Inaugural High Stakes League update 6

Updated: November 11th 2021

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

You know what I’m talking about.  The trade deadline in a fantasy football league.   Whether you are all-in making moves going for the championship, or,  if you’re in the cellar starting a rebuild for the future.  There are deals for everyone.  Everyone I say.

Tuesday, November 9th was our deadline.  That day, there were six deals made and, while it could be implied those account for all twelve teams getting in on the action, the reality is we had one team involved in four of those six deals and another team involved in two of them.  This means eight of the twelve teams still got in on the action (You taking any notes here, NFL?).  Pretty sweet.  But, man, I am excited to talk about the entire story behind the team that made four trades and I’m even more excited to see how the team finishes the regular season.  I think you will be too.

Reigning Champion, Philadelphia Freeways, entered the trade deadline as the #9 seed out of twelve teams.  They are actually 5-4 but have struggled to put up points this season and those final two playoff spots are determined by total points.  It’s not for lack of effort as they continue to be one of the most active teams when it comes to trading.  They made two trades in week nine bringing them up to six trades over the final eight days leading up to the deadline.  Those week nine trades were a push for the playoff run as they moved a 1st and 2nd round draft pick for star players.  Then they suffered a tough eight point loss to the number one seed, Y Town.  As I said previously, points haven’t been their strength.  Facing the right team each week has been and they’ve gotten wins because of it.  But, even though they actually moved up one seed from the previous week, with their loss, now at 5-4 with the trade deadline here and a low point total, they decided to pack it in for the season and started working on obtaining future assets.

Before I get into all of the trade deadline deals, let’s paint the picture with our standings and playoff hunt (Top four seeds by record, and next two playoff spots by total points):

(1) Y Town  7-2, 1378pts

(2) “The Don” Piccolo  7-2, 1205pts

(3) XFL Stars  6-3, 1406pts

(4) Wendell Takeover Project  5-4, 1254pts

(5) Rodge and Dodge  4-5, 1237pts

(6) Big Tings  5-4, 1213pts

(7) Borderland Bombers  5-4, 1210pts

(8) DC Guardians 4-5, 1134pts

(9) Philadelphia Freeways 5-4, 1113pts

(10) Schless is More 3-6, 1088pts

(11) These Truths to be Self Richard Dent 2-7, 1042pts

(12) NJ Generals 1-8, 1024pts

Clearly, it was a tough spot to be in and, for many teams, they freeze up like a tundra and don’t make any moves here leaving the landscape barren of any deals.  Still holding out hope for the playoffs, because there is a shot, but also not wanting to give up any future assets because, at the same time, it’s more likely they do not make it to the playoffs.  If you’ve played enough fantasy football you know we’ve all been stuck here at some point.  But, stuck… definitely not how this team played it.

Guess who made the first deal of the day to get us started?  That’s right, the hero of this story, Philadelphia Freeways.  Obtaining a 1st round pick in a trade that included player assets acquired just the week before and #5 seed, Rodge and Dodge, improved their QB situation in the deal.  The selloff for Philly had begun.

Two hours later, a little after noon, our next deal was done.  “The Don” Piccolo, who has flirted with that top seed all season, made another minor move to shore up his RB depth chart.  After acquiring Myles Gaskin two weeks earlier, he handcuffed him for the playoff run by acquiring Salvon Ahmed for a 3rd round pick.  #8 seed, DC Guardians, was the recipient of the 3rd round pick as they make the first of two trades on the day signaling a look towards the future.  DC then made the next trade, as well.  Six hours after the last deal, the early evening settled in and the owners got done with their work day and turned a renewed focus on deals.  DC obtained a 2nd round draft pick for Big Ben and a 3rd in return.  Another small step towards a rebuild for DC.  The #4 seed, Wendell Takeover Project, for their part in the deal, upgrades their QB depth with a 3rd startable candidate.  Just in time for Mahomes’ bye in week 12.

Then, boom.  Ten minutes later the trade sirens were ringing again.  My guys, Philly Freeways, were back at it.  They obtain another 1st round draft pick in a deal that sends two WR’s to #7 Borderland Bombers.  A team that is clearly on the bubble but within striking distance.  A team that had Calvin Ridley and now needed to make some moves to replace that production.  They did so effectively.

Silence then befell the group.  I assure it wasn’t because there were not deals being discussed.  I know this because I was discussing deals with several owners still and you could tell that most owners were hard at work trying to squeeze every last ounce of opportunity out of the trade deadline.  But, it seems, none were able to come together.

An interesting thing happened just after midnight though.  Personally, I thought midnight was the deadline and it never occurred to me that it would be on PST.  But, with deals sitting there not responded to, the accept button remained lit up.  It was then it occurred to me we probably had three more hours of deals for us in the Eastern time zone.  Then, moments later it was confirmed as I received another notification that a deal had been made.  This is where it gets good.

Philadelphia Freeways saw an opportunity and jumped on it.  Two more teams (at least that I am aware of) remained extremely active in talks with Freeways all the way up until midnight.  Freeways did an excellent job of want and needs analysis of the teams they were dealing with and realized that they could make some last minute moves that they felt put their team back into contention.  All season this team operated with the most salary cap space and well into the wee hours of the morning it finally paid off as they generate a stunner of a deal where they obtained Davante Adams for dirt cheap.  A 2nd round pick and Jalen Reagor for the consensus #1 WR going into this season.  As the only team with the ability to make a deal for player on a large expiring contract the cost of a deal was brought down immensely.  This deal came at about 1am EST and it was their second deal after midnight.

For These Truths to be Self Richard Dent, the #11 seed and owner of Adams, it came down to a very similar situation as former Illinois congressman, Rod Blagojevich.  In fact, we placed a voice recorder in their control room at These Truths headquarters’ and picked up the following statements about Davante Adams:

“I’ve got this thing and it’s f***ing golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for f***in’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it.”

A 2nd round pick isn’t “nothing” but it’s certainly below market value.  At the end of the day, both of these two teams win.  The rest of the Illinois?  Oops, I mean, the rest of the Inaugural High Stakes League?  Maybe not so much.  Philly’s last two deals net them Amari Cooper and Davante Adams.  Not to mention new life for a playoff run.  They give up only two 2nd round picks and Cooper is contracted beyond this season.  Will it pay off?  I can’t wait to see.

Last week at the end of my write up I mentioned I would revisit Philadelphia Freeways as champions of season one to find out what exactly they did with all of their winnings.  Well, I asked.  Here’s what I found out.  In short, more investment.  Between the two guys I think mentioned was crypto, Dillard’s stocks, and sports cards.  I don’t know about you, but this sounds like everyone I know that plays fantasy football.  That’s probably why this community usually gets along so fabulously.

Are you ready to join in the fun yet?  Feel free to drop us a line any time to get on the waiting list for the next league, scheduled to get off the ground in 2022.  But, waiting list is filling up now.

Thanks for hanging out with me.  See you next time.

RSO High Stakes League Storyteller

More Analysis by Matt Russell