Fantasy Realities (wk 5)

I have often said that Fantasy Football takes the most luck and the least skill of all of the fantasy sports. (If you need reinforcement just ask anyone who lost last week solely because of Brian Hartline. BRIAN HARTLINE!! No, I’m not bitter, why do you ask?) To back that up, I decided to see what kind of team could have been put together so far this season of guys that were nowhere near the top of the draft class at each of their positions. It turns out that it’s not too hard to do. I’ll get to what that means in a little bit, but first let’s see what I was able to put together.

Here are the parameters that were used to put this team together:

  • No players with an average draft position better than 45th
  • No more than 4 players with an average draft position better than 100th
  • At least 4 players with an average draft position worse than 150th
  • When compiled, I must have a draft order where I draft them ahead of their average draft position

Based on these parameters I built the following team:

  • QB: Robert Griffin III, Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • RB: Steven Ridley, C.J. Spiller, Alfred Morris, Andre Brown, Mikeal Leshoure
  • WR: Torrey Smith, Lance Moore, Danny Amendola, Brian Hartline, Andre Roberts
  • TE: Heath Miller, Scott Chandler
  • DEF: Cardinals, Vikings
  • K: Greg Zuerlein

Side note – Using average auction value, this team could have been acquired with a budget of $65 compared to the $200 budget that you are afforded

Now, how would this team have fared through each of the first four weeks? Well I ran the numbers using 3 different lineups (using the same guys every week) and then also the best possible production each week. The 3 different lineups produced an average of 135, 140 and 134 points per week. The optimal lineup? It would have produced scores of 160, 159, 171, and 192 points.

So, what is the point of this exercise? The point of this is to remind you of three very important principles of Fantasy Football:

  1. Draft position really doesn’t determine your ability to put together a good team.
  2. No matter how poorly you are doing now, it’s not too late to get things turned around.
  3. No matter how well you drafted, you can’t rely on that to carry you through…because Brian Hartline can happen at any time!

Now… let’s get to the hottest pickups of the week and whether or not you want any part of them:

  • Brian Hartline (+42.3%) – Do not believe that he’s going to replicate his game from this weekend, but if you just need a fill-in receiver that will get a solid number of looks each week, Hartline is a fine choice. You can count on a solid 4 or 5 points per week.
  • Cardinals D/ST (+36) – This should be a Top 5 defense this season.  Believe in them. They are very likely to be better than whoever you are using currently.
  • Vikings D/ST (+21.7%) – The Vikings are probably a matchup play, but in games like this week (TEN) they should be very good. Keep an eye out for teams with week special teams as well as the Vikings have the talent to exploit that weakness.
  • Jackie Battle (+19.9%) – Last year is probably a good indicator for what Battle can do. If you have Ryan Matthews you should definitely grab Battle as a handcuff due to injury concerns. Otherwise, if you have say a Jonathan Dwyer or Ike Redmond type on your bench, I’d consider Battle an upgrade as he should at least give some consistent touches each game.
  • Greg Zuerlein (+19.5%) – See my column Tuesday for what I think of him. Just know that the starting Running Back for the Rams is convinced that the kicker is their MVP so far. Believe!
  • Kyle Rudolph (+19.3) – I’ve mentioned Rudolph before and I think he’s a decent #2 TE for you if you need one. That being said, he decided to have a down game right after I gave him some love, so be warned that he may be finicky.
  • Heath Miller (+16.9) – Clearly he’s been Big Ben’s favorite Red Zone target this year and that doesn’t seem too likely to change.  Now don’t do anything crazy like dropping Aaron Hernandez for him, but if you have a Tight End that makes you queasy, I think Miller is solid medicine for that.
  • Andre Roberts (+14.8) – Boldin and Breaston have showed that it can be good being the #2 option beside Larry Fitzgerald. Roberts seems to be moving into that zone as well and is worth a pickup for the long term.
  • Mikel Leshoure (+13) – Seriously?! How is he still available in 29% of leagues? Starting RB’s should all be owned.
  • Jeremy Kerley (+12.9%) – With Santonio Holmes out for the season, it does seem likely that Kerley will get more looks. The reality of the situation is that until the Jets figure out how to move the ball, no Jets receiver will be all that attractive. However, there is always that chance that against a bad defense you could see a big day from him.
  • Ryan Williams (+12.5%) – Williams will likely only have value while Beanie Wells is out. Even in that situation, he really should only be trusted if you are desperate (like I am this week…)
  • Andrew Hawkins (+12.5%) – Hawkins looks to be a solid #2 option for Andy Dalton right now and he is worth an even longer look if you are in a PPR league, as he seems to get some of the clutch underneath targets.
  • Dennis Pitta (+11.4%) – Yeah, I put the kiss of death on him last week. Lots of love and he goes for 0. But this week he’s playing the Chiefs. Did you hear me? The Chiefs!! If you need a TE or possibly even a Flex in a deep league, he could be worth it this week. And no, I don’t have any confidence that the Chiefs will right the ship against a Ravens team that finally got some rest after playing 4 games in 18 days.

The Reader Question of the Week (paraphrased):

Question: Who would you play out of Kevin Kolb (who is on an undefeated team coming off of a very good week) or Andrew Luck (rookie playing against the Packers)?

Answer:  I think it’s Luck. The Rams pass defense is actually pretty stout and Green Bay’s hasn’t been. Couple that with Luck playing at home coming off of a bye and Kolb playing on the road on a short week and I just feel like Luck should be the play.

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Categories: Fantasy Sports

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