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Proteus

2012 Playoff Fantasy Football Central

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For the first time in seven years of playing, I am strongly considering going all out on doing some playoff leagues.

Any recommendations for preferred sites and/or formats?

(I was going to use the noob thread but this is very specific, specialized, and needed its own branding.)

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myfantasyleague.com runs a free playoff league site. Half of the guys from my local league have been doing a 6 man playoff league for the last 3-4 seasons on there. They actually have a setting which lets you carry over all scoring/rules/etc from year to year.

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As for the format, we basically do running pts through the playoffs with top two teams finishing in the money (a 75/25 split). From the 12 playoff teams, each guy draft (and starts, no benches) 2 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 2 TE, 2 K and 2 DEF.

I've never had much luck in this format, but for local leagues it's a good reason to get together on the Fri night before the playoffs start, drink a few beers and extend the FF fix/trash talking for another month!

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Proteus, I use phenomsff.com. They have playoff fantasy leagues which are draft - n - go, but I play in the mega playoff contest which has a $50 fee and usually 500 or so entries. You pick a QB, RB, WR, WR, TE, D / ST, and K weekly for the postseason.

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I've been in playoff leagues for over 10 years now, and I must say that I actually enjoy playoff leagues much more than a regular season league. Yeah, it's a short amount of time that it lasts, but it's just so much more exciting, at least for me.

I will however say, that the leagues that I'm in, are much more involved than just drafting a starting roster and letting it ride. We do a 6 team league, and we have an 17 round draft. Each team is allowed to draft 2 QB's, 2 kickers and 2 defenses. You are not allowed to draft 3 QB's or 3 defenses, or anything like that. Then, after the 17 round draft is over, we have a bonus pick. With this bonus pick, you are allowed to draft a QB if you like (Alex Smith).

The following week (after the draft), we also do free agent pickups, and we just do it via silent bid. However, we do have a stipulation where you are limited to an 18 man roster. So, if you only lose like 5 players in that first week of action, you can only pickup 5 players, to replace the 5 spots that you lost.

The best thing about the league, is when you get to the Conference championships, and people are scrambling to bid on relative unknown players like John Kuhn or Julian Edelman type guys. This year, we will probably be having bidding wars on guys like Lance Ball or DeJuan Harris. Then, when you get to the Super Bowl you'll have guys taking the backup QB, just in case something crazy happens and the starter gets injured. We've had people bid up to 12 or 13 bucks for a backup QB that is one play away from getting gametime in the Super Bowl.

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Well, it's week 17, and we either just got handsomely paid, or we'd been eliminated a long time earlier. In any case, it's getting close to playoff time, and the perfect time to talk Playoff League draft strategy. Here are the teams that have already clinched a playoff spot:

NFC

Atlanta

Green Bay

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

AFC

Houston

Denver

New England

Baltimore

Indianapolis

Cincinnati

Washington Redskins or Dallas Cowboys will be 4th seed and host a playoff game

Minnesota, Chicago, Washington or N.Y. Giants will be 6th seed and travel to San Francisco or Green Bay (or Seattle)

Obviously, when it comes to a playoff league, it's all about matchups. Kinda hard to talk really in depth strategy, until we know exactly who is playing who, etc. Still, there are some general strategies that are universal, regardless of the exact seeding. We know that in regular season ff, it's all about Running Backs. In Playoff leagues, it's all about QB's. Bottom line, you need to get 3 big games from your QB. That means, you either need to pick one of the Super Bowl QB's, or pick a QB that plays wildcard weekend and makes it all the way to the Conference Championship, but doesn't make it to the Super Bowl. Either way you slice it, you need to get at least 3 games from a big time QB.

In the regular season, you could survive with other draft strategies, but QB and defense are the big thing in the playofs. QB's can score 30 points. Defenses can score huge points (depending on the system). There is only 12 quarterbacks to choose from, and each week several are eliminated. Same thing with defenses and kickers. Kickers don't matter as much, other than not having an empty roster slot. When you think about the 4 teams in the Conference championship week, there are only 4 quarterbacks and 4 defenses. If you don't have one of each, you're really going to be hurting.

So then, the ultimate question is, how do I guarantee myself a QB and Defense playing in the third week with a chance to make the Super Bowl ?

I think the key this year is to get a top 3 pick in the first round. This will guarantee you Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, depending on your particular preference. You get a top 3 pick, and I think you're going to have a QB that is playing in his conference championship game. So what the F do you do with the 4th overall pick?

RG3 ?

Kaepernick ?

Foster ?

Matty Ice ?

Adrian Peterson ? (assuming he makes it...)

