For many of us, it is time to start preparing for the playoffs. For others, interest is waning.
If you are out of the race in a keeper league, now is the time to build your team for next season.
The strategy for most keeper league owners is drafting young and hoping that your players are dominant in three to four years. Your strategy should be to draft young but also steal unproductive players who, hopefully, could become future stars from the playoff teams.
Most teams headed to the playoffs have at least one weakness that they would like to address, so why not trade your one year stud like a Kurt Warner for a potential keeper?
Players to grab at low cost
T.O. has been struggling since Tony Romo went down, which has a lot of owners panicking. The acquisition of Roy Williams has led to two theories: 1) he is going to take catches away from Owens or 2) he is going to create more opportunities for Owens.
I believe the latter. Snatch T.O. up while you can because Romo is a 4500+ yard quarterback waiting to happen.
Most owners are fed up with Ocho Cinco and have already benched him for the remainder of the year.
While Sunday’s two touchdowns probably won't happen too often this season with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, I do expect him to come out strong next season with the Bengals (and a returning Carson Palmer) or on another team.
This one may seem like a strange choice, but he is a great talent. The only thing in his way is his off-the-field issues, and he will probably be in a different city next year.
Most keeper league owners have either buried him on the bench or released him. Grab him now because his stock will never be lower.
If Johnson ends up on the right team you could be looking at a 1500+ yard, 10+ TD running back.
Laurence Maroney and Rashard Mendenhall
These two guys are currently on IR.
Mendenhall may be a little hard to pry away from his current owner because he was a No. 1 pick last year; however, if his owner is in the playoff race, Mendenhall is just holding a spot that can be used for a player who can score some points.
As for Maroney, I guarantee that you can get him for next to nothing, probably for a backup on your own team. Unless the Patriots make a big offseason move, he will be the starter next season in a world-class offense that will include Tom Brady.
This Maroney pickup may be the most risky, but sometimes you have to take risks to succeed.
Who is Ryan Torain?
Torain is the player that you need to pick up off of the waiver wire RIGHT NOW.
Mike Shanahan has said that Torain is the most talented back on the Broncos' roster, and he should be the starter this week with Pittman, Hall, and Young all injured.
This guy is a talent, and everybody will know who he is.
Players to trade if you are out if the race
Warner is on pace for almost 5000 yards, but he is not helping you if you are not in a playoff race. No one knows if he will retire after this season; trade him to a contender now!
If you have a defense that is performing well, trade it.
Somebody is looking for a defensive upgrade, and you are not going to keep yours. Get rid of it.
If you can trade the Pittsburgh defense for Larry Johnson, why not go for it? It would be a win for both owners.
McNabb may have some big numbers before the year is through and may have been a planned keeper, but you should trade him now if you can.
When you draft next fall, there will be a large number of talented and available quarterbacks. There is no need to hold on to McNabb when you could trade him for one of the players above.
If you want to hold on to a quarterback in the offseason, trade McNabb and pick up Matt Ryan (if he is available) or JaMarcus Russell.
Thomas Jones is 30-year-old running back who will not be a keeper since he is a middle of the road back. He has had five touchdowns in the last four weeks and can really help a contender at running back.
Unless you are in a league where you can keep all of your players, I would suggest trading him because he is more valuable to somebody else than he is to you.
The big question surrounding him is whether you can trade him with the emergence of Ray Rice the last two weeks. I think that there is an owner out there who would be willing to take a chance on a back like McGahee either to help in a playoff race or for the keeper purposes that we listed above.
McGahee’s best seasons are past him so trade him now while you still can.
Pickup of the week
This may be a week late, but Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles may have slipped under the radar, even with a 100-yard performance.
I believe that he will be the starting running back in K.C. next year.
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