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Fantasy Football Week 2 – To Trade or Not To Trade

Brian Westbrook After months of meticulous preparation, you felt great about your fantasy football draft. Week 1 was a bit of a letdown but you knew you had a great team. Now, it is the day after NFL Week 2 and you are beginning to panic. Do you start working a trade or do you stick with your players? Unfortunately for some of you fantasy football players, it is time to start working the phones.

I have fantasy football to be nearly the most impossible thing to judge. People will claim to be experts, but those same experts had running backs in the top 10 that haven’t even combined for 50 yards in two weeks. There is no accounting for a bust. Yet there is a big difference between a bust and a slow starter. Don’t be confused between the two or you will be kicking yourself when your “bust” is scoring 20 points for someone else in the playoffs.

At the same time, you do need to come to terms with the fact that some of these players are busts. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The strategy behind trading if you are buying is to buy low, while you need to sell on potential if are looking to dump some talent. There is likely someone in your league that still believes in your top running back and will take a flier on him. Personally, I prefer to wait until Week 4 to make trades. Yet, there are some guys that are likely pushing you to the edge after fantasy Week 2.

Not to trade

Steve Slaton – Steve Slaton has turned into my personal nightmare. I took him with my first pick in a keeper league and he has produced like an undrafted waiver wire pickup. Even in the Tennessee Shoot Out, he only racked up 34 yards. What is even more frustrating is that you probably passed up on some great talent to draft him, or at least I did.

I still believe in Slaton. I read a stat recently that indicated most running backs drafted in the top 10 started slow last season. This guy is too good and too young to not come around. The worry here is that Slaton put on weight in the off season and he has lost some of his agility. That could be a real problem that may not be addressed until next season. He has two great matchups coming up and if he can’t get going against either Jacksonville or Oakland, it is time to start making trade plans.

Matt Cassel – Cassel hopefully wasn’t a very high pick for you. Yet, you drafted Cassel with the intentions of Cassel being your starter. Believe it or not, I still have faith in Cassel. Cassel missed Week 1 and had a terrible performance in Week 2. Remember, Kansas City dumped their offensive coordinator right before the season. So Cassel is still learning a new offense. I think they are going to start surprising some teams and by the end of the season, Cassel becomes a top 10 fantasy qb.

Tom Brady – Here is the problem with Tom Brady. Tom Brady put up good numbers in Week 1. He had the unfortunate luck of playing Rex Ryan last week who is turning into the fantasy qb killer. The problem is that you didn’t draft Brady to put up good numbers. You drafted him to put up Drew Brees fantasy football numbers. Brady was probably your keeper or your first pick in the draft. I was lukewarm on Brady this year and smiled anytime I saw someone take him high. I knew that Brady was going to come back and bite some players and it certainly wasn’t going to be me.

Tom Brady isn’t playing for the 2007 New England Patriots anymore. Brady will give you a show once or twice during the season, but that is it. Joey Galloway is done and Wes Welker is hurt. Brady will give you good numbers throughout the season but not what you expected out of your keeper or first pick. My advice is to hold on to him. He is someone you can count on for 15-20 points on non-Rex Ryan weeks and you aren’t going to find anyone else out there on the trading block that will do the same.

Trade him!

Tony Romo – Tony Romo may be the best fantasy trade bait in the history of the game. Romo puts up lights out numbers in the first few months and fizzles in the playoffs. For fantasy players, it is all about December. Romo isn’t going to have weeks like he did last week, nor like he did in the first. Romo will consistently be in the middle. But you know that when it counts, he won’t be there for you. My advice is the next time he has a Tampa Bay like game, trade him, beef up your weakest position, and laugh when he chokes it up in December.

Brian Westbrook – I wrote an article at the beginning of last season suggesting that the Philadelphia Eagles not re-sign or re-do Westbrook. Unfortunately as an Eagles fan I was right. Westbrook will give you a game here and there, but his injuries have caught up with him and he has lost his burst. He isn’t making people miss and there is already injury-talk in Week 3. Westbrook was a nice back because he gave you receiver and running back numbers. Those days are over, yet you may find a non-Eagles fan out there that hasn’t heard the news. He won’t be there for you in December and if he is, he will hurt you badly when you need him most.

Anquan Boldin – Boldin was probably the only #2 wide receiver to go in the top 10 of wide receivers in your draft. Boldin may play second fiddle in Arizona, but chances are he was drafted with your first wide receiver pick. Even in a blowout in Jacksonville, Boldin only caught the ball eight times for 69-yards and no touchdowns. Kurt Warner as predicted by me is not the same Kurt Warner this season as he was last season. Warner is throwing dinks and dunks and hasn’t looked for Boldin in the end zone. Boldin won’t be putting up anywhere near the kinds of numbers fantasy owners expected.

Boldin is bound to have a big game at some point. My advice would be to stick with him for another two weeks in hopes that he has it. Once he does, pull the trigger and don’t look back. The only disadvantage is that there is a big chance Boldin plays somewhere else as a starter next season. If you are playing a keeper league, he would be a top keeper as a starter next season. But it is only Week 2, and going into Week 3 everyone is still in it. It isn’t the time to mortgage your season in exchange for a great keeper for next year.

Early Week 3 Fantasy Football Thoughts –

The Baltimore defense has a tremendous matchup against Cleveland.
Tom Brady will not have an easy week and could send owners to the edge after playing the Atlanta defense.
Larry Johnson could have a big day in Philadelphia if Jamal Charles isn’t playing.
If Aaron Rogers can’t get it going against St. Louis, it is time to start thinking trade.
Matt Stafford could be a big sleeper against Washington.
Look for Jake Delhomme to put up decent numbers against the Cowboys. Especially if Tony Romo gives Carolina the ball in scoring territory.
I love me some Carson Palmer playing the Steelers without Troy Polumalu.
Neither Frank Gore or Adrian Peterson will have 100 yards when their teams play each other on Sunday.
Look for more Donald Brown in Week 3 against Arizona. I would have suggested trading Joseph Addai but I don’t think anyone would take him. Fantasy Football League Standings

Division 1
Team We Own You (Erik Espenberg) 2-0
Dusty’s RedBellySpot (Eric Gargiulo) 1-1
Team Nuetral Zone (Brett Clendaniel) 1-1
Havertown Spoilers (Bryan Riegel) 0-2
Team Wheelhouse Radio! (Jeff Peck) 0-2

Division 2
Team The Nice Guys (jeff porrini) 2-0
…Not You!!! (John Yomtov) 2-0
1st Place (Derek Sabato) 1-1
The Kings of Krista (Josh Usher) 1-1
Team Rowland (Justin Rowland) 0-2

Read the Football Outsiders Almanac 2009: The Essential Guide to the 2009 NFL and College Football Seasons by clicking here.

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