The Manifesto: Give Your Losers Time to Turn into Winners

If we execute our draft strategy correctly, we’re going to have a number of guys on our team that think are undervalued.  We’re getting these guys cheap because we believe the market isn’t realizing all of their value.  So basically when we draft them, they don’t really have any positive trade value.  Go ahead and try to trade them and you’re going to find a limited market.

But eventually they will have trade value, so we have to give our losers time to turn into winners. 

Let me tell you a little story about when I first started approaching drafts from a heavy value standpoint.  In 2008 I drafted Roddy White as my 4th WR.  I had Braylon Edwards as one of my keepers, drafted Andre Johnson (the Johnson owner from the previous year had a stacked team) and Greg Jennings, and then took Roddy White as my 4th WR.  I knew that over the last half of the 2007 season White had been one of the top WRs.  But the market was not high on White given the fact that Matt Ryan was going to be starting as a rookie.  If you go back and look at ADP, White was coming off the board as as WR 26 or so.

My problem though was that I saw White as expendable because he was my 4th WR and I felt pretty strong with the others.  I was also a little worried about White getting the ball from Ryan, so I think I ended up dropping him in Week 1 for another RB.  It’s one of my all time bonehead moves!  I still get shit from my leaguemates about it.

I dropped White after he had 2 catches for 54 yards.  But had I stuck with him through Week 3, he would have turned in a 5 catch, 119 yard, 1TD performance and I would have had a huge trade chip.  Roddy White has pretty much been a stud ever since.

The moral of the story is give your losers time to turn into winners.  After this bonehead move with White (and a similarly painful dropping of Thomas Jones the same year) I have a rule that I need a really good reason to make any roster moves through about four or five weeks.  I have to make this rule to keep me from going after the “Deal of the Day” on the waiver wire.  Even if we execute a value based drafting strategy that we believe in, it’s still easy to see a shiny new object on the waiver wire or a trade and forget about the value that might be sitting on the bench.

So don’t make the same mistakes I have.  Be patient and wait for the values of your guys to top out.  Then move them in opportunistic deals for guys whose value is beaten up a little.

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