Epic Trades of the Week

Updated: October 17th 2016

The uniqueness of Reality Sports Online lends to EPIC TRADES that you won’t see on any other platform! Each week, we’ll highlight an EPIC TRADE or TRADES submitted by one of our RSO GMs! Want your trade to be featured? Email your trade to Inquiries@RealitySportsOnline. Please include full contract details so our Dave Sanders can provide his insight on the trade. Additionally, we’ll create a Twitter Poll so you can get feedback from fellow RSO GMs.

Featured Trade One

TRADE: Team A traded Jerick McKinnon (3yr/$18MM), Tyrell Williams (1yr/$6.5MM), & Victor Cruz (2yr/$18MM) to Team B for Alshon Jeffery ($1yr/17MM), Clive Walford ($2yr,$5MM), Quincy Enunwa ($1yr/1MM), & 2017 2nd Rd pick.

ANALYSIS: This trade appears to clearly be a match between a team buying and a team selling. If I was trading away Jeffery on a 1 year deal, I would want a player signed through 2018 or a 1st round pick. McKinnon fits that criteria and has impressed since replacing Adrian Peterson as the number one back in Minnesota. I don’t expect Peterson to return to Minnesota next year and would pencil McKinnon in as a RB2 for 2017 and 2018. Tyrell Williams and Victor Cruz could possibly be flipped in a trade later this season as well. From the contender’s point of view, I like this trade as well. Assuming he can stay healthy, which is never a given for Jeffery, Alshon should see a bump in targets with Kevin White lost for the season and become a weekly low-end WR1. Enumwa also should contribute as a WR4 with upside.

Featured Trade Two

TRADE: Team A sent Carson Palmer (1yr/$3MM), Chris Johnson (1yr/$1MM), Charcandrick West (1yr/$1MM), Shane Vereen (1yr/$1MM), James Starks (1yr/$1MM), Lorenzo Taliaferro (1yr/$1MM), Michael Thomas (4yr/$18MM), Martellus Bennett (1yr/$2MM), Jaguars DST (1yr/$1MM), 2017 1st round pick, and 2017 2nd round pick to Team B for Tom Brady (1yr/$4MM), Mark Ingram (1yr/$11MM), Gio Bernard (2yr/$10MM), Fozzy Whittaker (1yr/$1MM), Jordy Nelson (1yr/$4MM), Adam Humphries (1yr/$1MM), Greg Olsen (1yr/$7MM), Jack Doyle (1yr/$1MM), & Giants DST (1yr/$1MM).

ANALYSIS: This is your classic buyer meets seller trade. With their seasons heading in opposite directions, Team B decided it was time to move his most valuable one-year contracts. Team A gave up a 2017 1st round pick (which will be signed to a 4 year deal) and Michael Thomas, who’s signed through 2019 to greatly boost their 2016 team. Adding a top 5 QB, top 15 RB, top 10 WR, and top 3 TE will do that. If Team A wasn’t already the favorite, this trade may have cemented that as it certainly placed a bullseye squarely on this team’s 2016 performance.

Featured Trade Three

TRADE: Team A sent AJ Green, Phillip Dorsett, Ameer Abdullah, 2017 3rd round pick, & 2018 3rd round pick to Team B for Jeremy Langford, TJ Yeldon, Denard Robinson, Josh Doctson, 2017 1st round pick, 2017 2nd round pick, & 2018 2nd round pick.

ANALYSIS: Without the contract info, I’ll have to make some assumptions. First, you can’t go wrong acquiring AJ Green, almost no matter the price. Reestablishing himself as a true WR1 this season, Green can be a true difference maker each and every week. For side A, Josh Doctson is the most interesting piece. It’s fairly safe to assume that he’s on a rookie deal in this league. After making very little impact so far this season, his #RSOfantasy value has likely dropped in many leagues. I’m still a believer long-term and think he could make a sizable impact in 2017 if DeSean Jackson and/or Pierre Garcon do not return. Now’s a great time to target him if you’re selling as he might be able to be had for an early 2nd round pick.

