When you live in an area that’s prone to severe weather (like Florida), electricity can be iffy when things get bad. Sometimes the power goes out, just like that. One moment things look good, the next you’re in the dark. And you have no idea when things will get better.
My power stayed on this past weekend, except for my fantasy teams, which suffered rolling blackouts throughout the day on Sunday. And looking at the stats, I’m not alone.
Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Derek Carr and Matt Stafford all had what looked like appealing matchups. Instead, they delivered a combined three touchdowns and eight interceptions. Ja’Marr Chase, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Davante Adams, and Tyreek Hill all failed to crack 50 yards receiving, and caught a combined zero touchdowns. A great player can perform poorly in any given game, but these seemed particularly ugly. Throw in bye weeks and injuries, and you might have really needed some of these guys to step up. Instead, they stepped away while fantasy teams crashed and burned. It got so bad, the Lions probably wished they were playing on Sunday.
And it wasn’t just fantasy teams who suffered. The Rams, Bills, Cowboys and Raiders all lost games they were expected to win, and they looked particularly bad doing it. Is this a case of “any given Sunday,” or just bad luck on a weird week? Or is something else at play?
Normally I’d say these things just happen, but I think there’s a little more at work here. Adams was obviously challenged without Aaron Rodgers, and maybe Dak Prescott is hurt more than we were led to believe. But Kansas City hasn’t looked good in weeks, and the Bills entire game looked like the first half of the week before. They haven’t been right since going for the touchdown and coming up short against the Titans before their bye week.
On the other side of the ball, Tennessee is more than Derrick Henry, and the Giants play better than their record. I think fantasy players have to get out of the habit of looking at the schedule and seeing “easy games” or team they can “pick on.” The Jets were down to Josh Johnson at quarterback and still put up 30 points. If you (or me, because I’m really talking about me here) played the Colts defense, you were disappointed. And it cost you (me) a game you (I) really needed. Every team is stacked with elite millionaires, and we shouldn’t be surprised when they play like it.
So what should you do? The answer, of course, is nothing. You can’t bench these guys, especially after a bad game. But you can ignore the guys who did better on your bench. And you just have to hope that Buffalo and Kansas City gets their acts together. Unless you have some amazing options on your roster, “grin and bear it” is your best bet.
Besides, some of these upsets could help your team. These were mostly low-scoring losses, but there might be shootout upsets as well. And untimely defeats keep teams hungry and prevent them being too careful when you might need them most. You don’t want your players locking things up too quickly, or coasting toward a playoff spot. Let them sweat it out, and feel the need to build some momentum for the offense. It could actually help your situation later.
And really, “later” is what matters. For all the talk about Rodgers, I didn’t hear many people discuss how much worse it could have been. If this happened in late January, or a few days before the Super Bowl, it wouldn’t really impact your fantasy team. But imagine how it would affect the Packers and their players? Or the biggest day on the sports calendar? And if it was week 16 or 17, it would affect your fantasy team in a big way. At least it was just week 9. There’s a lot more football to play, so if you had a player disappoint, or an entire team experience a blackout, power might be restored as early as this weekend. I hope the lights stay on for you on Sunday.
Who is disappointing your fantasy team right now? How do you feel about their future prospects? How bad did it get for you (or your opponent) this past weekend? Share your thoughts below.