Every year when the NFL rolls out its Thursday night schedule it tightens the “work week” a bit for fantasy owners. There are now fewer days to observe injuries and analyze player trends. Fewer days to gain a competitive advantage.
One thing fantasy owners may want to pay closer attention to is Wednesday practice reports, which feed us notes about players on the mend. This information can serve as an early indicator for will-he-or-won’t-he decision making, but be careful not to put too much stock into these reports. Players like Houston’s Andre Johnson will often sit out of a Wednesday practice even though they have every intention of suiting up on Sunday. For elite players like Johnson, teams have learned to use Wednesday as a precautionary day – one for extra rest and light workouts. It is just as important for fantasy owners to study player/team practice trends as it is to read the daily news.
Not every league forces a fixed lineup prior to Thursday kickoff; in some leagues you can make changes to later games so long as it doesn’t affect your Thursday decisions. In those leagues, it is also advised not to fall into the primetime trap. Fantasy owners often insert players into their lineups for no other reason than because that individual is playing on a primetime telecast. The thinking is: One more of my guys to watch. Always play your best players, whether they are available to watch in your viewing are or not.
Thursday night games are one more wrinkle for fantasy owners to work around. Learn the pitfalls and keep up with the reporting and the added game won’t have any impact on your success.