Sometimes you have to come to the humble realization that others are better than you at some things. There is nothing wrong with that. What matters is what you do next. Do you give up or do you take it as a personal challenge and strive to improve?
If you are reading this, you are likely aware I have been entering a team weekly into the SiriusXM Fantasy Football Salary Cap Challenge. It has been fun, giving me a chance to root for some players not on my regular fantasy teams. But from the standpoint of a highly competitive fantasy gamer that thinks he knows a little something about this sort of stuff, it has been frustrating. My HIGH score is lower than the AVERAGE score of those at the top of the contest. I know, it is only fantasy football, but my competitive nature is admittedly bummed out by this. And there is precedent, as I have been through this before. I had no success early on in the NFBC – none. While I am nowhere near as accomplished as upper echelon players in the contest, I have won multiple leagues and have cashed in a few more, primarily because I learned from my mistakes along with the success of others.
While I am not in the business of preaching life lessons, I am in the business of doling out fantasy sports advice. Heck, now that I think about it, to some, fantasy sports is life. So here I am, a glutton for punishment, with my week 15 entry.
QB: Matthew Stafford ($6300) – I had a hard time debating between Stafford and Eli Manning, who I also think is in line for a huge week. I am going real heavy on RB this week so I needed to cut back somewhere and Stafford is a couple thousand cheaper than the top guys. I have a sneaky suspicion Stafford’s buddy Megatron had a little talk with him this week and we will see Stafford and Calvin Johnson hooking up on some big plays.
RB: Arian Foster ($9800) – Andre Johnson is out, it is time Houston stopped waiting for their stud wide-out to return and just completely hand the keys to Foster. They have pretty much done this already, but it just seems to me there has been a lingering feel of “imagine how good we will be when Johnson is back.” The only problem with picking Foster in this spot is the threat he is pulled in favor of the very talented Ben Tate, who makes an excellent sleeper play as your flex in leagues where you are beset with injuries. But I am sticking with the upside of Foster in the hopes Cam Newtom manages to keep the game close.
RB: Ray Rice ($9300) – In the private league most near and dear to me, I had the third overall pick and went with the aforementioned Megatron. For the first several weeks, I looked like a genius and my buddies were lauding me for my foresight and fortitude to take Johnson so early. While I thanked them for their kind words, I also told them I feared that by season’s end, I was going to seriously regret not taking Ray Rice instead. To all my Little East buddies, I told you so. Good luck in the playoffs guys, maybe I will join you next year. At least I get to root for Rice here.
WR: Hakeem Nicks ($7900) – At least I will get a large piece of the Giants passing attack with Hicks. Hicks seems to be Eli’s primary target, with Victor Cruz getting more of the big play, almost fluky production.
WR: Santana Moss ($4000) – The Giants are going to lay the lumber on the Skins so Sexy Rexy is going to have to throw to keep up, and Moss should be on the receiving end of a bunch of those tosses.
WR: Demaryius Thomas ($4000) – It is not a secret I am a New England Patriots fan and we here like to think that when Tim Tebow thanks the lord, Bill Belichick says “you’re welcome”, after all, “In Bill we Trust” could be the Massachusetts state motto. Part of me thinks Belichick will find a way to stifle the QB phenom, but a bigger part of me thinks the other part of me is wrong and Thomas is the likely beneficiary. That said, I am playing Tebow in two private leagues.
TE: Kellen Winslow ($4000) – For weeks I have been saying that my sense is going bottom of the barrel with tight end is the smart play, but for weeks I have been using Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski. The problem is, I have consistently chosen the one with the poorer week between the two, which feeds into my premise being week to week tight end production is a bit unpredictable. So I am finally practicing what I have been preaching and chose who I feel is the best option for the minimum salary in Winslow.
FLEX: Chris Johnson ($5800) – Sorry, I am going to continue to ride out this storm for the huge upside potential. Johnson’s should be able to run on the Colt’s defense.
K: Matt Prater ($4000) – Prater almost propelled me into the playoffs in the league where I opted for Megatron over Rice, so this pick is in deference to that. It is also in hopes that Demaryius Thomas catches two TDs from Tebow and the rest of the points are via Prater’s foot.
D/ST: Green Bay Packers ($4800) – I really, really tried to find a better way to spend the extra $900 available to me over the cheapest defense, but I could not. Perhaps this is reflective of my weakness in this format, or perhaps it is the opposite and I try too hard to max out the cap and not assemble the strongest group, regardless of salary. So instead of playing more musical chairs with my lineup, I funneled the money to a defense that has a penchant for scoring, primarily because they are always ahead and able to tee off on opposing offenses, forcing turnovers.
Good luck in your playoffs this week, While I did not make it in my favorite league, I did in four others so all is not lost.