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Fantasy first-timer: Week 3 - Breaking Bradford

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Our Digital Features Editor, Amar Shah, has never played fantasy football until this year. He'll chronicle his adventures here.

Drop the Mic

Like John Elway, Michael Jordan and Randy Watson from "Coming to America", I should have quit while I was ahead, retired on top, dropped the mic and walked away.

Unfortunately, my reign as Fantasy Shahisenberg lasted only one week. Two weeks later, I'm 1-2 and my prospects look dimmer than Jesse Pinkman in the dungeon.

I can only blame myself. And Sam Bradford.

Breaking Bradford

I call it stubborness. My wife calls it stupidity.

Back in our halcyon honeymoon days in Bristol, Connecticut, my wife Tejal and I would run to Blockbuster and rent several seasons of "24". It became our tradition to binge watch television shows. Well, until a year and a half ago. That's when she decided to cheat. She watched four seasons of "Breaking Bad" while not telling me, using late nights when I was asleep to secretly watch episode after episode under the sheets with her phone. She says she asked me if  I was interested in the show, but I plead ignorance at her doing so. After finishing the entire series, all she did was rave about how brilliant it was and that I had to experience the phenomenon. I refused. I knew it was good, but just to protest I told her it was overrated and monotonous. I knew I was lying. It would be six months later when I watched the entire series without telling her. Like I said, stubborn to a fault.

Flash forward to last Sunday, where even after getting warned several times not to, I decided to start Sam Bradford over Cam Newton. Researcher and former cubicle mate Bill Sudell continued his Bradford grievance and told me not start him, ever (times 10). Editor David Ely also told me the same thing. Stick with Cam. Well, Cam had underperformed the first two weeks. Bradford was better.

Numbers never lie. Apparently, they do. There's no point covering it up anymore, but I drafted Bradford on a strong hunch that he was going to be a sleeper pick. He'd have new weapons and protection. I was waiting for the right time to finally start him. And I did. We all know how that went.

I've become that guy who mopes around the office asking everyone for their fantasy tips. Fortunately, Adam Rank bestowed some impartial advice.

Great, I hate losing and the prospect of losing my hair even more.

Your and idiot

Another by-product of my stubborness/stupidity was my choice of running back. Doug Martin was a lock as a starter, but Maurice Jones-Drew wasn't supposed to play because of injury. My two other backs on the bench were Mark Ingram and Shonnn Greene. Both shared Jones-Drew's fate.  Thus, it was time to hit the waiver wire. Producer Alex Wilk helped me narrow my choice down to Robert Turbin and Jason Snelling. Then I reached out to friends on Facebook for affirmation:

Slim pickings on the waiver wire.

I ended up sliding MJD back into starter mode after I heard he'd be playing -- another decision based on the stubbonness of belief instead of cold hard fact. MJD was also facing a Seattle defense. Jot down another moronic maneuver on my part.

I ended up leaving nearly 80 points on my bench.

Dave Dameshek offered his analysis.

Week 3 was over.

Another crushing defeat.

How appropos that the team I lost to was called Your and idiot.

Change is Coming

I wanted to do something bold. Adam Rank warned me against it.

Don't panic? Cam Newton's on a bye this week. I had to make a choice. Start Bradford or make a move? Before Thursday's San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams game, I made my decision.


EJ Manuel's my quarterback for this week. After that, it's all Cam Newton.

Bradford ended up scoring 7.68 points.

And this Sunday night, the wifey and I will sit on the couch and like rest of the country watch the conclusion of the best television show ever. Of course, I won't tell her. I'm stubborn like that. Or maybe just stupid.

Next Week: Can I get back to .500? An interview with another more famous first timer and more.

Amar Shah is the digital features editor at He'll be writing about his first-time fantasy adventures throughout the season. You can reach him at @amarshahism. If you have trade or marital advice, let him know.

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