Welcome back for another strategy session, where you and I sit down, group our intellect together, and prepare to discuss Fantasy Football ad nauseum… and then promptly get distracted by RedTube. So pretty much every other Tuesday. (Well, for me at least.) We already have a Beginners Guide to Fantasy Football, for those of you who had no idea fantasy football existed… I’m sure there are dozens of you. DOZENS! But now that we have the “101” content coming out on a consistent basis, we arrive at the “Do’s and Don’ts” of a draft. As what should be pretty self explanatory, there are things that you should do and things that you should not do. Crazy stuff! I know. Granted, these are based on my own experiences within the Fantasy Football landscape, so take them for what you will. Which frankly, should be lots. Because it’s free. Free stuff is always good! Unless it’s crayfish in your pants. That’s something that’s free, mysterious, titillating, and scary all at the same time. Much like my lovemaking…

 

DO:

  • Come prepared to your respective drafts. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised. Unlike the VELVEETA® Mac and Cheese slogan, don’t be that guy (or gal). You know who I’m talking about… the person who takes the clock to the three second mark every single pick, only to draft someone like Mike Tolbert in the third round, and then plays off all the snickers and “ugh’s” by saying he/she based that pick on “sleeper potential”. Yeah, he’s a sleeper, in that, he’s probably taking a nap to avoid the fact of how irrelevant he is. As I’ve said many times, you don’t have to be spending 18 hours a day preparing like there’s a doctorate available for this kind of stuff, but some kind of cheat sheet with rankings, a napkin with some sort of scribbling of what looks like player names, or just a drawing of Tom Brady… something, anything would work here.

5360040358_18a6650a9b

This cheat sheet is way too dreamy for use.

  • Sort of a branch, or I guess a root from the previous “do” is to know your league settings. It seems obvious, but league settings are like the fine print of a contract. And from the way I started this blurb out, it’s probably a contract with a tree or some kind of shrubbery… pretty much anything that has branches or roots I guess. So just be careful, especially of fire. And aphids maybe.
  • Balance your risk-taking. This can be a delicate procedure, as no one really knows what’s going to happen during the season, and no one player is a “for sure” thing, but there are players who are considered safer than others. As last season showed us, there’s a better way of building your team than going C.J. Anderson or Eddy Lacy in the second round. If you went Marshawn Lynch or, I dunno, Mark Ingram in those rounds instead (probably a bit later on Ingram_, well, things probably turned out a bit better for you. I’m not saying go safe all the time, but mix it in a little bit if you find yourself leaning on guys that have had issues with either health or stable production.
  • Know that while it’s important to have running backs on your team, don’t force yourself into an uncomfortable situation to do so. But also don’t punt the position. True, the NFL is changing more and more towards the vertical game, and so is Fantasy Football, even in non-PPR leagues. Add on top of that the number of dreaded running back tandems or RBBC (running back by committee) situations that have formed around the league the past several years, if you find yourself outside looking in on running back depth, it’s pretty easy to defend drafting out of the receiving waters early on. I’m going to be hammering the fact that the “zero-RB strategy” isn’t worth your time this presason, and even though wide receiver depth is pretty solid this season, you still might want to focus on getting something functional at the RB position. If you can’t land an elite option, don’t force yourself into a bad situation, don’t panic, but also don’t take your sails down and go home. Because I guess we went nautical in this blurb. If you ever wanted to know why Eddie Lacy still has some allure… there it is. Fantasy. Football. And yes, there’s a place for him on your team. Especially if your team comes with an assortment of buffet restaurants.
  • Realize that plans can change, and don’t be afraid of this. Certain positions have good depth this season. Quarterback, for instance, still has tons of depth carried over from last year and the year before that, and you might be better off waiting on the Tier 2 and 3 guys than trying to nab a Tier 1 player as you hit the third-to-fourth round. As mentioned just above, you can’t wait on running backs as much as you can with receivers… Just remember, every draft is different, but once you get a feel for the who’s being selected and where, you can change your plan on the fly and adjust. Don’t remain static is what I’m saying. Shiiiiiishhshsh. That was me being static.
  • Sorta-kinda pay attention to bye weeks. I’m hedging here, not because I’m a bush (it’s official, we’re going for a shrubbery theme for sure now, ef nautical!), but because while it’s good to pay attention to how your bye alignment is turning out during the draft, don’t let it control your draft. If you drafted the entire Atlanta Falcons offense last year, you’d lose one game for sure, but probably won it all. Now, that’s an extreme example, but if you are hesitating on a player you really want because you already have a couple other guys with the bye, go ahead and pull the trigger. Tackle that week when it comes. (+5 for proper pun usage. Current score: -464,897 points.)