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Here are a couple of specific questions that I would be very interested to hear other people's takes on:

1. The last I had heard, Willis McGahee "could" be available for the AFC Championship game, and the Super Bowl, assuming Denver makes it that far. Would you draft McGahee late in a playoff draft, or would you avoid drafting him, and maybe look at picking him up as a Free Agent before the AFC Championship or Super Bowl. Part of this is that, if you wait and pick him up as a Free Agent, it's going to cost some money to get him, where if you draft him in the last round of your playoff draft, he'd be a free pick up.

2. Green Bay has four WR's that will be drafted in just about every single fantasy playoff league. Randall Cobb, Greg Jennings, James Jones and Jordy Nelson. Which of these 4 guys is the absolute must have for the playoffs, and which guy will likely be the lowest scoring of the 4 ?

3. New England's primary RB is Stevan Ridley, but is he that much more valuable than Danny Woodhead in a playoff league? With New England looking like one of the 12 playoff teams that has a VERY good chance of playing 3 games, just how high would you reach to snag the No.1 RB on a team that could go from wildcard weekend all the way to the Super Bowl ? Would you rather wait and draft a guy like Woodhead maybe 3 or 4 rounds later?

4. Green Bay doesn't seem to have a rock solid RB on their team that can be trusted. They have Ryan Grant, Alex Green, DeJuan Harris and James Starks. Which of these 4 guys would you target ? Which of these 4 guys would you avoid ?

5. Rob Gronkowski is supossedly going to be back on the field in the near future, after suffering a broken arm a number of weeks back. Again, with New England looking like one of the teams that could play wildcard weekend, and maybe even make a run to the Super Bowl, do you go "all-in" on Gronk and take him relatively early in the draft, or do you wait and get a guy like Aaron Hernandez instead ?

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lol relax buddy, there will be PLENTY of good discussion once we know who is actually in!

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Even though I started the thread . . . I'm burnt. I can't make the trip.

And I NEVER should have said "This is the championship weekend! It's over after this!" to my wife.

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lol relax buddy, there will be PLENTY of good discussion once we know who is actually in!

Well, you could still answer some of those questions I posed above. 10 of the 12 playoff teams are locked in, and we know that the 11th team is either going to be Dallas or Washington. Most folks probably think it's going to be like this:

NFC

#1 - Atlanta

#2 - Green Bay

#3 - San Francisco

#4 - Washington

#5 - Seattle

#6 - Chicago

Seattle goes to Washington and Chicago goes to San Francisco in week 1

AFC

#1 - Houston

#2 - Denver

#3 - New England

#4 - Baltimore

#5 - indianapolis

#6 - Cincinnati

Indy goes to Baltimore and Cincy goes to New England in week 1

Yeah, yeah, I know, it's not decided yet, but it does appear like it's heading in that direction. Still, regardless, the questions that I posed before still stand...

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Noob questions: does wildcard week results carry over to the divisional week? How does it work given that some teams have more games, and that players will be eliminated each week? What is the most common approach to the basics of the game?

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Noob questions: does wildcard week results carry over to the divisional week? How does it work given that some teams have more games, and that players will be eliminated each week? What is the most common approach to the basics of the game?

Yes, each players points build up as long as they play in the play offs... so theres some strategy involved.. and some luck, lol.

At least in the play off system me and my 9 buddies do each year which is offline... we do the stats based on our H2H pts league.

We dont limit positions..... we just draft guys... any positions until we gobble up all the play off players... which also adds strategy.

Alot of guys take a chance and jump on one or two teams and take as many players from those specific teams... at least who they can depending on how the draft goes.

So if you think the Giants are going to the Bowl, gobble up as many of their players as possible, even if it means taking a kicker over another teams WR2 for example... cause when a team loses all their players are done but if your lucky and the Giants keep playing even lesser players still accure stats... even TE2's can outscore WR1's if you pick the Super Bowl team.

Hope that makes sense.

Its a chance though cause if the Giants (for example) lose then your done for the most part.

This angle usually crowns the champ though Ive learned over the years.

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Yeah, some people have an "all-in" strategy. They focus on one or two teams, and try to get all the key players on that team. Normally, most "experts" would say this strategy is a recipe for disaster, because you're putting all your eggs in one basket. If that basket turns out to be wrong, you're totally screwed, and have no chance. The thing is... what if you pick the right team or teams ? I've been playing in playoff leagues for over 10 years now, and normally the all-in strategy is a bad one.

Having said that, the last two years I've played, the guys that one the championship both years were "all in" on the right team. Last year, this one guy was drafting all the Giants players. He loaded up on everything Giants. (he's a huge Giants fan). We all laughed at him after the draft, thinking that he totally blew the draft. Little did we know, that he was going to trounce everybody in the league. We were laughing at him for going all in on the Giants, but he had the last laugh, and about $700 in prize monies.

