Unless you were out of the country saving the rain forests or brokering peace in the Middle East then you know that Le’Veon Bell had the 4th best fantasy performance of all-time in Week 14 (according to DraftKings). He mollywhopped the Ryan Brothers and their Buffalo Bills so bad that Rex was questioning even his choice of quarterback, as if Tyrod Taylor had anything to do with giving up 298 yards and 3 touchdowns. Naturally, all of the monday morning quarterbacks hit the twittersfere with the “I can’t believe you played David Johnson over Le’Veon Bell, he was the stone-cold Steve Austin nuts” or something similar to that. However, that it is a dangerous though to have in fantasy sports. Those of us that play fantasy sports fall into this trap often. We use the outcomes to make definitive statements. We become results-oriented. We dwell on “coulda, shoulda, woulda”.
A successful player conducts trustworthy research and then makes an informed decision. Deciding on Bell or DJ in Week 14 was like deciding on pie or cookies for dessert. Both should satisfy your sweet tooth. If you get a stomach ache after eating one or the other, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you made the wrong choice. You might have gotten a sick eating either one. You might just be getting the flu. DJ vs. Bell was the choice of two awesome desserts. It wasn’t like you were choosing between pie or eggnog that had been sitting out all day. Speaking of that analogy, you are not a genius if you did choose the eggnog but didn’t get sick. You are just lucky. If you chose Bilal Powell (eggnogg) last week, you got lucky. If you chose Powell and Matt Forte doesn’t get hurt then you didn’t get unlucky, you just got what you deserved because you made a decision that really didn’t make sense.
Which brings us back to DJ vs. Bell. DJ owners got unlucky. They experienced variance. Bell owners got lucky. They experienced variance. Bell had a day for the record-books. That can’t be predicted. DJ’s subpar performance couldn’t reliably be predicted. He leads the NFL in scrimmage yards and has 15 touchdowns. He also averages 28.5 DK points per game, which is tops in fantasy. His price was high but so was Bell’s. Why all of this matters is because it tends to alter our process. It tends to shape our thinking for the next week. Sure, we must always be cognizant of the past and learn from it. But when we overreact to a massive game like Bell had or an underperforming one like DJ had, we are in danger of not thinking clearly. Have a system and trust that system.
In other words, trust the process and don’t be overly critical of apples to apples decisions. Bell over DJ, DJ over Bell is a no-lose situation from a decision-making standpoint as long as we are trying to have a long-term perspective. If the Ryan Brothers had completely stacked the box against Bell and Big Ben had his normal road-game woes, you still wouldn’t have been wrong picking Bell in that situation. It was a good decision either way. One just happened to be a better outcome than the other. Trust your process and don’t over think things.