Quick Background Recap: Per the numerous entries on this league, this team was built specifically to compete in 2011 and beyond with 6 1st round picks and a bunch of young players that I anticipated would increase in value. The goal in Year 1 was to accumulate as much value as possible up and down the roster in order to consolidate that value into stud players, even overpaying where necessary to do it.
Player Performance: Can’t say I am terribly happy with the performance of my players thus far. I haven’t yet seen the value increase that I’ve been expecting, but its way early in the season, so I am still hopeful. There has been some value increase, however. Kenny Britt (my 7.12 pick) has picked it up as of late, justifying the “early” pick and canceling out his horrendous offseason for the most part. I really like him going forward. The New England TEs performed early (Hernandez mostly, but my own Gronkowski to some extent as well), boosting the value of my 18th round pick. Mendenhall has been fantastic, but sadly, not for my team after trading him early for Vernon Davis (oops). My $780 player, Kareem Huggins, has done squat, but looks like he’ll start getting more involved, so at least we’ll find out if he’s a keeper or wire fodder soon enough. Vincent Jackson experienced a nice bump in value with his supposed announced return, but I’m likely keeping him anyway as a fixture on this team. CJ Spiller saw a spike in value during the preseason, but the lack of involvement in the offensive game plan curtailed that a bit. Still, love the guy and I expect his value to go up substantially by next year (one reason why I traded for him recently in the $750 Dynasty at a fairly price). Dwayne Bowe has gotten off to a slow start, but I’m not all that worried actually because I’m confident that he’s too talented not to turn things around this year. Of course, his poor start means that I can’t trade him any time soon. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier posting, I love what I see in Demaryius Thomas, so fairly safe to say he’s not going anywhere. Almost forgot to mention Braylon Edwards, who has probably been the MVP of this team thus far. Unfortunately, his strong performances haven’t yet changed his perception around the league as a pariah, but I figure that will change if he keeps it up.
Trades: With the slow start by most of my players, I’ve had very little value to play with on the trading front. My trading activity has been held in check as a result. Still, there has only been 5 trades in this league since the startup draft (more, actually, than anticipated at this early stage), and I’ve been involved in all 5. Here they are:
Rashard Mendenhall for Vernon Davis and a 2011 3rd rounder: I discussed this trade in an earlier posting. Vernon is going to be a great one, but Mendenhall has really lit it up since the trade. He is clearly a top 10 (if not top 5) dynasty RB right now, and I’m missing the rise in value entirely. I’d like a mulligan on this trade. That said, my fear about holding onto a rising value like Mendenhall with a bruising running style and an injury history is to wait too long to make a trade. One injury and his value is toast. Since I really couldn’t use him this year, I wanted to park that value into a young stud TE or WR instead which I consider to be safer assets in general. Why then hold guys like Stewart and Spiller? Well, one, their values are down so now is not the time to sell anyway. Two, part of the beauty of these two assets in particular is that with their obvious talent already having been displayed, they can maintain their current values without having to put on much mileage. That is, they don’t have to play to keep up their values. Once they do get the opportunity to play, their values will likely sky rocket (and their risk starts to increase), and perhaps that will be the time to consider trading them. As far as RBs go, I believe Stewart and Spiller to be fairly safe assets at their current values. With Mendenhall, although his value goes up as he performs well, there is a substantial risk that the value will come crashing down upon an injury (or poor performance). Even if he doesn’t get injured, he will have put on substantial mileage by the time I could actually use him. Don’t get me wrong, I wish I still had Mendenhall, but thats because I know right now that he is performing well, his value has gone up and he has not yet gotten injured. For a team not looking to compete this year, however, I don’t view him as a safe asset. If I still had him, I would probably be looking to trade him right about now.
Rob Gronkowski for Pierre Garcon: I like Garcon quite a bit actually and this trade was offered to me, so I accepted. Garcon at the time was still injured (not that he has fully recovered even today).
Steelers Defense and Todd Heap for Stephen Williams and Niners Defense: Bad trade for me all the way around, but I wanted to take a shot at Stephen Williams, a big receiver, with good speed and good ball skills and now, an opportunity. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done a ton with the opportunity (although Derek Anderson did over throw him deep on a play where he was wide open) and now he’s dinged up.
Vernon Davis for Desean Jackson and a 2011 3rd rounder: Tough one here. I liked Jackson quite a bit as a dynasty value during the offseason but of course had some concerns about Kolb taking over. Vick now likely being the starter in 2011 has relieved much of that concern as Desean showed a ton of potential with Vick at the helm to be among the very elite at WR. With Vick now down, he has not yet gotten on the same page as Kolb, so hopefully Vick gets back in action soon. Of course, the game following the trade, Desean puts up a stinker and Vernon finally lights it up. Oh well.
Kenny Britt, Pierre Garcon and a 2011 3rd rounder for Dez Bryant: Now although this one will be bad for me in the short term, I think Dez is destined for great things, possibly as soon as late 2010 and most likely by the beginning of 2011.
My team now:
RB: Stewart, Spiller, Huggins, Starks, Blount
WR: Desean Jackson, Vincent Jackson, Dez Bryant, Dwayne Bowe, Demaryius Thomas, Braylon Edwards, Lee Evans, Mohamed Massaquoi, Stephen Williams, Chaz Schilens, Donnie Avery.
TE: Jared Cook
Of course, I won’t be able to keep all those WRs and I will have some tough decisions come offseason cut time, but the group I end up going with should be a very strong group going into next year, especially the top 5 of DJax, VJax, Bryant, Bowe and Demaryius. Slowly, but surely, this team is starting to take shape.