You know by now that I play in multiple fantasy football leagues during each season, and every single draft I participate in is its own universe, and each team is special to me in its own way, from the team that is 6-2, to the one that is 4-4, to the one that is 1-7. And no matter how well or how poorly my team is doing, I will always be striving to make moves to better each and every team until the end of the fantasy season, whether or not I have a shot at the playoffs. One thing I can’t stand is when people let their teams flounder just because they can’t stomach the losing culture they’ve perpetuated surrounding that team.
Of course, some teams require bigger and bolder moves in order to recoup a season that appears lost early on. Below you’ll find the current roster of one of my 4-4 teams, a team that has scrapped all season so far. We won our first game by a score of 116-109, and I thought the team was rolling, then we lost the next two, and I went into trade mode. We lost another one from there and I thought it might be hopeless before a rebound that has seen the team win three out of the next four, including the last two in a row, thanks in no small part to those moves I made.
|STARTERS||Wk 9||2013 SEASON|
|SLOT||PLAYER, TEAM POS||OPP|
|QB||Andy Dalton, Cin QB|
|RB||Alfred Morris, Wsh RB|
|RB||Ray Rice, Bal RB|
|RB/WR||Dwayne Bowe, KC WR P|
|WR||A.J. Green, Cin WR|
|WR||Mike Wallace, Mia WR|
|TE||Jordan Cameron, Cle TE|
|D/ST||Bears D/ST D/ST|
|K||Ryan Succop, KC K|
|HC||Colts Coach HC|
|SLOT||PLAYER, TEAM POS|
|Bench||David Wilson*, NYG RB O||BYE|
|Bench||Eric Decker, Den WR||BYE|
|Bench||Broncos D/ST D/ST||BYE|
|Bench||Eagles Coach HC||@Oak|
|Bench||Greg Zuerlein, StL K||Ten|
|Bench||Doug Martin*, TB RB O||@Sea|
|Bench||Tom Brady, NE QB P||Pit|
|Bench||Charles Clay, Mia TE|
So, what did I do to help make my team better and start winning games? I decided no one was untouchable, meaning if they weren’t producing they rode the bench, they were dropped, or they became trade bait. I started out with Matthew Stafford at quarterback and his weeks 2-3 were forgettable, and one of the reasons I dropped both of those matchups. I felt I needed a more reliable, less turnover-prone quarterback to help my team, so I traded Stafford to get Tom Brady. That turned out not to be such a good move, as Brady this season has turned into that very same inconsistent quarterback I had just jettisoned. I finally replaced Brady with Nick Foles, who I had grabbed off the waiver wire before week 7 to try and save my season, as he was in for the injured Michael Vick. That also didn’t work out as he suffered a concussion and got me minimal points. Desperate, I turned to Andy Dalton off the waiver wire and he paid instant dividends, leading my team to a decisive victory last week.
But you can see the larger problem with my team also sitting there on my bench, and that would be the running back situation. I started the year with C.J. Spiller, thinking he was going to have a phenomenal year, one of the best running backs in the league — he seemed primed to do just that coming off of the year he had last year. And yet, he hasn’t even been the best running back on his own team; that honor goes to Steady Freddy, Mr. Fred Jackson. After week three, I had seen enough, so I engineered a trade to bring Doug Martin to my team and send C.J. Spiller away, also picking up the aforementioned Fred Jackson off the waiver wire in the process. With Martin and Jackson in my backfield I felt a lot stronger than Spiller and David Wilson (who immediately headed off to the injury report after getting me -1, 1, and 3 fantasy points in the first three weeks). Then Martin got hurt and he joined Wilson on my bench, so I needed another runner. Jackson had been good to me, but I felt I needed to sell high on him before the bottom fell out, and I was able to get Alfred Morris and Ray Rice to finally round out my backfield, at least until/if Martin returns.
At wide receiver my mainstay has been A.J. Green, but for a few weeks after week one he wasn’t performing like a number one wide receiver. I never once sat him down, though, going with the philosophy that he was more likely to score bigger points than any other wideout on my roster, which was and is true. And he has rewarded me along the way with those types of performances, but I needed a good complementary player at receiver to round out the team. It took me ages to figure it all out, and in the process I got some really horrid scores from some wide receivers, but in the end I settled on Eric Decker and Dwayne Bowe. Decker has done wonders in that Denver offensive juggernaut, and while Bowe has been disappointing this year for the ho-hum KC offense, I think they’re starting to turn a corner with Alex Smith’s performance the last couple of weeks. I’m taking a chance on him, and hoping Mike Wallace rounds into form to help me for the stretch run too.
Of my original starting lineup, only three players remain as starters — A.J. Green, Eric Decker, and the Broncos defense. An astounding 9 players who were on my original roster are no longer with my fantasy team: Stafford, Spiller, Dez Bryant, Owen Daniels, Rob Gronkowski (picked up Jordan Cameron for him), Daryl Richardson, Rams defense, Kai Forbath, and Mike Williams. And I’m not done making moves yet. While I know I’ve found my quarterback and tight end for the rest of the season, I may still need to do some running back and wide receiver shuffling to reach optimal performance, but that’s the glory of managing a fantasy football team. Making those moves, and seeing the results.