It’s time to saddle up for another installment of The Hoedown. We’ll laugh. We’ll cry. And hopefully, we’ll figure out how to get back in the win column and one step closer to making the playoffs.
Every week, I read a ton articles from a wide variety of fantasy football experts and speak with a handful of self-proclaimed experts all in the name of bettering my teams. This information also hopefully reinforces some of my crazier ideas before I present them to you here at The Hoedown.
This thing is, you can have the best information possible, your team’s projected points can dwarf your opponents each and every week, and it just doesn’t matter because this is fantasy football, where unpredictability is about as common as a drinking song on country radio. Injuries, flat-out poor performances, blow-outs, low flying birds, a coach’s play-calling, or a sudden rain storm can all destroy a week’s fantasy scores. As I’ve said in previous columns, it’s entirely out of our control.
A guy in my league was complaining to me just the other day that if Brian Quick would have gotten two more points last week that he would have won. Quick was projected to get eight points and he only got one. Emmanuel Sanders was projected to get 11 points and he scored just under four. We’ve all been there (heck, last week I had only three players that bested their predicted totals which is why I got crushed). When you lose you only seem to dwell on the negatives. What my friend failed to recognize was that DeSean Jackson more than doubled his projected numbers and Julius Thomas almost did the same. To be honest, my friend’s undoing was that his opponent started Philadelphia, whose defense was stronger than Rodney Atkins’ in “Cleaning This Gun (Come on in Boy).”
Clearly, projections and rankings are unpredictable. They are a good starting point in assisting you make sound decisions each and every week. They are far from definite. Sometimes, though, it’s more fun to just to go with your gut when deciding who to start and who to sit. Two weeks ago I started the Bills defense on a whim and they got me 14 points. I thought, “Woo hoo, I’m a freaking genius.” I followed that same win last week and played the Bills against the Patriots. That got me minus two points. I’m a dope.
Injuries and Byes, Oh Mys
Once again there are only two teams on bye this week. The Eagles are a first place team with mucho fantasy impact. The Buccaneers, yeah, not so much. Make sure Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, Zach Ertz, Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans and Doug Martin are not in your starting line-ups this week as they will all be playing tea party this Sunday with their stuffed animals.
As for injuries, last week saw season-ending injuries to Victor Cruz, Stevan Ridley and Knowshon Moreno. If you’re looking to replace Cruz, check out his teammates Rueben Randle (who I was able to pick up in a few of my leagues) or Odell Beckham, Jr. Shane Vereen and Lamar Miller will now be the lead backs for New England and Miami so at least there’s no longer that annoying running back by committee scenario. There are probably not many top running backs on your free agent list at this point of the season, so if you need to hit the wire this week I’d strongly suggest looking at seasoned veterans like Fred Jackson or Jonathan Stewart who will likely get the bulk of their team’s carries or back-up vultures who seem to steal all of the goal-line carries (Carlos Hyde or Benny Cunningham) and hope for the best.
Not So Good vs. Kinda Evil
My Week 7 match-up has been circled on my calendar ever since draft day. You see, this week my Takin’ Bills suits up to take on Blake Shelton’s Ego in an epic battle between CMchat’s crankiest commentator and the curmudgeonly creator of Farce the Music. I reached out to my satirical opponent days ago to see if he would be interested in contributing to The Hoedown this week but I didn’t get a reply. This leads me to believe that either the recent Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line albums have left him in a catatonic state, or that Gary LeVox finally exacted revenge after one too many awkward photo posts. Regardless, both of us are at 3-3 and need a win if we hope to get closer to a playoff spot and a chance at those nine CDs that go to the champion. Both of us are down a stud receiver (A.J. Green for me, Calvin Johnson for him). I also have Vincent Jackson on a bye which may or may not be a good thing. He has no bye issues. Yahoo! has Takin’ Bills as a slight favorite, which means Blake Shelton’s Ego will probably destroy me like a sullen Lori McKenna song. It’s OK though, I’m still enjoying that Drive-By Truckers disc he sent me after I won the league last year!
That’s all for this week. With the exception of Blake Shelton’s Ego, I hope to see you all in the win column next week. Send me questions @sneezeguard. Trust me, I’m not a busy person.