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Bye: Cardinals, Panthers
The injury bug played a major role in week 12 with upside plays Travis Etienne and Jeff Wilson falling after only a couple of snaps and receiver Darnell Mooney is now lost for the year, impacting Justin Fields, who also did not play in week 12. There’s just no way to sugar coat 2012, it has been a bad year for injuries and it has created a large degree of variability in the standings, not only in the NFL, but across the fantasy landscape. I can’t remember a year as difficult as 2022 for my lineup advice prognostication work as well. But some of my strategies and tendencies in helping you determine who to start and who to sit, has continued to work.
What hasn’t worked as well this year has been defensive matchup trending. Either because of parity, offensive scheming or just randomness, matchup data hasn’t been as predictive as it has in the past. It’s only one of many variables I use in calling a weekly play, but it still factors heavily. Because of this, in recent weeks, I’ve been overweighting snaps, touches and role. It may seem silly to write but players who play more snaps, have more of a role and get a greater touch percentage, have a greater chance of being difference-makers in any given week. I’ve been doing much more work t0ward identifying these players and their roles and then backing into trends when analyzing your specific questions.
Additionally, while I don’t have specific data to back this up, the injuries, and reinjuries, early into games seems to be playing more of a prominent role. Players coming back from injury have been returning to the sidelines early in games with reaggravation. It’s not uncommon of course, but it sure seems to be at a greater rate in 2022. To counter this, I’ve been favoring uninjured players whenever possible over upside players returning from injury. The downside to this is when a returning player is a high ceiling play but at risk for reinjury and I suggest leaving him on the bench. This is where it gets tricky.
In any event, as we head into week 13, I’ll be trying to do a better job of pointing out when and why I’m sitting a particular player in your specific situation to give you a better understanding of my reasoning. That said, my advice is not gospel and you should always only take it as that little voice on your shoulder offering another opinion. I work very hard at my craft, but the nature of this work means that I cannot be 100%.
Week 12 is the week where I hate fantasy football and considered giving it up for fantasy pickleball instead. It happens once a year – and I have still never played pickleball, if that tells you anything.
I finished this week 4-9, bringing my total record to 90-66.
Najee Harris’ early exit likely caused me one loss, the Josh Jacobs explosion handed me another one and Miles Sanders’ big day yet another, but not enough to give me a win in a separate league. And of course, I lost Darnell Mooney and Travis Etienne in one of my long running leagues in which I have never missed the playoffs. I’m on the cusp of doing just that in 2022 though after losing Cooper Kupp and Matthew Stafford on top of Etienne and Mooney, there wasn’t much hope for me in week 12. Still two games to go and my roster in this league is good enough to make a late push. We’ll see.
All in all, it was only my second losing week of the season and the first one came very early in the year. 90-66 is a good record but not good enough in my estimation to send 40% of my teams to the championship game as I did in 2021. Three of my teams are out of the playoff hunt, one by design and one, an orphan pickup in its second year, wasn’t expected to make a run. The one “by design” team is a rebuild now and shaping up well as I currently hold picks 1.01, 1.02 and 1.05.
I want to touch on a subject I’m getting more and more questions about: late-season trades.
The question goes a lot like this: I’m a competitive team looking to make a trade to put me over the top this year, should I trade Player X for Player Y?
Let me start by saying that I’m NEVER against a trade that is purely and clearly beneficial to your team. Each year I get a couple of head-scratching offers that are immediate-accept action items for me. But most trades are very much give and take and not so easily decided upon.
I always start off my trade advice questions with a standard response which goes a little something like this: Trading often comes down to coaching philosophy and, in my case, I tend to favor not selling out of assets for what I hope to be a greater chance of winning it all THIS year. I always play the long game.
Coaching philosophy plays a huge role in your activities and it’s important to understand your own philosophy. For myself, after over two decades in this game, I’ve found that there remains so much variability, inconsistency and luck in week-to-week results that I’m much more likely to sit on my hands and not trade away assets I’ve been accumulating for a slight, if even that, increase in production to “put me over the top” in a given year. Again, there’s a distinction between those trades which are smash-accept and those which take much more consideration.
Generally speaking, if I have a team in the playoff hunt, I’m far more likely to let it play out without a trade which could upset my roster balance. Opposed to that is a team that is clearly at the top of the standings and would be projected to make the championship game. When I have a team in this situation, I’m far more likely to trade away draft assets for productive players in that I can be nearly certain my picks will be at the end of each round. That is an arbitrage I will seek to do as often as I can. Those who follow me know that I favor known over unknown situations. I’ll take a productive but aging vet on a competitive team all day over a late first-round rookie selection.
The moral of the story here is to know thyself. This game is rife with variability and luck, even the dynasty format. In the playoffs, even should you pull of a trade which nets you another eight fantasy points per game, you are up against top competition and playoff games are often decided by far more than eight points. Not to say it couldn’t be a difference-maker for you, but luck, variability and inconsistency make late-season trading a strategy I usually avoid.
Good luck in week 13!
Join our Discord Server
We’ve added a new service! Every Sunday morning, you can join DLF’s new Discord server to ask those last minute lineup advice questions, or anything else which may be on your mind. In the very near future, we’ll cut off lineup advice on Saturday night and use this Discord channel to ensure your questions aren’t missed Sunday AM. This new channel is taking our community interaction to the next level.
Lineup Advice Rules & Format
DLF continues to see amazing growth in our membership and each year I wonder how I’m going to keep up with all of your questions while also holding to a level of service and quality you’ve all come to expect from me. I’ve been VERY happy with my level of accuracy but, for that to occur, I need your help. Each question can take up to 10 minutes for me to research as I research up to a dozen different variables and trends. I do everything I can to get my answers correct. For that reason, I need you to read the following rules and guidelines to help me maintain efficiency:
- Please don’t ask me to set your entire lineup
- Put “TNF” as the top line for any question involving Thursday Night Football games
- Please also make sure to tell me who YOU would be starting if not for my advice. It helps me to understand your gut feeling.
- Include your scoring format (PPR, Non-PPR, etc.)
- Keep your questions as brief as possible – Story questions add a lot of time
- I prioritize questions involving the earliest (Thursday, etc.) games first. If I skip over your question, don’t worry, I’ll be back to it.
- It’s easy to miss responses to my responses in thread. When in doubt, always post a separate new question
Lastly, I work very hard to get my advice correct and I do not mail it in. When I’m wrong, I feel every incorrect answer so, go easy on me! That said, the DLF community has been absolutely fantastic to work with which is why I’m still doing this after so many years.
Have a great week! Have an even better season!
Let’s do this…
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