Collinsworth Invitational: Roster prep on a time crunch

Reader Dave Knox had to cram a week's worth of roster prep for the Collinsworth Invitational celebrity league into way less time this week.

| 2 months ago
(Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini)

(Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini)

Collinsworth Invitational: Roster prep on a time crunch


(Pro Football Focus gave subscribers the opportunity to win a team in the Cris Collinsworth Fantasy Football Invitational, playing alongside celebrities such as Warren Sapp, Jenny McCarthy and of course Cris himself. As the lucky winner of that contest, I will be writing a weekly piece that provides a view into what it’s like playing in a celebrity league and how I will use the PFF tools to give me an edge.)

When it comes to the NFL season, I spend a solid amount of time each week preparing for fantasy football. I read just about every fantasy article that comes out on Pro Football Focus and even look at the deeper NFL analysis as well. On the drive to work, I have several podcasts that I listen to in order to get different perspectives on matchups and the various plays. I even spend time looking at how Las Vegas is treating the games, paying particular attention to how the lines are moving vs the sharps.

Unfortunately, this was not one of those weeks.

This week, Cincinnati was playing host to FounderCon, the annual gathering of entrepreneurs that are part of the Techstars program. That meant a schedule that was packed with meetings, dinners and a bunch of other commitments.

More importantly, it meant very little free time for doing my usual fantasy football research to prepare for the week. Unfortunately, I picked the wrong week to be short on time.

Fantasy football gods are fickle

Last week, I made a crucial mistake when writing this column. I went out and said that I was “really happy” with how my team was shaping up after a few trades and waiver wire moves. The fantasy football gods are fickle and I was tempting fate as soon as I wrote those words. My “reward” was a cascade of injury news that I didn’t have time to respond to:

  • LeSean McCoy, the centerpiece of my previous week trade, tweaked his hamstring in practice and the news is saying he is out for at least this week.
  • Jordan Matthews came out of the game on Sunday with knee tendinitis.
  • John Brown also injured his hamstring and his status is up in the air.

Needless to say, this was not the week to be behind on my research. I was playing serious catch-up when it time to start looking at my roster for the weekend.

An insurance policy

Luckily, Pro Football Focus is in my corner to help out for situations just like this. At the end of every week, PFF publishes a cheat sheet, summarizing all of the key information that Pro Football Focus publishes each week. With a quick read I can see recommended starts and sits, streams and downgrades. It also puts the weekly projections just a click away, as well as my favorite weekly articles like the Snaps, Pace and Stats by Pat Thorman. In about 10 minutes, I can read through all the most important pieces of analysis and make the right roster moves for the week.

Even the most dedicated fantasy football player is going to have a week where life gets in the way of fantasy. The weekly cheat sheet is there to be your insurance policy during these times. Now I just wish I had been smart enough to have picked up the LeSean insurance policy known as Mike Gillislee.

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