It is amazing to me just how pathetic first-round fantasy football players are doing this season. You draft a player in the first round because you want something reliable to anchor your team. However, first-rounders have been anything but reliable this season.
Who would have thought that LaDanian Tomlinson wouldn’t score a TD until week 3? Or that Adrian Peterson would be dealing with an injury by week 3? Or that Joseph Addai and Steven Jackson would be so disappointing this early? Even Brian Westbrook has been visited unexpectedly early by the injury bug.
However, the Tom Brady injury and subsequent Randy Moss value fallout is what interests me the most at the moment. Perhaps it is because I drafted Moss in the first round of my main money league this year.
I had never really owned Moss before. I was always a RB-in-the-first-round-only kind of guy. However, this particular league had just this year switched to a PPR league, and Moss slipped to me at No. 9. I struggled with the choice between him and Marshawn Lynch (how I wish now I stuck with my gut on Lynch).
Anyway, Moss finished week one with respectable numbers despite Brady’s season-ending knee injury (six receptions, 116 yards, TD). He followed with a miserable two receptions and 22 yards in a close conference matchup against the Jets. At that point, it was time to panic some about Moss. I was looking forward to his week 3 game against Miami, figuring he would produce decent numbers and be at a point where I could deal him. As we all now know, Moss finished with just four receptions and 25 yards, in spite of the fact that the Patriots were playing from behind against in inferior defense.
What seemed to be more telling was his demeanor during the game. He didn’t sit with the offense on the bench during the first half, instead opting to sit by himself. He also dogged it on several receiving plays — not making an effort on plays he could have contributed on. For an example, check out this YouTube video: Randy Moss dogging it
While I didn’t see the postgame interview, I heard that Randy Moss handed himself maturely and professionally, but the underlying question is how long will it be until Moss reverts to the train wreck that played (or didn’t play) in Oakland?
So what should Moss owners do? According to a recent article by Scott Pianowski at Yahoo, it is time to “sell low.” I have a problem with this.
First, to sell low means that you expect him to get better at some point this season – selling at a low point means that he’ll have a few high points the rest of the way. If you feel that he is going to rebound at some point, it is a bad idea to sell him now. It would be better to bench him and pick up a trendy sleeper receiver (such as a Justin Gage, Antonio Bryant or Brandon Lloyd) and wait for Moss to either rebound enough to start on your roster, or to improve his value enough to move him. Let’s face it – the Patriots are not an organization that is satisfied playing second fiddle. If Cassel continues to struggle launching the long ball to Moss, the Patriots will take action, and someone else will be at the helm. Moss’ value should improve with anyone short of the Pillsbury Doughboy under center.
On the flip side, after seeing early signs of Moss’ poor attitude, it would be perfectly normal to want to move him – thinking that things will continue to deteriorate. In this case, you are selling high, albeit not as high as you once expected for a first-round talent.
Before the miserable showing vs. the Miami Dolphins, it was reasonable to package Moss in a deal and expect a second-tier WR1 in return – someone like an Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall (before his big game), Plaxico Burress or Steve Smith (Carolina). However, after the Miami game, you may have to temper expectations by targeting guys like Dwayne Bowe, Jerricho Cotchery, Santana Moss (although he is on a hot streak right now and probably overvalued by his respective owner), etc. Another option may be similarly struggling Braylon Edwards, depending on how frustrated Edwards’ owner may be in your league.
I have Moss in two leagues. In one league, I’ve decided to hold onto him and ride out the storm – to see where his stats go from here. In the other league – the money league I mentioned above – I’m floating his name around in trade offers to see if there are any bites. Ultimately, I may be benching him in that league, too, and riding out the storm.
Whatever you personally decide to do with Moss on your team depending on the parameters in your league, the decisions won’t be easy. Let me know if you have some trade ideas or thoughts in general about Moss this year. I’d love to discuss them further or offer some feedback on your trade scenarios.