[dropcap]P[/dropcap]atience, is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast.
I don’t care how long you have been playing dynasty football, patience is one the most key ingredients to any championship winning recipe. Instant gratification is for redraft leagues, so if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the fire. I don’t need a crystal ball to know dynasty owners will be giving up on highly touted rookies and second year players early in 2013. It happens every year without fail. Being a dynasty owner is such a fickle thing sometimes. You would be surprised what some people will give up for the next flavor of the week, or to fill a void on a bye week in season. It’s absolutely incredible. People want fantasy points and they want them now. There is no 2014 and beyond.
Last season, I remember people selling David Wilson for pennies on the dollar after Tom Coughlin benched him early in the season for fumbling (guess who fumbled twice on Sunday?). Justin Blackmon was another player on the chopping block early in 2012 because of inconsistent play and not having a legitimate NFL caliber quarterback. Dynasty owners need to remember these guys are rookies and not everyone comes in and takes the league by storm like A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson. It takes time to adjust to the speed of the NFL for most players and it doesn’t happen overnight.
Demonstrating a vast amount of patience can lead to players like C.J. Spiller blossoming right before your very eyes and put your team squarely in the mix to win multiple championships. On the flip side, displaying too much patience can keep you waiting on players like Jonathan Stewart for years upon years, without any light at the end of the tunnel. There comes a point where patience becomes ignorance and it’s important to never let yourself get to that point.
My absolute favorite player from this draft class is Christine Michael and I haven’t kept it a secret. I understand he is currently behind Marshawn Lynch and may not get a shot to be the starter until 2015. I get it, but I’m also 100% fine if that is the way things end up playing out. What I do know is Michael has top five upside at the running back position. No doubt in my mind. I’m willing to let him sit on the end of my roster until it’s his time to shine. I did it with Spiller when he was behind Lynch and Fred Jackson, so doing it with Michael will be therapeutic.
I also know once a running back turns 27, history has proven time and time again that 80% of their dynasty value is gone. That one statistic alone is a huge reason I’m such a big advocate of selling off running backs at age 27. Guess how old Lynch is? If you guessed 27, you’re absolutely right. Also, Lynch has a pending court date in December for a DUI, which could lead to a four game suspension. Every chip is falling in Michael’s favor. He is a player you have to be patient with, but if you do, he could end up being a bigger payoff than Spiller.
Now comes the fun part – hunting. Every offseason I have a list of rookies I’d love to have on my squads. Let’s be realistic though, you can’t have them all. We all have to weed through the numbers, film and gut feelings to pick our favorites. It’s what dynasty football is all about. Most dynasty owners come from a redraft format and instant gratification is a hard feeling to suppress. They expect these guys to come in on day one and provide an immediate impact to their starting rosters. Fortunately for us savvy owners, we know better and prey on people with this mentality. Not only can you acquire a rookie you really liked during the offseason, you also get him at a discount. It is what I like to refer to as “the perfect storm.”
With all of the disappointing performances in week one (especially at the running back position) it’s officially hunting season. Players that were almost untouchable a week ago are now not only affordable; they’re actually reasonable. It’s amazing how quickly one bad game can change so many minds. There hasn’t really been enough football played to change anyone’s mind, yet so many are already made up.
Even if it didn’t happen in week one, I guarantee you there will be plenty of weeks where a poor game gives you a better chance of landing a player you’d like to own on you team. It’s time to start taking advantage of the impatience being displayed in your own backyards. The real question is – are you the predator, or the prey?