Drowning in fantasy goodness

September 14, 2018 - 10:26 am
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A certain moment Monday night showed me just what running 15 fantasy-football teams this year is going to mean.

I had Jets-Lions on, and my laptop and phone set up to track the stats from the game. Out of 15 leagues about five outcomes were still in doubt, more perhaps than usual because there were two games that night.

As soon as the game got going I was struggling to remember which guys were good (and bad) for me in which leagues. I need to find or create some sort of importance index so that will become easier to follow. Marvin Jones was especially confusing; every time a pass went his way I couldn't sort out whether I wanted him to catch it.

This is no way to live.

I knew if Jones caught a ball that Bulldog would be happy. He has one team and Jones is on it. His game came down to Jones and, well, he lost. One long pass went Jones' direction and fell incomplete. Bulldog told of how he and his son were watching that, and they both got up and screamed when the pass missed. Sounds nice.

The closest thing I came to that was Isaiah Crowell's 62-yard touchdown run for the Jets. As he was running I thought to myself, "I think that's good". But I wasn't sure. Turns out I had a team with Crowell and Kenny Golladay that unexpectedly came back to win in a fairly high-stakes league. Crowell's (shocking?) long TD should have been a celebration for me. It wasn't.

The best point I heard this summer against having so many teams was made by Chris Liss of Rotowire. He said a far smaller amount than 15 was, in his opinion, too many, because then following the action becomes too professional. I feel like one of these old-timey gamblers that has his action spread out everywhere and just stands there in a three-piece suit watching it play out, smoking a pipe or something.

In conversation with friends about strategy and results, I have to think hard to remember which league we're talking about, and who's on my roster. I give my brain a lot of credit but this is maxing out.

The emotional aspect aside, while I like most of the teams I drafted I did not have great luck in Week 1. Two leagues I'm in award a "double win"; the top half in points get an additional win, the bottom half an additional loss, mitigating the luck factor from head-to-head matchups. One league is simply overall total points, so no wins or losses. In the end each week I'll have 16 results, and in Week 1 I was ... 6-10.

Ouch.

I'm not a believer in complaining over guys on your bench that did well, that you "should have started". If your process (sorry) is right then there are no bad decisions, only bad outcomes -- and those are inevitable. Some of these things are less defensible than others; I mean I can't beat myself up over the low-scoring weeks Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette had. What are you gonna do?

One strategy I'm thinking a lot back to is how expensive running backs became in preseason drafts. Hunt, Fournette, Dalvin Cook and eventually even Christian McCaffrey were getting picked before the likes of Odell Beckham, Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins. Saquon Barkley was being chosen ahead of Antonio Brown. Owners did not want to get stuck at running back; the dropoff seemed sudden and severe.

But most of those top receivers that were passed over had great first weeks, while some of the aforementioned running backs did not. (This is not to mention Ezekiel Elliott, David Johnson and, of course, Le'Veon Bell; it wasn't weird or controversial at all that those players were drafted early.) In fantasy parlance, was zero-RB the way to go?

Too soon to draw that kind of conclusion, but I was thinking a lot about it Thursday night watching A.J. Green -- another of these receivers -- go for three touchdowns. Green, Michael Thomas, Keenan Allen, huge starts all. Davante Adams and Mike Evans are on this list too -- and so is Rob Gronkowski, who had a fine Week 1.

Look back at your first 2-3 rounds. Would you do it differently?

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