I am always torn--and suspect I write a million times a year--on how the matchup is not really what matters, but rather the player.
That is, for the most part I will always try to start my best players irrespective of venue or opposition.
In baseball this seems pretty simple and straightforward to me, for I don't care where Clayton Kershaw is pitching, or Shane Victorino is hitting: they are starters I picked for their everyday performance skills and I owe it to them to let them do their thing.
Since football is weekly, however, that bad day like a Joe Saunders start at Rangers stadium hurts more. It also sticks out a lot more on the weekly and cumulative stat line.
With Bye weeks in for our football players, the guess work, and more self destructive, the second guessing becomes so much more acute, for picking a replacement for Matt Forte, choosing between Joique Bell and Danny Woodhead just seems like a losing proposition from the start.
The reality is both Woodhead and Bell are--and have been--decent alternative running backs this season, generally delivering 10 points a week which really is not bad for a third RB in a shallow league, and even a second in the slot in a deeper format.
Where it does get harder for me, though was exemplified yesterday when I had to choose between Carson Palmer, calling signals against a pretty lousy Kansas City team, or Cam Newton, doing the same against a very good Bears team.
Since I watch both the Bears and Raiders for better or worse, rooting for each respectively, there is the fan factor aspect that said start Palmer so you don't have to feel terrible if Chicago rides roughshot over Newton, which for the most part they did.
In the end, though, it really did not matter so much as Newton totalled 19.40 points, and Palmer 18.40, re-affirming that most of our mental machinations around these decisions are really for naught.
Where it gets extra puzzling, though--and I think this is the source of the joy and despair in all us fantasy owners--is what happened, for example, in the Miami/Jets matchup of Sunday.
With the Texans on their Bye hiatus, I had a choice among the leftover defensive teams floating around in the free agent pool, and I narrowed things down to either Miami or the Jets.
For, though I do indeed favor the Jets defense (despite my dislike for Rex Ryan) Miami and New York is one of those contests with a history of confusion, much like the Rams and the Niners, or the Bengals and Steelers, to name but a few. You know, those teams that play one another enough to simply know how to play the other side.
Sadly, I went with my analytic side, taking the New Yorkers who were manhandled today by the Dolphin defense.
What makes the whole thing strange, though, is in another format I had been looking hard at Ryan Tannehill, who had been sitting among the free agents for the last three weeks in a league where Rusell Wilson, and now Matt Hasselbeck are my options.
Now, in this league we can play two QBs--one as a flex guy--and I had been checking out Tannehill since Kevin Kolb went down. Unfortunately, that first week Tannehill was on the waiver wire, and not available three Sundays ago, and the week after was a bye week.
So, this is the first time I could have placed Tannehill on my active roster. However, since the rookie was matching up against that generally pretty good Jets defense, I decided to just let it ride, playing Hasselbeck which turns out to have been the right move as Tannehill got knocked out of Sunday action with a bad knee.
I guess sometimes we can make the right moves in spite, or even despite ourselves?