Challenge Contests — by Justin Eleff
Quick Hits for a Week Or Two
Posted Sep. 24 at 03:07 AM
I thought I had a lousy Week 3, but it turns out many of you were worse; my Football Challenge team surged somewhat (to 2-10-158) and my other teams held mostly steady. There weren’t many great individual performances to be owned.
Quick-hit thoughts going forward, in the interest of conveying much information in not much time:
As I wrote in the last comments section, I started five cheapos at RB, not six, splurging on Brian Westbrook because Darren McFadden had his toe problem, and on Westbrook specifically because LaDainian Tomlinson (toe) and Adrian Peterson (hamstring) seemed to be hurt, too. So naturally Westbrook (ankle, now) had the worst week of the bunch.
I’m not bitter -- the decision really meant Aaron Rodgers instead of Drew Brees and Westbrook instead of McFadden; neither of the two games I owned will hurt me long-term -- and I’m pleased to have added Matt Forte a couple of weeks early, another decision prompted by McFadden’s toe. If anything, the Westbrook injury underscores why I avoided Tomlinson and Peterson in the first place. It does you no good to spend salary on a player who does not play, and avoiding the possibility (as I thought I was doing) is usually smart.
Usually; not always. More below.
Put a different way, the moves you make with your teams do not have to work to have been right as of kickoff on Sunday. You owe it to yourself to make your decisions properly before the games start -- that seldom means making them all correctly in terms of the ultimate results.
Bye weeks start in earnest now. At two positions, and two only, starting a player on his bye can be smart. The two are TE and WR (OK, and defense / special teams in games that use them), where players really only contribute receiving yards, receiving average and the occasional touchdown. When T.O. and Randy Moss can combine for 6 catches and 42 yards, anyone can stay active through his bye if it means (a) in the case of a cheapo, making salaries work at other positions; or (b) in the case of anyone including a less-than-cheapo, saving a purchase you might otherwise burn on a quick fix. Do not go out of your way to start players who cannot possibly produce, but do it at these two positions if it becomes necessary ...
... while not ever doing it at K or QB, and seldom if ever at RB. Kickers and quarterbacks each contribute a third of your week’s numbers in critical categories; close races in those categories win and lose leagues. And running backs produce bulk yards in twice as many categories (rushing and receiving) as tight ends and receivers, and score more often at that.
Tough week coming matchupswise. At RB, where it matters most, I like Reggie Bush (vs. SF), Earnest Graham (vs. GB), Maurice Jones-Drew (vs. HOU), Marshawn Lynch (at STL) and not much else -- and I only own two of those four. Maybe Chris Perry (vs. CLE), coming down from a brutal opening (at BAL, vs. TEN, at NYG) that has seen him get 19, then 21, then 20 carries at a mere $500 in Football Challenge salary. I feel cute, sure, but not that cute yet.
In addition to being an ace fantasy football writer, I work as a lawyer and teach paralegal and LSAT prep courses. I doubt you want to read my autobiography, but I owe you that much in the way of explanation and this much in the way of apology: My best friend from school and I are putting final touches on a screenplay this week and maybe next. It’s one thing too many; these columns will get short shrift for now.
More in later weeks.
Posted by Richard Loppnow | Sep. 24 at 03:48 AM
I must differ on taking a zero from a WR. Yes a Randy Moss can put up a stinker, but is no more likely to do so than an RB. And our WRs absolutely drive the YPR category. So taking a zero there from that postion stings. As to RBs. Yes they affect the 2 receiving cats, but typically do so in opposite directions. So taking a zero at RB - not that I'm recommending that, 'cuz I sure don't - actually will help you in the YPR cat.
Posted by KEVIN DALLAS | Sep. 27 at 02:01 PM
Don't know what took me so long...got rid of Ginn, RBs this week are Peterson, Lynch, Barber, Lewis, McFadden and my new acquisition Bush. WRs this week are Marshall, TJ, Boldin, AJ, Cotchery and my new acquisition Jackson.
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