Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fantasy Dos and Don'ts: Week 3

Anything can happen in one week of fantasy football. Even two weeks is too small a sample size. Three weeks though, and your team starts to form a reputation. Falling to 0-3 probably means it's time to make a move, while vaulting to 3-0 gives you cushion when your team is inevitably ravaged by injury, or in this year's case, suspension. Still, what if you're in the middle of the pack? Where do you turn? You've got questions, we've got answers. As bye weeks approach, it's crucial to have the appropriate depth on your squad. We'll dive into a couple of possible moves to make or break your team.

DON'T overreact to QB play. We know it's tough for those of you who have drafted Drew Brees, Tony Romo, or Tom Brady.  RG3 is hurt, so too is Carson Palmer, but there is no reason to panic. These guys are meant to put up big points, and they just haven't yet. Still, it is very rarely worth trading for a QB, considering how deep the player pool is. In a 12 team league with standard scoring, it's more than likely that signal-callers such as Joe Flacco, Josh McCown, Geno Smith, Ryan Tannehill, or Eli Manning are free agents. If you have a free roster spot, and can nab someone going against a weak secondary while you wait for your big guns to turn it around, that's fine. Otherwise, remember the golden rule: play your studs. Plenty of time for these guys to turn things around for you.

DO start to plan around your bye weeks. Not this Sunday, but next week has the Bengals, Browns, Broncos, Rams, Cardinals, and Seahawks on a bye. There are many stars on those teams, and you don't want to give away a week because you weren't prepared. If you wait until after week 3, you'll have to battle everyone else on the waiver wire. We recommend grabbing replacements now if you need them, so you can get the pick of the litter. 

As for targets for Week 4, keep a narrow scope. You're only going to need these guys for one week, and then your starters will be right back in. Rather than just grabbing the biggest name available, go after a team facing a weak defense. The Giants, Packers, Saints, and Jaguars have given up the most points in the NFL thus far. They're all on the road in week 4, playing against very tough offenses. If you can pick up a skill player on the Redskins, Bears, Chargers, or Cowboys, you should be in good shape. Always plan ahead.

DON'T forget about the trade market. Some owners with an 0-2 record, or a serious injury, will hit the panic button before they should. If you can make a trade that would have looked good on draft day, you should still do it today. For example, one of our SnapCall game producers received this juicy trade offer Tuesday morning:

Receive: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (MIN) and Darren Sproles, RB (PHI)
Give: Trent Richardson, RB (IND) and Pierre Garcon, WR (WSH)

Of course, the owner giving up Patterson and Sproles is 0-2, and thought he needed to shake things up. Really though, he's giving up the two best players in that deal. These trades happen more often than you might think, so take advantage. We couldn't advise our guy to hit the accept button fast enough. 

If you're on the more aggressive side, go offer some beneficial trades to the teams that are already struggling. If they decline, you lose nothing, but one lopsided deal could give you a big edge for the rest of the season.

DO stash Josh Gordon. His suspension is going to be lowered from 16 to 10 games, it's just a matter of time until the league accepts the new drug policy. While you'll be burning a roster spot for most of the year, we're talking about the guy who led the league in receiving yardage last season. It doesn't matter who is throwing to him, Gordon is a stud. If you can squeak into the playoffs without him, and unleash him for the postseason, your opponent won't know what hit them. If he's not owned already, make your play.

DON'T hesitate to stream defenses and kickers. While they're mostly an afterthought to most people, they can easily score a combined 20+ points in a week. A large majority of fantasy games can come down to the wire, so these spots really do have an impact. 

If there's a kicker on a prolific offense sitting on your free agent list, go grab him! What's the worst that can happen? Many fantasy owners think that having a kicker on a bad team is better, because they won't be able to reach the end zone, and will be forced to rely on long field goals. That could be true, but the logic is flawed. Even Denver's ridiculous offense has only scored 75% of the time's they've reached the redzone this year. You'll still get your field goals, and the extra points will make up for the rest. It's a safer bet overall. 

On the defensive side, if you don't have Seattle, you can afford to drop your team for another. Don't bother carrying two defenses, it's not worth it. There will always be a free agent D/ST playing against a struggling offense. While the season is young, don't be afraid to feel out different teams. Baltimore (@ CLE), Philadelphia (vs. WSH), Houston (@ NYG), and even Indianapolis (@ JAX) are viable options that probably aren't owned, and could feast on poor offense in week 3. Go for them, and thank us later.

If you're still struggling with your team, don't worry. SnapCall gives you a way to predict the action on not only a weekly basis, not only a game basis, but on the biggest individual plays of each game. Don't miss out on a perfect football Sunday companion as we cover the league's best games of the week. Join us for the fun by downloading SnapCall from the Apple or Google app store.

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