The Rookie Owner Week 8 – Trades, Injuries, Heartbreaks and Giveaways!

Updated: October 23, 2013
Bucs Fans

Here at The Rookie Owner, we like to keep it fun even when things aren’t going so well. So I thought we should start off this week with a little game of Good News/Bad News.

If you’re new to things, let me back up and explain a little. I’m Corbin Hosler, editor-in-chief of Here we have a writing staff with a background in competitive gaming, and we try to bring that approach to Fantasy sports.

This is my first year playing in a real Fantasy Football league, and it’s been a memorable experience so far, one I write about every Wednesday in The Rookie Owner. I’m in an ESPN PPR League that awards six points for all TDs, with the rest of the rules being fairly standard. I drafted Peyton Manning in the first round of the draft and didn’t look back. I also drafted David Wilson and Trent Richardson and was told by many people that getting Wilson in the sixth round “made my draft.”

I’ve learned a few things about Fantasy Football since then.

After a disappointing loss last week (that I’ll get to soon enough), I’m currently 3-4 and two games out of the playoffs.

Anyway, let’s start off with a little Good News/Bad News.


-       It’s Giveaway Week! Here’s how it works: Everyone who comments on this article with some advice for me along my journey will be entered in a drawing for a copy of fantasy guru Matthew Berry’s book, Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who’s Lived It.

Got it? Just help me in my quest to win my league (admittedly, an uphill battle), and you’ll have a shot to win a free book!

Okay, moving on. Back to Good News/Bad News.

-       Good News: I was able to trade for Doug Martin last week! I traded away Jermichael Finley (who I drafted late), Julian Edelman (picked up on waivers last week) and Jason Snelling to get Martin. As I mentioned, having the Giant bust that was Wilson and an underperforming Richardson meant that this was a big deal for me, and I thought I was in a great position to make a mid-season run.

-       Good News: The trade wasn’t vetoed! One owner in my league thought this trade should be vetoed because it was inherently unbalanced in my favor. Entering last week, Martin was the No. 20 RB while Edelman was the No. 11 WR and Finley was top-12. The Value-Over-Replacement (how many more points on average a certain player scores than the typical free-agent pickup) is certainly higher for RBs than any other position, but I didn’t look into it in this case so I’m not sure if this was a valid complaint or not. Either way, the trade went through.

-       Good News: I traded Finley before he got hurt. While it’s certainly not good news for him, and I’m glad his injury isn’t more serious, it doesn’t suck that he’s not on my bench hurt.

-       Good News: After last week, I have the most points scored in my league! This is a cool accomplishment for me in my first year, and I’m happy that I’m outscoring my opponents by more than 100 points on the year.

-       Good News: Zac Brown Band is coming to Oklahoma in a few months! I love real country music, and I’m sure it will be a fun concert.

That’s my season laying there on the ground.

Now, for the Bad News.

-       Bad News: Martin immediately got hurt, earned just 6.4 points in my league, and is expected to miss at least a week or two.

-       Bad News: Richardson was supposed to get his stuff together since moving to Indianapolis, but to say it’s been slow going is an understatement. He reached a new low for me last week, scoring just 1-point-freaking-7 points last week.

-       Bad News: Finley put up 18 points before going out last week. Edelman put up 9.4. Doug Martin had 6.4. Kinda rethinking if that whole “trade wasn’t vetoed” thing is really good news.

-       Bad News: It turns out that that whole “most points scored” stat is actually just meaningless?!? What a tease those jerks in Bristol are for putting it right there on the front page of my league.

-       Bad News: I probably have to work the night of the concert (I’m a sportswriter). :(


See, isn’t that a fun game? Really puts things into perspective.

Last Week:

Here’s how the tragedy went down last week.

Last week's Box Score.

Last week’s Box Score.

As you can see, it was a nail-biter. We both started the week projected at 151 points, but in the end I just couldn’t overcome my running backs combining to score fewer Fantasy points than the corpse of Maurice Jones-Drew.

The loss moved me to 3-4 and my opponent James to 5-2. He’s the player I’m chasing for a playoff berth, and a win last week would have put me in a great spot. Instead, I’m looking at cobbling together a late-season run while looking forward to nearly everyone on my team going on a Bye in Week 9.

Here’s the current roster.

