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Larry Johnson Overrated?

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Postby Canadian Seahawk » Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:40 pm

no1cowboysfan wrote:
Canadian Seahawk wrote:
Canadian_Cheesehead wrote:
no1cowboysfan wrote:I also don't know why people continue to count out Shaun Alexander.

Let's count the things he's lost out on, OK?

1) A guard.

THE END.

All the componets of his offense are still there. And does anyone think Hutch MIGHT have been helped a little by the fact that he has Walter Jones lining up beside him? When you don't have to worry about people coming through your outside shoulder, that leaves three things.

1) Blocking the inside man, which your C helps with.
2) Down-blocking MLBs. Most MLBs have trouble shedding blocks.
3) Pulling blocks. These should always be easy if you have the athleticism, which he obviously does.

Shaun Alexander broke the RB TD total LAST YEAR, and everyone seems to be writing him off.

The #3 draft spot is the best it's ever been, because an argument can be made for any of those three on why they should be first overall.


You are severely underrating Hutch, when you take away the best guard in the game it is going to have a massive impact (even though adding Ashworth was a solid move). This is a line that was one of the best in the NFL on the strength of two studs. Take away one and it will make a big impact. It goes both ways, Hutch helped Walter Jones as well, he doesn't have to worry about people coming inside.

I have SA ranked 3rd after LT and LJ (in that order).



playing beside Walter helps ;-D


I agree.

And Cheese, I'm not underrating Hutch. I'd say he's one of the best three guards in football ... maybe #1. But Seattle still has a solid line, and as you said, Ashworth was a great replacement. Seattle still has a good passing threat, meaning they can't fill the box. SA still has Walter Jones to run behind.

I'm not saying SA will run for 27 again ... but c'mon. The loss of one offensive lineman will not be the death of SA. (I realize no one is saying that, but even still). He'll still go for 1750 TP yards and 20+ TDs. I'm taking him at any point ... although I might be tempted to get LT if I have 1st overall.



perfectly put
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Re: Larry Johnson Overrated?

Postby mattb47 » Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:52 am

D3C4K wrote:1.) I believe I said age is a factor, and I also said that strength was a factor. I made a point in saying strength and intelligence matter more than speed and agility in offensive lineman, not that speed and agility don't matter. There's a difference. Having good hands is more important for a receiver than strength, but that doesn't mean said receiver doesn't need strength to withstand bumps at the line of scrimmage, or shake off tackles for YAC, and so on. Of course there would be a big difference if one or two of those guys get hurt. It would also make a huge difference if Lorenzo Neal got hurt, or Walter Jones, or any starting lineman for any team. Hell, why doesn't anyone mention the injuries on the Chargers offensive line last year (C Nick Hardwick missed 3 games, T Roman Oben missed 8), which played a large part in LT slowing down near the end of the year, and cost quite a few LT owners their league championship? People have been pointing out how old KC's line has been for several years now, but if you look at the numbers (which I posted in that cut and paste) Anyone that's run behind that line has fared pretty well, and I don't see why all of a sudden that's just going to stop as the entire o-line ages 5 years in the offseason, because some fantasy owners are worried. That may happen with running backs and wide receivers, but that rarely happens with offensive lineman, particularly when three of them are working together on the same line.

2.) I've already said if Priest comes back that LJ should be re-evaluated. If he doesn't, Herm Edwards isn't stupid. He's not going to run LJ 400+ times because Priest isn't there. In all likelihood LJ will see about 350 touches, which would be just fine considering how fresh his legs are. Alexander led the league in rushing attempts last year with 370, and he survived, to say the least. In 2003 LT had 413 touches (rushes and receptions) with defenses focusing on him every play, and he also fared pretty well.

