Patience is important in playing fantasy sports

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Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) catches a pass over Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nolan Carroll during an NFL football game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. (Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini) — Winslow Townson

As a Cubs fan, I’m inherently patient. Yet, ironically, during one of the best possible reminders of the virtue of patience — this magic carpet ride of a Cubs season — I’ve failed to carry any semblance of patience over into my season-long fantasy football leagues.

Thus, in the spirit of the Cubs, and me filling in for our resident DFS expert John Sahly for a second week, I thought it might be fun (weird idea of fun, I know; again, Cubs fan) to share a few examples of where failing to stay the course went wrong.

After all, it’s another one of the reasons playing DFS might be enticing. Not as enticing as the winning Week 9 FanDuel lineup I’ll share below, but stay with me here.

Perhaps you spent your final pick in a season-long draft on Browns WR Terrelle Pryor, like I did. It made good sense. Pryor was a wonderful sleeper candidate, with the type of unique athleticism and versatility to create a high ceiling, and with Josh Gordon’s suspension, an opportunity if the light bulb flashes on. What didn’t make sense was dropping Gordon after two scoreless weeks, when he combined for 6-100. All Pryor has done since is eclipse 75 yards receiving three times and tally four total TDs en route to WR11 overall.

Another late-round find, Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham, was always going to take time to assimilate into the Seattle offense. He was coming off a torn PCL, and coordinator Darrell Bevell hadn’t unlocked his new weapon prior to last season’s injury. Sure enough, Graham, after two quiet games to start the season, exploded for 18-302-1 over the next three games, immediately after hitting waivers.

Don’t even get me started on a pair of rookie running backs, Denver’s Devontae Booker and Chicago’s Jordan Howard. Howard went from August sleeper to Chicago’s only active non-QB not to play Week 1 to the RB1 overall last week, his third top-15 finish among backs in October. Did you stay patient with Howard through his inauspicious first two weeks? Booker, after losing a fumble on his first-ever NFL touch, took even longer to get his chance — understandable behind Denver’s $7.5 million man C.J. Anderson. Now, Anderson is on I.R. and Booker went from handcuff to handy plug-and-play RB1.

So, what’s the lesson here, friends? Don’t make rash decisions early in your season-long leagues, as you’ll often regret them. Now, onto the DFS picks.

Eli Manning, $7,500 vs. PHI: Well rested, usually responds from 0-TD outings with vengeance.

Devontae Booker, $7,000 at OAK: Sore shoulder willing, he should feast on Raiders.

Jay Ajayi, $7,100 vs. NYJ: Not great matchup but his historic run worth investing in.

Odell Beckham Jr., $8,900 vs. PHI: The best reason to roster Eli is this stack.

Brandin Cooks, $7,600 at SF: Take your pick of Saints skill guys in this matchup.

Terrelle Pryor, $7,000 @ Dallas: Cowboys just lost best CB, Cleveland just found best QB.

Kyle Rudolph, $5,000 vs. DET: Play TEs vs. Lions until they provide reason not to.

Mason Crosby, $4,700 vs. IND: Crosby nearly perfect this season; plenty of points coming.

Panthers, $5,200 at L.A.: OK, maybe not the week to start top pick Jared Goff, Rams.