What a difference two months makes.
And three months? It's like we don't even live on the same planet anymore. Two or three months ago, you had your fantasy football draft. And if you are like most fantasy owners, you liked your team when you walked out of the draft. You were brimming with optimism and filled with visions of a league championship.
That was not a bad starting lineup when you walked out of your draft. Of course, it is an absolute train wreck now. If these were your first seven picks, odds are that your fantasy team is in trouble. Entering Week 9 of the fantasy season, if your team is 0-8 or 1-7, you are out of the playoffs in most leagues.
Sorry, better luck next year.
Now for everybody else, you need to figure out just what you're going to do with players like these. Healthy under-performing players are often worse than injured players. At least when a player gets injured, you know to use another option. When a player is healthy, but just lousy, you keep putting him in your lineup.
How about we get the easy part out of the way? If your fantasy team is 8-0, 7-1, 6-2 or 5-3, you have time to wait for under-performing players to turn it around. Odds are, if you have one of these good records, you have some other options on your team. The team listed above gets appreciably better if their next three picks were:
ROUND 8 - Fred Jackson
ROUND 9 - Matthew Stafford
ROUND 10 - Rob Gronkowski
So if your team is in good shape, you can stash your under-performing players on your bench. Maybe they can turn it around. If not, at least you probably have some other starting options. But for the rest of you? With your team at 4-4, 3-5 or 2-6, you are out of time to wait on players to turn it around.
I'm not saying to run to your roster and drop Philip Rivers. But if you can get any kind of player who can help you right now for an under-performing player, you need to do it. It has come to the point in the season where you look at the statistics and you look at the match-ups. The name on the back of the jersey does not really matter right now.
Drop Reggie Wayne for Jonathan Baldwin. Just how crazy does that sentence read? It felt pretty crazy to write, I can tell you that. But that is the move now. What is the best best possible game Reggie Wayne can have at this point? Seventy receiving yards and a TD? Baldwin could do that in one play.
Pretend Chris Johnson's name was Alfonso Smith. Then look at his statistics for this season. Then look at Javon Ringer's statistics. You would start Ringer over "Alfonso Smith" in a heartbeat, right? What Johnson did in the past will not help you win this season. He is just not running the ball well, and there is no reason to think that will change. Trade Johnson for Jackie Battle—what do you have to lose?
Maybe something is wrong with Philip Rivers. Maybe Vernon Davis is going through some stuff. Maybe DeAngelo Williams was just happy to get paid. Who knows? You do not have time to be Sherlock Holmes here. Your only mystery is who to start in Week 9 to get your fantasy team a win. That's it. The time for waiting is over for you.
There is quite a difference in how you run a fantasy team and how you run an actual football team. In fantasy football, you need to be emotionless. Don't start Mike Williams every week, just because you drafted him in the fourth round. Nate Washington would be more helpful. You cannot go back two or three months and redo your draft. All you can do is work with what you've got.
Am I crazy? It's possible, right? Let me know what you think. Please use the comments to add to the discussion, or if you have any questions. Good luck to all of your teams this week.
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