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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fantasy Football Strategy

OK, so I've heard talk every year about Fantasy Football Strategies.

So I did a quick look at a couple sites based on a very generic Fantasy Football Strategy search, and this is what I found.


I got the following articles on advice:

- Knowing About Bye Weeks Can Only Hurt You- June 12, 2009
- Importance of December Weather- June 10, 2009
- Don't Worry About 2009 Strength of Schedule- June 8, 2009
- Forget About Brees, Brady and Manning- June 6, 2009
- Crabtree: Not Such a Steal in Fantasy Drafts - June 4, 2009
- Moreno: Only Undervalued Rookie RB - June 2, 2009
- Breakout Wide Receivers - May 29, 2009
- Breakout Running Backs - May 27, 2009
- Draft Talent, Not Consistency - May 24, 2009
- Be Wary of Value Based Drafting (must read) - May 22,

So, here we have articles about Bye Weeks, Weather, QB's, Rookies, and looking for breakout players... (more on that one later)

I actually have wondered about the bye week thing in the past. Theory being that if you have 4 or 5 players with the same bye week you are screwed. Well, only for that week. Statistically though, they point out that this does not matter.

The weather strategy I actually found interesting only because I had not thought about it much. But statistically it does affect what players and teams will do well in certain types of weather. You know, if it is being played in really rainy, cold, snowy weather; the run will be called more often than the pass.

The do not draft a QB strategy first strategy is one I actually tend to follow. Theory, 2 quality RB's and or WR, and or combination thereof's, is more valuable than one QB. Statistically this works. The only time I might even consider the 1 QB path is if I felt all the good RB's and WR were gone and I had the last pick of the first round. But, generally I do not go with the 1 QB strategy.

Rookies and Breakout players. Well, Mr. Peterson effectively ruined this strategy for many of us. Now most people are eyeing rookie RB's. I was incredibly fortunate to draft him in the 5th round when he was a rookie. Also, people who are in the last year of their contracts and will become free agents, have all the reason in the world to WOW the world, team owners and their agents. So are rookies and breakout players worth a look? Absolutely, but not in the first rounds.

Then From:

I found more articles of the same, but they actually had a good listing of who all these "breakout" contract year players. Pretty neat.

The only thing about this is that chances are if these breakout players do not have a quality line or people to support them; it makes it infinitely more difficult to actually have a breakout year. These people who fail to excel in their breakout year run the risk of being cut, so I would watch next year to see where they go. If they end up in a better organization or system, then they will probably have their breakout year.

I also found a really good article on playing the waiver wire. Here you look for opportunity. Opportunity for a player to excel because another (starter) has gotten benched, injured, or on bye week.

But perhaps the most important advise, strategy, that I found so far was this:

Know the Rules!

- Are you in an IDP or defensive league?
- Are QB's overly penalized or rewarded point/yardage/touchdown wise?
- Are RB's overly penalized or rewarded point/yardage/touchdown wise?
- Are there points for return yards/touchdowns?
- Are there points for interceptions, fumbles, tackles, completions, attempts...

The list goes on and on.

Just like there are people who will overlook rookies and potential breakout players, there are people who will overlook reading the rules.

And, I will throw out one more strategy that I use. It is by no means totally accurate and like the others is sometimes difficult to judge, but it also something to keep in mind as the year progresses and you use the waiver wire.

And this theory/strategy is: Looking for players on teams who will be fighting to make the playoffs.

Here is why. When is the Fantasy league playoffs and championship? Usually during the last 3 - 4 weeks of the season. Teams with locks on the playoffs, or top spots, often will "coast" into the postseason so as not to risk injury to key players. Where as teams that are fighting to make the playoffs or get one up on a rival team will be playing all out to win and score points.

So, there you have it.

From me - Mr. FumbledReturns

- Know the Rules
- Don't put all your eggs in one basket
- Look for opportunity
- Keep an eye on the end game

And most importantly - Have Fun!


Gimpdiggity June 16, 2009 at 9:11 PM  

This is why I let the system do an autodraft for me. I put too much thought and effort into it. I just let the computer do it for me, and it's worked out in a championship in at least one of my four leagues for four years straight now...or maybe three out of four...but either way it's been working out pretty well.

Doug June 16, 2009 at 10:21 PM  

I've actually known folks who did not pre-rank their players, did not do any waiver transfers, even one who didn't even bother to log in for the entire season; and still end up with winning records. But no championships.

I've found it's more how you manage the season that matters.

Sam June 16, 2009 at 11:30 PM  

You are right, Doug. I've played fantasy football for 20 seasons and I have found that the draft is not nearly as important as many "gurus" say it is. It is a really fun night -- one of the best nights of the year as far as I'm concerned! -- but it really comes down to paying attention during the season, making smart waiver wire moves, making decent trades (if you can) and taking advantage of good match ups each week. If you draft well, but don't continue to improve your team as the season progresses, chances are you won't go far.

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