Chivalry Is Not Dead

Chivalry is alive. It might be layed up in a hospital bed somewhere, hanging on by a thread, but it still has a pulse. It does seem, however, that those left in the world with any degree of decorum take it to the extreme, almost to a fault. For every guy on the subway that won’t offer his seat to a granny or expecting mother, there’s another who insists upon being the last guy off of the elevator, despite the fact that he is closer to the door than his fourteen cramped and annoyed fellow passengers. Polite, if not exactly sensible.

I have a dear friend, Bobbo, who is incredibly polite. On the eve that 2010 turned to 2011, a group of us got together at another friend’s home. Earlier that week, a pipe had burst in the basement of this friend’s house, and while the plumbing had been fixed, the host was self conscious about a lingering musty smell, and so various candles were lit, food was baked, and potpourri was set out in an attempt to mask any leftover odors.

Bobbo and Kate, his girlfriend at the time (now his wife), had a family event in the afternoon, and then a long drive, so they arrived a bit late; their tardiness was, of course, announced in advance. The spread had already been set out along the bar by the time they arrived, and they were hungry, so after greeting everyone, they dug right in.

A few minutes later, we were all standing around the bar, eating and drinking, with various conversations taking place, and I heard a loud crunch, like someone was chewing on a cough drop or the type of hard candy my grandmother always seemed to have a bunch of in the bottom of her handbag. I looked up to see Bobbo chomping away, with an odd, almost disgusted look on his face, though he was trying to hide it. I looked around the bar to see where the candy was, and saw none. There was, however, a small decorative cup filled with potpourri of the waxy crystal variety, and I deduced that Bobbo had mistaken it for candy and had a taste. He finished chewing and swallowed with a shudder, and he said nothing when he was done.

Only a few minutes later, Kate reached for the potpourri crystals, and he stepped up closely behind her and whispered in her ear, “That’s not food.” He repeated himself a few times, the whispers progressing in volume with each rep, but to no avail – she grabbed one, popped it in her mouth, and started chewing. The loud whispers caught everyone’s attention just in time to witness Kate, upon realizing it was not food, grab a napkin and spit it out, as Bobbo, mortified, apologized for her poor manners. Laughter erupted.

When everyone finally caught their breath, Kate screamed at Bobbo for not telling her, and he explained that he had tried. She asked why he felt the need to whisper, and he said that he didn’t want to offend our host by proclaiming loudly that her candy was disgusting. You know, just in case it was actually candy, which he was pretty sure it wasn’t. This statement brought to light the fact that Bobbo had already sampled one of the perfume pellets, which I corroborated as the sole witness of this action. The room roared again, even louder this time, although no one was really surprised, because Bobbo is a gentleman, even if to a fault.

Chivalry is not dead.

It seems like there exists rules of etiquette, either written or assumed, for any situation imaginable. Table etiquette. Subway etiquette. Email etiquette. Workplace etiquette. You get the idea. Fantasy football has some rules of etiquette too, but for players new to the game, it’s not always clear what these rules are. Unless you’re in a league with experienced players and are frequently guilty of and reprimanded for breaking the rules, you may have no idea they even exist. Until now.

