Fantasy Football Diary 4: Decisions… decisions…

Ever have that feeling where you just can’t win?

Sitting 5th in the league following last week's loss.

Sitting 5th in the league following last week’s loss – click on image to enlarge

You think you have things under control, you think you have everything taken care of, and then, out of the blue, everything begins to fall apart… again.

Anyone who plays fantasy football is well aware of this absolutely maddening feeling. Whether it is where you start a player, knowing they have a great matchup and they do nothing or your starting running back loses carries to the third-string back simply out of the blue, there are countless occasions in fantasy football where things may seem clear cut. There are times when you feel in control, where you have a simple, smart call to make and you do it, but then, it falls apart before your eyes. The most dramatic way you can experience this is through fantasy football, and the real NFL’s, most cruel mistress.

Injuries.

I saw you fantasy owners cringe at the mention of the one thing that demoralizes incredible fantasy teams faster than anything short of an angry, vengeful league commissioner. I personally am confronted with more injuries to my running backs with Steven Jackson, recently acquired in a trade giving up Michael Vick (I still feel good about the trade…), going down with a thigh injury that could mean he is out for 2-4 weeks, maybe more. Jackson, while not essential, was supposed to be my second running back behind LeSean McCoy and third quality back between him, McCoy and DeMarco Murray.

Jackson joins my unnervingly long list of backs who have already been replaced on my roster due to injury (Don’t worry though: I’m not replacing Jackson). Vick Ballard and Shane Vereen already ended up on IR and short-term IR, respectively, and McCoy looked lost for the season himself Thursday night against the Chiefs when he went down with what some thought was a broken leg (ended up being a sprained ankle).

Now I’m not necessarily hurting for backs this week, but I’d personally like to see this trend of injuries come to an end for the mighty warrior otters (My team: the Taggerungs).

The All Pro League is a 12-team league where the best of the best compete for bragging rights and, most importantly, our football trophy. For more information consult the Fantasy Football Diary database. My team, the Taggerungs (I’ve also been pitching the “Team of Destiny” title in hopes it brings me a title) sits currently in 5th in the All Pro League. After a dramatic, last-second win in Week 1, I lost last week in a game where my team simply didn’t perform. It is worth noting that the 1-1 Taggerungs have had 240.32 points scored against them, which is nearly 20 more than the next team, who, rather ironically, is my brother’s (McTuffy and da Steamrollers). So, if I can just get my opponents to stop putting up so many point whenever they play me, I should be in good shape, but in the meantime I have only been able to watch as players like Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson/Mike Wallace go off against me in subsequent weeks.

The Taggerungs roster has changed a little bit. I decided to work the waiver wire, hoping to kickstart my team a bit. Heading into Week 2, I picked up Kenny Stills, the rookie receiver for New Orleans, but after a slow week, I decided to drop him and use my decent wavier wire spot to pick up Bernard Pierce, who figures to start for Ray Rice this week. I also dropped the Cardinals defense, matched up with the Saints this week, and picked up the Cowboys defense, who should force a turnover or two and finally, I dropped kicker Randy Bullock for Garrett Hartley. Obviously, the Cowboys, and Hartley are instantly added to the starting lineup, but I’m still up in the air on starting Pierce instead of DeMarco Murray. I probably won’t know until the end of the post.

The Taggerungs roster as of September 22.

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Last Week

I lost for the first time this season to Hernandez is my body guard, 118.84 – 100.46. There isn’t really much to say here. Hernandez is my body guard got the better of me with incredibly consistent production from nearly every position led by a receiving core that accounted for around 50 points. The Patriots defense against the Jets awful offense certainly didn’t help me either.

The Taggerungs certainly had a chance, but with Steven Jackson going down with an injury on the touchdown he scored, and a very unexciting, yet totally expected performance by A.J. Green against the Pittsburgh Steelers who contain him so well, there was a lot left to be desired and plenty of points left on the field. Randy Bullock is out as my kicker after only put up two points thanks to a poor start to the season going 1 for 5 on field goal attempts. There will be better days for Green and Jackson, so I’m chalking this up as “one of those weeks” where things just don’t go as well as they could.

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Click image to enlarge

This Week

This week I play The Xtacles, who currently hold the second spot in the league at 2-0. The Xtacles, formerly The Bounty Hunters, have a talented line-up led by Aaron Rodgers and Wes Welker. This should be a close game once again. Hopefully I can avoid another week where my opponent puts major points up.

Rodgers plays a talented Bengals defense, but really… who can really stop Rodgers? That’s instant mid-20’s points at least.

Chris Johnson and Ryan Mathews play against each other. Both have been quietly successful in the early going.

Golden Tate isn’t a big name, but he plays Jacksonville, so there’s that… Welker is unstoppable and the Raiders don’t have a chance at stopping the Broncos offense. James Jones can double up points by scoring against the Bengals,

Witten is a top-tier fantasy tight end with the potential to put up solid points.

Walsh is even a top fantasy kicker against the Browns and the Bills defense is against the Jets, who are the best matchup for defenses to date.

The more I write this, the more pessimistic I am. The matchups for The Xtacles are incredible.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

I was lucky enough to have a great, and relatively healthy, showing from LeSean McCoy on Thursday night with over 21 points, so I have that to look forward to  early on. From there, the matchups aren’t necessarily favorable and this is the first week where I need to make some difficult calls with Start ’em and Sit ’em.

First and foremost, I am sticking with Matt Ryan at quarterback over Sam Bradford. Sounds like an easy choice right? Not really when you consider that Ryan has been outscored by either Bradford or Vick, who have been on my bench in weeks 1 and 2. Bradford is currently 5th in fantasy scoring at the quarterback position and has a favorable matchup against the Cowboys defense. My reasoning for Ryan though, assuming his receivers play, is, with Jackson out with an injury, the Falcons have to throw to be successful. This all could change if Julio Jones and Roddy White are limited or sit out for the Falcons, but I’m thinking I’ll keep going with Ryan.

Courtesy of www.dallascowboys.com

Courtesy of www.dallascowboys.com

The running back situation is another question mark. DeMarco Murray, who hasn’t done much of anything for me this season? Or recently acquired Bernard Pierce who plays the tough Texans defense in place of Ray Rice. Pierce is one of the best backup runners in the league and could put up points since the Texans have allowed double-digit points to Ryan Mathews and allowed Chris Johnson to nearly eclipse 100 yards rushing. The other long-shot in this discussion is Giovani Bernard, who is supposed to get more touches this week against Green Bay after scoring two touchdowns last week against the Steelers. I’m going to roll with Murray this week primarily due to the matchups.

My receivers aren’t changing unless T.Y. Hilton is ruled out. I need to find more depth at receiver, or at least get something substantial from Ryan Broyles, who is supposed to come back this week. I’m obviously not messing with Green or Randall Cobb.

Julius Thomas is playing the Raiders, which is great for me, and recently acquired Hartley and the Cowboys defense should do something for me… hopefully.

This is a key week. I have the opportunity to give an undefeated team their first lost and move back into the win column. The Xtacles have a great set of matchups this week and I have a couple guys who could have me pulling my hair out by the end of the day. The key think to watch is Monday Night. Julius Thomas and Wes Welker are big fantasy guys and with a great matchup against the Raiders, that could decide this week’s matchup.

 

Author: Blaine

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