As the start of the regular season approaches fantasy football ADP becomes tight to the actual market. Everyone has had as much time to digest information and review preseason data as they will possibly get. The next two weekends will see a majority of the fantasy football drafts for the entire 2019 season completed. It’s the time of year for proclamations, flag planting, decisions, “my guys”, whatever your buzzword may be. In the months leading up to now a lot of the focus is on the idea of finding a few rounds of value prior to the ADP stabilization mentioned above for early drafts and best balls. Now it is about identifying the players that just you want to commit your season to. The following are the players that I am trying to come away with at least a piece of in nearly every standard roster PPR draft.

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The middle of the draft should be a solid mix of guys with a track record of decent production and maybe some riskier high upside guys that may be seeing an increased role or a different scheme that fits their skill set. There will be a mix of players that I have already written about and there will be some new names here as well.

We left off Monday finishing up the fifth round so rounds 6-10 will be covered in this post followed by the rest of the fliers that I like on Friday. Once you’re finished with this post pop on over to my RCL post and grab a spot for your shot at 10 RazzBowl openings that we left open for next season. We still have spots available for each day from August 30th through September 2nd.

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Welcome back to another Dynasty Deep Dive. Hopefully you read Rudy’s post last week regarding Vacated Targets, and how they are a big misconception among fantasy gamers. Rudy‘s math proved that there is no correlation in vacated targets and an increase in targets. This week, I’d like to apply Rudy’s theory that Vacated Targets by themselves are generally useless, and instead identify some players worth targeting based on increased Snap Share. We’re going to take that step further and see if an increased Snap Share resulted in a larger Target Share. I want to use Target Share for this because I believe it is a better indicator of how important a player is to their offense. We all know volume is king in fantasy, but Target Share will put these players within context compared to their teammates.  

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The tight end (TE) position is an odd one for fantasy purposes. Every year there are a handful of monsters that are true weekly difference makers but after that the position is mostly the same. In 2018, 63.1 fantasy points separated TE4 from TE6 while TE6 and TE41 had about 63.1 points between them. Similarly in 2017, TE1 and TE5 were separated by 48.7 points which was the same margin between TE5 and TE22. So, if you miss out on the top talent, it’s worth waiting for  an extremely cheap option that has the upside of entering the elite group.

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Razzbowl 2019 is in the books and it provides a great opportunity to delve into how a strategy can change throughout a single draft. I’m hoping this breakdown can stir up your thought process in your own drafts as everyone is unique. In my mind, the biggest mistake people who play in a single home league or just for fun make is to just draft to rankings/ADP. I spend so little time ranking players. I spend far more time: placing players into tiers, reviewing what I believe the actual NFL teams offenses will look like, how the seasons will go for those teams, coming up with an initial strategy for each individual draft, pinpointing my favorite players to start off the draft from each chunk of draft positions (early/middle/late), and finally matching player value to rounds in the draft. Hopefully that makes sense. To put this idea into simper terms: Many people spend an excessive amount of time worrying about the order in which players like Josh Jacobs, Mark Ingram, and Chris Carson should be picked. I tend to not worry about the actual order, and try to spend more time coming up with what I believe is most likely going to happen with those teams, what could happen with that team, who I’ve drafted before that choice comes up, and just as important… what my plan is the rest of the way if I were to pick each of those players.

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Drafting your fantasy football team is all about risk management. You want just as many guys with a good statistical pedigree as you do guys that have big upside. Let’s face it, not every 6th-7th round pick with the explosiveness and opportunity to return profit is going to do so. You’re going to draft a flop every now and then, it’s just how this stupid game that we love so much works. The players that I’m writing about today are most likely going to return value, but they probably won’t jump out at you on a week to week basis. These are just solid contributors that you can’t take out of your lineup and they end up helping you get to your goal of making the playoffs and making a run at the title. This is how you take luck out of fantasy football and it’s also a reminder to myself to enforce risk management in my drafts.

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Heading into drafts, a lot of owners are going to be aggressive when drafting the tight end position. It’s clear that Kelce, Ertz and Kittle are in a tier of their own. If you draft one of those players, then you’ll be standing out from the rest of the league. However, some owners might not be comfortable with drafting a tight end in the 2nd or 3rd round, and for them, punting the position is a viable strategy as they load up on receivers and backs.

There are a lot of tight ends this season that have serious upside to finish in the top 10 of the position, and offer very cheap price tags past the 9th round, so let’s talk about a few.

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Do you guys remember Gary Barnidge? I was just combing through the depths of Fantasy Pros tight end results from recent seasons and my heart skipped a beat when I saw that he finished as the third overall tight end in 2015. My writing time in the evening is very valuable. I need to use every minute to the best of my ability after working 10-hour days Monday-Friday at my full-time gig. But, I just spent about 20 minutes trying to find out what the hell happened to Gary Barnidge and where he went. It’s no wonder I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder as a child, right?

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That’s my McDonald’s order. I fully expect my guy Vance McDonald to produce as much happiness for my fantasy football season in 2019 as that order does for my stomach. Although I previously touched on my tight end philosophy in my draft strategy article a few weeks ago I’ll repeat it here because I probably wouldn’t click the link either:

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