The year before that, a long time veteran of our league, went absolutely all-in on the Green Bay Packers. He drafted Aaron Rodgers, had some of the big WR's, had the TE's, field goal kicker. I did snag the Green Bay Defense, and I had James Starks, and I had James Jones. I came in 2nd, he came in 1st.

The interesting thing about it, is that usually everybody plays it more conservatively, and it's rare to see somebody go all-in, despite seeing it happen the last two years.

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What is the most common approach to the basics of the game?

The most common approach is that you get 12 people together, and you have a draft, and each of the 12 guys drafts a starting lineup QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, K, DEF Then, that starting lineup accumulates as much points as possible, and the guy with the highest total of the 12 wins the pot. It's basically a war of attrition. Which guy drafts enough guys that last long enough to score some big points.

I don't really like these kinds of leagues as much, because the strategy involved is pretty minimal. You draft the best starting lineup that you can, given your drafting spot, etc, etc, and you let the chips fall where they may. It's ok, but I think when you have a bench, and you have free agency, it's MUCH more exciting.

I think a better way to do it, is to have a 6 team league. In the draft each of the 6 owners can draft 2 starting QB's, 2 starting defenses and 2 starting kickers. Obviously, you also draft your share of RB's, WR's and TE's. Then, each Friday, leading up to the Super Bowl, you have a free-agent bidding war. Free Agent names are brought up, and people do silent bids, and the highest bidder takes home the player. We draft for 18 rounds, and then you are only allowed to have that 18 man roster. So, if you only lost like 5 players during the wildcard weekend, then you can only add another 5 players that next Friday at the Free-Agent auction. Another guy might have took a major hit, and lost 8 players, but he also has the ability to fill those 8 slots in the free agent auction.

Each week, you try to accumulate as many points as possible. Normally, the way it works, is that one guy will jump ahead of the pack, and normally going into the Super Bowl, he might only have a couple of players that made it to the Super Bowl, but he has a nice lead, and he's just hoping to maintain his lead over the No.2 guy. The No. 2 guy will usually have more players in the Super Bowl, and the big question will be if his players can blow up enough, so that he can catch the guy with the lead. Then, there is usually a 3rd guy that has a slight chance, but only if certain players he has go absolutely nuts. The other 3 teams are normally out of it before the Super Bowl, and they are just hoping they have a chance at the MVP award.

We give 52 percent of the pot to the Total Points Champion and we give 30 percent to the runner up. The 18 percent that is left over, goes to the MVP. the MVP is the one single player that scores the most points in the playoffs (you have to start the guy to earn points). When we first started doing the MVP, we allowed quarterbacks to be in it, but after about 5 or 6 years, we realized that if QB's are in it, then only QB's end up winning it, so we changed it, and now we don't allow QB's or Defenses. Everything else is eligible for the MVP award and 18 percent of the prize money.

The draft is always incredibly interesting, and the once every friday free agent auction can be especially interesting. Every once in awhile, there will be some guy that wasn't drafted in the draft, and he ends up being a super hot player that everybody wants at the auction. With silent bidding, there are lots of people bitting their fingernails, wondering if their bid is going to win them that player. You have the owner with the most points, trying to protect his lead, and you have other owners trying to get the hot free agent, to try to get back in the mix.

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What is the most common approach to the basics of the game?

The most common approach is that you get 12 people together, and you have a draft, and each of the 12 guys drafts a starting lineup QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, K, DEF Then, that starting lineup accumulates as much points as possible, and the guy with the highest total of the 12 wins the pot. It's basically a war of attrition. Which guy drafts enough guys that last long enough to score some big points.

I don't really like these kinds of leagues as much, because the strategy involved is pretty minimal. You draft the best starting lineup that you can, given your drafting spot, etc, etc, and you let the chips fall where they may. It's ok, but I think when you have a bench, and you have free agency, it's MUCH more exciting.

I think a better way to do it, is to have a 6 team league. In the draft each of the 6 owners can draft 2 starting QB's, 2 starting defenses and 2 starting kickers. Obviously, you also draft your share of RB's, WR's and TE's. Then, each Friday, leading up to the Super Bowl, you have a free-agent bidding war. Free Agent names are brought up, and people do silent bids, and the highest bidder takes home the player. We draft for 18 rounds, and then you are only allowed to have that 18 man roster. So, if you only lost like 5 players during the wildcard weekend, then you can only add another 5 players that next Friday at the Free-Agent auction. Another guy might have took a major hit, and lost 8 players, but he also has the ability to fill those 8 slots in the free agent auction.

