Livin' The Fantasy, 2018 Week 1
(originally written 9/13/18)
People always trot around the famous dictum "trust your gut". (It wouldn't be famous if they didn't, right?)
I've been known to follow that rule faithfully. After all, my gut is waaaaayyyy bigger than my brain. Louder, too.
Thing is, as I advance further into my Fantasy Football career, trusting my gut isn't proving so wise.
When I make informed, patient choices, they usually turn out well. Like when I selected RB Jacquizz Rodgers off the scrap heap just because he was about to take on the 2016 49ers, who weren't that good against the run. Or that same year when, after a lousy week for him, I started Anquan Boldin, knowing there's no way he'd allow himself to be a non-factor two straight weeks.
Both moves paid off big-time. The self-congratulatory boasts went on for days.
But when I make impulse choices based on gut feelings...I usually regret it.
Cases in point: at the last minute, subbing Mike Wallace for Rishard Matthews in my 2017 playoff opener—a move fueled in part by Matthews' recent health issues, but largely by a gut feeling that Wallace was going to be special that week.
Wallace did earn me nine points, which is solid...but about half of what the benched Matthews earned. My gut still hasn't apologized.
Then there's my impulse gut move that could have cost me the championship. After riding the wave that was Kirk Cousins' fantasy performance in 2017, I benched him in the championship game in favor of Philip Rivers. Cousins was not bad at all, but I needed more than "not bad" at that point, and gambled on a Rivers bonanza.
In short...Cousins should have started. Oops.
It's hard to admit, but I won the title IN SPITE OF myself.
It was time to get in my own way yet again in Week 1 of 2018. Among new additions to my roster this year are 49ers RB Matt Breida and Raiders TE Jared Cook. All week, Cook occupied the flex position in my lineup...until about 30 minutes before kickoff, when on a whim I turned to Breida instead—figuring he'd get more touches than newcomer Alfred Morris.
Breida got few touches until Morris double-fumbled near the goal line late in the first half, and finished with 5.60 points. Meanwhile, with Oakland's top receivers essentially neutralized by the Rams, Cook was targeted often and turned in 18 points.
If that weren't all, I was kind of forced to start the average Wallace at WR, a position I'm relatively thin at with Alshon Jeffery out.
I say "kind of" because I could have upgraded over Wallace at any time with a free agent, but out of loyalty to the good games he'd given me in the past, I stuck with him...and got a big fat 0 points in return.
He's the latest among players I'm overly loyal to—the group also includes AJ Green, Philip Rivers, CJ Anderson and Todd Gurley. Those were my four original keepers when I took over the team, and I'll probably never dump them until they retire, or do something heinous off-field.
So there it is, the story behind my Week 1 Fantasy loss (124-106, BTW). Your lives are now complete.