Fantasy Football: Who to Start, Who to Sit (Based on How Much I Suck at This)
I have been in a Fantasy Football league since 1986. That is not a misprint. I have been at this childish crap for 28 years and counting. When three friends and I started our league (which has now grown to 8) it was as a means of keeping in touch as we all went away to college. Back then there was no internet or e-mail to keep stats and send messages. My friend Akim, who was attending the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, wrote down all of the scoring on legal pads, Xeroxed them, and snail-mailed them out with his hilarious observations each week. As it was then, we have a keeper league with no waiver wire pick-ups during the season. If your team gets devastated by injuries or by having too many Jacksonville Jaguars, tough darts, you’re either screwed or have to make a trade with someone who is looking to screw you. It’s also worth mentioning that our league is all about scoring plays and dollar amounts (no points system, head-to-head match-ups, or playoffs). Sure there are bonuses for guys that run or receive for over 100 yards and QBs that throw for over 300, but none of the ridiculousness associated with some guy getting points for having a paltry 20 yards receiving. Please. Anyway, this my drawn out way of saying that I’ve been doing this for a loooong time and, more importantly, that I stink at it.
I have a pretty decent team on paper but somehow manage to start the wrong guys every single week. On my league board there is a stat called “Coaching Grade” which is based on how successful you are in starting the right players each week. Right now my coaching grade is looking a lot like the grade I got on my Junior High School algebra regents exam… meaning, it’s horrific. Anyway, since I always start the wrong guys, I thought I would give everyone else a heads up on who I didn’t start, so that at least someone can clean up. But, first things first, here are the players I started this week so that you can make sure to sit ’em.
QB: Eli Manning. I’m thinking that Eli is due and that he should have an easy time carving up Minnesota’s shoddy pass defense. But more likely he gets picked four times and throws no TDs.
RB: Reggie Bush. Maybe the only decent running back on my team. He’ll probably be held to negative two yards.
RB: Matt Forte. This is the week that Washington’s defense gives a decent effort. Trust me.
WR: Larry Fitzgerald. He already did squat Thursday night against Seattle. Sorry I didn’t do this sooner.
WR: T.Y. Hilton. He only catches 70-yard bombs when on my bench. This week I’m thinking nada.
WR: Torrey Smith. Pittsburgh looks at what Green Bay did to him and shuts him down for second straight week.
TE: Rob Gronkowski. He’s back! With my luck he gets hurt on the first play and is out for the remainder of the season.
K: Randy Bullock. Nothing like a kicker who thinks he might lose his job at any moment.
QB: Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan. Both of these guys should go over 300 yards with multiple tds.
RB: Maurice Jones-Drew and Chris Johnson. Huge days are in store for two guys who used to be fantasy studs. Jones-Drew breaks a screen for an 80-yard td and Johnson rushes for 200 yards and two scores. Followed shortly by me jumping out the window.
WR: Steve Smith, Stevie Johnson, and Julio Jones. Yes, I said Julio Jones. Even though he’s out for the year he’ll still find a way to screw me with a long touchdown.
TE: Jimmy Graham. He’s my other tight end and he’s on his bye week. But his bye week will probably be better than just about any other tight end who’s actually playing.
K: Sebastian Janikowski. He’s on a bye as well but he’ll probably get in a dust-up in some bar and kick a few folks a long way.
There you have it. Don’t say I never did anything for you. Good luck this week and promise yourself that you give up fantasy football before you hit the quarter-century mark.