On Wednesday, Nov. 19, at noon ET, the trade deadline for ESPN standard leagues will pass. Some leagues have custom trade deadlines, of course, but for many millions playing on ESPN.com, that'll be the day. We are even doing a two-hour trade deadline edition of "Fantasy Football Now" that morning from 10 a.m. to noon ET on ESPN2. Which is great and the threat of a deadline is always great for pushing through trades, but often times trades take more time and negotiation. In addition, we have six teams on bye this week: a crucial week for many teams trying to make a playoff push.
I was thinking about this (no, really) the other night while flipping through the channels (maybe) when I came across the old teen movie "10 Things I Hate About You." (Just go with me here.) Released in 1999, it starred Julia Stiles (seriously; she was a star back then) and was a (semi-) clever teenage adaptation of the Shakespeare play "The Taming of the Shrew." Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt also were in the movie and in a fact that is interesting only to me, it opened the same weekend as "The Matrix," one of the great films of all time.
I bring this all up not because of any word-count issues (probably) but because the title of the movie inspired me. Based on a poem Julia Stiles' character writes, it's about Heath Ledger's character. She was an angry young woman in high school talking about her romance but if she played fantasy football, it's clear that she would have written this list instead. So here, now, are ...
10 Things I Hate About (Trading With) You
I hate it when you make a formal trade offer out of the blue
Every trade negotiation starts somewhere, of course, I'm talking about the unexpected email from ESPN Fantasy Sports that reads "You've received a trade offer from Bob's TD Machine" and it has the offer with no note or explanation. I bet the turn-down rate for those things is 99 percent. Talk to me first to see if I am even interested in trading, what I might be looking for, whom on your team I might be interested in, and so forth. Trade offers out of the blue with no context just clutter my inbox. Stop it.
I hate it when you ignore my polite trade inquiry
You don't have to make a trade if you don't want to, obviously, but if I send an email or text asking if you're open to trading or expressing interest in one of your players, a simple response is not only appreciated, it's expected. Are you in this league or not? Then act like it. Because normal people respond to reasonable questions. A simple "No, thanks" is all that's required. But it is required.
I hate it when you badger and pester me to death
If I do say "No, thanks," you are allowed one more follow-up. "Well, is there anything else you'd consider? Is there something else I could put together or can we discuss further?" is a reasonable response. But if the answer is still no, then it's no. Move along. Desperation is never pretty, be it at a job, in romance or, especially, in fantasy football.
I hate it when you think I don't watch football
No, dude, I don't want to trade Giovani Bernard for Matt Asiata. I realize one has been hurt for a few weeks and one is coming off a three-touchdown game, but Asiata is a fluke who may very well lose his job soon and Bernard will regain his role as a top-10 back as soon as he is healthy, likely in Week 11. Stop trying to completely rip me off. If you wouldn't do the trade in reverse, don't offer it. You'd be insulted if I offered it to you, so why are you offering it to me? Just stop.
I hate it when you don't even consider my team needs
Even if it's a fair offer, does it help me? Offering me DeSean Jackson does me no good if I already have Antonio Brown, Jeremy Maclin and Kelvin Benjamin. Stop thinking just of yourself. What's in this for me? And if you don't know what I want or need, why don't you ask me? It's a mistake men often make with women in romantic situations. Yes, dude, we know what you want. Have you considered what's in it for her? This is a two-way street. So find out what would motivate me to do the deal instead of just focusing on you. Because I don't care about you, I care about me.
I hate it when you tell me someone is untradable
It's like the old joke.
Man 1: Would you eat this bug if I gave you a dollar?
Man 2: What? I don't eat bugs. That's disgusting.
Man 1: What if I offered you 10 million dollars?
Man 2: OK, well, yes, if you gave me 10 million dollars I'd eat this bug
Man 1: OK, would you eat it for two dollars then?
Man 2: I told you, that's gross, I'm not doing it.
Man 1: I believe we've established that you would. Now we're just negotiating.
The response to a trade inquiry should never be "He's untradable." You can say he's very valuable and it would take a king's ransom to get him, you can say he's your favorite guy or your best player and you're not looking to move him unless you are completely blown away, but saying someone is untradable shows you just don't understand player evaluation and fantasy football strategy. At some point, there's a price that makes sense for every player.
I hate it when your word means nothing
If you and I talk offline and agree to a deal, it's a deal. Putting it through the league manager product online is just the "paperwork." It's a done deal. No going back because "you had second thoughts" or "you got a better offer." Don't be a weasel. My late, great Uncle Lester used to say "a handshake is good enough for me, because a man's word ought to mean something." Oftentimes, your word is all you have. So if you say done deal, it needs to be a done deal. Or we're done.
