Even more than baseball, football players are prone to major value changes season-to-season. I advise severe caution when trading before the year starts. After the top 20-30 players overall (perhaps 10 RB, 10-15 WR and 5 QB) we don’t know what players will do. Once you get into #2 WR and backup RB, as well as MOST QB, we just have no idea.
This doesn’t mean to avoid trade DISCUSSIONS! You never know what someone thinks, and you might end up with a deal you cannot turn down. But I had to turn down an offer involving my Mario Manningham and his Legarrette Blount. He wanted me to add Brandon Jacobs. My RB2 is Fred Jackson and my RB/WR is Malcom Floyd. Presumably, in that deal, Floyd would fill Manningham’s WR spot and Blount would be the RB2, moving Jackson to flex. However, we have yet to see Manningham in a Steve Smith-less Giants offense. Blount has all of one half season as a starter, and Jacobs could very well end up with almost half the Giants carries, as well as most of the goal line work. Also, we don’t know if Vincent Jackson can stay on the field or if Floyd will again become the Chargers top receiving target.
You see where I’m going here? Too many unknown values. Now, the season is shorter than baseball, so you can’t wait as long on people. While I try to give baseball players four to five weeks, I usually start dealing after week two of the NFL season. Now, if a no-doubt deal comes along, obviously still take it. But the only deals I’m making right now are ones I feel make my team significantly better with limited risk.
I don’t have any starters that I’d hate to start week one. If I could get an absolute upgrade at RB without giving up one of my high-upside receivers, I would do it. But Jackson is constantly underrated, so I’m fine rolling with him to see how many carries Buffalo gets him. I also drafted CJ Spiller in case the Bills decide to move into the future, and get their home run threat the ball as often as possible. Spiller is certainly a sleeper in a deeper format because there are ALWAYS two or three backs that we didn’t know were on the radar and come out week one with a serious role in their offense.
To end today, everyone loves sleepers. A few guys who I have growing interest in as cheap (or undrafted) wide receivers. Jacoby Ford, Jacoby Jones, and Anthony Armstrong. Jones has long been a receiving sleeper behind Andre Johnson in Houston. He has the tools to be very good. He is almost completely unowned. Ford had some impressive spurts for Oakland. And Armstrong is a talented receiver stuck in Washington, but Santana Moss can’t be the guy there forever. Armstrong could end up the Redskins #2 receiver, but numbers closely matching their top target.