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Week 1 Fantasy Football Reflections

You want to be the king of your Fantasy Football league? Well let's review what you need to look at after the first week to make the smart decisions that propel you to victory.

Generally in Fantasy Football there are two categories of people; winners and losers. More often than not the losers do a draft, lock in their top players each week, and play the season out. While this can usually give you a decent record it doesn't typically push you into the top spots. There is a pretty fine line these days with getting those tops spots so usually it is during the season that a few key moves are made that will then give you an edge.

Week 1 & 2 Roster Tips

Avoid Knee-Jerk Reactions - Yes Kevin Ogletree looked great on Wednesday night. I loved the number of targets and what he did with them. But, who do you drop to put him on your bench? Make no mistake this guy is currently a bench player because in reality his is the 3rd receiver on the team. Because when it gets down to it even at best he will be a 900 yard 6-8 TD WR for the whole season. In deep leagues with big rosters yes grab him, but in smaller formats be careful about grabbing a guy because of 1 game. There are some exceptions such as a long term injury opening a whole in the roster to make that person an instant starter. Last year we had Victor Cruz who moved from a #3/4 to a #2 due to injury and obviously took full advantage. The same thing happened with Laurent Robinson because both Austin Miles and Dez Bryant missed games due to injury.

Have a List of Potential Breakouts - Some people had no idea who Jordy Nelson was until last year. Savvy owners have a short list of guys who are back RBs and 3rd/4th string WRs that have speed and size that equals a big impact. Nelson was on my watch list last year because in 2010 he had 45 targets, 13 yards per catch and a whopping 5.9 yards after catch. Plus he is 6-3 and Jennings in only 5-11 which makes him a very solid red zone target because he fights for balls and yards. After his 6 catch 1-TD week 2, I snapped him up and looked like a genius. This year guys like Russell Wilson, Danny Amendola, Santa Moss, Matt Cassel, Titus Young (who has been grabbed by a lot of guys), and Tennessee Defense are on my radar.

Watch the Waiver Wire - Sometimes guys get super excited about a 1-week-wonder (see Ogletree) and drop a proven star to grab him. Everyone has a slow week or two but I will take a proven guy over an untested guy all day long. Last year one owner in a league dropped Marquis Colston (who had an injury that limited him to 1 catch in week 2) to grab some flavor of the week. Guess who I snatched up? The last 5 weeks of the season that stud gave me 5 TDs and 476 yards.

Always Check the Injury Report - This is a huge key every week. People who don't practice all week are usually not the best game time decisions (except the top 30-40 players in the league). You need points every week, not guessing come game day. Unless it is one of your top players, plan on using someone else if there is an injury. This also goes for turning a #2 player to a #1 player on a roster. This is especially true for Running Backs where if you don't have a handcuff on your top RB, you need to watch injuries to make sure you get the backups when needed.

Watch Kickers and Defenses - David Akers and the 49ers Defense won a lot of leagues last year. It was a combination of the defense playing well and the offense not having a red zone package. This happens just about every year where a low draft or no draft kicker turns into a monster as well as some low tier defense coming together. A lot of owners only carry 1 defense and 1 kicker at the beginning of the season to pick up other players. In the first two weeks you can sometimes pick up a gem that will push your team to the playoffs.

Keep an Eye on Targets - Receivers and Tight Ends live off trust from their Quarterback. You can quickly tell after a week or two if a QB trusts his guys because he will target them a lot and that is a big deal especially during broken plays. The same thing goes for touches and Running Backs. If a team is calling a lot of running plays they have confidence in a back to produce. A TE like Jimmy Graham received 1/4 of all of Drew Brees' targets last year and the percentage increased as the neared the red zone. Those numbers equal production.

Watch for Emerging Trends - By this I mean look at the bottom 15 teams in the league in regards to defense and offensive production. This is where some serious gems can pop up because there are a bunch of guys who are unproven but not necessarily untalented and even on crappy teams someone will get opportunities.