  1. Don’t abuse the waiver wire or free agency. Specifically, don’t pick a guy up and then drop him in a day or two. Whenever a player gets dropped, he is placed on waivers for a set amount of time, typically two days, meaning no one else can pick him up during that time. This is especially brutal when a player is dropped within two days of their game, because it means no one will be able to grab him before line-ups are locked. I’ve played in leagues with guys before who use this tactic deliberately to block an opponent from picking up a guy he needs in time, and that’s just downright dickish (and against the rules in a lot of leagues). But doing this inadvertently because you’re wishy washy on who you want to start that week is just as frustrating to others in your league, and no less detrimental. So, before you pick up a player, think long and hard about how you’ll use him and if he’s worth it. And if you’re having second thoughts, drop him the same day you got him, when he’ll go back to free agency without having to wait on waivers.
  2. Respond to trade offers. When someone offers you a trade, they’re putting themselves out there a little to try to make their team better; if he or she is a decent person, they’re also likely proposing a way for you to make your team better, and it probably involves players above the quality of what you’ll find on the waiver wire. By not responding, you’re leaving the offerer in limbo. If the offer is preposterous, such a lowball transaction that you think it doesn’t warrant a response, respond anyway, either with a joke, or an equally preposterous counter-offer. Not responding to a trade offer is like not RSVPing for a party. It’s just rude.
  3. Be up front about your wandering eye. You might be in a position where you’re aggressively shopping for a trade. You have four awesome wide receivers but only two running backs, and you’re looking to convert. You’ve scoured other teams’ rosters, have a couple trade ideas in mind, and you want to start sending offers. It’s Thursday, and you want to get the deal done before Sunday, so you realize the time crunch. You can’t wait around for a response from one owner before you propose a trade to another, but firing off all offers at once could cause chaos, especially if multiple parties are interested in your guy. So what do you do? You tell each owner that he or she is not the only one getting an offer from you, you’re looking to cash in on your surplus at WR, and you see multiple options for you to do so, and the first one to respond gets your guy. It’s basically the fantasy football equivalent of, “I’m not ready to settle down yet, I’m seeing other people, I hope you’re not looking for anything serious.” It’s not wrong if you disclose your intentions up front.

I’ve never played in a fantasy league with Bobbo, but I imagine a trade offer from him would include a full injury report on the guy he’s offering, just so you know what you’d be getting into and can make the most informed decision. I’m not suggesting you go that far. Be polite. But not too polite.

Beer On Ice & Other Distractions

A little over a month ago my friend J invited me to join her at the Jets home opener game. J and her fiancé have season tickets and he had to entertain clients in his company’s luxury box (tough life!). I was excited about this opportunity because a.) I hadn’t seen J in a while, and b.) I had never been to an NFL game! 

She warned me that we would have to meet up in the morning in order to get to the game early and tailgate. Now, in my younger years this wouldn’t have been a problem; I would’ve actually loved that! However, as I’ve grown older I really value my down time on the weekends and, most of all, sleep! But hanging out with J and attending my first NFL game outranked sleep and relaxation so I thanked her for the invitation and gladly accepted.

Now, I’ve attended countless sporting events – I had football, basketball, and hockey season tickets in college and was lucky to get invited to my last employer’s box at MSG pretty regularly – but unless I was cheering for my college team, I rarely paid attention to the actual games (and by rarely, I mean never). In fact, my family constantly jokes that I’ve attended more sporting events than all of them combined, but never noticed what was happening in the game (unless, of course, everyone starts cheering or screaming). I wondered if my first experience at an NFL game would be different, but more than anything, I was just excited to go.

And, as usual, I enjoyed every minute of it, but this time for things that happened both on and off the field!

I found myself not just watching the game, but really understanding it! I even cheered for the Jets…. a little. And why wouldn’t I? I knew the players on both teams (including who was cute or not) and could identify good and bad plays. I knew what was going on and loved it! I did, of course, have fun catching up with my friend, and indulged in some non-football distractions that the live game experience had to offer, like the girl behind me braiding my hair at halftime (that’s normal, right?). But when the clock was running and the players were on the field, I was, as Marshawn says, “all about that action, boss! 

League Of Hotties started off as somewhat of a joke and just for fun (I can say this because it was my idea!), but going to a game made me realize how much I have learned about the sport since my fantasy football adventure began. Later that Sunday evening when my brother called me to ask me about the game, he was a little shocked to hear me talk about a couple of plays that were particularly good.

The best part is that I know this is also true for many of my girlfriends who play in the League of Hotties. There have even been a few Sundays when we all leave our apartments fairly early in order to watch games together. And although we will stop watching the games to order food and beer (priorities, people!), that’s about the only thing that distracts us now. Most of the time we just sit together and watch, rooting for our Hotties, only stopping to taunt each other and order more beer.