3.) I've already said losing Saunders will hurt, so I won't even address that. I've also said in earlier posts that losing Richardson will hurt, but I didn't in this thread so I understand. My focus was on Dick Vermeil, not the other two. I've already talked about Vermeil vs. Herm in the cut-and-paste, but paste the relevant section here:

Curtis Martin put up 1,942 all-purpose yards along with 14 tds and won the rushing title over Shaun Alexander with Herm Edwards 2 years ago (I had Martin then as well), and anyone with LJ last year remembers screaming at Vermeil to give LJ the ball, rather than keep passing to Samie Parker only to have the ball bounce off his face. Losing Saunders didn't help, but Vermeil had something against LJ (Which Larry referred to on "Quite Frankly" the other day), and if anything the coaching change should be a good thing, at least for LJ's fantasy owners. Just my 2 cents.


4.) 2003 was 2003. In 2005, when defenses focused on LT, it showed quite a bit. Teams in the AFC play much better against the run now than they did in 2003 (In 2003, KC gave up 146.5 ypg and 18 tds on the ground. Pittsburg gave up 108.5 and 14, Indy 123.8 & 19, while Denver gave up 100.3 & 11. In 2005? KC 98.1 & 11, Pittsburg 85.5 & 10, Indy 110.1 & 9, and Denver 85.2 & 10. Things are quite different now). In addition, teams will focus on LT even more this year than they did last year. I think LT will have a strong year, but he'll have to fight like hell for everything he gets, quite a bit harder than LJ or SA.


1) I'm just saying that you are completely downplaying the chances of one or two of those guys getting hurt or at least slowing down significantly because of their age. Willie Roaf missed some time last year already, luckily for LJ he came back for when LJ began to start which is a big key to why he was so good those 9 weeks. So they are already showing signs of slowing down and when your two best Offensive Lineman are the 2 oldest (Willie Roaf -36 next year, Will Shields - 35 next year) you are going to have problems staying healthy. I was also focusing on their speed and agility much more than I was talking about strength, because like I said, if you watched them last year, when healthy they are required to get all over the field which takes a lot of speed and agility....something you lose with age.

2) Ok, it is an awful argument to say: well LT and SA did ok when they had a lot of touches so LJ will do fine with a lot. LJ hasn't done it yet, plain and simple thats a fact. Guys like LT and SA have shown that they can carry an NFL load year after year, LJ has not. Herm will run LJ alot if Priest isn't able to go. Herm said he wants to run 500 times this year, if Priest isn't able to play, LJ will get 350 of them at the very least. I'm sorry but I have my doubts that he can carry a load like that week in and week out.

3) I'm not saying that Vermeil didn't not like LJ. I'm saying that Herm is nowhere near as good of an offensive coach as Vermeil was. Once again you are going to compare a RB like Curtis Martin who has performed for years and had proven he could carry the load to LJ who still has yet to do so. The coaching change is only good for LJ because it will feed his view of himself, but overall it will not make him or that offense any better to have Herm Edwards over Dick Vermeil. You point out two years ago for C-Mart, what about last year in New York? What happened there?

4) The difference between last year and 2003 was that in 2003 LT was the center of that offense. Everything they did ran through him and circled around him. It makes a difference in the mindset of a player especially when he knows that it is on his shoulders to perform. LT is one of those players that will step up when he is needed and has shown that he has the durability to carry a team like that. Are you going to tell me that in 2003 the run defenses were so much worse than this this year that they could know for a fact that nearly every play LT would get the ball and they simply couldn't stop him at all, and this next year teams will be able to stop him? Yes, defenses have gotten better but not that much better. You can't ignore stats from 2003 and dismiss them as: oh that was just 2003, the defenses weren't as good then, just because they don't fit into what you think LT will do next year. LT's numbers dropped as his QB performed better....the stats are there. Oh, and lets throw in that San Diego has a considerably better defense then they had in 2003 as well which means that they will be in more games and LT will have more opportunities to run this year.

My points basically come down to this:

LJ hasn't done it before, he hasn't carried the load for an entire season. He lost very key components from his team last year (Vermeil, Saunders, Richardson) and his team is aging around him (Roaf, Shields, T. Green, Kennison). The biggest of those being losing the mind of Al Saunders and losing a very good FB in Tony Richardson. I am trying to point out that all of these questions alone should put him as the #2 RB at the highest right now.

