Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

02 Sep 2009

Calvin Johnson, Barber, and Leon Washington for Slaton and Welker

I recently proposed a trade to a guy in my league. Here it is:

I get: Steve Slaton and Wes Welker

He gets: Calvin Johnson, Marion Barber, and Leon Washington

This is a keeper league, there's 14 teams and we start 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 RB/WR, 1 TE, 1 DEF/ST, 1 K and have 18 man rosters. There's two rookie spots that must be filled by rookies. Scoring is standard except for .5 PPR, .15 per completion, 3 bonus points for 100 yards rushing or receiving or 250 yards passing, and 2 more bonus points for 150 yards rushing or receiving or 350 yards passing. Here's my team:

QB: Matt Schaub (2 years)
RB: Marion Barber
RB: Marshawn Lynch (2 years)
WR: Calvin Johnson
WR: Roddy White (3 years)
WR: Reggie Wayne (2 years)
RB/WR: Knowshon Moreno (up to 5 years)
TE: Jason Witten (2 years)
DEF/ST: Patriots
K: Nate Kaeding

Bench: Ben Roethlisberger, Lendale White (2 years), Donald Driver, Jamaal Charles, Leon Washington, Kevin Curtis, Deion Branch, Austin Collie

He hasn't accepted yet but is considering the offer. He also hinted that if I subbed Donald Driver for Leon Washington he might be more likely to accept, does that change anything?

I am not sure if this is a good trade or not though. It would be an easy denial except for the keeper situation I have. Welker has a 3 year contract while everyone else in the trade has a 1 year deal. I can extend one player after the year, so by looking at my roster you can see that player would either be Barber or Calvin, but the other one I would have to let go after this year for no compensation. If I do this trade though I get Welker for 3 years and I can extend Slaton and not worry about losing a top WR, because Welker has a multi-year deal unlike Calvin. Washington is a nice sleeper, but I'm not sure if he changes the trade one way or the other.

Using the Rotoworld rankings Slaton is expected to outscore Barber by 1.5 points per game this year in my league's scoring system. On the other hand, Calvin is expected to be about 3.2 points per game better. So I'd be losing about 2 points per game out of my starting lineup, plus whatever Washington or Driver would have gotten me. It's a fairly significant downgrade for this year.

Now, for the upgrade, the future looks a lot better. Here's what the teams would each look like for the next 4 years:

No trade: Calvin, Barber, Washington
Trade: Slaton, Welker

No trade: Calvin
Trade: Slaton, Welker

No trade: Calvin
Trade: Slaton, Welker

No trade: Calvin
Trade: Slaton

So for this year it looks to be a bit of a downgrade, but for 2010 and 2011 I think I'd much rather have Welker AND Slaton as opposed to just Calvin Johnson. One worry though is that even though the Texans couldn't find that big goalline back to complement Slaton this year, what if they do in the future? Then his value plummets, he's more of a Willie Parker guy.

What do you think, should I try to do this trade?

If I don't, what I'm going to try to do is wait until mid-season and try to trade Barber and Big Ben to a team desperate for QB help for a top RB on a 2 year contract like Gore or Steven Jackson. If I did that I could keep the elite RB and Calvin which would be awesome. But I've been trying all offseason to trade Barber for a 2 year RB and so far no luck so maybe it's a risk to wait and hope that happens? I really don't want to lose either Barber or Calvin for nothing after this year.

So the only thing I'm sure of is that I've put way too much thought into this. But if anyone has any advice on whether I should take this trade or try to wait for a 2 year RB to become available later in the year, I would really appreciate the help

Posted by: Brendan Scolari on 02 Sep 2009

2 replies , Last at 08 Sep 2009, 10:11am by Jimmy

Re: Calvin Johnson, Barber, and Leon Washington for Slaton and W
by doog7642 :: Mon, 09/07/2009 - 12:05am

I can imagine that Calvin has four seasons that rival Moss's equivalent years (2000-2003). Yardage ranges from 1200-1700, TDs range from 7 to 17, catches climb from 77 to 111. Welker's upside (with the benefit of consistency) is probably the low end of any of Megatron's upcoming seasons. So is Slaton a significant enough upgrade from Moreno, Lynch, or Lendale White to cover the difference?

I think I'd stick with Megatron.

Calvin Johnson, Barber, and Leon Washington for Slaton and Wel
by Jimmy :: Tue, 09/08/2009 - 10:11am

Do not trade Megatron. He had a great year last year on a team that couldn't win a game. He might be the best young player in the league. Don't trade him.

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