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

Championship Adds

Updated: October 17th 2016

The NFL blasts into week 6 of the 2016 season. Now is the time of year I like to look at my team and decide if I am a probable contender.  There is enough data (including records, point totals, and injuries) available through five weeks for most fantasy owners to make a fairly reasonable estimate of whether their team has a decent chance at the playoffs this year.

Contending fantasy teams should consider adding players to fix deficiencies in the next couple of weeks. There is a small window where certain owners will not feel confident about which direction their team is heading and thus be hesitant to make deals improving their team.  The savvy owner can attack players on teams out of contention now before competition between contending teams drives the prices of players up later in the season.  This early trading strategy comes at the risk of moving future assets on a team that may fail due to injuries, performance, or many other factors but I find the risk is worth increasing my odds at a high finish.

But what players should you be targeting? I will give you a list of players below who might be valued less than their production dictates by their current owners based on a variety of factors.

Older Veterans

Fantasy players display an inherent bias against older players. The smart RSO owner can use this bias against other teams by buying these veterans at discount prices.  Owners also place aging players on short-term contracts at a greater rate which makes owners more willing to move them.  This is a great place to start when filling holes in your lineup.

Most fantasy leagues do not value the quarterback position highly given positional requirements and the abundant supply of startable quarterbacks in most leagues. Tom Brady and Drew Brees give consistently high volume and upside that is virtually unmatched.  Their advanced age has not affected performance so far and each player’s skills look unlikely to significantly diminish this season. Brandon Marshall and Michael Crabtree currently reside in the top 15 of targets for wide receivers in situations unlikely to change much.  Each plays for teams in the top-6 of passing attempts and receive a large percentage of targets.  The Jets recently lost Eric Decker for the season which solidifies Marshall’s role further. DeMarco Murray leads running backs in fantasy points for PPR leagues, while producing a nice weekly floor with nearly 5 receptions per game, and even has a solid schedule the rest of season. Greg Olsen is currently top-5 in targets and yards in the NFL, while easily leading the league among tight ends.  He is one of the very few consistent difference makers at an ugly fantasy position.

Injury Returns

Another excellent buying opportunity presents itself in injured players with the chance to return. There is more risk with this group as injury timeframes and performance of players returning from injury carries a lot of variance.  That risk comes with decreased costs and large upside though.

Jamal Charles should return to almost 100% this week.  He provides excellent value on concerns about workload split with Spencer Ware, a favorable schedule, and Kansas City has already had its bye-week.  He could be a true bargain if he resumes duties close to a workhorse role. Preseason darling, Donte Moncrief, returns in a few weeks to the pass happy Indianapolis Colts offense.  He will resume WR2 duties for the Andrew Luck led Colts and has the chance to provide WR3+ value down the stretch. Sammy Watkins could return from injured reserve as early as week 12.  He is a huge gamble as he might not play this year but showed league winning upside late last season and Buffalo has a fantastic schedule for the fantasy playoffs.  Cincinnati Bengal Tyler Eifert is also slated to return in the next few weeks.  The athletic tight end scored 13 touchdowns in just 13 games last season and is a complete mismatch for most defenders.  He provides huge weekly upside at the position.

Bad Touchdown Luck

The random nature of touchdown scoring conspires against fantasy owners constantly. Many quality options appear less than what they are due to unfavorable luck in the TD department.  Take advantage of owners who give up on players because of this misfortune and laugh all the way to payday as the touchdowns normalize over the course of a season.

Andy Dalton ranks in the upper tiers of completion percentage and yards per attempt but is near the bottom of starting QBs in touchdowns.  Look for a substantial increase in touchdown rate for the remainder of the season with the aforementioned touchdown machine Tyler Eifert set to return soon.  He is a nice cheap option for quarterback needy teams with QB1 upside for the remainder of the year. Lamar Miller sees an upper-class touch load weekly and is 10th in rushing yards but is the only running back in the top twenty of attempts that has not scored.  Miller’s volume should remain large on a team that has been in the top five of rushing attempts over the last two seasons and has one of the worst quarterbacks so far in Brock Osweiler.  This large workload should result in substantial scoring opportunities.  You might not have another opportunity to acquire Odell Beckham Jr. and Amari Cooper soon.  Both young star receivers scored their first touchdowns of 2016 in week 5 while maintaining big WR1 roles on pass heavy teams.  Neither will come cheap but the lack of scores might convince some skeptical owners to sell where each was virtually unattainable in the offseason.


