Here is a scenario of a fantasy owner coming back home after what was a dream draft in a 12-team league in August.
Peyton Manning was there in the middle rounds as your starting quarterback. This was after you took Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas with your first two picks and grabbed Jeremy Maclin late to round out your loaded three receivers. In the third round, you pounced on running back Marshawn Lynch and were savvy and grabbed Frank Gore in the fifth round. Gore was going to provide big-time numbers now that he was going to be on the Indianapolis Colts with quarterback Andrew Luck. At tight end, Jimmy Graham was there with your pick in the fourth round.
Championship bound right?
If this is your starting lineup, I'd wager you that you are either currently in last place in your league or very close to it.
I feel your pain.
In my Yahoo.com standard league, I traded for Manning and Thomas after Week 2 to go along with Bryant and Buffalo's Sammy Watkins while also having Gore and Kelce. There have been injuries to Bryant and Sammy Watkins, but for the most part, I have been able to run out all of those guys every week - and am currently at 3-7 in our league.
This is what I call the "All-Name Team" and fantasy owners must break out of this pattern if they are going to succeed.
For example: If your starting lineup was quarterback Blake Bortles, receivers Eric Decker, Michael Crabtree and Larry Fitzgerald with Devonta Freeman and Jonathan Stewart as your running backs and Gary Barnidge as your tight end, I'd be willing to wager you are either in first place in your league or near the top.
That team could be drafted without fail in any league this year.
The first team is all about name recognition and the second all about guys that either are rebounding from subpar seasons a year ago like Freeman and Decker or coming out of nowhere altogether like Barnidge.
Fantasy is not a one-size-fits all kind of deal anymore. Ten years ago, if you had Ladanian Tomlinson, Terrell Owens and Peyton Manning, you were pretty much guaranteed to make at least the semifinals.
Those days are over.
With injuries, running back by committees and spread-it-around passing attacks, you need to constantly be on the lookout for who is the breakout player. Not the guy who had a breakout year in 2014, like the Denver Broncos C.J. Anderson, but the guy who is going off this season.
Here are two team's lineups from last week and their point totals in a PPR league with a quarterback, two receivers, a tight end. I am negating the defense and kicker because that is a toss-up every week.
QB - 324 yards, 4 TDs
RB1- 20 rush for 73 yards, TD and 7 receptions for 109 yards, TD
RB2 - 24 rush for 69 yards and 3 receptions for 92 yards, TD
WR1 -7 receptions for 113 yards
WR2 - 7 receptions for 113 yards, TD
TE - 4 receptions for 134 yards.
QB - 333 yards, 2 TDs
RB1 - 8 rush for 42 yards, TD
RB2 - 7 rush for 15 yards
WR1 - 5 receptions for 67 yards, 1 lost fumble
WR 2 - 5 receptions for 53 yards
TE - 3 receptions for 41 yards
Which team would you have rather had for Week 10?
The choice is obvious. Despite the quarterbacks being somewhat similar in numbers, Team A is clearly superior in every way to Team B.
Team A is comprised of Washington's Kirk Cousins at QB, Chicago's Jeremy Langford at RB1, Kansas City's Charcandrick West at RB2, Cleveland's Travis Benjamin at WR1, Arizona's Michael Floyd at WR2 and Philadelphia's Brent Celek at TE.
I doubt any of the players above were drafted in ANY draft this season. They could all be picked up off the waiver wire. That team would have won someone a lot of money in daily fantasy.
Before I forget, guess who the names are from Team B? All of them were taken in the first two rounds of drafts this season: QB is Aaron Rodgers, RB1 is Marshawn Lynch, RB2 is Jeremy Hill, WR1 is A.J. Green, WR2 is Randall Cobb and TE is Jimmy Graham.
The moral of this story is be vigilant in your waiver-wire add/drops each week, do not rest on your laurels (aka, the team you drafted) and do not get caught up in the name game because we've made it pretty clear the "All-Name Team" is a perfect recipe for a disappointing fantasy season.
Waiver Wire Pickups For Week 11
Quarterback: Brock Osweiler, Denver; Case Keenum, St. Louis - Injuries coupled with bad play create opportunity and both of these guys are the beneficiaries. Osweiler steps in for an injured Peyton Manning and has plenty of weapons around him, led by receivers Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Denver also recently traded for tight end Vernon Davis. Manning was awful last week and Osweiler gets a very beatable Bears defense in first game. Keenum replaces an ineffective Nick Foles for the Rams. Keenum showed last year with Houston in his numerous pass attempts to Andre Johnson that he likes to get the ball down the field and wants to make big plays. That could lead to interceptions, but at this point of the season if you are stuck with bye-week issues, you could do a lot worse than Keenum.
Running Back: Jay Ajayi, Miami - Lamar Miller owners don't want to hear this, but the Dolphins love Ajayi. The only reason he hasn't created a split-time situation is because he was injured. They drafted him high last season and he will be a good producer from this point forward. Last week he averaged 8 yards on his six carries for 48 yards. If he is on your waiver wire, go get him while you still can.
Wide Receiver/Tight End: Danny Amendola, New England - Again, this is all about opportunity through injury, and what an opportunity. If Amendola is available on your waiver wire, especially if you are in a PPR league, go get him right now. He will move into Julian Edelman's spot and is a lock for 5-7 catches and 70 yards per game from this point
Start These Guys In Week 11
Quarterback: Matthew Stafford, Detroit vs. Oakland - Stafford started showing some signs of life last week in the Lions win over Green Bay. He now gets a Raiders pass defense that is surrendering 304 yards passing and nearly two touchdowns per game. (Last Week: Blake Bortles finished with 188 yards passing, 2 TDs, 1 INT)
Running Back: Charcandrick West, Kansas City at San Diego - If West can deliver 161 total yards and a touchdown against the league's best defense, just imagine what he does against a Chargers unit allowing 115 yards rushing and almost 60 receiving per game to running backs. (Last week: James Starks, 15 rushes for 42 yards. Just like the entire Green Bay team, Starks was a disappointment last week despite a prime matchup)
Wide Receiver: Sammy Watkins, Buffalo at New England - The Patriots, surprisingly, have given up 197.1 yards per game to receivers this season and Watkins should be heavily involved. Buffalo could be on the receiving end of a beat down too, which would gave Watkins production in garbage time. (Last week: Desean Jackson: 2 catches for 44 yards. Just like Starks, there is no rhyme or reason that Jackson did not take advantage of a great matchup. I would say Jackson is now benchable or even droppable in many formats.
How Did My Teams Do In Week 10?
The Last Action Heroes in my CBSSports.com PPR league keep delivering high-point weeks and I have now won three games in a row, all in by nearly 100 points. LAH won in Week 10 188-108 over The Gamblers. It helps that Antonio Brown continues to go off and Bears running back Jeremy Langford (this week's coverboy) is doing really well replacing injured Matt Forte. The three wins have moved the Heroes to 6-4. One more win and LAH will qualify for the playoffs. The Yahoo.com league, you already know has been a disaster. At least Tony Romo is coming back, which should help Bryant's production and Manning is out, which should help Thomas. My Fantasy Derelicts are 3-7 after being further humbled 68-30 by Magic Dragons thanks to Peyton Manning giving me a -8! It's pretty bleak with FD, but I still plan on finishing strong.
Good Luck in Week 11!
- Tyler Morning Telegraph staff writer Chris Parry has been an avid fantasy football player since his collegiate days at Texas Tech in the late 90s. His fantasy football takeaway appears each Thursday. Any questions or comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeted to @CParryETFS