Engel's Mailbag: Trade and Lineup Advice

James (Fort Walton Beach, Fla..): I need your opinion on a trade. Owners in my league are in an uproar over a Derek Anderson for Frank Gore deal. Some say it's unbalanced because they believe that Anderson (undrafted) can't keep his pace up and Gore (picked fourth overall) will pick up his performances soon. Do you factor in draft rankings, actual performance, or future performance in a trade?

Engel: Draft day rankings no longer matter, and if you can turn your thoughts back to last week, Eric Karabell made some great points regarding that very view in his blog on Oct. 11. In extreme examples, players like Adrian Peterson and Lee Evans can no longer be judged on draft day value. If we were drafting today,

Shaun Alexander certainly would not be a first-round pick. Performance to this point weighs heavily, though, as we have had six weeks to see what these guys are truly capable of. Anderson has far exceeded expectations, and it's time to stop doubting him. Gore has been a disappointment, but unlike Anderson, he still has a good shot of reversing his trend to this point. This deal is not as outrageous as it seems because we are no longer in August. I still do believe Gore can be a top fantasy running back, but that's not really the question here. If you're asking me which player I think is more valuable, it's Gore. But if you ask me if I could see a scenario where a team would be better off with Anderson at quarterback and its best rusher off the bench instead of Gore at running back, yes, I could, and I imagine that Gore's owner isn't doing this deal simply because he believes Anderson is the better player. So, to me, this deal is not clearly overturnable. Unbalanced, yes, but not overturnable, especially if the owner who acquired Anderson truly believes he filled an important need and that this deal was the best he could get. It can be hard to find a match in fantasy football. On that assumption, who are we to stop a player from improving his team if that is what he truly believes he is doing? I don't think this trade should be overturned unless you can prove that it is being done underhandedly.