LT has done it before, every single year he has performed well. He doesn't miss many games ever, has shown that he is a workhorse RB and even performed well when everyone was concentrating on him in 2003. I like what onnestabe said, LJ may get you the points in the first 1/2 to 3/4 of the season but when it counts he may not be there. You know that workhorses like LT and SA will be there for you but LJ hasn't done it before which raises many questions.....is that a chance you want to take at #1?
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Postby TheRawDAWG » Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:43 pm

LT's collapse at the end of last year kind of scares me. Are all those carries and touches coming back to haunt him earlier than expected?

I take LJ then SA then LT
So they weren't the best...and may have ended the worst. SO WHAT!
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Re: Larry Johnson Overrated?

Postby D3C4K » Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:12 pm

mattb47 wrote:
D3C4K wrote:1.) I believe I said age is a factor, and I also said that strength was a factor. I made a point in saying strength and intelligence matter more than speed and agility in offensive lineman, not that speed and agility don't matter. There's a difference. Having good hands is more important for a receiver than strength, but that doesn't mean said receiver doesn't need strength to withstand bumps at the line of scrimmage, or shake off tackles for YAC, and so on. Of course there would be a big difference if one or two of those guys get hurt. It would also make a huge difference if Lorenzo Neal got hurt, or Walter Jones, or any starting lineman for any team. Hell, why doesn't anyone mention the injuries on the Chargers offensive line last year (C Nick Hardwick missed 3 games, T Roman Oben missed 8), which played a large part in LT slowing down near the end of the year, and cost quite a few LT owners their league championship? People have been pointing out how old KC's line has been for several years now, but if you look at the numbers (which I posted in that cut and paste) Anyone that's run behind that line has fared pretty well, and I don't see why all of a sudden that's just going to stop as the entire o-line ages 5 years in the offseason, because some fantasy owners are worried. That may happen with running backs and wide receivers, but that rarely happens with offensive lineman, particularly when three of them are working together on the same line.

2.) I've already said if Priest comes back that LJ should be re-evaluated. If he doesn't, Herm Edwards isn't stupid. He's not going to run LJ 400+ times because Priest isn't there. In all likelihood LJ will see about 350 touches, which would be just fine considering how fresh his legs are. Alexander led the league in rushing attempts last year with 370, and he survived, to say the least. In 2003 LT had 413 touches (rushes and receptions) with defenses focusing on him every play, and he also fared pretty well.

3.) I've already said losing Saunders will hurt, so I won't even address that. I've also said in earlier posts that losing Richardson will hurt, but I didn't in this thread so I understand. My focus was on Dick Vermeil, not the other two. I've already talked about Vermeil vs. Herm in the cut-and-paste, but paste the relevant section here:

Curtis Martin put up 1,942 all-purpose yards along with 14 tds and won the rushing title over Shaun Alexander with Herm Edwards 2 years ago (I had Martin then as well), and anyone with LJ last year remembers screaming at Vermeil to give LJ the ball, rather than keep passing to Samie Parker only to have the ball bounce off his face. Losing Saunders didn't help, but Vermeil had something against LJ (Which Larry referred to on "Quite Frankly" the other day), and if anything the coaching change should be a good thing, at least for LJ's fantasy owners. Just my 2 cents.


4.) 2003 was 2003. In 2005, when defenses focused on LT, it showed quite a bit. Teams in the AFC play much better against the run now than they did in 2003 (In 2003, KC gave up 146.5 ypg and 18 tds on the ground. Pittsburg gave up 108.5 and 14, Indy 123.8 & 19, while Denver gave up 100.3 & 11. In 2005? KC 98.1 & 11, Pittsburg 85.5 & 10, Indy 110.1 & 9, and Denver 85.2 & 10. Things are quite different now). In addition, teams will focus on LT even more this year than they did last year. I think LT will have a strong year, but he'll have to fight like hell for everything he gets, quite a bit harder than LJ or SA.


