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AshesAndLaughter

Best Starting Lineup vs Good Bench

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I have been spending some time in the Assistant Coach forum lately and I have seen a common theme among those providing guidance. That theme has been, "Don't do that trade! It kills your depth."

This is somewhat puzzling to me, because I have always played the fake football game to get the best possible starting lineup even if it sacrifices depth.

Personally, I am always looking at ways to improve my starters. If I can package 2 guys for one and it makes my starting team better on a per game basis, I am going to do that every time.

I think it is an important discussion to have. The strategy of sacrificing bench depth in order to improve the starting lineup has hurt me in the past (like last year when I lost Percy Harvin and his 20pts per game in PPR). It is definitely a high risk, but I think it is a risk that is worth taking.

What are your thoughts?

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There's a fine line, just as there is in anything.

CSB - but with the team below, I've been contemplating shopping Torrey and Luck for an upgrade at QB. It would leave me with Megatron, Antonio Brown and Keenan at WR. Pretty solid WRs, but with Amendola and nothing behind them on the bench.

My thought: the downgrade from Torrey (on one of their bye weeks, if one gets hurt) to a waiver wire WR is far bigger of a drop than it is from a potential upgrade, even like Rodgers, to Luck.

I always want at least one player on my bench at QB/RB/WR that I feel completely comfortable starting in a pinch. After that, I'll start dealing depth to upgrade starters.

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There's a fine line, just as there is in anything.

CSB - but with the team below, I've been contemplating shopping Torrey and Luck for an upgrade at QB. It would leave me with Megatron, Antonio Brown and Keenan at WR. Pretty solid WRs, but with Amendola and nothing behind them on the bench.

My thought: the downgrade from Torrey (on one of their bye weeks, if one gets hurt) to a waiver wire WR is far bigger of a drop than it is from a potential upgrade, even like Rodgers, to Luck.

I always want at least one player on my bench at QB/RB/WR that I feel completely comfortable starting in a pinch. After that, I'll start dealing depth to upgrade starters.

I think that hypothetical trades in this discussion are warranted. For those reading this, it should NOT turn into an assistant coach thread. For team specific trades check out the AC Forum on here, it is really helpful.

I understand that the risk of losing the depth can be tough for some to grapple with. And IF a starter does get hurt, it really hurts your chances at a championship. However, IF those starters don't get hurt you are looking at a nice run to the finish. I do this every year. I blow up my bench just to improve 1 starter spot. Last year was the first year it really hurt when Percy Harvin went out.

What do other people do. I would love to get some more perspective. Personally, I am about at that stage of the year that I am going to blow up my bench just to improve one starter.

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i try to balance it out. i like having depth during the first half of the season with injuries and bye weeks. then during the later parts of the season try to do 2 for 1 deals for a playoff push.

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Injuries are bound to happen in ff. But depth is not a luxury you can afford in a 14 team league. I'm not about to have a solid producer sitting on my bench if I'm hurting at another position.

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I hate having production on my bench. I almost always attempt to trade my depth away for the best player. I want the best players I can get at each position, not a good player on my bench that I may or may not play.

Just my $.02. It's worked pretty well for me.

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Depth vs talent is extremely important in fantasy football as opportunity can make bad talent good fantasy plays. Just look at the Steelers.

Bench depth vs top talent is a lot like dating a hot girl vs dating two chubby chicks. The hot one will probably leave you hanging while the latter option is a guaranteed lay.

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It's good to have depth but if you're able to upgrade at a position at the expense of guys on your bench you may or may not start than do it.

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i try to balance it out. i like having depth during the first half of the season with injuries and bye weeks. then during the later parts of the season try to do 2 for 1 deals for a playoff push.

I agree with this. Without depth, especially early in the season, an injury can be devastating. Also, it makes bye weeks extremely difficult to manage. Of course, you want to have the best starters you can, but if you sell out to have incredible starters and have no one behind them, injuries and bye weeks can easily cost you your season.

