By Adam Harris-
(CBS) Beginning your fantasy year 0-3 is frustrating and just about the kiss of death. According to CBSSports.com, only three percent of fantasy teams to start 0-3 make the playoffs.
How did I find this stat? Joe Ostrowski (@JoeO670), my fellow fantasy expert for 670 The Score, told it to me. It’s a very real scenario for him as his team is 0-3 in our 14-team, half PPR, competitive Score league.
I believe his situation relates to other 0-3 and 1-2 teams out there. Joe’s team is full of players that have high ceilings, but haven’t climbed out of the basement yet. If you are 0-3 or 1-2, you will likely have many of the same dilemmas Joe has, and we are going to break down what has gone wrong up to this point. Also, we will break down his strategy moving forward to make a playoff run realistic.
ROUNDS 1,2,3 = LOSSES 1,2,3
Fantasy owners rarely hit big on each of their first three picks, but just as rare is to miss completely on each of those picks. Joe O accomplished the latter during this year’s Score draft, and it was not his fault. In the first round Joe took C.J. Spiller (RB-BUF) with the ninth overall pick for his amazing value and tons of upside. Spiller has scored 20 points in three games while his backup Fred Jackson (RB-BUF) has scored 40 points all year.
David Wilson (RB-NYG) was his second round pick, and our draft took place after the news that Andre Brown (RB-NYG) broke his leg. Again, great value, and Joe was following a nice model of RB/RB in rounds one and two. A smart move in a 14 team-league. Wilson had potential to dominate this year as the main Giants RB, but to this point he has averaged just over one point per week.
In the third round Joe selected Danny Amendola (WR-NE). Again, nothing wrong here. Yes, Amendola is an injury prone wide out, but the potential alone was astonishing. Amendola looked to be the Patriots number one wide out all season.
In each of his first three rounds, Joe drafted with potential and value in his mind. You draft those three thinking one would perform above his potential, one would do as expected, and one would perform below their potential. The problem is that all three of them are either tanking or injured.
Yet Joe remains confident in these players, as should you if you own them. David Wilson (RB-NYG) is not startable at this point, but his value is too low to trade. Let him ride the bench until the Giants decide to turn it on. The same goes for Stevan Ridley (RB-NE). Ridley is not generating trade value but has not been good enough to start. If he’s your number one back, I suggest shopping him for a viable starter or third tier, nice wide out.
C.J. Spiller will be fine, but I think you could shop him for a stud wide out like Dez Bryant (WR-DAL) or AJ Green (WR-CIN). Joe has yet to shop him and explained to me why. “Spiller’s worst week was last week (Week 3),” Joe O said. “I was fine with the first two weeks based on touches, but not production. Now I’m a little concerned with Fred Jackson in the mix.”
When asked if he would trade Spiller for a top tier wide out, Joe said yes. When asked if he would trade Spiller for a second tier wide out and a lower everyday back, he said he would have to think about it. I think both are fair and workable.
RB vs WR
Joe put an emphasis on running backs in his draft, getting Rashard Mendenhall (RB-AZ) as his potential slash, and waiting on a quarter back, but still ending up with Tony Romo (QB-DAL). It was a very popular strategy, one that I endorsed in all my drafts.
This year that strategy has not worked out. So far it pays to have wide outs with a high ceiling/potential, and it’s great to have quarterbacks that can win you a week by themselves. Tony Romo hasn’t been that guy, even though he’s no fantasy slouch.
So far this year, wide outs have out performed running backs by far. Only seven out of the top 25 scorers (.5 PPR) between RB/WR/TE are running backs. The consistent players have been wide receivers so far, and the trend doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. It might be time to start rethinking the way fantasy is won or lost. It’s not ALL about running backs anymore.
WHAT TO DO – 0-3
When I asked Joe, what he plans to do about his 0-3 team he did not seem panicked. “I’m looking for the long-term and I think David Wilson and C.J. Spiller will turn it around,” Joe said. “I cannot sell low. I have to stick with the team unless someone were to blow up so I can look for a trade.”
I think patience is great in this situation, and faith that his bad luck will turn around is promising; however, I believe he needs to make a deal to try to win this week.
“I still believe in the players,” Joe said in response to my theory. “If they were in other teams, I would be looking at them as buy low candidates.”
I agree, and honestly I am after buy low candidate C.J. Spiller in out Score league. I’m willing to give up a nice wide out and a decent running back. Lets see if it works.
The bottom line is to be patient, but make sure you are fielding offers. I think Joe is handling his 0-3 as good as he possibly can. He doesn’t have a ton of trade value right now on his team, but he is still fielding offers. He is not jumping at the first, second, or even third offer. If he doesn’t like the offer, he turns it down and remains patient.
The only problem is that his patience needs to run out soon. Another loss this week, and increased desperation follows. Just remain patient, but set a limit. If you field an offer that is fair and gives you a different look, go ahead and pull the trigger.
Try trading with teams that are on top right now. Those teams feel invincible and are more willing to take the low end of the deal if they are getting a buy-low candidate. Use the buy low against them. Often times the team doing well will target a buy low candidate to try to perfect their starting lineup. You can get two or three solid players that he/she is not using and increase your value overall
Good luck and here’s to not going 0-4!
Thank you to fellow fantasy expert Joe Ostrowski for his contribution to this article.
Follow Adam Harris on Twitter @AHarris670 and ask him Fantasy Football questions. Also, listen to the Friday Fantasy Nerd Herd Hour on Friday nights/Saturday mornings with Joe Ostrowski.