Each week, you try to accumulate as many points as possible. Normally, the way it works, is that one guy will jump ahead of the pack, and normally going into the Super Bowl, he might only have a couple of players that made it to the Super Bowl, but he has a nice lead, and he's just hoping to maintain his lead over the No.2 guy. The No. 2 guy will usually have more players in the Super Bowl, and the big question will be if his players can blow up enough, so that he can catch the guy with the lead. Then, there is usually a 3rd guy that has a slight chance, but only if certain players he has go absolutely nuts. The other 3 teams are normally out of it before the Super Bowl, and they are just hoping they have a chance at the MVP award.

We give 52 percent of the pot to the Total Points Champion and we give 30 percent to the runner up. The 18 percent that is left over, goes to the MVP. the MVP is the one single player that scores the most points in the playoffs (you have to start the guy to earn points). When we first started doing the MVP, we allowed quarterbacks to be in it, but after about 5 or 6 years, we realized that if QB's are in it, then only QB's end up winning it, so we changed it, and now we don't allow QB's or Defenses. Everything else is eligible for the MVP award and 18 percent of the prize money.

The draft is always incredibly interesting, and the once every friday free agent auction can be especially interesting. Every once in awhile, there will be some guy that wasn't drafted in the draft, and he ends up being a super hot player that everybody wants at the auction. With silent bidding, there are lots of people bitting their fingernails, wondering if their bid is going to win them that player. You have the owner with the most points, trying to protect his lead, and you have other owners trying to get the hot free agent, to try to get back in the mix.

Thanks, man. Is your 6 team league your own invention, or is that at least somewhat common?

And what about working the Pro Bowl for players?

Unserious Smiley Face.

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Noob questions: does wildcard week results carry over to the divisional week? How does it work given that some teams have more games, and that players will be eliminated each week? What is the most common approach to the basics of the game?

Yes, each players points build up as long as they play in the play offs... so theres some strategy involved.. and some luck, lol.

At least in the play off system me and my 9 buddies do each year which is offline... we do the stats based on our H2H pts league.

We dont limit positions..... we just draft guys... any positions until we gobble up all the play off players... which also adds strategy.

Alot of guys take a chance and jump on one or two teams and take as many players from those specific teams... at least who they can depending on how the draft goes.

So if you think the Giants are going to the Bowl, gobble up as many of their players as possible, even if it means taking a kicker over another teams WR2 for example... cause when a team loses all their players are done but if your lucky and the Giants keep playing even lesser players still accure stats... even TE2's can outscore WR1's if you pick the Super Bowl team.

Hope that makes sense.

Its a chance though cause if the Giants (for example) lose then your done for the most part.

This angle usually crowns the champ though Ive learned over the years.

Thanks. Good to know. I got this feeling Denver is going to get it done this year.

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Thanks, man. Is your 6 team league your own invention, or is that at least somewhat common?

It's my own invention, but I do know that other people out there have 6 team leagues. Obviously, 6 and 12 team leagues make the most sense. I like 6 teams, because then everybody gets two QB's, two kickers, two defenses. In the first week of the playoffs four teams will be eliminated right away. So you have 4 QB's and 4 Defenses gone in the first week. If you do a 12 team league, and you only have that one QB and that one Defense, you're really screwed if you loose either of them in the first week. Pretty much no chance to make up the lost ground in that scenario. That's why a 6 team league makes more sense. Even if you have a bad first week, you could potentially recover. A bad first week in a 12 team league and you're pretty much toast.

There is also this interesting idea for an 8 team league. Here is how it works:

You have 8 owners. The 8 owners draft players from teams that DON'T have a bye week. So, for example, let's say that Atlanta, Green Bay, Houston and Denver all have byes in the first week. In the 8 team league, you don't draft ANY players from those teams . You only draft players from the 8 teams that are playing on wild-card weekend. Each owner will have one QB, one kicker and one defense.

Then, when that first week is over, you have a huge free agent auction before the second week starts. Silent bidding. Now, you can have a salary cap, or just have it be a free-for-all. This is the only really fair way to have an 8 team league.

One nice thing about an 8 team league, you can generate a HUGE amount of money in the pot. You have your regular entry fee just to get into the league, and have that initial draft, but you might end up with even more money during that first free agent auction after wildcard weekend is over. If I was in an 8 team league like this, and Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers were both in that free agent auction, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see those guys go for around 80 bucks just for those individual players. Things would get very expensive...

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I'll be going after Tom Brady and some Patriots. Since Denver will be at home I think most people will be bidding higher on them... I think Brady will take Manning down just like he did earlier this year. I'll also probably go after Morris or AP on the NFC side. The NFC is wide open and a divisional round team could easily go to the Super Bowl, which would give you 4 games.

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