I should’ve known better.
Week 1 is always a disaster. I’m talkin’ the parking lot of a Jason Aldean or Luke Bryan concert in Pittsburgh kind of a disaster. Whether you’re making straight picks in an office pool or playing fantasy football, Week 1 is ridiculously unpredictable. Who honestly thought the Patriots would lose to the Dolphins, the Bills would beat the Bears, the Panthers without their All-Pro QB would beat the Buccaneers or the Titans would wallop the Chiefs? Not this guy. And if you did, hit the sports book in Vegas harder than the guys from Florida Georgia Line hit an open bar at a good buddy’s wedding.
Who also thought Jamaal Charles, Frank Gore, Jason Witten and Vincent Jackson would COMBINE for 15 points last week (they were projected to combine for 46 points)? Again, not this guy. And it was their lack of production that doomed my Takin’ Bills team (projected to get 105 points… ended up with 82 points). These four players weren’t the only players in the NFL to under-perform in Week 1. Aaron Rogers, Zac Stacy, Robert Griffin III, Dez Bryant, Larry Fitzgerald were among a handful of players who were bigger flops than Jerrod Niemann’s “Donkey.” In-game injuries are also a common contributor to a lackluster week. Last week saw Eddie Lacy, Toby Gerhart, Ben Tate (Out for the next two games) and Doug Martin (four Top 20 RBs) put up sub-par numbers because they simply got hurt.
Here’s the deal. It happens. As a fantasy football owner the only thing you can do each week is piece together the best possible line-up and hope those players perform. The biggest mistake I see every year coming into Weeks 2-4 is how many owners panic due to poor performances or injuries by great players and drop them for a rookie, or a middle of the road veteran who just happened to go off. It was just one week. Now if your studs continue to flounder after Week 4, then it’s time to think about making a move via trade or the waiver wire. That’s not to say it isn’t worth taking a shot right now at picking up an intriguing newcomer like Allen Hurns or an aging vet on a new team like Steve Smith (both available on my league’s Waiver Wire and put up HUGE numbers last week), just be smart about it. Don’t drop RGIII or Larry Fitzgerald to get them. Yet. You have bench players for a reason, be smart and set loose one of your back-ups instead.
So, if you won last week, pat yourself on the back. Kudos. If you lost in Week 1 due to some underachieving players, don’t panic. I certainly didn’t. But feel free to cuss, scream and kick some inanimate objects. I certainly did. That’s fantasy football.
QUICK HITS (…from the bong)
There’s a lot of speculation that the NFL and the Players Association are close to tweaking their drug policy. If this happens, there’s mucho speculation that current drug suspensions to stud receivers Wes Welker (4 games) and Josh Gordon (all season) would be nullified and those players will be reinstated immediately. Even if this agreement isn’t ratified by the weekend, it’s well-worth checking your waiver wire to see if Gordon is available (I suggested signing Welker last week) and pounce on him. In four of my eight leagues, Gordon was available this week and I swooped in to get one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Unfortunately, Takin’ Bills couldn’t land him.
STAY THE HECK AWAY
Last year I decided to punt on Defense during the draft and adopted the “Start Whoever Plays Jacksonville Rule” which actually worked out quite well. Of course there were some weeks where the Jags’ opponent wasn’t available on the waiver wire, but when that happened, I would simply go with whoever had the highest projected score for the week (usually the teams playing the league’s bottom-feeders). This week Jacksonville, who looked promising at times last week against Philadelphia, is playing Washington, who looked about as bad as it gets against Houston. To be honest, I have no idea how this game is going to play out. Washington’s offense can’t be THAT bad can they? Or, is Houston’s defense THAT good? I’m simply going to stay the heck away from this situation and am reluctantly starting a Buffalo Bills defense that did a decent job stopping Chicago last week.
WRAP IT UP
When setting your line-ups this week (every week actually), be as certain as you can be that your players are in fact actually playing. There are a lot of high profile players (mostly running backs this week) whose injury status will be up in the air and may be up until game time. Be vigilant. Most fantasy host sites (Yahoo!, ESPN, CBS etc.) provide up-to-date news on your team roster page. A Questionable status when injury reports are first released on Thursday may become a Probable, Doubtful or Out before game day. As always, make sure you have a back-up plan. Good luck!
As always, hit me up on Twitter @sneezeguard with any roster questions, waiver decisions and whatnot, I’m happy to help out my #CMchat friends.