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Decisions, Decisions: The Spirit of Giving

by Mike Tulanko

How early is too early to try to teach your kids about being a good human? 

Our latest lesson transpired over 2 weeks when my 4-year-old saw his friend pulling angels from a giving tree. As I shuffled by the mom and two kids that aren’t mine, I looked back to see my little men staring at the giving tree. My son, Lennox (Lenny), promptly pulled off an angel for him and one for his brother. As they sauntered toward the door I asked them if they knew what the angels were for. 

Of course, the answer was “no.”

As we plopped in the car and rolled away, I explained the concept of the giving tree. Then, I had to answer why they aren’t on a giving tree. Merek is 9, he got it. But, Lennox, as I remind his brother often, is 4. 

Fast forward to Sunday morning. As the first plump flakes filled the air, the three of us embraced the spirit of giving. Lenny picked out pants for a 1-year-old girl and Merek helped pick out cool shoes for another young lady who is 11. 

Surprised that they didn’t beg me for pretzels, they didn’t pester me into going to the toy store and didn’t ask to get ice cream, I asked a question as I turned toward them while backing out of my parking space into the snowy expanse. “Do you guys know why we came here to get these things?” 

Merek replies that “some kids don’t have money for clothes and stuff.” 

I look to Lenny and see him soaking that in. 

Then it hits me. The answer to the question we started with is simple, yet it isn’t. It’s never too early to show and teach kids how to be good humans. Frequency matters though, because they are always watching and they learn by repetition. 

Giving in Trades

It never ceases to amaze me how often people feel like they have to “win” a trade. Nobody wants to receive a trade that makes you think about the sentences I’ve responded with lately. Things like “how is this a win for my team in any way shape or form?” or “Dude, will you gimme a bag of peanuts too? And half a pack of cigs?”

The best way to “win” a trade is to have both sides come away with something useful to them. This also makes sure that you are building a good trade partner relationship. Trade partner relationships are important in all formats but huge in dynasty fantasy football. 

While redraft creates an opportunity for yearly revision, dynasty relies on trades to do so. This is a lesson learned in frequency and best learned early as well. 

Decisions, Decisions: Trade Targets for Contenders

Looking to win now? Go get some veterans who are producing! Teams on the rebuild will be all about any Injured Reserve (IR) studs and picks you have, so use this to go get players who will get it done. 

Keenan Allen (WR, Los Angeles Chargers)

Keenan Allen is a WR2 with serious upside. Especially since he plays some soft secondaries down the stretch. With Mike Williams being the hotness this season, though finally rightfully so, Allen is slightly overlooked again. 

He is the value play here. I snagged him for Robert Woods and a 2023 first-round pick. A pretty solid deal at this juncture for my contending team and the rebuilder I traded with. Shoot for a deal around this ballpark. 

Mike Evans (WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Mike Evans is another aging stud to shoot for. He is a top-end WR2 or bottom-end WR1 with lots of big talent around him. Yet, Evans gets it done week in and week out. With the right rebuild partner, Evans can come at a reasonable cost for both of you!

James Conner (RB, Arizona Cardinals) & Melvin Gordon (RB, Denver Broncos) 

James Conner and Melvin Gordon are both in the final year of their contracts and have young talent on the field with them sharing time. This is keeping both fresh and allowing them to produce week after week. Both are on the wrong side of 25 as running backs and can be acquired from a rebuilder for a reasonable cost, as well.

Trade Targets for Rebuilders

Christian Kirk (WR, Arizona Cardinals)

Christian Kirk really feels like he is finally ascending. He has six straight games of steady targets and is a relatively reliable double-digit scorer. This year, the Cardinals still have a lot of options in the passing game. 

This fact, plus the presence of rookie Rondale Moore, make Kirk feel like an unsexy option. However, A.J. Green is on a 1-year deal and I doubt we see him back. Also, Kirk has delivered with multiple QBs which means he is part of the plan, not just a QB favorite. I look for Kirk to show up consistently next year… and quite possibly the rest of the season.

Injured Players

I’m being a bit agist here, but there are a lot of proven talents on IR. Kareem Hunt, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Miles Sanders, DJ Chark and Juju Smith-Schuster are all there, and oldish-man Woods will be there soon. Most of these players (other than Hunt) are at bargain values right now. 

Go get them for your run next year by offloading older players that are producing. My favorite thing to do is pair these players with a first-round pick for giving up an older stud that will not have the same value on your roster next year. 

Final Thought

No matter what you do, remember to make the trades mutually beneficial. If you want them to get done so you can win your ship this year… it’s OK to overpay a bit. Be in the giving spirit and you will get the deal done!

Make today a great day! And don’t forget to be awesome (DFTBA)!


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