Commandment I – Thou shalt start your starters.
This seems simple enough. The problem is that the temptation to meddle constantly with our starting lineups is ever present. It is hard, if not impossible, to resist this temptation. But, if you drafted a decent team, you will have your main starters. Whether it is one quarterback, two running backs, two or three wide receivers, one flex (a wide receiver/running back, wide receiver/tight, or wide receiver/running back/tight end combination), one pure tight end, one kicker and one defense/special teams or some other, similar iteration, you should know your best players.
Every week, your main players get started (barring bye weeks and injuries, of course). If you have trouble identifying your starters, check the draft orders for multiple league drafts. Generally, the public gets it right. You are playing the percentages here. You are playing the odds. Your top starters will not produce each and every week. That is unrealistic. Instead, some will shine, others will fade, but, on balance, your fantasy team will succeed.
However, it pays to be consistent and it also saves on the antacids. In other words, “Dance with the one who brung ya.” These players have produced victories, and unless you are really in dire straits, you should be able to trust your main lineup, week in and week out.
That being said, you need to stay on top of things (see Commandment VII). If one of your main starters gets injured, or gets bumped down in the real team’s lineup, you need to reevaluate that player’s role on your fantasy team. For instance, if one of your wide receivers is one of the two that is in for almost every play, then gets bumped to the No. 3 or No. 4 receiver, you might consider benching him (or even dropping him altogether) in favor of another wide receiver who is an “every play” starter. By the end of the season, not coincidentally right around playoff time, your team should be a core of rock solid players.
All of your players will not be the No. 1 positional player on a team – that goal is unrealistic and would require playing and drafting against a bunch of idiotic competing team owners. But, especially in 10-team leagues, all of your fantasy football starters should be on the field for almost every down.