Thursday, February 14, 2008

Week 9

I went into week 9 with mixed feelings. I had a winning record, 6-2; but I felt that I had problems with my roster. Between injuries and poor play, I just was not as consistent as I had been at the start of the season. My biggest problem was at QB (which would remain a problem all season) and now at WR (which had emerged since I traded Wayne). I wouldn’t have been too worried with the WR issue, which essentially was just that I could not find a solid reliable replacement for Wayne if Clark had been playing as well as I expected to do, but he hadn’t done squat for me since coming to my team. My big trade was starting to feel like a bust.

Now let’s examine my line up. I was projected to make 79 points, which was more than 10 points beyond my opponent’s projection. But reality is not so easily projected, is it? Let’s start with Rivers, who basically sucked yet again (in fact, this was the last time I played him this season with any hope of getting more than a few points). 1.14 points? Doesn’t a QB get that just for stepping on the field? Then there is Stallworth, who all the experts said was certain to get 2-3 touch downs and whom Tom Brady even suggested during the week was the best running receiver on the team. He accrued a whole 2.3 points. Oh, and Dallas Clark: 0.95. I think that really was just for stepping on the field.

Looking back, I think I was really lucky this week. Three players in my lineup did virtually nothing for my team. My team won because my two RBs had exceptional weeks, grossing enough points to cover my three unproductive players. Everyone else on my team provided normal points, but that is where the problem is. If you cannot depend on getting a certain number of points from your players, if they are not consistent, then your success depends entirely on luck, which is never a plan for victory. Now don’t get me wrong, every benefits from luck (that tenuous and uncertain thing that it is), but it can’t be an expected or planed part of your management strategy. If you depend on luck to win, you can only fail.

Looking at my roster outside of the match up lineup, there were definitely some things I could have done better. I knew I couldn’t count on Rivers, and Schaub was hurt, so I picked up Losman as a replacement QB (yeah, I said it; I was counting on J.P. Losman). All of the experts said Losman would do well, and since he was playing against Cincinnati it was self-evident he would do well—yet, I didn’t play him and chose to play Mr. Inconsistency, Philip Rivers, instead. Dumb move.

I also had a problem with my bench. I had two players, Harrison and Johnson, who were doing absolutely nothing beyond taking up space on my roster. I really should have tried to trade them as a package deal for a solid player. Clearly no one would give me a useful one for one deal for either of these guys, but I should have been able to acquire something useful from the package. It would have been a smart move on my part, and may have acquired the QB I so desperately needed, but instead I chose to hold onto them both with the hopes that one would start playing well soon—something that never materialized.

Despite my many shortcomings, I won again (by the smallest of margins), and now my team was a solid 7-2. A pretty good start to a season if you ask me. Actually the best start to a season I have ever had in this league, to be honest.

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