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My father invited me to his Fantasy Football League to fill a team spot (Yahoo - 10 Team League). I have legit "0" experience in Fantasy Football, but have at least some knowledge of actual football. My father believes that my experience/success in Fantasy Basketball will help me transition into being competitive in his league (I beg to differ, but okay.)

The basic question is, how do I go about drafting?

  • From the minimal research I've done in regards to Football, it seems like Running Backs are highly sought after early in drafts. WR seem to be in the same category, however even the stud WR seem to be drafted after a RB of the same caliber.
  • QB's seem to vary between mid round and later. However, would you prioritize a QB like say Maholmes or similar caliber QB over a WR or RB?
  • High value fantasy TE's "seem" to be relatively sparse in the NFL. Would taking a high profile name early be a boon or bust scenario?
  • Kickers and Defenses should be listed as streaming spots and should be valued the least.

 

The basic premise I keep seeing in priority is: RB / WR / QB / TE / K / D. Filling late round roster spots seems to be more of an injury net for your typical starters.

 

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Go RB early (I usually go RB RB first 2 rounds) 

Wait on QB until later rounds.

 

Do you know if this league is standard or PPR? The difference is getting points for each reception (PPR - points per reception)

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Always go QB super early get two of those elite ones! Next target the RB's & TE's you can wait till the much later rounds for WR's it's very deep plenty of options. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, TheVladeFather said:

The basic premise I keep seeing in priority is: RB / WR / QB / TE / K / D. Filling late round roster spots seems to be more of an injury net for your typical starters.

You're not entirely wrong, but it's a little dogmatic. Let me explain.

First, let's say it really makes a difference how many teams you have (you have 10, good), and what format you play:
- "standard" counts yards and TDs for both RBs and WRs. This values top RBs generally higher than WRs
- PPR is point per reception, and this aims to make top WRs as valuable as RBs. However, the receptions also count for RBs, so pass catching RBs (eg Kamara) also profit massively from this)
- in order to counter the overvaluing of PPR a bit, many leagues now have .5 PPR as standard.
There can also be custom formats, so put some effort into figuring that out.

Now, draft values. If you plot the ADP before the season against the actual production during the season, you see something like this:
image.png.668d7518f29170f53277adf6e9e2ca9d.png 
Yeah, ok, that's a mess. But we can simplify it a bit, by separating it into three groups. In order to do that and to include all the images I want to include, I will split this post into a couple.

Group 1: RB/WR/TE
- I start with the Top WRs, even though you can see that the top RBs score slightly higher. WRs are generally safe to draft at the position where you get them in the sense that the ADP is generally a fairly good predictor for performance. Importantly, don’t get stuck with only lower round WRs.
image.png.13366c0737b506fbdd4d28d490def7f6.png
 
 

Edited by Boudewijn
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Posted (edited)

- Top RBs however score more points than WRs. This is more or less consistent every year; therefore, the top-5 draft picks are generally RBs. However, some top RB picks actually bomb big time; they get injured early, or never sign their contract, or their O-line collapses, or whatever.
image.png.59566a9a4749034d9f594103ec9138ce.png
- TEs generally score less than WRs and RBs, except for a very select group at the top
image.png.f6d58058f773bc8601cc7546bab9b02e.png 
However, if you look closely at the group after pick 100, you see that some of these TEs performed much better than expected. In short, ADP is the most reliable for WRs and top RB/TEs; for lower RBs/TEs, not so much. Use your football knowledge.

In order to compensate for injuries/ bombing/bye weeks, you need to over draft these three positions (RB/WR/TE), you will need especially WR and RB. Bye weeks play a role in this; I would advise however not to pay too much attention to the actual bye weeks because you’re going to restructure your team generally many times before hitting the bye weeks. Just to know that if you have 2 RB positions, it doesn’t hurt to draft 5 or more. This is also why it's important how many teams you have; in a 14-teamer there is a lot less value in certain positions towards the end of the draft, your 10-team is safer.

I’m not going to tell you an exact strategy (there is no one strategy), but personally I like to mix it up; get one WR and RB early, and keep drafting them throughout the other positions.

Edited by Boudewijn
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Posted (edited)

Group 2: QBs:
image.png.4a9fa2237743b03d0f3e726c1687a78d.png
What you see here is that there is a large group of QBs that have similar performance by the end of the year. Don’t get me wrong, having a QB who scores 5 points more on a weekly basis is actually a large advantage (Mahomes got a lot of people into the playoffs) but it’s not easy to predict who will be the top dog. Therefore, some people try to get a QB early, and others in fact wait until pick 100 or later, even though these are the highest scoring positions. 

