Fantasy Football: 2018 New Year’s Resolutions
I’m not sure about you, but I’m plenty glad to see the 2017 season come to a close. At some point this season we lost the best fantasy running back, the best fantasy quarterback, the best fantasy wide receiver, and the best fantasy kicker to season-ending injuries. Oddly enough, the top fantasy tight end with a terrible injury history, Rob Gronkowski, stayed pretty healthy all year. It’s like the bizarro world.
For most fantasy football players, the 2017 season is over. Regardless of how your year turned out, it’s already time to start thinking about next season.
And there’s simply no better time than New Year’s Eve to make commitments about how you will do things next season. So in that spirit, here are my five fantasy football New Year’s Eve resolutions.
Resolution No. 1: I will wait on quarterback during the draft. No, really.
Waiting on quarterback isn’t an innovative strategy at this point. Even those who draft a quarterback early now generally do it in the second round or even the third. But if you play in a ton of leagues, chances are you like to mix it up sometimes.
In one of my hometown leagues, people jumped a little on quarterback, so I decided to wait even longer than I usually do – I mean, by that point, what’s the difference between Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers? But then, everyone decided this was the year they wanted backup quarterbacks, and I ended up with Carson Palmer on my team. I really hated it.
In leagues where you start one quarterback, there is just no reason to ever take a quarterback before the late rounds. Even if you leave your draft unhappy, it’s almost a guarantee that you can find someone serviceable, if not elite, on the waiver wire. Just wait.
(Note: I was so disappointed ending up with Carson Palmer that I decided to mix it up and take Aaron Rodgers in the second round in my next draft. You can guess which team turned out better. Wait. On. Quarterback.).
Resolution No. 2: I will not over-analyze every decision.
Especially as we got deeper into the season, I find myself obsessing over every little decision, as if my life depended on it. We all want the most information we can possibly get, of course. Analyzing cornerback matchups, weather concerns, motivation, etc., is just sound fantasy football practice.
But at some point, you just need to make your decision. I can’t tell how many times I swapped Case Keenum and Nick Foles back and forth in my lineup in championship week. “I don’t know, Keenum has never played in temperature quite this cold.” “Ugh, the wind looks like it might be about 25 miles per hour on Monday night for Foles.” I’m not kidding that my wife actually asked me who “Keenum” is because I apparently yelled something about him in my sleep leading up to Week 16.
It’s fantasy football. Even when it’s the biggest game of your season, don’t let it take over your life. Also, I’ve never wasted so much time analyzing a decision that ultimately meant absolutely nothing. Spoiler alert – I did not win the championship in the Keenum/Foles league.
Resolution No. 3: I will be willing to take a top tight end in my draft.
On the rare occasions where I take a tight end early, I never like the way my team looks coming out of the draft. Running backs and wide receivers make the world go, and I’m always expecting to have whatever low-end tight end fell to me and stream for the season if I have to.
But this year, a high percentage of the teams playing in the championship in my leagues had Rob Gronkowski or Travis Kelce. Maybe it was just coincidence. Maybe it was direct causation. Either way, I bet they had a lot more free time than I did this year without desperately trying to figure out whether they should try to roll with Tyler Kroft or Austin Hooper any given week.
Taking a tight end early – it looks weird, it feels weird, but it works. Yes, I’m having that bumper sticker made.
Resolution No. 4: I will not ignore any league.
This is different than playing out every league, which you should always be doing and should never require a resolution. Even when you’re out of the playoffs, how you perform each and every week can impact others in the league, and you owe it to them to give it your all.
No, this is when you’re in multiple leagues, some of which are inevitably more important than others. And when waivers run on Tuesday night, sometimes it’s easier to just not worry about that seventh league – it’s just the one with you and your buddies and your team is 4-0, so who cares about waivers, right?
Wrong. I certainly missed the playoffs in a league or two by not being diligent enough on the waiver wire early in the season. Even in a purely casual league, enough injuries and failure to keep your team afloat with free agents can lead to disaster.
Resolution No. 5: I will not play in a league that goes through Week 17.
For the first time, one of my leagues decided to make the championship a two-week final that goes through Week 17. It’s just silly. Half the players on my and my opponent’s teams are sitting out, and another quarter of them may play for just a half or so. I’m thankful to have LeSean McCoy having something to play for and all, but this is not what the fantasy gods intended.
If you have to have a two-week championship, make it Weeks 15 and 16, and move the start of the playoffs up a week. DFS was created for things like Week 17. And even that’s stretching it!