For the second time in three weeks I made a cardinal Fantasy sin. Hopefully, somebody out there learns from my mistakes, for surely, I am not.
This week, in the first round of my Fantasy playoffs, I done did it again. I benched Vincent Jackson vs. the Raiders. All V-Jax went on to do was catch five balls (half of the total Philip Rivers completed) for 148 yards and a touchdown. This is otherwise known as 23.3 Fantasy points.
I had my reasons for not starting V-Jax. The Raiders play tremendous pass defense, not allowing a 300-yard passer since October 12. The Raiders also play horrendous run defense, which led me to believe San Diego's gameplan would go along the lines of "run LT left, run LT right, run LT right again..."
And on top of it, V-Jax let me down last week, dropping a goose egg. But that's exactly why I should have started Jackson. There aren't many rules to Fantasy football, but one I firmly believe in (yet didn't practice because I'm a moron!) was when a good-to-great player has a horrendous week, always start him the next week. Nothing motivates a player more than having to prove himself. Plus, all week long you can imagine the conversations between Jackson, Rivers and his coaches. "So we lost last week and guess what, I didn't get any catches. Think there's a correlation there guys? Hmmm? Hmmm?"
Coaches are reactionary, which means when a good player gets snuffed out they do one of two things -- see it as a sign the player doesn't get 'it' and is hence worthy of being subbed out or see it as a sign they didn't scheme the game properly. The Chargers clearly thought the latter and hence, made it a point to get Jackson the ball.
I didn't get to enjoy any of the fruits of the coaching staff's and Vincent Jackson's labor. On top of it, I'm sure my current crop (Hines Ward, Domenick Hixon and Bernard Berrian) of starting wide receivers will underachieve.
So learn from me, please. If a good-to-great player is coming off a horrid week, always start him. I'll give you one other time this burned me as evidence of this theory. Two weeks ago Hines Ward was limited to one catch vs. the Bengals. It was a good catch, for 37 yards. But most of the game Ward was used as a blocker as the Steelers ran up 121 yards on the ground. The next week vs. the Patriots Hines Ward caught five balls, one of which was a touchdown.
You may be saying to yourself, Eric, what you're really getting at is -- week in and out just start your good players and it all evens out. True, but in Fantasy football, where owners are always looking for that edge, it sometimes is fashionable to bench decent players coming off bad weeks. What I'm saying is, the trick may be to bench players coming off good weeks and always start good-to-great players coming off real, real, real bad weeks.
I didn't start Jackson after his real, real, real bad week and it may lead to me having a real, real, real bad playoff experience.
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