To AP or not to AP? That is the Question!

Blockbuster trades involving two of the top drafted players in fantasy typically don’t happen after the first week of the season, but that is exactly what happened to me in my 10-man PPR league. Case in point, I recently received an offer for Julio Jones in exchange for Adrian Peterson. In order to better understand the context for this trade, here are our respective lineups:

My roster

Tony Romo, Dal QB
DeAndre Hopkins, Hou WR
Brandon Marshall, NYJ WR
Brandon Coleman, NO WR
Adrian Peterson, Min RB
Jeremy Hill Cin, RB
Ladarius Green, SD TE
Mark Ingram, NO RB
Delanie Walker, Ten TE
T.Y. Hilton, Ind WR
Tom Brady, NE QB
Todd Gurley, StL RB
Shane Vereen, NYG RB
Joique Bell, Det RB
Brandon McManus, Den K
Panthers D/ST

My opponent’s roster

Sam Bradford Phi, QB
Julio Jones Atl, WR
Julian Edelman, NE WR
Tyler Lockett, Sea WR
Lamar Miller, Mia RB
LeGarrette Blount, NE RB
Jimmy Graham, Sea TE
Nelson Agholor, Phi WR
Dan Bailey, Dal K
Houston Hou D/ST
Andre Ellington, Ari RB
Dez Bryant, Dal WR
Cam Newton, Car QB
Doug Baldwin, Sea WR
Darren Sproles, Phi RB
Rueben Randle, NYG WR

I drafted AP with the third pick overall and he chose Julio with the eighth pick overall. As you can see from our rosters, my team is well balanced and there is no real reason for me to trade an elite RB for an elite WR unless that wide receiver’s name is Julio Jones. On his side, he targeted elite WRs at the top of the draft and passed on quality RBs, a draft strategy that has gained popularity in recent years and has bucked the tried and true method of selecting RBs early in the draft due to the positions scarcity.

This strategy can be effective, especially in PPR leagues like this one, but leaves you without a quality starter at the RB position which can cost you if one goes down with an injury like Andre Ellington did in Week 1. Compounding the problem is the fact that his other highly drafted WR, Dez Bryant went down with an injury and will miss 4-8 weeks, with some reports saying a return in Week 8 is more realistic.

Julio Jones running
Photo credit: Football Schedule

Trading away AP is not as easy as it may appear on the surface. Yes, he had a disappointing Week 1 performance, but that was against a stingy 49ers defense who had a huge chip on their shoulder after losing a lot of key players on that side of the ball. The Vikings are planning to use AP in a lot more shotgun formation sets with less emphasis on the QB handing the ball off from under center. Once Peterson gets used to running the ball in this formation, the possibility for dump off passes will increase as he will easily be able to take a fake handoff and catch the ball in the flat for easy yards, thus increasing his PPR value. AP should average between 15-25 points a week in a PPR format.

A lot of people may panic after a poor Week 1 performance, but AP is still a Top 3 back. AP will carry a heavy workload this season and get a large amount of touches in this offense while solidifying your RB1 slot for the rest of the year. Adding his production to the likes of Lamar Miller and LeGarette Blount, coming off of suspension, solidifies your RB core for the rest of the season.

Now on the other side of the coin, adding Julio to the likes of T.Y Hilton (Questionable), DeAndre Hopkins and Brandon Marshall makes for a deep and potent WR corps that can do serious damage in a PPR format. In this scenario, I would be forced to move Mark Ingram from the FLEX spot to the RB2 spot while switching Brandon Marshall from the WR3 spot to the FLEX.

My running back depth takes a big hit however, and forces me to potentially start a risky backup like Joique Bell, Shane Vereen or Todd Gurley, once he gets back from his injury. This is not an ideal situation if you value elite running backs but is something that you have to do if you want to take a chance to win it all. After thinking about the trade for long time I had made up my mind to accept it, but I wanted to get a second opinion, so I asked the fantasy football guru what his thoughts were, and he answered in the Week 2 waiver wire video.

In the end, both teams are taking a risk but they are both doing what they have to do to raise the Fantasy Football Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season. If a blockbuster trade is offered to you in your league, think through all the pros and cons carefully, but don’t be afraid to pull the trigger if your gut tells you to. After all, you are in charge of your team’s destiny!

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