Fantasy Worthy

Fantasy Football Definition of "Fantasy Worthy"

"Fantasy worthy" is a term used to describe an NFL player who posts enough stats to be considered worthy of drafting in a fantasy football league. Typically, only starting quarterbacks and tight ends are considered "fantasy worthy" at their positions, while the starting tailback and main backup at running back are generally considered fantasy worthy. The top three wide receivers on an NFL team are considered fantasy worthy, though some lesser offense's 3rd receiver isn't considered fantasy worthy (and some 2nd receivers aren't considered worth a roster spot).

Fantasy Magazines and Fantasy Worthy

When you read a fantasy football magazine or fantasy website, you'll often see the term "worthy of consideration" used to describe a player. This usually means they are fantasy worthy, though fantasy football site gurus often make additional distinctions to describe just how worthy a player is. You're likely to see a fantasy site expert rate a player as "only worthy of consideration as a low-end 2nd receiver or 3rd receiver" or "only worthy as a flex player". This generally means that the player is fantasy worthy in the broad sense - worth having on your roster - but only worthy considering as a marginal starter. In other words, you can start the player in a pinch, but if you have another option, consider using it.

What Is Fantasy Worthy?

The question is, when is a player fantasy worthy and how do you determine a player's worthiness? It's easy to see that a player is fantasy worthy if he comes out and starts producing immediately in your fantasy season, but there are often players who are slow to start or have other considerations.

When a player isn't getting much production, you have to decide whether he's worthy of a roster spot. Does he have a nagging injury that is slowing his production? If so, does it look like this injury will linger all year, or he will get healthy enough that it won't affect him sometime soon? Are there injuries elsewhere on his offense that are hurting his production, such as an injury at quarterback or injuries along the offensive line? Has the player's team played several of the best defenses in the league, or played defenses that are good at stopping his kind of production? If so, does the schedule get easier?

Fantasy Worthy Running Backs

Running backs are particularly tricky, because most fantasy rosters will include a few backup running backs. These runners may have highly inconsistent production, because they aren't on the field consistently. These runners might show they have the potential in limited time on the field, but they are no one you would consider starting.

In this situation, you have to ask yourself why you drafted them in the first place. Likely, you decided they might eventually be the starter, either through injury or the ineffectiveness of the player ahead of them on the depth chart. If you assumed the starter was injury prone, you can't naturally assume that injury is going to happen in Week 1. Your plan was to play the odds and draft an RB because you thought he could produce elite numbers once he was on the field, so the plan was to sit on the player until he gets his chance. That may take a while. Backup running backs are hit-or-miss players, because they will likely be either little use to you and you won't be able to start them, or they will become instant starters when they get their chance.

Waiting for ineffectiveness of the starter is even chancier, because you never know how much patience the head coach is going to have. NFL head coaches don't care about fantasy football production, so you have no idea what he's seeing in the game film and whether he's satisfied with what the starting runner is giving to the team. So you might be waiting a while.

Better bets are when you draft a rookie running back who was taken high in the draft (1st round especially), because there should be pressure from the fans to get that player on the field eventually. The fact a team drafted a running back in the first round is a tacit admission that the RBs on their roster were inadequate or weren't getting the job done, so it's a safe bet that a 1st round running back eventually gets their time to shine.

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