I’ve learned something every week I’ve played best ball. 

In week 1, I saw right away this was going to be a war of attrition, and the healthiest team at the end would more than likely end up on top.  Since there’s no roster management in best ball, week 2’s lesson was to expect points from unexpected places.  Week 3 was about accepting that fact that I had no control and then hoping for the best.

The lesson learned this past week: BYE WEEKS SUCK.

Out of 18 players, 4 were on bye.  Jordan Reed and Ben Roethlisberger were out due to injury, so basically a third of my team would not be generating any points.  And it showed.  My squad only generated 99.60 points this week, which was the third fewest points by any team for the week.  Meanwhile, the first place person finished in first place for the week, scoring 149.58 points and widening the lead.

Patrick Mahomes had another 300+ yard game, and even tossed in 54 rushing yards, but he scored no TDs.  He ended with 18 points, but I can’t fault him because he’s been the cornerstone of the team.  James Conner finally decided to make an appearance to justify his pick at 2.5.  He had 22.50 points, getting 42 yards rushing along with 8 receptions for 83 yards receiving and a TD.  Those are the numbers I was expecting on the regular when I drafted him.  He had a good matchup against the Bengals so if he hadn’t put up numbers against them, it was really time to worry.

Derrick Henry was a bell cow in a blowout win against the Falcons.  He had no TDs, but he did get 27 carries for 100 yards and even caught a pass for 8 yards. The Titans jumped on the Falcons early and let Henry roll; I’m surprised he didn’t get a TD.  The Falcons have problems on both sides of the ball, so opposing teams are going to feast when they face the Dirty Birds. 

Sterling Shepard was the only other person worth mentioning; he had 7 receptions for 76 yards and even had 23 yards of rushing.  The Giants look to be turning a corner with Daniel Jones starting at QB.  He is still raw, and is best when only reading half the field, but he’s much better than Eli Manning at this point.  He has shown to have much more mobility as well, which only makes things easier for Shepard to get looks.

Keenan Allen was a huge disappointment in a cake matchup against Miami; he only had 5 receptions for 48 yards, good for a measly 7.30 points.  Larry Fitzgerald is still catching short passes for 10 yards or less in Kliff Kingsbury’s vanilla short-passing offense; he also had 5 catches for 47 yards.  Last week Fitz caught a TD to get into double-digit fantasy points.  This week, no so much.  So far Kingsbury’s “revolutionary” offense has looked very pedestrian.  Short passes to backs and wide receivers are nothing new; he’s going to have to figure out a way to get more explosive plays in order to generate points consistently.  Unfortunately, his offensive line is weak, which prevents long plays from developing.  Still, if Kingsbury is supposed to be the next big thing offensively in the league, he needs to figure out how to stretch the field ASAP.

A TD got Mark Andrews into double-digits with 11.10 points and Kenyan Drake rounded out the high-scorers with 8.80 points.  It’s good to see Brian Flores finally giving this guy an opportunity.  Kalen Ballage is trash and shouldn’t be on any fantasy roster; hell, he probably shouldn’t even be on an NFL roster.  He has no feel for flowing into open gaps and is averaging a paltry 1.5 yards per carry.  Keep feeding Drake the ball!

Even with an 8th place finish for the week, I’m still in 2nd place, although the 3rd place person is gaining ground.  Tevin Coleman has a shot of playing this week, and it’ll be good to have Marquise Goodwin and Jamison Crowder back in the mix.  Greg Olsen was bound for regression, and this past week he certainly didn’t produce much.  But he’s got a matchup with the Jags, who are 14th against the TE for fantasy scoring.  Not ideal, but not terrible; he should be able to get back to his usual 7-9 targets per game, and maybe even score a TD.

The upcoming bye weeks will have the same effects on my competition.  This week I’ll only be without Drake, so I’ll be close to full strength.  Hopefully I can make up some of the ground I lost.