Collinsworth Invitational: The success of a failed 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.)
I needed to bounce back in Week 2 of the Cris Collinsworth Invitational. Not only was I coming off a brutal Week 1 defeat, but I was facing the league commissioner himself for my second matchup. As Thursday Night Football kicked off, it looked like I was doomed for a repeat of Week 1, as Cris had Tyrod Taylor as his QB. But the fantasy football gods were working in my favor as the remaining nine players on his team would combined score fewer points than Taylor did in that one game. In fact, his second-best performance came from his kicker Chandler Catanzaro, which is never a good indicator for your team. When the dust settled, I was looking at a redeeming 95.2 to 56.55 victory. But one week does not make a season and week 3 was approaching.
On Monday morning, entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk posted on the league message board a simple message – “let’s trade… I’m looking for a RB.” My RB depth is pretty strong with Lamar Miller, Ryan Matthews, LeGarrette Blount, Chris Ivory and Jerick McKinnon. Since I’m always looking to improve my team, I decided to see what Gary had in mind. He was interested in trading Marvin Jones, who I felt was on his way to becoming the WR1 in Detroit. After consulting the Pro Football Focus Trade Value Chart, I decided to propose Blount for Jones as the trade. Gary was interested, so I submitted the offer.
But things can change quickly in fantasy. On Wednesday morning, Gary responded back with a decline. In the 24 hours since I’d proposed the trade, news had broken that Ameer Abdullah was being put on IR and as the owner of Theo Riddick, Gary decided to keep what he had. I was initially disappointed, but that changed by Friday morning, as Blount put up 22.5 points Thursday night for me. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.
Fantasy GM to the rescue
Last week, I discussed my continued disappointment in Coby Fleener. He once again failed to take advantage of a great matchup, leaving me with some roster decisions to make for Week 3. Luckily, Pro Football Focus has my back on making those decisions with the Fantasy GM tool. I can simply go into the Fantasy GM and it will provide my weekly start/sit while also giving the ability to compare different players at once. For TE, I was able to quickly compare Martellus Bennet vs Coby Fleener. With Rob Gronkowski still ailing, I was tempted to put Bennett in for Fleener this week. But a quick glance at the Fantasy GM showed me that PFF still has Fleener as a borderline TE1 with a ranking of 11 this week, while Martellus is ranked 18. The decision is looking like the right one, as Bennett had a very weak game Thursday, with only 2 catches for 10 yards.
The flex spot received the same treatment this week. With Jerick McKinnon now the starting back in Minnesota, Ryan Mathews facing competition from Darren Sproles, and Mike Wallace scoring TDs left and right, I had a tough decision to make for my flex. With a quick player comparison, I could see that Mathews was projected to score 9.4 points and was the 23rd-ranked RB. McKinnon on the other hand was slightly worse at 9.4 points and the 28th ranking on the board against the tough Carolina defense. I decided to follow the guidance of PFF and go with Mathews, so we will see how that plays out.
I keep saying how much I use the PFF fantasy tools, but you can see that I’m putting my money where my mouth is and using the resources to help with everything from trades to making the tough calls in setting my lineup each week. It’s a top resource.