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Mike Davis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Fantasy Fallout of Midseason NFL Trades

Last Week's Question: Do family leagues need special protections for youngsters?

In last week's column, I asked whether family leagues that allow kids to play have any special provisions to prevent other owners from fleecing the children in trades.

I only received one report of this ever being a problem. According to Marty,

We've never had to interfere in trades between adults and children in our league. Most of the adults go out of their way to make sure trades benefit both partners. I did have to reverse one trade between two kids. [My 14-year-old nephew] was trying to take advantage of his younger brother. The adults knew better than to initiate such a trade (or to let it stand).

A reader whose screen name is glc would presumably have supported Marty's decision, as s/he recommends that "the commissioner approve all trades [involving youngsters]."

Bill responded to my question about whether most family leagues have some kind of tacit understanding about trading with kids. Apparently there isn't a need for any such thing:

You've obviously never been in a family league that makes room for 10 year olds. The adults in my family league don't take it seriously enough to worry about trades. [These leagues] just give the adults something to talk about and the kids a way to feel included.

Fair enough. Thanks to everyone for their feedback.

Devin Funchess

More Funchess? How is your league impacted this week by the movement at the trade deadline?

This Week's Question: Whose fantasy league will experience the greatest impact in Week 9 from recent NFL trades?

I'm not sure how the owners of Kelvin Benjamin and Jay Ajayi feel this week, but the future likely looks a bit brighter to anyone with a stake in Devin Funchess, Kenyan Drake, or even Damien Williams. If Tom Brady gets injured, the Garoppolo-Hoyer switcheroo could turn out to have important fantasy implications as well.

But it's easy to lose sight of the impact of these unexpected team changes in hindsight. Christine Michael has done his share of midseason bouncing around, but I can't remember if I ever won or lost any fantasy contests because of Michael suddenly appearing in a different uniform.

So this week I'm challenging readers to pay attention to the fallout in their leagues from the Benjamin/Ajayi/Garoppolo trades. (With the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott looming more certain than ever, Drake might crack my starting lineup in one league.) Please don't limit your attention to the players who were traded. If Funchess usually rides the pine on your roster but you're starting him this week in Benjamin's absence, please email me or post a comment below, especially if you can attribute a win or loss in your league directly to a midseason NFL trade.

Survivor Pool Picks - Week 9 (Courtesy of Matthew Schiff)

After losing their first two games by giving up a combined 65 points, the New Orleans defense has been resurgent, keeping opponents under 20 points per game. But when a division rival comes to town, all bets are off. Don't let Tampa's record fool you; Jameis Winston has thrown for 1853 yards and 10 TDs, which is just a hair behind Drew Brees' productivity as a passer (1951 yards and 11 TDs). If Winston's shoulder is mostly back to normal by game time, then a divisional contest against a feisty opponent could be just the recipe for snapping the Saints' five-game win streak.

#3: Seattle over Washington (4-4, BUF, TB, CLE, NE, NYG, ATL, PHI, MN)

The Redskins, in spite of last week’s loss to the Cowboys, remain the “other” team in the NFC East to watch out for. Now that Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension has been upheld—a game too late for Redskins fans—Washington has a major reason to surprise the Seahawks after their 41-38 shootout with Houston. After last week’s monsoon at home, rain showers in the Pacific Northwest will feel like a summer day, even if game-time temperatures hover just under 40. Seattle is built for these games, and the Redskins definitely proved that they couldn’t prevent turnovers in the wet conditions. As such, the nod goes to the home team . . . grudgingly. This will be a true gut check game for both teams looking to stay in the playoff hunt.

#2: Jacksonville over Cincinnati (5-3, NE, SEA, PIT, ATL, PHI, HOU, TN, CIN)

The Jags are a surprising 4-3 and in second place in the AFC South behind the Titans (also 4-3). With Houston hot on both of their heels at 3-4, the Jags need to win at home—something they have done only once this year. Leonard Fournette (who racked up over 300 rushing yards in just two weeks before being sidelined with an ankle injury) should return to the backfield. Meanwhile, Joe Mixon seems to have taken over as the primary back for the Bengals—not that it matters from a scoring perspective. When Mixon says that the Bengals “need to run the ball more,” it's probably because a mere 8% of Cincinnati's points have come via rushing touchdowns. The NFL average is 31%. Until the Bengals figure out how to improve their running game, it's hard to take them seriously—especially when they face defenses as stout as their own (e.g. the Jaguars). Take Tom Coughlin’s Jags as they make a run for the AFC South crown.

#1: Houston over Indianapolis (6-2 ATL, OAK, NE, SEA, PIT, DEN, DAL, PHI)

The Texans return home after getting outgunned by Russell Wilson and his Seahawks. The Colts aren’t Seattle, and Deshaun Watson is averaging four passing touchdowns per game over his last four games. That combination alone should be enough for you to pick this one. Without J.J. Watt, the Texan defense would probably be exploited by Andrew Luck. But with Jacoby Brissett filling in for Luck, the home team definitely has the advantage.

Mike Davis has been writing about fantasy football since 1999--and playing video games even longer than that. His latest novel (concerning a gamer who gets trapped inside Nethack after eating too many shrooms) can be found here.