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Tijuana Pony Show

2012: The State Of Modern Fantasy Football

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OK, so first off, I admit I am going to vent about how Fantasy is played today witnessing a comically small sample size. But doesn't this year feel weird? And more importantly, what can we learn from it?

I'm beginning to think that I have lost my ability to predict with any accuracy how things will play out in a football game. It's not just my players that are stinking, but I am in a Grade A rut this week.

I'm watching my game play against another well-built team for a combined 83 points between Charles, McFadden, Bradshaw, Morris, Murray, Fitzgerald, Cutler, Luck, Jimmy Graham, Hernandez. Injuries are one thing, but offenses seem to be spreading the ball over so many players that it's damned impossible to stick with your studs (which is my age-old reasoning), but every time I meddle with my team based on a hunch, I lose out from benching a star. The crazy thing about Fantasy over the last few years is that there seem to be less and less studs. (Even in years past Priest Holmes could break his neck or Shaun Alexander get hurt and quit)

With offenses working like this, I see things this way going into 2013:

1. drafting multiple productive RBs is more important than ever.

2. great QBs (...excepting my drafting of Shaub and Cutler this year, haha!) are considerably less vital, considering they seem to be as productive as ever.

3. WRs are too interchangeable to draft early (even guys like Fitz, AJohnson, Megatron, Julio, etc) when you can just get passable shmucks in the mid-late rounds

4. a Grade A TE (Gronk and Graham) is worth the pick

Thankfully, I've drafted Graham in most every league and stayed away from big ticket receivers, but Fantasy feels more like a crap-shoot than ever. There just doesn't seem to be the consistency you would expect. Even at RB, who can you trust? Rice, Foster, McFadden?

Does anyone else feel like this is the most uncertain year yet? What have you learned from the first two weeks?

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OK, so first off, I admit I am going to vent about how Fantasy is played today witnessing a comically small sample size. But doesn't this year feel weird? And more importantly, what can we learn from it?

I'm beginning to think that I have lost my ability to predict with any accuracy how things will play out in a football game. It's not just my players that are stinking, but I am in a Grade A rut this week.

I'm watching my game play against another well-built team for a combined 83 points between Charles, McFadden, Bradshaw, Morris, Murray, Fitzgerald, Cutler, Luck, Jimmy Graham, Hernandez. Injuries are one thing, but offenses seem to be spreading the ball over so many players that it's damned impossible to stick with your studs (which is my age-old reasoning), but every time I meddle with my team based on a hunch, I lose out from benching a star. The crazy thing about Fantasy over the last few years is that there seem to be less and less studs. (Even in years past Priest Holmes could break his neck or Shaun Alexander get hurt and quit)

With offenses working like this, I see things this way going into 2013:

1. drafting multiple productive RBs is more important than ever.

2. great QBs (...excepting my drafting of Shaub and Cutler this year, haha!) are considerably less vital, considering they seem to be as productive as ever.

3. WRs are too interchangeable to draft early (even guys like Fitz, AJohnson, Megatron, Julio, etc) when you can just get passable shmucks in the mid-late rounds

4. a Grade A TE (Gronk and Graham) is worth the pick

Thankfully, I've drafted Graham in most every league and stayed away from big ticket receivers, but Fantasy feels more like a crap-shoot than ever. There just doesn't seem to be the consistency you would expect. Even at RB, who can you trust? Rice, Foster, McFadden?

Does anyone else feel like this is the most uncertain year yet? What have you learned from the first two weeks?

To get all Yogi Berra about it: I don't feel all that uncertain, but there is certainly a lot of uncertainty out there.

For my own part, I feel like most guys on each of my 4 teams are producing the way I'd hoped, with the occasional complete bed crapping, which is par for the course in any season.

As for your points.

1. Not too sure about that. So far...what if in the first four rounds you drafted Forte, McFadden, Charles, and FJax? Where would you be? Other than ready to quit? Granted you said "productive" not "early rounders" but how are you supposed to ascertain the difference?

2. I agree. The elite are looking pretty damn pedestrian right now, and certain mid to late rounders are looking like damn steals.

3. Yes. Julio Jones is looking pretty disgustingly beastly . . . but I'm gonna say it . . . here it comes . . . and I don't give a damn about any Madden Curse . . . Calvin Johnson is overrated.

4. At this point I'd rather take an "early round flier" to coin a phrase on an RB who might not be a complete bumbaclot bust right out of the gate.

Caveat to all of the above: It's nothing but overreaction. Like you said, the sample size is meager. But what are we gonna do? Not react?

We overreacted all summer to tweets and conjecture.

