In a Revolutionary War naval battle, when asked by a British captain to surrender, John Paul Jones famously answered, “I have not yet begun to fight!” This has been my mantra for the past few days as I’ve prepared for Week Eleven in fantasy football. In my priority #1 fantasy league, after losing 4 straight games, I find myself in 6th place with a record of 6-4. The top 8 teams in this 14 team league make the playoffs, so right now I’m still in it, but I need to start fighting if I want to hit the post-season with any kind of momentum. So here’s my battle plan:
1. Trade away the future. I wrote about this last year, and I stand by my theory, if you are in a redraft league with the ability to trade draft picks and you are playoff bound, then absolutely trade away future picks for players you know will help your team this year. Injuries aside, you have a better idea right now of who will be stars in the next six weeks than you will next August of who will win you a title next year. I also stand by the fact that fantasy championships are won with savvy middle-round draft picks, so if I can acquire LeSean McCoy for a 1st round pick (which I did) and Roddy White for a 2nd round pick (which I did), then I’m ok with my ability to sit quietly during the first two rounds next year and load up on players in rounds 4-6. (For the record, I think all picks after round 7 are too risky–4-6 is the prime hunting ground.)
2. Stop being cute. I’ve been thinking too hard the past few weeks, relying a little too much on match-up potential and not necessarily starting the better player. Last week I hit bottom when I started Rashad Jennings (vs. Indy) over Jamaal Charles (vs. Pittsburgh). I knew it was not a good idea, but I was too blinded by the defenses and wasn’t looking at the actual players, a mistake that cost me over 17 points. From now on, I’m starting the better player, period. Match ups should be considered only in tie-breaker situations.
3. Stick with my gut feeling. I’ve made a couple recent mistakes where my gut has told me to start one player, but then looking at the rankings (or consulting my seven year old daughter), I made a last minute switch. (Yes, my daughter is a huge RG3 fan, so, admittedly, I usually know what her advice will be….) I am not going to second guess myself any more this year. I can’t afford anything but the perfect roster combinations for the rest of the season, so I want to live and die by my own gut decisions. Period.
The last couple days I’ve been involved in a flurry of trade and waiver wire activity–I’m coming out this weekend with guns blazing. On top of that, I play my husband this weekend. Though his team is typically pitiful, he’s got a good line up this year (including Golden Boy running back, Doug Martin), and he’s ahead of me with a 7-3 record. As much as I would like to say I root for him to do well, and a win for the family is a win for the family, I don’t. This is the turning point battle for me, and if I can win this battle, I think I’ll go on to win the war. I have not yet begun to fight!