Fantasy football: Wasted bench points frustrating

Ladd Biro
Special to Packer Plus
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Fantasy points are a terrible thing to waste.

Yet we all do it. It can be the bane of our fantasy existence one week, then the source of our self-declared brilliance the next.

When those wasted bench points would have made the difference between winning and losing, Mondays can feel like you’re a Chicago receiver: constantly running yet empty-handed.

Yes, I had Joe Mixon on my bench. Why wouldn’t I? He was coming off a lousy Week 11 outing, the Bengals’ running game is almost historically bad and he was facing a stingy Browns run defense.

I sat Davante Adams as well, because he was facing the Steelers’ secondary and surely Brett Hundley was going to melt under the Sunday night lights.

I picked the wrong week to start Cam Newton. Again.

I left Marshawn Lynch’s best game of the season on my bench.

Heck, I gave up on Jamison Crowder weeks ago.

I don’t own Robby Anderson, but I probably would have joined the three-quarters of his owners who sat him on Sunday. Ditto for Philip Rivers.

Four out of five Jamaal Williams owners are kicking themselves today.

Over the course of this season, I’ve left anywhere from zero to 67 excess points on my bench on any given weekend. That “perfect” weekend reminded me why I am a certified fantasy guru. Would you like to see my awards?

And the bad weeks? Well, I did name my blog “Fantasy Fools.” I feel like that should be warning enough.

I’d love to blame ill-timed injuries for my unforced errors. But more often than not, it’s the unexpected Rivers moments, combined with no-show performances by my regular starters.

Yeah, it was that kind of weekend.


Rex Burkhead, RB, Patriots: PPR leaguers have already taken note of Burkhead, thanks to his relatively steady role in the Patriots’ passing game. But Sunday’s outburst against the Dolphins showcased his running skills as well, and marked his second double-digit-carry workload over the last three weeks. Of course, investing in New England’s RB corps can be like volunteering for a root canal, so be prepared to be left with nothing but pain in any given week.

Josh Doctson, WR, Redskins: The rookie is exactly the kind of player to be stashing for a deep playoff run. He’s not quite ready for fantasy primetime, but he appears to be on the verge of a breakout. Kirk Cousins needs a more reliable wideout option, and while Crowder stole the show on Thanksgiving, Doctson could bring more glad tidings in December.


Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Buccaneers: Doug Martin had already worked his way onto most of his owners’ benches due to his poor play, and now a concussion could sideline him for a week or more. That would place Tampa Bay’s backfield back in Rodgers’ hands. He was just so-so early this season when Martin was suspended, and Rodgers’ ceiling will be limited further if Peyton Barber continues his goal-line vulturing act.

Josh Gordon, WR, Browns: He’s eligible for activation in Week 13, but having not played since 2014 and with a rookie QB at the controls, Gordon is simply not worth the risk. He once was spectacular, but he squandered his gifts. Perhaps next year, if he can keep his nose clean in the interim.

Ladd Biro is a two-time winner and five-time finalist of the Football Writer of the Year Award by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Follow all his advice daily at the Fantasy Fools blog (, on Facebook and via Twitter (@ladd_biro).

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