I hate it when you forget this is supposed to be fun
We all want to win, sure, but ultimately, this is a hobby we do for enjoyment. Be a reasonable human being. If a trade is offered when two players are healthy, and then news comes out that the player has gotten hurt, don't rush to accept the deal before the other guy can rescind it. You know that's not a deal the other guy would have done. Don't lie about a player's status. Conversely, going back to No. 7, if we agree to a deal handshake-wise (not a trade offer, an actual agreed-upon trade) and then a player gets hurt or demoted ... them's the breaks. Not going through with the deal is also a weasel move. Again, your word should mean something. You had a deal. You have to follow through on it. And a good commish would make sure that happens.
Speaking of the commish, you need to put through trades quickly. Even if there is a two-day waiting period, thanks to Thursday games, the weeks are shorter than ever. Put through trades quickly so everyone can have the players they want when they need them.
And finally, be very clear in all negotiations. If you're offering a player to multiple teams, tell me. If you're not sure that you'd definitely do a deal you're offering, say so. Without clarity, things get hazy and when things are hazy, that's when things get misunderstood, and when things get misunderstood, that's when they become no fun. We do this for fun.
I hate it when you use the words 'trade rape'
It's an ugly expression, it describes a horrific act and people who use the phrase cavalierly or in reference to fantasy football have clearly never had that happen to them or someone they care about. It's a phrase that gets thrown around far too much in the fantasy sports sphere and it needs to stop. Stop and think about what you are saying and what that actually means. Then find a new way to say someone got the better part of a deal.
I hate it when you veto a trade
I've written about this before but it's among the subjects I feel the most passionate about. No trade should ever be vetoed; only in cases when there is clear and provable collusion between two owners should a trade be overturned. Otherwise, a trade must stand. Always. No matter what.
Part of the fun of fantasy football is that we all have different opinions on players. And no one can predict the future. A Week 1 deal of Calvin Johnson for Jeremy Maclin would have been laughed at, but in Week 10, the Maclin owner is loving life and the Calvin owner is hoping it's not too late to salvage something. So something that seems lopsided to you might not be lopsided in the future. Or seem lopsided to someone else.
It's not your job to manage someone else's team. Everyone should be allowed to manage their own team, even if it's badly. You don't think he got nearly enough for his star quarterback? So what? Not your team, not your quarterback. Again: The person dealing him thought he got a good deal, that's all that matters. Everyone should be allowed to manage their own teams however they see fit. Even if it's not in a way you agree with.
The art of negotiation is a skill. It's part of fantasy football, just like drafting, waiver wire pickups, making starting lineup decisions. It's a skill and part of what you need to be a successful owner. And it should be rewarded, not punished or neutralized.
There's a special level of hell reserved for the people who veto just because it's a deal that didn't involve them or because "it's part of their strategy." That's not strategy, it's being a jerk. Win on the virtual field, not in some technocratic loophole.
Keep this advice in mind as you try to make your roster whole for Week 10, try to put together a team for the stretch run and as we approach the deadline. Because if you don't do any of those 10 things, you and I can be trade partners.
Let's get to it. As always, a reminder that this is not a start/sit column, but rather about players I feel will do better or worse than is usually expected of them. Because my ranks now come out on Tuesdays, before any of the other ESPN rankers, I base it off my sense of the fantasy community in general rather than what our projections or the other rankers rank a player. For specific start-this-guy-or-that-guy questions, please consult my rankings.
There are more than 10 things I love about Zach Rodgers of ESPN Stats & Information, but his help with this column is certainly right up there.
Quarterbacks I love in Week 10
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh: I think the man has made his point, don't you? In case you want a stat besides the obvious, Ben leads all quarterbacks with 11 deep touchdowns (15-plus yards) this season. The Jets are tied for the second-most deep touchdowns allowed this season.
