Dominant, mediocre or terrible? We’re more than halfway through the fantasy football regular season, and by now you surely know which of these categories your team fits into. The evaluation period is long over. Now is the time for trade discussions and taking chances in the waiver wire game. How are my teams doing? Mediocre, mediocre, mediocre, mediocre. In two leagues, I’m 4-3. In the other two, I’m 3-4. Actually, a combined 14-14 record is the definition of mediocre. Now listen, there’s still plenty of time to go on a run. Maybe I’ll end up hoisting four championship trophies by season’s end. Yeah, right. I’ll be happy with one.
Who’s to blame for my so-so first half? Here’s the combined starting roster, sans the kicker and defense because, well, they don’t matter.
QB Eli Manning
Fully convinced that going cheap on the quarterback position was the way to go this year, I was thrilled to land the younger Manning for a mere 11 bucks in one of my auctions. After all, Eli was just one year removed from a 4,933 yard, 29 touchdown campaign. Yeah, his 2012 season was disappointing, but a banged up supporting cast didn’t help matters. Little did I know that Manning’s 2012 numbers would look like a Pro Bowl quality stat line compared to the 2013 version. In seven games, he’s already matched last season’s interception total of 15. Seven games! While Manning deserves a bit of a break considering that a bunch of those interceptions were really the fault of his receivers (poor route running and sloppy play has been an every-week occurrence so far), the bottom line is that a veteran quarterback like Manning has to make better decisions. Would I be shocked if he bounces back and finishes the season strong? Not really. But my overall confidence in the Giants’ signal caller is deteriorating at a rapid rate. The good news is that in the same league in which I drafted Manning as my starter, I took a $2 flier on Philip Rivers to serve as my backup. And that’s been working out well.
I told you that going cheap on the quarterback position is the way to go!
The bad news is that since Rivers is on a bye this week, I’ll be forced to ride the Manning roller coaster one more time. And I’m not looking forward to it.
I’ve owned Jackson a number of times over the course of my fantasy football playing career, and it seems like I’ve never gotten a satisfactory return on my investment. Despite his advanced age, which for running backs in particular is always tied to injury concerns, all of the pundits were so high on him this year. New team, much better offense, yada yada yada. I wasn’t entirely convinced, but I’m never opposed to drafting anyone if the price is right, and paying 33 bucks to slot Jackson into my RB2 slot behind Ray Rice seemed like a good deal. I don’t need to tell you that I’ve gotten next to nothing from Jackson in 2013. But as in the case of Eli Manning/Philip Rivers, a Knowshon Moreno waiver wire pickup has bailed me out. Once Jackson does come back, I’ll have a starting lineup controversy to deal with. But that’s what we call a good problem to have.
I’ve never been a big fan of this guy, so why on earth would I take him? I think it had something to do with my goal of drafting entirely different lineups among all of my four leagues. Looks like this goal cost me big time. Through seven games, Johnson is averaging a measly 3.2 yards per carry and has yet to score his first rushing touchdown. If not for his two receiving touchdowns, Johnson would be the frontrunner for biggest bust of the season honors. Hopefully, all this talk about his easy second half schedule turns out to be more than just talk.
WR Roddy White
Roddy deserves some slack here, as his on-field struggles were almost entirely the result of him playing through the dreaded high ankle sprain. And after not missing a single game through his first eight NFL seasons, the Falcons’ wideout sat out Week 6 and is out again this week, even though Atlanta is coming off a bye. Fortunately, in one of the leagues where I own White, I managed to add Eric Decker off the wire, this following his Week 1 no-show, so the White disaster hasn’t hurt too much. Get better soon, Roddy. But please, take your time.
WR Miles Austin
I can’t complain too much about this one, as I only drafted Austin in one league as my WR3, and it’s not much of a surprise that he’s suffering through injury woes yet again. It’s been ages since Austin was Tony Romo’s go-to wide receiver anyway, and as long as Dez Bryant stays healthy, Austin’s fantasy upside will be limited, that is if he’s even on the field. I’m holding onto him, as the waiver wire options in this league are rather unappealing, but he’s already been dropped in some of my other leagues, and I can’t argue with that either.
TE Kyle Rudolph
You see, this is the problem with relying on touchdown dependant players. Rudolph was a TD machine last year. This year? Not quite. Through six games, the Vikings’ tight end has crossed the goal line only two times. Even more annoying was that after I finally had enough of Kyle and dropped him, he went out there in Week 6 and hauled in nine passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. But his three catch, 27 yard performance in Week 7 had me feeling good again about my decision to cut bait. Unless you planned your strategy around drafting Jimmy Graham, overvaluing tight ends has proven to be a mistake this season. Every year, quality starting options emerge from the waiver wire, and 2013 has been no different. Just ask Julius Thomas owners.
Now that the Rudolph headache has subsided, I’ll employ a tight end by committee approach. And I’ll continue to feel good about my decision to move on.
Whether this team turns out to be dominant, mediocre or terrible.