Sell High to Load Up Your Playoff Roster
When you’re down by four TDs in the third quarter, it’s not the time to run the ball between the tackles with two tight ends and a fullback on the field. You’ve got to open it up. You’ve got to pass the ball, but not only that you’ve got to pass it deep. Four yard crossing routes just aren’t going to do it anymore. You’ve got to hit a first down every damn play.
The Tough Question equivalent to this is where our good friend Don Hanson is in the standings.
The TQ equivalent to the pass play is the Double Down, which Don has evoked this week. Sure, he could rally back without it, but winning six weeks in a row is hard to do between the stripes, let alone in this, quite possibly the toughest arena on God’s green earth.
But Swedlund isn’t going down in a prevent defense. No, he’s brought a safety blitz this week and is looking to put the boot to the throat. Harley has just finished his “win one for the craft beer” speech and will likely buy all of you a round if you vote his way this week (if you can locate him).
These three competitors have certainly brought their A game this week, we here at LS Post hope that it’s helpful for you on your fantasy playoff drive. Remember to vote for your favorite contestant and tell a friend about us on Twitter or Facebook.
This week’s TQ….
Which current top 10 player at QB/RB/WR are you selling high on to help bolster your playoff roster?
This week we were tasked with identifying which premiere player we would sell high on right now to lock and load for the playoffs. To accomplish this first we need to define the reason why you would sell a superstar if you are already playoff bound and then we need to find a trade market for said player that will be worth unloading a superstar.
The Main reasons you’d want to unload a superstar is because they face a daunting playoff schedule, they have a history of being injury prone, or they are riding an unsustainable run of good luck. My selection this week has all three of these things going for him and that is why I chose A.J. Green.
Now that I have identified the superstar I’m unloading I need to identify a trading partner for Green. There are two potential trading partners who will be willing to spew players for a stud like Green. In keeper and dynasty formats also-ran teams preparing for next year will gladly give you their entire roster – anyone and everyone you want for a young superstar like Green. In redraft formats the teams you are targeting are those on the cusp of the playoffs who need a win this week and cannot risk taking even one more loss.
Let’s look at that schedule that Green faces in weeks 14-16: DAL, PHI, & PIT or in other words the leagues 7th, 12th, and top pass defenses. Each of these three teams features a premiere shutdown corner (Brandon Carr, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Ike Taylor) that can put a girdle on Green’s statistical output. This murderer’s row may be the worst in the league for those all important playoff weeks. Next let’s consider Green’s health. So far this year Green has not missed a game but he has made a few appearances on the injury report with knee issues and last year he was a regular visitor to the weekly injury report even missing a week 11 tilt with the Ravens. Finally let’s consider his streak. Green has scored in eight straight games making him arguably the hottest player in fantasy football and certainly one that you can get the highest value for, but can you seriously imagine that this streak will continue though considering the brutal schedule Green has coming up?
So what can you get for him? Those guys on the cusp of the playoffs who need wins the next two weeks may have guys like Jordy Nelson or Percy Harvin both of whom are dealing with various degrees of injury but who have huge potential value for the playoffs. Or maybe they have a strong second QB like RGIII or Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck that is rotting on their bench but who have great playoff schedules. Or maybe they have a stud of their own that has underperformed recently but that still has a more appealing playoff schedule such as Victor Cruz or Calvin Johnson. You can grab one of these guys and get your trading partner to even throw in something else to better your team (perhaps your top RB’s handcuff). Heck you may even be able to sucker someone into trading you a stud top 4 running back like LeSean McCoy, Ray Rice, or even Adrian Peterson (who despite 2T’s argument is a matchup-proof stud that you can never bench).
In most leagues, the trade deadline is either this week, or very quickly approaching. Which means this is your last chance to vastly improve your team for the playoff run. Conventional wisdom would tell you that trading the best player on your team is a one-way ticket to watching the playoffs from the sidelines. But conventional wisdom is boring, so this week I’m going to tell you why you need to trade Adrian Peterson, and trade him as quickly as possible.
Reason number one is that right now his value is higher than Dave Chappelle after a weekend in Colorado. He is leading the league in rushing yards and is tied for second place in rushing touchdowns at seven with Doug Martin, Ray Rice and Andre Brown (double take, Andre whaaa?). In his last four games his lowest yardage output was 123 yards, and he has scored five rushing touchdowns. Those are crazy-stupid numbers, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that you could get two very good players in return and really help your overall team depth.
