Sometimes, no matter how good a player is, you just don't want them on your team anymore. They have their worst game when you need them the most, and that's the moment when you think, "I want to bitch slap the fuck out of him."
Ari slapped him right out of HBO programming into Kay Jeweler's commercials.
If only your fantasy bitch would apologize like Adam "Played By The Best Actor in Hollywood" Davies.
There's no way to predict when a player is going to screw you over. We're pure reactionaries in this game, and it's something we have to live with. You can try and beat the system by going with your gut feelings, your sixth sense, your divine foresight. More often than not, you end up trading them too early. I'm not immune to it. I do it every year. But I have a great way to mask it. Remember: your mistakes look worse when they stand alone. And that's why:
Lesson One: Trade in volume
The more trades you make, the more you're bound to find a roster you're comfortable with. There are dozens of starter-worthy players in this game, and whether you're in a league of 8, 10, or 12, you can easily mix and match your way into a fully decked out starting lineup. Yeah, you may have a bench worthy of the waiver wire dregs, but if that is the sacrifice you've gotta make to have a decked out starting squad, so be it. One bad trade isn't the end of the world if you've got 5 decent ones to balance it out.
Lesson Two: Monitor Your Bye Weeks
Every year fantasy squads across the world suffer from Bye Week Panic. Here are two options for you to ease the pain:
Option A) Research who in your league needs relief, exploit them, and stack your team with players with the same bye. Chances are you're guaranteeing yourself a loss that week, but if you've played your cards right your team should be a monster.
Too difficult for you? Or just too lazy to do the research? Then try:
Option B) Figure out which bye weeks will handicap you, and trade several weeks before they approach to mask your desperation. Every league has 2-3 vigilant players, and 1-2 apathetic players. The vigilant players will smell blood and demand more than you want to give. The apathetic players simply won't give a shit enough to check their trade requests. This means you need to act fast. You may downgrade just a little, but bye week related trades are a lot like buying an airline ticket: The longer you wait, the more expensive it gets.
Lesson Three: They Are Only As Good As Their Stats
No matter how elite an NFL player has been in the past, when they suck, they suck. Take Ochocinco - he has all the ability of a top 10 receiver. In 2007 he was just that. In 2008 he was god awful. In 2009 he rebounded and was back to top 10 status. In 2010, he is awful once again. Nothing has changed in his ability, so should you keep him? Hell no. Fantasy is all about the NOW. If a star athlete is not contributing, ship them the fuck off your team.
There are obvious exceptions. If a player is off to a bad start but still touches the ball 50% of the time, you've got to ride it out. I'm talking Chris Johnson, Ray Rice, Larry Fitzgerald status here.
But for those star athletes who just don't seem to be getting the ball like they normally do, it's time to say goodbye.
In fantasy football, we are impulsive. We are demanding. We are impatient. And we are ruthless. Make that fucking trade before Ari has to slap another bitch: You.