Fantasy football tips to rally back
So you had a bad week (or three).
Step 1: Don’t panic. Step 2: Assess your team’s situation objectively.
Are you 0-3, but in the top half of your league in points? Don’t be pushed into making drastic moves. Things are likely to turn around. Are you 0-3, and among the dregs of your league in points? Return to Step 1 and go ahead with the panic. Kidding.
Here are some suggestions that will definitely raise your risk factor, but could bring huge rewards for your struggling squad.
Buy low on “sure things” by using timing to your advantage. That is, as sure as sure things get in the NFL (which isn’t very sure). Arian Foster has been a disappointment, and this is coming after a preseason of red flags about his health. Things aren’t likely to improve for him this week with Seattle’s vicious defense on the schedule.
Consider making a big bid for Foster if he has another mediocre performance against the Seahawks. There’s a chance Foster might be done as an elite fantasy back, but there’s also a chance he’s taking some extra time to round into form after missing time in the preseason. After one more poor game, he could be a first-round talent at a cheaper price.
Don’t be afraid to aggressively make moves to improve your team. Starting 0-3 isn’t a death sentence for you fantasy football season. It is a wakeup call.
It might be time to see if any owners still believe in someone like Steven Ridley. Even without Shane Vereen around, Ridley has already had more games of fewer than 13 carries this season as he totaled last season. Selling low isn’t always the worst move if you don’t have the depth or win/loss record to be patient with players.
If you can use Ridley to bring in an injury-prone back like DeMarco Murray or Darren McFadden, you might just strike gold and capture a healthy season. Murray in particular is one of only five back with double-digit receptions and a starter’s load of carries this season. As long as he’s on the field the Cowboys will be looking his way often.
Go all-in to acquire Jordy Nelson. A healthy Nelson is an exceptional Nelson. And by all early signs, Nelson is healthy. His 12.6 YPT (Yards Per Target) matches the exceptional figure he produced during his breakout season in 2011.
After Nelson’s disappointing 2012 season, he might have the best upside/ease of acquisition ratio of any receiver in football. He’s tied to a fantastic passing offense and QB Aaron Rodgers is looking his way more than ever (Nelson has seen 19.3 percent of the Packers’ targets, a career high).
Speaking of YPT… Consider Stephen Hill. Playing for the Jets is not a great start for fantasy value, but he is one of just seven receivers with 23 or more targets and a YPT of 10 or better. The other six are either owned (Nelson, DeSean Jackson, Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones) or broken armed (Nate Burleson). Though likely hit-or-miss as a weekly play, Hill has the all-important upside you want in a bench player.
See if you can get yourself a Gronk. Situations have changed drastically from draft day. If an owner felt like taking on the challenge of Rob Gronkowski during the draft, he or she may not feel that way now. Even as Gronk inches closer to returning, see if his owner is desperate enough to cut bait.
Bonus tight end tips:
Don’t sell Jordan Cameron. In this rare case of sleeper immediately turning into impact player, ride it out. Cameron is second among all tight ends in targets, so you can safely expect him to remain a large part of the Cleveland offense (however little offense there is in Cleveland).
No, he won’t keep up this touchdown pace. Yes, he will continue to far out-produce the value he would fetch in trade.
Consider Brandon Myers. Myers has been a very active part of the Giants offense and his 25 targets rank fourth among tight ends. Eli Manning and the New York offense will improve and Myers could be in for a boom of production.
If things are really (really) ugly, buy a lottery ticket. Hello, Michael Vick. Vick has proven himself to be both injury-prone and turnover-prone through his career. However, he’s also proven to be one of fantasy’s very best in those rare flashes when he’s both healthy and not handing the ball to the other team.
Like Nelson, Vick straddles the line between upside and ease of acquisition impressively. The current Vick owner is probably looking to sell high at the moment, and will think you’re just the sucker who fell for the trap.
Lottery ticket No. 2: David Wilson. The Giants have been a dumpster fire so far. Wilson is the cigarette that started the fire.
Amidst the mess, Wilson’s carries increased slightly in Week 3. He also had two long runs called back by penalty (in case you forgot he can actually run pretty well). His owner is probably hating the guy right now, so see if you can pick him up on the cheap.
If you’re sitting on a winless, punchless, hopeless team, you have nothing to lose.