Carson Palmer, Arizona: I keep writing about him, you keep ignoring. I hate that about you. Still available in 45 percent of ESPN.com leagues (and that's a legit number, too. We recently refined our ownership percentages to reflect only active teams), the man they call Carson has at least 16 points in every game he's played this year. On a points per game basis, only Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Big Ben and Russell Wilson are better than him. But whatever. Keep trotting out Tony Romo. Smart owners realize this guy isn't a fluke and will continue his streak of at least 249 yards and two touchdowns in every game he's played against a Rams team that is allowing opponents to complete 70 percent of passes this season, the highest rate in the league.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta: You may have seen Matt on such lists as "Quarterbacks I hate in Week 7," "Quarterbacks I hate in Week 2," and "When two first names is not a crowd-pleaser." But what do you know; here's Matt Ryan, on the road and yet ... on the love list! The offensive line issues still exist, you just won't notice them against the Bucs, who are last in the NFL in sacks. Off the bye with a clean pocket, expect Ryan to find Julio Jones and Roddy White all day long, as only the Jets have allowed more passing touchdowns than the Buccaneers this season.
Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia: Really? Really. Looked great in the preseason, a good fit for Chip Kelly's offense and now it's his gig. Our NFL Insider and former NFL front-office man Louis Riddick and I discussed his season-long prospects in more detail in my Insider column this week, but for this week, you should know that the Sanchize completed 81 percent of his passes last week when not under pressure. Philly's offensive line gets Evan Mathis back (and Jason Kelce came back last week), which should help keep Sanchez upright against a Panthers squad that is just 26th in the league in pressuring the quarterback.
If you're desperate: Joe Flacco has thrown the second-most deep touchdowns this season and that's an area where the Titans really struggle. ... Bad Andy Dalton usually shows up in prime-time games, but Good Andy tends to appear at home. He has thrown three touchdowns in three of his past four games against the Browns and, with A.J. Green back and the non-Joe Haden part of Cleveland's secondary playing poorly, I like Good Andy to show up Thursday night. ... If you don't want to take Michael Vick advice from me I totally get it, but there's gonna be points scored in this game and I thought Vick looked passable, pardon the pun, on the road at K.C. Plus, the Steelers will be without safety Troy Polamalu Sunday. Small sample size and all, but last week, the Steelers limited Flacco to a completion percentage of 56 percent with Polamalu, but after he left that jumped to 72 percent.
Quarterbacks I hate in Week 10
Cam Newton, Carolina: You can't throw from your back. No, honest. Completing only 27 percent of his passes under pressure this season, Cam is ahead of only Geno Smith among qualified quarterbacks. I don't care what the category is, when the only guy worse than you at something is Geno Smith, there's trouble in River City. I just don't see Cam overcoming his offensive lines woes, especially on the road at Philly on Monday night. Worth noting the Eagles pressure the opposing quarterback on 34 percent of their dropbacks, the highest rate in the NFL.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami: Been hot for a bit but in his three true road games this season (not counting the London game), Tannehill has averaged only 238 passing yards and 1.3 passing touchdowns per game. Heading to Detroit, where the Lions are off the bye with two weeks to prepare, doesn't fill me with a ton of confidence. No team has allowed fewer passing touchdowns that the Detroit Lions. No thanks.
Eli Manning, New York: Given the struggles of the run game, the fact that Seattle is no longer "SEATTLE" and his junk-time scoring propensity, there might a notion to start Eli this week if you're a Luck, Brady or Rivers owner looking for a bye week fill-in. I'm looking elsewhere. Seattle is giving up just 14 points a game to opposing quarterbacks at home this year and they've held opposing QBs to less than 250 passing yards in four straight games.
Running backs I love in Week 10
Andre Ellington, Arizona: Bwahahahahahaha. Sorry. Just remembering earlier this year, when there were reports that they'd be limiting his workload. Since Arizona's bye in Week 4, the only back with more carries than Ellington is DeMarco Murray. An obvious name, but wanted to bring him because he's been a top-five fantasy running back over that span and I feel as if people think he's a RB2. Averaging over 15.8 fantasy points per game the past five (fifth most among running backs) and just eight targets fewer than team leader Larry Fitzgerald, Andre is worth the price in daily games against a Rams team that is 29th against the run and giving up the second-most rushing yards after contact in the league.
Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati: As a bitter Giovani Bernard owner who got snaked out of Jeremy Hill and couldn't trade for him all year long, I can assure he will go off against the Browns. After averaging over 6 yards a carry last week, Hill now faces a Browns team allowing the fourth-most yards per carry this season.
Denard Robinson, Jacksonville: What's most surprising? That since taking over as the lead back in Week 7, Robinson has totaled more than 100 yards each week, that his 5.8 yards per carry during that span is second among all qualified running backs, or that it took Jacksonville this long to give him a shot? It's not as though he was behind Jamaal Charles, you know? By the way, the Cowboys have coughed up 17 fantasy points per game to lead running backs the past two weeks. Don't feel he goes nuts but do feel he'll be a solid top-20 play this week.