 

DON’T:

  • Draft a defense or kicker if you can help it. If you’d like to use the last few rounds to do so, that’s fine… but there really is no reason to pay more than that. (I generally like to sneak on a couple positional relevant sleepers just in case of preseason injuries.) In a 12-team, and especially in a 10-team league, there are simply just too many streaming options and match-ups to play with at the K and DST slots. And remember, on a bye week for these positions during the season, you might have to carry two kickers and two defenses if you drafted one high, possibly strangling your roster in the process.
  • Get caught up in the hype. A perfect example of this, and already mentioned above, was last year’s Todd Gurley and perennial hype-monster Carlos Hyde. You could even include guys like Christine Michael (how is he still a thing?) or Adrian Peterson in this category. While a guy like Leonard Fournette has talent and a good enough argument to be drafted fairly high, the hype might just to big to get any kind of proper value if someone focuses on that shiny new toy. Be weary of overpaying for these types of guys.
  • Panic before, during, or after the draft. Having a winning team on a piece of paper (or I guess a computer screen, since this isn’t the 80s) before the season guarantees absolutely nothing whatsoever. Neither does having a derpy draft. These things are all fixable, unless you draft JaMarcus Russell in the first round. That, you really can’t recover from. But that selection does come with two bowls of gravy, so could be worth it… (Look, he’s dated, but I love gravy, so deal.)

 

 

  1. Allan says:
    (link)

    Jay, posted this yesterday on the qb article but may have been too late. Don’t know how long you field questions on a particular article. Sorry.
    12 team dynasty league my team is
    QB Brady
    RB Davis Johnson
    RB Ingram
    RB Lacy
    RB Ware
    WR Julio
    WR Amari Cooper
    WR Doug Baldwin
    WR Brandon Marshall
    TE Ertz
    Our draft order is determined by last year finish (1st) and how many players you dropped in the off-season (6). I ended up with the 9th pick. None of the stud rookie rbs are likely available there, though maybe cook or hunt could be. What should I be looking for there? I was thinking either my qb or te of the future. Stafford or Wentz might be there or Howard or Engram also. Some pretty decent wide receivers available also like Bryant, Crowder, Jordan Matthews. I’ll also have a pretty quick turn around with the 16th pick. Thoughts?

    • Jay

      Jay says:
      (link)

      @Allan: I might have missed it, that’s my bad!

      Hope for those RBs to fall, but I’d focus on a QB for the future, like you said, but try to see if you can nab the best player available. A Howard or Ingram would be best unless something crazy happens at QB. Then address WR at the turn would be my strat.

  2. FrankGrimes says:
    (link)

    Do: grab Rico Gathers with your last pick.
    Witten is old and slow.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
      (link)

      @FrankGrimes: his spleen explodes sometimes too. I’m cool with Gathers.

      • FrankGrimes says:
        (link)

        @Jay:
        Haha. Hopefully it works out like the Thomas breakout year.
        I was on Kelce before he was a thing too…

  3. Nature boy says:
    (link)

    Hey Jay,

    Can keep 2, PPR, 6pt passing TD, draft pick given up is in parenthesis.

    Dak Prescott (14)
    Brandin Cooks (1)
    Jamison Crowder (12)
    Doug Martin (5)
    Devontae Booker (12)
    Kyle Rudolph (12)
    Golden Tate (2)
    Russell Wilson (3)
    Jeremy Langford (11)
    Bilal Powell (11)
    Kenny Stills (13)
    Michael Floyd (4)
    Graham Gano (14)
    Seattle D (7)

    I have the 2nd pick in the draft.

    Thanks and woooo!

    • Jay

      Jay says:
      (link)

      @Nature boy: It looks like the best values here are Powell and Crowder. Not sexy by any means, but I’d probably do those two.

