I was Trader Zach last year in my keeper fantasy league. The league is a keeper PPR league that redrafts once every five years, with our last redraft being in 2010. I made a bunch of pre-draft trades. If I had made zero moves, I would have kept Eli Manning, Frank Gore, and Hakeem Nicks. Here’s how it broke down:
Trade one: Hakeem Nicks and Darren McFadden for Peyton Manning. Worst trade ever? Now it seems so. When we had our five-year redraft, the league went bonkers for QBs and by the time my second-round pick came up, Brees, Rodgers, Brady and Manning were off the board. I took Eli in the 7th round and pined for an upgrade. In the league’s 12-year history I have never drafted a stud QB. I traded for Daunte Culpepper and had him for the glory days between 2002 and 2005. Timing worked out in my favor as our previous redraft happened the same year that the wheels fell off for Culpepper. I didn’t like Eli Manning’s steady but unimpressive weekly numbers. I went for it. I crashed and burned.
Trade two: Vincent Jackson for a fourth-round pick. I was fine with throwing away “excess” wide receivers. Jackson’s the kind of guy you hate to have on your roster most weeks and love him fiercely when he scores 37 points every six weeks or so.
Trade three: Eli Manning for a fifth-round pick. Silly me for trading away the wrong Manning. I had Peyton and who needs another QB when you have Peyton.
Trade four: A second-round pick and Frank Gore for Calvin Johnson. Initially the offer was Shonn Green for Mike Wallace. This was with my dad and something broke down so he threw out this other offer with a player I thought was untouchable in Calvin. The idea of trading a second-round pick scared me a bit but I figured I could compensate with my extra fourth- and fifth-round picks.
Trade five: This trade happened the night before the draft. Usually we declare keepers a month in advance but this year we shook things up a bit. I was going to keep Shonn Greene but that did not give me any warm fuzzies. I threw out an offer of my seventh-round pick for Ryan Mathews. This was the same team that took McFadden and Nicks so there wasn’t much leverage.
I ended up with Peyton, Ryan Mathews, and Calvin Johnson as my keepers. Sure, if I had Eli all year I might have not been in a weekly QB panic, but ultimately trading away McFadden and Nicks yielded me better players.
Now it’s 2012. Can my alter ego resurface? I’m more in a sell excess parts mode than scrambling for upgrades. I’ve already decided that even though I held onto Peyton all year that he’s not going to be a keeper. I have Ryan Mathews, Calvin, and Jimmy Graham. I am trying to trade A.J. Green.
I found two interested parties for A.J., which is what you want when trading. Sadly, the offers have been pretty paltry. One was to exchange picks in the second round. I’d move up from pick 19 to 15. The owner offered to trade waiver slots, which might be somewhat valuable as we have somewhat limited rosters. The second offer was pick 3.02 for my pick 4.07 and Green. Bill Belichick would not approve.
I threw out offers to two other teams, and those were the teams that got Jackson and Eli last offseason. I doubt anything major’s going to come of this. My ultimate goal would be to use that extra pick to get my QB. I’m going to be the only owner in league history not to keep a QB and I wonder if someone will pick a backup early just to spite me. When I held off on QB in our redraft year, one guy took a second QB before I got my first.