This certainly would have been a nice week to know one or two things AHEAD of time. Sometimes when you are building a lineup, you plug in a cheap option to make room for your other picks, but you’re not 100% convinced. He’s in your lineup, so you believe there’s a chance, but you’re worried. But other times, you put that cheap guy in there thinking, “I know this guy is going off. Getting him this cheap is like stealing.” And when you feel that way, and then you’re right, it’s feels like you did know ahead of time. It feels great.
All of those times you were convinced of something – really convinced – and it didn’t pan out? Maybe those mistakes can help you nail that perfect lineup next time around. And by the way – “next time around” is Thursday. Daily fantasy is great, huh?
Jonas Gray ($3,300):
Why You Didn’t Start Him: Why would you? Best case scenario, he was Stevan Ridley, right? There was no real reason to expect him to be better than that.
20/20 Hindsight: The Patriots are a game-plan specific offense. It’s not often they run into another offense that is actually MORE high-scoring than they are, but this was one of those weeks. And Indy has some great corners. If there was ever a week they were going to lean on a big, young running back and NOT Tom Brady, it makes sense that this was it.
Going Forward: I wish I could jump right on board, but there is just no real way to have confidence. If he is really this good, he will have other really good games – remember LeGarrette Blount down the stretch last year? But he will NOT have those games every Sunday, which makes him tough to start. His good games won’t come because the opponent seems to dictate that approach. The Patriots typically dictate their approach, so if you’re starting Gray, you have to have confidence in your ability to predict what Belichick and McDaniels are planning for the week.
Aaron Rodgers ($9,400):
Why You Started Him: A ton of you did. And why not? He’s on fire, and we’ve talked about this – but he’s the kind of player who occasionally has a game where you see the stats flash across the bottom of your screen and immediately know you have no chance of winning, because you didn’t draft him. And for whatever reason, he wasn’t the most expensive QB on the board. Getting a talent like this for any savings at all was a no brainer (at least for almost 25% of you).
20/20 Hindsight: For a lot of you, this was foresight. And he killed it.
Going Forward: The time for getting any savings at all has passed, and rightfully so. At $9,900 for next week, Rodgers is the priciest QB on the board, $500 more than Peyton and $300 more than Luck. And when you can save $1,300 and still get Brady, or $1,700 and still get Brees, the temptation is there to leave him for someone else to draft. But if he’s not winning for you, he might be winning for someone else. So make sure you’re sure.
Mike Evans ($6,800):
Why You Gave Him a Shot: Three touchdowns in the last two weeks, and five in the last five. Not even that expensive. Sure, why not?
20/20 Hindsight: Boom.
Going Forward: If this offense was only going to support one starting wide receiver, who knew it was going to be the rookie, and not Vincent Jackson? Well, it’s starting to get to the point where we all know. A little quick math tells me is it now seven touchdowns in his last six games. Bad QB play and a generally inefficient offense means there is potential downside, but let’s be honest – everyone has downside. This is starting to look like consistency.
Kelvin Benjamin ($4,900):
Why You Started Him: He was cheap. His price has remained stubbornly low for weeks now, and at $4,900, he was an obvious value. He is the only real receiving threat the Panthers have, and he is getting the targets to prove it.
20/20 Hindsight: This offense is frustrating at times – just ask anyone who drafted Cam Newton in a year-long league. But there is a bright spot, and it’s Benjamin, a fact that he continued to prove this weekend, with 9 for 109 and a TD. A lot of you saw this coming, so nice work.
Going Forward: Unfortunately, the Panthers are on bye this week, so you can’t continue to ride this train. And there is a good chance his price spikes after a string of good performances, but if not, jump right back on the bandwagon for Week 13. This could be a player who wins you your yearly league AND a handful of daily contests down the stretch, with a schedule that really could not be any better on paper: Vikings, Saints, Bucs, Browns, Falcons.
Eddie Lacy ($6,800):
Why You Didn’t Start Him: Maybe you remembered his early-season struggles. Maybe you picture him as a big, lumbering back that doesn’t seem to fit into this PPR world. Or maybe you just really wanted to start Rodgers and Jordy, and didn’t want to rely TOO much on the Pack.
20/20 Hindsight: Those Packers have now put up 50+ in two consecutive weeks. And when that happens, the starting running back has GOT to be a good play. And he was. Plus, this hindsight thing should be starting to cure you of some of your (erroneous) opinions of him as a player. This is a running back who has at least three catches in 4 in a row, and 5 of 6, including one 8-catch, 124-yard performance mixed in.
Going Forward: With an offense that is kicking ass and taking names, he’s worth the price of a mid-level selection. His cost is trending upwards, obviously, but for $7,300, he has to remain a consideration.