My first NFL game was such a great experience that I wanted to share with my League Of Hotties friends, so without further ado, here are some of my favorite moments from that day.

1. Spending quality time with J. I also learned I shouldn’t wear a bright bra with one of my favorite shirts. I’m not sure why no one has ever pointed this out to me before…

J&B

2. Tailgating! There’s nothing better than a cold beer and delicious, home cooked sausage and peppers (props to J for the latter).

J & her sausage

3. Discovering new ways to drink a classic. Beer on ice?! Most people would cringe, but I should clarify that it’s only Bud Light on ice, so not total beer blasphemy (I would never do this to a delicious IPA!). And, I mean, what else are you supposed to do on a super hot day when your beer is getting warm?! I must admit I was hesitant at first, but I quickly acclimated to my surroundings and I drank my Bud Light on ice (and loved it!).

BL on ICE

3. Saving the day. J was stressing about spilling her beer on our walk up to take our seats (stressed may be a slight exaggeration, but whatever). Always a quick thinker, I grabbed lids and straws (and ice) and fitted our cups for travel, and our beers never spilled during the game. Note: I need to check in with J to see if she continued to do this at future games. I hope so…

iced BL with no spillspretty view

4. Getting my hair did.  At some point in the game I felt compelled to clarify to those around me that I was not a Jets fan, but in fact a Giants fan. Well, instead of getting booed, I made a friend! It turned out that the girl behind me was also a Giants fan and was only there to support her bf, a loyal Jets fan. We quickly became friends and when she offered to braid my hair, of course I took her up on it.

BRAID

5. Enjoying the game! Despite having a friend next to me, a new hairstylist behind me, and many other distractions around me, I watched AND thoroughly enjoyed the game. Sure, it was the Jets and not the Giants, but it was a fun game and who doesn’t like it when the home team wins!?

Go Jets

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Written by Brigeth, the dreamer who thought up League Of Hotties, and as of today, our favorite guest blogger!

What Really Grinds My Gears

Noisy eaters. Loud jewelry at work. Strong perfume or cologne. Misuse of #hashtags. Traffic. Packing peanuts. Shaking hands in a non-business setting. Pens without caps. Pens with caps that are all chewed up. Rihanna. Crumbs. Apologies that begin with, “I’m sorry that you…”

Pet peeves. We all have them. Some are more common than others, some are truly unique, even bizarre. Our reactions to them aren’t always rational. Most of them, on paper, are seemingly mundane, yet when expressed in the presence of someone for whom they are truly pet peeves, they evoke a strong and negative visceral reaction, often resulting in rage. They are over-achievers in irritation, creating far more annoyance than it seems they are worth.

Fantasy football, and football in general, are not without their offerings of pet peeves, and so far this season, they have been on display aplenty. Here are a few things that have been grinding my gears so far this season:

Starting Inactive Players. My dear friend who plays in the League of Hotties drafted Matt Prater, kicker for the Denver Broncos (at the time of the draft). One day later it was announced that he had violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy, and would be suspended for the first four games of the season. I noticed the week before the season started that she still had him in her line-up. She’s a doctor and a mom and she’s super busy, so I figured she hadn’t seen the news, and I shot her an email to let her know. She replied in thanks, and then proceeded to make no roster moves whatsoever. She started a suspended kicker for the first three weeks of the season. She finally dropped Prater when Denver went on the bye last week – I still wonder if she thought, “Oh no, my kicker is on a bye!” or if she actually remembered he had been suspended. The Broncos cut Prater this week, so good thing for her team (and the league!) that he’s off her team as well.

With the bye weeks coming up and the injuries racking up, do yourself and your leaguemates a service and check your roster each Sunday morning to make sure you’re starting active players. If all of your studs happen to have the same bye week and you don’t want to drop them for scrubs, fine, start an inactive player if you need to. But by doing it habitually, you’re throwing off the balance of the league, giving people easy wins they otherwise might not have earned.

