Whether you're 4-0, 0-4 or somewhere in the middle, there's always a roster tweak to be made. At this point, the strengths and weaknesses of every team in your league should be pretty clear. The teams toward the bottom of the standings are likely getting desperate, and even those in the middle or at the top could use that one last guy to get them over the top. In other words, the next couple weeks are ripe for trading. A few weeks ago, I rolled out my Manifesto for Bench Management. This time around, we don't have time for a manifesto. We need to get out there and deal in time for kickoff on Sunday. Let's call this one the Beller Primer for Trade Success (not endorsed by David Kahn).
I wouldn't be laying out my rules for trading if I weren't thinking of deals I myself could make. Here are some players I'm targeting.
Before I set off the next huge Internet rumor, I want to get one thing straight. Gordon Bombay isn't making a comeback. I know, I'd love to see it, too, but that knee just won't hold up. No, the Minnesota Miracle to which I'm referring is the return of Randy Moss. I'd slightly upgrade him for two reasons. First, he'll be playing with a chip on his shoulder. Second, Favre is willing to take more downfield shots than
Back in New England, the big loser in the deal is Brady, who loses one of the league's elite receivers. Even when he isn't catching passes, Moss' mere presence is a complete game-changer for any defense. Brady will lean on
All three of our suggestions made us sweat it out last week, but the Saints, Packers and Falcons all managed to get by. If Jimmy Clausen led a last minute drive to knock me out of survivor, it would have been one of the most upsetting moments of my life. What a huge tackle by
1. Indianapolis Colts (vs. Chiefs): I'd be lying if I said I'm not worried about Jamaal Charles racking up 200 yards on the ground. But after losing to the Jaguars last week, the Colts are now 2-2 on the season, including 0-2 in the division. Have the Colts ever lost a game like this in the Peyton Manning-era? I think they'll cruise.
2. Baltimore Ravens (vs. Broncos): I've said in this space time and again how the Ravens have been one of the more disappointing teams this season, but they're 3-1 and they have wins at the Jets and Steelers. We thought we'd have seen more out of their offense by now, but they get the job done. The Broncos are much better than anyone thought they'd be, and the Kyle Orton-Jay Cutler swap appears to at least be closer than what it looked at the time. Still, the Ravens are one of the best teams in the AFC and they've allowed just 5.2 YPA this season. They should handle the Broncos at home.
3. Detroit Lions (vs. Rams): The Lions?!? Yes, it's definitely risky, but there comes a time when you need to stray from the beaten path. The Lions should have beaten the Bears, and their games with the Eagles and Packers (in Green Bay) went down to the wire. The Rams are up and the Lions are down, but is there really much of a variance between the two? I don't think so, and the NFL has a way of correcting that.
Note: I originally had the Jets as my second pick of the week, but I'm not ready to judge the Vikings until I see what they're like with Moss back in the fold.