Monday, August 10, 2009

Dealing With Rookie Contract Situations and Picking Targets

What to do about Michael Crabtree?

Im sure it's a question the niners ask themselves with each practice, wondering what they are going to do with the absence of their top draft pick. Most of us have come to the understanding that he wont be sitting out the season and re-entering the draft, but he is going to hold out possibly into the season. That is bad karma for him, and even worse for the collectors that want him as their target player for 2009. The question for collectors is what to do with players like him during and after their seemingly endless holdouts.

If you are a Michael Crabtree collector, I think you are echoing the sentiment that your road for this year is going to be a long one. You probably have already picked up quite a few of his cards, and most likely those cards have already dropped in value. We know that the longer the holdout happens, the more his cards will drop, but could that actually be a good thing? Personally, I am not going to go out of my way to pick up more Crabtree stuff, but if he was my guy, I might actually consider picking up a few things once the holdout reaches the third week of pre-season. If it reaches the third week, that is. Crabtree has freakish talent and should be a good receiver, when he plays. Fickle collectors may give up on him as the media demonizes his attitude, but his talent should be enough to keep you on the bandwagon.

For the rest of us, its going to be a pretty tough sell to get us to buy some Crabtree stuff, which means that you need to hold if you pull anything. Its always been buy low, sell high, and right now is not the time to sell anything of Crabtree. I would say, if you are in the market to sell some of the Crabtree stuff, wait until the first big game he has, even if it is next year. He will have a big game, don’t doubt that, but with his spot on the team in flux, his playing time is dropping by the moment. He will need to prove his worth, even if he gets the contract he is looking for, so wait.

I would focus on people like Moreno and Donald Brown, who should have pretty good outcomes in their current situation. Even people like Shonn Greene and LeSean McCoy would be good at their prices right now because of their second tier values and first tier potential. Maclin and Harvin also seem to be good bets in Minnesota and Philly, as their parts of the offense should be bigger than most of the other receivers.

I guess the best way to approach things at this moment would be from a team collector's standpoint right now, while watching how the depth chart pans out for any other possible targets. That way, if you end up with a bunch of stuff from the team you collect, its okay if that player is third string for the first year.

See, prospecting and football don’t mix all that well, especially with many of the first round guys making all their value in the first season they play. That’s why its good to develop a collection target later, once you know a little bit more about the role a certain rookie will play. Then, you can pick someone who may not turn out to be the next Mike Williams or Troy Williamson.

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