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Before the season started, I "killed" my dynasty depth by trading Bowe & Bryce Brown for Josh Gordon & Andre Roberts. A few guys in my league razzed me for it "Bowe & Gordon are equal while Brown is a stud and Roberts is disposable"

No, gents, no... More like Bowe doesn't have a QB to throw the deep ball and is loosing explosiveness due to age, and Brown is a one-trick pony backup known for fumbling. Roberts is disposable (I've already disposed of him).

Lets see... 2 guys who I couldn't start vs 1 guy I roll out on a weekly basis. The decision was easy and I am winning games because of this trade.

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Before the season started, I "killed" my dynasty depth by trading Bowe & Bryce Brown for Josh Gordon & Andre Roberts. A few guys in my league razzed me for it "Bowe & Gordon are equal while Brown is a stud and Roberts is disposable"

No, gents, no... More like Bowe doesn't have a QB to throw the deep ball and is loosing explosiveness due to age, and Brown is a one-trick pony backup known for fumbling. Roberts is disposable (I've already disposed of him).

Lets see... 2 guys who I couldn't start vs 1 guy I roll out on a weekly basis. The decision was easy and I am winning games because of this trade.

LOL People really thought Bowe and Gordon were equal?

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I'm surprised people really can find people willing to trade fairly. Everyone wants the moon for their junk in leagues I am in.

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Before the season started, I "killed" my dynasty depth by trading Bowe & Bryce Brown for Josh Gordon & Andre Roberts. A few guys in my league razzed me for it "Bowe & Gordon are equal while Brown is a stud and Roberts is disposable"

No, gents, no... More like Bowe doesn't have a QB to throw the deep ball and is loosing explosiveness due to age, and Brown is a one-trick pony backup known for fumbling. Roberts is disposable (I've already disposed of him).

Lets see... 2 guys who I couldn't start vs 1 guy I roll out on a weekly basis. The decision was easy and I am winning games because of this trade.

LOL People really thought Bowe and Gordon were equal?

You realize before the season Bowe was being rated higher than Gordon universally, and not because Gordon was out for 2 weeks, right?

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I generally try to get the best players I can and then fill out the roster with guys who I think have value. As the season goes I try to trade my depth and a lineup player to get a better lineup player. By the playoffs I want to have the best roster possible, and traded off any spare parts I can to upgrade the lineup and have minimal backups at each position.

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While injuries aren't guaranteed to happen- it only takes one or two to drop your chances if you're not deep.

That being said, the important factor here is match-ups. Unless you're in an 8 team league with a bunch of noobs who didn't know how to draft, chances are you don't have a match-up-proof team.

In league A, I have Steven Jackson and Trent Richardson on my bench this week. I'm deep enough with MJD, Jacquizz Rogers, and Andre Ellington that I can afford to not sweat having my top two drafted RB's sitting.

In league B, I have Boldin, Jordy Nelson, and Harry Douglas (I dropped Julio Jones) on my bench this week. I get to start Welker, and Alshon Jeffery with my depth.

In league C, I'm benching RG3, Roddy White, Kenbrell Thompkins and Percy Harvin while starting Phillip Rivers, Demaryius Thomas, and Justin Blackmon.

Depth, Depth, Depth. I've had BIG injury problems this year in those three leagues: Steven Jackson x 2, Roddy White x 2, Julio Jones, and a few others for a game here and there. I've also stashed Justin Blackmon in two leagues, and am stashing Percy Harvin in another for a couple of weeks. I'm not leading any of the three leagues- but I'm solidly in the chase thanks to depth.

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I think it's all based on the player/owner.

The likelihood of injury to a starter is very high (Cobb, S Jackson, Jones, Murray) so I'd rather have some depth that can still provide me production if a starter goes down. It's nice having the best lineup possible but you're pretty much screwed if a starter goes down and you have absolutely no replacement in terms of production.

CSB: Drafted Roddy before news of his injury surfaced at the beginning of the season. He's been useless all season. I just lost Cobb. Beyond them I have a bunch of WRs that most teams wouldn't even start. My season is basically over if I don't make the miraculous trade I just made a couple days ago. Depth could have avoided the situation.

