Fantasy points are a terrible thing to waste.
Yet we all do it. It can be the bane of our fantasy existence one week, then the source of our self-declared brilliance the next.
When those excess bench points would have made the difference between winning and losing, Mondays can feel like you’ve been sacked repeatedly by Justin Houston and Von Miller.
Yes, I had Tyreek Hill on my bench. Why wouldn’t I? He was coming off a mediocre Week 11 outing and facing the stingy Broncos defense – you know, one of the ones Mike Tirico and Chris Collinsworth kept gushing over as Kansas City and Denver racked up 57 combined points?
Besides, Thomas Rawls was back in his workhorse role for Seattle for the cakewalk in Tampa Bay.
I didn’t even think twice about that flex decision.
Over the course of this season, I’ve left anywhere from zero to 45 points on my bench in any given weekend. That “perfect” weekend reminded me why I am a certified fantasy guru. Would you like to see my awards?
And the down weeks? Well, I did name my blog “Fantasy Fools.” I feel like that should be warning enough.
I’d love to blame ill-timed injuries for my unforced errors. But more often than not, it’s the unexpected Tyreek Hill moments, combined with meager performances by my regular starters.
Misery loves company. So pull up a chair, friend.
I need a shoulder…
WAIVER WIRE PICKS AND PANS
To win a fantasy championship, it helps to start with a great draft. But filling in your roster throughout the season with the right free agents is also important. Here's a look at players worth considering, and others who would look better in someone else's lineup.
Catch ‘em while you can
Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers. It’s not always pretty, and it doesn’t result in wins for his real team, but Kaepernick has been surprisingly stellar over his last four games. In addition to collecting nine combined TDs and just 2 INTs, he has contributed valiantly as a rusher – capped by his 113-yard outing on Sunday. I can’t say I’d feel comfortable starting him in the fantasy playoffs, but you could do worse than set him loose against the Bears next weekend.
Taylor Gabriel, WR, Falcons. I was tempted to recommend the Cleveland castoff last week. But since his entire production came on a 75-yard TD pass, it felt like a fluke. On Sunday, against an excellent Cardinals pass defense, Gabriel took two screens to the house and made his case to be Matt Ryan’s second-favorite receiver. His four TD receptions over the last four games demand our respect.
DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins. He’s been targeted 24 times over the last three games, while the supposed PPR machine, Jarvis Landry, has seen just 18 passes over that time span. Parker, who injured his back Sunday (but apparently not seriously), has graduated from boom-or-bust deep threat to become Ryan Tannehill’s go-to receiver.
Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Patriots. The rookie is finding his groove, hauling in 9 passes for 140 yards and 3 TDs over his last two games. Though he has benefitted from Rob Gronkowski’s absence, his upside warrants the ole “grab and stash.” You can never underestimate the value of a play-making receiver catching passes from Tom Brady.
Don’t be fooled
Dontrelle Inman, WR, Chargers. Inman has been getting a steady dose of Philip Rivers’ targets, but he rarely does much with them. Sunday’s outing in Houston was an exception. But once Travis Benjamin returns to full strength, Inman will go back to being the third wheel in San Diego’s receiving corps.
Marquess Wilson, WR, Bears. So Matt Barkley was better than expected, and Wilson was his favorite wideout on Sunday. That’s nice, but let’s tap the brakes a bit on this “dynamic” duo. Chicago’s passing attack remains a work-in-progress, and no receiver is likely to emerge as a consistent fantasy contributor. Even when/if Jay Cutler returns.