The Agony of Defeat

I feel like the way this weekend went for me can best be summed up thusly: Gary Barnidge went for zero fantasy points.

That not illustrative enough? Here’s another one: Quarterback should be the single biggest scoring opportunity on a fantasy team. Mine was Tyrod Taylor. He scored five fantasy points.

Five.

Alex Smith had 27.

Remember him? The guy the 49ers cut to start Colin Kaepernick? He’s in Kansas City now, and he’s still always underestimated, and he’s undrafted in my league, and he had 27 points today. Tyrod Taylor, again, projected top-ten-ish QB, had 5.

So yeah, this week did not go great.

My opponent has 84 points and three positions left to play on Monday night. All my players are done and I have 71 points.

So this week is a loss. By something of a margin.

That’s not to say my entire team was terrible. A.J. Green was the rock star we all knew he would be, 180 yards and a touchdown for 24 points. Ezekiel Elliott earned his keep with 51 yards and a touchdown, good for 11 points. 10 points from a defense is great, and that’s what my Texans gave me, so changing my team name to Turn Down For Watt is not off the table. Melvin Gordon and Mohamed Sanu both had surprisingly strong performances, 17 and 16 points respectively.

Except wait, Gordon and Sanu were on my bench and their points don’t count for me. And neither does the 9 points Austin Sefarian-Jenkins got on his one catch, for 30 yards and a touchdown. May I remind you that he is a backup TE for me. And my starting TE was Gary Barnidge, who touched the ball not one time and earned not one point.

There’s a 30 point swing from my bench to my starters, if I’d played it right. Sefarian-Jenkins over Barnidge is an obvious +9. Flexing in Sanu instead of Cobb would have given me Sanu’s 16 over Cobb’s 6, +10. And swapping Melvin Gordon for Frank Gore would have given me 17 instead of 6, +11.

101 would have been a stellar score, and the disappointing days for Julian Edelman (7 points, which is where he was projected but not where I hoped he would be) and Tyrod Taylor (5 points, can’t stress enough how pathetic that is) wouldn’t even phase me. The field goal that Catanzaro missed in the 4th quarter, which instead of being worth 4 points and bringing his total to 7 if he’d made it was worth -1 point and brought his total to 2 points with the miss, would have slid right by me like a small gray cloud on an otherwise gorgeous spring day.

Instead I have 71. Which is not quite at the basement of my league but is much much closer to it than I feel comfortable admitting.

My opponent, meanwhile, was helped by the truly stupendous day Andrew Luck had. Yeah, that shoulder thing? Clearly didn’t bother him. 385 yards and 4 touchdowns passing. So yeah, he’s fine. 35 points.

Sheesh.

I feel like my bitterness is leading to rambling now. So let’s focus on the positives, shall we? Lessons we can learn?

Well, only one of my three in-hindsight lineup mistakes (Sefarian-Jenkins vs. Barnidge, Sanu vs. Cobb, Gordon vs. Gore) should have been visible not-in-hindsight. A young RB with an old QB will always have more upside than an old RB with a young QB. Gore’s getting benched next week, and Gordon’s getting called up, especially facing Jacksonville’s defense. But in the aggregate, Barnidge is better than Sefarian-Jenkins and Cobb is better than Sanu. So these were unlucky picks, not bad picks, and over time they’ll work out better.

I do think I should look at alternatives to Tyrod Taylor. I’m looking ahead at the next three games when I’d need him, and I’m not seeing much to make me excited on the back of what happened today. There’s not a lot of greatness I can turn to still available in my league, however. At least not for all three weeks. The aforementioned Alex Smith is intriguing, but he faces Houston in Houston next week, and I can’t make myself be enthusiastic about his chances there. Against the Jets at home in Week Three, sure. Against the Steelers in Pittsburg in Week Four, maybe.

So since there’s no clear solution to my Taylor problem, I’ll have to get creative with the possibilities. Maybe I can patch together okay-ish-ness week-by-week on the waiver wire until Tom Brady comes back to save me. Or maybe Jimmy Garoppolo himself is an option? He managed a perfectly-okay 13 points today, and at least I trust the Patriots’ offense overall. Or maybe Taylor will take the opportunity next week to not suck. He gets the Jets at home next week, which for him is kind of a dice roll given what he could not do against the Ravens today.

I’ll make that decision on Tuesday, probably. Until then, having already lost this matchup, I am free to root unreservedly for the Rams tomorrow night despite the fact that my opponent has their defense.

So at least there’s that?

I’m trying real hard to be positive right now, you guys. Real hard.

If it works I’ll let you know.

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