My current roster

My current roster

We have a 13-week season, so there’s still a long way to go before I throw in the towel. I’ve still got faith we can turn it around, but we’ve got to figure out what to do at running back. All I want is two guys who can get me 9-10 points a week in a PPR league, something that really shouldn’t be as hard as it’s been this season.

To recap my RB situation:

-       Drafted Richardson early; he’s been a huge bust.

-       Drafted Wilson in the sixth round, a move that looked great after his teammates all went down. But if Richardson has been a bust, Wilson has been a nuclear explosion.

-       Cycled through several free-agent backs looking for someone to break out. Pierre Thomas has been the only one even close to breaking out.

-       Traded for Doug Martin, who responded by promptly going down for an extended period of time.

I keep looking back at the season to see if there’s something I could have done differently for this position. I’ve accepted the fact that I erred by picking Peyton in the first round. He would likely have been available in the second (I was fourth/sixth pick), and I could have gotten a reliable RB in the first round.

After that, though, I’m not sure what I could have done differently. But I want to stress I’m not putting a “woe is me” spin on this. Everyone has injuries and problems to deal with; my team is no different. I just want to figure out how to best deal with those issues, because that’s what this is about — learning how to “play” Fantasy Football to the best of my ability.

EDIT* So, speaking of backs, here’s the waiver wire in my league. Any of these guys look appealing?

All available RBs in my league.

All available RBs in my league.

Not exactly a list of guys tearing it up, but anyone stand out?

With that said, let’s look at this week’s matchup.

This Week

This week I match up with Mark, the only other owner in the league who’s had as much of a hard-luck season as me. He’s 2-5 at the moment, and right up there at the top of the leaderboard… in the “points against” category. His team is definitely impressive, and I’m feeling like an underdog heading into this matchup.

My opponent this week. That's a terrifying roster.

My opponent this week. That’s a terrifying roster.

The way I see things, I have a few priorities this week:

-       Find a running back for this week. With Richardson out (with a bye) and Martin out (with injury) I need to find someone to play alongside Pierre Thomas. The highest-ranked RB available on the Free Agent market is Chris “I can’t begin to pronounce your last name” Ogbonnaya, who is projected to score a measly 4.8 points against Kansas City (my defense, to boot). The highest-projected back is NYG back Peyton Hillis, somehow projected to score 16 against Philly. Are either of these guys better than Martin’s backup, Mike James, who I picked up this morning on the Free Agent wire?

-       I kind of burned some of my trade potential on the Martin deal, but I do still have an extra high-tier WR, with maybe Jeffery or an ailing Fitzgerald on the market? I can’t imagine pulling off too much here, but should I look into it?

-       Start to work on Week 9. With my current roster I have the following players on byes:

  • QB Peyton Manning.  I have no backup right now.
  • WR Demaryius Thomas.
  • WR Eric Decker.
  • WR Larry Fitzgerald.
  • WR Cecil Shorts.
  • WR Reuben Randle.
  • Add to that Danny Amendola, who may or may not be back.

-       Assuming I can even field two RBs, I have no QB, no WR2 (after Jeffery), or FLEX play right now. I’m second on the waiver wire, and I didn’t want to burn a waiver pick on Russell Wilson. But someone else did, so that option is out. I’m eyeing Andy Dalton or Jake Locker for that week, but do I snap them up now or hold out until next week?

-       With so many players going on byes in the same week and Martin injured, I have to manage the roster very carefully here. With Martin’s status uncertain and Alshon Jeffery on bye this week, I’m thinking I hold off until next week to make any moves? If I just drop the Browns D/ST, which is certainly happening at some point, do I prioritize a WR or a QB this week?

Making a Plan

It’s certainly a week filled with decisions. If I can pull out a win this week I can probably afford to drop next week’s bye-filled contest if things go badly. But I don’t think I can afford to lose both, which makes this week’s game pretty vital.

So what do I do? I’ve definitely got options, and I know if I can manage the next two weeks well I can put myself in a position to make noise over the last month of the season. But we’ve got to make it there first.

Comment and win a copy!

So let’s do this! Community involvement is a vital feature of this series, and I appreciate all the feedback via social media I’ve been getting. I want to give something back to you guys, so remember to comment if you’re interested in a free copy of Fantasy Life!


Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter


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  1. Spitball_Idea

    October 23, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Live by the Broncos, die by the Broncos eh?

