It’s a game of patience and faith if you want to be successful in life…and in fantasy football.
By now, you should have done enough surgery to your drafted team that you’re either firing on all cylinders or the doormat of your league.
I’m not saying your season’s over, but it’s time to dig deep if you’re going to make a playoff run.
Believe it or not, it’s really best to start the season off bad.
Hear me out. If you start off the season bad, then you’ll have a better spot in the waiver order.
The waivers can be one of the best ways to improve your team and get those hidden gems that turn into solid contributors.
Every fantasy league that I’ve ever played in, I have the same pattern: draft for the long term, start off slow, build up through waivers and trades, then finish strong in the second half.
Why does that work?
Primarily because no one else in your league is thinking like that. They would much rather just ride out the storm with the team that they drafted from day one.
Unless you’re agressive in waivers and on the trade block, you’re never going to succeed in fantasy sports.
The watchlist is one of the more underutilized features of the waivers for fantasy owners.
All you have to do is simply tag people that you think could do well. Surprisingly, owners don’t utilize it because they’d rather just go off of whoever is at the top of the list by default.
You, on the other hand, should be keeping a watchful eye on players that you would want to add if they opportunity presented itself.
If your watchlist is prestigious, then you’ll be in better shape when it comes time to trade a big name player. If someone in your league comes to you with a big trade, you’ll have your watchlist candidates ready to be the next in line.
Remember this rule: never have a player on your team that you wouldn’t consider playing on a regular basis, and leave your watchlist for the maybes with potential.
If you are a Peyton Manning owner, you probably won your matchup last weeks based on his Monday Night Football performance. Unfortunately he’s on a bye week this week and you need to find a viable replacement.
Let’s take a look at the players that could step up for you this week…
Felix Jones (50% owned) Even though he’s already owned in fifty percent of leagues, Jones is really just a rental for this week if you’re hurting at running back. DeMarco Murray is only going to be out for one week, so you can’t expect 18 carries, 92 yards, and a score kind of performances from him beyond this week. Now, it was impressive that he did that against the Raves, which could lead to Dallas moving towards more of a two-back show going forward. Since Murray will be eased back into the lineup, Jones’ value could last for a week and a half. They’ll be on the road again this week, against Carolina, so Jones should be a decent enough play to be looked at as a number two running back option.
Christian Ponder (36% owned) If you’re not impressed with this guy by now, something’s wrong with you. Ponder was a controversial pick two seasons ago, solely based on how high he went. Scouts weren’t doubting his talent, but it took a little while for him to get comfortable at the NFL level. He’s a dual threat, which is great by fantasy standards, allowing him to bring a strong level of reliability if you need to pick up a option for your quarterback’s bye week. If you don’t have one of the elite options already, you could actually seriously consider him as your quarterback going forward. Four of his six games this season, he’s thrown for over 240 yards, along with two touchdowns in four of those games. He has thrown two interceptions each of his last two games, but was still able to post solid fantasy numbers. He returns home to take on a Cardinals unit that is trying to rekindle their early season magic on defense. The Vikings offense is starting to come together nicely, which is why you need to employ Ponder as your Manning BYE week substitute.
Randall Cobb (36% owned) Greg Jennings is still recovering from his recent injury, making room for people like James Jones and Randall Cobb. Now we all know Cobb for his elite speed and return skills, but in the last three weeks he’s been quite effective in catching 14 passes and scoring once. Cobb has the ability to gain great yardage after the catch, which is why you should want him in this week’s matchup against the Rams. James Jones and Jordy Nelson will be busy tying Janoris Jenkins and the Rams secondary, leaving plenty of opportunity for Cobb to shine. The secret’s out on James Jones after scoring two touchdowns each of the last three weeks, so now it’s time to get on the Randall Cobb bandwagon. If you need a spark at the flex option, employ Cobb.
Josh Gordon (2% owned) Talk about the secret being out. Josh Gordon, the infamous supplementary draft selection by the Browns, has really become his own highlight reel these past two weeks. Gordon is turning into this year’s Torrey Smith. He’s someone that can stretch the field, but owners can only cash in with if he connects on a hail mary type of pass. Gordon has elite speed, now it’s just a matter of him catching more passes. As soon as he gets one of those 70-yard touchdowns, owners are happy with him for the day, but this is fantasy football and we want more. If you’re feeling lucky, go ahead and invest in Gordon to see if he can continue his recent trend. The Browns are playing at Indianapolis against the Colts this week, so this might be another coming out party for Gordon. Keep in mind that he’s been successful against the Giants and Bengals, two defenses that are highly regarded in the fantasy football world. Brandon Weeden likes to throw it deep, so it might be time to believe in Josh Gordon as a serious option going forward.
FANTASY HEADLINES TO FOLLOW THIS WEEK
-Trying to find replacement options for Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan during their BYE week
-How will the loses of Ray Lewis and LaDarius Webb affect the Ravens D/ST value going forward?
-Is AJ Green becoming the best WR in the league?
-Rams K Greg Zuerlein missed his first NFL field goal, but is still the best kicker in fantasy
-Greg Jennings still hurt, while Jermichael Finley’s stock is drastically falling
-Adrian Peterson hasn’t score a touchdown since opening day, expect that to change this week
-Christian Ponder is the next best QB option in fantasy
-DeMarco Murray is only out for one week
-Shonn Greene was a one hit wonder last week
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