I had a very strange fantasy football year. My DFS play turned out pretty good, but my season long teams were largely schizophrenic. I do tend to favor players, and then for the most part grab those same guys on all rosters. I do this for a couple of reasons.
One is that if I have faith in a player, I am pretty well willing to trust my perceptions and what seems to be the athlete's skills to do the job all around. One is that it is simpler to just track 15-18 players, rather than 30 or more (plus, I can burn my short-term neuroses on DFS). And, we can toss in that with too many players and teams, I wind up rooting against myself half the time and for myself half of the time, leaving the results to speak for themselves.
What was strange is the core of my team went 7-5 in one league, 1-11 in one and 5-7 in yet another. In the league where I had the one win, I had the high scoring team for the week with nearly 200 points, and in all my leagues we were always among the top five scorers, but it was closing those elusive wins that gave me grief.
So, as I look at my favorites who helped me to an essentially mediocre, frustrating, and thoroughly enjoyable 2015, a week away from the big game in my own neck of the woods, what do I think of some of my guys, and whether they should be frozen, dropped, or pursued?
Derek Carr (QB): I had hopes that along with his up-and-coming Raider mates, Carr would break out. But after being trounced by the Bengals in Week 1, my worst fears seemed to be validated. But, Carr and his team and coaches rallied nicely as he put up around 400 fantasy points from then on, bagging nearly 4000 yards and 32 TD passes. I will likely freeze him where appropriate.
Doug Martin (RB): Teams where I had Martin obviously sucked in 2014, but in a couple of leagues there were restrictions in how many of what type of player I could freeze. Martin was the only RB option in a league where there was little point not freezing one, and poof, back he came. Still, I'm not sure just how much I trust a repeat, though I likely will keep him where once again I have no other choices.
Danny Woodhead (RB): No, Woodhead ain't worth freezing, but he is a killer bench guy in the face of an injury. And let's face it, between byes and broken Jamaal Charles's, a guy who can catch and run and return punts, occasionally scoring big points, is great to have. Woodhead was also a fave DFS option of mine on several occasions.
Julian Edelman (WR): A monster hydra-like receiver who had an arm cut off and his numbers were cut back, accordingly. But in the playoffs, it was easy to see the Tom Brady/Julian Edelman connection, and in my PPR leagues, I am keeping him where I can.
Doug Baldwin (WR): I drafted Baldwin everywhere I could because I like him, and did not expect much beyond what a fifth receiver might contribute during those bye and injury stretches. But the reality is I needed to make moves on a couple of teams and dropped him just before his Week 12 explosion. Baldwin tallied 11 scores from that date on, and I only got credit for them on one team. But again, I did use him to my advantage while his DFS price was still climbing. Would I freeze him? I'm on the fence for the receiver is replaceable, yet Baldwin and Russell Wilson do seem to have some chemistry.
Richard Rodgers (TE): I like Rodgers because he went to Cal (another reason I like Baldwin is he went to Stanford), and I liked him more and more as the Packers receiving core was whittled down. No, I would not freeze him, but I would certainly grab Rodgers as a primary Tight End in the eighth or ninth round of my drafts next year.
Kansas City Chiefs (DST): No way I would ever freeze a defensive unit, but I bring up the Chiefs because I have changed my view of defenses this year. In several leagues, I grabbed the Kansas City squad around Week 3, when the team was still struggling to right itself. I did keep them in several leagues through the season, but what I learned is selecting a defense is like taking a kicker. Grab one near the end of the draft, and stream early on until you get a hot one. Then, hold on for the ride, and dump appropriately.
Next week, I will finish up with a Super Bowl review, with a specific focus. I hope the focus will be on the game and the season, and not the commercials. But, you never know.
You can follow me @lawrmichaels.