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I try to acquire depth early in order to trade to upgrade my starting lineup around midseason. This season I've been hit unusually hard with injuries, so having that depth before has helped me stay in the chase (even if I no longer have great trade bait on my bench).

Long story short, I believe it's important to try and build as much depth as possible early on, especially at thin positions like RB & TE, bc not only can you trade it off later, but it covers your a** as well in the event of injuries.

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I try to acquire as many every week studs or difference makers as I can, then back myself to be able to work the waiver wire well enough to find good plug and plays.

E.g. in a keeper league I traded Andre Johnson, bernard pierce and a late pick next year for Dez (to the ray rice owner), which has paid huge dividends so far.

I'm also a believer in the philosophy that he who gets the best player almost always wins the trade.

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I try to acquire depth early in order to trade to upgrade my starting lineup around midseason. This season I've been hit unusually hard with injuries, so having that depth before has helped me stay in the chase (even if I no longer have great trade bait on my bench).

Long story short, I believe it's important to try and build as much depth as possible early on, especially at thin positions like RB & TE, bc not only can you trade it off later, but it covers your a** as well in the event of injuries.

My strategy as well. Focus on depth in the first weeks and then judge by your team's performance/injury status to justify those upgrade trades. I'm also really anal about Bye weeks, I try to have my backups figured out pretty long in advance and not have 2 guys on the same Bye which also limits my trade upgrade possibilities

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Through the first ~ 6 weeks, I am in complete depth-building mode. This includes draft formats that promote top-end line-up versus depth decisions (i.e., auctions). For example, last year when I did auctions I did not bid for any of the projected top 8-10 RBs, top 4 QBs, or top 5 WRs. These guys went in the 45-60 range in $200 budget auctions for 10-12 team leagues. Instead, I got a crazy deep team with high upside guys - if you compared them to snake draft format, essentially my team was filled with probably 8-10 guys in rounds 3-6, and the rest were the later round guys with high upside, and I could out-bid with ease since I didn't blow my load early on a top-end guy. If you are good at picking guys that go well ahead of their VBD, this strategy is killer. Even if you 'break even,' you'll have the depth to start wheeling sell-high/buy-low trades left and right once other teams go down with injuries. I always end up with a ton of RB depth and everyone overpays (e.g., last year, got Matty Ryan and Andre Johnson - upgraded my QB and WR1 position - in exchange for Sproles (#4 RB), Torrey Smith #3 WR, and Big Ben).

Now, around weeks 6-7, you pretty much know your team's relative strengths/weaknesses, and know which opponents are really hurting at position X and are interested in shaking things up. By week 10, things pretty much die, because often the best teams to target in trades are the ones that end up out of the fantasy playoff race by week 9-10. I start trading up to upgrade positions as much as possible. I prefer trading down to 3 RB, 3 WR, 1 QB, 1 TE depth; this gives you exactly one sure-fire bench guy that you feel comfortable plugging-in for the playoffs. AND gives you the most flexibility in case you get hit by injuries. If an RB goes down, you still have 2 to cover starting spots; same with WR. I see people trade down to only 2 rb or 2 wr, and build AMAZING starting lineups, but over weeks 8-16, one injury turns a fantasy championship team into a first round exit.

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ill give a example on why I agree with this post. I had tony gonzalez and Jordon Cameron as my tightends this week I had marqus colston on a bye and james jones injured and if he plays it will be on a limited basis. so since I can only start one tightend I traded Cameron and Jones for Anquan boldin and brent celek . this made my starters stronger and my bench weaker. I took the chance cause gonzalez had his bye already so I can start him the restof the year and imo made my receivers stronger by getting rid of a wr that is injured. I now have Brandon Marshal, Marques Colston, Greg Jennings, and Anquan Boldin as my wr's. I will end up dropping either Jennings or Boldin for Percy Harvin here shortly.

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I think that one thing that gets overlooked in acquiring depth is that even if it does not have a significant impact on your weekly point total, it can still take away from the point total of your opponents.

Better a guy blow up on your bench instead of someone else's starting lineup.

The week or two before playoffs, I like to trim my roster of any remaining prospects (scrubs) and stockpile a few good defensesive matchups.

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