The benefit of playing daily fantasy football is that you can draft a new team every week. You don’t get saddled with a bad draft pick for five months, or make a trade for a player who immediately gets injured, torpedoing your season. But the bad thing about daily fantasy football is that you draft a new team every week, giving you 17 chances to be wrong, again. But by identifying mistakes that we make along the way, we hope to eliminate them, all in pursuit of that one perfect lineup that can change everything.
So let’s take a look at a few players who were heavily drafted in Week 10… or not… and see if we can draw any conclusions to apply when we’re choosing our lineups in Week 11 and beyond.
*NOTE: All usage stats include the SUNDAY GAMES ONLY.
Calvin Johnson ($7,100)
Why You Used Him (18.14% started): This is an easy one to start off – you started him because he is Megatron, and he was the cheapest you’ve ever seen him.
20/20 Hindsight: This section is really only for the 82% of you who didn’t start him – why not? He said he wouldn’t play until he was 100%, the Lions said he wouldn’t play until he was 100%, he played, and he looked 100%. And Johnson at full-strength is much more than a $7,100 talent.
Going Forward: You missed your chance. He’s the best receiver in football, and not for nothing. He’ll keep putting up numbers, but he’s going to cost more. A lot more.
Ben Roethlisberger ($7,500)
Why You Used Him (18.86% started): Twelve touchdowns in two games. Arguably the best receiver in the game catching passes from him, as well as a dynamic running back and a couple of rookies who have been performing well.
20/20 Hindsight: Two games, no matter how good, is still two games. He’s had only four games all season over 20 points, and only three over 25. And one does not simply throw for six touchdowns in every game.
Going Forward: He does have great weapons. But what weeks eight and nine told us was NOT that Big Ben is a must start. What they told us was that his upside was considerably greater than other, similarly priced quarterbacks. His upside, in fact, is equal to the elite quarterbacks, but not his consistency. And now, you have to pay for that upside. You’re paying almost $2,000 more than you were before those two crazy outbursts, and if he plays closer to his averages than his upside, he isn’t worth it.
Eric Decker ($4,900)
Why You Used Him (4.38%): 4.38% might not seem like a lot, but it lets Decker squeeze into the top 50 in ownership rates. I suppose that’s because he has been the #1 guy for the Jets most of the season, and Vick looked like an upgrade at QB last week. He had a good matchup, he was pretty cheap… not much more to it than that.
20/20 Hindsight: Vick IS an upgrade at QB. And Decker, despite the big game Harvin had in week 8, IS still basically the #1 guy on the team – maybe 1A, along with Percy (they both had 3 catches in week 10). But in this game, Vick threw the ball eighteen times. The Jets ran a total of 54 plays. Just for perspective, the Bronocs ran 76 plays. The Jets ran the ball twice as many times as they threw it.
Going Forward: Good games will be there, but when? I don’t know. I don’t know how you would either. Let’s put it this way: there will not be a start-worthy Jets WR every week. Out of the weeks where there IS a start-worthy Jets WR, it’s not always going to be Decker. So, good luck.
Marshawn Lynch ($6,700)
Why You Used Him (21.42% started): He showed you something in Week 9. You saw the two touchdowns coming off the bye and saw a back trending in the right direction, not just a couple of fluky goalline touches. After three consecutive weeks of single-digit fantasy points in Week 6-8, even a big week 9 couldn’t boost his price enough to dissuade you.
20/20 Hindsight: Kudos, you were right. The two touchdowns might have been a fluke, or maybe not, but it doesn’t matter, because coming off the bye it does seem like the Seahawks have a renewed focus on the run game, and you saw it coming. And therefore, you got Beast-mode at it’s finest, going off for 163 total yards and 4 TDs.
Going Forward: Prices under $7K are a thing of the past. But when this guy is on fire, you’d better consider him, because he might just beat you, especially having recorded 23 catches on the season so far. He can beat you a lot of ways, and outside of Wilson, he is Seattle’s best weapon, so you know they’re going to at least try to lean on him.
Peyton Manning ($9,700) and Aaron Rodgers ($9,400)
Why You Used Them (7.17% and 9.81%, respectively): Those percentages were good for third and fourth most highly used quartberbacks, despite the high price tag. And no one who took either guy is complaining right now.
20/20 Hindsight: Being #’s 3 and 4 means there were two guys ahead of them, so let’s take a look at #’s 1 and 2: Big Ben and Matt Ryan. Those guys have upside , and a much lower price tag. And plenty of people prescribe to the idea that QB is a great place to save, because SOMEONE from lower down the price list usually performs as well as the top guys, if only you can choose correctly.
Going Forward: If you want to save on QB, you better choose correctly. Because guys like Rodgers and Manning are the types of players who will destroy your chances of competing in big GPP games if you pass on them. This is evidence of needing a different approach in big tourneys and games like 50/50s, because the ability to drop 50 just doesn’t come around too often, and when it does, the name next to that outburst is usually not all that surprising, Big Ben’s last two games notwithstanding.
Golden Tate ($7,000)
Why You didn’t Use Him (2.09% owned): Just to put a bookend on this discussion, you didn’t use him because Calvin Johnson.
20/20 Hindsight: Maybe Golden Tate is just a lot better than the Ryan Broyles’ of the world, because it finally looked like two WRs could thrive in this offense.
Going Forward: So, maybe Megatron doesn’t get 20 targets a game, but he’ll get plenty to be in the discussion for #1 wide receiver in the game again, despite Tate actually getting some looks. If a few of Tate’s catches are being vultured from Tight Ends, or running backs, well, then great. He’s better at catching passes than those guys, so maybe his ascension during Johnson’s absence just makes this entire offense look better. One can dream anyway.