Back in October, Mo Williams was one of my building blocks in the Yahoo! Friends and Family League, my sixth-round pick, the 71st player off the board. We had some good times. The team is off to a solid start. We had an enjoyable 9 1/2 weeks.
But this is No Country for Injured Men, not in a league without IR slots. When the news came down Williams would miss at least six weeks due to his busted thumb, I knew it was time to move forward.
Thanks for the memories, baller.
One of my fundamental concepts in any fantasy league is to stay grounded and realistic when it comes to players dealing with long-term injuries (see the Andre Johnson/Marques Colston swap from 2011). Don't trip yourself up expecting miracle comebacks and accelerated timetables (and for the love of all that's good, never listen to a player's self-declared timetable). It's important to accept that a dead roster space comes with an opportunity cost; you pay a price if you're willing to play the waiting game. Embrace the randomness; play for today.
The F&F League allows just four bench spots and four free-agent moves a week. Mobility is important. Health is important. My team has been reasonably healthy through the first third of the year, allowing me flexibility and options as I work the categories on a weekly basis. And in the counting stats, you generally want to throw volume on the court, see where it takes you. But all it takes is one or two poorly-timed injuries and all of a sudden your outs disappear.
Maybe Williams will be back on the court in six weeks, producing immediately. Maybe he'll help a competitor. Maybe he'll haunt me in the playoffs, or block me from the tournament entirely. I accept the downside to the move, but at the end of the day I view a fluid roster spot to be more valuable. It's no time to be sentimental, and it's no time to worry about the price I paid for Williams before the year. I can't say exactly where I draw the line on this sort of decision, but I know what side Williams is on. I'll trudge on without him.
And if the Williams slot turns into a conveyor belt of failed free-agent specials, that's fine with me. I like picking up fresh players, kicking the tires here and there. It's occasionally rewarding, and it's fun. The game is supposed to be fun, right? Let me loose on the wire.
Over to you, gamers. What's your stance on Williams, or injured players in general? Lets talk game theory in the comments.