1-3 Like Me? Fantasy Football Expert Chimes in on Whether It’s Time to Panic or Persevere



You did not see yourself with just one win after the first four weeks of your work fantasy league.

You studied so hard.

You drafted Najee Harris at No. 7 overall because that was absolutely the sensible thing to do and all the cheat sheets told you not to worry about that nettlesome injury history.

Getting ahead of the inevitable Jaylen Waddle breakout gave you instant and dependable production at wide receiver.

You defied the so-called experts (this time) who said Joe Burrow would regress and brought him on board in the fourth round.

You completed an absolutely devastating backfield by taking Elijah Mitchell in the fifth. The fifth!

Wait. This was me. All of this was me.

So how in the holy hell am I 1-3 and 10th of 14 entering Week 5?

Obviously — probably? — self-analysis here isn’t wise, as I got me here in the first place.

So I went and got myself a fantasy football expert, Sharp App CEO and DFS Army‘s Kevin Epstein to figure out if this angsty piece of content would be a “Fantasy League 911” or “Fantasy League Reno.”

But, hey, enough about me. Within this frank and thorough audit/autopsy of the Regul -ar Season Champs below, you’ll likely find some nuggets to improve your woeful situation — especially if we have players in common — or fodder for your smugness as you look down from upon high in the standings.

standings (1)

BRANT JAMES: Do I have any hope of making the playoffs? Panic time?

KEVIN EPSTEIN: Remember, we’ve got generally a 13 or now, maybe a 14-week regular season. So thank the NFL for adding that game in there. It gives you a little more leeway this season. But yeah, I mean, anybody who’s losing a lot of games … now is the time. You’re 1-3, so there’s a couple things I think you want to assess, especially in your situation.

Should [you] start selling, trading studs for a just-OK player? And you do have a stud on this team that can be traded and has some pretty good value. But the first thing I noticed kind of in looking over your team, number one is your ‘points for’ are pretty good. This is one of those unfortunate things that does happen in head-to-head fantasy …

” … Sometimes you just go up against people who just get lucky that week, and you’re going up against the most points. So, I do have to say, looking at your team, you’ve got 476 points for, which is literally number two in the league. So this is definitely not a panic situation at all.”

One question I would ask, and actually along with asking that question, share with anybody watching or listening, a rule that should be for every fantasy league in existence — and if you don’t have this in your league, please change your rules — is that the sixth playoff team should get in based on fantasy points, scored total points for, to avoid that situation where you got losses head to head, but actually maybe you’re the third- or fourth-highest scoring team in the league, and you’re out of the playoffs because of win-loss records.

So please, everybody, make sure you change the rules of your league. Get that last team in there based on points for. Really important. I hate playing in leagues that don’t have that rule for exactly this reason. You go up against couple bad games. Next thing you know, the win-loss record gets you, but even without that rule, at the very least, you’ve got a good shot at a tiebreaker if you’re scoring the most points. So it gives you a good shot to get in the playoffs. And once we’re in the playoffs, we are good to go.

Regular Season champs roster (1)

KEVIN EPSTEIN: Now, getting into your actual team, you’ve got some trouble going on at running back.

BRANT JAMES: Elijah Mitchell!

KEVIN EPSTEIN: I was a big fan. He got me too. Now, had we spoken Week One, you’ve got to go all in for Jeff Wilson Jr. I think that RB2 is going to be trouble all year, but I do have a recommendation for it. You cannot play Kenneth Walker III. He is a zero. He’s fine for the bench. But number one, Gus Edwards needs to be dropped. You cannot waste the location on your bench for a guy like that.

“You have to pick up what I call ‘one-hit-away running backs.”

The player I want you to pick up and stash on your bench right now is Isiah Pacheco, if he’s available.

BRANT JAMES: He’s gone.

KEVIN EPSTEIN: That’s unfortunate because what I wanted to tell you to do there was … you’re not finding quality wide receivers that are still floating around. It just doesn’t happen. It’s so rare in the NFL that some unknown name truly emerges as an elite wide receiver that can help your fantasy team. Chris Olave, who you have on your team is that guy, and he’s already on your team. So I like to put running backs that one hit to the starter and they’re the starter. I think Pacheco is one of those guys.

Rachaad White is that type of player, of course, Alexander Mattison, even Zamir White on the Raiders.

I like that you picked up Mike Boone. You can’t play Kenneth Walker, so you’re going to put Boone in there. I mean, you’ve got the right defense, you’ve got the right kicker. Those are the easy spots to deal with. Usually, people aren’t focusing on kicker and defense, but this week that kicker is great. That defense is even better. Bills defense, they’re the number one defense of the week. So I think you go with this.

BRANT JAMES: So I’m not stupid, my team’s not terrible, and I shouldn’t panic?

KEVIN EPSTEIN:  I’m impressed you’ve got two people that you picked up on waivers probably that are starting and contributing for your team. We just need those starters to come around. Joe Burrow’s a solid quarterback, so I think this team looks like it’s going to be fine.

BRANT JAMES: I was never worried.

(Check out the extended interview with Kevin Epstein for more fantasy league gems and an update on Sharp App).

About the Author
Brant James

Brant James

Senior Writer
Brant James is a senior writer who covers the sports betting industry and legislation at Gaming Today. An alum of the Tampa Bay Times, ESPN.com, espnW, SI.com, and USA Today, he's covered motorsports and the NHL as beats. He also once made a tail-hook landing on an aircraft carrier with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and rode to the top of Mt. Washington with Travis Pastrana. John Tortorella has yelled at him numerous times.

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