Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/17/12

Owning Antonio Gates in fantasy means you'll be an expert on the Q/D that shows next to his name all year long.  I drafted Gates in the sixth round, so I don't have a huge investment in him.  Plus I drafted Fleener as a TE handcuff.

Now on to yesterday.  Here is a timeline of how Gates' impact transpired:

8:00a - Initial check/review of lineup.  Proceed to watch pregames/ESPN.

10:30a - Injury review of starters.  Gates is still listed as questionable, with the stupid tag from rotowire saying he'll most likely play.

12:00p - Coby Fleener starts for the Colts.  He no longer can be moved into the starting lineup.

2:00p - Checking the scores for games when  I notice there is now a "O" next to Gates' name.  What?

From this point everything falls apart. 

Now that I'm aware Gates won't play, and I can't put in my backup TE, I have to comb through the free agents who haven't already started.  Wow - what a crap selection.

Hindsight's 20/20, we all know that.  I didn't want to take a risk on Dante Rosario, because I took a risk on Ronnie Brown last week and it backfired.  My ability to gamble on questionable Chargers players is over for the year after the first week - thanks Ron!

So no Rosario, and the only attractive option available was Lance Kendricks.  I had used the waiver wire to pick up Stephen Hill on Tuesday, but now he has to be dropped for Kendricks. I have three TE's on my roster at this point.

I move Kendricks into the starting lineup, but something sticks out - I have two Rams players set to start.  Eww, don't like the looks of that.

I entertained the idea of swapping out Kendricks for another free agent TE, but I really didn't think it would make too much of a difference. 

In the end I benched Amendola, started Kendricks, and moved Kenny Britt to the flex role.  I hated moving Britt up, because I knew he would have limited snaps.  But the lack of solid corners in the Chargers' secondary made me more comfortable.  Just one big play from Britt and it'd all work out...so I thought.

The rest, as they say, is history.  Amendola was the most productive WR in the NFL for Week 2 - putting up 35 points in our league.  Meanwhile Kendricks and Britt dropped 4.5 and 1.5 points respectively. 

If you've played fantasy football for a while, something like this has happened to you - possibly many times.  It's frustrating, demoralizing, and usually results in a loss.  So what did I learn?

1.  If you draft Antonio Gates you have to own a handcuff TE you can plug into your roster any given Sunday.  If I had someone more proven than Fleener, I would have started them from the jump.  I think Fleener will have big games and is valuable in keeper leagues, but I need to address this backup situation immediately. 

2.  If there is a late scratch - don't completely alter your lineup.  Just change the affected player.

3.  The Titans offense is atrocious. I don't know that you can start anyone from their team until proof they have a functioning offense emerges. 

Now onto a week of reading about Gates missing practice and being another game-time decision. 



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