For the most part, picking a starting line up every week is easy. You take the best player(s) at each position and put them out there. But don’t you hate it when that 2nd or 3rd tier player that you picked up in the fourth or fifth round blows up and has scored more points sitting on your bench then half of you starting roster combined. You end up thinking to yourself, “what was I thinking?” or “I should have seen that coming”. For the most part we try really hard to minimize the number of times we experience that gut wrenching feeling but its bound to happen at least once during your season. But what can you do to spot the weeks where it may be best to sit a regular starter from your roster and throw in a guy that has been riding pine.
Spotting these situation isn’t as hard as you think and for the most part we all do it every week. But, for those that are new to this Fantasy Football stuff let me go over some of the basics of finding the favorable match ups and give you an example or two in regards to this weeks games.
Now lets assume that you’re the kind of owner that simply looks at your player’s stats and starts the ones with the best rankings and numbers. That is all fine and dandy for the most part but if you could be missing out on three very important things; the strength of the other teams defense (important information for QBs, RBs, WRs, TEs, and Ks) and offense, the health of the other teams key position players, and the number of rookies that start in key positions. It is this type of information that you need to make sure you look at every week, for both your starting and bench players. It is also this information that can provide your team with that little extra little push to go over the top and into the winner’s circle.
Why this information is important is fairly obvious but sometimes, as fantasy football team owners, we end up swimming in stats, projections, and expectations and we forget to check out the little things. Still aren’t convinced that this type of information is important? At this point in the season can you tell me who is the best defense against the run? Step away from the computer and put down the mouse, tell me right off the top of your head. You think maybe Miami? Wrong, Miami is giving up an average of 74 yards rushing which isn’t bad but there is better. What about Baltimore? No, they are giving up 74 yards rushing per game as well. As of right now, going into week 3, the hardest team to run against is the Kansas City Chiefs. They are giving up an average of only 62 rushing yards per game right now. Considering that they held the consensus #1 fantasy football running back, LaDainian Tomlinson, to 34 yards on 13 carries I would say that its important information. Still not convinced? Ok, let’s talk about the health of the opposing team.
You don’t think that this type of information can really make a difference. If you started the Philly defense last week I bet you wish you had checked their health status. Sure, starting them looked great on paper. Hell they were facing a New England team that got shut out 31 -0 by Buffalo in week one right? Well that would have been a great play if half of Philly’s defensive players weren’t in need of Hawkeye, Trapper, Radar and Hotlips of the 4077th (for you confused young folks, that is a reference to the old television show “M.A.S.H”. Now back your regular scheduled programming). Due in large part to those injuries, Tom Brady was able to light up the Philly D for 255 yards and three touchdowns and New England coasted to a 31-10 victory. Now what if Brady was your back up and you knew this information? Think you might have started him over let’s say…Tommy Maddox? So do you concede yet? Do you see the error in your ways? No…. ok then, let’s talk rookies.
Knowing how many rookies are playing in key positions is vital. Just ask the Cowboys. They came out on Monday Night Football and took advantage of the rookie offensive line of the New York Giants. The Giants first half drive chart went like this; Punt, Punt, Fumble, Punt, Punt, Interception, and Interception. If not for a 29-yard interception return for a touchdown, the Giants would have been blanked in the first half. It was noted early and often that the Cowboys were taking advantage of the rookie offensive linemen on the Giants by stunting, blitzing and simply bull rushing over them. Can you see how important is its to know where the rookies are on the field? Knowing that your QB and/or WR is facing a defense with a rookie corner and rookie safety could mean big points for you.
Knowing your team is important but knowing your player’s opponent can be, and more often then not always is, more important. So before you click “submit”, call in, and email your roster in for this weekend, take a look at their match ups a little closer and make sure that your not missing out on a player that is ready to light it up like Anquan Boldin in week one or starting a player that is in a less then favorable position.