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The Official FieldGulls Fantasy Football Thread. Week 11 Edition.

I have to start with a quick thank you to Kenny for guest writing the fantasy thread last week. He provided yet another reminder of how great a community we have here, and he put together a great piece on relatively short notice. And I had no idea he was writing fantasy info at another place!!  We really are incredibly lucky. There is a TON of talent writing and sharing here (for virtually free), and working together to provide new and interesting ways to enjoy the game of football.  And honestly, it isn’t just football. I’m sure you are like me and float around other sports and sports blogs, and we’ve truly been blessed in the PNW.  Between the USSMariner, Lookout Landing and FieldGulls, I feel like we have some of the best non-conventional sports writing in the nation.  Seriously. Enjoy, and soak it up.

On to business...  As Kenny pointed out, I’ve been entering every post with a sort of chant before getting into the new stuff. I suppose it could be excluded, but I keep using it as sort of an introduction to new readers to the site. We have a ton of both written and unwritten community rules, and this is my way of helping keep some sort of order. Plus, well, I like it. Reminds me of many locker rooms around the country, with a statement of purpose written in block letters above the door that the athletes tap on their way to the battle.  It gets me in the mood to crack some skulls, man!!

This IS the post for fantasy football talk.  You can, if you must, add fantasy talk in additional game threads, but be warned, someone may be watching, and they may be mocking.  Here, you have free rein to talk your team’s reign or your rain of injuries.  Something to note, and this should be a true football fan’s golden ticket when it comes to heaven and hell and the voiding of the warranty on your soul.

The first rule of Fantasy Football, you do NOT root for players against the Seahawks.

The second rule of Fantasy Football, you do NOT root for players against the Seahawks.

On this site, for sake of your own health, NEVER cheer against the Seahawks due to your fantasy roster.  My personal rule is to avoid as much as possible acquiring division rivals, or to avoid playing them against the Seahawks if reasonably possible.  Statements like, "Well, at least I have 

Larry Fitzgerald on my fantasy team" (if) he was scorching the Hawks will unleash the hounds of hell upon you.  Please don’t be that one bastard playing the "Don’t Come" line at the craps table.  Not only will you bring bad mojo to everybody, but you’ll likely get verbally harassed, if not banned.  You’re a Seahawk fan, you aren’t "that guy" you are one of OUR guys—act like it!

Ethics in Fantasy Football. 

Nothing like an easy topic today, eh?  I can’t help it.  Every time I even READ the word ethics, I think of Bradley Whitford explaining business ethics in Billy Madison.  Now I’m going to talk about myself and whether I’m ethical or not?  Oh, joy.


Here’s the deal.  My keeper league has 15 freezes from year-to-year, 1-3 year contracts with salary escalation on a non-contracted player that finishes at the top 15 at his position.  There are 10 teams in the league, no playoffs, and five teams within two games of first place right now.  We have no trade deadline.  Frequently teams that are "out of it" make late season trades of quality players to teams in it, in return receiving high draft picks, sometimes some salary relief (the upper team will take on a bad contract), and low priced prospects who will ideally be better in the following year. 


We’ve had debates about the integrity of the league and "fielding a competitive team" vs. "best interests of your team long term" when it comes to these trades.  You could equate it with "Suck for Luck" vs "Win Forever (including today, when we’re not in the playoff hunt, but a win is a win.)"  Well, I came up with an idea for a blockbuster trade that has the league in an uprising.

The Reluctant Trader

As with every league, one guy is a HUGE Patriots fan.  Unlike most leagues, he has stored patriots away for several years, and currently has Wes Welker and Tom Brady.  But his team lacks depth, talent, youth, and long term potential.  He is literally so top heavy it has somewhat ruined his team.


Both guys have really expensive non-contracted escalation salaries to freeze—Wes Welker would go up to 37 dollars – cap is 250 and comparable WR’s have surprisingly affordable contracts, including Andre Johnson (16), Mike Wallace (15), Vincent Jackson (10), and Greg Jennings (17).  Only Larry Fitzgerald (40) would be higher at present.  Brady will freeze at closer to 90, which would be the highest player in the league, Rodgers is at 55, though he was gotten at a steal due to cap issues and both he and Brady are "worth" near 100 in our scoring system.


While he COULD keep both those players, his best bet long term is to part with them for a mass of affordable talent to fill his depth top-to-bottom.  He needs to rebuild, badly.  But he LOVES his Patriots and it makes it near impossible to swing a deal with him.  He’s the guy that will only offer his crap for your elite guys.  Earlier we tried to get Brady from him, and he came back with us giving him Arian Foster (10) and Andre Johnson (16) AND a draft pick from us.  Yeah, thanks but no thanks. 


He’s also the guy who will agree to a trade over the phone, but then not pull the trigger, instead needing to verify with his co-GM, his brother.  Personally, I’ve never seen nor talked to his brother, and I wonder if the guy exists as anything other than a figment in his mind that says, "NO, get more!"  on every trade scenario.


So my boy KNOWS he needs to rebuild.  He KNOWS those are his only valuable pieces, but he has hesitation to trade them, being afraid of what the future may bring.  And I agree, he may not be able to get a player of that magnitude back in trade (for the contenders need their guys to contend) and he may not see the guy go into the auction as a non-freeze, so he wont even be able to go after them again in the open market.


