Fantasy Football: When Is It Too Soon to Trade Unproductive Big-Name Players?

Adam DietzCorrespondent ISeptember 26, 2011

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 18:  Terrell Suggs #55 of the Baltimore Ravens tackles Chris Johnson #28 f the Tennessee Titans  at LP Field on September 18, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Tennessee won 26-13.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

For as far back as I can remember I have always wanted to be a Fantasy Football champion.

Priest Holmes, Sean Alexander, Marvin Harrison, Braylon Edwards, and most recently Chris Johnson...

I have had my fair share of success in the fantasy world since I entered the scene back in 2002, but my failure far trumps those successes. Each season I find myself making the safe pick or the smart pick. The pick that everyone nods at in acceptance and gives a look of approval, as if almost saying "Well, you had to take him." The problem is, for me, the safe pick is always the wrong pick.

I took both Priest Holmes and Sean Alexander after their 2000 yard seasons. I thought Harrison was closest thing to a sure bet at receiver. Braylon Edwards had 16 touchdowns and 1200 yards and Chris Johnson was supposed to be the best running back in the NFL. In all of these cases I was wrong.

There is nothing wrong with being wrong. It happens. We all have bad luck. Even Matthew Berry and Adam Schefter cannot predict injuries or ineffectiveness. They may some of the time, but nobody is always right. This brings me to my next point. How long am I supposed to hold on to a big-name player who is simply not producing?

In the past I have stuck it out far too long and later regretted it. I kept Braylon the entire season after he posted 16 touchdowns and failed to turn it around. The same can be said for all the others on the list. While there are players who start notoriously slow, it is hard to know how long to wait because if you wait too long then you are hurting your team's chances at a playoff birth and that's what fantasy football is all about. A wise man once said "You play to win the game," and he was correct.

This season my conundrum is Chris Johnson. Chris Johnson "fell" to me at sixth in my fall draft and I was elated. Many boards had him as the number player and I was getting him in the middle part of the round. It was one of those moments where everyone nods in acceptance because it was a pick that had to be made. Well, I made it and now he looks less valuable than Reggie Bush (and people on television are trading him for pizzas). Johnson held out for more money and now he is not in playing shape. He is averaging under three yards per carry and has not yet found the end zone. Due to some other poor picks on my part, I find my team 0-3 and in need of a makeover.

This year I refuse to hold onto a player not producing and let my team sink into the depths of nothing. Today I was offered this trade:

I give: Chris Johnson, Mike Wallace

I receive: Michael Turner, Hakeem Nicks, Tim Hightower

Without going into great detail and listing my entire roster, just assume I am weak at receiver and back. What would you do? Answer the poll above. 

There is no tougher choice in fantasy football than deciding when to cut ties with a player.