As we head into Week 9 of the football season, one of my biggest fantasy pet peeves has started to rear its ugly head in some of my leagues and I’m sure in many of yours — Quitters. They are as inevitable as a Taylor Swift break-up song. I’m already starting to face Quitters in some of my leagues, and while the hyper-competitive side of me enjoys these free passes, I know that the win is ultimately hollow.
Hey Quitters, I get it, you’re frustrated that your team is 2-6 or 3-5 (or likely worse). I’ve been there and I can say in all honesty that it’s more frustrating than that friend who says they “hate current country music, because it’s all about booze and bros,” even though you know they’ve never actually listened to a current country song and they’ve based this “opinion” on what they have either read or heard from someone else.
So what do I do when I have a bad season? It’s cliché, but I try to make the best out of a bad situation. I invest a lot of time in my teams so I ultimately need to find something positive to take away from even the most disastrous of seasons. If not, it was all just a waste of time (granted, I know many people who think the whole fantasy sports thing is a colossal waste of time, but we’ll save that discussion for another time). For me, playing the Spoiler is a bittersweet role that I’ve actually learned to relish over the years. To be perfectly honest, it’s actually a lot of fun knocking a trash-talking friend out of playoff contention, or at least making them sweat a little bit more as they try to make their playoff run.
Playing the Spoiler also motivates me to try a little harder to better my team via trade or free agent signings and with the right amount of luck can lead to greener pastures. A lot can happen in six weeks. A 2-6 team can end up 8-6, and sometimes that might be good enough to eek your way into the playoffs.
In the end, don’t be a Quitter, be a Spoiler and ruin someone else’s day.
Super Bye Week of Doom
If Week 4 was the “Bye Week of Doom,” Week 9 is the “Super Bye Week of Doom.” Players from Chicago, Buffalo, Green Bay, Atlanta, Detroit and Tennessee will spend their Sunday frolicking in a field and picking wildflowers (well maybe not the guys from Buffalo, as they’re all super bad tough guys…like Hunter Hayes). Needless to say there are some serious holes left in lineups and it’s going to be hard to replace Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffrey, Brandon Marshall, Sammy Watkins, Kyle Orton, Anthony Dixon, Aaron Rogers, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, Eddie Lacy, Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Steven Jackson, Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Joique Bell, Reggie Bush, Zach Mettenberger, Bishop Sankey, Justin Hunter, Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker. Obviously, the wide receiver position is taking the biggest hit this week. While checking the waiver wire for replacements, I was stunned to see that Doug Baldwin, Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon LaFell and Torrey Smith were still available in many of my leagues and I was more than happy to pick them up. If these four receivers aren’t available, try to find a team’s second or even third receiver who gets a decent amount of passes thrown their way and hope for the best.
Takin’ Bills Takin’ Spills
Done. I totally should have known better. Last week’s “brilliant” decision to bench Jay Cutler for Cam Newton pretty much killed my chances of making the playoffs faster than TLC’s decision to drop Here Comes Honey Boo Boo after, well…you know. Moving on, my 3-5 team will look to be a Spoiler for now, albeit a Spoiler with a chance to have a 9-5 team if I can manage to roll off six in a row. This week I’m stuck with Newton as Cutler’s on the bye. It looks like A.J. Green will return this week (which will make up for not having Julio Jones). I’m also desperately hoping that Frank Gore will actually get some touches this week. I needed to replace Buffalo’s defense (bye week) and opted for Washington, if only because they are playing the woeful Vikings. Looking forward, I’ll hopefully be able to get the Bills defense back next week (like I’d really roll with Washington for more than a week), or at least find another good match-up defense (Baltimore or Dallas comes to mind).
That’s all for this week’s Hoedown. As always hit me up @sneezeguard with any line-up questions and good luck whether you’re a contender or a Spoiler.