Last weekís question: What are
the most outrageous trade offers you have received (for James Conner)?
Although my question about outrageous offers applied to trades in
general last week,
the RB situation in Pittsburgh had the attention of readers focused
on what might be a fair exchange for LeíVeon
Bellís understudy. The first commenter on the column (Eric)
wondered whether he could reasonably ask for Carlos
Hyde or Lamar
Miller in a swap for Conner. That comment was posted before
Conner filled in so admirably for Bell and before it was clear that
Bell would be sitting out for Week 2.
I also heard from Hugh (via email) before the games. Even though
Conner had not yet played, Hugh was very excited about his prospects
(having acquired him in the second round of a dynasty-league rookie
draft last year). From Hughís perspective, it seems quite
likely that Bell will miss most (or all) of the season and that
Conner could realistically turn out to have been the steal of last
Hugh shared his thoughts before Conner became the second most productive
fantasy RB (behind Alvin Kamara) in Week 1.
How quickly things change. With Bellís holdout still going
strong and Conner looking so reliable in relief of him, I would
rather have Conner than either Hyde or Miller. I understand that
Bell could come back unpredictably and that Connerís value
would immediately shrink to negligible in that case, but his upside
is absolutely worth the risk in my opinion. I would much rather
have Conner (with Bellís uncertain return looming on the horizon)
than Miller (who has DíOnta Foremanís uncertain but
inevitable return on his own horizon).
In my opinion, the Steelers would have beaten the Browns (instead
of tying) with Bell in the lineup. Bell is an immensely talented
player, and I wish the team would just compensate him and get him
back onto the field of play. But my wishes have nothing to do with
whatís going to happen. And what seems likeliest to happen
is that the Steelers will go out of their way to make a success
of Conner if only to show Bell that they donít need him as
much as he thinks they do (even if heís right!).
This is why I wouldnít be in any hurry to trade Conner. The
uncertainty at his position is too much for someone to offer Melvin Gordon or Saquon Barkley for him, but his opportunity is too valuable
for me to consider Kenyan Drake or even Jordan Howard in exchange.
Some people may think itís madness not to value Howard (a
talented back with an assured role for the remainder of the season)
more, but Howard doesnít have Connerís upside. As long
as Bell refuses to report to camp, I believe Mike Tomlin will be
under more pressure from his front office to make Conner look like
an apt replacement for Bell than to win games (witness Cleveland).
That makes me very excited about Connerís prospects.
Adrian Peterson has found an early-down
role in Washington. Did you acquire him prior to Week 1?
This week’s question: What percentage
of your free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) would you have spent
on Adrian Peterson & Alfred Morris in Week 1?
Injuries to Washingtonís Derrius
Guice & San Franciscoís Jerick
McKinnon prompted many owners to scramble for their backups:
Peterson & Morris. In the FFToday
Staff League, one owner acquired both of those backups by making
a couple of bold FAAB bids in Week 1. What percent of your FAAB
would you have paid for Peterson? For Morris? And if you could have
gotten both at those prices, would you have taken both, or would
you have settled for one? Please answer by posting directly to the
comments section below or emailing
Trap Game: San Francisco over Detroit
The 49ers are 6-point favorites at home against the Lions in Week
2ónot because Jimmy Garoppolo & co. looked good against
the Vikings in Week 1 (they didnít), but because Matthew Stafford
& co. looked horrible against the Jets (oh boy did they). Because
the Vikings are a good team, weíre very quick to forgive the
49ers for getting less than 100 rushing yards between Alfred Morris
& Matt Breida and for making George Kittle the teamís
leading receiver. I think we should be less forgiving of San Franciscoís
many shortcomings and more forgiving of the Lions, who never stood
a chance against a Jets defense that was decoding Staffordís
signals throughout the game. In other words, I think the 49ers arenít
even as good as their 16-24 loss to Minnesota suggests, and I believe
the Lions are much better than their 31-point deficit vs. the Jets
suggests. I expect Detroit to cover the spread in this oneóand
possibly to steal the game as well.
Pick #3 NO over Cle
Remember when the Saints were 9.5 point favorites at home against
the Buccaneers last week? How did that work out for my #2 pick?
Not so great. So why am I going back to the Saints in a very similar
situation in Week 2 (9-point favorites at home vs. Cleveland)? Well,
I sort of explained that last week with my misgivings about the
Tampa Bay matchup. I reluctantly took the Saints because I believed
the Bucs had a legit shot at defeating a divisional rival they face
twice each season. I donít think thatís possible for
the Browns, who are capable of playing above themselves against
a divisional opponent like the Steelers, but unlikely to do so against
Pick #2 LAC over Buf
The Chargers have a rock solid QB in Philip Rivers, an elite wide
receiver in Keenan Allen, and a workhorse RB in Melvin Gordon. The
Bills, by contrast, have a quarterback carousel in full swing (itís
only Week 2), a vacancy sign in the wide receiver department, and
a crowded backfield managed by a coaching staff that has somehow
managed to lose sight of LeSean McCoyís obvious talents. I
usually try to stick with home teams in Survivor Pools, but Iíll
be picking against the Bills no matter where they play until they
show a pulse.
Pick #1 LAR over Ari
Itís unusual for me to take a divisional match-up as my top
pick of the week even when it comes with a 13-point line, as is
the case here. However, the Rams really are that much better than
the Cardinals right now. There are lots of ways to analyze this
game, but Iíll put it in terms any fantasy enthusiast can
understand: Todd Gurley & David Johnson are two of the best
RBs in business today, but Gurley is on a great team with a fabulous
surrounding cast and excellent coaching, whereas Johnson Ö
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.