Fantasy Impact: Your biggest ‘misses’

I have some epic misses when it comes to fantasy football. Sometimes I try to be ‘smarter than everyone else’ and take players based on some projection spun in my head. For instance, back in 2011 I drafted Tim Hightower, Redskins running back and Felix Jones. Cowboys running back in the 3rd and 4th rounds respectively. I already took 2 RBs in the first two rounds, so I really didn’t need to reach for those two. It’s not surprising I ended up 3-11 that year.

I’m usually pretty solid drafting and I usually end up in the top 4 of my league year in and year out, but that doesn’t mean I don’t make a few mistakes along the way. Sometimes it’s cutting a player too soon. Like I did two years ago when I dropped Bears 2nd year wide receiver, Alshon Jeffery. He had a good game vs Pittsburgh and someone else claimed him on waivers.

Even though I won my league last year, I largely consider Drafting Drew Brees in the first round a mistake. For many reasons. It was foolish of me to think that he or any player could have back to back 40 TD seasons. Statistically, it just doesn’t happen. Brees did it in 2011 and 2012, and damn near did it in 2013 (39). Factor in a speedy new rookie WR (Brandin Cooks) and a healthy Jimmy Graham. I thought this was a can’t miss. It did save me from a bigger mistake, I almost drafted Graham in round 1.

My biggest mistake though last year was drafting Reggie Bush 1 pick before Antonio Brown was selected–and I am a huge Antonio Brown fan. The guy who was drafting after me already had 2 stud receivers. He quickly added a 3rd and finished 1st in overall record. I rallied somewhat by drafting Julius Thomas 2 picks later, when it swung back to me. Important lesson here: don’t let 1-2 plays in the preseason influence a draft pick. I watched Reggie take a screen pass for 80 yards or so and decided there I was going to draft him.

In 2013, I perhaps made my worst 1st round blunder since taking Barry Sanders in my first ever fantasy draft. I picked Doug Martin 5th overall because I had him the year before and naturally, all rookies get better in year two right? I saved myself by having one of my better drafts the rest of the way. Still, the Martin pick came back to haunt me in the playoffs. Okay, cutting Alshon Jeffery probably hurt me just as much. Lesson: falling in love with a rookie may end in disaster.

In 2012, I decided that Jordy Nelson was going to have an ever better season than he had in 2011, where he caught 68 balls for 1,263 yards and 15 TDs. Why wouldn’t he? Greg Jennings was still there. Aaron Rodgers was as solid as they get. A shoe in right? So I drafted him in round 2, even though I drafted Aaron Rodgers in round 1. This worked for me way back in 2001 when I had Jeff Garcia and Terrel Owens. Not so much. Nelson only caught 49 balls for 745 yards and 7 lousy TDs. Lesson: don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and lakes you’re used to.

So that’s a good handful of blunders, some minor, some major. Depending on your league, one tiny mistake can be the difference between a championship and not making the playoffs. Bottom line, it’s a fun game. I try to balance out taking players I like with players that will put up numbers. In the end we hope both match up.

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