    • Corbin Hosler

      October 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      Pretty much. The thing is, I’d be living by them if I could just get RBs that put up average weeks, instead of “zomg why is this guy in the league?!?” weeks.

  2. BoltTheBird

    October 23, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Cecil Shorts isn’t on Bye this week, but in London against the Niners, he may as well be.

    Considering the RB position is the shallowest in FF (and you’re in a PPR league), looking for backs with guaranteed starts/touches is probably the best route to go. Ogbonnaya would be a safe, unproductive option, but is playing on the road against what is considered the best Defense currently in the NFL. Don’t bother with him. Martin’s replacement is guaranteed to get the chance to perform this week, so he has built-in potential upside this week. Joseph Randle is another good target, although he’s probably snatched up by now. Is there any way you could post who is available on the WW in your league?

    The QB position, by contrast, is one of the deepest skill positions in FF. Unless you are in a league where everyone has 3 backup QBs for no reason, there should be a solid low tier 1/high tier 2 QB available. He won’t put up Peyton numbers, but then again, few do. Carson Palmer has probably the best matchup for someone who is likely available in your league, or you can gamble on Thad Lewis against a NE defense that has really fallen apart this year.

    Hope this helps! Feel free to talk FF with me anytime on twitter @BoltTheBird

    • Corbin Hosler

      October 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Randle’s gone, yeah.

      EDIT: Added a list of available backs.

      • BoltTheBird

        October 24, 2013 at 1:02 am

        I can’t believe I’m going to say this in 2013 (or ever, really) but Peyton Hillis might be a viable option at this point. He’s guaranteed to get looks, and might be a servicable flex option against teams who struggle stopping the run. Plus, given what else has happened in the Giants backfield this season, I’d say he’s got a long enough leash to get a couple goes at it.

  3. BoltTheBird

    October 23, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Also, in terms of Trent Richardson- you may want to be on the lookout for a trade. He was brought in to be a power back for the Colts, but he didn’t see the goal line touches Monday night. That isn’t a “new to the playbook” issue, that’s a confidence issue. I would try and unload him on someone with poor talent evaluation skills (much as the Browns seem to have done) for some guaranteed workhorses.

    Also, if things start to look grim, you can always trade for draft picks for next year. It isn’t glamorous, but in non-keeper leagues, it helps you long term and attracts a lot of interest from all the playoff hopefuls. Then you just win next year :)

    • Corbin Hosler

      October 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Man, that’s something I hadn’t even considered. Not sure we’d allow that, but it’s an interesting idea.

      • BoltTheBird

        October 24, 2013 at 1:05 am

        A lot of sites offer it as an option, and it encourages leagues to stay where they are. I’ve also offered Magic cards in trades before. Not gonna win your season? May as well trade your stars to a playoff contender for some cards- they have a deep roster for the post season, and you make back your buy-in for the year!

  4. Colin Henry

    October 23, 2013 at 11:48 am

    GOOD GOD this week is insane for byes (6 teams), my entire bench is either injured or on bye (I’m also a Doug Martin owner).

    • Corbin Hosler

      October 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      I feel your pain :(

  5. George Tudor

    October 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    If Pierre Thomas is still on waivers I would absolutely pick him up. I’m also in a PPR league and fortunately my first 4 picks have mostly worked out and stayed injury free. Also, IF you can, wait until after this week and then pick up Dalton off waivers for week 9. As far as your RB situation, just look for guys who are getting catches out of the backfield. If he’s still available Roy Helu would be a good pickup. Also start looking for Wars and RBs returning from injury very soon like Andre Brown, Shane Vereen, and Percy Harbin. I hope this helps and best of luck this week!

    • George Tudor

      October 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Wars = wide receivers. Stupid autocorrect…

    • George Tudor

      October 23, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      One last player to look out for if he’s available is Donald Brown, Richardson’s backup. He hasn’t been getting nearly as many touches as Richardson but he has done much more with his touches and I believe the coaching staff notices and will continue to increase his workload if that trend continues.

  6. Porkpants

    October 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Mike James looks like he will be a solid Sproles/Woodhead type pickup. The matchup against Carolina is concerning but he will likely get more points that T-Rich or Martin’s 0.

    You definitely have some good depth at WR and could probably make a deal to get an RB like Morris, Gio, Lacy. Morris is probably the best target, but with Helu getting 3 TDs last week it makes you wondering if he will be used in scoring at all.

