after week 3.

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