First, let me start off with saying, I’m sorry! Of all the players to go down with a serious injury, it had to be the number 1 player in fantasy football. And in Week 1, no less. I don’t have to tell you have brutal of a loss this is. In many cases, he was the number 1 pick in redrafts, and the player that was going to lead teams in Keeper and Dynasty formats. In a matter of minutes, your world changed upside down. You went from living the dream to hanging on for dear life as you awaited the news of David Johnson’s diagnosis.
In honor of my good friend Tone- Here are my tips for how to proceed with your team in the absence of David Johnson.
Step 1: Grab your favorite adult beverage and take a moment to grieve! This is a big loss and you have to come to grips with what just happened.
Step 2: While you are grieving, do not overreact and go make a big trade, just to replace David Johnson. We all have those managers who are vultures of trades in our leagues. They prey on those who feel like they are awaiting their fantasy football funerals. The vultures will be coming after you, they will be circling you for the next one to two weeks, waiting to see how you are bouncing back, and if you start out 0-3 or 1-2, they will be coming with an offer. Hold your ground and don’t trade just to do a trade.
Step 3: Now, after you have grieved and prepared your mind and heart to be guarded against the vultures. Lets start focusing on how to improve your team. Put on some inspiration music (I recommend Eminem “Not Afraid”, or Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling”) and sit down to review your opponents teams and the waiver wire for week 2.
Step 4: Possible Trade targets:
- Jordan Howard (RB Chicago) – Many fantasy owners of Howard may be concerned by Tarik Cohen’s big performance. I think Cohen is a target on waivers this week, but Howard is too good to not be a factor this year. Test the waters and see what it would take for Howard.
- C.J. Anderson (RB Denver) – I know Anderson has a history of injury, and after David Johnson going down, you may have PTSD from injured players. But Anderson, looked great running the ball in Week 1. However, his production didn’t translate to fantasy points in the way owners would have liked. Those owners, who may not be paying close attention to the runs and only looked at the box score, may be interested in moving Anderson this week.
- Dez Bryant (WR Dallas) – Bryant was shut down in Week 1, being covered by Janoris Jenkins. Week 2 Bryant has Denver Defense up next, in Denver. Bryant owners after two weeks, will start to get nervous. Week 3 Bryant, players Patrick Peterson @ the Arizona Cardinals. After week 3, Bryant owners, will feel like it’s last year all over again.
- Isaiah Crowell (RB Cleveland)- Crowell Struggled in week 1 and gets another tough matchup against the Ravens on the road in week 2. Owners will start to question their high draft pick spent on Crowell.
- Carlos Hyde (RB 49ers) – Hyde also struggled in week 1 and his reward is a match @ Seattle for week 2.
Now, who do you give up for these players, because that is something that is an important part of the equation. after targeting these players and reviewing the rest of your opponents rosters…check and see if they need an upstart WR or RB. Maybe you have Michael Crabtree, Adam Thielen, or Stefon Diggs that you could trade and get one of these running backs.
Step 5: Waiver Wire Pick ups – See this article on who to target for week 2.
Step 6: The forgotten positions matter more now than ever. What I mean by that is; the Quarterback position and more likely the Tight End and Defense positions are the most streaming positions in Fantasy Football leagues. Take advantage of that. Maybe you don’t have a high waiver priority add or want to risk a high percentage of FAAB dollars on a guy. But their are roster positions that can be had after waivers to thru. For example, Minnesota’s defense was probably drafted to start most of the year, but they play at Pittsburgh in week 2 and Denver’s defense is against Dallas. Grab Baltimore’s home match up against the Cleveland Browns. If you had Minnesota or Denver, put in Baltimore instead. Or if you have a stud defense already like Seattle, try and pair Baltimore with a Stefon Diggs and target a Jordan Howard, C.J. Anderson or Dez Bryant.
Step 7: Remember it is a week to week game: Going back to targeting Baltimore’s defense, maybe your opponent has a poor defensive match up and you can keep them from improving their roster. those 5 to 10 extra points in the defensive match up could be the difference between winning and loosing. Same thing goes with the quarterback and tight end match ups. It pays to know if your opponent is streaming positions and how you can block them from improving their roster for that week.
Step 8: Remember this is suppose to be FUN! Have fun and treat it as a challenge to improve your team. If you come back and win a championship this year, it will be the greatest trash talking scenario you could possible have for years to come!