Home Columns Decisions, Decisions: Rostering Myths

Decisions, Decisions: Rostering Myths

by Mike Tulanko

“No, dad, people have seen it!” he says, smugly.

“Merek [my son]… it’s not real.” My reply comes out as cool and calm as the fall breeze blowing around us. His mind is spinning. Reloading.

“Well, there are people who have seen it. And there are some pictures too. I’m telling you.” His insistence is cute in a child-like way. And he is, indeed, a child in every way.

“Buddy, the Loch Ness Monster has never been recorded other than one grainy photo that could have been anything. The stories people tell are just like things on the internet:  Just because you see or hear something from somewhere doesn’t mean it is real.” Surely he will relent now.

“Well, dad, what if it was real a very long time ago? Like we won’t find it now, but it was around at one point in time. Would that be possible?” His inquisitive gaze meets my pensive look.

“Hmm… that is very possible. If that is the case, we would have the same chance of proving it false as we would proving it real. Either way, I don’t think it would be around still today and not have been found at this point with all of the gadgets scientists have at their disposal, do you?” A fresh question for his consideration.

“Nah, probably not.” Slightly bummed, he stares at his black and red gym shoes. The right one has come untied again. As he stoops to tie his shoe with a furrowed little brow the fog of disappointment lifts. “But I bet it was around at one time.”

“Maybe so, Merek. Maybe so.” The only truth I have for him is a mystery.

Nessie on the Bench

Those of you who were bright-eyed and hopeful when pushing the “draft” button for Allen Robinson and A.J. Brown this year knows what it feels like for my son. There is a mythical creature of marvelous possibility and massive potential that feels is nowhere to be found. Unless, of course, you are staring at your bench in anger. 

This is the time of year when people are ready to cut the folks on their rosters that have not panned out, even though we know the talent is there and have seen the results before. In Robinson’s case, we have seen it many times. With players like Mike Davis, Brown, or whichever San Francisco running back you thought was going to emerge as “the one;” we watched them light it up last year to see them become a grainy head, or arm, or something poking out from the water. 

Outgrowing Lake Monsters

Robinson got more involved this week, posting four receptions for 53 yards. It may just take time for his rookie QB to crack the code of getting the most from this receiver who has flourished under QBs with far less talent. He is a hold for now.

Davis may be returning draft capital depending on what you spent to get him. Cordarrelle Patterson has been nothing short of fabulous. We all knew he’d be a thing, right? Davis is still churning out high-end RB3 numbers. You may have wanted more, but at least he is flex-worthy through your byes and will be busy if Patterson is out for any reason. Gotta hold for now.

Brown is painful with a capitol P-A-I-N-F-U-L. Assuming the trend continues this week (he might be out tonight with an illness), trade him for anything you can get (maybe a WR3 or RB3  on a team that can take the risk). The offense is Derrick Henry’s playground and even if something happens to take Henry off the field, Jeremy McNichols has looked great in relief. I doubt Tennessee changes their game plan much. If you cannot trade him, you can drop him if things haven’t turned and a WR3 or RB3 option is hanging out on waivers.

Now to the San Francisco running backs. This is officially worse than picking a Patriots running back. If there is a clear starter in any week who will get the bulk of the workload, and he is on your bench… trade him for an asset with steadier scoring. Just do it. (Insert Ben Stiller or Palpatine “Do it.” GIF in your brain here. Whichever tickles your fancy.)

Decisions, Decisions: What Else Lurks in the Deep?

If you look to the waiver wire, you’ll be gazing deep into the haze of Loch Ness. If you are on the bottom half of your league, you know these bros probably won’t get you back in ship territory. If you are a contender (or even a pretender:  Someone with a good record but not the points to back it up), you don’t need or want those scrubs.

Both parties want difference makers. Here is a tip from me to you:  Trade. 

David Montgomery is expected to return from injury in 2-3 weeks.

Don’t just trade for anything though. Contenders/pretenders have a prime opportunity to try and scoop peeps off of short-term Injured Reserve List (IR) stints to solidify their rosters. You won’t have to pay too much for these players if you snatch them up from struggling teams, and you stand to gain a big asset for the back half of the season. 

Potential targets would be players like Clyde Edwards-Helaire, David Montgomery, Jarvis Landry, Michael Gallup, Rob Gronkowski, George Kittle, Chris Carson, Christian McCaffrey (though he will be too expensive if the owner isn’t desperate), or Kareem Hunt if he ends up being out for only a handful of weeks. They all have the potential to help bolster your roster in the back half of the season.

Those of you who are on the bottom half of your redraft league now, need to push for trading one of the above players for someone who will help you win games now without putting your trading partner in a really tight spot. Remember, your trade partner is a team that is kicking butt already. You can’t pretend like their players are no good. Just eat the humble pie and get someone to help you now.

Weirdly enough, dynasty players in the bottom half should be targeting a lot of the players above as well especially if they have teams that are contenders/pretenders. Make sure you lean toward the more youthful options in my list and snatch them and any picks you can get. 

If you have a player who has been balling out like Henry, Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliot, James Robinson, and especially Darrell Henderson; attack trades in order to acquire youth and picks in the next five weeks and live to fight for next season! Who wants to be stranded deeper in the lake next year? Not you!

Make today a great day! And don’t forget to be awesome (DFTBA)!


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