    I made a trade earlier this season, I gave Josh Gordon to get Morris straight-up. It was a good deal for both of us, he badly needed WRs and at that point he thought he was fine with T-Rich still.

    I think some praying that Graham can’t go this week would be helpful for you.

    • Corbin Hosler

      October 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Now that’s a plan! I’ll see if I can stir up any trade interest. It won’t be as “free” of a trade as the Martin one was in terms of depth, but it’s worth pursuing, I think.

  7. Mike Brand

    October 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    I like Mike James and just got him today to replace Doug. The reason being is, he got 14 carries after Doug went down. The Bucs were also LOSING at the time. So half a game and playing from behind the guy gets a good amount of carries, so I think it’s safe to think he will get his chances. He’s also Edgerrin James’ cousin, so who knows…

  8. Nick Becvar

    October 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    As for this week, I think you are fine. From the 2nd shot of your team for this week, I would plug like this:

    QB- Manning (obv)
    RB – Thomas
    RB – James (I think he will do well, and he is clear cut no 1)
    WR – Thomas
    WR – Decker
    TE – Gonzalez
    FLEX – Fitz (why are you down on him? he isnt hurt bad is he?)
    D/K are good

    I think you are set for this week. Randle is another good FLEX option if you really dont like Fits. I wouldnt play Shorts for the life of me, and Amendola still has a couple weeks if you ask me.

    As for next week….well, good luck, lol. I think you need to droop the Browns D now and grab a backup QB to prep, as a start. Aside from that, you may be OK with the WR and RB bench guys you have to fill in for your bye guys next week.

  9. Adam Reid

    October 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Hey Corbin,
    I’m here from reddit to help! Let’s do this.

    1. Don’t panic. You’re 3-4 and there’s lot of season left to make the playoffs. Everyone has been decimated by injury, so although you may not think it, most of your opponents probably feel similar to you.

    2. Stop making lineup decisions based on point projections. Seriously. This is the #1 mistake new fantasy owners make. Projections are baloney. If anyone, man or machine, could legitimately project player points to any degree of accuracy, wouldn’t they already be billionaires in Vegas? Instead, base your decisions on trusted expert rankings, or better still, an Expert Consensus Ranking like the one they have over at that allows you to pick the expert rankings you wish to use. This is an incredibly valuable tool. While you’re at it, you can import your team for free and avail of all their lineup tools. Highly recommended.

    3. Roster moves. At RB in PPR, possible names I’d consider for pickup include (in order): Mike James, Roy Helu, Brandon Bolden, Peyton Hillis, Chris Ogbannaya, Jason Snelling, Daniel Thomas and Mike Tolbert. I don’t expect much from these guys, but they could make for an emergency start in a pinch (I started Snelling last week, for example). If you post up your free agent RBs we might have a better chance of guiding you on this choice.

    4. Absolutely look into dealing Fitz and/or Alshon. I use to assess player trade values. As of the end of Week 7, you could hope to acquire Ray Rice or Chris Johnson for Larry Fitz. I’d recommend trying for Eddie Lacy too, though he is worth a lot more at this stage. Alshon could fetch you DeAngelo, Le’Veon Bell or maybe even Spiller at this point. Explore your options on this one. Target owners who are thin at WR with losing records.

    3. Drop the Browns DST and pick up Jake Locker. As a Manning owner, this is something I did last week. His Week 9 matchup vs. the Rams looks great. Pull the trigger on that before someone else does.

    4. Stay vigilant on the wire for WRs, there are always viable options cropping up every week. In PPR, players I like who may be available include: Kendall Wright (bye 8), Darrius Heyward-Bey (bye 8), Jeremy Kerley, Terrance Williams, Brandon Gibson, Chris Durham & Robert Woods (when EJ Manuel gets back in a few weeks). Of these, I would make Wright a priority to help your depleted WR corps for Week 9.

    Hope this helps! If you want to continue the discussion, you can find me on twitter or on reddit’s r/fantasyfootball – user: TheReidOption. Cheers, and good luck.

    • Adam Reid

      October 23, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      Whoa. I messed up the “a href” tags on that something awful. Sorry about that. Hit me up on twitter @TheReidOption and I’ll send you the links I was attempting to include here. Cheers!

