Wednesday morning I sent a text to the Upper Sandusky mayor Scott Washburn.
"What the Bengals did to the Raiders yesterday is illegal in all 50 states and Iceland, Sweden and Nigeria," I wrote in my text.
Washburn is an unabashed Bengals fan. I got the standard LOL sent back as well as "out of character for Mike Brown."
As a Bengals fan, you have to be elated that at a minimum you got a first round pick in 2012 and a second round pick in 2013 (a first rounder if the Raiders make the AFC title game) for a "retired" quarterback in Carson Palmer. It's the kind of trade that if the picks pan out, can push the Bengals into annual contenders for the AFC North with the young nucleus they have assembled already.
As a Raiders fan, you had to be excited because a promising season that looked over when Jason Campbell broke his collarbone on Sunday was reinvigorated when arguably a better quarterback was traded for in Palmer.
The trade is in the eye of the beholder.
Think back to the Detroit Tigers season that just wrapped up. In July, they gave up four of their top prospects for fourth-line starter named Doug Fister and a shutdown reliever in David Pauley. One of dearest friends, Phil, is a guy who loves potential. He absolutely hated the deal because of the promise the team gave up in the four prospects. That's what makes him such a great youth director, because he sees the promise in everyone.
As you all know, Fister became the Tigers modern day version of Doyle Alexander and led Detroit to its first division title since 1987.
As a Tigers fan, I felt at the time the Tigers overpaid but if it led us to the playoffs, it was worth it. I think it was clear then that the current staff wasn't going to get the team over the hump and Fister thrived in the system that gave him the run support his win totals so desperately needed. In the end, it was worth every prospect, because Fister is under the Tigers control through 2015 and I was 11 when the Tigers last won a division crown.
As our former colleague Mike Genet said to me Wednesday, "these opportunities don't come along very often."
The Tigers went to the playoffs and the Mariners got prospects that may or may not amount to anything, but it's a team that's rebuilding, so that's what you do when you are rebuilding.
The same can be said of fantasy trades.
Every league has trades that the owners not involved are sometimes perturbed about. And obviously there are trades that blatantly bad on all accounts, i.e. a veteran owner taking advantage of someone who is playing for the first time. We saw that this year in an 18-team league I play in.
But most of the time, the value in a trade is going to be different for each owner and when measuring the value, it really needs to be done from each team's perspective.
Last week, in my 10-team keeper league that's in its 16th season, we made a three-team trade. We play with big rosters (30 players) and IDP (individual defensive players) in lieu of team defense. Our starting lineups don't feature flex players but do feature a QB, two RBs, two WRs, a TE, a K, two DLs, two LBs and two DBs. It forces owners to pay more attention to both sides of the ball, not just the flashy touchdown makers. Our top teams get a home field advantage in the playoffs (a point bonus added on before the game) so it's not just about getting there. We also only allow one waiver claim a week.
The three teams involved are in different spots. Ryan's team is leading my division and found himself with a bye week issue at defensive back having picked up someone else with his weekly waiver pickup. I am middling near the bottom of the division, waiting for my team to perform up to expectations on a weekly basis. The last team, Chad, was coming off his first win of the season (and in the league) after inheriting a roster that wasn't exactly what one would call spectacular.
The trade involved 12 players, but the key player was Vincent Jackson, who has been average so far, but clearly has the potential to be more than that. It involved Felix Jones (pre-injury), Jackie Battle, Mario Manningham and a bevy of defensive players. In the end, I got Jackson (a potential keeper) at a position that I don't have a keeper player while giving up a potential keeper in Jones and some of my top defensive players. I was OK with the hits I would take at those positions because I generally excel on that side of the ball.
Ryan ,on the other hand, had to give up some of his better defensive players to get a guy who could start for him this past weekend, and helped him to a victory.
Chad was happy with the trade because he got a potential second keeper at running back (Jones) to go with best player: Matt Forte. He has DeSean Jackson already at WR and two stud TEs that will vie for his fourth keeper spot and maybe another one on defense. He also landed Manningham, who believes (like I do) a slow start is not indicative of the season he'll have. More importantly for him, he gained three starters at four of the positions involved and improved his roster by 23 points overall.
Each of us left please with our end of the deal. Even after Jones got hurt, Chad said Monday he still was pleased with the trade because of Jones long term value and his team got better.
So before you are quick to click that veto button because of where the best player in the deal is going, look at the trade from every team's perspective.
Every trade is in the eye of the beholder.
As for the trades in the NFL this week, we'll take a look at each of them and talk about the fantasy implications.
Let's start where we started the conversation: Palmer.
Palmer is not going to go to Oakland and light the world on fire. He is what he is and that's a 31-year-old quarterback who hasn't faced a real defense in 10 months. He also is four seasons removed since he was a top 10 fantasy quarterback.
However, Palmer is absolutely worth owning and could be worth starting in a few weeks. He should score a bit better than Campbell did but will be missing the rushing element Campbell brought to the table. He has solid weapons at wide receiver and he has something he never had in Cincy: Darren McFadden, the NFL's leading rusher. In Cincy, Palmer was the offense and his running backs from Rudi Johnson to Cedric Benson were there to supplement the attack. In Oakland, the offense revolves around McFadden, who should take some of the pressure off Palmer to start.
While Palmer is not the same player he was in 2007, he is still worth owning. Would I drop Vick or Rivers for him? Absolutely not. But there are plenty of other QBs that I would drop to pick up Palmer.
Speaking of leaders, last year's leading receiver in the NFL, Brandon Lloyd, was traded from Denver to St. Louis, which has struggled keeping wide receivers healthy or finding a No. 1. Enter Lloyd. I was skeptical of Lloyd for a lot of reasons this year. Namely, what he did last year was nearly more than his previous five seasons combined. He also lost the coach, Josh McDaniels, who he gave all the credit to this week. Lloyd had had just one great week and one solid week this season and had not found the end zone in John Fox's ball control offense.
Now he leaves for a team that has McDaniels as its offensive coordinator, needs a No. 1 receiver and he's in the final year of his contract: all ample reasons to own him.
The trade that ended up not being a trade dashed the hopes of some fantasy owners Wednesday. For the second time in as many years, Jerome Harrison was traded from a team he had fallen out of favor with to the Eagles, who dealt Ronnie Brown to the Lions. While it would have had the potential to make Brown worth stashing on your bench, the trade was voided Wednesday evening, as Harrison failed the physical.
That said, neither player is worth owning at this point with their original teams unless you are in really deep leagues.
Aaron Korte is the A-T's fantasy writer. Send your fantasy football questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.