Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fantasy Football Strategy: How to Pick A Smart Trade

**Before we start the post. As you all probably know, the Ronnie Brown trade did not go through. If you need a RB. Get Morris. I have a funny feeling that Best isn't coming back any time soon.**

With all the noise made this week in the NFL about trades, I thought it was time to address the art of the fantasy football trade.
I get a lot of questions on the site about trade advice and while a lot of it has to do with predictions, there is a bit of a science to it that entails looking at the past. With a little bit of time, and a little bit of math, you can figure out if a trade is right for you in just a few simple minutes without getting stuck in overthinking things.
Let’s look at one of my Yahoo! leagues. The scoring is PPR and some ridiculous changes to QB that make their total astronomical. The lineup looks like this: QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE
My team looks like this (the number in parentheses are their average points per game):
QB- Matt Ryan (40), Matt Schaub (41)
RB- LeSean McCoy (16), DeAngelo Williams (5), BenJarvus Green-Ellis (8)
WR- DeSean Jackson (9), Mike Wallace (14), Greg Little (6), Michael Jenkins (7), Sidney Rice (9)
TE- Jason Witten (12), Jermaine Gresham (9)
K- John Kasay
DEF- Atlanta Falcons, San Diego Chargers
Since Jamaal Charles went down, I’m definitely short at running back.
So, let’s say that I was offered Darren McFadden for Mike Wallace. Time to do some math.
Since this trade is only affecting running backs and receivers, those are all the positions I need to look at. I’ll start, by adding up the total average points of the starters that I have. (Do this with your best players, not the ones that you are starting any particular week, so don’t mind the bye weeks too much.) By starting McCoy, BJGE, Jackson, Wallace and Rice…my average points total from RB and WR is 56.
Now, do the math with your new starting lineup. This would be McCoy, McFadden (13), Jackson, Jenkins and Rice. This comes out to be 54 points per game. You can simply see that my new lineup is making fewer points per week than my previous team.
Say no to the trade.
Now in comes a counter-offer, where I give up DeSean Jackson and get Frank Gore (12)
My old lineup was 56 points. My new lineup of McCoy, Gore, Wallace, Jenkins and Rice is 58 points per week.
Take the trade.
The more parts of the trade (RB/WR for RB/WR or QB for RB/WR, etc.) the more important doing this math is.
It is a simple way of just crunching the numbers that these players have accumulated this season and using it to your advantage.


  1. Hi, Ben Tate is on the waiver, I must drop Ryan Grant for him. Do you hink it's a good thing?
    12 owners, 3 rb each week, I have in my team Ryan Matthews, Tim Hightower and Matt Forte...

  2. With Foster healthy and playing all the time, I really dont see much of a draw for Tate. That said, Starks is the man over Grant. I'll likely have Grant ranked higher most weeks just because he'll see more touches.

  3. My starting WRs are Vjax and Mike Wallace (I'm Worried about the health of either.)

    I've been offered Wes Welker for Adrian Peterson. My other Backs are Fred Jackson and Ryan Matthews

    We start two Recievers one Running back and a flex

    Would you take the trade?

  4. Word is that VJax practiced fully and is good to go. Brandon Marshall beat up on Wallace pretty bad last week for over 100, so it is possible. Jax isnt quite as aggressive though.

    This is a trade that I would deploy a bit of math on, because looking at it, I really can't tell. I explained a great way to break down a trade here: It all comes down to your scoring system really, so crunch some numbers.

    Right now you are going with Vincent Jackson, Wallace, Peterson, Mathews and Fred Jackson. Add up their average points per game. Then add up the average points of Jackson, Wallace, Mathews, F Jackson and Welker. I would assume that the Welker one be higher, it just depends on the scoring in your particular league.

    Either way, I’d have to imagine that your team is pretty stellar with this lineup.

  5. I need a WR/TE from waivers who would you get Greg Little or Greg Olsen

  6. my RB for this week (players that dont have byes) are hillis starks and turner
    WR- Floyd Bowe Austin and Bess
    TE- Jermichael Finley
    we start 1-2 rb and 3-4 wr/te (2rb and 3wr/te or 1rb and 4wr/te)
    I was thinking bout starting Turner Starks and then Bowe Austin and Finley
    I could get Greg Little or Greg Olsen for Bess or i could get hardesty and see what happens with him and hillis any ideas

  7. Olsen is a favorite red zone target and should be ready to go. I dont think its crazy to think that he will have a decent game against Washington.
    Little against the Seahawks seems nice, and he is getting better each week, but you really cant count on him yet. He is officially a starter, and got a lot of looks last week.

    Little has more upside. I'd imagine they get close to the same amount of touches. When in doubt I normally throw a receiver in a WR/TE spot. I'd go little and cross your fingers.

  8. Personally, I would set my lineup as Turner, Bow, Austin, Finley and Floyd. VJax is going to be busy with Revis, leaving Floyd as a pretty good target for Rivers. It isnt the surest of bets, but I really like Floyd's chances this week and am actually starting him in two leagues myself. On top of that, Starks splits carries on a pass-heavy offense and Hillis is sucking this year and 'hurt'.

    I agree that Bess could be let go. But I wouldnt start Little, Olsen and Hardesty over Floyd.

  9. Thanks.. I took it. If they keep up their scoring so far, my weekly average will go up by 9 fpts. However Welker was taken out in the pats last game, and Peterson could thrive with a new qb, but overall given the state of the teams I consider Welker more stable.

  10. M floyd or Jordy Nelson? Nelson has been pretty consistent this year but doesn't get a ton of looks. GB's matchup is better than SD's but I suspect your right about revis being all over vjax freeing up floyd. Thanks.

  11. i have mathews at my number 2 rb, should i try and trade him or ride through the rest of the season w/ him?

  12. There are always intangibles. But it is a lot easier looking at solid evidence. I like the trade. Welker has been hot and will continue, Dallas just has a very good slot cornerback. And Peterson could do well, but chances are, they are going to stuff the run even more with a rookie quarterback in the game.

  13. This one is tough. I am high on Floyd this week... but in this case, it could be good to go with Nelson. He has the better matchup. Only draw backs are as you mentioned, he doesnt get a lot of looks, and James Jones has come out of nowhere to take some of the spotlight.

    Even with all of Floyd's upside, I have Nelson higher.

  14. Vick + Mathews for Rodgers + Benson...which side wins?

  15. Dang. This one will depend pretty highly on your scoring system at QB.

    I think that because the Eagles have turned the corner and are looking good on offense finally, and now that Mathews is healthy again, I would give them the edge.

    Vick’s stats are still lower than Rodgers stats, but Mathews is a better play than Benson every week.

  16. Should I trade Bradshaw for H. Nicks?

  17. Depends a lot on the rest of your team. Post it for me.

  18. My Bradshaw/Jordy Nelson for Sproles/Roddy White. Who gets the better end of the deal?

  19. This is tough. Injury has a lot to do with this trade. You have Bradshaw who will not be going this week but is likely to come back next week. Sproles on a bye and his work load will likely drop with the return of injured Ingram. Roddy White who is struggling this season, but helped by the Julio Jones injury.

    When it comes to playoff schedule, Jordy Nelson has it considerably easier than White. Sproles has it a bit easier than Bradshaw. Discounting time injured, Bradshaw would have a very similar point total to Sproles and Nelson would be very close but a little ahead of White.

    This is basically a draw in my opinion. I would say Bradshaw Nelson wins for me though, just because of Sproles workload going down.

  20. Its a great post. I think betting is a great way for involving in any game without playing.