Fantasy owners should only have modest expectations for rookie Vick Ballard (Mississippi State), the Colts' new starting tailback, against the Jets in Week 6.
Here are four simple fantasy moves to execute during the Friday-Saturday window of NFL inactivity, after the waiver wire has been picked clean, but before the standard 1-day veto period for trades expires—or nullifies a deal before the 1 p.m. kickoffs:
1. If you're sitting on a championship contender, offer a 3-for-1 blockbuster to a desperate owner
Let's pretend you want LeSean McCoy (523 total yards, two TD) before Sunday's clash with the Lions. And let's say his current owner is floundering with a 1-4 or 0-5 record, or their 2-3 club will undoubtedly be ravaged by Week 6 byes (Saints, Panthers, Bears, Jaguars).
This would be the perfect time to throw a respectful lifeline to Owner B, in the form of a quality proposal that involves three plug-and-play starters—at the expense of losing McCoy, of course.
Something in the neighborhood of Reggie Bush (513 total yards, three TD) Steve Johnson (21 catches, 234 yards, three TD) and tight end Owen Daniels.
This may not cure all that ails Owner B during this rough patch, but it will put them on the road to league respectability—and perhaps a No. 8 playoff seed.
2. If you're in bye-week hell and desperately need a win, trade Matt Forte or Maurice Jones-Drew
For 99 percent of fantasy owners, I would advise them to hold onto premium assets like Forte (376 total yards, one TD in four games) or MJD (494 total yards, two TD), assuming they're within range of making the playoffs.
For Week 14, Jones-Drew has an easy-cheesy matchup (on paper) with the Jets and Forte draws the Packers and Cardinals for Weeks 15 and 16.
But when a Week 6 victory is absolutely essential to your seasonal welfare, go ahead and pull the trigger on a blockbuster deal.
Just be sure to follow these marching orders:
a. Advertise the availability of Forte and MJD to every owner, through a single email.
b. Make the owners aware of the narrow time window to execute a deal—before 12:30 p.m. EST on Saturday.
c. Respectfully keep all interested parties in the loop...but let them know that, in the end, "the highest bid wins."
3. Pull off a low-key, mutually beneficial trade with another owner
This one's pretty simple. Contact a fellow owner by Internet Messaging or cell phone and work out a quick deal that helps both parties land a No. 3 receiver or No. 4 running back .
Ideally, this swap of serviceable starters would satisfy RB2, WR2 or flex-slot holes for Week 6, without disrupting either club's main core of elite assets. Something like Andre Roberts for Jacquizz Rodgers or Alex Green for Darrius Heyward-Bey.
For deals like this, it helps to have a pre-existing friendship (or respectful relationship) with Owner B. When a level of trust has already been established, both GMs can pursue necessary trades without accusing one another of sandbagging negotiating tactics.
4. Avoid lineup-related gut feelings that entail benching proven stars
This non-move counts as a fantasy act heading into Sunday.
Simply put, no person on earth could make a reasonable, numbers-based argument for starting Vick Ballard (the Colts' new No. 1 tailback) ahead of Seattle's Marshawn Lynch this week.
So please, don't be that guy (or gal).
In 2011, Lynch notched at least one touchdown in 11 straight games.
And for this season, he has collected 94 total yards and/or one touchdown in all five outings.
As for Ballard, he has 46 total yards on 22 touches. Checkmate!
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.