Bio: Bernard Faller has degrees in engineering and economics.  He currently lives in Las Vegas and enjoys athletics, poker, and fantasy football in his free time.  Send your questions and comments (both good and bad) on Twitter @BernardFaller1.

More Analysis by Bernard Faller

Hold’em or Fold’em: Part 3

Updated: October 17th 2016

Fantasy football has to be one the most gut-wrenching hobbies to have. You can spend months studying, analyzing and preparing for the season and have it all over before the leaves start to turn. With the amount of injuries that have plagued some owners, there is a chance that even those who started off well may also be in selling mode. Seriously, if someone went into the season with the core of their team being Teddy Bridgewater, Adrian Peterson, Ameer Abdullah, Charles Sims, Sammy Watkins, Kennan Allen and Eric Decker one would say that they had a decent chance this season. Yikes!

Now that we have five weeks of football to gauge our team, we can look back at our rebuilding process for those that used my offseason rebuild article. For those who might be thinking about starting their rebuild this year, you can look to parts 1 and 2 on the basic fundamentals. In part three we are going to look at evaluating our team as it is right now and what to do with the rest of the 2016 season.

They Are Who We Thought They Were

Seasonal records are a hard stat to judge a fantasy team by since they have no way to defend their scores. One may have their best statistical output any given week only to have it be counted as an “L” due to what we will call the “Julio effect.” Therefore, looking at a team’s weekly points for and against will offer a greater understanding of who they really are. For teams that are 4-1 or 3-2, are you winning games against teams that are weaker? Are your points for significantly lower the other teams that have strong records? For teams that are 2-3 or 1-4, have you been playing against the weekly high scorers? Are your “points for” still competitive with the teams at the top of the standings? RSO has a great tool built right into the standings page to measure exactly how your team is against the rest of your league. If you go to Standings, then Breakdown, the site gives you an overall record against each opponent for every week. If you really want to have a record to brag about to your league mates then this is the one that you should be using. For instance, I am 3-2 in one of my leagues where I thought I had one of the strongest teams. When I look at the breakdown records it shows that against all opponents each week I have a 49-6 record as well as the highest points for. This indicates to me that I have had two games where my opponents had gangbuster weeks and I shouldn’t be concerned. You need to look at each of your teams as it pertains to the rest of its league and answer these questions before making any moves involving pushing ahead or selling the team this season.

How to Move Forward

Now that there is a guide for whether you are likely in or out this season you can start to plan ahead for the next 8-9 weeks before the playoffs. Let’s start with the contenders. If you are in- go ALL in. Find the good players on teams that are well behind the 8 ball and start making offers. Ideally, you would want to look for guys that are on one year/final season deals or ones that are older veterans and are not likely to be in that owner’s future plans. Don’t try and low ball them with players they won’t use. This won’t happen in an experienced league. Instead offer rookies, picks or longer contract players that will hold value into 2017. A perfectly reasonable starting point for a contending team to offer a rebuilder would be Derrick Henry and a 2017 1st for Le’Veon Bell.

For everyone else, look to the players that still have strong value in your line-up and start shopping them around. The worst thing is waiting until after the other rebuilders flood the market with usable talent to fill the needs of the few contenders. Or worse you could be waiting to see if you have a chance and then your player gets injured; not only crushing your chances of winning but also decreasing their value in a trade. In season is the best time to acquire picks because most owners are focused on winning, and they are willing to put future rewards on hold. While not the opposite of contenders, rebuilding owners should target: draft picks, injured/slumping players, and risk/reward contracts. Depending on the length of the rebuild or available cap space a fourth player to target would be the bad contract players.

Ultimately your goal for this season is to hold as many draft picks as possible, clear all cap space of players that hold their maximum trade value and acquire talent that might be useful in the next year or two. The big thing to take away from here is that when shopping players don’t ask for players that are a key part of that team’s starting line-up unless you are giving up something better. A great example would be to offer players that have already had their byes so the new owner can just plug-and-play them for the rest of the season. Meaning shares of Ryan Mathews, Jamaal Charles, Doug Baldwin, Jeremy Maclin, Eddie Lacy, and Drew Brees are easy selling points to a contender for a 2nd round pick and a project player.

