How do you know when to buy low or sell high? The answer is subjective depending on who you ask, but generally the concept is universal and easy to grasp. Think about it, stock investors analyze prices and trends with the hopes of making a profit from their predictions. Pawn shops have mastered their trade by only buying low and always selling high regardless of the item; 10,000+ fantasy football managers tried doing it last year by drafting Ben Tate with the hope that Foster's pre-season hammy injury would linger all year.
In fantasy football, buying low is more common b/c the probability for injury is greater; I have better odds grabbing a free agent back-up and stashing him than predicting when my top scorer will go down and selling him the week before. Now the NFL operates under these same principles (except with higher costs and more on the line), which is why it is rare to see players traded like Pogs. In a league where playing it safe doesn't guarantee longevity, I'm surprised more NFL General Managers don't take greater risks. So take this as a word of advice Reggie McKenzie, trade Darren McFadden .
Top 5 reasons for Oakland to sell McFadden high:
1.) Run DMC began the 2011 season on fire!! During his first six games, he ran for 610 yds. and 4 TDs; he also snagged 18 catches for 151 and 1 TD. If it wasn't for his Week 7 injury vs. KC, he was on pace for 1626 yds and 10 TDs on the ground and 48 receptions, 402 yds and 3 TDs through the air. The rushing yards alone would have made him the league's top rusher over MJD, plus he would've finished the regular season in the Top 10 for rushing TDs, receiving TDs and receptions for a RB. Unfortunately none of this came to fruition because of McFadden's foot fracture, but all it takes is one team to let their imagination run wild with his potential.
2.) McFadden has always been an injury risk and his potential for future injuries is why Reggie should pawn him off to another team. It was the second game during his 2008 rookie season where he hurt his big toe that cost him 3 games; 2009 was no different with numerous injuries that saw him on the field for only 12 games. 2010 became McFadden's coming out party where he really showed his power and speed; it was Week 7 where he scored a total of 4 TDs on 196 total yds, but this came after sitting on the bench for two weeks with a hamstring injury. 2011 rolls around and he gets all the way to Week 7 before hurting his foot and sitting out the remainder of the season. McFadden's big play ability comes at the expense of his durability, which means having a talented deep bench could get expensive…
3.) The Raiders have a talented deep bench and could live another day without McFadden. Michael Bush played every game in 2011 and was eventually given the starting nod after McFadden hit the stationary bike. Surprisingly, Bush looked just as good and performed like a man on the cusp of free agency. He finished the season with 977 rushing yds, 418 receiving yds, 37 receptions and a combined 10 TDs. In fantasy terms this was better than Frank Gore, Beanie Wells, Shone Greene, Rashard Mendenhall, Ahmad Bradshaw and Cedric Benson (who by the way are all #1 RBs on their respected teams). In terms of durability, Bush has only missed 3 games since 2008. Beyond Bush, Oakland also has Taiwan Jones (3,858 all purpose yds during his last 2 years at Eastern Washington) and seasoned veteran Rock Cartwright. It is hard to imagine that Dennis Allen will lose much steam, if any, with McFadden being sent somewhere else.
4.) As the 2012 Draft approaches, Oakland might as well save the money on air fare and just mail it in b/c their first selection doesn't come until the 141st pick. Yeah that's not a typo, Oakland fans can tune in to ESPN 8 "The Ocho" to hear "With the 13th pick in the 5th round, the Oakland Raider choose….who cares". The legacy of Al Davis has left them forfeiting their 1st round pick to the Bengals for Carson Palmer, their 2nd round pick to New England for extra draft picks last year, a lost 3rd rounder for acquiring Terrelle Pryor in the supplemental draft, a 4th round pick to Washington for Jason Campbell and their 7th round selection to Seattle for Aaron Curry. Granted, Oakland will still get some compensatory picks for losing Gallery, Miller and Asomugha last year, but still are walking away with little to brag about (especially that the loss of three rounds all involving injury risk QBs). A McFadden trade could definitely help Oakland regain some primetime coverage come April.
5.) Finally, there is not a better time for Reggie McKenzie to make a move like this. He's brand new to an organization that needs an overhaul more desperate than Jay Cutler's personality. Since Reggie's appointment, his first big move was releasing Standford Routt. His reasoning wasn't based on performance, but the fact that Routt was poised to make $5M in 2012 -- which didn't make sense to him. I think Reggie will bring a sense of normalcy to an organization that has been giving ridiculous contracts to players for years; Curry is due $5M in 2012, Michael Huff is due $8M and Carson Palmer is cashing a $12.5M check in 2012. While he cleans up the financial side, he still needs to wait another year or possibly two (if Oakland wins the AFC West in 2012, the 2nd round pick that Cincinnati got turns to a 1st round pick) to erase the years of bad early round draft choices. He could avoid this scenario by trading DMC for some draft currency.
McFadden is set to make $11.5 in the next two years before he's a free agent, but like any true opportunity what will the Raiders lose by not using that money somewhere else on players that are more durable and consistent? One more costly injury and McFadden will be worth his weight in ace bandages and icy hot, which is why this is the right time for Oakland to sell high on McFadden.