November 9, 2012 @ 12:40:30 PDT
Brief moments of writer's block often lead me to wander. So today, I was a Twitter sniper, in two easy steps: (1) Search "#fantasyfootball" and (2) spark brain.
Someone wanted to know whether he should start Owen Daniels or Jermaine Gresham this week. Daniels, as we noted today, will be a game-time decision, with some not-so-inspiring quotes about his health from Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak.
I advised the asker to start Gresham, who hasn't been the breakout stud KFFL touted him to be this preseason but has topped or just missed 10 PPR points in five of his last six games. The Cincinnati Bengals face a highly vulnerable New York Giants pass defense. And, more importantly, he isn't on the Bengals' injury report. This guy is lucky to have two solid options.
Others were advising the 140-character questioner to stick with Daniels, whom one tweeter insisted "will play."
I'd like to meet his source.
Anyway, this is a common fantasy football conundrum: You have a battered asset who's slated to play Sunday or Monday night. If said questionable player doesn't suit up and he's stuck in your starting group, you're left with no replacement unless you've stashed one who hasn't played yet, or you can pick up players once afternoon games finish (few leagues permit this).
Click the guaranteed opportunity for keeping-you-afloat points in an early contest, or roll the dice when the sun goes down with essentially 50-50 odds for your typical starter/stud expectations.... It depends.
I'm inclined to go with the healthy option, because the real-life replacement for the reps surrendered by the battered baller hardly guarantees the same success that the starter would have. I'm a cautious player in this facet, of course - just looking to accrue points. Lineup zeroes are killer in head-to-head matchups.
Outside of running backs from clear-cut hierarchies and highly favorable environments (maybe - maybe desirable backup QBs, too), handcuffs rarely set you free; they instead tie you down, causing you to waste a roster spot on someone who'll line up for the opportunities but rarely is as effective as the chief.
So, sure, James Casey or Garrett Graham, in theory, could assume the points that an inactive Daniels would leave on the table. Still, if you're hurting for droppable commodities, do you really want to waste a coveted place on someone like that - especially on a backup tight end? A safer bet would be Houston planning to involve another wideout more or have an even stronger focus on the running game.
For such temporary dilemmas, maintain control over your roster. Plan ahead by locating a capable backup. Put any questionable players in your flex spot if applicable so you can swap anyone from any position in for them if needed.
Set yourself up so that spot doesn't get shut out, along with, potentially, your chance to win your week.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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