The New Orleans Saints. They rotate three running backs, and when Mark Ingram returns, that number might increase to four. They also roll with at least three wide receivers, all of whom are good enough to go off any given week, but none of whom are the clear #1. I suppose you don’t really need a #1 wide receiver when Jimmy Graham is your tight end, but even he has been a bit frustrating, losing red zone targets to tight end Josh Hill (who?) in each of the last two games. And Drew Brees hasn’t quite looked himself. Granted, he hasn’t looked as bad as Tom Brady (at least on the field; Tom still wins our hearts off of it), but he also hasn’t looked good enough to warrant the first round draft pick you probably used to get him.

It feels like head coach Sean Payton hates fantasy football. He seems to use every single guy on his roster to try to advance the ball and get in the end zone, which, to be fair, is the objective of the game in real football. What that means for us is that every week, starting a Saint is a gamble, because there’s always a chance a touchdown will be vultured by a guy whose name you’ve never heard before (and might never hear again).

If you have Brees or Graham, you’re still starting them, but if you have anyone else – Pierre Thomas, Marques Colston, Brandin Cooks, or Kenny Stills – you’re proceeding with caution. They have a great match-up this week, at home against Tampa Bay, so it’ll be tempting to give them one more shot, but if they fail to deliver, they’re probably getting dumped next week.

Penalties. After a kickoff and subsequent touchback, the teams line up square on the 20-yard line, and most viewers see a long field ahead of the offense, but a fantasy football fan sees 14 potential points for any wide receiver, running back, or tight end they have on the field. Granted, it’s unlikely that your guy will chew up all 80 yards and get the score, but hopes are high at the beginning of every drive that he’ll contribute in a meaningful way. That is, at least until you see those yellow flags a’flying.

Over the last few season, the NFL has modified the rules to favor more scoring, and by doing so, we’ve seen an increase in penalty yardage. The length of the field is finite, so if penalties are earning teams more yards, it means players are getting less, and fantasy scores suffer. My gripe with penalties is epitomized with the classic deep pass interference call, in which the QB launches a 60-yard bomb to my wide receiver, whose jersey is being grabbed inside the 5-yard line. Flags are thrown, the ball moves to the spot of the foul, and the RB pounds it in for the short TD, leaving my WR with nothing to show for his efforts. Even worse, your opponent has the RB. What could have been a 12-point gain for you is now a 6-point gain for them. Ugh.

There are rare exceptions when the penalty flags are a good thing for your fantasy team – offsides and holding penalties on the defense advance the ball only slightly, and give the offense a fresh set of downs. But those big yardage penalties are fantasy football kryptonite.

Bad fantasy team names. There’s someone in every league who lacks either the creativity or the effort to come up with a decent fantasy team name, and for those of us who take pride in our team name selection, these folks are a nuisance. A million guides like this one have been written to help aid and inspire the creation of a legitimate team name, and if you’re super lazy, you can even steal one from the many lists floating around the interwebs (see lists four, seven, and ten here). If nothing else, make your team name a self-depricating pun of your own name, like a guy in one of my leagues did when he named his team Lou-ser. For those more clever folks, look at your fantasy roster, or the roster of your favorite team, and try to come up with a pun of a player’s name. Past and present favorites of mine are Keep Calm and Marshawn, Tebowner, I Pitta the Fool, and Wilfork For a Win (say that last one with a Boston accent, you’ll get it). My friend, Brig, wants to kick everyone with a bad team name out of her league. That might be a little extreme, but I understand her beef. If your team name sucks, fix it. And consider yourself warned if you play in her league!

Wishing you all a season of few New Orleans Saints, fewer penalty flags, active league mates, and good team names!

Forgiveness

By today’s standards, I probably wasn’t a horrible teenager. I don’t currently know a ton of teenagers, but if what you see on the news is any indication of the zeitgeist of this new generation, you’d think it’s comprised of a bunch of bullies, junkies, and sext addicts (yes, I meant sext). I certainly wasn’t any of those things as a teenager, and therefore, by today’s standards, I was not a horrible teenager.

