Fantasy Football Draft Strategy, Tips & More: He Said, She Said
Welcome to “He Said, She Said” – a fantasy football column by Herald sports editor Bruce Castleberry and sports media producer Alexi Iafrato. Each week, we’ll talk about the alignment strategy, the best waiver feed choices, and more. This week’s column is entirely devoted to the draft. Read below for our jokes.
Are you ready for some fake football?
I think most of us are ready for any kind of football.
The 2020 season has been turned upside down on several levels. Put an asterisk next to it (a disappointment for those who may have won a “championship” under such circumstances).
So what do you need to do to win in 2021? We have ideas:
BEFORE CHRIST: Play the way you want. Members of the Herald League have been lobbying for PPR for a few years now. I resisted. I think it’s a gimmick that overestimates fringe players who end games with 5 catches for 31 yards. He’s not an impact player, but it’s 8 points. If an RB does 15 runs for 79 meters, it’s a horse. A horse with fewer points than player A. No. I play in a half point PPR league and just don’t like it.
Read the rules. The way in which the rating is established is a major concern. Most so-called “standard” leagues allow QBs 4 points for a TD pitch. Why? The QB is the most important position in football. Pat Mahomes is better than Daniel Jones. Don’t dilute Pat Mahomes. The BH league grants 6 points for a TD pass, as God intended.
Have negative points. Variables make the game interesting. A fumble or an INT is worth -2 points. Turnover is bad in real football and should be bad in fictional football.
IA: I have never been so happy to stop fantasizing about football. We’re back, baby.
(I’m not going to touch the PPR conversation. You know where I stand. Half PPR is the best option. Straight in the middle. Just enough rewards. Full or non-PPR are two extremes. Half is the lesser of two evils)
But steer clear of league rules – it’s not every day we call ourselves GM, so we’re here to help you call the right playoff draft day games.
So let’s talk – football.
My top tips to help you make the most of your time on the clock:
1. Make sure you rack up on skill positions before you reach the big name QB
2. Overload on the RB depth before filling the needs of the empty position slot
3. Do not sleep on the importance of the depth of the bench
So let me detail these three strategies:
N ° 1 – It seems like an obvious decision, but not always. My thought is not to waste your first rounds of draft capital on a position that will still have a lot of options available and viable in later rounds. I mean the point potential gap between QB to QB is significantly smaller than the gap between RB and WR. However, there are exceptions to the rule – like two quarterback leagues, non-PPR, etc. so what is your opinion on that?
BEFORE CHRIST: Strongly agree on the expectation of a QB, even in our league. Listen, even if you pick the last one in the first round and you’re tempted to make that or the 2nd round snake a QB – and, the only one you’d even consider is Mahomes – resist. Because if you take it with a position player it’s a long wait until you pick again, and unless you’re totally lucky the RB / WR pool of choice 30 goes to be thin.
IA: N ° 2 – The chances of finding a quality RB in later rounds are slim, not to mention the fact that they don’t patronize the waiver thread like other posts do. Having two studs in your starting XI won’t cut it. I think you need at least two more quality guys who could step up throughout the season as needed, especially with injury, weeks off, or just as a solid flex option. And if you’re talking about non-PPR (* cough cough * our Herald League) – this strategy is automatic. What would your strategy be here?
* Non-PPR leagues are rare, but they do exist. Our Fantastic League Herald is one such example and it makes Draft Day a little different. If you’re one of them, make sure your focus is on stacking running backs even more than you normally would. Being heavy on the RB game here is the strongest move you can make – WRs lose value without PPR. This is where the focus is.
BEFORE CHRIST: Actual quote from a columnist: “I’m not going to touch the PPR conversation.”
You deserve a rare experience, Lexi. Happy to contribute. PPR is football’s DH: Artificial. Incomplete. Never.
But I’m okay with loading the RBs and one way to do that is to make sure and grab a handcuff. Do you have Dalvin Cook? Get Alexander Mattison in a late round. But don’t handcuff all of your RBs, because of the weeks off. As the season progresses, the guys will get injured, be benched or be discovered. These guys uncovered can save you time.
IA: N ° 3 – BDM. The depth of the bench is important. Your starting roster will get you through the regular season, but the depth of skill positions is what will help you take it to the next level. Your flexibility when swapping bench warmers in starting roles is crucial to the overall success of your team. Think about injuries, weeks off, or other factors that will require changes to your starting list from week to week as you write. Is this an area you focus on or are you a frequent traveler to the waiver thread?
BEFORE CHRIST: Churn that list. People who consistently paint the pool of free agents tend to have better teams. I’m making some plug-and-play guys who will be in the lineup every week, who will have a handful of key saves, and then the last slots are Flavor of the Week.
Another thought on depth: It was the great Dave Renbarger of my days Dallas Morning News who polled his list and pointed out “Having 8 mediocre receivers is no better than having 6 mediocre receivers.” Don’t wait guys. I admit to having drafted guys who had big training camps then became the No. 4 offshore who ended the year with 26 catches for 220 yards and 1 TD. It’s only 1 TD more than we will score this year. Past. Prefers to have a 3rd QB to play defense and keep away from a competitor.
A key rule of the day for the Gold Draft for me is this: your last two picks have to be a D / ST and a K. Always. It’s easier to stream them weekly based on favorable matches than it is to rely on consistent numbers. To some extent, they are still the same at the end of the year. A little bullshit. However, when you write them down, think about a few things… for a K, I like guys who play inside. I don’t care how good a K is, if the snow is blowing sideways in January, I would rather have my K in Arizona than in Green Bay.
For D / ST… the 2020 Dallas Cowboys had a game where they allowed just 7 points. So even a terrible D can have a decent day. There will be free D / ST agents available. Note: if you are in a league where your opponents have more than one D / ST or K on their roster, you are a shame if you don’t finish in front of those people.
A question for you: which is the flight that will make you look smarter than everyone else?
Don’t say Jameis.
Even though it could be Jameis.
IA: I’m not going to say Jameis, don’t worry there. My smart flight is my secret. Come on, we are in competition. A valiant effort though – I admire the commotion.
Everyone stays tuned for the results of our Herald League Draft – and our Week 1 debut and practice edition of “He Said, She Said.”