With one week of the 2012 Fantasy Football season all complete, it’s time now for owners to look at ways to improve their teams through the waiver wire and trades. In case you missed it on Monday, take a look at a few players to consider adding off of the waiver wire. Now James Morris, our fantasy guru, and Jon Cope, producer of The Finsiders and fantasy junkie, give their views on several questions atop the mind of fantasy owners after one week of play.
Question: Is it too early to look at making major trades?
James Morris: This is a 2-part answer. 1) It depends on what they are asking for and what they are offering. I NEVER say, “I am not trading right now.” Every league has a village idiot, and I want to be home when he comes knocking on my door. 2) It is just the first game; the worst thing you can do is make a knee-jerk decision and deal off your 1st or 2nd round pick for someone that had a one good game. The draft is just one part of winning a championship; leagues are often won or lost on the waiver wire. I would look over my waiver wire and see if there are any moves to be made there before I go looking at making a blockbuster deal in week 2 of the NFL season.
Jon Cope: Yes, for the most part I think one week is too early to make trades. Crazy things happen on a week-to-week basis in the NFL; as the cliché’ goes, “on any given Sunday”. I prefer to wait at least three weeks to see what trends develop. Also, it’s a lot easier to trade for a talented, underperforming player (“buying low”) after 3 weeks rather than after just one bad game. Furthermore, in the first several weeks, there are plenty of good options available on the waiver wire as under-the-radar players emerge. I prefer to attempt to plug holes via free agency in the first couple of weeks, since that’s a method of adding talent to your team without having to trade away a valuable commodity in return.
Question: Streaming Defenses, picking up defenses on a weekly basis based on matchups, is that the best strategy?
James Morris: There is some validity to this statement, but you can’t get team that plays the Browns EVERY week. I don’t waste a high pick on a defense like the 49ers or Eagles, but I will look at a sleeper defense like the Broncos in the 10th round. That being said… and again… look over your waiver wire and use it as a tool. If there is a better match-up sitting there, we both KNOW you have a garbage player sitting at the end of your bench that you can cut for a one-week rental.
Jon Cope: I LOVE streaming defenses! I think fantasy defenses are highly variable to what team they are playing. You never want to start a fantasy defense against an Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady or Drew Braes quarterbacked team. For instance, look at how the 49ers defense- #1 in fantasy last year, had a very average fantasy showing against Green Bay on Sunday. I would much rather search the waiver wire on for solid defense playing at home against a vulnerable offense. Such options this week include the Dolphins hosting the Raiders, the Bengals hosting the Browns and the Bills hosting the Chiefs.
Question: In a RB/WR flex league, do I start my RB or WR?
James Morris: I typically will start a RB in the flex because a starting RB will get more touches than a starting WR will see targets. Of course you have to look at the match-ups and play the best player, but RBs get the edge for me. Don’t get cute and try to over think it either; no, Ben Tate is NOT a better play than Jeremy Maclin because Arian Foster is iffy to play the game. Unless Foster is ruled OUT, assume he is in and play the flex spot according to who is going to be on the field more.
Jon Cope: Obviously, this all depends on the makeup of your roster but in most cases I would start a RB over a WR, as long as the RB is the primary ball carrier for his team. As James mentions starting running backs are usually more consistent point producers for your team. However, with the emergence of more and more pass-first offenses, I would strongly consider using a receivers in leagues where you only start 2 wide receivers because your third receiver is often stronger than your third back.
Question: Should fantasy owners be concerned about Wes Welker?
James Morris: Welker has proven over the recent years that he can produce despite his obvious lack of overpowering skills. However, the Patriots balked at giving him a long term contract this off-season and he is playing the 2012-13 season on a 1-year deal. With Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez playing all 67 snaps, Brandon Lloyd in for 57 snaps and Julian Edelman recording 23 snaps, I do think we are starting to see the beginning of a non Welker-centered passing attack. Last year Welker played in 89.2 percent of the total snaps and saw 10.7 targets per game!
Jon Cope: I would say one game might be a little early to push the panic button with Welker, a man who caught 122 passes last year. With the tight ends flourishing and Brandon Lloyd joining the team in the off-season there should be a few less balls heading Welker’s way; however, he is still an awfully good slot receiver who has tremendous chemistry with Tom Brady. It’s important to remember the Patriots got a big lead against the Titans (21-3) and had plenty of success with Stevan Ridley running the ball. In the Patriots biggest win of 2011, Welker registered a paltry 2 receptions for 22 yards. In sum, I think Welker will still be a huge factor in games where the Patriots don’t have a large lead early in the game. While James does point out many valid warning signs, I would have some patience with Welker.
For answers to more of your fantasy questions, follow James on Twitter here.
Also, check back on Friday for James’ Week 2 lineup advice.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.