Ask my parents what kind of a teenager I was, and they’ll tell you I was horrible. I stayed out past curfew frequently. I skipped school when I wanted. I smoked. I applied myself to schoolwork only when I felt like it, so my grades were erratic, often poor. For my sophomore and junior years of high school, I was my parents’ nightmare, fully realized.

My horribleness reached a fever pitch one Friday afternoon in June of my sophomore year of high school. I was hanging out with some friends after school, and we went into a clothing store to browse around. There was a lot of cool stuff, but it was all totally out of our price range, and we made the very poor decision to help ourselves to some things anyway.

We got caught at the door. The sales associate asked to search our backpacks. My friend bolted, while I froze. I was busted, and I knew there was no way out of it. They brought me back into the manager’s office, where they placed two phone calls – one to the police, and the other to my parents.

Being that my parents were coming from the opposite side of the city during rush hour on the first Friday of summer, the police arrived first. They asked me why I took the clothes. I told them I took them because a.) I felt like it, and b.) I’m an idiot. They asked me why I looked so worried, and I told them that I was dreading my parents’ arrival, because they would kill me. Through further conversation with the two officers, I clarified that my parents wouldn’t literally kill me, but that they would be super pissed, and I’d probably be grounded for the entire summer. I asked the cops if they were going to arrest me, and they said, “Let’s just wait until your parents show up.”

My parents did show up, and they were, indeed, pissed. The officers explained to the store manager that, for incidents such as this, if the parents show up to retrieve the minor, they typically do not make an arrest or file charges unless the store wishes to do so. The manager declined, and I was free to go.

And by free, I mean that, as predicted, I was grounded for the entire summer. Not only that, I was ashamed. I had upset and embarrassed my parents severely. The car ride home was frighteningly silent, until my dad bubbled over with disappointment and screamed at me. I deserved it. I was a fraud. I wondered if my parents would ever trust me again. I wondered if they’d ever forgive me.

That summer was a tough one. The next summer was, too, when I was grounded again, this time for skipping school and getting suspended. By then, I had racked up a lengthy list of things for which I’d need forgiveness. I can’t imagine what my parents must have thought of me during those years. It really must have been so frustrating and painful for them.

I play in a few fantasy leagues, and in those leagues, on various teams, I managed to draft Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, and Torrey Smith. To varying degrees, they have all disappointed me this season. Rice and Peterson have displayed deplorable behavior away from the football field, and after much consideration, I have dropped them both. The Rice decision was made easier by his indefinite suspension by the NFL and release by the Baltimore Ravens, but how to deal with Peterson was a little tougher for me. We play to win, and he’s a top RB that still has a chance of playing this season. Ultimately, I felt that he was no longer worth the trouble of owning, and I’d have a tough time cheering for him anyway, so I cut him loose in the two leagues in which I had drafted him. The decision might come back to bite me in the bottom, but I don’t particularly care.

You might be wondering what Torrey Smith did to get lumped in with Rice and Peterson. Torrey Smith, by today’s standards, isn’t horrible. If what you see on the news is any indication of the zeitgeist of this new generation of NFL players, you’d think it’s comprised of a bunch of wife beaters, child abusers, and pot heads. Torrey Smith, as far as we know, isn’t any of those things, and therefore, by today’s standards, isn’t horrible.

Well, I took Torrey Smith in the 4th round in one of my leagues. He was the second wide receiver I drafted, and I thought he was a bargain at that draft position. He had over 1,100 receiving yards last season, in what was kind of an off year for the Ravens offense. He only had four TDs in 2013, but if he could even add two more in 2014 while repeating his yardage, he’d be money in the bank. I had lofty expectations, and Torrey Smith has fallen short. If he maintains his current pace, he’ll have just 453 receiving yards by season’s end. Joe Flacco, his quarterback, said after Week 1 that Torrey Smith would catch 100 balls this season, but right now he’s on pace for only thirty-two. His numbers are well below the 4th round value I thought I was getting. His numbers, in fact, are horrible.

