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How to make David Wilson work for you – if you don’t own him


There’s been a lot of hand-wringing over the David Wilson situation in New York. It’s really easy to watch everyone else say “don’t panic, play it slow, it’ll get better.” However, I own him in two leagues, and like Woody in Toy Story, I believe that now is the perfect time to panic. Should I wait until I’m 0-3 to panic? That seems stupid. I don’t have a magic bullet for you if you own David Wilson. Believe me, I’ve been searching high and low. I’m definitely not going to sell him, because that’s pointless right now, but you can believe that I’m making plans based on the possibility that it doesn’t get any better for him. That’s where you come in.

Chances are you don’t own David Wilson as much as I do. In a 12-team league, odds are that one of the other teams has him. And odds are that guy is not 2-0, and if he’s lucky enough to be 1-1, he’s still very worried about his RB stable unless he went RB-RB-RB-RB-RB. However, like me, he’s probably not going to sell David Wilson because the price he would fetch won’t come close to Wilson’s potential value. So how can you take advantage? Let me explain.

Depending on panic level, that David Wilson owner may gladly overpay for a lesser running back. So he probably doesn’t want to deal Wilson, and you probably don’t see a point in buying him, but you’ll still be able to get a deal done. Are you deep at running back? Leverage that depth by offering a RB2/RB3 for a WR1/WR2 type and see what kind of reaction you get. Here’s a short list of guys I want to add to my Wilson-infected rosters:

DeMarco Murray and Darren McFadden – these would be sell-high trades, and if your local David Wilson owner is the panicking type, you may have a perfect buyer. You should only put them out there if you’re not sold on their success or health so far. Personally I like Murray more than McFadden. It feels weird to say I want McFadden on my team, but desperate times call for desperate measures. You aren’t getting Julio or AJ for these guys, but you could get someone in the Vincent Jackson/Marques Colston/Stevie Johnson/Pierre Garcon range. Or, if he’s available, go after the (still) criminally underrated Jordy Nelson. If Mr. Wilson’s owner balks, kindly remind him that he would have more points if he started himself at running back through the first two weeks.

Daryl Richardson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Rashard Mendenhall – this is the more realistic trade range for Wilson owners, since it allows the risk-averse to give up less in order to acquire RB help. Dangle these for some of the mid-round guys that Rotoviz loves like Josh Gordon, Mike Williams, Cecil Shorts or Eric Decker. If you can spare the RB, these are receivers that provide excellent roster depth, and they make great package sweeteners if you want to take a run at a legitimate stud down the road. (Quick note on Josh Gordon – unlikely that the guy who bothered to draft him is going to sell him now that his suspension is up, but you never know what kind of awful deal someone will accept until you offer it).

Danny Woodhead and Bryce Brown (PPR flyers only) – Weird things happen in PPR leagues, like people convincing themselves that Woodhead is going to be really good. He laid an egg in week one but was much more involved in the offense on Sunday. Bryce Brown hasn’t done much this year, but there are a lot of people who still love him anyway. If you’re dangling one of these guys, a high-ceiling breakout candidate like Alshon Jeffery or Reuben Randle seems like a fair price.

Note that I’m trying to illustrate a range of targets and prices for your beleaguered David Wilson owner. You would prefer to offer some guys rather than others, and he’s going to have targets of his own. Or maybe you don’t have running back depth and you’re all set at wide receiver. If that’s the case then don’t bother. Any trade should be made with roster optimization in mind – if the trade doesn’t make your roster better (preferably your starting lineup) don’t bother with it. It sounds simple, but we’ve all seen a bunch of “good” trades that don’t improve either roster in any meaningful way.

Just know that the guy in your league who has David Wilson is wondering when he should start panicking. He’s getting bombarded with shitty offers for Wilson that he’s going to turn down. He’s making plans, he’s probably willing to overpay for running back help, and if he’s going to overpay, it’s going to be to someone else if you don’t put the feelers out there first.

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