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It’s that time of the fantasy football season when every owner knows if they are what they thought they were. Chances are at this point you fall into one of three categories. You’re a clear-cut playoff team planning your roster for Week 14 on. You’re a middle-of-the-pack squad with a shot at advancing past the regular season if things break the right way. Or you’re a cellar dweller with only hopes that some sort of Hail Mary can put you on a winning streak to miraculously catapult you toward the postseason.
Regardless of which one you are, there’s no use for standing pat. Your team can always be better, and now is the time to try to do that. So that’s what happened with two teams in the XN Sports League of Champions this week. Bryan Knowles’ @Brykno Rhinos and my Blurred Goal Lines agreed to a three-player deal surrounding tight ends. I sent Bryan a combo of Jordan Reed and Maurice-Jones Drew for his Rob Gronkowski. It’s actually the second time this year MJD and Gronk have been traded. This is why we did what we did.
When I traded Julio Jones for Rob Gronkowski earlier this year, it seemed a fair trade at the time, yet both have underperformed considering what they were expected to do — though, obviously, Gronkowski’s been better than the injured Jones.
Thus, I figured the gap between Gronkowski and Coby Fleener, especially with Reggie Wayne out for the year, wasn’t as big as I had originally thought, and I could get some help at a flex position for Gronkowski. My first attempt was a one-for-one trade for Andre Johnson, but this effectively serves the same role at the flex spot.
Let’s face it — with the quarterback injury luck I had, this team isn’t going anywhere, anyways. My hope is to be scrappy and steal a win or two from the frontrunners, and I think this trade maximizes my chance to do that.
I feel good about where my team was at after last week, even though I lost a hard-fought matchup by a half-point last week thanks to Zac Stacy on Monday night. While that was a tough loss to swallow, I can’t be too disappointed with my current situation. I sit at 5-3 in fifth place and am just a half-game back of second. So I wanted to make a move that could put me right back near the top.
I picked up Reed a couple weeks ago knowing he was poised for a big second half and he’s shown that could very well be in the cards. But I also have Jason Witten on my roster. Those are two TE1-caliber players and keeping them both would mean playing the guessing game on which one produced better each week. I didn’t want that.
With Bryan sitting at 1-7, I figured he’d be looking to make a move and I thought Gronk might be available. I had approached him first about Gronk for Reed and Aaron Dobson, who seems to be getting more comfortable in the Patriots’ offense. I’m not surprised he turned it down, but he seemed open to that type of deal. So I can back with Reed and MJD and it got done.
I traded for Drew a couple weeks ago, partly based on the fact that there were trade rumors surrounding him and I thought I’d take the chance he did get moved to a better situation where he could put up better numbers. After the deadline passed with him still in Jacksonville, I was open to moving him. I acquired him to be my flex player and I haven’t been excited enough by his production to want to keep him. I would rather take a chance on someone with more upside at my flex than a past-his-prime RB on a bad team.
Now with Gronk, I have a guy who will open up the New England passing game much more and should put up big numbers from here on out. I may have overpaid a little if Reed continues to shine, but I like having a top-two player at his position. And by still having Witten, that’s another expendable trade chip I can use to upgrade elsewhere. So in the end, I’ve essentially traded Colin Kaepernick, Danny Woodhead, Andre Ellington, and Jordan Reed for Aaron Rodgers and Rob Gronkowski. That’s a lot of good talent to give up, but I like to stockpile studs when I can.
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