My keeper league has made me crazy. I’ve started referring to myself in the third person, as Trader Zach.
I started with Eli Manning as my QB keeper. That was not sufficient. I had Frank Gore and Darren McFadden at running back. I considered them equal talents with McFadden’s inability to stay healthy matching up with Gore’s age. McFadden’s talent and Gore’s track record felt like a wash. I had Hakeem Nicks, Miles Austin, Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson at wideout. All four seemed keeper-worthy although Nicks was the stud. I decided to use my two most valuable chips and moved Nicks and McFadden for Peyton Manning. I had plans for Eli.
I started by asking for a third-round draft pick for Eli. It took me a month but the deal was done for a fourth-round pick. After considering the merits of Miles Austin versus Vincent Jackson, I decided to stick with Austin. I offered Vincent Jackson for a fourth and settled for a fifth. The other guy’s top WR was Santana Moss.
All the news I’ve heard since I made my trades focused on Gore’s injury from last year and Peyton’s neck injury. I wasn’t worried about the Gore’s injury history and age until the Panthers decided to spend a boatload of money on DeAngelo Williams. Gore decided to hold out. I had to hit the eject button.
I botched a Shonn Greene for Mike Wallace trade, although in the end that might work out in my favor. I made an off-the-cuff counter-offer of Frank Gore for Calvin Johnson. The trade offer was to my dad. He, like any smart fantasy owner, knew the trade was unbalanced. In a phone call he mentioned that he’d take Gore and a second-round pick. I decided I wanted a pick back, and we agreed on his seventh rounder.
Making this deal would take guts. It would leave me vulnerable as my only two running backs on my roster are Shonn Greene and Fred Jackson. Neither are keeper-worthy. I’d have to make one last deal to get that keeper running back.
Scouring the rosters, I saw that one guy had Mendenhall and Forte and three WR2s. I offered him Miles Austin for the running back he didn’t want. Forte has more potential in PPR but Mendenhall seems like a lock for 300 carries and maybe six guys can say that in the league. Both are young enough to be keepers at least for another year. He said he’d think about it. I was in.
It’s been intoxicating to deal this much. Trading gives you a feel of what other people think about players and it makes a league a ton more interactive. In the end, I will have traded Eli Manning, Frank Gore, Darren McFadden, Hakeem Nicks, Miles Austin, and Vincent Jackson, and my second-round pick. I’ll end up with Peyton Manning, Matt Forte/Rashard Mendenhall, Calvin Johnson, and extra fourth, fifth, and seventh-round picks. I traded for extra picks in my rookie draft because I trusted in my ability to pick the right players. In this case, I’ll have to find a player of second-round value with one of those three picks. Then again, I could bundle them for a trade up. Trader Zach approves.