It’s one thing if your games come down to the wire and they just don’t go your way, but it’s completely another thing to just be entirely out of it by the time Sunday Night Football starts.
Luckily for me, I got to experience both of these scenarios.
In the first league in question, I am now sitting a sad 1-2, despite using my first two draft picks on two of the top wide receivers in football today (Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas).
They netted me a grand total of 13 points this week.
In fact, both running backs, both wide receivers, and my tight end totaled a whopping 22 points on the week. That’s a horrific 4.5 points per player.
It was so bad, my DEFENSE outscored anyone else on my team. Yes, it was the Indianapolis Colts defense against an awful Jacksonville Jaguars team. However, your defense doesn’t usually make up a huge part of your points. Let alone LEAD THE TEAM for the week.
Now to the heartbreak.
I was down going into Monday Night Football. I was down a lot. I was down 34.5 points, but still had Nick Folk, the New York Jets’ kicker, and Jay Cutler the Chicago Bears’ quarterback.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am among the most die-hard Green Bay Packers fans out there. I bleed green and gold. I’m planning on signing my first-born child up for season tickets so that he or she can have them around his or her 18th birthday. I own a cheesehead.
And yet, on Monday Night Football, I was yelling, “Cutty just don’t care!” every time Jay Cutler did anything of note.
At the same time, I was chanting, “Come on, Nick Folk field goal,” every time the Jets had the ball.
That’s one of the things I absolutely love about fantasy football. If your player is in the game, you’re instantly a fan of that team. You want the team to do well so there’s a slight chance that your player gets that big run, or throws for that huge touchdown. Even if — especially in this case — that player happens to play for the arch-rival of your favorite team.
In the waning moments of Monday’s game, I trailed by a scant 3.12 points. The Bears had a first and 10 in the Jets’ red zone (inside the 20-yard line) and I was hoping that Cutler could throw for just one more touchdown.
Unfortunately, the Jets defense held up, and forced a field goal, giving me no more points.
My lone win this week was by 10 points, but came only because the Carolina Panthers were awful on defense.
On Sunday Night Football, the Panthers fell apart against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The usually stout defense yielded an embarrassing negative seven fantasy points after giving up 37 points and forcing no turnovers. Of the 20 available defenses that were on the waiver wire, 12 would have yielded the necessary four points it would have taken to swing the score 10 or more points in my opponents favor.
All in all, a dreary 1-5 week for my teams. I was 8-4 coming into the week. Now I sit an even 9-9 among my six leagues as we hit the quarter turn of the season.
An 0-6 week would have been killer. Luckily for me, a bad break by my opponent kept me from going 0-for in fantasy for the first time since I played with multiple leagues.
Dodge bullets of your own? Want to commiserate a loss? Need some advice on who to play next week? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I answer emails all week! Not that I ever get emails, but still!
Nick’s Waiver Wire Picks of the Week
1) Brian Quick: St. Louis Rams wide receiver
One thing I really look for as the season gets going when I make waiver wire picks is consistency. Through three weeks, I think it’s safe to say Quick is consistent enough to pick up. Over three games, Quick has averaged just over five catches and 78 yards a game and he finally found the end zone for the first time last week against the Dallas Cowboys. If there’s a St. Louis player you have to have on your team, make sure it’s Quick, who is only owned in 24.3 percent of ESPN leagues.
2) Bobby Rainey: Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back.
Looking deeper into that Thursday Night Football rout, Rainey didn’t have that bad a game. For a team down early that threw most of the night, Rainey had 13 points in a PPR setting, despite fumbling twice (negative two points each fumble in most leagues). This was due to seven receptions by the young runner. As long as Doug Martin is sidelined with an injury, Rainey can be an adequate flex player if you have a PPR league. Only 18.7 percent of league owners have him, and since the Bucs were annihilated, other owners might overlook this potential diamond in the rough.
3) Niles Paul: Washington Redskins tight end
It doesn’t matter if it’s RGIII throwing to him, or Kirk Cousins. The ‘Skins throw to him, and throw to him often. Another potential diamond in the rough for PPR leagues, Paul averages six catches a game and has finished with more than 60 yards every game so far this season. If he finds the end zone like he did in week two, it’s an added benefit. Paul is owned in 7.6 percent of leagues, so if you want him, he’s a guy for the taking.
Good luck, fantasy experts, and may my teams lose so yours don’t have to.