Home Columns Sunshine on the Sideline: Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Sunshine on the Sideline: Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

by Tom Cuda

My mother was an elder-care social worker for most of my life. I grew up watching her sacrifice so much of her time and energy doing everything she could to help people navigate their golden years. It’s the main reason I’m so drawn to charities and to wanting to do work that helps people. Watching her work with such compassion and care for the people she took care of left me forever changed. 

Though rewarding, the job was a difficult one, and one of the most difficult parts included helping those suffering through Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a disease that destroys the connections between Brain cells and eventually the cells themselves, causing memory loss and the loss of other mental functions. 

As my mother can attest, it is one of the saddest diseases to watch people and their families try to cope with. Having a loved one look you in the eyes and not remember who you are is something no one is ever ready for. It is estimated that over 5 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This month is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, a month throughout which my mother was always busy hosting events and trying to educate people about this disease. 

Thankfully there are doctors and researchers hard at work daily, searching for ways to mitigate the effects of and eventually cure Alzheimer’s. 

One of the leading research groups is the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research. The mission statement from this organization’s website says it “provides millions of dollars for novel Alzheimer’s research primarily conducted by the late Nobel Laureate Dr. Paul Greengard and his team of over 45 internationally renowned scientists at the Fisher Center lab at The Rockefeller University, plus other leading research institutes around the world.” 

The group researches the disease from causes, to care, to cure and Charity Navigator ranks it in the top one percent of charities. Just over 90 percent of its budget goes directly to research initiatives, so you know that every dollar truly counts and helps bring us one step closer to a cure. As with all research, it takes time, but every bit of support we give them makes a difference, so if you’re looking for a good place to donate to this month, please consider giving to the Fisher Center. 

Another thing I learned from my mom while I was growing up was how to find a good bargain. A skill that has undoubtedly saved me a nice chunk of change over the years. 

And, in dynasty, finding a good bargain on a player can save you big and keep your overall team value high. And I don’t just mean a good bargain player who will do well on your team, I mean a marginal increase in value from trade to trade, much like how buying low and selling high on stocks will increase your overall net worth. 

Many times, I like to keep an eye on players I think are hitting temporary low spots and buy them on the cheap only to flip them later on when they hit a peak again. If I can take a late second-round pick, trade it for a mediocre player and then sell them for an early second-round pick after utilizing them during a good stretch of games, I consider that a win. Today, I want to highlight three players I think are entering buy-low opportunities. 

Myles Gaskin (RB, Miami Dolphins)

Myles Gaskin is a player whose stock was on the rise, his steadily good performances a pleasant surprise. Through the first eight weeks, he rushed 100 times for 387 yards and two touchdowns, while catching 30 of 35 passes for 198 yards. Gaskin was making himself an every-week starter. 

Then, he suffered an injury that put him on Injured Reserve (IR), where he needed to spend at least three weeks. Thankfully, Gaskin will not need surgery to fix his injury and should be able to return to action this season. That injury does, however, make him a buy-low candidate for me. If I can get him from an owner for a mid-to-late second-round pick, or a low-end RB3 or WR2 (think Curtis Samuel or Kerryon Johnson) then I’m willing to make that trade and sell him high after he returns. 

Blake Jarwin (TE, Dallas Cowboys) 

I know I mentioned Blake Jarwin in the buying injured players column shortly after he tore his ACL. But, coming into the double-digit weeks of the season, I feel it bears repeating. Jarwin had locked down a three-year contract as the primary pass-catching tight end in Dallas only to suffer a season-ending injury in Week 1. 

By now, there’s a good chance that Jarwin’s owner may have forgotten about him entirely, especially with how bad the Cowboys have been so far this season. It may be worth putting out the feelers, buying him for a late-second or early-third round pick, and letting him sit in your IR spot until the hype around training camp comes in. Or if he starts doing well next season, and you can sell him at a higher price. 

Preston Williams (WR, Miami Dolphins) 

Preston Williams has four receiving touchdowns for the Dolphins this season.

I’m double-dipping in Miami, and it’s for a reason. It’s a young team that has finally found a good head coach in Brian Flores. Preston Williams, just like Miles Gaskin, is going to be a part of that team. Williams was put on IR as well, providing the perfect buy-low opportunity. Williams was starting to average five targets a game while developing rapport with Tua Tagovailoa. His snap percentage was 88% in Week 8, and he was headed that way before his injury in Week 9. If Williams’ owner was using him to fill in for injuries, or maybe doesn’t have faith in the team moving forward, now is the time to swoop in to grab him and reap the rewards later. 

One final note, I framed this conversation around already good teams using their draft picks to keep value going higher on their teams. But all three of these players are perfectly viable as regular buy-low candidates to keep for the future. If your team is struggling or rebuilding, and you can scoop any of these guys up for some draft picks that are more of a dice roll, I’d say go for it.

Thanks for reading. Find me on Twitter @ThomasCuda and check out my other columns here on In-Between Media.

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