If you’re an Adam Thielen owner being inundated with trade offers, listen to Jimmy Dugan.
“It’s supposed to be hard,” Tom Hanks says in “A League of Their Own” as Dugan. “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.”
His advice is aimed at the competitor’s offer – Thielen’s on a roll and won’t be given up easily – and you as the Thielen owner, who is also likely a Vikings fan.
When those trade offers come in, don’t automatically disregard them. Study up. And somehow, someway, find a way to view them as a non-Vikings fan. It's not always easy to trade away a guy doing well from your favorite team.
Don’t be afraid to initiate trade talks involving Thielen, either, because you just might find a diamond in the rough, like Thielen.
The former Minnesota State, Mankato player has vaulted himself into the discussion as the NFL’s best wide receiver.
“The caption on his career keeps changing,” Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan wrote after the Vikings defeated the Rams. “Division II college athlete. Undrafted long shot at a tryout camp. Special teams contributor. Extra receiver. Starting receiver. Star receiver.”
And don’t just take his word for it.
According to Fanatics, a retailer that operates NFLshop.com, his jersey jumped to No. 8 in sales before his Week 11 performance that included six catches for 123 yards and a 65-yard touchdown. The day of that performance, Fanatics said his jersey reached No. 4 – representing a 300-percent increase week to week.
“Thielen has 916 yards through 10 games of the season,” the Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling wrote Monday. “That’s the third-most in franchise history through 10 games, behind only [Randy] Moss’ totals in 2000 and 2003.”
The only NFL receiver with more receiving yards this season: Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown (1,026), who has become a fixture in the first round on fantasy draft day.
The only receivers who top his 62 receptions: Brown, Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald (who’s headed for the Hall of Fame), New Orleans’ Michael Thomas (who was a borderline fantasy first-round pick) and Miami’s Jarvis Landry (who’s a PPR machine).
“Defenses are not treating him like a star, though” Andrew Krammer declared in the Access Vikings podcast, “which is why he keeps scoring and why he keeps getting these gigantic chunks – these 38-yard corner routes.”
He’s on a three-touchdown streak, representing his output in that category for 2017. It’s just about the only knock against him.
That all adds up to a player who should be in high demand on the trade block – if your league’s deadline hasn’t passed yet.
FantasyPros pegs him as the No. 9 wide receiver the rest of the way, so that doesn’t mean Thielen should be given away.
But if your team has stability and depth at wide receiver (or if you receive a startable one as part of a Thielen trade), Thielen could be a great chip to help improve the shortcoming(s) in your starting lineup.
Now is the time to listen and explore, before your deadline slams the door in your face.
Want to talk more fantasy football? E-mail Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org or heckle him on Twitter @mike_e_nelson.