1) I'm just saying that you are completely downplaying the chances of one or two of those guys getting hurt or at least slowing down significantly because of their age. Willie Roaf missed some time last year already, luckily for LJ he came back for when LJ began to start which is a big key to why he was so good those 9 weeks. So they are already showing signs of slowing down and when your two best Offensive Lineman are the 2 oldest (Willie Roaf -36 next year, Will Shields - 35 next year) you are going to have problems staying healthy. I was also focusing on their speed and agility much more than I was talking about strength, because like I said, if you watched them last year, when healthy they are required to get all over the field which takes a lot of speed and agility....something you lose with age.

2) Ok, it is an awful argument to say: well LT and SA did ok when they had a lot of touches so LJ will do fine with a lot. LJ hasn't done it yet, plain and simple thats a fact. Guys like LT and SA have shown that they can carry an NFL load year after year, LJ has not. Herm will run LJ alot if Priest isn't able to go. Herm said he wants to run 500 times this year, if Priest isn't able to play, LJ will get 350 of them at the very least. I'm sorry but I have my doubts that he can carry a load like that week in and week out.

3) I'm not saying that Vermeil didn't not like LJ. I'm saying that Herm is nowhere near as good of an offensive coach as Vermeil was. Once again you are going to compare a RB like Curtis Martin who has performed for years and had proven he could carry the load to LJ who still has yet to do so. The coaching change is only good for LJ because it will feed his view of himself, but overall it will not make him or that offense any better to have Herm Edwards over Dick Vermeil. You point out two years ago for C-Mart, what about last year in New York? What happened there?

4) The difference between last year and 2003 was that in 2003 LT was the center of that offense. Everything they did ran through him and circled around him. It makes a difference in the mindset of a player especially when he knows that it is on his shoulders to perform. LT is one of those players that will step up when he is needed and has shown that he has the durability to carry a team like that. Are you going to tell me that in 2003 the run defenses were so much worse than this this year that they could know for a fact that nearly every play LT would get the ball and they simply couldn't stop him at all, and this next year teams will be able to stop him? Yes, defenses have gotten better but not that much better. You can't ignore stats from 2003 and dismiss them as: oh that was just 2003, the defenses weren't as good then, just because they don't fit into what you think LT will do next year. LT's numbers dropped as his QB performed better....the stats are there. Oh, and lets throw in that San Diego has a considerably better defense then they had in 2003 as well which means that they will be in more games and LT will have more opportunities to run this year.

My points basically come down to this:

LJ hasn't done it before, he hasn't carried the load for an entire season. He lost very key components from his team last year (Vermeil, Saunders, Richardson) and his team is aging around him (Roaf, Shields, T. Green, Kennison). The biggest of those being losing the mind of Al Saunders and losing a very good FB in Tony Richardson. I am trying to point out that all of these questions alone should put him as the #2 RB at the highest right now.

LT has done it before, every single year he has performed well. He doesn't miss many games ever, has shown that he is a workhorse RB and even performed well when everyone was concentrating on him in 2003. I like what onnestabe said, LJ may get you the points in the first 1/2 to 3/4 of the season but when it counts he may not be there. You know that workhorses like LT and SA will be there for you but LJ hasn't done it before which raises many questions.....is that a chance you want to take at #1?


1.)I understand your point, and that you have some concerns about the lines' age. All I can tell you is that I don't share those concerns, as people said the same thing about that line last year, and the year before. KC's run game did just fine. But hey, if the line breaks down this year, and LJ suffers because of it, I'll make sure to give you the credit for calling it. :-b

2.) I'm not so sure that it's a "fact" that he hasn't done it yet. LJ had 336 touches last year (LT had 339), and 33 receptions. That's pretty close to the load he'll get this year. With those touches, he racked up 2,093 total yards and 21 tds. If anything it's a "fact" that he had a monster year in 2005. I understand he hasn't done it as long as LT. Then again, just because he hasn't done it as long doesn't mean he won't do it again. LT was unproven once, as was every great player in every sport at some point in their careers (typically near the beginning :-D ). In 2002, LT's second year, he went for 2,172 total yards and 15 tds. Despite his overwhelming numbers, some people weren't convinced, claiming he hadn't done it over the long haul. The next year, he went for 2370 and 17. Oops.