  4. Dom says:
    (link)

    I just made this trade tell me if you think its a good one with the roster below in a 16 man league:

    I trade: Marcus Mariota, Doug Martin, Jaquizz Rodgers, Brandon Marshall

    I get: Aaron Rodgers, Charles Sims, Tyrel Pryor, and Danny Woodhead

    QB Marcus Mariota
    RB Mark Ingram
    RB Frank Gore
    WR Jordy Nelson
    WR Dez Bryant
    TE Austin Hooper
    Flex Eddie Lacy

    Bench

    RB Doug Martin
    RB Alfred Morris
    RB Jacquizz Rodgers
    WR Martavis Bryant
    QB Joe Flacco
    WR Brandon Marshall

    K Adam Vinateri

    Def Bengals

    • Dom says:
      (link)

      @Dom: Change Alfred Morris for Robert Turbin

      • Jay

        Jay says:
        (link)

        @Dom: Either way, I think it’s a great trade Dom, you did really well for yourself here.

      • Rocky says:
        (link)

        @Dom:
        Definitely agree on that. Turbin is a must for Gore owners especially when you’re wasting a roster spot on a guy like Morris. I would absolutely hate to have Gore, Lacy, and Ingram as my RBs. That’s positively dreadful and he just traded away his best RB (Martin paired with Quizz). Ouch. This is like the NY Jets of fantasy football.

  5. snarky anklebiter says:
    (link)

    I was just going through your positional rankings. I believe you are missing Paul Perkins, and the Den, Ariz, and NE defenses. I’m hoping that wasn’t intentional, since I just started my planning for this year.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
      (link)

      I’ll take a look, thanks for the heads up!

  6. snarky anklebiter says:
    (link)

    I think your blanket statement about streaming defenses is too league dependent. My 12 team league has roster limits where you can only hold 5 rb and 5 wr. It ends up with most teams carrying a second defense to stream when it makes sense. If you don’t draft a decent one, you end up debating every week about which bottom 10 defense will suck the least. It isn’t nearly as easy as punting catcher in baseball.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
      (link)

      @snarky anklebiter: Yeah, I think when discussing kicker and DST rankings, I leave the door open for YMMV types of leagues. With that format specifically, you can’t implement normal strategies.

      Also, those teams went missing, the DST and Kicker rankings have been updated, should be changed shortly.

  7. RICE says:
    (link)

    Hey Jay! I know you’re crazy busy and working hard to all of our benefit…. and it’s appreciated. Quick question…

    When you updates to the top 200 rankings… do the PPR and Half rankings update along with the standard?

    I’m asking because if I just look at the order of QB’s, as an example, I see:

    STD: Rodgers, Brady, Wilson, Ryan, Brees, Newton, Cousins, Luck…
    PPR: Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Wilson, Ryan, Luck, Cousins, Newton…
    HLF: Rodgers, Brady, Wilson, Brees, Ryan, Cousins, Luck, Newton

    I understand why their rankings would change in different formats, but not why their order would change? I’m I confused?

    • Jay

      Jay says:
      (link)

      @RICE: Thanks man! That could just be human error, honestly. Sometimes transferring rankings, it all gets a bit jumbled. I’ll make sure that’s straightened out shortly. Thanks man!

      • RICE says:
        (link)

        @Jay: It can’t be easy to juggle all these formats. Appreciate you!

        • Jay

          Jay says:
          (link)

          @RICE: No worries, glad you mentioned it, I thought it was settled, but yeah, went in out of order on the formats. I just updated, so in an hour or so the rankings should reflect that.

          Thanks!

  8. Dakota says:
    (link)

    Hey I just had a question about a possible trade I might consider.
    I give: Todd Gurley and Devonte Adams
    I get: Antonio Brown and Danny Woodhead

    QB: Drew Breese
    RB:DeMarco Murray
    WR:Odell Beckham Jr.
    WR: Larry Fitzgerald
    TE: Zach Ertz
    FLX: Devante Adams
    Defense: Steelers
    K: Chris Boswell

    Bench:
    RB: Eddie Lacy

    • Dakota says:
      (link)

      The question would be what do you think about the trade? Should I keep Gurley and try something else? I am mainly trying to get OBJ and Brown, but the guy I am trading to has trash RB, so I thought I would offer mine so he might be able to benefit from it!

    • Jay

      Jay says:
      (link)

      @Dakota: I like the trade for you. I think the talent you’re giving up is better spread, but getting a stud in Brown offsets that.

