Don’t be suckered into a ‘bad’ trade |

Don’t be suckered into a ‘bad’ trade

Steve Yingling

Part of the allure of fantasy football is having the opportunity to wheel and deal like a general manager.

Pulling off a timely trade or two to shore up a weakness can separate the winners from the losers. Knowing how much to offer to pick up a coveted player is the key.

Trading, however, can be one of the more frustrating aspects of playing fantasy football. Too often there are knuckleheads who think they can unload their worst players for your top guys.

Before the season, someone wanted to trade me unreliable quarterback Michael Vick and unproven running back Willie Parker for Donovan McNabb and Larry Johnson. Go figure?

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In hindsight the deal looks a little more appealing. Vick should continue to have his flashes of brilliance and Parker produced the top rushing output during the first week of the season. Meanwhile, McNabb is questionable for Sunday’s game because of a bruised chest and Johnson is in trouble with the law.

Always use caution when examining a trade. More times than not someone is trying to pull something on you. Why else would they want to get rid of a player for a player on your roster? They aren’t trying to make your team better.

Wouldn’t it be nice if fantasy GMs made offers of equal value?

Last year, a friend was offered Aaron Stecker, rookie quarterback Eli Manning and oft-injured running back DeShaun Foster for quarterback Chad Pennington (before he was injured), NFL leading rusher Curtis Martin and first-round draft pick Deuce McAllister. Not even the Golden State Warriors would have made that deal.

Many GMs prefer to have the backup to their No. 1 running back. As I have discovered this season they will go to any lengths to acquire them.

A Jamal Lewis owner has offered me Chris Perry for Chester Taylor, thinking I desire to have Rudi Johnson’s backup. Obviously Taylor has more value as a reserve than Perry. Taylor is a proven commodity, while Perry missed most of his rookie season because of injury.

After rejecting the offer, I figured the owner would go away. However, with his next offer he attached a veteran wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson with Perry and wanted you guessed it, Taylor, and receiver Antonio Bryant in return.

Following the rejection notice, he asked who I wanted from his roster for Taylor. I began to wonder if this was Taylor’s dad or some other relative.

Don’t cave in to someone’s demands. Get at least equal value for your players.

Hopefully you have paid close attention to the first week of the season and made some timely pickups. First- or second-week waiver wire acquisitions can swing a season.

Do you remember Kurt Warner’s breakout year in St. Louis. In most leagues he went undrafted after Trent Green went down with a season-ending injury and was available after week one. He went on to win the MVP award and led the Rams to a Super Bowl title.

So spend some time and scour the week-one free agents. There should be some good talent available, including Giants’ rookie running back Brandon Jacobs, Jets’ tight end Chris Baker or perhaps a sleeper defense like the Chiefs or Lions.

Good luck and may all of your fantasy players score.

– Tribune Sports Editor Steve Yingling can be reached at (530) 542-8010 or

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