Trading down in fantasy football drafts? 

I’m intrigued by something I just read in this post on Rotowire’s fantasy football blog. Blogger Peter Schoenke believes there’s pretty solid consensus for the top five picks in ’08 (“Tomlinson, A. Peterson, Westbrook, Addai, S. Jackson”) and weighs who he’d take with the 6th spot (I’d go with Lynch, but that might be the Bills bias talking).

So given all my negativity, who would I take? My first advice would be to trade down. I’d rather get any of these guys six picks later.

I’ve never seen someone decide to trade a pick like the 6th for a lower pick. Ever. I get why someone might think it’s a good idea, but I strongly disagree in most cases. A little Googling just dug up some similar advice in this list of rules for “How to Win Your Fantasy Football League”:

6. Trade down. If you have pick 3-5, trade down. You’ll feel much better about taking two players back to back than you will seeing your favorites fly off the board every other pick.

Wait, what? There’s only one good reason I can think of to trade down to a bottom-of-the-order pick, and that’s if you’re targeting a specific player you expect to be available near the beginning of the second round – but not the end – and you aren’t willing to spend a first-round pick on him. In that case, by all means, see if you can trade down. But you better feel good about that gamble, because if it doesn’t work out, then you just screwed yourself out of an earlier pick in the third round for no good reason, and that’s pretty significant despite the fact that you’ll get an earlier pick in the fourth. If you go RB RB in the first two, you can kiss any hope of a decent WR1 goodbye if you aren’t picking until the end of the third. (More …)