Why wouldn't we overreact to tackle football games?

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Admittedly, I am in a pissy mood... the funny thing is that I am currently winning by 13 points (48-35) and if I can survive Randy Moss and Demaryius Thomas, I'll win! Which is just insane.

I'll amend my point about RBs to say that you can never guess who is going to be good, stay healthy or stay consistent. There will always be weird benching (Arian Foster last year for that one half of a game, SJax this year), untimely injuries, prolonged injuries or great players on bad teams that get blown out and abandon the run.

But. And a big BUT. I think you need to take 5 RBs in the first 8 rounds. Because you can't predict -near anything- about the position.

But the core to my little rant and overall bad mood is that I have NO IDEA how to get a handle on Fantasy when I confidently won leagues for the better part of a decade. Like the line from Apocalypse Now, I feel like my judgement has become unsound, haha!

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I feel the exact opposite about all of your points except #4.

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I feel the exact opposite about all of your points except #4.

Do you mind elaborating, Sven?

I mean, I'm not going to say you are wrong or bait you into a silly argument, but I don't see the point of spending a high pick on a QB or WR when there's just so many good options going late (Ryan, Schaub, Cutler, Vick or Rivers after the backlash from last year, RG3, etc... too many WRs to count).

That said, your starting roster will look dramatically different at the end of a Fantasy season than the beginning. That much hasn't changed.

For every good RB that's going in the mid-rounds or later (Ridley, Law Firm, Spiller, etc.), I can't see that be a reason to skip them early. My attitude now is really one of "hit some likely studs in the early rounds and then keep taking stabs in the middle."

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I heard an interesting stat the other day, i believe it was like this season so far and last season there has been an average of slightly around one starting RB get hurt a game and I think like 85% of those guys missed at least 3 games. I did some research looking into that and it seems to be right on par. This season we've already seen Fjax and Forte go down and well know sometime Monday how serious Sjax and Bradshaws injuries are and thats not even counting Mathews

But I agree with your arguments and I went RB heavy in all my drafts with the exception of a 16 team league just bc there was to much value on WR to pass up but I was still able to get some solid RB options with at least one clear cut number 1 RB

Your point on Spiller is definitely the exception bc his value was essentially from when Fjax went down bc he wouldnt have gotten enough touches with him out there

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I feel the exact opposite about all of your points except #4.

Do you mind elaborating, Sven?

I mean, I'm not going to say you are wrong or bait you into a silly argument, but I don't see the point of spending a high pick on a QB or WR when there's just so many good options going late (Ryan, Schaub, Cutler, Vick or Rivers after the backlash from last year, RG3, etc... too many WRs to count).

That said, your starting roster will look dramatically different at the end of a Fantasy season than the beginning. That much hasn't changed.

For every good RB that's going in the mid-rounds or later (Ridley, Law Firm, Spiller, etc.), I can't see that be a reason to skip them early. My attitude now is really one of "hit some likely studs in the early rounds and then keep taking stabs in the middle."

I think taking the best RBs available in the first couple rounds is an overrated strategy in the current pass-happy NFL.

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Admittedly, I am in a pissy mood... the funny thing is that I am currently winning by 13 points (48-35) and if I can survive Randy Moss and Demaryius Thomas, I'll win! Which is just insane.

I'll amend my point about RBs to say that you can never guess who is going to be good, stay healthy or stay consistent. There will always be weird benching (Arian Foster last year for that one half of a game, SJax this year), untimely injuries, prolonged injuries or great players on bad teams that get blown out and abandon the run.

But. And a big BUT. I think you need to take 5 RBs in the first 8 rounds. Because you can't predict -near anything- about the position.

But the core to my little rant and overall bad mood is that I have NO IDEA how to get a handle on Fantasy when I confidently won leagues for the better part of a decade. Like the line from Apocalypse Now, I feel like my judgement has become unsound, haha!

Totally disagree. I'm pretty much loving having CJ Spiller/Michael Bush/Alfred Morris to go along with Harvin/Julio/Bowe while I'm killing people at WR. Having Jay Cutler is not helping the cause though.

RB's just get injured WAAAAYYY too often. Take 1 early to start your season, then wait until round 6 and load up on the Ben Tate/CJ Spiller/Michael Bush's of the world. If you draft about 5 of them chances are at least 1 will hit big, if not 2 or 3.

And as the season goes, QB's are usually there to stay and RB's drop like flies. Just keep up with the waiver wire. And stash guys. You'll be winning championships with Kahlil Bell and Roy Helu starting for you.

