There’s two minutes to go, the evil Colts have the ball, and my only hope for a win is that the Vikings’ tight end Jermaine Wiggins scores two touchdowns. My fantasy Fantasy season has turned into a weekly sob story.
It’s not that I drafted badly; and given that I only had five minutes to prepare for my draft, that’s quite a surprise. It’s that I bench the wrong players. After a four-game winning streak, I’ve now lost five in a row. Four out of those five games, including this week’s, I’ve had enough points to win sitting on the bench. And it’s not the same person on the bench either; This week I would have won had I started Jake Plummer over Tom Brady, but, three weeks ago, I lost by starting Plummer over Brady. I lost one game because I thought Quentin Griffin would pull out one last start before giving over to Reuben Droughns.
This week, I really thought I could win it. After two weeks I finally had Jamal Lewis back. I finally had a reliable tight end. I finally actually had three working wide recievers. And it turned out well! I’ve got the second-highest point total for the week in my league and I think that’ll keep through the night. Sadly, I managed to go up against the guy with the highest point total for the week.
Next week had been a gimme, against a guy who was 1-6 but lately he’s turned that into 3-6 and is looking strong. Sadly I’ve got some key players off next week so, since he’s turned it around, I’m almost guaranteed to lose next week, bringing me to 4-6. Can I run the table to make it to the playoffs? Probably not.
How do I pick better starters? Could I have had a more sure thing than Jake Plummer vs. the Bengals? Tom Brady vs. the Rams’ non-existent secondary? Should I have not benched Plummer vs. the Falcons’ (then) league-leading pass defense? The answer is clear: sure things suck. You don’t win with sure things. And that’s how I drafted, too, so I should know this lesson already. I drafted for the players’ upside, which is how I ended up with Terrell Owens, Jamal Lewis, Quentin Griffin, and Reuben Droughns. And, yes, how I ended up with the suddenly ultra-productive Plummer. I need to play that way every week. I’ve been playing to minimize variance, which has led to me starting ol’ reliable Tom Brady when I should have been taking a chance on Plummer or Brees. So there’s the answer: variance up, risk up, rewards up. Let’s see where it takes me.
And next year it’s all about Excel and statistical models anyway.