Analysis Paralysis: Week 1 Start & Sit
“Analysis paralysis or paralysis of analysis is the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or "perfect" solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, when on the way to a better solution.”
n Wikipedia Definition
If you’ve ever played fantasy football before, those three sentences above with hit way too close to home. We’ve all sat a star running back because he had a “bad” matchup, only to miss out on a three-touchdown day. We’ve all mistakenly started a scrub wide receiver over our dependable WR2 because said scrub had a “great” matchup. It’s analysis paralysis. It happens to us all. The abundance of information at our fingertips combined the knowledge of past fantasy football experiences, makes it almost impossible not to over-think a situation and put yourself in a Bill Belichick 4th-and-2 situation.
Over the next 17 weeks, I’ll be here every Wednesday morning to help you avoid your own personal 4th-and-2 moment with my best effort at identifying who to start and who to sit. I won’t claim to be perfect (no one is), but I do have a few rules I (almost) always go by to help me guide my decision-making process:
- Soak Up Information: There’s a ton of information out there (including what you’re reading right now). Take as much of it in as you can. Watch highlights. Read stats. Ask fantasy analysts questions. Information is your friend and you should gather as much as you can handle.
- Process Information Your Way: It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information that’s out there, but you’ll be golden as long as you process it in the way that works best for you – whether it’s analyzing stats, watching tape, asking advice, or a combination of all. There is no wrong way to come to a decision as long as you’re using a thought-process that makes sense to you.
- Don’t Over-Think it: There’s nothing worse than flip-flopping your lineup 97 times before kickoff and then making the wrong decision at the last second. Make up your mind once and stick with it.
- Don’t Bench High Draft Picks: You drafted these guys (pretty recently) for a reason and that reason wasn’t to bench them. Ever.
- No Regrets. There will always be times when you get things wrong, but you should be able to sleep well at night as long as you can look back and say, “knowing what I knew then, I’d still make the same decision.”
And with that, let’s take a look at five players I’m tabbing to have a good week and five players I’m a little worried about:
Matthew Stafford: Stafford had a good game both times he played the Vikings last year and is coming off a year where his passing touchdown total dipped by 21. He’ll more than likely get at least 10 of those 21 back and Minnesota is a great place to start.
Shane Vereen: The last time the Patriots played in Buffalo, Steven Ridley AND Brandon Bolden each topped 100 rushing yards. I think Ridley will have a big game this weekend, but I also think there’s plenty of room for Vereen to share the wealth and provide his owners with good flex option this weekend.
Roddy White/Julio Jones: To call the Saints defense last year a sieve would be insulting a sieve. They allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers out of all 32 NFL teams, and there isn’t much reason to believe that won’t carryover to 2013.
Zach Sudfeld: With Rob Gronkowski reportedly out this week and Daniel Fells and Jake Ballard looking for work elsewhere, Sudfeld is primed to play a big role for Tom Brady this Sunday.
Indianapolis Colts Defense/Special Teams: The Raiders look destined for the Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes and the Colts look like they have a defense that might be able to stop someone (on paper, least). A home matchup for the Colts screams “streaming defense!” here for me.
Joe Flacco: I know it’s tempting to want to start guys in the Thursday night game, but it’s best to stay away here. The Broncos (despite not having Von Miller) still have a great pass defense and I’m still dubious on how well Flacco will do with basically just Torrey Smith throw to.
Arian Foster: I’m not a full believe in the Decline of Arian Foster, but Gary Kubiak has already come out and said Foster will have a decreased workload this week. I wouldn’t necessarily sit him unless you have a much better option, but don’t expect a huge game either.
Tavon Austin: Do you know how the Rams are going to use Austin? I don’t. Combine that with the fact that the Cardinals have a pretty darned good secondary, and I’d rather find a better option at wide receiver this weekend.
Ed Dickson: Dickson will play against the Broncos Thursday night, but he’s also fresh off a hamstring injury that kept him out all season and is a risky play this week. There are much better options at tight end out there.
Atlanta Falcons Defense/Special Teams: Do you really want to go against the Saints offense in their first game with Sean Payton back IN New Orleans? Me neither.
And finally, let’s take a look at the decisions that some of you are having trouble with (if you’d like to see your question featured here next week, send it to @FantasyTrade411 (and use the hashtag #Footballcom):
@WesRayner: vereen, boldin, thompkins or Tate ppr
I’d have to go with Anquan Boldin here. I think Vereen will have a good game, but I’d have to think that Boldin will get a lot of looks in that Michael Crabtree-less 49ers offense.
@MicCrewDaGoose: Luck or RG3 week one??
Go with Andrew Luck here. RG3 has the most upside, but I’d also take the luxury of waiting to see how he does before you start him considering Luck against the Raiders is your other option.
@MungFusher: So, do I start Torrey Smith @ Denver or Steve Smith v. Seattle? PPR. Also starting Cam Newton to the extent that matters.
I like Torrey Smith. I think they both run up against the same problem (lots of double coverage and good corners), but Smith torched Denver in the AFC Divisional Game, and I like his upside more than I do Smith’s.
@oufan_15: Start 1: Hilton, G Tate, or T Austin? Thanks!
I could honestly flip a coin and be fine with whatever the answer was, but I’d give Golden Tate a shot here. T.Y. Hilton and Tavon Austin are second-options (at best) on their teams, while Tate has a chance to be a legitimate first option for Russell Wilson.
@Rbizzle24: Garcon or white?
They both have good matchups and Pierre Garçon could very likely catch a long touchdown, but I still like Roddy White against a porous Saints secondary.
@ImTheRealArt Olsen or sudfeld?
This might sound crazy, but I’d avoid the Seahawks defense and roll the dice on Zach Sudfeld. I think he’ll get a good amount of looks from Tom Brady this weekend and wouldn’t be surprised to see him finish among the Top 10 tight ends this weekend.
Thanks again for all the questions. Keep them coming and I’ll see you all next week – good luck!