Am I crazy?
I think I might be crazy.
There’s a very good chance that I am totally, completely, utterly out of my mind crazy.
I got a trade offer that would give me Pittsburg WR Antonio Brown. You remember, all the way back to the draft, when Antonio Brown was such a consensus #1 overall pick that every single expert I weighted had him in the top slot? You remember he was only weighted out of the top spot on my personal board because of his connection to Ben Roethlisberger, who I despise – and even then he only fell to third overall, that’s how firmly he was entrenched at the top? You remember he did end up going first overall in the draft, to my Week One opponent, and contributed 24 points towards that epic first-week beatdown I suffered?
Yeah. That guy. Team Coleman wants to give him to me now.
For Ezekiel Elliott.
It’s important to note here that Team Coleman isn’t willing to part with Antonio Brown solely for my benefit. He’s not making this trade offer out of the goodness of his heart. He’s not even offering Brown reluctantly because he’s desperate for RB help and willing to part with his best WR to get it. Brown has, by and large, been amazing this season (he averages 12.5 points per week), but there are serious concerns about him going forward. Roethlisberger just had knee surgery and will miss at least this weekend’s game; Week Eight is Pittsburg’s bye, and they hope Big Ben will be back in Week Nine, but no one knows yet how long his recovery will take. In the meantime the Steelers have Landry Jones at QB, who is okay, I guess, but clearly a downgrade at the position. Brown will still be a great WR, but he can’t catch the balls that his QB can’t throw. It’s not like his production will suddenly drop to zero, but it will dip in at least the next week or few to come. That’s why Team Coleman is looking to sell out of him. Plus, he was able to make a trade a couple of weeks back for Odell Beckham Jr. (remember when I was offered him?), so it’s debatable if Brown is even his best WR anymore.
By the way, he gave up Jordan Howard in that trade. Really? Howard’s a sexy pick since he’s taken over the primary running back role with Chicago, but he’s not a star on Beckham’s level. Coleman clearly got the best of that trade, and everybody involved knows it by now too. Beckham had 32 points last weekend, and the guy who traded him was posting on the league message board about how he wanted to cry.
But I digress.
So Antonio Brown’s maybe still elite over the next few weeks, maybe merely good. Coleman doesn’t want to take that risk. Okay, sure. I get that. And Elliott’s average points per game is higher than Brown’s right now anyway, at 17.17. Anyone would want Elliott if they could get him. (Which makes me the belle of the ball.)
But there’s merit to this trade for me as well, setting aside the fact that Antonio Brown is Antonio Brown. Elliott has a bye this week. I can’t play him this weekend anyway. So by trading him away I’d get a player I could use in my next matchup. And my next matchup is a doozy, y’all. I’ll tell you about it later this week, but I’m facing the woman with the best record in the league, so I need to be at my best to take her down, and I don’t have the guy who is arguably my best player. Antonio Brown, even diminished, is an upgrade over any combination of players I can move around into Elliott’s bye-week cover. And once Big Ben comes back he’s Antonio Brown.
I have two other RBs I could use in the RB slots, Gore and Gordon. Both are very reliably good, if not the breakout studs that Elliott is. (Almost no one is the stud that Elliott is.) I have A.J. Green as a top tier WR, but no one else who is a clear starter the way he is. Edelman and Cobb have both let me down as WR2 material. If I did this, I’d have two RBs (Gore and Gordon) and two WRs (Green and Brown) who could go every week, and I’d pick the flex from my bench cast of WRs based on matchup favorability. It would be a very good team.
But is it better than what I have now, with Elliott the ridiculous stud that he is?
Am I crazy because I want to turn this trade down?
I’ve made no decisions yet. I have another day or so to decide (provided Team Coleman doesn’t give up on my indecision and rescind the offer) before the trade expires. My instinct is to say no, to ride with the unearthly rock star that is Ezekiel Elliott and get flexible around him for this one week. The lineup I’ve put together without him is still quite good. But I haven’t turned it down yet, because it feels like I must be crazy to turn down Antonio Brown.
Or is it crazier to part with Ezekiel Elliott?
And whatever I decide, will I retain any of my sanity after debating this decision back and forth for two days?
I’m still a Fantasy First-Timer, guys, and this is a varsity-level decision.
How am I ever going to decide this?