FANTASY PLAYS: Playing multiple leagues ups glory, angst
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) A friend recently shared his new Zen-like approach to handling the twists and turns of fantasy football, which previously turned his stomach or left him shouting angrily at the television between beers.
Now playing in multiple leagues, he said, there's no sense stressing about every carry, catch and fraction of a point with so many players and lineups going. It'll all sort itself out, he told me, with a self-assuredness I could only envy.
True, playing in multiple leagues can be a blast, especially when you're winning. But man, when things go south, they can really go bad.
And the more leagues you play, the more likely the following frustrating scenarios happen to you:
THE MULTI-WHAMMY: It's bad enough to face Odell Beckham Jr. as the star wideout goes for eight catches and 130 yards with three touchdowns in Week 8. It's worse when you're on the receiving end of that onslaught - 31 points in standard leagues, 39 points in PPR - in multiple leagues.
THE LINEUP(S) KILLER: Some owners snatch up the same players across multiple leagues, investing heavily in a handful of stocks. That's great if you're holding shares of Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski. But if you end up with big-name underperformers like Eddie Lacy, C.J. Anderson and Andrew Luck, well, enjoy watching them sink you across several leagues.
THE FRIEND & FOE: Todd Gurley has been my best friend since Week 4 with his lineup-carrying production. But we squabbled this week, when his big day (146 total yards, TD) worked for me in one league and against me in another. It's the worst part of playing in multiple leagues: the joy of watching your guy come up big only to realize he's kicking you in the shins, too.
THE INJURY WARD
Another week, another set of big-name injuries:
- With Jamaal Charles and Arian Foster already gone, now Pittsburgh running back Le'Veon Bell is lost for the year with a knee injury.
- Fellow back Matt Forte in Chicago has a knee injury, though coach John Fox didn't reveal an exact diagnosis Monday.
- San Diego receiver Keenan Allen - second in the NFL with 67 catches and third with 725 yards - is out indefinitely with a kidney injury.
- And Baltimore receiver Steve Smith Sr. is done for the season - and possibly his career - with a torn right Achilles' tendon.
WEEK 8 OBSERVATIONS
- Peyton Manning and Denver looked crisp out of the bye against Green Bay and they're adding tight end Vernon Davis in a trade. What's still unclear is whether it was the product of extra prep time or proof they've fixed their offensive struggles.
- Neither Drew Brees nor Eli Manning had been locked-in QB1s this season. But they combined for 13 passing touchdowns this week, a reminder you need to roll the dice with them in favorable matchups.
- The Carolina Panthers are getting more from Jonathan Stewart. He's run for 285 yards and three touchdowns in the past three games, including 82 yards and a score in Monday's home win against Indianapolis.
Here are possible waiver additions to consider:
- DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh (owned in 27 percent of ESPN leagues): If he's there, grab him as Bell's replacement.
- David Cobb, RB, Tennessee (23 percent of Yahoo): Hey, who else is running well for the Titans? Cobb could eventually get a shot and be worth a stash.
- Kamar Aiken, WR, Baltimore (21 percent of ESPN): With Smith gone, maybe Aiken can get more looks.
LOOKING AHEAD TO THURSDAY
With Cleveland's league-worst rushing defense up next, will Cincinnati's Jeremy Hill - who got the bulk of carries in Week 8 - start living up to expectations alongside big producers Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert?
Meanwhile, Browns tight end Gary Barnidge is rolling with 10-plus points in six straight standard-scoring games.
Aaron Beard is an Associated Press sports writer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's in his 14th season of obsessing over lineup decisions in fantasy football. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap and the AP's NFL site at http://pro32.ap.org .