Success in fantasy football usually requires winning a war of attrition.
Most of us can only dream of the day when we draft the ideal roster that never needs tweaking, injury replacements or free agent reinforcements.
For every no-brainer, Arian Foster-type first-round draft choice, there are multiple Darren McFaddens, Chris Johnsons and Maurice Jones-Drews who inevitably disappoint.
For every "risky" Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson pick that turns to gold, I can give you a laundry list of busts that would turn your stomach.
A.J. Green has lived up to his billing, and Calvin Johnson has finally gotten his groove back. But those of us who invested early in Greg Jennings' or Larry Fitzgerald's stock have had to scramble to fill a gaping void.
That's why none of us should be shocked that three of the top QBs in Fantasyland took ill-timed swoons in the final weekend of most leagues' regular-seasons.
Aaron Rodgers carried one of my teams to a postseason berth; but he's been a liability over the past two weeks.
Tom Brady was a one-armed wrecking crew for another of my squads over the first dozen weeks, and then he posted a stinker against the Dolphins on Sunday.
And heaven forbid you ask a Drew Brees owner what they think of their quarterback after his Thursday night massacre. If Brees' record-setting exploits weren't enough to secure a postseason berth for them earlier, there's a very good chance they'll be on the outside looking in when the playoffs begin this coming weekend.
Sometimes it takes a Bryce Brown to bail out an early exit from Jordy Nelson. But you had to be savvy enough to pounce on Brown when LeSean McCoy was concussed. Or, smarter still, you handcuffed Brown to Shady during your draft, or shortly thereafter, and waited patiently for his opportunity.
Over the years, I've found that fantasy success is equal parts skill (a.k.a., knowing the players), nimbleness (making smart free-agent moves and/or trades throughout the season) and timing (a.k.a., luck). Two out of three is usually enough, and three out of three can win championships.
Chances are, if you only have one of the above, you're not reading fantasy football columns any more. Your long, unfulfilled offseason has already begun.
Normally at this point of my Monday columns, I turn my attention to free agent picks and pans. But this week, there are no viable players worth picking up that haven't previously been covered in this space.
Frankly, that's a good thing. That means that no major stars succumbed to serious injury over the weekend. Sure, Nelson could miss some time with his bum hammy; but his fellow wideouts are well-known, widely owned and don't need my endorsement.
So instead of conjuring up two or three "picks to click" just to maintain my standard format, I'll simply recommend that you stand pat with your current roster and get set for the postseason. Hopefully you earned a first-round bye. If not, Thursday's Broncos-Raiders game will be here before you know it.
Put on your game face. The fantasy postseason is upon us.
Ladd Biro has been named Football Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association for two consecutive years (2010 and 2011). Follow all his advice at the Fantasy Fools blog, on Facebook and via Twitter (@ladd_biro).
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