And I figured out how to work around all that.  I found what Mickey Hatcher (the Lincoln Lawyer) would call, "the magic bullet."  (Alright, Alright Alright.)  See, here’s the thing.  Long term Welker isn’t in my plans at all, and Brady would only barely be there.  But combined they could be the key to my first championship in this league—and considering it is over a grand in winnings, I’m willing to do a lot to try and get there.


The Package

Welker and Brady for – two 5th round picks (these are valuable as 5th and better are what is required to sign a FA in auction), Joe Flacco (short term depth, maybe freezeable), Jahvid Best (a risk, but at 10 a cheap upside RB), Victor Cruz (10 now, 10-20 next year-- cheap, productive), Donald Butler (1/3yr), and Ryan Kerrigan (1/3yr).  Butler and Kerrigan would both start for him today, and Kerrigan is in the top 5 at LB in the league, and is debatably nearly as valuable long term as Brady due to his very affordable contract.


Now here’s the kicker.  I proposed several conditions to entice him.  First, I agree to NOT trade either player to another owner.  I also will not freeze either player, forcing them into Free Agency.  I will not match either player above set prices (60 for Brady and 15 for Welker).  So essentially Welker and Brady become rent-a-players for my championship run and will not be in my long term plans.


The other proposal was that at the end of the season I would trade both players back to him for a 6th and 7th round pick.  He gets the 5th rounders for auction, and also receives the ability to either freeze or put those guys out to the auction.  (Owner of a player in the auction retains matching rights to the highest offer.)  I also added that I would not go after either player in the auction if they would be available.


So bottom line is I get 6 weeks of Brady and Welker for… a young top10 LB, a young playable consistent LB, a young RB who is a RB1B or RB2A when healthy, a WR2, two improved picks… and… Brady and Welker.



And still he doesn’t/hasn't accepted the deal.  And other owners in my league are crying foul that the "rent-a-player" strategy is not in the best interests of the league.  One owner/co-commish (who is also one of my competitors for the championship) wrote, "These kind of shenanigans are detrimental to the league as a whole.  I voted against the "no holds barred" approach previously because I think it is a bad precedent and is bad for the league.  This is supposed to be a gentlemen's league amongst friends to do things on the up and up.  These kinds of "deals" are bad for everyone as a whole." 


Uh Oh.  The "Gentleman’s League" precedent.  I’m in trouble now, for being a nefarious soul trying to win my first championship.  We’ve had many "wink-wink-nudge-nudge" trading circumstances in the past, just never at this level of significance.  I’ve been on record as saying that I would like all trade stipulations to be written into the trade, so the rest of the league can follow along with them.  As it is now, we have had many unwritten things. 


I’m tempted to talk to the other two owners who are truly deal-makers and in contention and make a gentleman’s agreement between us that none of us will trade for Brady and Welker, thus making a move that will be "not in the best interests of the league."  The counter of that is that the "reluctant trader" probably wont be competitive next year without the help of a monster deal like we’ve offered, and is that truly "in the best interests of the league" if an owner’s love of all things Patriot and his reluctance to trade makes his franchise be non-competitive.


Finally, it probably doesn’t matter anyway, as the "reluctant trader" will likely not accept the deal before tomorrow morning, at which time we’ll pull it and this all goes to hypothetical land.


I want to know what you think.  


Fantasy Picks Week 11

Need a QB starter that’s likely sitting on the waiver wire?  Tavaris Jackson is your man.  Yes, you heard that correctly.  Tavaris hasn’t put up a TD since the Giants game, but as several articles have pointed out as of late, he is actually making decent decisions and throwing with accuracy.  I wouldn’t start him above your QB1, but if you’ve got a bye week or a bad matchup, consider shuffling him in for the week.  Maybe it’s completely illogical, but, like, I’ve got a vibe, man.


Who is going to benefit from his performance?  Sidney Rice.  Yes, you heard me.  Tavaris to Sidney is GOING TO HAPPEN this week.  Coming off a 1 catch 4 target week last week, and not catching a TD pass since week 4 vs. the Falcons, Sidney is due.  Add the possible restriction of the running game after losing the right side of the line, and this is a game we might actually see our high priced WR statistically look like a high priced WR.


The nice thing about picking Seahawks, is even if I’m wrong, nobody cares, they’re just happy to hear our guys being tagged with some upside!


Waiver Wire RB Pickup—Tashard Choice, Washington.  I have decided to keep picking random Washington RB’s all year long.  Mike Shanahan is the king of frustrating his fantasy owners, and this week should be no different.  Ryan Torain hasn’t produced.  Tim Hightower is out for the year.  Roy Helu is missing blocking assignments, which is certain death in Tan-a-Sham’s offense.  That leaves Tashard Choice as the random unlikely to be expected but likely to be ridden like a stallion player of the week for Washington


Look, at this point in the season, there aren’t a lot of good starters sitting around on the waiver wire.  If you’re actually looking to start one, you’re in a desperate position.  Choice has as much chance as anyone on the wire to put up starters numbers this week. 


IDP--Keep an eye out for LDE Chris Long.  I hate to say it being that he is playing the Hawks, but he has 8 sacks this year and 5 over the past 3 weeks.  He has been as consistent a pass rusher as we’ve seen this year, and it will be interesting to see him match up against our backups at RT or even Russell Okung if Long moves around a bit.  At 26 years old, he appears to be justifying his high draft pick status and bloodlines. He may or may not have a monster game, but he is now a player opposing offenses have to scheme for or prepare to face the consequences.   Look for our usual extra blockers to be used on his side, which hopefully will not affect the passing game too much.