This Week in Fantasy

Excuses, Excuses…

One of the managers in my fantasy league of college friends is based in Miami, and about every other year he can’t participate in the draft because he’s running from some hurricane.  He autodrafts a team, we chastise him for his lack of commitment, but he usually puts in just enough effort during the season to avoid getting kicked out of the league.  On the other hand, we have other guys who feign commitment early on, only to start slipping as soon as the season starts to turn away from them.  Injured players, or those on a bye, get starting roster spots, and I’ve heard excuses ranging from “I had no access to internet!” to “there was no one else available, I thought it was better to take the chance he’d play!”  (Here’s a tip: there is always *someone* available, and “doubtful” means he’s NOT gonna play.)

Nothing kills a league faster than apathy, and my disdain for repeat offenders is palpable, but this week my anti-excuses resolve was truly put to the test.  I am one of the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy.  My home (though thankfully undamaged) has been without electricity and water since Monday.  My business has been shuttered during one of our busiest weeks of the year, costing us tens of thousands of dollars.  And I had a baby last week.  So my husband and three daughters and I have slept under four different roofs since last weeks’ games kicked off (five, if you include the hospital!), though I’ll use “sleeping” loosely, since mostly I’ve been up all night feeding the newborn.  Admittedly, we got off easier than many other storm victims, but, needless to say, fantasy football has not been front of mind.

So I took my eye off the ball.  I missed out on some waiver wire pick ups and neglected to respond to two trade proposals.  Hopefully it won’t affect me in the long run.  I know for sure it won’t prevent me from starting a complete line up this week.  Even if you missed out on hot pick ups (Rashad Jennings, Titus Young), there are always SOME viable starters available and often other useful moves to be made as well.  Here are some tips for making savvy Sunday morning roster moves:

Check the list of transactions from earlier in the week.  Occasionally your rival managers will get themselves into a bye week bind and be forced to drop players that can be useful to you.  Pay attention to the moves others are making, and remember that just because someone else drops a player doesn’t mean he’s not valuable.

Look at the late-in-the-week injury report.Not all injuries are obvious on game day.  This week’s surprise injury was Darren Sproles, who had to have hand surgery and will possibly be out for 4-6 weeks.  Pierre Thomas will be starting in his place and is not 100% owned.  Even if someone in your league does have Pierre Thomas, consider adding Mark Ingram or Chris Ivory, either of whom might emerge as a useful fantasy player in Sproles’ absence.

RB Demarco Murray Courtesy: dallasnews.com

Think about the long term.  I found DeMarco Murray on waivers in one of my leagues this week.  He won’t return from injury for at least two more weeks, but none of the other RBs in Dallas are threatening to steal his job, so assuming he fully recovers (which, granted, is not always a safe assumption), I just scored a talented starting RB for the final (and most important) weeks of the fantasy season.

I’m not advocating waiting til the last minute to make your moves, but, if you find yourself in a situation where you haven’t put in any fantasy time all week, all is not lost.  On the flip side, please, if you know you’re not going to have internet access during the weekend, for god’s sake set your line up earlier in the week!

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