Making Tough Choices

eric-decker-36Remember when I said I wasn’t going to put Vincent Jackson back on my bench ever again? Well, that’s where he’s spending this week, and for two very good reasons:

  1. The Carolina defense AND
  2. Eric Decker

See, the major problem with playing Jackson this week is that I can play either him or Decker, and Decker had the hot hand last week while sitting on my bench. In fact, in my very first loss of the fantasy season, it was precisely because I didn’t play Decker that I lost. And that’s become my problem the last few weeks, actually, even though this most recent one was the only one I lost because of it. I have four solid receivers, and I only have slots for three. Case in point:

  • Wes Welker leads all of fantasy in touchdowns by a WR (8 touchdowns)
  • Vincent Jackson is the most targeted WR in fantasy (90 targets)
  • DeSean Jackson has accumulated the second-most points by a WR in fantasy (89 points)
  • Eric Decker has the second-most yards by a WR in fantasy (627 yards)

That’s why I ended up sitting Vincent Jackson a couple of weeks ago when he went off for 23 fantasy points and then did the same to Decker last week when he scored 21. It’s become a dangerous game of roulette (especially when DeSean Jackson only had 2 fantasy points against a horrible Cowboys pass defense). From week to week the four of them make me scratch my head, even though more often than not I do play the right 3. Until the last couple of weeks, that is. Which is why I’m playing the matchups this week and hoping they shake out.

Vincent Jackson already played his game last night against the stifling Carolina defense, and I held my breath the entire time seeing as I left him on my bench. If somehow he had managed to score another 20+ points sitting on the bench, I was going to scream. But he only got 7, and I’m truly hoping that’s the lowest point total of any of my wide receivers this week, which would justify leaving him out of the action for the team. Of course, if his 7 isn’t the lowest on my team I will probably lose the contest this week anyway, but the other three have been consistent enough all year that it’s a high percentage play to keep them in.

Which means I need to trade one, right? I don’t have a legitimate, consistent tight end on my team (the two I am currently carrying are Martellus Bennett and Jordan Reed), and the other receiver on my bench is the ultimately inconsistent Eddie Royal. So I’m thinking of doing a package deal, sending off Bennett and Wes Welker for a number one tight end (Vernon Davis, Jordan Cameron) and another quality receiver who I can use for Denver’s bye week next week. I can also make this deal because I also carry two of the top three running backs in fantasy on my team (Charles and McCoy). That’s the key when deciding to trade any top players, making sure you’re protected by the other players in your lineup.

And the matchups support my decision. The number one offense in the NFL, with two of the top receivers in the league both on my fantasy team, against one of the worst statistical defenses in the league, it’s a no brainer to play both Welker and Decker for the Sunday matchup. That leaves the one spot for DeSean Jackson, who routinely shreds the Giants defense, and has already done so earlier this year. And I don’t feel at all bad about discarding those 7 points from Vincent Jackson. It might be the last few points he will ever score for my team, and that’s okay. I’m making my team better in the long run, which is the reason for the whole thing, right?

FA

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