3.) Last year the Jets' passing game went down the toilet (thanks to qb injuries), their o-line battled injuries all year, and Curtis Martin showed his age. That's pretty much what happened. Not saying LJ will get better with the coaching change, just saying he won't get any worse either.

4.) As I said before, I had LT last year, and when good run defenses focused on stopping him, they stopped him. Ask any LT owner who had him last year. There were more than enough games under 100 yards with 0 tds to show that. He's an outstanding player, but he can't do it all himself. His o-line is decent, so they can handle bad Ds, but against tough teams, LT has to put up one hell of a fight, routinely bouncing aroung behind the line of scrimmage to create something. Meanwhile SA and LJ simply put their heads down, run forward, and gain 5 yards. And yes, I am saying that defenses were that much worse, look at the difference in numbers. Denver from 7th to 2nd, Pittsburg from 12th to 3rd, KC from 30th to 7th. That's a huge difference, and to be honest opposing defenses have almost as much to do with a player's performance as his own skill. If SA had to play in the AFC West or NFC East next year, I probably wouldn't rank him in the top 5. Against the 49ers, Rams and Cards? He's a sure-fire top 3 pick. A lot of people are talking about how LT was so great without his qb, but they need to realize how much tougher the defenses are in the AFC than they were in 2003.

Also as for LT being there when it counts, he wasn't last year. Most leagues playoffs start at weeks 14, and end at week 16. LT's numbers in that span: 75 total yards & 0 tds, 85 & 0, and 65 & 0. Not saying he'll do it again, just showing you he's no guarantee to carry your team through the playoffs. As far as LJ not doing it before, LJ had as many fantasy points last year (starting only 9 of the games) than LT has had in any year of his career. In 2004, when he started the last 5 games, he totaled 731 yards and 10 tds. In 5 games. I'd count that as doing something. Derrick Blaylock, in four games, put up 4 tds in a half in the first, 200+ total yards in the second, 90+ in the game in the 3rd, and put up 75+ with 2 tds while splitting carries with LJ in the 4th running for KC. I understand the concerns you have about LJ's inexperience, and that it doesn't make sense to you to just throw up the latest hot player ahead of proven elite players that get it done year after year, leading fantasy teams to championships. But I'm saying LJ's different. He's not the latest trend, and I'm not just arguing for him because I'm simply looking at his numbers and saying "Oh, he must be better than LT, look at the stats!". I've had LJ the last two years. I've seen his results, and follow the Chiefs from game to game. He's for real. I'm not overly concerned about convincing you, because even if you take LT ahead of him if you pick first, you'll be just fine, to say the least. They're both great players, as is Alexander. But to answer the question, "Is Larry Johnson Overrated?" I say the answer is no.
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Postby mattb47 » Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:01 pm

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. I think with the expectations in place for LJ right now, the chances are very much against him living up to them. So I do say that he is indeed overrated at this point.

I just want to address the one part about LJ's carries last year. It is not the same thing getting nearly all those carries in 9 games as it is getting the full load week in and week out in a 16 game season even if you end up with similar carries. And like I said before as well, Roaf only started 10 games last season....the wear is already starting to show on that O-Line, you can't say that they were completely healthy last season (only when LJ took over).

You also misunderstood what I was saying when I said he's there when it counts. I was talking about him stepping up when he basically is their team. Which was the case in 2003 and will once again be the case next season. The offense will run through him and I think he'll do great, you think he wont, I've heard all the arguments you're giving before and they aren't enough to convince me.

