Fantasy football about Xs and Os, not Ws and Ls

The four teams on bye this week – Washington, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay – have combined to win only two games so far this season. Two lousy games.

Logic would lead one to believe that a bye week comprised of teams with a combined 2-14 record would be pretty inconsequential to fantasy football players. Right? Wrong. Dead wrong.

Applying conventional logic to fantasy football is a mistake made by many people. It’s called “fantasy” football for a reason. The outcomes of the actual games mean little – though there are rare leagues that employ a coach position – or nothing to fake footballers. In layman’s terms, the finished product doesn’t matter, the nuts and bolts are what we care about.

So despite having four terrible teams on vacation this week, fantasy players are left without three first round running backs, another up-and-coming Top 20 RB, a polarizing starting quarterback in standard leagues and a pair of vitally important veteran wide receivers in the midst of their respective breakout seasons.

I urge you to leave logic at the door this week and just play these guys where they are applicable.

* New York Giants – Oh yeah. Another 0-4 team. And I’m not just suggesting one or two of them. I’m saying play nearly the whole lot of them. Eli Manning, David Wilson, Hakeem Nicks and the incredibly steady Victor Cruz. This is as much an indictment against the Eagles defense as it is an endorsement of the underperforming trio of Manning, Wilson and Nicks. Manning sets up for a nice play in place of RG3 (bye) or Andrew Luck (facing the terrorist group known as the Seahawks D). Wilson is coming off his best game of the year and with RB so shallow already, you just have to believe. Nicks is very very close to becoming waiver wire fodder. If he lets you down again this week, you have my permission to dump him.

* Bilal Powell – Sound familiar? He should. I just recommended Powell be scooped up in all leagues earlier this week, now I’m saying to get him into your lineups. The Falcons defense is nowhere close to where many people expected them to be and Powell is the offenive stalwart for the Jets, with receivers Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill out and fellow RB Chris Ivory perpetually injured. Powell is coming into this week on a run of three consecutive double digit fantasy games and I believe he makes it four on Monday Night Football.

* Chris Givens – Givens enters his game against the Jaguars with only one 100-yard game and zero touchdowns this season. I expect both of those to change in Week 5. Givens has elite speed on the outside, but has been hamstrung both erratic quarterback play from Sam Bradford and woeful play calling from Brian Schottenheimer. This is a ball game that even the Rams should win easily and Givens should contribute at least one long TD to the cause. Givens makes for a hopeful fill-in for owners of Pierre Garçon, Antonio Brown, Greg Jennings and even some non-bye related guys like Steve Smith, Mike Wallace and T.Y. Hilton.

* Dallas Clark – There isn’t much to this, other than the fact that the Dolphins have given up six touchdowns to tight ends this season and Clark is clearly the TE of choice over Ed Dickson in Baltimore. If you’ve been streaming at the position or you’re just waiting for the likely on hold for one more week return of Rob Gronkowski, Dallas could be your man.

Lastly, in addition to the usual follow me on Twitter (@FantasyBuddha), I leave you with a little anecdote on setting aside logic and trusting me this week.

Last night, my brother phoned me just before kick off of the Bills-Browns game to ask a lineup question. I encouraged him to start Willis McGahee and assured him that the veteran should be good for at least 12 fantasy points. He took my advice and actually wound up with 15.2 points.

Sometimes, you have to have faith in order to win in fantasy football.

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