Home Columns Sunshine on the Sideline: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Sunshine on the Sideline: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

by Tom Cuda

TRIGGER WARNING: If the topic of intimate partner violence (IPV) is triggering for you in any way, please feel free to skip straight to the football content or pass on this column altogether. 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and though a heavy topic, it’s something important to bring attention to. With coronavirus leaving us in our homes more frequently, the U.S. has seen an increase in IPV. 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) provides a service for those who are in a dangerous situation and unsure of how to get help. They operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year to provide highly trained advocates who offer free and confidential support. This organization has helped over 5 million IPV victims so far and has done its best to increase this aid during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Many of us know someone who has been the victim IPV is some way or another, and it is a truly horrific thing for anyone to have to go through. The NDVH always needs community support and donations to continue their crucial work, especially now. Please consider heading to the donation page and giving what you can this Domestic Violence Awareness Month to support those who need it. 

Trading with Injuries

For the dynasty portion of today’s column, I want to talk a bit about buying low on injuries. I want to preface this by saying that the thing I care most about in football are the players on a human level. So, giving advice on targeting injured players in trades is meant to be contained to the fantasy game only. 

These players work hard, and being injured is devastating to them. I and all my colleagues at In-Between Media wish them well. But, if you’ve had your eye on a player for a while and he ends up injured long-term, it may be the time to put the feelers out there to the other managers in your league. 

Trading is a crucial part of keeping any dynasty team on top and winning regularly and sometimes an injury can put an owner off a good player. Sadly, this season has been riddled with injuries, and a lot of managers are left scrambling for replacements. 

Here are two likely scenarios for managers to consider when they draw up potential trades:

Your Team is Struggling/Rebuilding 

If your team is struggling, or you’ve committed to a full rebuild, it can be the perfect opportunity to buy low on players in whom other managers are losing confidence . 

Take Blake Jarwin, for instance. He penned a three year contract with the Cowboys at the beginning of the season. He tore his ACL during the first game of the season and will be in recovery until next season. If I had a team that was in rebuild mode, Jarwin is the type of player I would be trying to go out and get. 

ACL injuries are getting easier to come back from as our medical technology improves and he has a good contract and will most likely remain the top option. His current owner may not ask for as much in return, especially if they are in win-now mode and need to fill his spot or others because of injury. 

Christian McCaffrey scored four touchdowns through two games this season before being sidelined with a high ankle sprain.

Which leads to my next piece of advice for rebuilding teams:  keep an eye on the winning teams. If someone is in the race for the cup it is likely that a player with a long term injury, but a high value may be acquired for a player with lesser value but a fantasy-relevant role now. It is one of the best ways, I think, for teams to go out and gain the incremental value they need to start winning games. 

And, I think it’s okay to be aggressive with your inquiries. If Saquon Barkley or Christian McCaffrey are on the team that was set to win this year or at least a lock for the playoffs, it may be worth just testing the waters on a price. It’ll likely still cost you pretty heavily, but if they have that championship tunnel vision and you aren’t going to make the playoffs, it may be worth losing a few extra games this season to flip your odds in a big way next season. This is one of the few places I ever recommend doing something risky, but the chance for rewards are high here. 

Of course, some managers won’t want to trade the best-of-the-best and that is totally fine. Just keep your eyes peeled and ask your fellow managers what they think about their players. 

Your Team is Winning Regularly

Your team is doing well, and that’s great, but to stay on top you have to keep making moves. Sometimes injuries can change the perception that a manager has of a player on their team. If injuries happen regularly enough, or if a pesky injury lingers, it may alter their value in the eyes of their owner. 

Although Alvin Kamara has only 153 rushing yards on the season, he has the second-most receptions (27) and fifth-most receiving yards (285) in the league.

For example, I, myself, am a big Alvin Kamara truther, and I love him as a player. I drafted him to a dynasty squad a few years ago and he was a first round pick. But, the injury that kept him slowed for a big portion of last year did alter my evaluation of him moving forward. And, that’s the kind of thing to keep an eye out for. I was still protective of his value, but it changed my risk tolerance level for players I could get in return. I suspect that Barkely and McCaffrey may enter similar territory in the minds of some fantasy managers, and for a team that is doing well, that may be the type of trade that you could make that positions you for a championship next season. 

This may also be the time to get rookies for their lowest value. If you were hot on Cam Akers and missed on him in the draft, now may be the time to grab him. If he’s occupying a bench spot or sitting in someone’s taxi squad and off their radar, you may be able to make an offer for them. 

This, of course, is a bit higher risk since a rookie who gets injured early may lose his shot at earning the role you thought he’d have, but dynasty really is a game of incremental value increase over time and those types of risks are what give you that increase.

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

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