|Written by Matt Price|
|Friday, 14 December 2012 08:55|
As we sit here in week 15 of the NFL season and the middle of the fantasy playoffs for most leagues, the owners of the teams that are still alive are meticulously going over their lineups with a fine toothed comb in an effort to squeeze every last drop of value out of their roster. While this is an important task, I want to use this week’s column to remind everyone about the perils of over thinking your starting lineup. In the regular season you can stray from the “always start your studs” theory but in the playoffs where one loss means your season is over it is important to revisit the concept of sticking with the guys that got you there. Scrutinize every decision, but err on the side of the guys that are proven commodities. I’m not saying that everyone you start needs to be a “name” player. There are of course exceptions to every rule. Guys like Larry Fitzgerald, Vernon Davis, and Antonio Gates have clearly shown us that they cannot be trusted this season. If one of them has a big game this week we won’t feel too bad about it because they have let us down more times than not in 2012. That said, I’m not going to tell you to bench Aaron Rodgers this week for someone like Tony Romo or even a guy like Nick Foles just because they are coming in hot while Rodgers has underperformed and has a less than ideal matchup. You are playing with fire considering a move like that. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few questions from the weekly thread.
Hockeyrobot currently has Doug Martin and Marshawn Lynch in his starting lineup but wonders if it is worth considering Knowshon Moreno instead of Lynch. Let me preface my response with the fact that I do like Moreno quite a bit this week against the Ravens. I see him as a strong RB2. However, Lynch is a bonafide RB1 that should never leave your lineup. I know that the Bills run defense has been playing much better the last several weeks, but not good enough to bench a guy like Lynch, Outside of Peterson, Rice, and Doug Martin there is no running back I would rather have than Marshawn Lynch. Don’t over think this. Start your two RB1 studs and don’t give it another thought. Moreno could certainly outproduce Lynch this week, but that doesn’t mean you made the wrong decision.
As you make your roster decisions this week think about how you will feel if your choice doesn’t meet or exceed expectations. For me, if a stud has a poor performance it is disappointing, but not nearly as disappointing as watching the same player have a huge game on the bench. When your season is on the line, go with your gut. If you don’t feel good putting a certain player in your lineup then don’t do it. You are the one that has to make the final lineup decision. If your gut is telling you not to follow the advice of an “expert” then don’t do it. Ultimately it is you that has to feel good about the choice and the outcome of that choice. If you follow an expert’s advice even though your gut is telling you to go a different direction then it is going to hurt when you have that “I knew it!” moment.
The main thing to remind yourself is to not be too results oriented. If you made a decision before the games are played and it doesn’t work out as planned, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the correct one. Fantasy football is a lot like poker in some ways. In any given hand you can lose holding great cards or win with a terrible one. In fantasy football you can likewise lose any given week with a great lineup or win with a horrible one. In the grand scheme of things though the outcome of one hand (week) is meaningless.
Because most most fantasy playoff games are only one week, there is a high degree of randomness. Great teams will lose to bad teams. Just like in the NFL, the best fantasy team doesn’t always win the superbowl. We have to remember that the object of the game is to put yourself in the best possible position to win it all and then hope that the players do what they are supposed to in any given week. The best fantasy football players do not win every week, but they almost always make the playoffs.
People that don’t play poker believe that it is strictly a game of chance. The ones that play a lot know differently. This is also true for fantasy football. Anyone can win a league once, but the very best are the ones whose teams are almost always good and are in the playoff hunt year in and year out. If you put your best lineup out there this week and happen to lose to a lesser team, don’t beat yourself up about it. You know you’ll be back again next year in the same spot with a shot at the championship.
Good luck in week 15! As always feel free to ask questions in the weekly thread or hit me up on twitter @MPricer
|Last Updated on Friday, 14 December 2012 08:56|