Blog Entry

Vincent Jackson teaches me another fantasy lesson

Posted on: December 5, 2008 12:39 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2008 12:40 pm

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.

Two weeks ago I sat Michael Turner for Derrick Ward. All Turner went on to do was rumble for four touchdowns. And there was much rejoicing from my opponent.

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 Vincent Jacksonwas 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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Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2008 7:51 pm

Vincent Jackson teaches me another fantasy lesson

I did the same thing and it will probably cost me the playoff game..

Since: Dec 5, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2008 7:02 pm

Vincent Jackson teaches me another fantasy lesson


there are rules to fantasy football...and please use your "always play someone off a bad game" strategy in some of my leagues. 

you said, "Nothing motivates a player more than having to prove himself"   what does a Raiders'mistake in a zone coverage freeing him up for a fluke 60 yard td bomb have to do with motivation?   IT WAS A FLUKE!   and you called V-Jax a good to great player.   he's more like avg. to good.


Since: Sep 16, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2008 5:48 pm

Vincent Jackson teaches me another fantasy lesson

I would agree with your rule concerning players having a bad week and coming back harder the next but I have Willis McGahee on my fantasy team and he has done nothing more than take up space.  The two games that he did well this year  I had him benched so I feel for your pain but he has had back to back to back poor showings.  Still good post.

Since: Dec 5, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2008 5:44 pm

Vincent Jackson teaches me another fantasy lesson

Well I can take solace knowing that I was not the ONLY hapless soul to make this fantasy football folly last night.  I too benched Vincent Jackson, ignoring the "bounce-back" philosophy that seems to bite me everytime a player does poorly and then responds with a great performance whilst riding the pine.  In V-Jax's stead now sits Bernard Berrian, a capable WR;  however hardly consistent enough to think that he will sniff the 21 points that are now hanging on my bench doing as much good as my stock options. 

I can only now wait and see if Berrian will torch the Lions' porous secondary like he should.  It's just that Frerotte is no Rivers and with my luck Berrian will respond with a week of 3 looks, 1 catch for 11 yards like he busts out occasionally.  Looking at backward logic, I should have really had Jackson in there....I suppose its another case of 20/20 hindsight and a 23 point hole (thanks P. Rivers) to climb out of...

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2008 2:33 pm

Vincent Jackson teaches me another fantasy lesson

Its a tough dilemma, especially when you hav must start players. I'm not suer that V-Jack is in the category. I consider Brandon Marshall or Anquan Boldin that category and unless you're in bye weeks or dealing with an injury issue, Im still not sure I start Jackson.

I have a similar issue with my team as I also have Hines Ward and T.J. Housh. At the beginning of the season I'd consider Housh a must start player, no not so much. I also have V-Jack on my bench in a PPR league those catches were just as valuableas the yardage and touchdown. But, I have also been burned in the past by benching Housh who still makes the bulk of the catches for the Bengals.

The bottom line is I'd rather go with who shows up every week rather than roll the dice with inconsistancy. That is of course my style of play which may be a more conservative approach, but as frustrating as it may be at times, patience has its virtue. I'm sure I'll miss the points Jackson left on the bench this week, but there are times that you just have to remember who your starters are. Cardinal rule #1, never second guess yourself and stick to the gameplan.

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