Getting Off of a Player's Bandwagon
Posted 8/23 by Mark Wimer, Exclusive to Footballguys.com
At this point in the preseason, we've seen 2 or 3 games from all of the NFL
teams, and we're starting to see how the various teams' starting lineups may
shape up. For many of us, the hardcore fantasy football players who have been
discussing, arguing about and anticipating the 2005 regular season since the
NFL draft in April, it's also time to reevaluate our opinions about some of
our favorite players. Maybe you've been a Tatum Bell booster since last year,
or were a big Kyle Boller believer - the point is, you've invested a lot of
time and energy arguing the best case for certain NFL players, probably on the
Shark Pool message board here at Footballguys.com as well as elsewhere.
Now it is gut-check time: in certain cases, it is time to admit that certain
players are, disappointingly, not living up to expectations. There are a lot
of examples of this phenomena right now (David Terrell has yet to catch a pass
in his "new start" at New England - only one case in point), but no
team in the NFL this year has produced more examples of once-highly-thought-of
fantasy prospects that are currently fading than the Denver Broncos.
Tight end Jeb Putzier was given a big raise when the Broncos matched an offer
sheet from the New York Jets that was reported to be $12.5 million over 5 years
to retain his services, yet now TE Stephen Alexander has been elevated to the
top of the depth chart and is seeing a lot of action with the first team in
preseason Reportedly, the coaching staff considers Alexander the more "complete"
Running back Tatum Bell was once widely expected to win the coveted "Bronco
Back"/featured tailback job, but Mike Anderson is above him on the depth
chart after 2 preseason games, and there are whispers in the local press of
a possible running-back-by-committee in Denver this year - with Anderson garnering
the lion's share of goalline opportunities. During May and June almost no one
expected Bell to be the #2 option in Denver - but in August it sure looks like
that's where he's going to end up.
Maurice Clarett has been an abominably disappointing player, widely regarded
as "dogging it" during training camp by his teammates - he may not
survive even the first cut-down date at this point.
As fantasy football fanatics, we all invest significant amounts of time and
research in player analysis, and we all love to talk about our favorite fantasy
prospects. However, if you're going to win your fantasy league, you have to
know when to cut your losses - and admit that you were wrong. It happens to
all of us, even the very best of us - a website that will remain anonymous was
very high on San Francisco's Kevan Barlow last season, you know...
Now is the time to pull out your projections and to adjust them to reflect
the current realities in the NFL as you see them - do try to be objective and
give credit (or don't give credit) to the players who have earned it (or have
not earned it) during training camp. Overhauling your projections and your expectations
may be uncomfortable, even painful, but you'll draft a better team if you can
grit your teeth and admit "I was wrong about X".