Fantasy football lessons learned in 2009

Last year I wrote Fantasy football non-lessons learned in 2008 so maybe this is becoming an annual tradition. My sorry draft this season has hopefully taught me a few lessons that I can learn from going forward:

Avoid one-hit wonders

RB Matt Forte exploded out of nowhere in 2008 and has comparatively disappeared in 2009. I was a little scared of a “sophomore slump”, but I bought into the hype that Forte could be even better with Jay Cutler at the helm. In the end, I chased after a one-hit wonder instead of using my 7th overall pick for a reliable stud (e.g., QB Drew Brees).

Don’t bank on wide receivers

Starting with the second round, I went Andre Johnson, Greg Jennings, and Jason Witten. Johnson has produced, but Jennings and Witten have both fallen well short of expectations. The WR position in general lacks consistency, so basing your team around a core of receivers isn’t necessarily the best idea. I think it might be better to go after the late-rounders or free agents who invariably wind up rising to the top (e.g., Miles Austin, Mike Sims-Walker, Sidney Rice, the Giants’ Steve Smith).

Two upside quarterbacks do not equal one stud

Last year I had an injury prone Matt Schaub and an inconsistent Jake Delhomme. This year, my QB corps of Carson Palmer and Matt Cassel (later traded for Matt Hasselbeck) is not much of an improvement. Since his bye week, Palmer’s FP production has been a pathetic {15, 7, 16, 11, 9}. Those performances from Palmer are a big reason why I’m out of playoff contention.

Don’t break strong RB monopolies

I had the RBs for the defending Superbowl champs in Willie Parker, Mewelde Moore, and Rashard Mendenhall. The second it looked like I had a three-headed RB monster on my hands, I started dropping these guys. Currently Mendenhall is playing for another team and has more fantasy points than Matt Forte or any of my other crummy backs. I need to think very carefully in the future before I give up an RB monopoly on a good team. Though with the way the Steelers have been playing lately, I’m not sure that we can call them “good”…

Next season I am almost certainly going to take a QB in the first round. After two straight seasons of flaky QBs and 1st round busts, I want some reliable production. Aaron Rodgers, say hello to your new team for 2010: the Shambling Corpses!

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