Agree totally with this idea... (I like the Hawpe example.) As, long as your not talking about just trading away big names for the sake of doing so, but trading away big names that are crapping the proverbial bed and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. That is how I have built my squad over the past 5 years in my league. (And I think I have a bomb squad.) Maybe we could steer this thread in the direction of some of those big names that will not produce like they should, or have in years past, and the smaller name guys who will keep their current pace?!?! For example, Jason Bay? This dude is killing me. While I know he can be streaky this seems to be more than just a streak, I'm beginning to wonder if he'll really break out of this. Or Brendan Harris, or Pedroia for that matter, will they keep their pace? Also, I know there are threads out there for these guys, but just trying to contribute positively back to this thread since I threw in some negativity bustin' on dryice.
Here's 2 reasons why you don't want to trade Bay right now (and I have tried...):
1. He's in a terrible slump and so his value is rock bottom. The only guys worth attempting to trade him for would be other slumping stars such as Andrew Jones. And yes, this is a slump, just a really long one. Bay is one of the streakiest hitters in baseball. It'll kill you if you're not paying attention to it. He'll go 1-20 one week, and 8-20 the next with 6 HRs and 15 RBIs. The kid is crazy.
2. There's still half a season. If you, like me and others, are betting that Bay comes back to form in the second half - he's never hit less than .282 in a full season - then you need to wait it out at least until he has a hot streak and tears it up for a couple days. You'll note that his power is still there, it's merely his AVG which has taken a drop this season (and SBs of course, but we all knew that was going to happen). He'll get his stroke back and you'll be happy he's on your team when he does.
Pedroia? No thanks. Yes 2B is very, very, very shallow this year. But I wouldn't be going out and actively trading for a 2B who hits for AVG and little else... there are plenty of other 2B who you could set your eyes on who contribute in more than 1 category. Get over the fact that he's a Red Sock - he's not fantasy gold.
Harris? Yes please. If you need a SS for some odd reason, then trade for this kid. Like Pedroia he smacks the ball all around the field, but unlike Pedroia he hits it out of the park sometimes. Yay.... Would I trade Bay, or Jones, for these 2? No, mainly because I think Pedroia's garbage, but Harris has potential and current production - I like him.
Come to think of it though, if you're in a 12-team league both these guys will probably be on your WW along with the like of Theriot, Alex Gonzalez, Bartlett, Betancourt, Loretta, etc... There's plenty of bottom tier Mid-IFs available in most leagues, just a matter of getting the right ones (Harris, Bartlett).