by Inside the Redzone staff – Dan Lehto
Prior to the ’97-’98 NFL season, The Sherriff broke down the Vikings season into 4 chunks. He wanted to win in the preseason, which the Vikings did. He wanted to win in the first 8 games of the year, which the Vikes went 7-1. He wanted to win the second 8 games of the year, which the Vikes went 8-0. And, of course, he wanted to close out the year with a Super Bowl ring. A fumble, a Finkle and many tears later, and the Vikes have yet to get that elusive 1st Super Bowl ring.
And so goes your season each year hoping to either secure your first fantasy football crown, your 10th, or somewhere in between. Trust me, I know there are some of you out there who just simply don’t lose. Part of that could be due to the fact you haven’t played in a league with me.
This article is meant for those who have never won before or for those who are 0-4. Don’t lose hope! You have a chance and here are some keys to success.
There are some very interesting RB situations unfolding in front of our eyes and now is the time to strike.
Hightower & Torain
I would like to leave Mr. Torain off of this list altogether, but there is MUCH buzz around this guy. Here’s the deal folks. Torain has big stat potential and he did play under Coach Shanny in Denver. He started one half of football, had a decent half, and then tore up his knee. Something to think about. More so than this, however, is that Shanny is going to keep the RB carousel going. Picking up Torain is just not worth it. My stance: trade for or keep Hightower.
Mendenhall & Redman
I waited about 1 week too long to snipe Redman. Now he will get picked up in all leagues. Get him now.
Gore & Hunter
Yes, Frank just had a nice game. It does not change the fact that he did it against the porous Eagles defense and that he is about 2 games from going down for the year. Harbaugh is going to stop at nothing to keep his team winning and that means big trouble for Gore the rest of the way.
Starks & Grant
Grant’s the man here and there is no contest. It may be 50/50 the rest of the way, but I would rather have Grant. He looked back to form against the Bears two weeks ago.
McGahee & Moreno
Moreno is as injury prone as _(fill in the blank)__. Enough said.
Ridley, Green-Ellis & Woodhead
Just for the chance of getting a Patriot, I would buy in on Ridley.
Benson & Scott
Scott looked sharp last week and got a good amount of touches. The Bengals are 2-2, just knocked off the formerly undefeated Bills and are awaiting Benson’s return to jail…sort of.
Hillis & Hardesty
Shockingly (I mean that) Hillis and Hardesty were nearly 50/50 in touches last week. Not sure what to make of it, but worth taking a gamble.
Dump him! Yes he gets almost 20 touches a game, but they are terrible. Don’t waste your time.
Need Wide Receiver Help?
If you need a replacement for Andre Johnson, here is who I would be buying (Don’t trade him unless you get the farm…which you won’t, b/c he’s hurt):
Kevin Walter/Jacoby Jones
Laurent Robinson (even after Miles Austin is back)
Manningham & Cruz
Manningham is the man. Hold him.
Tebow — Get him now
Texans — Get them now!
Giants (if they are available) — Get them now!
Trades in general
If you are 0-4, look at the teams that are .500. Find out where they are strong in and trade them your stud for a couple mid-tier players. Let’s face it, your team is not winning now, so you might as well diversify and hope you can hit a couple doubles. Guys you should be able to buy on the cheap (meaning less than I think they are worth) are:
Mike Tolbert and/or Ryan Matthews
Jahvid Best (Had 2 “bad” weeks in a row, which is exactly what you want to get him in a trade)
Andre Johnson (again, don’t trade him if you have him though)
If you are 4-0, well you don’t need my help. In the event you would like some consultation, look for the .500 teams as well, b/c they still care. Most likely the rest have already given up, which sucks. In this case, trade them some of those mid-tier players to get another stud to round out your roster. You will lost depth, but at this point in the year, go big or go home.
Best of luck and as Matthew Berry (very entertaining and insightful) always reminds us, HAVE FUN! Any/all feedback is welcomed and warranted.