Bobby Rainey: In every game Rainey has gotten double-digit carries this season, he's totaled 100-plus yards from scrimmage. Want a stat about how bad Atlanta is? They've allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Want another stat? Atlanta also has allowed the second-most receiving yards to opposing running backs this season. He had 105 total yards the last time he faced Atlanta and I don't expect him to cough it up twice this time.
If you're desperate: Steven Jackson saw a season-high 18 carries in the Falcons' last game, is rested off the bye, scored the last time he played Tampa and, among all the other places the Bucs struggle, they are tied for the second-highest yards after contact per rush in the league. I like Jackson's chances at getting some runs from in close. ... Without Polamalu, the Steelers are giving up 2.4 yards after contact per rush, worst average in the league. Always a tough tackle, Chris Ivory should get more work and be successful as they try to keep Big Ben on the sideline. ... Always risky starting a rookie we haven't seen before, but with six teams on bye, I do expect Charles Sims to get some run against Atlanta and everything I wrote about them in the Rainey item holds true here. He's a high-risk, decent-reward flex play.
Running backs I hate in Week 10
Anthony Dixon, Buffalo: Bad matchup as the Chiefs have yet to give up a rushing touchdown this year (the only team in the NFL that can say that), the Bills haven't run that well to begin with (only 2.2 yards before contact per rush, 27th in the league this season) and there's a decent chance Fred Jackson is back this week.
Mark Ingram, New Orleans: Now, given six teams on a bye, I can't imagine you have better options, so you're probably starting him. But I'm avoiding in daily leagues or Gridiron Challenge. First because I am assuming that Khiry Robinson is back. If he's out again, ignore all this. But given an expected reduced workload and a matchup with a 49ers squad allowing the second-fewest rushing yards after contact this season, he's outside my top 15, which is nuts considering what he's done the past two weeks.
Ben Tate and Terrance West, Cleveland: Let's start with Tate, whose carries have decreased each of the past three weeks, along with his yards per carry average in each of those games. In fact, over the past three weeks, Tate's 1.6 yards per carry is last in the league. Now West got in the end zone last week, but he averaged just 3.2 yards per carry in a great matchup with Tampa. It's clear they are not the same team without Alex Mack and given the time-share nature here, I'd have no confidence in starting either guy.
Bishop Sankey, Tennessee: Wake me up when he does something. Guessing I will get to sleep in this week, as the Ravens give up the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.
Andre Williams, New York Giants: Officially my least favorite Andre. I mean, seriously. He's been terrible. And I'm being kind. He's averaging just 3.0 yards per carry this season, which is 51st among 53 qualified running backs. And it's trending in the wrong direction, as his yards per carry have dropped each of the past two weeks. It'll continue in that direction after facing a Seattle squad giving up the fewest yards per carry this season.
Frank Gore, San Francisco: Once. Frank Gore has received 20 carries once this season. So before you ask me why I hate Gore every week, ask the 49ers why they hate him. He has one, count 'em, one red zone carry in the past five weeks. Meanwhile, in the most shocking stat of the week department, New Orleans has allowed the fewest rushing yards in the league at home this season. Bleah.
Wide receivers I love in Week 10
Julio Jones and Roddy White, Atlanta: See Ryan, Matt.
Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina: Say what you want about Cam, it's clear he's all about the Benjamin. Antonio Brown, Andre Johnson, T.Y. Hilton and Dez Bryant are the only other wideouts besides Kelvin with at least six targets in nine games this season. You get that many looks against a team with an overmatched secondary that gives up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Cam can't possibly be as inaccurate as he was last week, right?! Right? I'm pretty sure that's right. Yes. Definitely. Probably. Maybe.
Eric Decker and Percy Harvin, New York Jets: Harvin is crushing the short stuff (10 of his 11 receptions last week were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage) and that's where Pittsburgh struggles. Opponents have completed 69 percent of their short passes (and scored three times) the past three weeks. Meanwhile, Vick loves him some Decker, getting him 11 targets last week (a season high). As I said in the paragraphs about Ben and Vick, I expect this to be a high-scoring game. Steelers have given up four deep touchdowns passes in just the past two weeks, second most in the league.
If you're desperate: Torrey Smith, always a deep threat, gets a Titans team coughing up the fifth-most deep receptions on Sunday. ... Speaking of deep passes and the Ravens-Titans game, Justin Hunter saw 10 targets, (including his second touchdown of the year) with Zach Mettenberger under center in the last game and as you may have seen, the Ravens' secondary is banged up and exploitable. ... Martavis Bryant is scoring at a very unsustainable rate based on targets and snaps, but against the Jets in a week with six teams on a bye, you're rolling with him again.