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This is how I have been playing fantasy football in recent years. Load up on RBs early. Usually 3 of my first 4 or 5 picks are RBs. Not only that but I am grabbing my 4th RB by the 6th or 7th. RB depth is the most important thing at this time in fantasy football. It gives you consistency, room to trade, and your season won't instantly be over because a top pick is injured or hasn't performed well at all. Something I will be doing in future seasons is grabbing a top 4 or 5 TE. I never do that but the difference between a top TE and a bottom TE1, high end TE2 is huge. WRs are all over the place and easy to land a decent one in the mid rounds. Also I get a QB who isn't too flashy but is a value pick I can count on. This year it was Eli Manning. I don't get a backup QB or anything like that and just load up on RBs the entire draft. This year in a 12 team league I had Rice, Charles, Peterson, Ridley, Tate, Dwyer, and Morris. I made the mistake of making an early trade but I learned from this season when I should have waited for a blockbuster deal out of desperation to come along. Next year I won't be doing that. But overall just get RBs, you will put yourself in a contending spot and can control trades.

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Fantasy football is garbage. Hanson gets 16 points, Brees gets 22? Brees is a f****** QB and Hanson is a kicker. come on.

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This is how I have been playing fantasy football in recent years. Load up on RBs early. Usually 3 of my first 4 or 5 picks are RBs. Not only that but I am grabbing my 4th RB by the 6th or 7th. RB depth is the most important thing at this time in fantasy football. It gives you consistency, room to trade, and your season won't instantly be over because a top pick is injured or hasn't performed well at all. Something I will be doing in future seasons is grabbing a top 4 or 5 TE. I never do that but the difference between a top TE and a bottom TE1, high end TE2 is huge. WRs are all over the place and easy to land a decent one in the mid rounds. Also I get a QB who isn't too flashy but is a value pick I can count on. This year it was Eli Manning. I don't get a backup QB or anything like that and just load up on RBs the entire draft. This year in a 12 team league I had Rice, Charles, Peterson, Ridley, Tate, Dwyer, and Morris. I made the mistake of making an early trade but I learned from this season when I should have waited for a blockbuster deal out of desperation to come along. Next year I won't be doing that. But overall just get RBs, you will put yourself in a contending spot and can control trades.

This is precisely what I mean... controlling trades is something you can do when you have a deep RB bench.

The strategy of drafting RBs as being dated was trendy two-years ago and last year, but this year, I think you are out of luck if you go QB or WR-heavy. The thing about the pass-happiness of the league is that the line between your stud WR and the second and third tiers is shrinking. During my later drafts, I moved to not drafting a WR before the 6th round, and I was picking up guys like Brandon Lloyd, Bowe, Crabtree, Torrey Smith, Kenny Britt, Vincent Jackson, Antonio Brown, etc. I can live with that.

Most of my teams at this point have 3-4 WRs and that's it. And honestly, I'm happy.

As far as TE goes, its becoming the essential position in my eyes. I will jump during round 2 from this point on, I think...

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Fantasy football is garbage. Hanson gets 16 points, Brees gets 22? Brees is a f****** QB and Hanson is a kicker. come on.

...and you haven't seen what Zuerlein has in store...

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Fantasy football is garbage. Hanson gets 16 points, Brees gets 22? Brees is a f****** QB and Hanson is a kicker. come on.

Feel like I've said it 200 times here, but I'll have to say it another 1000 times If I have to help people.

CHANGE the standard setting on Kicker Points. I agree with you, it is Total Garbage that a Kicker gets more points than skill position players... but who the hell says you can't do something about it??? Like it's some law where you could go to prison if you don't follow it.

10 years ago I started my League, and 9 years ago I changed it to: 1pt for xtra points, 2pts for ALL FG's and 3pts for a 50yarder. Plus subtraction of points for any FG missed under 30 yards. And the only feedback I get from the League? Lower it even more Commish.

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fantasy football is random it always has been. games are played on the field, not paper. td's are as flukey as wins/losses in baseball and most matchups are decided by that factor alone. draft the best player available in the best scenario for success....that's all you can do. draft for value not for need. needs will change throughout the season and can be fixed when you have the VALUE to trade for it.

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Been playing fantasy since 01, and i have to admit...so far, week 2 of this year has all but killed my love for fantasy. And I have a win in some of my leagues, but overall...its just so stupidly random this season that i just get a headache thinking about it because i may as well just go grab a guy named john buckheimer and put him in, because theres a chance he will drop 2 TDs and 100 yards.

Just meh.