Hopefully, I have helped lay the groundwork for what should be a busy month of buying and selling players. If you complete any big trades using this strategy make sure to tweet @RealitySportsOn to have yourself featured in our trades of the week. Also, if you have any questions about whether an offer is good enough make be sure to ask any of the RSO writers on their thoughts.

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

RSO Staff Picks: Week 6

Updated: October 20th 2016

Week 5 Results

1T. Papson – 8-6

1T. English – 8-6

1T. Wendell – 8-6

Overall Standings

1. Papson – 53-24

2. English – 44-33

3. Wendell – 41-36

Well, at least we tied him. With Kyle and I having identical picks last week and only differing from Papson on the Titans/Dolphins and Bengals/Cowboys game and splitting those two, we all ended up an average 8-6 last week. Papson keeps his 9 game over Kyle and 12 game lead over me through five weeks. It is going to be really tough to gain enough ground over the next 12 weeks, but here are our Week 6 picks:

NFL Game Picks

Game Wendell Papson English

DEN @ SD

SF @ BUF

PHI @ WAS

CLV @ TEN

BLT @ NYG

CAR @ NO

JAX @ CHI

LA @ DET

PIT @ MIA

CIN @ NE

KC @ OAK

ATL @ SEA

DAL @ GB

IND @ HOU

NYJ @ ARI  cardinals  cardinals  cardinals
More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

Most Frequently Franchised in ’16

Updated: October 17th 2016

Back in May, we took a look at the most frequently cut players in 2015 to learn some lessons in advance of our free agent auctions.  Now that we are in season, I thought it would be useful to look at which players were most frequently franchise tagged in 2016.  In my experience, Week 6 seems to be the time when struggling owners first commit to being a seller rather than a buyer for the rest of the season.  Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you can gain some valuable insight by looking at last year’s franchise tag trends.  I personally did this in my home RSO league – I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold onto him, so I sent my tagged David Johnson to the second place owner for Theo Riddick, a 2017 First and a 2018 Third.

Here’s the list of the top seven most frequently franchise tagged players for 2016 and my takeaways:

  1. Thomas Rawls
  2. Jordan Reed
  3. Rob Gronkowski
  4. Antonio Brown
  5. Tyler Eifert
  6. DEN Defense
  7. Greg Olsen

Make an Offer for a Top TE

Four of the top seven spots went to TEs which shouldn’t be a surprise as Reed, Gronk and Eifert are all injury risks while Olsen is getting up there in age – offering a multi-year deal to these guys is risky.  If you’re making a championship run, take a look at the TE position of your league’s worst teams.  If one of them is holding Olsen, Reed or Gronk, make the offer now without hesitation.  It will help you this year and gives you a viable franchise tag option next year (TE tends to have the most value with so many low priced guys who bring down the average).  Olsen is by far the TE1 in PPR scoring with Reed in second.  Gronk is far down the list due to injury but if anything that might help you get him slightly cheaper.  Zach Miller, Kyle Rudolph and Travis Kelce are averaging 2-4 points per game less than Reed and 7-9 less than Olsen (I’m discounting Martellus Bennett whose 3 TD game buoys his stats and is unsustainable).  Five points or so most certainly will be a factor at some point for you in the playoff push.

Antonio Brown May Be Available in 2017

I was surprised to see Brown on this list.  In both of my RSO leagues he’s on a long term deal so part of me assumed that would be the case across the board.  If you’re doing poorly in 2016 and have an eye to 2017, check on Brown’s contract status.  If he’s franchised in your league, there is a chance he becomes available in free agency (unless of course the owner tags him again so take a look at their 2017 cap space and draft picks to determine if they can make it work) and you can pounce on him.  While others in your league are concentrating on 2016, offload some win-now players on multi-year contracts;  you’ll get picks in return and reduce their 2017 cap space to give you a better shot at the top free agents, including guys like Brown.

Don’t Franchise Tag Jordan Howard!

