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High Staked: We Started RoJo – And Survived! (For Now)

Veteran high stakes fantasy football player Monty Phan chronicles his season.

Sometimes, despite all the careful draft preparation, or the meticulously researched lineup decisions, or the precise planning of waiver adds and drops, what your fantasy week comes down to is pure, dumb luck of the schedule.

Even with lackluster performances from our three high-stakes teams – two in the FFPC Main Event and one in the Super Bracket contest – we have a shot at winning all three matchups, mainly due to how our opponents’ squads were even more lackluster (lacklusterier?).

First, there was this:

That led to us putting Ronald Jones in our lineup as our backup running back in two leagues. Now, let me preface this by saying that we almost always draft our teams so that we have wide receivers in both flex spots (or one wide receiver and one tight end). We almost never start three RBs. So our RB2 is typically our worst offensive starter.

However, we were not prepared for this:

On two teams, that’s what we got to see on the live scoring page until kickoff Sunday: Our stellar lead of 0.9-0.0, and the inevitable defeat that awaited us because there was almost nono from RoJo. This is a larger symptom of the way we draft: Because our collection of RB2s are usually the backups to their respective teams’ starters, it’s difficult to tell early in the season which one is most likely to produce.

The early weeks of the year are also notoriously difficult to make lineup decisions, because we’re basing them on small sample sizes. For example, there was a lot of thought and research that went into this decision:

Smart play? Maybe. Wrong play? Yes.

Our scores for our three main high-stakes teams were all about the same as they were last week – which is to say, not great. But our opponents in two of those leagues scored half as much as our opponents did in Week 1, allowing us to possibly sweep all three games. But not all the luck was good: On one team we had Drew Brees, whose injury-marred outing meant he failed to outproduce Ronald Jones. Moreover, our backup on that team is Sam Darnold. Time to scour the waiver wire for QBs!

Last year, I wrote about drafting a low-stakes FFPC team with my son. He and I did so again this year, only we did superflex this time, because he loves to take quarterbacks early, and that format suited his QB-loving ways perfectly.1 We drafted in the sixth spot, and he wanted to take Travis Kelce. We then followed up much later with Mark Andrews.

Sunday morning, my son exclaimed, “Dad, we need to start Mark Andrews!”

“Son,” I said, condescendingly patting him on the head, “we can’t bench Jacoby Brissett in the superflex spot or Michael Thomas, Calvin Ridley or Amari Cooper in the flex. And we can’t bench Kelce. Plus, Andrews was kind of hurt during practice last week.”

Of course, this was our lineup:

And this was on our bench:

Among the FFPC teams where I had to set a lineup, the one I drafted with my 10-year-old son was the highest scoring. This was despite also starting RoJo. Upon seeing him in our lineup, my son said, “Can we drop Ronald Jones?” Perhaps soon, Son. Perhaps very soon.

Image Credit: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Ronald Jones.

  1. Until we drafted Andrew Luck.  (back)

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