Fantasy football champions open things up right now, especially 3-5 and 4-4 teams. Teams who made it through Marshawn Lynch or Frank Gore's initial 2011 slumps with records like this can attest.
The 2-6 teams need to win out, most likely, in order to have a chance to make their fantasy playoffs. If you are 1-7, you are virtually eliminated at this point, but I have seen numerous 6-7 teams make the playoffs in my life based on a points-total tiebreaker for the last slot. It is certainly no everyday event.
Let me preface this by saying that this call occurred off-air, as many do, with callers who waited on hold that we were not able to get to during the show. I will also say that this fantasy owner was a losing fantasy owner.
I know this because I don't give advice until I hear your team name and your record. In fact, I will begin instituting that here as well. No advice until your team name (PG-13 version if necessary) and your record are stated in the comments.
Caller: Felix Jones vs. New York Giants or Trent Richardson vs. San Diego Chargers?
Me: Trent Richardson.
Caller: I worry about his injury and if he'll be banged up.
Me: You're kidding me.
Me: You are thinking about starting Felix Jones and all of the sudden you are Mr. Anti-Banged-Up Player? Trent Richardson was reported officially by the Cleveland Browns as a more involved participant in practice this week for one. For two, name one time during any significant span of Felix Jones' career that he has not either been on the sidelines or playing through some sort of ailment.
Caller: So, Richardson?
Me: Can you name one time?
Caller: OK. Richardson. I'm switching him out.
Thank goodness he did. Thank goodness he called and had someone talk him out of benching an elite weapon over a "safer" backup. A backup in position to start with a history of fantasy bed-wetting that cannot be cured by the thickest plastic sheets.
This guy's mind wasn't working right because he was playing scared, and you just can't. You can't right now.
There are moves to be made and things to be done, but this is the bedrock and foundation.
Whether you are winning or losing in your league currently, I would suggest adopting this philosophy, as it is a winning one down the stretch.
My draft methodologies change, but the season always stays the same. I picture it in my head like a map. I operate in a conservative and observant fashion early on, only offering very, very lopsided trades and hoping to land a lunker.
I have found it successful to open up significantly right about now. Right after Week 8. It's a big week. If you look at the psychology of the game, and the 16-week season with impending trade deadlines, things are getting intense. How many trades have gone down in your league this week? It's more than usual, because this is just how this thing works.
Our future selves will look back at these late-season, "moving day"-type moves as the ones that made or broke our fantasy seasons, but you have to make them. If you have ever followed a poker tournament, you know that moving day comes about three-quarters of the way in, and strategically is the most opportune time to "get hot."
It works in the NFL, too. Ask the New York Giants, most recently.