Fantasy football: It's better to be a week early than a week late

Fantasy football: It's better to be a week early than a week late
FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2014, file photo, Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) fights off a tackle attempt by New Orleans Saints' Junior Galette (93) during the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas. The four straight wins by Dallas ranks near the top among early-season surprises across the league. The Cowboys face the defending champion Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Oct. 12. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade, File) (Brandon Wade / AP)

Usually when I write this column, I start with a premise and then veer off a little bit to touch on some other things. This week, I just started writing the quick-hitters and noticed a theme throughout, that being: I'd rather be a week early than a week late.

So what does that mean as it pertains to fantasy football? Quite simply, it means sometimes I'd rather be proactive than reactive, especially as the season goes on. That means trying to identify and add a player before a slate of favorable match-ups, or dumping a player of name recognition before something goes wrong.


When you wait, you end up having to react, and it can cost you. Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) dollars go quick if you aren't careful and if you have waiver priorities, like most leagues, then you know how frustrating it can be when you miss out on a player you need. So it's better to grab someone ahead of time than have to spend a third or more of your budget because of an injury.

Think about Jamaal Charles owners scrambling to get Knile Davis a few weeks back. Or, this past week, how many people added Branden Oliver from the Chargers (who should be a great play this week, but also carve out a Danny Woodhead-like niche in the San Diego offense).

Mixed in with a couple thoughts on who to start and who to sit in this week's games, today will also feature a lot of advice on looking ahead.

Time to handcuff Murray

DeMarco Murray owners need to handcuff Joseph Randle immediately. The workload of Murray, combined with his injury history, means his due to miss a game or two this season.

Randle isn't as good as Murray, but the Cowboys' offensive line is going to open big holes for whoever is running behind them.

With that in mind, if you don't own Murray and Randle is out there -- and you have an extra spot on the bench -- go ahead and add him. Best case scenario, if Murray is hurt, you have the back running behind arguably the best line in football. Or may you convince the Murray owner to overpay for him in a trade. Worst-case? You cut him for someone who will help you now when that player comes along.

Bishop Sankey to start

Last week, we all thought Bishop Sankey was in line for more work after Ken Whisenhunt basically said that would be the case. He got 10 carries in a game against Cleveland, and didn't produce the way many were hoping.

But, if you were patient and held onto him, you should reap the rewards this week. Shonn Green is injured, and Sankey will start. And the fantasy gods have smiled upon him, he gets the Jaguars. He's a solid RB2 start this week, ahead of guys like Doug Martin and a hobbled Zac Stacy.

Bell tolls for the Lions

Last week, we thought Reggie Bush could have a huge week because he was going to be the only show in town for the Lions. Now he's hurt and Joique Bell is back.

Bell should be in line for a big workload against Minnesota. He's worth an RB2 start, but I'm going to temper expectations a bit. The Lions will likely be without Calvin Johnson, so the Vikes can key on the run and Bell hasn't been as impressive as he was a year ago.

If Matthew Stafford is my starting quarterback, I'm a little concerned. Unless I had another strong option (for example, in one league I somehow managed to get Stafford and Matt Ryan) I'm going with that. I've just got a sinking feeling the Lions are going to get got this weekend.


I do like rookie TE Eric Ebron to score a touchdown this week. Last week, he had a TD overturned on replay review, but he's a big body that could get Calvin's red zone looks.

And Golden Tate needs to be started as long as Calvin is out. Stafford is going to force the ball to him.

Reed ready to roll

Jordan Reed is finally getting healthy and should return to the field this week. And he gets an Arizona defense that is not only banged up, but has been notoriously bad against tight ends since last year.

He's still available in more than 40 percent of Yahoo leagues as of Saturday afternoon. Niles Paul is still around, but if you're looking for some tight end help -- maybe you've got Jimmy Graham on a bye this week -- Reed has a lot of things working in his favor.

Storm-a-brewin' in Jacksonville?

Jaguars running back Storm Johnson is worth taking a look at in 12-team league or larger formats. More people have picked up on him since earlier this week but he's still just 12 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, so he's widely available. He got his first carries of the season last week against Pittsburgh and looked good, going 27 yards on just four carries.

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