Fantasy Files: Dance with What Brung Ya, Even if It’s the Waiver Wire

A litte more than three months ago, I drafted my keeper league team. It’s time to look at my draft picks and smile, followed by a lot of cringing.

Quick picks:
Keepers: Ryan Mathews, Calvin Johnson, Jimmy Graham
Trent Richardson: Obviously not sad about that one.
Dez Bryant: This was my second-most laughed at pick of the day. The other one was deserved. He’s been great in the past few weeks.
Brandon Lloyd: Judging by the reaction of my leaguemates, this was the reach of the year.
Jay Cutler: I could have taken RGIII and Peyton Manning here, aka I would have been composing my speech for accepting the trophy had I gone that way.
Peyton Hillis: Here’s another hyped guy in the preaseason who’s been utter crap.
Kenny Britt: Yeah, that went well.
Jake Locker: I’ve held onto Locker all year, and won the one game that I needed to start him.
Brent Celek: A solid TE2, right?
Rashad Jennings: Alfred Morris was a consideration, but seemed like too much of a reach.
Bills D/ST: Whatevs
Alex Henery: I still have him.
Russell Wilson: Probably the best value pick.
Chiefs D/ST: At least I was only mildly on the bandwagon
Josh Scobee: Released before round one.

Let’s play a game of where are they now. T-Rich, Dez Bryant, Jake Locker, and Alex Henery are the four remaining draftees on my team. My only remaining 2012 keeper is Graham.

The key to the rest of the players I let go is not that I wasted the draft pick. It’s that I realized that those players had lost their value relative to the waiver wire value of the week. Brandon Lloyd was dropped two weeks ago when even the Patriots gave up on him for special-teams star Julian Edleman. I picked up Danario Alexander. Jay Cutler was part of a blockbuster trade as I let Calvin Johnson go for RGIII. I got DeSean Jackson as the trade-in WR. Now, I had an offer on the table for T-Rich for RGIII. The problem was the RB I got back was Mark Ingram, who seemed barely rosterable while D-Jax was for a few weeks and I felt like my waiver options at WR were much better, which was the truth. I don’t know if this is ever going to be a “win” of a deal for me but that was my thinking. I dropped Hillis after week three for Bilal Powell. Powell became Vick Ballard who became Felix Jones who became Jonathan Dwyer who became Shane Vereen who became Andre Brown who became Knowshon Moreno. Seventh time’s the charm? I traded Brent Celek for Fred Davis because Celek was on a bye when Jimmy Graham was out. Davis lasted a quarter. I rolled through Logan Paulsen and Dwayne Allen before landing Dallas Clark as my TE2. Rashad Jennings became Jonathan Stewart after week one. I rolled J-Stew for DeAngelo Williams after Stewart’s ankle injury. I know I have that seven points in my pocket any time I want to start him, which is nice. I won’t talk about kickers and defenses, other than to say I’ve owned at least half of the NFL teams. Russell Wilson, that was a tough one. When RGIII had his concussion and Locker got hurt, I picked up Hasselbeck and had to drop Wilson. Wilson was picked up and I backfilled the position by getting Colin Kaepernick right before he started against the Bears. I might even be able to trade the Tattooed One before next year.

I dumped DeSean Jackson for TY Hilton one week before Jackson ended up on IR. It’s hard to let a guy go who’s part of a trade, but honestly, you need to have the best team out there. After last week’s putrid performance, I decided to cut bait on Ryan Mathews. I’m not keeping him and he doesn’t play third downs nor gets a lot of carries inside the 20. For him to have less upside, he would have to be wearing Panthers colors.

My hopes of finishing on a four-game winning streak were dashed when RGIII couldn’t outscore Pierre Garcon which allowed one of my division rivals to defeat me and sneak into the playoffs. That leads me facing off against the division champ and defending league champ OBL. Yeah, that OBL.

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