  9. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
    (link)

    got most of the players i needed. others were smart enough to grab kamara/henderson (DEN)/pumphrey while i had little room. full PPR but receiving yards are 10 for 1 pt and rushing are 5 for 1 pt (albeit we start 2 WR, 1 RB, so you should ALWAYS flex a RB of course)
    QB cousins/goff
    RB (1) AP/blount/kelley/perine/c.thompson/sims (man i probably should’ve dropped sims for kamara)
    WR (2) benjamin/d-jax/doctson/treadwell/gabriel
    TE (1) v.davis/brate
    util (1)
    IR reed/m.williams
    LB (3) kwon A/l.david/burfict/e.kendricks (MIN)
    DT (2) m.jackson (JAX)/mal brown (NE)
    DE (2) heyward/campbell
    S (2) cravens (surgery but back week 1?)/k.joseph/SWEARINGIN!
    CB (2) breeland/rhodes/a.jackson (TEN, possible big time kick returner, 10 yards per pt)
    IR d.hall (S), AAron donald (DT), bucannon (LB)

    1. got a trade offer of my AP + d-jax for t.pryor + jj nelson + p.smith (LB not even ranked by FP, and here http://dynastyempireleagues.freeforums.net/ ranked like 99th LB, so i’d just drop)

    my RB are already terrible, BUT AP is probably very close to end of career and i’d lock up pryor, who pretty much all dynasty rankings have much higher than d-jax (although i don’t know if i agree with that). it would lock up a long term WAS player, and there is value in that (minimum 10 WAS players). jj nelson would appear to only be useful if the freer of slaves (j.brown) is hurt. also in theory it’s probably better to have more RB stashed than WR.

    2. drop sims for any of these: drake/d.williams (MIA)/mcnichols/r.mathews (just dropped)/butler (DAL)/gallman.

    at least i have WAS RB locked up unless matt jones gets it back (also i could stash that k.marshall guy who have somewhat ranked). a guy tried to sell me matt jones and i’m “well i can just grab him in some weeks when you figure out his value from FA”

    • Jay

      Jay says:
      (link)

      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: Yeah, I think you can weather the near-time impact… I do like getting Pryor here. I’d do it for that alone. I sorta like Sims, but Drake is intriguing. I’d probably hold, but I’m okay with that.

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
        (link)

        @Jay: was wondering if the mcnichols longer term starter possibility might’ve shifted it that way, as due to my decent amount of RB (but not good ones) waiting on a long term starter might prove useful. drake of course could be that too if/when ajayi gets whacked (but i guess could be d.will too).

        maybe i’ll be able to do that deal and move 2 out of the WR group of jj nelson/benjamin/gabriel/m.williams/treadwell group for a RB. or maybe just benjamin for one.

        • Jay

          Jay says:
          (link)

          Yeah, I’d probably wait until the deal goes through. But I think we discussed Drake a little last year, I do like him.

  10. Dom says:
    (link)

    Would you trade Jordy Nelson and Mark Ingram for Lesean McCoy and Keenan Allen

    QB Aaron Rodgers
    RB Mark Ingram
    RB Frank Gore
    WR Jordy Nelson
    WR Dez Bryant
    TE Austin Hooper
    Flex Terrelle Pryor
    Bench
    QB Eli Manning
    RB Danny Woodhead
    RB Robert Turbin
    RB Jamaal Williams
    RB Eddie Lacy
    WR Martavis Bryant

    K Adam Vinateri
    Def Bengals

    • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
      (link)

      @Dom: this would probably be closer last year but with the ingram uncertainty of usage mccoy side.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
      (link)

      @Dom: I would. Love the McCoy side Dom.

  11. OneI'dWilly says:
    (link)

    Late to the research game this year. Enjoying the binge reading!

    Can you confirm I’m keeping the right guys?

    14 team auction $200 budget. 1Qb, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE 1Flex

    1/2 PPR

    Can keep 3

    Keepers:
    D Murray $46
    Keenan Allen $25
    Bilal Powel $6

    Other options:
    OBJ $69
    Gore $19
    Marvin Jones $1
    Rivers $5
    Vareen $3

    • Jay

      Jay says:
      (link)

      @OneI’dWilly: Thanks! And yeah, I think you are. Good mix there, and a lot of value with Bilal and still some there with Allen.

  12. Pete Incaviglia says:
    (link)

    Yo, brotha. I can keep 2 out of 3 between Mike Evans, David Johnson, Amari. Was offered a trade where I was getting Diggs and Docston for Evans. Which would allow me to keep DJ, Coop, Diggs and Doc. What ya think?

Comments are closed.