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Trading Places: A Look at Trading in 2-QB Fantasy Football Leagues

Sal Stefanile looks to test out Steve Gallo’s Zero QB Theorem for the rest of the season by trading away all of his quarterback depth.

Terrelle Pryor
Terrelle Pryor

Oct 27, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) runs for the 93 yard touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

When we last left the ‘Trading Places’ series, I had traded away Robert Griffin III for Reggie Bush and Josh Gordon in a 12-team .5PPR 2-QB fantasy football league.

The trade was a good one on the surface, but once you took a deeper look at my roster, I was left with only one viable starting quarterback option (Eagles QBs). That’s not the best position to be in in a 2-QB fantasy football league.

I was intrigued, though, by the possibility to test out Steve Gallo’s Zero QB Theorem, for the rest of the season, by trading away all of my quarterback depth, and creating a quarterback-less juggernaut. The only issue with that was I couldn’t find any respectable offers for Michael Vick/Nick Foles.

Having decided it wasn’t feasible to go with only one quarterback in a 2-QB league, it was time to find a quarterback replacement for RG3. The most obvious trading partner of choice was the owner I traded RG3 to, as he had four quarterbacks on his roster, in a league where you only have three bench spots.

Stashing that many quarterbacks would have hindered his team, so he went trading, too. His four quarterbacks were Cam Newton, RG3, Terrelle Pryor, and Geno Smith. The added bonus of owning Newton and RG3, was that they both completed their bye weeks, meaning this owner could trade his quarterback depth, and not worry about filling in quarterback bye weeks.

Like we did during our previous trade talks, we chatted about potential trade offers, to see if their was any interest.

Before we got serious though, he traded away Geno Smith. That was okay with me, as I had my eyes set on Pryor. While other owners weren’t willing to trade for Pryor in this league, either because they didn’t like the price tag, or they were still of the mindset that Pryor wasn’t for real, I felt okay with Pryor starting for my 2-QB team.

When working the trade phones, your best bet at making a trade is with a team that is amendable to trading to begin with, and that has a need you can fill.

In this particular instance, Martellus Bennett was the other team’s TE1, and at the time, there were concerns he might not play versus the New York Giants Week 6.

At the same time, I had recently acquired Garrett Graham, after Owen Daniels was put on short-term I.R., and used that as a springboard in trade talks.

I was trying my hardest not to give up my best players, one of whom being Cecil Shorts, but you have to give something up to get something of value back. Usually. While the thought of Graham, as both a Bennett insurance policy, and every week flex player, was intriguing for the other owner, it wasn’t enough to lure Pryor. Shorts had to be part of the trade.

Using this article, by C.D. Carter, showcasing what Graham could do as the replacement for Daniels was a good starting point, and while I was willing to do a 2-1 trade, the second half of the trade equation wasn’t matching up.

For the other owner to trade Pryor, Cecil Shorts had to be involved. If you remember from the last ‘Trading Places’ series, Shorts was my team’s number two wide receiver, and without him my team would take a major hit at the position.

As was mentioned earlier, if you’re not willing to trade away good players, or your best players, especially if it can make your team better, you’re not going to be able to pull off too many trades.

Eventually, the final trade offer came through: Cecil Shorts and Garrett Graham for Terrelle Pryor.

When you get a trade offer you know is good for both sides, and hurts to make, then you’ve made a good trade. Not every trade needs to have a clear loser or a clear winner, but it has to improve both teams. The loss of Graham wasn’t a big one, as Jordan Cameron and Rob Gronkowski were still on my team, but giving up Shorts was a high price to pay.

In the end, the quarterback side of the trade won out, as I decided it would be much easier to pick up a wide receiver off of waivers, which was true, (Keenan Allen/Terrance Williams), than it would be to pick up a quarterback of Pryor’s caliber.

Remember, when making trades, don’t offer completely low-ball deals that will get rejected immediately, and stall all talks. Be willing to listen to any offer on any player. Listening doesn’t mean a deal has been consummated, but it does gives you a chance to see if a deal cam be made. The more communication in trade talks the better the changes a trade will be made.

As for this trade and 2-QB team, after the RG3 and Terrelle Pryor trades were completed, and some waiver wire magic occurred, this is how the team looked:
QB1-Michael Vick
QB2-Terrelle Pryor
WR1-Josh Gordon
WR2-Keenan Allen
WR3-Terrance Williams
RB1-Jamaal Charles
RB2-Reggie Bush
TE-Jordan Cameron
Flex1-Rob Gronkowski
Flex2-Jordan Reed
Bench: Case Keenum, Michael Vick, DeAndre Hopkins
DST: San Francisco

There’s not much else that can be done to this team, other than to work the waiver wire, and make strategic pick-ups, such as finding an RB3. And also pray that one worthwhile starting quarterback option emerges from Philadelphia.

Next week in the ‘Trading Places’ series the focus will shift to a different 2-QB league, where I was involved in another trade which was made to improve both teams. And, yes, a quarterback was part of the trade.

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