I have to chuckle when I see other fantasy experts rating their predictions week in and week out.
I've never been one to boast about who's right and who's wrong in the business (unless you call Eli Manning a sleeper against the St. Louis Rams...come on!), because correctly predicting the statistical outcome of 16 NFL games and the countless plays in those games is impossible.
Heck, I think Nostradamus would be in over his head.
So when I see people stress out about who to start and who to sit, it takes me back to what fantasy football should be. It's getting together with your buddies for a draft party. It's trash talking when you roll over your pals because of Michael Turner's monster stat line.
And it's supposed to be FUN.
|Domenic Centofanti / Getty Images|
|Calvin Johnson is fast becoming a fantasy superstar.|
Now I know a lot of people out their are ultra competitive, hate to lose and play for high stakes. But when you're losing sleep over whether you should start Kurt Warner or Aaron Rodgers, it becomes more work and less fun. People have enough to worry about in their everyday lives.
So in an effort to help make those difficult decisions easier, here's a few guidelines for avoiding headaches when you set your lineup.
First, unless there are outside circumstances (injuries, a bad offensive line, horrible weather), you should be starting your superstars most of the time. That's why they're SUPERSTARS...they're supposed to perform regardless of the opposition.
Here's one example of where you should sit a stud if you had a viable replacement: Joseph Addai vs. Matt Forte in Week 2.
Addai was injured in the Colts' opener, is running behind a patchwork offensive line and faced the brick wall that is the Minnesota run defense.
In this case, I would have reserved Addai in favor of Forte (and I said as much in last week's mailbag). But if you had to choose between Addai and a back who shares carries, like Selvin Young, I would have stuck with Addai.
Second, don't sit a good player who faces a bad matchup in favor of a mediocre player with a good matchup. A perfect example happened over the weekend.
I told everyone that Roddy White had a bad matchup and a poor history against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But that doesn't mean you sit him in favor of Devery Henderson or Michael Jenkins. White is a 1,000-yard receiver with some real talent, while Henderson and Jenkins are far less consistent and more suited to reserve roles in fantasy land.
So when I suggested that you sit White, you needed to have a legitimate option to replace him. Otherwise, you roll the dice and hope White will reverse his past failures.
Third, be aware of the players that are becoming must-start players, but don't overrate someone based on one monster stat line. Two obvious breakout options are Jay Cutler and Calvin Johnson. This duo has made some real noise in the first two weeks and should now be active in most formats on a weekly basis.
The same can't be said of Anthony Fasano and Dante Rosario.
These two tight ends were spectacular in Week 1. They combined for one catch in Week 2.
Remember Frisman Jackson? He went off in the opening week of the 2005 season with eight catches, 128 yards and one touchdown in a loss to Cincinnati. He had 16 catches the rest of the year.
While I think Fasano has potential for more, Rosario can be added to the never-ending list of Frisman Jacksons now that Steve Smith is back in the mix.
So in closing, remember that at the end of the day, fantasy football is supposed to be fun.
And all of those fantasy experts who tell you how great their picks (aka educated guesses) are have just as many poor ones (including me), because no one can see into the future. We're more like movers -- we do all the heavy lifting (research, analysis) so you don't have to.
Oh, and if you have Michael Turner, he's a must-start this week. Not because I said so, because he faces a beautiful matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs...
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