Week 1 = Easy Lineup Decisions
Posted Sep. 06 at 08:34 AM
If your fantasy team plays 14 games before the playoffs, each contest accounts for about seven percent of the regular season (thank you, Windows Calculator). Each one counts the same, and will provide the same weight toward your record. So in theory, all the games should be treated equally.
But they're not, and everybody knows it. If you miss the playoffs by one game, you blame your last loss. If you close out the year with a winning streak, those games mean more. And if you over think and out coach yourself in one game, it will probably be the first one.
Think about it: You only have to wait a week-- maybe less-- for each successive game during the season The disappointment of one can be replaced by elation from another in just a few days. But that first game takes about eight months to come together. You watched the playoffs and the Super Bowl, endured a spring and summer that jeopardized the coming season, sat through the mostly-useless preseason games, waded through an ocean of coach-speak, drafted, bidded, benched and traded...just to get to week 1. When it finally arrives, you want to justify all that patience, time and energy spent so far. You didn't wait all this time to go out and start 0-1, right? So this one is really important.
Except it isn't. Not any more than week 3 or week 13. It's seven percent of your season. No more, no less (okay, it's a little more but I'm rounding down). Unfortunately, too many owners try to make mountains out of lineup molehills. They labor over which quarterback to start, wonder which receiver should be in the lineup, and question their starters before even one statistic has been recorded.
Don't become a second opponent for your fantasy team. You're working against your own interests by over thinking the very first week. You have starters; start them. You have good runners; let them run. They haven't given you any reason to bench them, so why face an opponent without your best guys?
Are you going to spend all season second-guessing yourself and having a turnstile lineup where everyone earns a start? Is this Little League, where everyone gets a chance to play? If not, why would you consider ditching your best players for guys you passed on 10 times before selecting them? I'm all for evaluating talent and considering changes to your starting lineup...but not in week 1. You can't abandon a plan before you've had a chance to implement it. This is the time to see how well you drafted, to see if your strategy was viable, and to enjoy Thursday, Sunday and Monday.
You still might lose, of course. But you know what? Losing with your starters isn't the worst thing that could happen. The worst thing that could happen is losing while your starters sit on the bench, replaced by backups and soon-to-be waiver wire fodder because you got cute with your lineup. Losing with your best guys is bad, but making crazy changes and losing because you out coached yourself is even worse. Give your philosophy a chance to work. Start your starters.
How do you feel about week 1 dilemmas? Share your thoughts below. You can also reach Michael Murillo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by JEFF MCKINNEY | Sep. 06 at 11:44 AM
Murrilo... I have 4 good running backs but I can only start 2 of them. Who should I start week 1? Peyton Hillis (CIN) DeAngelo Williams (at ARI) Cedric Benson (at CLE) Felix Jones (at NYJ)
Posted by ERIC SCOLNICK | Sep. 06 at 02:58 PM
A classic example where your match-up are important is Michael Turner against Chicago. He has never (in 3 years with Atlanta) rushed for more than 54 yards. Do your really start him over someone like Bennie Wells, or Knowshon Moreno, or Shonn Greene?
Posted by David Kennedy | Sep. 06 at 09:57 PM
I have some tough matchups for the first week. Romo, Bryant vs. Jets. R Rice, Mendenhall vs. each others teams. I can start Sanchez for Romo, A. Brown for Bryant (will he face Revis?). I can start beanie for Rice who scored a combined 11 fantasy points against Pitt last year. I can start Tolbert for Mendenhall. I will probably stick with my studs but any advice could help. Thanks so glad real football is upon us. Chicken wings and some cold ones! Yee ha!!
Posted by matt devine | Sep. 07 at 12:50 AM
Hey I'm in a 10 team league and I'm pretty set at RB with Foster and MJD week 1 but was lookin for help at who to start for my 3 WRs. On my roster I have Wallace, Wayne, Maclin, Manningham, Marshall and Garcon. I'd appreciate a little help picking 3
Posted by Scott Anderson | Sep. 07 at 01:11 AM
Jeff: Hillis & Jones. Hillis will have a monster game.
Posted by MICHAEL MURILLO | Sep. 07 at 04:33 AM
I think Ian's week 1 outlook should help everyone with their lineup decisions, but unless you don't really have a designated starter...week 1 shouldn't be a time to give yourself a headache. Just my .02.
Posted by Gregory Oswell | Sep. 07 at 07:09 AM
@Eric Scolnick. Turner has played two games against Chicago since he came to Atlanta and they didn't play in 2010. In the world of statistics that qualifies as almost zero evidence. I think this is exactly what Murillo is talking about. You are putting way too much thought into that decision. Why would you draft a guy in the first (or early second) round if you didn't intend to start them every week (barring injury)? If you were that concerned about Turner you should have drafted someone else, even if it meant moving on a guy a round or two above their ADP.
Posted by Russ Neis | Sep. 13 at 02:12 AM
Should I start Wes Welker over Roddy White in week 2? ATL vs PHI w/ NE vs SD. My other reciever is Johnson from BUF need to start 2 non ppr.
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