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NFL Week 8: "Ask the Docs" Replies

Friday, October 26, 2012

Week 8 is here, and we've got fantasy teams scrambling for a win. Injuries are piling up, critical decisions need to be made with "who to start" on marginal players, and trade offers are on the table. No worries! The Docs are here to help you sort it all out and carefully get you through this fantasy minefield. Lot of great questions this week, so let's get to 'em!

"I am in a 10-team standard league. I have Peyton Manning and Robert Griffin III. Should I trade one of these players to get another solid point scorer? Which player should I trade? Who do you think I should go for if I decide to trade? (Our Roster settings are : QB, RB1, RB2, WR1, WR2, TE, FLEX, D/ST, K) Here's my roster:

QB: Peyton Manning/Robert Griffin III
RB: M.Lynch/F.Gore/W.McGahee/C.J.Spiller/Alex Green
WR: Calvin Johnson/Percy Harvin/James Jones/Robert Meachem
TE: Jimmy Graham/Kyle Rudolph
D/ST: Arizona
K: Justin Tucker/Matt Prater"

--Brian, Baltimore, MD

Docs: Brian, now is the time to start working a trade using one of your QBs. Both are on fire, and we would definitely start floating some offers to gauge interest in your league. The buzz is all around RGIII right now, so you can leverage that buzz to have a chance to wrestle away an elite RB or WR, perhaps multiple if you are lucky (hey, maybe you have that "diehard Redskins" fan in your league). We wouldn't worry about giving up RGIII as Manning brings plenty to the table for your QB slot. He has had four, 300+ yard performances in a row, tossing 11 TDs over that stretch with only 1 INT. The scary thing with Manning is he is still learning the offense and settling into his new team. Either way, we feel you are fine whether you decide to trade RGIII or Manning. As for the position to trade, we would go for an elite WR or RB, with a very slight lean to trying to get a WR first based only on your available WRs vs RBs on your roster.

"I am wondering your take on what 2, to start out of these 3 wide receivers...

Hakeem Nicks vs @DAL
Wes Welker vs @ STL
Mike Wallace vs WAS

Thanks. "

--Jason, North Muskegon, MI

Docs: Hi Jason, go with Welker and Wallace. We love them both this week due to their match-up, role in the offense, and health. One, if not both, should pop a big game for you this week. In case you weren't aware, keep in mind our Fantasy Football Weekly Rankings, which can help answer questions like these. Thanks and good luck!

"I have Ray Rice and Fred Jackson benched on a bye this week. I picked up Rashad Jennings on the Jaguars and going for the Colts RB because I'm starting Luck. Which Colts' RB will get me more points this week, Donald Brown or Vick Ballard??"
--Evan, Atlanta, GA

Docs: Evan, good move trying to make some things happen on a tough week for you. As for the Colts' RB situation, this is tough to call at this point. Donald Brown has been fully practicing this week and is set to be a game time decision. The nice thing about Brown is that he is an explosive player that can take it to the house from anywhere on the field. However, returning from a knee injury (although minor) makes you wonder how much the Colts will really use him in his first game back. On the other hand you have Vick Ballard, who doesn't have the explosive play like Brown, but he is more of a consistent, bruising type back. The nice thing about Ballard is that the Colts fed him the ball 20 times last week, which was the most for any Colts' RB all season. In short, they like what they are seeing from Ballard. As for what to do, we would wait until kickoff to make our roster move. Clearly if Brown is out, that makes the decision easy. However, if Brown were named the starter, we would go with him and take a chance he breaks a long play. If Ballard is named the starter but Brown is set to play, in that case we would go with Ballard. You have to take what you can get, and with that piece of information we would read that the Colts plan to use Brown in more of a limited role. If you are unable to get to a computer to set your line-up immediately prior to kick-off, then we would go with Ballard right now. The risk that Brown may not play or see limited action is too big to roll the dice on him with the start today without more information.

"Especially now after his breakout performance, what is a reasonable trade request for Doug Martin? Am I fair to ask for Adrian Peterson, or more like Darren McFadden? Thanks!"
--Krishna, Ann Arbor, MI

Docs: Krishna, you can always make an offer, and it's a great idea to make offers while the stock of the player you are willing to deal is high. The art of trading is exactly that, an art. The longer you have been playing in your league and the better you know your opponents, the better the chance you have at pulling off a trade that will work to your advantage. Knowing tendencies like favorite NFL teams, positions, and players can provide nice ex-factors when trying to get a deal done. A classic trade move is trying to "bundle" players. Offer two or three moderate/so-so players for one very good/elite player. Oftentimes novices in fantasy will fall prey to this tactic as they see the collective sum being a little better than the player they are giving up; however, the problem is the relative upgrade of this bunch of players over their existing roster players is little to none. Basically they just add depth to their team but don't really make it any better. In fact, they make it worse by giving up a stud player that was a major point contributor to their weekly output. Another tactic is to start below where you really want to offer to let the other person "work you up" to a good deal. It really is no different than any negotiations, and all rules for effective negotiation are in full effect. There is a lot of psychology involved. At any rate, as for your specific question, we suspect you will have a better shot at trying to get DMAC over Peterson, who has been playing well and has a better "brand name" at this point. DMAC has been struggling, and there is always the very real concern about his health, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to make the offer, particularly considering Martin's big game, youth, and good health. Of course, you are always welcome to make as many offers as you want, and who knows, maybe the Peterson owner is a big Bucs' fan or new to fantasy football.

Thanks to all for the great questions! That's a wrap for this week. We tried to address some of the more common questions with more detailed answers to try to not only help the specific person asking the question, but the masses as well. Enjoy watching football this week and good luck to your fantasy teams!

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