So it's the day after Thanksgiving, and everyone is either resting up or out shopping. As for me, I'm stuck at work contemplating how you can actually succeed on a weekly basis in fantasy football. Just when I think I have the winning plan, it all seems to come crashing down.
Playing fantasy football is like visiting Best Buy on Black Friday with the hopes of getting that hot sale item that was advertised. You have the high hopes that it will be on the shelf, but you still have some doubt. That is exactly how fantasy football works each week.
Most teams usually have a couple of guys that you can depend on each week to put up some decent numbers based on matchups or just their consistent performances. On the other hand, you have guys that should be putting up numbers, but just can't seem to get over that hump.
The difficult part is trying to blend all the players together to give you that much-needed push into the playoffs.
The perfect example of this problem was demonstrated for me yesterday when Brian Westbrook took the field. True, coming into the game all reports showed that Westbrook would be playing against the Cardinals, but who would have imagined that performance from Westbrook?
When you have three running backs that include Westbrook, Larry Johnson, and Matt Forte, why would you start an ailing Westbrook? LJ has a great matchup against Oakland, regardless of what happened earlier in the season, and Forte should still have a decent day against a strong Minnesota defense.
With that thought process, I decided to make a cautious decision and leave Westbrook on the bench.
I was shocked when I opened up the stats this morning and saw what Westbrook did. I guess it was a good thing I don't get the NFL Network. I'm sure there are many people out there that feel the same way.
The thing is, this happens every week with numerous players. You just have to hope you have some luck when you put those players in the starting spots.
Another example is Matt Cassel. Anyone who was carrying Cassel most likely had another QB that was starting in front of him. For the one person that may have had him starting since week two, all I can say is you must be a die-hard Patriots fan. If so, it finally paid dividends, as he has put up huge numbers in the last two weeks.
There are times where we luck out and throw somebody in a spot because the starters were on a bye and you can't afford to drop anyone. I'm sure Dustin Keller was just a plug for many teams, and now he is considered a must-start TE. I think it is fair to make that same case for QB Tyler Thigpen. That's luck when those things happen for you.
Congratulations if you are still making weekly changes to your team, because you have probably made it to the playoffs. At this point, not only do you have to start worrying about injuries more, you have to start worrying about if any of your players are going to sit if the game is meaningless.
If your season is over, try not to be too frustrated that you drafted Tom Brady or Laurence Maroney or Carson Palmer in an early round. This is the time you look forward to next year and realize that another team will get your unfortunate luck. Then again, you could always start thinking about when the fantasy baseball draft is going to be held.
The most important thing to remember is fantasy football is just as much luck as it is skill, although your league champion won't tell you that. That may in fact be the most frustrating part of it all.