- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 13, 2011

I had roughly 10 seconds to stop by the TV and get an update during the late afternoon games this past Sunday. In that time, I learned that Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis had run for more than 100 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns.

Of course, he did; he was on my bench.

In that particular league, which I began as an outlet for friends and family to satisfy their fantasy jones if things weren’t going well in other leagues, I’m 0-5. Not satisfied.

In hindsight, I didn’t have the greatest draft (stupid Falcons!), but I’ve compounded that with some terrible lineup decisions. Green-Ellis and the flex position are at the center of those.

I originally drafted Saints running back Mark Ingram as my primary flex player, thinking he would have a huge rookie season (fantasy owners have few greater enemies than Sean Payton). I was surprised to grab Green-Ellis late, and figured I’d play matchups if Ingram didn’t pan out as I expected.

It’s good to have options, right? Well, not in fantasy football. I’ve long said my perfect fantasy team would be a strong player at each starting position with a worthless bench. That way, I wouldn’t have to worry about picking the wrong guy on a given week. I’ve probably picked the right guy more often than not, but I can’t remember a single instance of that. I never seem to forget when I pick the wrong guy.

This season, in that league, I’m a perfect 5-for-5. A quick breakdown:

Week 1: I drafted Ingram to play him, so I did. His line: 40 yards, no TDs (including being stuffed from the 1 on the last play of the game). Green-Ellis’ line: 34 yards, 1 TD. My line: 0-1.

Week 2: I’m a tad stubborn, so I stick with Ingram. He has to get going, right? Besides, you can’t count on Green-Ellis to score two games in a row, right? Ingram: 51 yards, no TDs. Green-Ellis: 70 yards, 1 TD. Me: 0-2

Week 3: OK, I was wrong. I sit Ingram and put Green-Ellis into my lineup. This is the week my shrewd drafting pays off, negating the stupidity of the first two weeks. Ingram: 38 yards, 1 TD. Green-Ellis: 18 yards, 0 TDs. Me: 0-3.

Week 4: I knew I was right about Green-Ellis! He can’t be counted on! Back to my original plan. I should have stuck to my guns! Ingram: 55 yards, 0 TDs. Green: 75 yards, 1 TD. Me: 0-4. @%$#! Side note: Rookie Stevan Ridley led the Patriots in rushing with 97 yards. OK, I think to myself, I knew Green-Ellis would be phased out. I’m sticking with Ingram.

Week 5: I become pretty smug after Ingram scores a touchdown. That lasts a few hours until my brief TV break. You’d be surprised how much work you can get done while shaking your head and swearing under your breath for 10 minutes straight. Ingram: 32 yards, 1 TD. Green-Ellis: 136 yards (career high), 2 TDs. Me: Done for the season.

I can’t blame all the losses on my flex-position ineptitude, but it certainly hasn’t helped. After obsessing over the flex position for weeks now, I don’t even care if I win anymore, I just don’t want two fantasy running backs — one whose name I can’t spell correctly half the time — ruining my weekends. I NEED to start getting that flex choice right. It’s really the only thing I care about in that league at this point.

Now that I have no chance of making the playoffs, I’ll eventually forget the big stuff, like not drafting a quarterback until the seventh round while placing too much value on that quarterback’s top receiver early in the draft (I could have had Calvin Johnson). And drafting LeGarrette Blount in the third round (I deserve a punch in the face for that one).

So, who should I play this week, Green-Ellis or Ingram? The former faces the Cowboys at home, the latter the Bucs on the road. I have my choice in mind. I’ll give you a hint: it’ll be the wrong one.

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