I had a tough time trying to come up with what to write for Week 9 as this week appears to be the most predictable so far of the NFL season. However, I think that this week presents a valuable lesson for any successful Fanager to learn and that is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
So many times Fanagers get caught up on streaky players without proven track records of success because some nerd on the NFL network confuses broken coverage or some other temporary situation for a consistent receiving option. The guy who scores 8 points per week is much more valuable than the player who scores 30 fantasy points twice a season; not only does the math significantly favor the former, but the chances of happening to play the latter during one of those 2 stellar performances are slim.
Some weeks there just aren’t any breakout players worth waiving (with the exception of roster holes as a result of the bye). During these weeks, you are more likely to harm your squad with fastidious waiver moves and, depending on your waiver order settings, put yourself at a disadvantage in the coming weeks. As we turn the corner into the second half of the season, Fanagers need to be more conservative and begin to address significant roster concerns as they prepare for the playoffs.
The technique that I like to use during the weeks when there isn’t anyone too exciting on the waiver wire is to wait until after the waiver period has ended and then add potential studs as free agents. This way I maintain equal or better waiver preference order and the other Fanagers in my league help weed out some of the soon-to-be Fantasy irrelevant. Moreover, in the event that certain players don’t pan out, I can drop the duds without facing a setback down the road. I did this in my deepest league and picked up Maurice Morris and Jackie Battle a week ahead of when I would have been willing to waive them, both of which proved to be solid fill-ins last week.
One of the guys who I haven’t heard enough about is Packers’ Wide Receiver James Jones. Not only does Jones have the most consistent arm in the league throwing him the ball, but he also has so much supporting talent in the receiving core that he often gets favorable coverage. Of course, Jennings, Finley, Nelson, and Driver are all in the mix too, but when you throw as much as Green Bay does, there seems to be more than enough to go around. In his last 4 games, Jones has 13 receptions for 286 yards and 3 touchdowns – not too shabby, huh?
Laurent Robinson (Wide Receiver, Dallas Cowboys) has seen as increased workload in recent weeks and could serve as a viable Wide Receiver option, similar to Jones. In Robinson’s last 4 games he has 16 catches for 287 yards and a score. Robinson could prove especially valuable during Fantasy playoffs as the Cowboys will likely be in desperation mode along with their opponents as they fight to make the NFL playoffs late in the season.
Another Packer that I have been loving this season is James Starks, because what do teams who are up by a significant margin late in the game do (minus the Cowboys)? They run the ball to burn the clock. And as a bonus tip for those of you who play Madden and aren’t familiar with Starks, you should substitute Starks for Ryan Grant in the starting line up when playing with the Packers for an advantage.
If you want to pick these guys up – great; if your line up is set without them, even better, but don’t make things harder on yourself as a Fanager. Even if you are in last place and automatically have the first waiver preference, look at the number of moves you have made and you may find the source of your Fantasy woes. The road will only get rockier from here on out…