Much like in the National Football League, the trade deadline is fast approaching in many fantasy football leagues. As it does, many team owners have donned their Monty Hall attire in an effort to make a deal that will help their squads.
Many of teams are looking to the usual suspects, trying to swap out some wide receiver depth for a running back or vice versa. However, forward thinking fantasy owners can turn a player who is available on many waiver wires into a valuable trade chip if they're willing to take a calculated risk, or pick up that player from teams that already have him if they're willing to do the same.
St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola got off to a fantastic start to the 2012 season, making 31 catches for over 350 yards and a pair of touchdowns through the season's first four games.
However, a shoulder injury in Week 5 has left the third-year pro on the shelf for the past few weeks, and that injury plus the onset of the bye weeks led to Amendola being cut loose in quite a few fantasy football leagues, especially shallower formats.
If he's available, go and scoop him up. Now. Don't worry, I'll wait.
The reason for that pre-emptive strike is quite simple. It appears that Amendola may be returning to action quite a bit sooner than was originally believed.
The 26-year-old returned to practice in a limited fashion on Wednesday, well ahead of the six-week timetable originally given for his recovery; while Amendola isn't expected to play this week in London against the New England Patriots, St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford told Jim Thomas of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it was a welcome sight to see his favorite target back in uniform.
"Any time you get Danny out there, even if he's just doing a little bit (is good)," Bradford said after Wednesday's work. "And I think today, just the guys seeing him out there, knowing that he's close to coming back, he gave everyone a little bit of a spark."
The Rams have a Week 9 bye, which sets the stage for a potential return to action in Week 10 for Amendola, which could make trading him tricky, as in many fantasy leagues the trading deadline will have passed by then, and it's unlikely you can get a whole lot for him while he's still sidelined, positive reports about his return aside.
However, if your league's trade deadline is late enough that Amendola will get the opportunity to "audition" against the San Francisco 49ers, then assuming that he comes back at anywhere near his pre-injury level or production you can rest assured that teams in need of wideout help are going to come sniffing around a wide receiver it cost you nothing to pick up.
With that said though, if you're looking to buy on Amendola, do it now, especially if the team that has him has needs at other positions. Those sorts of teams can ill afford to have a roster spot taken up by an injured player, and the longer you wait the higher his price tag is going to get. Sometimes it pays to get ahead of the curve, and this is one of those times.
Even buyers that can't find a taker for Amendola's services would be well served to acquire him. Unless your roster at the wide receiver spot looks like one of the squads in Honolulu every year then I think you have room on your team for a player that was well within the top 10 at his position in point-per-reception fantasy leagues before he got hurt.
Simply put, there's no reason not to add Danny Amendola. Worst case, things don't work out and you throw him back. Best case, you either get added wide receiver depth or trade bait that can be used to address other needs on the cheap.
And what's not to like about that?