One of the most overlooked aspects of fantasy football is the ability to make high value trades that gain equity to you while reducing the value of you opponents. In a typical NFL fantasy league, the only trades that swing wildly in favor of one player or another are those where an injury happens post-trade. That is, the value of the players on each side is known and trades are done less for over-all point value but to cover for week-to-week holes in a lineup.
One thing that sets college fantasy apart from the NFL is that there is real gains to be made on opponents via trade. It is very similar to the stock market. There are top talents that you should keep. Then, there are some players that reach their potential early but falter late. Conversely, there are players on your opponent's roster that haven't achieved their maximum value. While drafting and roster management is key to winning a league, the damage is double when you out-duel players in your league for equity adding trades.
There are many ways to do this, but we will only cover one in this post. We are going to cover some quarterbacks that are going to come out of the gate extremely hot, but are destined to become mid-level scorers within a few weeks of the start of the season. We are going to have these guys on our rosters for one reason: trade bait. That's right. We are going to buy cheap and sell high.
Thomas Sirk (Duke)- Sirk is the man to replace Anthony Boone. Boone was a terrific two-year starter for Cutcliffe, having brought Duke back to some form of relevancy. It is unknown whether Sirk is going to develop into the passer that people need to win a league, but here is what we do know: He was the short yardage QB last year, having averaged over 50 yards per carry (2nd on team in average) and 8 TDs (team best). In relief duty, he threw for 10-for-14 passing for 3 TDs. The Blue Devil's open up at Tulane then have North Carolina Central and Northwestern at home before entering conference play. What's the best way to let a mobile QB get comfortable as a starter? Let him run first and pass second. These will be 3 perfect games for him to do just that. Expect some great fantasy value. Then hock him. Why? The Blue Devils won't be the team they have been and they play some tough road games. Ultimately, he will plane off. But, not before you sell him high.
Nate Sudfeld (Indiana)- Sudfield has thrown for 4,300 yards and 34 TDs in his career as a Hoosier. He probably won't be on anyone's fantasy radar considering that he missed over half of 2014. Indiana fell to 120th in passing. Meanwhile, Tevin Coleman ran all over everyone on his way the NFL. Indiana returns 4 of 6 linemen (including TE). Though Coleman is gone, Howard arrives from UAB, but I imagine he will be eased into the games. So, early in the year Indiana plays Southern Illinios, FIU, Western Kentucky, and Wake Forrest before a brutal onslaught. Expect Sudfield to have some really good games early, but he will really struggle starting October 3rd against Ohio State. Sell September 21st.
Brandon Allen (Arkansas)- No other SEC team plays as soft a first 3 games as the Hogs. But, they still play in the SEC West. Expect Allen to have a field day for the first 3 games throwing the ball as Bielema will try his best to keep Collins and Williams fresh. Sure, they are still going to have a great run game early, but he would be a fool to let these guys run for 200 yards per game before entering SEC competition. The senior undoubtedly would like to come out of the shadows. UTEP, Toledo, and Texas Tech are 3 games were he could throw the rock around.
Jacoby Brissett (NC State)- This guy has had some moments, but he really didn't have any monster fantasy games in 2014. Take out the overtime gave against FSU and he had a really tough stretch against ACC opponents. I expect him to improve a full TD against non-conference opponents early in the year before setting in to a typical type stretch when ACC play begins. I expect him to exit week 4 with 12 TDs tossed and another 3 on the ground. He is also a high volume thrower that just didn't connect early in the year. He should have a monster first 4 games. Sell before Louisville.
Caleb Rowe (Maryland)- So word is that this kid has an arm. He has the targets. The line is bigger and better. They have no run game. That's going to be awesome against Richmond, Bowling Green, and MAYBE against South Florida and West Virginia. But, they play a loaded back end schedule. Hock October 1st.
What about guys that may struggle early but turn into terrific values? Maybe a guy that an opponent drafted, but has sat on the bench from poor performance early in the season?
Zach Terrell (Western Michigan)-3,400 yards and 26 TDs for 68% on his way to being the 6th most efficient QB in the country in 2014. The offense was in the top 3rd in college football. Not too bad, eh? It's too bad that the Broncos have to actually play someone this year. The Broncos get Michigan State the very first game of the season and back it up 3 weeks later with Ohio State. Though we may sandwich 2 decent weeks in there, some players may be ready to hock him. You need to be there to scoop up this guy. He has 8 other returning starters with him including all of his playmakers. Down the stretch, this is a guy who could win you a league despite being a poor performer in the first 4 weeks.