This position, especially in a points per reception format, is going to be the one to which you pay the most attention. In most leagues, it will also be the position where you will have the most starters as leagues start 3-4 of them. In points per reception formats, you will be using a receiver in the flex spot. This position can be boom-or-bust because you might have a receiver as good as A.J. Green put up zero points like he did in Week 2 last year. It happens, as the floor for receivers is much lower than a running back because they can go without a catch or even a target.
When you’re looking for receivers in daily leagues, you target those who will be facing a bad secondary, a game that will be high-scoring and also those games where the team is expected to be blown out. Teams that are way ahead early often let off the gas and start playing guys from the second and third unit. This is a prime opportunity for a receiver on the losing side to pick up points in chunks and maybe even a garbage-time touchdown or two.
Last year in Week 6, I targeted Andre Holmes. The Oakland Raiders were coming off a bye and I expected the San Diego Chargers to put up a bunch of points in this game. Holmes had a great game as the Raiders kept the score close. He finished with four receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns. The following week he was back on the waiver wire. Why? Because the Raiders were facing the Arizona Cardinals defense that week.
Last year, the wide receiver position was the most interchangeable part of my roster. Don’t be that owner who starts a player like Calvin Johnson on a week he has not practiced and can barely stand just because he is your top pick. Be aggressive and savvy enough to bench him in favor of a player with the opportunity to perform better. In daily leagues, you wouldn’t roster Johnson that week so it should indicate to you that maybe he shouldn’t be in your lineup.
The tight end position is the toughest position to roster in my opinion. I am not the kind of guy who will draft Rob Gronkowski, because I feel his price tag is too high. So in most cases, I have a middle-tier tight end and for parts of the season I end up streaming the position. Just like the wide receiver position, tight ends have a low floor as we saw with Jimmy Graham in Weeks 7 and 13 where he got you nothing.
For tight ends, I always look at the matchups and opportunities. When T.Y. Hilton missed games, I was sure to use Dwayne Allen where I could. The position has the most inconsistent scoring as well. If you check the top-5 performers each week, you will have a different top 5 every week.
This position, like the tight end position, is one that I wait to fill until the rest of my roster is complete. It is very inconsistent as well. You could have a great kicker but if the team only scores touchdowns, you end up with just extra points. In daily leagues, it is a tough position to fill as you often want to go cheap. I like to look at the Vegas totals and take the kicker at home in a game that is expected to score a ton of points. If you can stream this position, there is a ton of flexibility later in the season as owners in your league will only carry one kicker which means there will be about 20 kickers available on the waiver wire.
The defense/special team position is one that can score a ton of points if you are using the right one. It is not always the best defense that is the top scoring defense. Last season in Weeks 2, 3, 5 and 7 the Seahawks, who are a great defense, scored single-digit points. It’s nice if your defense shuts a team down, but unless they are scoring defensive touchdowns or getting turnovers, they aren’t helping you much.
Every week you should look for teams that are facing bad offensive lines and feature poor special teams. With those matchups you have a better chance of sacks, fumbles and punt/kickoff returns for a touchdown. Heading into this season, I’m looking to use Miami as my top daily league defense as Miami faces Robert Griffin III and that bad Washington offensive line Week 1.
With the number of injuries and suspensions we have heading into Week 1, you should already be looking to adjust your roster either by adding a guy who could play early in the season or getting rid of guys such as Jordy Nelson and Kelvin Benjamin who will be gone for the year. If you check the daily league value plays, it could help you select some valuable players to start in Week 1. In leagues that reward the highest-scoring team for the week or season, it pays to try and manage your roster more like a daily-league roster because you want use as many players with upside to not only win your matchup, but score the most points.
Good luck to everyone in Week 1.