Tuesday Morning -
So, after one week of play . . . I am dead last in my league.
In this league, there are no head-to-head games. Points are just a cumulative total. So, while a really bad week may be hard to recover from over time, there's no such thing as a close loss . . . or, on the other side, a blowout win. In a head-to-head league, it doesn't matter if you beat your opponent by one point or one hundred. Here, those extra hundred points will continue helping you (or hurting you).
Like I mentioned last time, Joe Flacco (my backup quarterback) way outperformed expectations. To help make up for that, so did Eli Manning. Cam Newton didn't perform as well as expected, but if I'd even considered starting Flacco (it honestly never entered my mind), there's a 50% chance I would have subbed him for the "wrong" guy. So, I'm okay with the way this one turned out.
The swap I made, and then unmade, on the other hand . . . I would have been much better off keeping that switch. Again, projected numbers between these two were very close from what I was seeing. However, Reggie Bush (my backup) ended up having an amazing game; David Wilson (my starter) had an abysmal one, and actually ended up losing me points. I don't mean the points I lost from not swapping him for someone else, I mean he had two fumbles -- and then got benched so he didn't have the opportunity to make up for those mistakes -- and ended the night with negative points. That's one I'll definitely be revisiting before next week.
The other thing that hurt me is that Calvin Johnson had a terrible week. My backup receiver didn't have a great game, so it doesn't hurt so much that I made a "bad decision." (And seriously, how can starting the number one receiver in the league be considered a bad decision?) It's just one more factor contributing to my ending up at the bottom of the scoreboard this week.
As it is, I'm only 5 points behind the next team, and I'm 27 points behind the #4 team. The top three all had amazing weeks, including Pat -- who jumped ahead after Thursday night thanks to Peyton Manning -- but the rest of us are all pretty close. And there's still the rest of the season to go.
Speaking of which . . .
Thursday Morning -
Though I don't have anyone in the Thursday night game this week, it still seems like a good time to start getting my roster set up.
For my starting quarterbacks, I'm sticking with Cam Newton and Eli Manning again this week. Cam didn't have a great game last week but the experts still put him as the top of my three. And I'm hoping that Eli will have another amazing game going up against his brother this week . . . after all, it was spending all night trying to keep up with the Broncos that prompted Flacco to have the game he did last week.
For running backs, I'm going with Matt Forte and Reggie Bush. I don't know if Bush will have another game like he did last week, but I also don't know how much time Wilson will be spending on the bench after last week . . . and his coach seems hesitant to say much one way or another. Between the two, Bush seems like the safer bet. And while Eddie Lacy had a pretty good game last week, I'm still hesitant to put the rookie in as one of my two starter spots. My own prejudice, maybe, but I'll be the only one paying for my lack of faith if I'm wrong.
Of my four wide receivers, only one needs to go on the bench. Last week, my lowest scoring receiver was Calvin Johnson. I'm sincerely hoping that was a fluke. My other three all have similar projected points, and a mix of predictions from various analysts. I'm going to leave in Johnson and Pierre Garcon from last week, but I'm subbing Steve Smith in for Marques Colston based on the perceived strengths of the defenses they're matched up against.
Both of my tight ends -- Kyle Rudolph and Brandon Pettigrew -- seem to be middle-of-the-pack guys based on the analyst predictions, but Rudolph has the edge both in projections and based on last week's performance, so he's in.
Kickers: David Akers is in, Kai Forbath is out. Again, partially projections and partially last week's numbers. Again, not putting a ton of thought into this one.
I'm wavering on my choice of defense. The 49ers are my drafted starters, one of the top defenses in the league, and they seem like the obvious choice when compared to the rebuilding Ravens. BUT . . .
The 49ers are going up against a strong division rival in the Seahawks; these two teams are pretty much starting their battle for the division this week. The Ravens are going up against a . . . not-so-strong division rival. It seems quite possible (to my novice mind) that they'll end up having the better game. I'm going to let this decision simmer a little.
And my defensive players . . . again, letting it simmer. It doesn't help that most leagues don't play individual players on defense and so there's very little out there in the way of expert advice.
Friday Morning -
After sleeping on it, I'm taking the chance on the Ravens this week for my defense and special teams slot. Also, while I hate to bench a Bear, I'm going with NaVarro Bowman and Bobby Wagner as my defensive players, leaving Lance Briggs out this week. These two have better numbers (based on the VERY little I could find). Plus, like I said earlier, the 49ers/Seahawks game is going to be intense, so I'm hoping these opposing players will be charged up enough to make some great plays (while not doing anything stupid).
Of course, I still have 48 hours to second guess myself on all of this . . .