Collinsworth Invitational: Making a trade
(Pro Football Focus gave subscribers the opportunity to win a team in the Cris Collinsworth Fantasy Football Invitational, playing alongside celebrities such as Warren Sapp, Jenny McCarthy and of course Cris himself. As the lucky winner of that contest, I will be writing a weekly piece that provides a view into what it’s like playing in a celebrity league and how I will use the PFF tools to give me an edge.)
For the past two weeks of the Collinsworth Invitational, I have been trying to make a trade in order to strengthen my wide receivers. My season started off with losing Keenan Allen for the season and then my receiving group took another hit with the injury to Dez Bryant. Just like that, my team was down two players that I drafted in the first four rounds. On the positive side, I had some surprises with my running backs as an injury moved Jerick McKinnon into the lead role in Minneapolis and LeGarrette Blount started with one of the best seasons of his career.
After my aborted trade with Gary Vaynerchuk, I started to talk with Ric Bucher about some options. Ric had been able to ride Spencer Ware as one of his running backs for the first four games. But with the coming return of Jamaal Charles, he was looking at a Week 5 and beyond where his top two running backs were both on the Cincinnati Bengals (Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard). Meanwhile his wide receivers included Julio Jones, Brandon Marshall and Brandin Cooks. Things seemed to be shaping up nicely to make a trade work out.
Leading into Week 4, I floated the idea of LeGarrette Blount to Ric. He was intrigued with adding a running back and offered up Brandon Marshall as a potential trade. He wanted to see how Marshall did in his first game without Eric Decker at his side so we put discussions on hold till Monday.
Come Monday, I followed up and Ric decided that he was not interested in pursuing Blount. However, I am not one to give up and I wanted to make this trade happen. After all, that very day PFF put out on an article on Week 5 trade targets that called out Brandon Marshall as one to go after. As they wrote in the article:
With Marshall, you’re buying the potential increase in volume going forward if Eric Decker’s injury lingers. Marshall finished with a ridiculous 167 targets last season and that was with Decker in the lineup. The Jets’ schedule the rest of the way should dictate more pass production. Only the Cardinals boast a strong challenge for Marshall in the secondary from the Jets’ next six games before their bye week.
Instead of Blount, I offered up Jerick McKinnon as a potential trade, along with either Mike Wallace or John Brown. Ric came back offering Marshall plus DeAndre Washington in exchange. We had ourselves the makings of a deal.
Before moving forward, I checked the PFF Fantasy Football Trade Value Chart on the players involved:
|Player||Tm||Pos||STD $||STD ∆||PPR $||PPR ∆|
In a PPR league, the deal was pretty much equal, particularly between the two centerpieces of Marshall and McKinnon. I was receiving what was projected to be a slightly better value in Washington, thanks in part to his strong week 4 performance. That value even increased a bit when news broke later that night that Latavius Murray might be injured.
Overall, the deal was balanced with both sides improving on a roster weakness. Too often, fantasy players try to “win” the trade versus their fellow league mate. The better strategy is to aim for a situation where both teams win by improving their roster. Fantasy is about scoring the most points each week. As such, you do not have the win the trade. Instead you win by putting yourself in a position to put up that high score each and every week.