Week 1 of the regular season is so abnormal that even Vegas took one of its worst opening day hits in recent memory. For the record, those amazing casinos are not built because they take hits. Nope, usually the casinos are the one doing the J.J. Wilcox type hitting, all due respect to Odell Beckham of course. So if they had a bad day, you can assume it was a weird week. Let’s give this crazy week a Second Thought and see if we can keep it from making you suffer any more hits to your lineup this season.
Week 1 of the regular season is always very exciting for so many reasons but it will definitely mess with your mind and roster if you let it. Don’t get me wrong, I love this week; after all, it is Week 1 of the regular season that inspired the whole idea of this column for me. Every year I watch owners study hard for their draft. They build a nice draft strategy then follow that draft strategy with precision. Invariably during Week 1 unexpected players have Hall of Fame weeks and what happens? All that time and effort spent into developing a draft strategy is blown out the window once the waiver wire opens up and these owners get rid of part of their lineup for the flavor of the day.
The idea of this article is to help you take a deep breath and seriously consider that move you are about to make. I will attempt to show you why some of the big waiver wire moves this season are fool’s gold and should be left for the other owners of your league to waste their waiver wire position on. I will also be giving out a better alternative then the flavor of the week, if one exists, but mainly I will try to keep you from pushing your lineups off the proverbial ledge.
Fair warning, if you suffered an injury in your lineup and you are looking to grab the backup, or if you are playing defenses week by week then attack the waiver wire with gusto, but don’t just grab and drop for the sake of doing it. I have people in some of my leagues who had already made double-digit waiver wire moves before the beginning of Sunday’s games. I guarantee some of them dropped players they will regret later. Don’t be that owner.
Last year, an owner in one of my leagues drafted Odell Beckham after studying hard in the preseason and coming to the conclusion that he was going to have a special year, He drafted him in the mid-to-late rounds and after the first week dropped him to grab Allen Hurns who had 110 yards and 2 touchdowns in Week 1. In hindsight, Hurns had a nice year but it was nothing compared to the year ODB had. The owner that eventually picked up ODB was obviously very happy with that move.
Again, don’t be that owner. You have some good players on your roster that are deserving of the spot you drafted them in. So let me help by throwing some water on the flames of the scorching hot Week 1 performers that are burning a hole in your waiver wire position, before you make a mistake that you will regret later.
It bears repeating that if you have the space in your lineup or a true dud on your roster then by all means jump in the middle of the waiver wire scrum, this article is not about those situations but instead it is intended to keep you from giving away Odell Beckham for Allen Hurns, or something like that.
As you are reading my column this season remember the phrase, “Nice line, last time” as you will hear it often. I said it in this week’s article last season and it really resonates with me. Put simply, it means that the player we are talking about had a nice stat line this week but it is most likely the last time you will see a stat line like that from them this season, as in, Allen Hurns had 4 catches for 110 yards and 2 TDs in opening week 2014, nice line, last time. Got it? Good.
What a week for quarterbacks. Young guns like Andrew Luck look confused, wily veterans like Peyton Manning looked pedestrian and the utterly forgettable Alex Smith looked like a real quarterback. Smith, available in 80% of leagues, and the Kansas City Chiefs took it to the Houston Texans going 22-for-33 passing for 243 yards and 3 touchdowns. For those of you still keeping count, none of them were to receivers.
Smith kept control of the offense as we have become used to but he also pushed the ball down the field and seemed to be making things happen. I actually liked the way he looked so I will not go as far as to say, nice line, last time, but it needs to be pointed out that they still can’t seem to connect with a receiver and we do have a nice long career of highlights and statistics that show us that Smith most likely did not suddenly turn over a new leaf.
Luck and Manning will bounce back but I believe Smith will have only a handful of these types of games at best the rest of the season. As I said before, we’ve had a fairly lengthy career, 11 years, to assess this guy and realize he’s a very conservative QB with little use in a fantasy starting lineups. Don’t go all ga-ga over him now.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati, available in 81% of leagues – Oh Andy, how you mock me. As a lifelong Bengals fan you know it’s not good when your teenage son, and Saints/Drew Brees fan walks into the room during the game and says, “Who showed up today, dad? Bad Andy or good Andy?” Sigh. I don’t know what’s worse, a teenage son or Andy Dalton as the starting QB for your favorite team.
Well, the joke was on my son this week cause good Andy showed up! Ha-ha! Wait, no, the joke is still on Bengals fans, darn it! Sorry, I digress. Dalton went 25-for-34 passing for 269 yards and 2 TDs and he looked very good. Let’s be honest though, we have seen this before. If you have not then let me welcome you to the NFL and fantasy football and be the first to warn you that Andy Dalton has proven that he will have as many games with 2 or more interceptions and no touchdowns as he will games with 2 or more touchdowns and no interceptions.
Do I believe Dalton could have a better year? Yes. Do I believe that he will actually have a better year? Surprisingly, yes. But do I believe that he will still be too inconsistent to rely on as your fantasy quarterback. Also, yes. Stay away from Dalton, his inconsistency will hurt your fantasy chances, it is that simple.