Granted, Howard was probably drafted in your rookie draft but the point is this: franchising a RB who succeeded as a rookie is a bad idea.  Sure you could end up like me, who used it on David Johnson, or you could end up like all of the Thomas Rawls owners.  Take a look at last year’s top ten rookie RBs in rushing yards if you need a reminder of how quickly the shine can fade:

  1. Todd Gurley
  2. Thomas Rawls
  3. TJ Yeldon
  4. Melvin Gordon
  5. Ameer Abdullah
  6. David Johnson
  7. Jeremy Langford
  8. Karlos Williams
  9. Buck Allen
  10. Matt Jones

At best, half of that list is not startable and a few are droppable.  If any of this year’s valuable rookie RBs are still available, by all means pick them up and ride them for all they are worth this season but don’t make the mistake of franchising them next year, even if they explode late in the season.

More Analysis by Bob Cowper

Most Frequently Franchised in '16

Updated: October 13th 2016

Back in May, we took a look at the most frequently cut players in 2015 to learn some lessons in advance of our free agent auctions.  Now that we are in season, I thought it would be useful to look at which players were most frequently franchise tagged in 2016.  In my experience, Week 6 seems to be the time when struggling owners first commit to being a seller rather than a buyer for the rest of the season.  Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you can gain some valuable insight by looking at last year’s franchise tag trends.  I personally did this in my home RSO league – I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold onto him, so I sent my tagged David Johnson to the second place owner for Theo Riddick, a 2017 First and a 2018 Third.

Here’s the list of the top seven most frequently franchise tagged players for 2016 and my takeaways:

  1. Thomas Rawls
  2. Jordan Reed
  3. Rob Gronkowski
  4. Antonio Brown
  5. Tyler Eifert
  6. DEN Defense
  7. Greg Olsen

Make an Offer for a Top TE

Four of the top seven spots went to TEs which shouldn’t be a surprise as Reed, Gronk and Eifert are all injury risks while Olsen is getting up there in age – offering a multi-year deal to these guys is risky.  If you’re making a championship run, take a look at the TE position of your league’s worst teams.  If one of them is holding Olsen, Reed or Gronk, make the offer now without hesitation.  It will help you this year and gives you a viable franchise tag option next year (TE tends to have the most value with so many low priced guys who bring down the average).  Olsen is by far the TE1 in PPR scoring with Reed in second.  Gronk is far down the list due to injury but if anything that might help you get him slightly cheaper.  Zach Miller, Kyle Rudolph and Travis Kelce are averaging 2-4 points per game less than Reed and 7-9 less than Olsen (I’m discounting Martellus Bennett whose 3 TD game buoys his stats and is unsustainable).  Five points or so most certainly will be a factor at some point for you in the playoff push.

Antonio Brown May Be Available in 2017

I was surprised to see Brown on this list.  In both of my RSO leagues he’s on a long term deal so part of me assumed that would be the case across the board.  If you’re doing poorly in 2016 and have an eye to 2017, check on Brown’s contract status.  If he’s franchised in your league, there is a chance he becomes available in free agency (unless of course the owner tags him again so take a look at their 2017 cap space and draft picks to determine if they can make it work) and you can pounce on him.  While others in your league are concentrating on 2016, offload some win-now players on multi-year contracts;  you’ll get picks in return and reduce their 2017 cap space to give you a better shot at the top free agents, including guys like Brown.

Don’t Franchise Tag Jordan Howard!

Granted, Howard was probably drafted in your rookie draft but the point is this: franchising a RB who succeeded as a rookie is a bad idea.  Sure you could end up like me, who used it on David Johnson, or you could end up like all of the Thomas Rawls owners.  Take a look at last year’s top ten rookie RBs in rushing yards if you need a reminder of how quickly the shine can fade:

  1. Todd Gurley
  2. Thomas Rawls
  3. TJ Yeldon
  4. Melvin Gordon
  5. Ameer Abdullah
  6. David Johnson
  7. Jeremy Langford
  8. Karlos Williams
  9. Buck Allen
  10. Matt Jones

At best, half of that list is not startable and a few are droppable.  If any of this year’s valuable rookie RBs are still available, by all means pick them up and ride them for all they are worth this season but don’t make the mistake of franchising them next year, even if they explode late in the season.

More Analysis by Bob Cowper