In the middle of my daily coffee ingestion period yesterday I came across the type of news that makes me the way I am about fantasy football. To review, in TUFFKL, Space Mountain’s running backs heading into this week were Ryan Mathews, DeAngelo Williams, Joseph Addai, and Tim Hightower. You’ll remember that I was thrilled with what I considered great depth as of last Monday. Winning will rot your brain that way.
The first bit of news that I saw was that Beanie Wells was most likely going to be making his return this week. Not good for Hightower. I then saw that Joseph Addai missed practice on Wednesday because of a knee injury that I was unaware of. Then I saw that Ryan Mathews was “iffy” to play with what some were reporting as the dreaded high ankle sprain. Now we at Space Mountain are no fools. We realized that Tim Hightower’s numbers were sky high right now, but mostly because he hasn’t been splitting time with Beanie Wells. Since that’s probably ending this week, it made sense to try to sell high on Hightower. Personally I can’t stand the headache of playing match-ups every week. I want as many studs as I can start and not have to think on Sunday morning about who to play. So what if Austin Collie had a big week and outscored Randy Moss. Would you ever sit Randy Moss for Austin Collie? Having Hightower splitting carries and Addai hurt with Donald Brown breathing down his neck for playing time does not make me giddy.
How did Space Mountain handle this? First I looked at the league rosters to find out who had Beanie Wells. Maybe they’d be willing to take Hightower just to handcuff the two. There may even be a time where they’re as successful as DeAngelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart (last year) and it’s possible that you play them both the same week. As I found out Wells’ owner (The Toads) was also 0-2. Last place teams are always more willing to trade than teams higher up in the standings. His other running backs were Cedric Benson, Clinton Portis, Steve Slaton, and Laurence Maroney. Portis has been slowly declining in fantasy terms for the last year and a half, and he’s coached by fantasy football hater, Mike Shanahan. Needless to say I wouldn’t trade Hightower straight up for him. Benson is the stand out of that group anyway. He’s their lone back and the Bengals next three games are against the Panthers, Browns, and Buccaneers, that’s not bad if Mathews is out for a while. As long as DeAngelo stays healthy. You’ll remember that The Toads drafted Benson with their first pick in the draft so it was going to take some wrangling to get Benson.
My Life Associate and I emailed back and forth a few times to discuss what to offer. We settled on Addai and Hightower for Benson and Maroney. We probably wouldn’t keep Maroney, and when and if Mathews is ever healthy we’d always play him and DeAngelo unless they were on byes, so Addai and Hightower were just headaches that could have big weeks on our bench. The same could be said for Benson, but I’d certainly rather have three studs and one scrub than two studs and two “sometimes” performers. A stud running back that can be kept for two more seasons has way more value in this league if we have to trade out of more trouble.
I sent the offer to The Toads. We had debated on whether to ask for Portis instead of Maroney as Portis will still score a few touchdowns, but decided we could use the flexibility of Maroney’s slot on our roster. I failed to mention how Kevin Kolb’s benching and A.J. Smith’s being Grand Moff Jackass put a damper on Space Mountain’s week. We had to drop Kolb and pick-up Matt Hasselbeck, I was actually happy that he was available. We’ll also be dropping Vincent Jackson too, because he’s not playing this season. Anyway, after we sent the offer we debated on whether or not we’d trade DeAngelo and Hightower for Besnon and Maroney if The Toads countered with that offer. We didn’t even have time to think about it, because he accepted our offer pretty quickly. As a result we now have DeAngelo Williams, Cedric Benson, the off this week Ryan Mathews, and Laurence Maroney as our running backs. Wouldn’t you know it, Laurence Maroney’s value is already climbing.
So there you have it. We’ll be starting Benson and DeAngelo this week as the Panther’s host the Bengals in Jimmy Clausen’s first game as a starter. Feed the beast, Jimmy. Feed him!