Stop, Drop, and Roll: How to Survive Your Week 4 Fantasy Fire

September 29, 2014

I’ve seen and been asked multiple questions like “Is it time to start panicking?” And “Should I be picking this guy up off of the wire?” Or “What should I get Paul and Beth for their wedding present? You know how nit-picky they are!” Cease the questions. And just take a moment.
Take a deep breathe.

This is not for dramatic effect. Stop reading, and inhale as long as you can.

Now exhale as long as you can. Go on. Do it. I’ll wait…

Don’t you suddenly feel better? Good. Listen. Surviving the week 4 fire in which your team is engulfed is as easy as the age old, grade school adage “Stop, Drop, and Roll.”


This means “don’t panic.” First, make sure you’re actually on fire before you do anything. You don’t want to be that guy. If you’re trying to kick players out the door because they seem to be the reason your season is going up in flames, you need to slow down and collect yourself or you will get burnt. At this point in the season, people make lots of mistakes because they panic.

Someone actually posted that it is time to panic on Brandon Marshall since he has put up back-to-back weeks of poor performances: should you trade, drop, or bench him? If you watched Marshall the last three weeks, you’d have seen some spectacular catches. He almost made a highlight reel grab yesterday and he was hurt.

That last bit is important.

Marshall was playing with an ankle injury, as was Calvin Johnson in Week 4. Those aren’t good for receivers. Receivers need ankles to cut, cuts to get open, openness to get the ball, and the ball to put up fantasy points. If you don’t have good ankles, you’re not going to get the ball much. This is what I mean when I say “stop.” Knee-jerk reaction is “Marshall put up less than 10 points two weeks in a row? Start panicking!” Stop panicking. He was injured. Once Johnson and Marshall gets over their ankle woes, they’ll be back to WR1 form.

Personally, I like to wait until Tuesday to even think about fantasy football again after Sunday. It gives me a chance to cool off, have my wits about me, and check the facts so I can make good decisions. Whatever you choose to do, the bottom line is this:

Stop and check to make sure you won’t get burnt because you’re being hasty.


You’re running around like you’re, well,  like you’re on fire. You’re looking for a lake to jump in, a lake you might never find. The problem is, you were so insistent on finding that lake, that one source of salvation, you missed everything else. Namely the ground, which is literally everywhere you are. Ask what ground can do for you.

A lot of people had that “Donald Brown is my new RB2” fever that was going around. They ended up looking at stats like “30 carries” and ignore other (far more relevant) stats like “2 yards per carry.” One is an average and the other is a counting stat. Guess which one is more likely to change suddenly? Hint: it rhymes with “10 carries in Week 4.”

If you had eyes only for Brown, you might have missed Khiry Robinson with a great matchup against Dallas. I picked him up in four leagues and got 10+ points from him. Tell me that you don’t wish you’d dropped Brown and played Robinson. Or your lake might have been that one stat which made you miss the more prevalent facts. Either way, same bottom line:

Keep your eyes open. Look for options and don’t be so focused on one player or stat that you miss the help at your feet.


The last point is you have to roll to put out your fire. A lot of people want to run around panicking looking for a lake to jump into. The ground is there. That firm choice that has always been there and has the proven track record to show that no matter how many times you go with it, it will always hold you up. It will never let you down. Just roll.

Rolling with the players you drafted is how you win fantasy leagues. Do you need to add from the wire every once in a while? Absolutely. Your players get injured. Other players emerge as high value options in your active roster. But don’t second guess your draft.

Someone needed to ask if Jamaal Charles was a sell if he “continued not to produce.” News flash: he’s played 5 quarters so far this season. Granted, his first game was not a good one by fantasy standards. But that is because he was given the ball far too little by HC Andy Reid’s own admission. Why would you try to sell one of the best running backs in the league? Better question: What do you mean “continue to not produce”? He’s been injured AKA not on the field. Of course he hasn’t produced. Why would you cut ties with him now that he can actually help your fantasy team? Charles fully practiced in three days worth of practices this week. He’s ready to rock and roll, so you should be too. Your drafted him to produce, let him. For that matter, you drafted Demaryius Thomas and several other big name players in the first two rounds who aren’t quite living up to their cost. Don’t cut ties with them because, as always, the bottom line is:

Don’t go looking for help where you may not find it, especially when you have a way of stopping the fire right now.

If I could sum this up in two words, and I can, it would be this: Stop panicking. Your team may be a blaze at 1-3 or even 0-4 but panicking never helped anyone. Calmly assess the situation and make rational choices.

By the way, sources close to Beth mentioned wanting a crock pot at the bridal shower. You may want to put in a waiver claim on that before someone else gets it first.


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