Group 3: K/Def
image.png.c798a15fd3e8939d2b73bfc8028480bf.png 
These are positions that are worth it to manage throughout the season, because during the season you will find that some Ds and Ks are a lot more valuable than others; however, they are almost impossible to predict before the season, so people generally pick them late, or not at all (even post draft you can generally still pick one up). Some people will draft even a backup D or K for bye weeks, but again you can always pick one up during the season.

Weirdly enough you see Ds are drafted earlier than Ks, even though there is more variance and predictability for Ks. If you want to put some effort into drafting either of them, the kickers generally have some year over year consistency; guys like Zuerlein, Tucker etc do have a little more value. 

Hope that helps 😊

Edited by Boudewijn
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, TheVladeFather said:
  • From the minimal research I've done in regards to Football, it seems like Running Backs are highly sought after early in drafts.
  • WR seem to be in the same category, however even the stud WR seem to be drafted after a RB of the same caliber.
  • QB's seem to vary between mid round and later. However, would you prioritize a QB like say Maholmes or similar caliber QB over a WR or RB?
  • High value fantasy TE's "seem" to be relatively sparse in the NFL. Would taking a high profile name early be a boon or bust scenario?
  • Kickers and Defenses should be listed as streaming spots and should be valued the least.

I was quick to post my charts above, missing that you gave a great summary yourself.

So let's go into these:

  • From the minimal research I've done in regards to Football, it seems like Running Backs are highly sought after early in drafts.
    Yes. The top-5 are relatively safe bets early on; however, there is quite a drop-off in terms of reliability. On the other hand, even low-pick RBs can still have considerable value if you are lucky (or presumably an infallible drafter). Some people even go zero-RB, meaning they don't start drafting RBs until later rounds (but then draft a large number of them).
     
  • WR seem to be in the same category, however even the stud WR seem to be drafted after a RB of the same caliber.
    Correct again. This is due to the production of the top WRs, which in most formats is somewhat below RBs. Late round WRs are generally more boom/bust in individual games, or may take a long time to get into a productive streak.
     
  • QB's seem to vary between mid round and later. However, would you prioritize a QB like say Maholmes or similar caliber QB over a WR or RB?
    Again good observation. You can see from what I posted above that drafting a stud QB doesn't necessarily pay off, although each year people of course try. Last year it was Rodgers and Watson, this year it will be Mahomes and maybe Ryan or Big Ben.
     
  • High value fantasy TE's "seem" to be relatively sparse in the NFL. Would taking a high profile name early be a boom or bust scenario?
    Yes, in my mind that is a good summary. Each year there a couple that rise to the top, but not always the same. Gronk was obviously great for a number of years, but not in 2018; Olsen was great but not after 2016, etc.
     
  • Kickers and Defenses should be listed as streaming spots and should be valued the least.
    If you read above, you will see I generally pick my Kicker before my Defense; both I evaluate throughout the season. Actual streaming can be hard as it's not easy to predict these 2, but let's say you can be flexible.

 

Regarding streaming, some people stream QBs and TEs. In your 10-teamer that might work; in larger leagues it's a bigger risk, but if you are into that, it is a point worth thinking about.

Edited by Boudewijn

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Posted (edited)

Drafting is an organic process. Most times any plan coming in will change as players get drafted in between your picks.

My league commissioner prints out ESPN rankings with the top 300 overall, and then top player positions on the back. I don't stick to the order of the rankings, but I use it as a guide. The time between your picks can be brutal.

I usually don't draft QB's until round 6. The value of Running Backs and Wide Receivers is greater early on. You'll find as the season progresses, the free agent waiver wire becomes a wasteland for starting RBs. Last year I had the 8th pick out of 10. I went with DeAndre Hopkins, the 2nd Wide Receiver off the board because most 1st round Running Backs were already gone (Gurley, Bell😂, Elliot, Barkley, Kamara, D Johnson). Then I went Cook (bust), and then Tyreek Hill after what seemed like an hour of the pick coming back to me in the 3rd round.

Mahomes will probably go in the 3rd round, but I can see some leagues him going in the 2nd. And that's too early for me. QB's like him you can definitely predict when they'll go off the board. I'd rather take someone like Mayfield late.

Your goal is to pick the most valuable player at the current pick that you're on. But I think you're in a good position at being new to all of this; don't think too much.

Edited by dropshadows

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On 5/9/2019 at 6:38 PM, bhawks489 said:

Go RB early (I usually go RB RB first 2 rounds) 

Wait on QB until later rounds.

 

Do you know if this league is standard or PPR? The difference is getting points for each reception (PPR - points per reception)

 

What he said. Though in a 10 team league, getting Kelce and a leg up at TE is a good idea as well imo.

 

Also draft a kicker and Defense last.

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