Poor fantasy football owners. As if the injuries weren't painful enough, last week you were forced to choose who to dump, who to salvage and who to attempt trading to your skeptical friends. All because of football vacation.
Do you stick with the guy who isn't getting a lot of carries – but probably will eventually – like Carlos Hyde? Or what about Josh Gordon, who's a stud wideout, but an eternity away from impacting your team? Or how about someone like Phillip Rivers who was likely drafted as a backup, and now rivaling your starting QB Andrew Luck, which means one of them sits the bench every single week. Decisions. Decisions.
If you're in one of my myriad leagues or have heard me whine hours upon hours, you know I've been tormented with my own choices. And I have so many teams. But trust me. More teams. More problems.
So, what's a struggling owner to do? My advice to you is pretty simple. Do whatever it takes, week in and week out, to secure a win. It's great to stash a guy like Gordon on your bench. But not at the expense of claiming a guy who will start for you now.
One gets you points now, one gets you the potential for points. There are no guarantees, so a win now is one win closer to the playoffs. Of course, there are exceptions and I don't have time (nor the word count) to tick off every exception. There's risk/reward to each move. Just remember, you don't want to be the owner who is 2-8, waiting for someone to rescue you.
Now check out these gems, and imagine a passionate Ryan Fitzpatrick-like speech that inspires a waiver wire shopping frenzy:
Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens – He's back! While fantasy pundits were toying with Bernard Pierce vs. Lorenzo Taliaferro this week, Forsett showed with an exclamation mark that the pocket-sized RB should be part of the conversation. He embarrassed the Carolina defense with 97 yards and a touchdown – and did not resemble the backup to the backup. He's widely available. Get him while you can.
Larry Donnell, TE, New York Giants – Here's some expert advice. He scored three TDs and leads the Giants in receptions. And yes, this means living week-to-week gasping with every Eli Manning throw. Live a little.
Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts – Donnell isn't available? Then how about the tight end with the league's leading QB? With his third touchdown reception of the season, Allen appears to be upstaging Colby Fleener. Take note.
Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings – The smart choice on Sunday was the guy who scored three touchdowns, Matt Asiata. But fantasy points aside, McKinnon appeared to be the more dominant back with 135 yards on 18 carries, and a 17-yard reception. Both these backs can contribute, even in a time-share.
Ben Tate, RB, Cleveland Browns – Tate is expected to return Week 5, and also expected to regain his starting job. No doubt he'll share the load, but this could change in his favor, provided he stays healthy (eek, easier than it sounds). Don't toss out Isaiah Crowell just yet.
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants – I am stunned myself. But with 28 receptions for 300 yards and four – yes, four – touchdowns, it's hard to ignore the stats. Next up is Atlanta, who is a yummy matchup. Take a deep breath and claim Eli.
Erin Skelley joins Texans Radio every week on SportsRadio 610. Follow her on Twitter @erinskelley. She'll babble fantasy to anyone who will listen.