Ryan and Tamme cheap trade options for the stretch run
As the trade deadline quickly approaches (and for some, has already passed), it’s critical that you’re exhausting all possible opportunities to upgrade your roster. Even opponents that you’ve previously made an offer to are worth revisiting. Remember that priorities change as the season goes on. A Doug Martin owner that I faced had little care for Charles Sims in the early part of the season, but with Sims emerging as a reliable option in Tampa Bay and the recent spate of running back injuries, I now find the owner much more open to a trade for the backup Buccaneer.
Some of the best trades you make, however, are those that you don’t make. In a game that is still governed in large part by chance, you can never truly know what the outcome of a particular deal will be. Obviously, choosing not to acquire Le’Veon Bell the week before his injury would have been a good call, but a call based on luck. But what I want to focus on is the other side of the ledger. Unless you’re absolutely swindling somebody, you’re likely creating mostly win-win scenarios which means that you’re helping an opponent at the same time as helping yourself. As we approach the playoff weeks, that help that you’ve provided might propel them to a title.
A good example of this was in my longest-standing fantasy league, where I own both Cam Newton and Carson Palmer. I needed help at running back after losing both Arian Foster and Dion Lewis for the season. I found an owner who had the underwhelming quarterback duo of Ryan Tannehill and Sam Bradford, but three solid backs in Todd Gurley, Mark Ingram and Justin Forsett. I offered Newton, Melvin Gordon and Donte Moncrief for Ingram, Bradford and Leonard Hankerson. He countered with swapping Ingram for Forsett. I countered with swapping Newton out for Palmer, but he declined. If I wanted the deal to go through, I would’ve had to accept Newton, Gordon and Moncrief for Forsett, Bradford and Hankerson.
I decided to walk away for the reason I alluded to earlier. There was no doubt I would benefit from Forsett but I looked at his roster and saw that I would really be positioning him as a title contender with that trade. So long as Ingram and Gurley held up, he’d have a vastly upgraded starting lineup for the stretch run. We’re actually currently in fourth and fifth in the standings so there’s a good chance I face him in the playoffs. Ultimately, I felt it wasn’t worth making my team better at the expense of making his.
In another league, I have both Greg Olsen and Tyler Eifert, the third and fourth best tight ends in our PPR scoring. I’m also shopping for a running back but one of the teams that could use an upgrade at tight end happens to be tied with me for first place. Giving him Olsen or Eifert would make his team near-perfect despite whichever running back I could get in return, so I’m staying away. Sometimes keeping one of the top tight ends on your bench is a better outcome than letting someone else have him. Similarly, be sure to look at your opponent’s roster post-trade before pulling the trigger as it may not be worth it.
The last two weeks I’ve been focusing on running back handcuffs and deeper wide receivers that you can add in trade talks or off the wire. This week, I have a few quarterbacks and tight ends that you may be able to acquire cheaply.