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Been playing fantasy since 01, and i have to admit...so far, week 2 of this year has all but killed my love for fantasy. And I have a win in some of my leagues, but overall...its just so stupidly random this season that i just get a headache thinking about it because i may as well just go grab a guy named john buckheimer and put him in, because theres a chance he will drop 2 TDs and 100 yards.

Just meh.

Kind of the same feeling this year.

I thought my team was loaded. Apparently it's not.

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And f--- you Dante Rosario. I didn't even play against him. I don't own Gates. But I don't care. Guys like him suck.

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I think the best definition of this topic is reading Matthew Berry's Love/Hate column for the last 2 weeks. He selected the correct "Loves" and "Hates" about 10-15% of time the last two weeks. In other words, if you selected the players Berry hated and ignored the players Berry loved, you probably would have had a more positive outcome.

I'm not saying Berry is the end all in fantasy, but he has direction access to statisticians, trends, NFL personnel, and should have a more accurate outcome than your average Joe. In other words, we select by guts and RotoWorld, he selects players based on metrics, analytics, weather, player, match-up trends etc.

In the end, its all just a crap shoot, but anything that makes watching the Raiders vs Dolphins game 10x more exciting than it was for me 12 years ago -- more power to the craps!

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My father and I have been playing in a fantasy football league in Baltimore since 1987. Back in the late 80's till about 2000 you could regularly count on "studs". The running back position was waaaaaaaaaay more predictable back then, you could draft a Barry Sanders/Emmitt Smith/Marshall Faulk (hell even guys like Ricky Waters would have consistent years).

Todays NFL is more like the Arena League in terms of production and how many guys get to touch the ball

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I disagree with OP's points aside from #4 as well as several others have said. A premium TE is worth it. This year I had 2RBs and 2WRs after four round of a 14 teamer, drafting to avoid the tail end of position runs, trying to instead start them or draft comfortably in the middle of them. Took Eli in the 5th, and only then went heavy on backup RBs with Tate and Hunter... I do not feel you need to take 3 top 20 RBs since RB production these days is diluted and less predictable, so you are risking a big slice of production taking them too early, compared to 5-10 yrs ago. I'd rather speculate on guys who don't cost a really high pick, who have big upside in case their lead back has issues, and form a stronger WR corps as their production collectively has risen in recent years, increasing the value potential from WRs in the 30-45 prerank area (WR3s in my league).

What I'm watching for next year is how to value the 'next tier' TEs like Hernandez and Gates, as well as guys further down the chain with big upside like Olsen and Rudoplh. If they are not moving too far up the draft, I'll be more prone to save higher picks for non-TEs than take one of the big 2 early, as the upside of those lesser TEs will be worth it using a later pick.

It's always about relative value, and where to find it when others are not looking there, IMO. That is the greatest source of any edge you can get from looking at all the same things everyone else looks at.

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Been playing fantasy since 01, and i have to admit...so far, week 2 of this year has all but killed my love for fantasy. And I have a win in some of my leagues, but overall...its just so stupidly random this season that i just get a headache thinking about it because i may as well just go grab a guy named john buckheimer and put him in, because theres a chance he will drop 2 TDs and 100 yards.

Just meh.

Kind of the same feeling this year.

I thought my team was loaded. Apparently it's not.

Completely agree with this sentiment. Felt great post-draft and even after week 1. Yesterday was just a miserable day of football for me though.

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I was reading these posts with an open mind. But once a poster said "calvin johnson is overrated" i stopped and i will not enter this thread ever again.

If i had to state anything wrong about state of fantasy football. It shows the same state of our society that is always looking for the easy way out and come on these forums and exect somebody to give them the golden ticket to winning their league. You see similar posters on gambling sites. Fanasy is not a sprint it is a marathon. You can not prevent injuries. The league is called Not For Long for god sakes. Good defenses matter doesnt matter who you are if your going up against revis. Your not gonna put up big numbers. You try to draft a well rounded team with some potential sleepers on bench. As the season goes on you hope for some good waiver wire finds. Some things wont pan out cus s--- even the coach doesnt know whats gonna happen week to week. Were in the game of fantasy for a little bit of cash and pride. The coaches and teams are playing for their jobs. So if Coughlin thinks benching your player in favor of another will give him the Win, he knows what hes doing. If McFadden runs out of bounds instead of diving for a TD so you could beat your girlfriend in week 2 dont be suprised hes trying to prevent an injury and endanger his money and career. You guys are out of control on this site. I love football and love fantasy and take every year very serious. I come on this site to hear other fantasy posters opinions. But there are no real opinions just whining and overreacting to every blurb they see or after one week of bad play.

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