On one of my FFPC Main Event teams, I lost three elite studs in one afternoon. The onslaught commenced early on as I tuned into the Vikings/Ravens duel just in time to see Adrian Peterson writhing on the ground in pain. Awesome. Only a short time thereafter, I lost Rob Gronkowski to a torn ACL and a torn MCL. Sweet. He’s out for the season. Later on that afternoon, the good times continued to roll when Wes Welker was concussed and was forced to leave against the Titans. He is likely to miss Thursday’s bout against the Chargers. But you know what? That doesn’t really get me down. Injuries are part of the game. I’ve been through enough of them that it’s like water off a duck’s back. What really gets my goat is misinformation, and the Motor City has taken pride in disseminating it each and every time there is an opportunity. Fifteen minutes prior to kickoff, I received word that Reggie Bush may have tweaked his calf during warm-ups. Great. What is an owner competing for $250,000 to do? Based on precedent (he was benched at Heinz Field for fumbling, field conditions or a minor injury, depending on which source you believe), I decided to bench him for Justin Hunter. Three minutes before kickoff, multiple tweets were cautiously expressing optimism, stating that he ran through the tunnel with the team, had his helmet on, AND that reports from the sideline said he was going to try and play. Visions danced through my head of all the times I’d benched a player in this exact situation, only to have him blow up with his best game of the year whilst on my bench. Fantasy Football is not for the faint of heart. One click can, and often does, make the difference between winning up to a million dollars or winning nothing and pounding sand.
Obviously, you want to check weather reports. It’s a starting point. Though sometimes, weather reports are about as accurate as injury information coming from the Detroit Lions. Remember how many times they said Jahvid Best had recovered from his concussion and was 100 percent? The report from Philadelphia was winds from 5 mph to 8 mph and occasional light flurries. Instead, what I saw looked closer to a blizzard for a good 90 minutes. If you’re serious about competing in High Stakes Leagues, then DirecTV Sunday Ticket is a must. It doesn’t come on until five minutes prior to kickoff, but on their multi-game view channel, at least you can see first hand what the weather looks like just before the game commences.
If you’re looking for a stack, San Diego at Denver and Baltimore at Detroit figure to put the most fireworks on display. If Aaron Rodgers returns, add Green Bay at Dallas to that list.
Some Fanduel plays worth a look this weekend:
Running Back – Zac Stacy ($6,700) vs. St. Louis, Shane Vereen (targeted 17 times with Rob Gronkowski out) ($7,600) at Miami, Marcel Reece ($6,000) vs. Kansas City, Montee Ball ($5,300) vs. San Diego, James Starks (if Eddie Lacy is inactive) ($4,500).
Wide Receiver – Alshon Jeffery ($7,800) at Cleveland, Jordy Nelson (if Aaron Rodgers is back) ($6,300) at Dallas, Torrey Smith ($6,300) at Detroit, Cordarrelle Patterson ($5,600) vs. Philadelphia, Justin Hunter ($5,400) vs. Arizona, James Jones (if Aaron Rodgers is back) ($4,900) at Dallas, Doug Baldwin ($4,800) at New York Giants.
Tight End – Jordan Cameron ($6,300) vs. Chicago, Charles Clay ($6,100) vs. New England, Greg Olsen ($5,800) vs. New York Jets, Dennis Pitta ($5,700) vs. Baltimore, Tony Gonzalez ($5,300) vs. Washington.