Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Return of Sweet, Sweet Fantasy Baby

Trebor returns for his first Fantasy Football post of the year. Truth be told he sent it to me on Friday but we had our Sports As Life fantasy draft today, so I didn't want to give anything away. I'm sure there are still people out there who haven't had their drafts yet, so I'm sure this will still be topical. Here's what he has to say:

Originally I was going to write about my first time doing a mock draft. With the hectic summer of Trebor I felt I didn’t really know what was going on - so I thought I’d see if there are any kind of trends, what were the valuable position and see some possible sleeper candidates. I was also going to write this 2-3 weeks ago but... Oops.

Instead I thought I’d pass along something important I found out this week about fantasy football - this may seem obvious but I’ve kinda ignored it the past few years. Know the rules, know the league. The topic even fits with the upcoming Sports As Life draft though on Yahoo… do we have 10 yet ?? Anyway I got an email from one of the leagues that’s drafting next week, spots were randomly drawn and I got 10th out of 12. Some people may not like being so close to the end but honestly I hate being in the middle - the worst picks are 5-8. The first round is terrible cause of those 4 picks there is no real difference between the value you’ll get, so it’s personal choice. However 2 of those 4 will probably be busts. Also you have to wait so long in between picks.

Anyway I looked down at my cheat sheet which is fairly close to anyone’s out there and number 10... Marian the Barbarian, or maybe Marshawn Lynch... both good backs that should post solid number. Then I look at #14 and it’s Owens or Romo. 2 solid picks and if the draft was that day I may have picked that way. However it wasn’t so I had some time to do some research and I’m glad I did.

First of all the rules are like no other league… TH and the Editor can account for that. You start 2 qb’s,2rb’s,2wr’s,1 rb/wr flex, 1 TE, 1 Wr/Te flex, 2 k, 2 Def. The scoring is also non standard in that it’s yards weighted. I took Wayne and Barber’s numbers from last year just cause they are good examples. Last year in standard scoring Wayne :135, Barber 119. In this league however Wayne: 210 Barber: 158. That’s a big difference and they both had the same TD count but wayne had 500 more yards.

So that’s confirming that I should be taking a top WR that will get lots of yards, it also makes Barber overvalued at #10. What it really did was make me consider going WR/WR.

For the past years the fantasy gurus will say take rb/rb/rb, or at least two rb’s in the first 3 rounds, the only exception was manning, and 1 or 2 wr’s. This year it’s different though, there are too many injuries with the top backs, and also too many committee type situations. Of the top 10 running backs there is no real committee situation - though Felix Jones may steal carries, Barber is the guy in Dallas. After that you get to MJD, Willie, Jacobs, who will lose work to the #2 rb. No one is saying Wr/Wr/Wr, but there’s a lot more of them this year in the top 25 on any website ranking sheet.

I may be in trouble doing this down the road, but I think I’d still get a decent back, Edge or Jamal Lewis. The reason being is a trend probably would start. Going into a draft you have your players ranked or know who you want, which is fine. Others tier the positions, which is a bit better. So for top WR you might have: Owens, Wayne, Braylon, Andre Johnson, Colston. Then teir 2: Housh, Fitz, Steve smith, Holt.

So the point with tiering is that you go into the draft saying I want a top tier receiver, or more likely I want no less than a 2nd tier wr. Then when it comes to your pick you look down and let’s say out of your 9 guys, there are still 7 available. You determine when your next pick will be, if after this pick your next selection is 10 spots later you weigh the odds. What are the chances that 7 of the next 10 picks are wr’s. You’ll determine you can pick a different position and still get a top wr. If however your at the 10th spot between round 2 and 3 there’s 20 picks in between - if you don’t take one of those guys now you won’t get the chance later.

So by selecting wr/wr, people will have to jump on a receiver earlier than they may have wanted, leaving some rb’s for my 3rd round pick.

However, the second point this was know your league. This may be tough for a first timer, but if you’re with the same group of guys you should try to see if they have any tendencies... maybe they’re a raiders fan (why I don’t know) and they try and grab them or stay away at all costs, or maybe they really like quarterbacks. Point is use whatever information to your advantage.

In this same league the guy at #11, who I couldn’t pick out of a crowd for the past 3 years he’s picked Manning in the first round. Safe bet that he’ll do it again. What that means is that by the time I chose my 2nd player there will likely be 2 qb’s taken... maybe 3. Since this league also starts 2 qb’s a lot are taken early on. Last year in the 3rd round Brees was selected, and in total of the first 26 picks 10 were quarterbacks. This is where the noodle scratching starts, if I wait for round 3 to select a QB, by previous years results I’m looking at Jay Cutler-ish, for my #1 qb, tier 3 for my list. Not that good, so wr/wr may not be the best??

I’ve changed my mind on this a couple of times and probably will a few more times before the draft. The point is to have a strategy going into the draft, even if you don’t stick to it in the least, it will get you thinking and into draft mode. There’s nothing worse than coming out of draft looking down at your players and saying... damn... better luck next year. And you can’t devise any kind of strategy without knowing the rules.

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