Home Columns Sunshine on the Sideline: Breast Cancer Awareness

Sunshine on the Sideline: Breast Cancer Awareness

by Tom Cuda

Cancer is one of the worst diseases humanity has to face. It’s aggressive, lethal and there’s little rhyme or reason to who gets it and when. It’s something we need to eradicate as quickly as possible, and thankfully, awareness of different cancers is always increasing and researchers are working tirelessly to find cures. 

We all need to do our part to continue to raise awareness, educate and support those researching cures and those battling this affliction. To that end, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I wanted to take a moment to highlight a charity you can donate to.

First, some facts: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that about 250,000 women get breast cancer every year, and around 42,000 women die from it. Most breast cancer cases are found in women 50 and older, but younger women and even men can get it, too. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer found in women, just behind skin cancer. The research into this cancer is crucial to ending one of the most common forms of it in America and saving millions of lives. 

One charity committed to breast cancer research is the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation. According to its website, “The Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation is one of the nation’s leading breast cancer research and education charities. It was founded in 1985 in memory of Lynn Sage, a Chicago-area woman who endured a six-year struggle with breast cancer before she died at the age of 39.” 

According to Charity Navigator, 90% of this foundation’s budget goes directly to research and education, so you know your donation won’t be lost in overhead and fundraising costs. So far, the foundation has raised about $35 million for cancer research. 

Transitioning into the fantasy football world, I want to highlight some dynasty strategy for teams who aren’t doing so hot this year. Stop sweating it, it’s alright. It happens to everyone. Some years just stink. The beauty of the dynasty format is that you have time to turn things around and give it a go again next year. But it requires some strategy and making smart moves the rest of this season. Here are three bits of advice to help you get off tilt and get on that comeback for next year: 

Honestly Evaluate your Talent & See Who is Moveable 

So, things are going poorly, and you aren’t winning. Then it’s time to start honestly evaluating why. Look at every player on your team and go through his stats and team situation. Is a big name falling off hard and possibly losing their role for the future? Did that rookie pick or second year not pan out? It happens every year: Veterans you rely on lose their edge and get their roles usurped or rookies bust. If that’s happening, don’t be so attached to name value or past production that you are unwilling to trade them away to secure yourself value for next year. 

Take Melvin Gordon, for instance. We’re just a year or two removed from him being a highly valued pick and a productive asset. But he hasn’t been nearly as effective or valuable this year. He is having off-the-field issues and is playing less efficiently than his teammates. He’s a prime candidate for the trade block if you’re out of the hunt this year. It’s worth floating him to competitive teams, which takes me to my next piece of advice, trading. 

Trade with Teams that are in the Hunt

Melvin Gordon is the PPR RB19 this season on a points per game basis.

Trade, trade, trade. It won’t solve all your problems, but a few well-executed trades can set you up for next season. Take your Melvin Gordons and hit the chat with a league mate who is trying for the championship, and see what you can in return. If you can take a veteran or two and get a draft pick and a younger player that is growing into a role, but not yet producing league-winning numbers, you can usually find a trade partner who will work with you.

I can’t stress enough how beneficial it can be to your prospects to turn fading value into rising value. Even if you don’t end up playing those younger players next year, you can use them to trade and have at the very least increased the overall value of your team moving forward. 

Dynasty is very much a game of change, and things are always in flux, so riding those ebbs and flows to incremental value increases is the secret to dominance. And, once you get all those draft picks, you’ll have a competitive edge on those who are laser-focused on the championship. You can start developing your draft profiles for next year. 

Get a Head Start on Research for Next Season

Getting your personal draft rankings in order for the rookie talent coming into the league is an important part of every off season, but it does take a good bit of time and effort. So, it stands to reason that the sooner you get started the better. Taking advantage of the extra time you have now that you’re out of the hunt and playing the spoiler can be the perfect way to get eyes on tape your league mates might miss. 

It gives you a better shot of finding that diamond in the rough that everyone else is ignoring. Who knows, maybe you’ll find next year’s James Robinson and scoop him up before anyone else even knows his name.

Thanks for reading. Find me on Twitter @ThomasCuda and check out my other columns here on In-Between Media.

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