Saturday - May 25, 2019

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No Strategy is the Best Strategy

Last week we talked about creating your rankings using all those 2003 Fantasy Football Projections out there and your own leagues scoring system. This week we get into how to use them in your draft.

 

There are about a thousand different ways to draft a fantasy football team and there are more then a million people out there telling us that their way of doing it is the best. Some, actually the majority, will tell you that drafting your 2 Running Backs (RB) first is the best approach. Others will tell you your draft order should be as follows: the best available RB, then best available Quarterback (QB), and then best available Wide Receiver (WR). And a chosen few will say draft the best available player for the first three to four rounds then fill the holes in your roster. So, which is truly the best method of drafting a moneymaking, league winning fantasy football team? The answer: None of them.

 

That’s right none of them. People, you need to relax and take a long hard look at what it takes to win at fantasy football. Its really simple when you think about it, it takes points. Draft day is the most important day of your fantasy football season so to me it never made sense to limit or constrict your point of view. What you do on draft day could make or brake your whole season so do yourself a favor and do your own homework instead of buying into someone else’s drafting strategy. Remember…don’t let emotion cloud logic. Sure it may be easier just to follow some standard drafting strategy but in the end it doesn’t matter if it’s a RB, QB, or WR as long as you are drafting the player that you believe will get you most points. I mean why draft the #5 or #6 RB when the #1 or #2 WR is still available? Don’t get stuck in some draft strategy that lets more valuable players slip through the cracks and onto someone else’s roster. Hogwash you say…let me prove it to you.

 

Last season, my business partner and I won our high stakes fantasy league, and you know who our first pick of the draft was? Terrell Owens. That’s right with the 5th pick in the draft we grabbed a WR. Guess who our second pick was (16th pick overall)? Marvin Harrison. That’s right another WR. Why WR’s you ask? Easy, our scoring system at the time favored WR’s.

 

The fact that there were more ways for a WR to score in this league was overlooked by almost all the other owners so while they were scrambling to get top 10 RB’s and QB’s we strolled in and picked up the two best WR’s of the season. It’s all about doing your homework kid’s, know your scoring system backwards and forwards and see if it favors one position over the others. Oh…and if you’re thinking that we ended up with bottom barrel RB’s and QB’s then think again. Ricky Williams and Travis Henry in the backfield and Brad Johnson and Trent Green taking snaps isn’t a bad draft at all. See, it’s not about drafting the best player sometimes…its about drafting the RIGHT player.

 

Now there will be other factors that need to be recognized. Well one of those factors, and in my opinion the biggest, which will affect your draft strategy, is the quality player availability. Knowing how many high-quality players there are at each position is almost as important as knowing who they are. I call this the “drop-off point”. This is the line where we go from top tier to good, good to average, average to so-so, and so-so to I’m screwed. But how do I tier my rankings you ask. Well grasshopper…this is how!

 

It’s a simple two-step process. First we figure out the drop-off point. This is done by taking the rankings that we completed last week (this process was explained in last week’s article “The Power of Projections”) and looking at the Total Points (TP) scored by each player and how they relate to each other. Here is an example;

 

Scoring Summary

Name

PASS

TD

RUSH

TD

INT

TP

TPG

Michael Vick

3319

21

795

8

10

325

20

Donovan McNabb

3596

25

591

6

11

321

20

Daunte Culpepper

3796

23

524

7

16

304

19

Rich Gannon

4125

25

176

2

9

280

18

Jeff Garcia

3708

26

312

3

11

276

17

Peyton Manning

4153

28

134

2

16

270

17

Aaron Brooks

3752

26

286

2

15

265

17

Steve McNair

3353

21

373

3

13

248

16

Kurt Warner

3927

28

50

0

16

243

15

Matt Hasselbeck

3668

23

207

1

12

240

15

 

          Ok we can see that Vick leads the QB’s in Total Points scored in our rankings. So what we need to do is figure out how everyone else’s points compare to the person just above them in our rankings. So create another column called “Drop-off Point” (DOP) and minus McNabb’s points from Vick’s to get McNabb’s Drop-off point, then Culpepper’s from McNabb’s to get Culpepper’s and then so on and so down the line. That would give you something like this;

 

Scoring Summary

Name

PASS

TD

RUSH

TD

INT

TP

TPG

DOP

Michael Vick

3319

21

795

8

10

325

20

0

Donovan McNabb

3596

25

591

6

11

321

20

-4

Daunte Culpepper

3796

23

524

7

16

304

19

-17

Rich Gannon

4125

25

176

2

9

280

18

-24

Jeff Garcia

3708

26

312

3

11

276

17

-4

Peyton Manning

4153

28

134

2

16

270

17

-6

Aaron Brooks

3752

26

286

2

15

265

17

-5

Steve McNair

3353

21

373

3

13

248

16

-17

Kurt Warner

3927

28

50

0

16

243

15

-5

Matt Hasselbeck

3668

23

207

1

12

240

15

-3

 

We see that according to our rankings and projections McNabb will score 4 points less then Vick, which is relatively close right? Then we see that Culpepper will score 17 points less then McNabb, which is a pretty large drop right? Wait…we see that Gannon is going to score 24 points less then Culpepper! Could this be our first Tier Marker? Well look at how Garcia compares to Gannon, only 4 points less then Gannon. So that is it. Culpepper is the last QB in our first tier and Gannon is the first QB in our second tier. See how it works?

 

By looking at these point comparisons we can actually see our QB’s grouping together and we can also see where the next major drop-off point is. You can see that from Gannon to Brooks there is relatively no difference in point production but when you get to McNair you see a Drop-Off Point with –17. Make sense? Congratulations, you have tiered your rankings!

 

Now imagine that it’s the 3rd round and you drafted RB and WR in rounds one and two. You see that all your first tier QB’s are gone but the majority of your second tier QB’s are still available. You also notice that one of first tier RB’s is still available! Are you going to panic and grab the first QB in your second tier to fill a roster spot or grab the last RB in your first tier? Well with your tiered rankings in front of you, you would obviously grab that RB, because you know that you can wait on that QB till next round and lose very little point value. This is the value of tiered rankings. Use this knowledge wisely grasshopper and your fantasy team will go far!

 

 

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