A lot of fantasy experts are talking about dropping Torrey Smith this week. Can’t blame them. But I’m not disappointed enough to give up on him just yet. I am, however, grounding him. That’s right, he’s going to my bench, and he’ll stay there until he can prove to me that he’s worth starting again. He has to earn his way back into my heart and my lineup.

The futility of my teenage rebellion finally began to sink in during that second summer of being grounded. My sister was preparing to go to college in the fall, and I knew that if I kept up my behavior, I wouldn’t afford myself that same opportunity. I worked two jobs that summer to keep busy and save money, and I made an effort to be nicer and more open with my parents. As the school year began, I dedicated myself to my classes, and saw a huge improvement in my grades. I was elected captain of my hockey team, and took my leadership role seriously; I quit smoking. I applied to colleges, and during an interview for the college I would eventually attend, I told a pared down version of this story (minus the fantasy football metaphor, of course). The interviewer was impressed with my frankness, with my ownership of my bad decisions, with my willingness and ability to learn from my mistakes. My new attitude helped me repair my relationship with my parents, helped me to regain their trust. It helped me right the ship. It got me into college. It was around this time that they forgave me.

My parents had faith that, despite my poor performance in life as a 15- and 16-year-old, that I would turn it around, and they were right. I feel the same way about Torrey Smith’s football woes.

Torrey Smith is on a team that throws the ball a lot. The Ravens added Steve Smith, Sr. in the offseason, and he’s been a beast through three games. I don’t believe he keeps up that pace throughout the season. I think Steve Sr. starts to draw more coverage, leaving Torrey open a bit more.

The running back situation has also been a bit of a mess through the first three games for Baltimore. They have three guys that they’ve been rotating, trying to find a rhythm. Opening up the running game usually leads to more success in the passing game, because you’re forcing defenses to account for both. If the Ravens can figure out the run game, I think we’ll start to see a lot more of of my 4th round pick.

Torrey Smith has the skills and the opportunity to be great, and I trust that he’ll figure out how to make it work. Some of his future success depends on what his team does around him, and I believe they’ll get their act together too. So, for me, dropping Torrey Smith now would be a huge mistake. Am I starting him this week? Nope. I’m going with Golden Tate. But I expect that some day soon, I’ll forgive Torrey Smith and he’ll grace the WR2 spot in my lineup again.

Now is the time in the season when every fantasy football player is questioning some of their draft day decisions. It’s easy to overreact to a few bad games, but it’s important not to act impulsively based on those overreactions. If a guy is looking like he’ll miss significant time due to his legal troubles, you’d be wise to look elsewhere. Ray Rice and AP may be forgiven one day, and they may play in the NFL again, but If I had to guess, it ain’t happening in 2014, so I chose to cut them loose. There are other players on my rosters, like Torrey Smith, whose lot I expect to improve. I have faith that he’ll turn it around, and I’m hanging onto him until he does, because when he breaks out, all will be forgiven.

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League of Hotties is doing a quick survey for a future post. What are your pet peeves, football-related or in life? What really grinds your gears? Please tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook, and we just might use your story. Thanks!

Under My Thumb

In late January, I was refereeing a couple adult league hockey games on a Thursday night. The first game, by all standards of measure, was a uniquely clean and civilized match-up. No egregious penalties, no screaming at the refs about calls, no whining. It was also a really close game, right down to the last second.

Late in the third period, I was setting up for a face-off. I noticed the two centers were turning their bodies, cheating toward me to try to gain a slight advantage to win the draw. I should have waited, told them to turn and face each other square, and held onto the puck until they complied. But it was near the end of the game, the players had required almost no discipline all evening, and I knew I had another game after that I wanted to start on time, so out of laziness, indifference, or fear of disrupting the momentum of this unusually pleasant game, I dropped the puck with both centers slightly out of position. What was the harm in that?

