Five IDP Sell Highs

Karlos Dansby, LB

About a year ago at this time, Dansby was a man without a team. By fall, he was back in Arizona. By December, he was at or near the top of every IDP league in scoring. Dansby took a “prove it” deal in Arizona, and he proved it and he’s due a payday because of it.

We all know that trading in dynasty leagues is like a stock market. You buy low and sell high. This is your last, best opportunity to sell high on Dansby.

He could have another solid 2014 campaign if he lands back in Arizona and if his age (32) doesn’t start catching up with him. But unless you’re London Fletcher, your numbers have to start to dip at some point, and it’s not very likely that Dansby’s 2014 will approach his 2013 numbers.

Dansby’s four interceptions in 2013 were a career high. His two TDs tied a career high. A lot of Dansby’s production involved soaking up tackles during the first four games of the year while Daryl Washington was out on suspension.

Can’t you just imagine the trade negotiations you can have if you’re willing to part ways with Dansby? “Look man, you’re in a championship window, and Dansby was the top linebacker in our league last year. You’re going to need to pay me if you want to win it all this year.”

It’s worth having the conversation with the linebacker-poor, contending team in your league. You never know what people will do when they’re within striking distance of winning it all.

Kiko Alonso, LB

OK, I know what you’re thinking.

“Trade away a young stud LB after a stellar rookie season?”

The answer is yes, if you can get a good return on your investment. Remember, sell high.

Alonso benefitted from a very generous statistics crew in Buffalo. How generous? He had 17 more combined tackles at home than he did during away games. That may not sound like a ton, but it’s 24 percent more home tackles than away tackles.

His big plays also fell off toward the end of the year, tallying just one fumble recovery from week 5 on through the fantasy playoffs.

Don’t get me wrong. Alonso had a great rookie campaign and will be a very good linebacker moving forward. But people tend to take first-year success and add 20 percent to it, assuming he’ll be an even better player next year. Don’t count on it. Many people made that mistake about Luke Kuechly, Aldon Smith and JJ Watt last year; expecting them to build on out-of-this-world numbers. More than likely, a slight reversion to the mean is due for Alonso.

So don’t give him away, but if you can trade-rape someone who is desperate for a young linebacker to build around, you have a great bargaining chip in Alonso and you could probably command a king’s ransom for him.

Charles Tillman, CB

Let me start by saying that trying to guess which cornerback is going to have a great year in fantasy is a fool’s game. While linebackers can be fairly predictable, especially in tackle-heavy leagues, cornerbacks rely on two big things: first, having the ball thrown in their direction; and second, making a few fantastic plays when it is.

Both things are difficult to project.

“Peanut” Tillman was incredible in 2012, mostly due to his ability to punch the football out of weak ball-handlers’ arms. That was an X-factor for him, making him the top CB in many leagues that year.

2013 was a different story, as Tillman was slowed by injuries.

What does 2014 hold? No one knows, and no one even knows if he’ll be back as a member of the Bears’ secondary.

If he goes to another team, who knows if he’ll have a role where he’s around the ball enough to make big plays? If he stays with the Bears, can he stay healthy?

There are way too many uncertainties with Tillman. It’s time to unload him while his name recognition is still high, and owners still believe last year was the anomaly, not the new normal.

There are now and always will be plenty of serviceable options at cornerback on fantasy football waiver wires. Cornerbacks are like kickers. If you knew with greater certainty which one was going to be the best, you’d draft them earlier. But you don’t. Trade away Tillman for pieces that have fewer “if’s” and you’ll be happy in 2014.

Chad Greenway, LB

There aren’t many strong-side linebackers in the game who translate to fantasy football success. While your middle linebackers are routinely around the ball, and free-floating weakside linebackers like Lavonte David are disruptors, many strongside linebackers spend a lot of time absorbing blocks and playing the team game. (Von Miller is an obvious exception, but you get the idea.)

Greenway’s numbers dipped a little bit in 2013, but that’s not why I’m suggesting trading him now. Instead, it’s faith in new Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer’s ability to build a more competent defense around Greenway. If other guys step up and do their jobs on that porous Vikings defense, there will simply be fewer opportunities for Greenway to break onto the stats sheet.

If the Vikings are also serious about fixing the quarterback position, they may also find themselves in fewer situations where teams are running out the clock on them at the end of games, leading to even fewer tackle opportunities for Greenway.

While the Vikings linebacker is still in the prime of his career, the situation around him will undoubtedly change. Maybe it’s time for a change on your dynasty team.

Olivier Vernon, DE

Miami’s “other” good defensive end this year was Olivier “Don’t Call Me Oliver” Vernon. It wasn’t supposed to be that way.

The Dolphins spent the third overall pick of the 2013 draft on Dion Jordan, an edge rusher that was meant to line up at the other end from stud rusher Cameron Wake. For whatever reason, be it injuries or inability to learn the system, Jordan found himself on the bench more than on the field, and Olivier Vernon filled the role destined for Jordan.

And fill it he did. Vernon finished in the top 15-20 defensive lineman in many IDP leagues, racking up 11.5 sacks.

While Vernon has proven he’s a force at defensive end, he has to know he’s just a placeholder until Dion Jordan gets another chance at the job. Unfair or not, that’s the way things are in the NFL. If the guy behind you was a blue-chip draft pick, he’s going to get endless opportunities to take your job.

Start a conversation with someone in your league who is hurting at DE (or DL.) Tell them you have a guy who you don’t need a lot for, but was very productive last year. See if that other owner is keyed in on Dion Jordan lurking in the background or not. If he’s not, you may be able to get good value for Vernon before he starts losing snaps to the #3 pick.

Next time: 5 players to buy right now in your IDP league

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