And please, I've watched LJ alot as well. I've always been very high on this guy even since college when I watched him a lot there as well. He's a very talented RB and will probably end up having a very good career, I'm just saying that he hasn't done it yet and until he performs week in and week out over a 16 game period he wont be #1 for me. The expectations are too high for him to not "bust" in a way this year. I'm not saying that LJ is going to completely bust this year, not even saying that he'll get hurt for sure or that his O-Line will get hurt mid season. I'm just trying to point out that there are indeed questions about LJ, and the expectations are so high that it will be tough for him to acheive those.
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Postby bolkonsky » Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:10 pm

I am in MattB's camp on this one.

The amount of hype surrounding LJ this year is unlike anything I have seen (fantasy-wise) in some time...if I get the #1 in my yearly re-draft league I will definitely try to trade down to #2 or #3 with the hope that one of those guys feels the way about LJ that, seemingly, most at the Cafe do.

The bottom line for me is that I feel LJ could turn into a pumpkin (by this I mean around 1100 yards and 8 TD's), whereas there is virtually no chance of that happening with LT...and, even if it did, I could at least sleep at night knowing I took one of the greatest RB's of the past 15 years and simply got burned. This may not mean much to some, but I regularly perform pretty well putting stock in reliable guys and letting "the next big thing" slide to the next guy. IMHO, drafting for upside (and despite his 2005, LJ at #1 is an upside pick simply b/c he is unproven) is all about taking guys at value slots, and #1 overall simply doesn't qualify.
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Postby D3C4K » Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:20 pm

mattb47 wrote:We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. I think with the expectations in place for LJ right now, the chances are very much against him living up to them. So I do say that he is indeed overrated at this point.

I just want to address the one part about LJ's carries last year. It is not the same thing getting nearly all those carries in 9 games as it is getting the full load week in and week out in a 16 game season even if you end up with similar carries. And like I said before as well, Roaf only started 10 games last season....the wear is already starting to show on that O-Line, you can't say that they were completely healthy last season (only when LJ took over).

You also misunderstood what I was saying when I said he's there when it counts. I was talking about him stepping up when he basically is their team. Which was the case in 2003 and will once again be the case next season. The offense will run through him and I think he'll do great, you think he wont, I've heard all the arguments you're giving before and they aren't enough to convince me.

And please, I've watched LJ alot as well. I've always been very high on this guy even since college when I watched him a lot there as well. He's a very talented RB and will probably end up having a very good career, I'm just saying that he hasn't done it yet and until he performs week in and week out over a 16 game period he wont be #1 for me. The expectations are too high for him to not "bust" in a way this year. I'm not saying that LJ is going to completely bust this year, not even saying that he'll get hurt for sure or that his O-Line will get hurt mid season. I'm just trying to point out that there are indeed questions about LJ, and the expectations are so high that it will be tough for him to acheive those.


That's fair enough, as the sticking point of the discussion would have to involve seeing LJ play a full season before we could go any further with this. I imagine you'll be around for the NFL season to rub it in if I'm wrong, yes? ;-D
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Postby Twisted Sister » Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:37 pm

This thread is proof that you can get more value by trading the #1 pick than keeping them. There will be few owners your league with the most uber optimistic view on LJ... which you can exploit.

If I land the #1/#2 I'm shopping for trades.
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Postby onnestabe » Tue Jun 20, 2006 4:27 pm

Twisted Sister wrote:This thread is proof that you can get more value by trading the #1 pick than keeping them. There will be few owners your league with the most uber optimistic view on LJ... which you can exploit.

If I land the #1/#2 I'm shopping for trades.


How far down would you be willing to trade? I wouldn't want to move out of the top 3, and you may be hard-pressed to find someone willing to pay very much for the difference between SA and LJ.
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Postby Twisted Sister » Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:47 am

onnestabe wrote:
Twisted Sister wrote:This thread is proof that you can get more value by trading the #1 pick than keeping them. There will be few owners your league with the most uber optimistic view on LJ... which you can exploit.

If I land the #1/#2 I'm shopping for trades.


How far down would you be willing to trade? I wouldn't want to move out of the top 3, and you may be hard-pressed to find someone willing to pay very much for the difference between SA and LJ.


In one cafe league (dynasty) I traded 1.1 for 2.04, 3.09, 4.04,6.04. ;-D
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