Well, two centers cheating toward the referee means that their sticks are that much closer to your hand as the puck drops to the ice. You usually only have a split second to pull your hand out of harm’s way anyway, but giving them an advantageous position cuts that reaction time in half. My poor little hand didn’t make it, and my right thumb got crunched in between their sticks. They didn’t even notice as the battled for the puck, while I skated away from the face-off grimacing in pain.

A few minutes later, when time expired and the players were shaking hands, I removed my glove to see an already black and blue, oddly bumpy little thumb. (For those who love injury pics, click here and here.) I iced it between games, and asked my ref partner to do all of the face-offs for the rest of the night. I went home and iced it some more.

As I typically do with injuries, I didn’t rush to judgement. I iced it frequently over the weekend, and taped it to compress it, in hopes that the swelling would go down. The throbbing pain got more mild as the days wore on, and by Monday it started to look like a normal, healthy thumb. I convinced myself it was fine, but my husband wasn’t buying it when I tried to turn of the bedside lamp that night and screamed over the pain that the simple pinching motion required to press the on/off button had caused. He insisted I see a doctor that week, reminding me of the last time something like this happened and how long it took to heal. I agreed.

I went to a hand specialist on that Thursday and learned within minutes that I had broken my thumb in two places. I was fitted for a splint that I was to wear for five weeks. The splint would allow the thumb to heal, but would leave it weakened, and stiff at the joint, so I’d go to hand therapy for another five weeks after that. This was my first broken bone ever, and when all was said and done, it took me a little over three months to get back to 100%.

In the NFL, it seems like the injury bug has come early this year. Last season I wrote about how to cope with injuries in Week 6, but here we are in Week 3 and we’re seeing injuries so significant that one must take note. With football injuries, it’s always important to avoid rushing to judgement. While I realize this is an idiotic approach to one’s own personal injuries, and I should have gone to a doctor for my thumb much sooner, wait and see is sound advice from a fantasy football standpoint.

NFL teams are required to issue injury reports on Tuesday of each week, but fantasy leagues don’t process waivers until Wednesday, so you’re not making any roster moves during that window anyway. Should you be looking at viable replacements in the event one of your guys will miss a lot of time? Of course. And are there some instances when the impact of an injury will be known well before the Tuesday reports? Unfortunately, yes. But sometimes injuries aren’t as bad as they look, so it’s always valuable to wait it out and see a player’s status on Tuesday.

RGIII rolled his ankle so hard this weekend that he dislocated it. If you watched it, you’d have assumed, as many did, that he must have fractured it as well. It just looked that bad. Tuesday we learned that the X-rays came back negative, and it is truly just a dislocation. What looked like a season-ending injury on Sunday was upgraded to a 6-8 week recovery time on Tuesday. Is RGIII worth hanging onto for that long in hopes that he plays again? That’s for you to decide. But if you had hastily dropped him as soon as you saw the game tape, you might regret it.

It’s worth noting that sometimes NFL teams will use the injury reports to deceive their opponent for the upcoming week. The New England Patriots are notorious for this, listing Tom Brady on the report frequently for broken nails and hiccups; aside from when he tore his ACL in 2008, Brady has never missed a game.

The Chicago Bears may have pulled one over on the San Francisco 49ers (and Brandon Marshall owners) last week when they had Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey listed as game time decisions for the late game on Sunday. Both played, with Marshall catching three touchdown passes, though, based on the injury reports and the lack of replacements for Sunday and Monday night games, most owners had him on their benches.

There’s a ton of information out there on injuries, some of it reliable, and some not so much. I find one of the most knowledgable sources for injury reports is ESPN’s Stephania Bell. She writes an injury blog for ESPN, she posts additional tidbits on twitter, and she talks about injuries on the Fantasy Focus podcast, typically on Tuesdays and Fridays. She also appears on Fantasy Football Now, every Sunday from 11am-1pm on ESPN2. She’s a physical therapist with a ton of connections throughout the NFL, and her injury analysis tends to be spot on. So, if your team has been hit hard with the injury bug, she’s worth checking out.

Wishing all of your Hotties a speedier recovery than my poor little thumb!