Fantasy Doctor: Trade Leshoure for Flacco?

Posted Nov. 07, 2012 @ 11:05 a.m.
Posted By The Fantasy Doctor

Every Wednesday, The Fantasy Doctor ponders fantasy football dilemmas and prescribes advice with an eye on helping you win. Email your fantasy questions to fantasydoctor@pfwmedia.com.

Doc,

I'm in a PPR league in which I can start a QB or RB in my flex spot and I was offered a trade: Mikel Leshoure for Joe Flacco. I would get Flacco.

My current QBs are Tom Brady, Jay Cutler and Brandon Weeden.

My current RBs are Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, Rashad Jennings and Mikel Leshoure.

Any thoughts?

— Sal

My first thought is that when you're in a two-QB format and someone offers you a quarterback, you need to be just a little skeptical. Hey, it's possible the other owner has wonderful QB depth.

Nevertheless, Flacco has been deemed expendable in a format that highly values quarterbacks. 

Why is that? We can't know for certain, but we can make a few guesses. 

For starters, Flacco, while talented, is rather inconsistent. He's better at home than on the road. Moreover, he typically has put up bigger numbers at the beginning of the season than at the end of the campaign. Of note: he never has reached 200 passing yards in four career Week 16 starts (seven TDs, three interceptions in those four games). Week 16, of course, is championship week in a lot of fantasy leagues. The Ravens have a strong ground game, and they gave RB Ray Rice a lot of work late last season. 

I'm not sure Flacco is a significant upgrade over Cutler. I do know, however, that trading Leshoure would weaken your RB depth. Leshoure has a good deal more upside than Jennings, whose value will plummet once Maurice Jones-Drew returns.

Would I be open to trading Leshoure in the right deal? Yes. Would I want a little more than Flacco? Definitely. 

Hey Doc,

Jamaal Charles' production has been down. Should I trade him now for someone like Marshawn Lynch, who is more reliable week-to-week? Or should I hold on to him for now? Thanks. 

— Kevin

I'd trade Charles for Lynch in a snap. The Chiefs' offense is inconsistent and turnover-prone. The Seahawks are committed to the run but have an improving passing game, too. Those elements working hand-in-hand is a good thing. Also, Lynch is easily insurable; backup Robert Turbin is available in the bulk of leagues. Charles' backup, Peyton Hillis, is more widely owned, and he has underwhelmed in the past two seasons.

The question is, if you can't get Lynch, what do you do? I wouldn't trade Charles simply to trade him. You have to try and get another blue-chip back in return. My advice? If you're going to make a deal, make it sooner than later, given how the Chiefs are playing. If you want to trade Charles, and you want something close to equal value, the time to move is now. 

I'm struggling as of late. I started strong, but I'm 1-4 in my last five. So what do you think of moving Mikel Leshoure and Vernon Davis for Frank Gore and Aaron Hernandez? I've got Leshoure and Davis.

Thanks. 

— Gianmarco
 
I'd stick with what you've got.
 
Gore is a slight upgrade over Leshoure, but if the 49ers keep rolling, they would run away with the NFC West, and then you will have to worry about how much Gore gets used down the stretch. Moreover, I'm not so sure that Hernandez, who has been battling an ankle injury for most of the season, is much of an upgrade at all over Davis. Yes, Davis' production has plummeted after a fast start, but he has rare talent, and he's healthy. The 49ers are coming off their bye; perhaps they will look to get him involved a little more in the second half of the season. He's just too good to not be a bigger part of the attack.
 
Finally, Leshoure's versatilty, coupled with the strength of the Lions' offense, could make him a potential difference maker down the stretch.

Doc,

I'm in a standard scoring league and have issues I never thought I'd have at WR. I need some advice on who to play next week at both WR and flex. Percy Harvin looks doubtful. I'm hesitant to play Hakeem Nicks, who still seems nicked up and not producing. Antonio Brown is also hurt and not producing. Jeremy Maclin hasn't done anything recently. I have Wes Welker to play in one WR slot. Do I choose the other WR from the group I have or look for a replacement? Available are Kevin Ogletree, Davone Bess, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Emmanuel Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant, Golden Tate, T.Y. Hilton and Donald Jones.

I also need someone to play in the flex slot. Usually that slot is filled by Harvin and I don't have any good options on my roster. My RB candidates are DeMarco Murray or DeAngelo Williams, and the best available RB is Jacquizz Rodgers. Who from these options would be best as a flex play?

— Mike

Here's how I'd rank your WR options if Harvin and Brown are out: Welker, Maclin, Nicks (if healthy). I had originally suggested Nicks over Maclin, but with Nicks reportedly dealing with a knee issue, Maclin gets the nod.

As for the flex spot, Murray would be the play if healthy. If he's out once again, I'd lean toward Williams over Nicks, considering Nicks' injury.

In short, I believe your solutions are already on your bench. You will want to keep an eye on the injury report before making your final calls this week, but I believe you are in good shape.

Also, should you have to make a late-week pickup, Sanders would be a very nice  addition with Brown dealing with his ankle injury.