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Commandment IX

Commandment IX –

hou shalt check your teams and lineups at least weekly.

Perhaps this sounds obvious. However, you’d be surprised how many team owners draft a group of players, then set their team on autopilot and never check back. Or they set a team in motion at the start of the season and only check as the playoffs approach, worrying about it if and only if their team gets into the postseason.

Team owners who are not careful, not attentive, or not concerned make a lot of mistakes. They start players on byes. They start players on Injured Reserve. They start players who are listed as “doubtful” to start, when nearly equal or better options are available on their bench or off waivers. These teams are the cannon fodder of your league. You can and should defeat them when given the chance. No mercy. A win is a win, and just might guarantee you a spot in your league’s postseason, so take it if you can. Just don’t you be one of those guys.

If you’ve only got the time and inclination to check your team or teams once a week, you won’t catch last-minute injuries, for example, but you will prevent longer-term issues from going unnoticed. It’s better than nothing. You might sacrifice a player for a week, but nothing longer.

In-game injuries, though, are frustrating score killers. Sometimes a quarterback or a running back gets injured in the first couple of series, and you get no points from that position. There’s nothing you can do about that. It’s just a fact of life in fantasy football. But players out of the lineup before kickoff are something else. That’s why it pays off to monitor your teams more closely, but people have different levels of interest in fantasy football and people have different life situations that might preclude them from checking their teams frequently. That is all understandable and excusable.

The bottom line is that, unless you are the league manager, absentee team owners are not your problem. They should be, instead, a source of amusement when you beat them and frustration when you lose to them. It happens. Believe me, it happens.

However, you should let the other guy be the one who starts a kicker on a bye, or a running back on Injured Reserve. You need to squeeze each and every point out of each and every player on your roster, each and every week. No matchup is a given, and no result is preordained. A win is a win, and a loss is a loss, in the final analysis. Put enough checks in your win column and you’ll make the playoffs. A couple of more checkmarks and you’ll walk away with your league championship.

That’s what it’s all about.

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