Wide receivers I hate in Week 10
Michael Floyd, Arizona: While Carson Palmer has been on fire, Michael Floyd has been cold. (How cold? Ice cold!) Since the bye, he hasn't gotten 50 yards or five receptions in a game. You may not have noticed because he did score twice in that stretch, but until we see some more consistent production, I don't trust him in my lineup.
Rueben Randle, New York Giants: This one kills me because he should be good. I keep talking this guy up: The number of targets he's getting both in and out of the red zone should translate into production, but poor play, missed passes and bad luck have combined to make him among the most frustrating players to own this year. Dude is averaging 10 targets a game and catching only 50 percent of them. I mean, come on. Where's my Bitter Berry? Even if he doesn't get a lot of Richard Sherman (I'm expecting Sherman to mostly be on Beckham), I still have no confidence in him on the road at Seattle.
Marques Colston, New Orleans: Five. Dude has been targeted five times in the red zone this year. Five. Brees spreads it around too much, they run more than you think, don't love the matchup and Graham is back to being healthy. Nope.
Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay: Twenty-nine yards a game and no touchdowns with Josh McCown as his quarterback this year. Tasty matchup, but one he did nothing (two catches for 15 yards) with it the last time he played the Falcons (he had a junk-time score with Glennon late in the game) ... If you own Vincent Jackson, you are not a Josh McCown fan.
Tight ends I love in Week 10
Larry Donnell, New York Giants: Fifth among tight ends in red zone receptions, the one place you can have success against the Seahawks is with the tight end. Seattle has given up 10 touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season, second most in the league. Don't be scared of Seattle in this matchup, Donnell should be a solid daily game play as well.
Owen Daniels, Baltimore: At least five for 50 in three of his past four, the tight end continues to be a big part of Gary Kubiak's offense. Facing a Titans defense that gives up the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, Daniels is a legit bye week fill-in.
If you're desperate: I expect a lot of junk-time scoring for Oakland, which should include Mychal Rivera. Fifteen receptions for 121 yards and two scores the past two weeks, only one team has allowed more receptions to opposing tight ends since the Broncos' bye five games ago. ... I know, Jared Cook hasn't done anything but he is getting a lot of looks (leads the Rams in targets) and Arizona struggles against tight ends (third-most receptions allowed).
Tight ends I hate in Week 10
Vernon Davis, San Francisco: He needs to score to have value and the dude hasn't had a red zone target since Week 1. Odds of him scoring this week with that kind of usage are fairly long, especially as the Saints have permitted just one touchdown to an opposing tight end this year.
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia: Just not a huge part of the offense these days (season lows in targets, receptions and yards last week), Brent Celek played almost three times as many snaps as Ertz against the Texans. Panthers have allowed only one touchdown to a tight end not named Jimmy Graham.
Defenses I love in Week 10
Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys are one of only five teams to play nine games and not suffer a negative fantasy-point game in ESPN standard scoring this season. And, you know, Jaguars.
Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs record a sack on 9 percent of opponents' dropbacks this season, the second-highest rate in the league. Kyle Orton has attempted at least 38 passes in three of four games this year ... and it's not as if he doesn't throw picks.
If you're desperate: The Panthers might be starting me on their offensive line come Monday. I like the Eagles (who pressure the QB on dropbacks at the highest rate in the league) at home in a national game. ... Over the past five weeks, Pittsburgh actually ranks fourth in fantasy points, scoring at least six points in four of those five games. Meanwhile, even though I think Vick does decently here, it's not as though I think he'll be mistake-free. ... If you're truly desperate, I do think the Falcons could be OK off the bye and facing Josh McCown. Remember, they scored 26 the last time they faced the Bucs.
Defenses I hate in Week 10
San Francisco 49ers: On the road against the Saints is not a recipe for fantasy success. New Orleans has limited opposing fantasy defenses to a single point in three home games this season. Seriously, that's the total they've allowed. One point.
Buffalo Bills: Benefitting from an easy schedule (they've faced only one opponent in the top 10 in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing defenses and that was New England, where they scored a minus-2), I don't see a lot of success against a Chiefs team that doesn't turn the ball over and plays conservative, ball-control offense.
Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- thinks every Shakespeare play should be turned into a teen romantic comedy. Berry is the creator of RotoPass.com, a website that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. You also may have heard: He has written a book.