Reason number two, is that his schedule over the last five fantasy relevant games is arguably the toughest in the league. He has three games against two of the top three rushing defenses in the league. He plays Chicago twice, and Houston once as well as a game at Green Bay and at St. Louis. In fact, four of these five games are away from the safe confines of the Dome where Peterson averages 23 yards more per game than he does on the road. The Vikings as a team are 1-3 in their four away games this season, and outside of a win at Detroit in week four (where the offense was anemic, and special teams carried the day), they have looked like a completely different team on the road.
For his career, Peterson has very solid numbers against the Bears, but his recent history hasn’t been as stellar. In his last two games against Chicago he has 90 yards and one score, and with how well their defense is playing this year that seems like the more likely outcome. If the Vikings get down early or the Bears start picking off Christian Ponder, the likelihood that Peterson betters those numbers, despite his great first half of the season are not very good.
Schedule wise, things only get worse because in week 16, fantasy football’s championship week, he faces the best rushing defense in the league in the Texans. They are the only defense that has yet to allow a rushing score, and only the Buccaneers have allowed fewer rushing yards. (This is largely because passing on the Bucs is easier than securing a wife at Russianbrides4U.com so no one even bothers rushing the ball). The St. Louis Rams, the Vikings week 15 opponent has also been tough against the run, allowing the 10th fewest rushing yards so far this season. In five home games, they’ve only allowed a running back to score in two of those games. And last, and most certainly least is the week 13 game in Green Bay. Considering that the Packers offense is firing on all cylinders, the Vikings could be down by 21 or more in the first half, which will make any running game the Vikings wanted to establish a worthless endeavor.
Like I said at the beginning, trading your best player typically goes against all that you believe in as a fantasy team manager, like putting ketchup on pancakes, but no player has a tougher schedule than Peterson. Some may argue that if there is one player who can rise above it, its AP, and that may be true for a game or two, but in all five games? Twice against the Bears 3rd best rushing defense? In the championship game against the ridiculously stingy Texans? With a quarterback who is as consistent as a Jello Pudding-Pop in the Sahara? I say the odds are long, and you are better off getting two very solid players by trading him to the guy with the Peterson man-crush in your league. I hope you agree.
Don Hanson (DOUBLE DOWN!)
It is now time to double down my friends. In weeks past I have tried to go outside the box instead of being Captain Obvious with my selections. That stops this week. It seems every year there is one team that ends up making a run to a fantasy title because of a deal they made just as a player has reached his peak value. My choice is a young gunslinger that can also get it done via his legs and it isn’t RG3.
Andrew Luck is my selection as a top 10 QB that you can sell high on for a playoff run. He can bring you the best value without having to give up a potential key piece of your team’s roster. Currently he sits eighth at the QB position according to ESPN. To date he has gone over 280-yards passing in six out of nine contests. He has also had six multi-TD games and his TD production is not just limited to throwing. He has rushed for five TDs this year with multiple scores coming via the ground in weeks seven and ten. Folks only RG3 (six) has more rushing TDs than Luck this year.
Lets face some facts. Most owners are not trading away a stud such as Arian Foster, Aaron Rodgers, or A.J. Green for a stretch playoff run, as these players are usually the reason you are in the hunt in the first place. Andrew Luck isn’t like any of those players. Coming into this year’s fantasy draft he was probably your 2nd QB as you were hoping for nice upside in a keeper/dynasty league. With Luck the future is now. If you did draft him as your 2nd quarterback to maybe backup a guy like Matthew Stafford, you have no problem trading him at this point. He doesn’t hurt your starting lineup and you now get to trade bench points for starter points while helping yourself at another key position.
Luck also enjoys a very soft schedule the rest of the way. He faces only one tough match-up in week 15 against the Texans. Other than that he enjoys games against the likes of the Patriots, Bills, Titans and Chiefs. All of which are very generous to opposing QBs. This makes him an attractive option to owners who have struggled recently with guys like Phillip Rivers or Eli Manning. Owners of injured QBs such as Ben Rothlisberger would kill to get this type of talent and if they have depth at RB, WR, or TE, you may have your pick of some high-end talent.
Luck owners it behooves you to make the most of this opportunity. Use the performance and upcoming schedule of this stud rookie to solidify your lineup. Maybe look to combine him with a low-level RB2 or flex position player and get yourself a WR1 like A.J. Green, or an RB1 such as Doug Martin or Marshawn Lynch for your stretch run. I truly believe Luck was drafted as a depth or reach type player. That has come to fruition and it is now time for you to make your move. Get the value you deserve from a player that can’t be anymore valuable than he is now. Trade Andrew Luck and thank me after you are holding your leagues championship trophy.