Oh, the things one does to win (or to try to win) in a fantasy football dynasty league, particularly in a $750 dynasty league. Earlier this morning, in the FFPC’s $750 Dynasty League #2, I traded Hakeem Nicks, a player I think will be a super stud in the near future (but not necessarily in 2010), for a player that has been in my doghouse since the offseason leading up to the 2009 season, Marques Colston. Hakeem Nicks, the WR12 in my personal dynasty rankings that I put together in May to prepare for the $1250 FFPC Dynasty League, straight up for Marques Colston, the WR14 on those same rankings. I did write previously that his 4th round selection in the two most recent FFPC dynasty leagues was no fluke (knee) and that I would “be steering clear of Colston in all of my dynasty leagues”. So what gives?
This whole turn of events came about when I received an unsolicited offer a few days ago from the Colston owner (who took Colston at 4.2 just a week ago in the startup draft) for Nicks (whom I took at 4.10). I got the offer on my blackberry while away from home and at the time, while a very good offer, I was not inclined to accept. When I got home and it came time to hit the reject button, I found that this would not be an easy call at all and decided to look at this more closely, and that I did for the next day and a half.
First, it is not lost on me that Colston’s market value right now is slightly higher than Nicks in most (but not all) leagues, particularly high stakes leagues. Here is where the two players were drafted in recent high stakes league startup drafts:
$500 The Dynasty League – Colston (3.02), Nicks (4.03)
$750 FFPC Dynasty League #1 – Colston (2.04), Nicks (4.02)
$1250 FFPC Dynasty League – Nicks (4.05), Colston (4.07)
$250 Monster Dynasty League – Colston (3.09), Nicks (3.12)
$750 FFPC Dynasty League #2 -- Colston (4.02), Nicks (4.10)
With the higher market value, I may be able to do more with Colston via trade than I could with Nicks. Because I like to make a lot of moves, market value is more important to me than it may be to others that are generally looking to hold most of their players for the long term. Then again, I would expect that by this time next year, Nicks will have more market value than Colston.
Of course, I also watched you-tube highlights of both players, including the following:Marques Colston 2009 HighlightsHakeem Nicks 2009 Highlights
Both players obviously have a ton of talent. Colston, in particular, at 6’4”/225 lbs (4.52 sec 40-time at the 2006 combine) with his ball skills, is just plain beastly (although talent was never the issue with Colston – health was).
I also read whatever articles I could find on Colston. This article in particular was illuminating in Colston’s favor regarding his excellent work habits, mild manner and seemingly good character (not your stereotypical diva WR), things I never really considered in previously assessing Colston having already made up my mind based on the knee concerns alone. Colston Article
Speaking of that knee, this article written by a leaguemate of mine in several dynasty leagues had me particularly concerned. Retired Rookie Article
. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find much else that was very useful in this regard. The conclusion I am coming to now regarding the knee issue is that Colston can’t be treated like the typical young stud WR (with expectations of great longevity) but should instead be looked at like you would a young stud RB (limited shelf life). That is, with the wear and tear typical of a RB, you can’t expect a high level of production from here on out for more than 3 or 4 years, and that certainly may be the case with Colston. Still, he remains a valuable fantasy football dynasty asset.
In the end, it came down to my belief that Marques Colston is a safer play for the 2010 season than Nicks...in redraft. Even in a dynasty league, you do need to mix in a few redraft decisions if you want to win now (I did after all draft Tony Gonzalez in this league at 6.09, ick). I do think (like many others) that Nicks has the potential to blow up in 2010, but I think he will more likely score in the 200 range (PPR). Colston on the other hand I believe will do slightly better than he did last season (240ish pts in PPR this year vs 230ish last), with the possibility that he will do much better (close to 300). That extra 40+ points of production could well be the difference between a three seed and a two seed in this particular league, a HUGE difference. In this league, 6 teams make the playoffs with the bottom 4 playoff teams competing in a total points week 14 wildcard round with the top 2 advancing to the finals. The finals then would consist of the remaining 4 teams battling it out in a 2-week total points competition. Basically, the top 2 teams (in victory points) would receive a bye in Week 14 (not to mention a cool $550 each as an additional prize). Minimum prize for the #2 seed team - $550 plus $500 (4th place) for a total of $1050. The minimum prize for the #3 seed - $0!
Based on some projections, my team appears that it will be in serious contention for the #2 seed, and Colston could push the team over the edge. If he doesn’t or if Nicks outperforms Colston in 2010, this trade will likely go down as one of my worst by this time next year when Nicks becomes a 2nd round startup pick (very likely) while Colston remains a 4th rounder.
Interestingly, if my team were any better (where Colston would only be my WR4 or 5), it would be a no-brainer to keep Nicks for his much greater upside, and if my team were any worse (where Colston would be my WR1 or 2 or where I thought the team was merely a bubble playoff team or worse), it might also make more sense keep Nicks. Also, if this were a lower stakes league (e.g., a $100 league), I probably would be inclined to keep Nicks as well to maximize team value without the worry of missing out on a huge payday. But at $750, with a lot at stake in getting a top 2 seed and with my team just on the edge of contention for that spot, I decided in the end to go for it. Hopefully, this trade won’t come back to haunt me too badly.