Untouchables: the art of buy low sell high

The ProFFilerCorrespondent IJune 30, 2008

It works in stocks, real estate, and fantasy football. That mantra has been used over and over again to describe the action of acquiring a stock and turning it over for a profit.  And it’s as true in the fantasy world as it is in the stock market and real estate.

Now here's where it gets tricky. Profit is a relative thing. Something of value to one person may not be worth diddly squat to some one else. The old saying..."one man's trash is another's treasure."

This practice doesn’t merit much consideration in a redraft league except if you are predicting an injury. I mean it wouldn’t have made much sense to trade Randy Moss after one bad game last year. But if you traded for him for Chester Taylor in 2006, you’ve found yourself quite the bargain.

Buy low sell high works wonders in a keeper league. 

In the example of Moss, I traded Chester Taylor and a 3rd round pick in the 2007 draft for Randy Moss and Marques Colston (I’ve sense traded Colston against my better judgment).  Randy Moss led me to the championship game in 2008 (starting Dallas Clark instead of Owen Daniels led me to second place).  

I had to ride out a crappy year with the Raiders, but no one was interested in Moss anyway, so he rotted on my bench in 2007. Then sunlight came in the form of Bill Belichik, and fresh dirt and water came from Tom Brady. Moss blossomed in to an oak of a wide receiver.

So what do I do?  I trade him this off season for 2008 draft pick 2.5 and 2009 pick 1.? And 2.?.

My reasoning is this. Even if Moss has another great season, chances are he’s not going to put up the same high’s he did last year. He may still be a big time receiver but an increase in age and the apparent breakdown over the long stretch last year signals his body may not with stand much more. 

So who else is worthy of a Buy Low Sell High rating:

Ladainian Tomlinson:    Believe me it’s hard to say this. I drafted him out of college and he’s been on my fantasy roster every year since. He’s having an amazing career and should be one of those players that are off limits.

                             But...he’s also going to be 29. He showed signs of wearing down last year. He’s back 100 percent from his knee injury, but what happens when he starts taking hits again?

                             Sproles is going to see more change of pace snaps. Which translates to LT has lost some pace. All the signs are there.  ( I traded him for 2008 pick 1.4 and 1.6 and 2008 pick 1.?)

Brian Westbrook:     Many of the same arguments that go for LT go for Westbrook. He is at the magic age of 29. He’s had knee injuries in the past few years. He held up well last year but that was after a long layoff.

                             He is a huge part of the Eagles offense so he’ll have to work. That kind of wear and tear takes its toll. Caution. (I traded him for 2008 pick 1.5 and 2009 1.?)

Terrell Owens:      He is in much the same boat as Moss is, although T.O. is 3 years older. Dallas has a potent offense and there is no doubt that Owens will get his stats (barring injury), but age is not a kind thing.

                             Owens unpredictable behavior has been held in check for the last two years and he seems to be maturing albeit quite late. Can you guarantee he won’t have another episode?  (I don’t own Owens. I shy away from character issues).

I netted three first round picks in the upcoming draft and three first round picks in the 2009 draft. Now some may say that’s quite a risk, but speculating value is a risky business. Selling high means someone else thinks they bought low. 

Could LT and the others have another career season? Absolutely.  In LT’s case I sincerely hope he does. The question is would I get the same value next year in trade?