Fantasy Football Strategy: Weekly Management, Part 2 – Allen Hurns isn’t who you thought he was

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Allen Hurns

Photo Credit: Phil Sears – USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I put a public service announcement about guys like Allen Hurns in Part 1 of this series. Hurns was the latest “week 1 fantasy football breakout” who followed up his stellar performance with 2 receptions for 13 yards.  I was able to make this prediction before the season starts because it happens every year.  If you were to watch the game, or highlights, you may have made the same prediction.  Hurns was left absolutely wide open by a the struggling Eagles’ secondary.  This brings me to my first point this week – watching the games gives you a competitive edge.  No, this is not groundbreaking news.  But if you learn how to watch a game with fantasy in mind, it can truly give you an advantage over the other managers in your league.

Watching the games with a fantasy mindset means to be conscience of the eye test.  When Knile Davis or Terrance West carry the pigskin, you can tell there is talent there.  The way they find holes, shoot the gaps, and navigate around defenders is indicative of the skills you want in a running back.  When Matt Asiata plods around for 36 yards on 13 carries, it’s painful to watch.  He doesn’t pass the eye test.  There are some simple observations to start with while “watching for fantasy”.  Does the player compel you to watch?  Is he on the field regularly?  Does he use a particular skill set to get his yards?  Instead of thinking “what a great play” next time a player breaks three tackles for a forty yard gain, ask yourself how many other players could have done that.  If the answer is “not many”, then your guy sounds like he passes the eye test.  Check out my fellow Piggie Ken Wang’s Sit/Start article for week 3 for some guys who pass the eye test.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs as a Fantasy Football God

We’re sitting here before the start of week 3 and managers can either be 2-0, 1-1, or 0-2.  No matter what your record is I guarantee you have some unjust confidence/paranoia.  The undefeated teams are inflating their egos, declaring themselves the Steve Jobs of fantasy.  The double losers are panicking, with desperation sitting right around the corner.  Don’t go and do anything drastic like dropping Jason Witten in a 14-team league (like my boss did this week).  If you have an early round draft pick that isn’t performing, bench him or keep rolling with him.  You shouldn’t be dropping any of your top 10 picks at this point without a serious injury or suspension.  Just because your sleeper hasn’t panned out doesn’t mean he’s a dead fish out there, cough Terrance Williams cough.  Hold the guys you believe in on the bench for a couple more weeks. LaDarius Green  and Jerick Mckinnon are a couple of guys I’m stashing on my bench despite little to no production thus far.

Do not bench a guy because he has one bad week. That is how managers end up shooting themselves in the foot. The player bounces back and has a good week. Now, you’re tempted to put him back in. Guess what? Another dud you aren’t happy with. Football is cyclical; most players don’t get a lot of points every week. The trick is to make sure they are in your lineup on the good weeks. A couple trends have emerged, and they should be used when deciding who to play, pick up and stream each week:

  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not a good football team. Teams are going to put up a lot of points against them. Start these players whenever possible. This goes for Jacksonville and Oakland as well.
  • In other breaking news: Seattle’s defense is awesome. Unless you have a stud in the lineup, you probably don’t want to use anyone against them.
  • Adrian Peterson should be traded from your team ASAP. Take less if you have to – it’s not something you want to deal with right now.
  • Jamaal Charles is a great trade target, even with Knile Davis filling in heroically.

Summary & Final Thoughts

We’re only two weeks into the season and you haven’t won or lost your league yet.  Some managers are winless and have the most points in the league.  It’s a long season with plenty of ups and downs; stay focused and keep up with the waiver wire.  Make it a priority to watch as many games as you can (NFL RedZone is pretty cheap nowadays).  Feel free to hit me up on Twitter at any time with questions about managing your team.

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