Fantasy Football: How to Maximize Your Elite-QB Handcuff in the Trade Market
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I have a question for the fantasy owner who fortuitously owns a top-six preseason quarterback (Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, Eli Manning) and Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III:
Why on earth haven't you traded one of 'em yet?
If you can start both quarterbacks each week, please disregard the following post.
For the rest of you, seriously, what's your deal? How can you be savvy enough to land two high-end quarterbacks in 10-, 12- or 14-team drafts...but not have enough business sense to realize that Griffin's trade-market value is sky-high right now?
We're only three-plus weeks into the NFL season, and I've already grown tired of "start-or-sit" questions involving Rodgers and Griffin (956 total yards, seven TD), Brady and Griffin, Brees and Griffin, etc.
It's exhausting/aggravating for this reason: No matter which quarterback you start in a particular week, you're most likely leaving an equal or roundabout amount of points on the bench every Sunday. And last I checked, having an elite bench only serves a purpose during head-to-head scoring ties.
Obviously, it's better to have a deep bench of marketable fantasy assets compared to a barren one. This is especially true with running backs and receivers, given their propensity for sustaining nagging or even serious injuries throughout the season.
But it's a little different for quarterbacks. If "pocket-centric" QBs like Rodgers, Brees and Manning are rock-solid bets to start all 16 games, with few historical exceptions, what's the upshot of starting Griffin (fantasy's No. 1-ranked QB) only three or four times?
Conversely, if you're committed to starting Griffin every Sunday (minus the Redskins' Week 10 bye), can you really justify Brees, Brady, Rodgers or Newton riding the pine for the next three months? Especially if you're not deep at running back and receiver—the lifeblood positions of most title contenders?
With bye weeks running for the next eight Sundays, I completely understand a Brady/Griffin owner's desire to wait until Nov. 6 (two days after New England's bye) to execute a blockbuster trade at quarterback. And for the Stafford/Griffin owner, I empathize with (but don't necessarily share) your concerns of whether Stafford (leg strain) can hold up for an entire campaign in back-to-back years.
But that aside, it all comes back to the wasteful notion of leaving valuable points on the bench at a position (quarterback) where decent free agents—at least in 10- and 12-team leagues—can be scooped up at any time.
Seven Simple Steps For Trading A Star Quarterback
When it comes to selling a superstar, the worst thing you can do is limit the auction to a tight circle of owners, or worse, personal friends.
In these special cases, where approximately 80 percent of league owners would jump at the chance to land Brady, Brees, Manning or Griffin, be sure to:
1. Advertise the star QB's availability in one short but enticing email that goes out to all owners.
2. Be extremely vague about what you're looking for in return.
3. Make Owner B establish contact and initiate the parameters of a blockbuster. After that, seize control of the negotiations.
4. Without being obnoxious, be prepared to pit one owner against another.
5. Immediately cut non-competitive GMs (offer-wise) out of the trade loop.
6. Don't be afraid to flee negotiations in a "soft" trade market.
7. And before consummating The Big One, make sure your new backup QB (Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, Christian Ponder, etc.) doesn't share the same bye with your in-house superstar.
Good luck...and please, no more start-or-sit questions involving Griffin.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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