      • Corbin Hosler

        October 23, 2013 at 9:44 pm

        Not only is your Twitter name awesome, but so is all the advice. I’ll definitely be following up on this!

  10. Aaron B.

    October 23, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    About what parts of Oklahoma? I’m from Edmond myself so that’s cool to see a fellow Okie around and from a gaming background no less.

    I’ve never been a big fan of having two defenses on a roster as I’ve just streamed defenses for the past couple seasons and it’s worked out well. The Chiefs is a solid team to have as your defense so I think you’d be alright dropping the Browns and picking up a D for week 9 that may have a better match up than the Browns. This would free up a roster spot temporarily so that you can have a bit more depth at the RB or WR position. Perhaps pick up a sleeper to see how he does at the flex position? That way you’re not committing to a good player that you’ll have to drop come week 9 but still get some production out of that spot.

    I’d try to do a package deal with Decker and someone for a WR1 since having 3 players on one team can go south quickly (as you’ve noticed.) It seems you have the points production, just a few bad matchups or else you’d be in the running for top spot. Good luck going forward!

    • Corbin Hosler

      October 30, 2013 at 7:16 am

      Thanks for the help! I’m from OKC and work in Norman. I also travel around the state for work, so that’s kind of fun too.

  11. Jarrod

    October 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    To fill in your bye week issues, I would keep an eye on the injury situations in Green Bay and Atlanta because if the starters are still out then Harry Douglas and Jarrett Boykin are great pick ups to fill in the spot. For running back I would look at picking up a Zac Stacey, Donald Brown, or Mike Tolbert. The first two are getting touches and Mike Tolbert is the touchdown stealer in Carolina and gives you a high risk play. Roy Helu is getting more touches so he is intriguing. At this point despite a tough loss you might just have to go with the process.

  12. Connor

    October 23, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I don’t think your opponent’s lineup this week is all that scary. I would put out a couple feelers throughout the league to guys weak at WR for Decker, Amendola, or Shorts. You already have Demariyus, and Decker is a good play, but he is expendable I think (for you). If that doesn’t work, I like James as a starter this week. Livin and dying by PFM!!

  13. ryanb

    October 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Mike james isn’t a long term answer as a rb2 for your team but he’ll do as a fill in this week especially with so many teams on bye. Any rb you pick up from the waiver wire at this point will be at best case a dice roll’s chance to be a helpful fantasy contributor.
    Here would be my thought process going forward: thomas looks to be the best trade chip you have and here’s why. You have three broncos players on your starting roster which is ostensibly putting all your eggs in one basket. To be fair, its been an excellent basket so far. And I believe with manning at the helm that any of the broncos wrs can be the best fantasy option in any given week. Still, Thomas is has the highest pedigree amongst the group of wrs, which means you can get the most from him in a trade while not losing much in value obliging in Decker I’m his place.
    Send out some trade feelers for Thomas. Maybe you can trade him straight up for a low end rb1 like lacy, or for a rb2 like le’veon bell and a high upside wr. Look for a team that has wr troubles (people who drafted cobb/julio jones) and see what that gets you.

    Good luck!

  14. Andrew K

    October 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    3-4, your still in decent shape, with some momentum you still have a shot at the play offs. that being said, its time to go big or… well you know the saying. if possible, add jordan reed, and chris ivory. chris ivory has been the butt of my entire league’s jokes, but if you can grab him, as he is still widely available do so. he isnt a stud but he will fly under the radar averaging you 7-12 a week. and jordan reed may still be available, look into these two guys.
    Best of luck

  15. Trollingbug

    October 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    For advice you definitely need to drop the browns d, you can’t hold onto a second defense this long when the rest of your team is hurt. Also you are missing out on a lot of replacement players by not using your waiver picks. Granted you did pick up Martin’s backup but there have been so many other backups you have missed because you were waiting until the waivers cleared.

  16. Stephen Ellis

    October 29, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Pardon me for not reading previous comments but, wow what a team! I would really drop the 2nd defense and look to add either Daniel Thomas or Mike Tolbert. Although starting Pierre Thomas and Mike James is not horrible as you head into major bye week territory.

    As for a QB fill-in. Terrell Pryor, if he is available would be a tremendous fill in and is facing the Eagles during week 9. Andy Dalton has been on fire (literally and figuratively) the past three weeks and would be another option for you.

    Keep up the good work man.

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