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Jayded

Draft lessons learned

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Now well into the season, it's an appropriate time to consider mistakes made during your fantasy draft as there is enough evidence to see where you went wrong.

I figured it'd be a good discussion to air broadly so we can collectively help each other as to where we went wrong.

Don't focus just on specific players or we'll have the same bust(s) repeated over and over. I'm curious where others missed opportunities? Not just who did you pick, but why did you pick that player then vs. another option that has actually panned out?

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Never take a player that is already injured

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Just now, Wrigley said:

Never take a player that is already injured

i hope this isn't taken too lightly, cause it's an excellent advice despite it appearing to be an obvious quip.

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Just now, Pigskin Fanatic said:

i hope this isn't taken too lightly, cause it's an excellent advice despite it appearing to be an obvious quip.

AJ Green says hi

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2 minutes ago, Wrigley said:

Never take a player that is already injured

I've been carrying AJ Green on my bench since week 1 free agency. You get attached to someone who you think can be a league-breaker, if only they just come back. This hits home to me.

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3 minutes ago, Pigskin Fanatic said:

i was supporting the message. :thumbup:

I know, I'm just salty

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History is a great tool to base decisions on and regression is a real thing. For example, teams that scored 500+ points the previous season almost always have drop offs the following season for any number or reasons (KC, NO, LAR) and people will expect the same level of production. Those teams are on pace for 448, 390, and 428 points scored this season. A lot of that is due to injuries, but that's one of the reasons why things don't often repeat themselves.

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14 minutes ago, Wrigley said:

Never take a player that is already injured

And...you can end the thread now.¬†ūüėā

Add never rely on Josh Gordon for any reason and Robby Anderson will lose your league for you single handedly.

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Stay away from RB's on the Patriots

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47 minutes ago, Wrigley said:

Never take a player that is already injured

Getting a lot of support here based on a few anecdotes this year. The blanket statement doesnt consider the whole picture. Sometimes players actually heal. I traded for Saquon, Hunter Henry, and Brees after they got hurt, discounts obviously. So far has worked out pretty well for me. It doesn't always work but the risk lowers the price which provides an opportunity. It can work out very well.

Edited by cloppbeast

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4 hours ago, cloppbeast said:

Getting a lot of support here based on a few anecdotes this year. The blanket statement doesnt consider the whole picture. Sometimes players actually heal. I traded for Saquon, Hunter Henry, and Brees after they got hurt, discounts obviously. So far has worked out pretty well for me. It doesn't always work but the risk lowers the price which provides an opportunity. It can work out very well.

Those are sweet buy lows for you.  Nice work. 

I took the comment to mean in the startup draft when other owners will surely draft a player like AJ Green well before he should be taken.  Everyone always has rose colored glasses on in startups. 

You could also say never pay full price for a player who is threatening to hold out to begin the season. 

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Joe Mixon and David Johnson is not a good backfield ūüė≥

Avoid running backs on dog crap teams.

Edited by NoCheese
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Don't draft players on teams that you wouldn't want to watch.   If you have players from the Jets and Bengals, you'll have to watch Jets and Bengals games.  Why would you want to do that to yourself?

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I passed on Eckler to take Duke Johnson. I bought into the fact he was traded for a third round pick and would be a big part of this offense. The mistake is taking a pass catching back on a team with a running QB. 

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Don't be afraid to take the guy you want even if the perception is that you took him "too early". There is no value to not landing the players you want because you waited and got scooped before your next pick.

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Always take a shot (if you have the space) on a rookie QB projected to start...especially a mobile one. Potential¬†outweighs the ‚Äúwaste‚ÄĚ of bench spot.

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The good: targeted Cook, Evans, Golladay, Metcalf, and Kittle all above their ADP.  

The bad: waited on QB. Cam, Trubisky, and even Foles. The worst pick by far was Cam based on players that could have been drafted instead. 

The better: traded early on for Stafford and Winston

 

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7 hours ago, Anarchy99 said:

History is a great tool to base decisions on and regression is a real thing. For example, teams that scored 500+ points the previous season almost always have drop offs the following season for any number or reasons (KC, NO, LAR) and people will expect the same level of production. Those teams are on pace for 448, 390, and 428 points scored this season. A lot of that is due to injuries, but that's one of the reasons why things don't often repeat themselves.

To go with the reverse of this, I nominate the Patriots D as the second half of the season candidate for not repeating the first half of the season, just based on strength of schedule alone. But what an amazing first 8 games it was. 

Edited by TwinTurbo

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- The first 2-3 rounds are where you want certainty with your players... don't pick guys with injury concerns, holdouts (Bell a few years ago, AB this year) or uncertain roles (Juju) early, because if it goes south you lost a pick in the first 3 rounds and it's SO HARD to overcome that.

- If you go QB in the first round you better go RB-RB next two. It's hard to get a real good RB late and if you went ZeroRB the targets in the 4th-5th rounds haven't done great. The funny thing is there have been a lot of RBs emerge in FA this season, you just had to pick the right one (sorry Ty Johnson owners). It's much easier to pick up a WR who could have Top 20 production at his position on waivers than it is a RB.

Edited by The Frankman

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Timing matters but maybe go ahead and take the RB who "might" hold out.

I had the 4th pick, after Barkley, McCaffrey, and kamara were taken. I wanted Zeke but after Bell sat out all year I was concerned that Zeke might and he hadn't signed when we drafted. Took David Johnson instead.  

Followed that up with Freeman in the 2nd, Antonio Brown in the 3rd (surely he can't be that bad despite having a lesser QB). Brown hadn't lost his #### yet. 

Waiting on QB was the right choice, Dak has been solid. But the season was lost quickly.

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RBs are still king.

Pepper the middle/late rounds w attractive RBs that appear to be a good value.  Typically more value than that WR 4/5 or TE 2 your app says to grab. 

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Be wary of the 1st round pick with an early bye week. It will put you at an immediate disadvantage against a divisional opponent when that player sits.

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I would warn people about taking too much stock into the results of this season. In such a short season, there is too much variance. 

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Also not sure if this is a draft thing as much as a general observation.

I feel like the season can really be divided into 3 parts.

1st 3rd - what players have outperformed their ADP and a couple early FA opportunities.

2nd 3rd - with all the bye weeks whomever has built the best benches have the advantage.

last 3rd - it starts to get really random. Having a healthy lineup and if a team can acquire those late season free agents that come out of nowhere and can win the league. 

Bottom line: the team you draft ain’t the team you’re ending up with

Edited by Max55

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18 hours ago, Wrigley said:

AJ Green says hi

I took green in 7th round and still holding.

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stick to DGP theory

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First big lesson I learned: Pay attention to new head coaches. All too often they can say what they want about tailoring to talent but they far too often slip back into old habits. (Ex. Bruce Arians doesn’t throw to TEs)

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Related to my first lesson: be wary of runs with respect to how you play. 

I like a strong TE and almost always try to grab a top 3 TE (usually the guy with Gates, Gronk, Kelce, etc.)

This year a top TE run happened before I could grab one so I found myself reaching within the next tier instead of going value at that point. (Went OJ Howard over Hilton, Cupp, Murray, etc.)

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3 hours ago, Max55 said:

RBs are still king.

Pepper the middle/late rounds w attractive RBs that appear to be a good value.  Typically more value than that WR 4/5 or TE 2 your app says to grab. 

This.   Three good RBs are a must in my league and probably most other leagues.   I feel like try to get three during every draft, but  always find myself trying to find that third RB all season.   

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A lot of people are saying to not draft RB from bad teams, or do not draft WR with bad QB.

Well at the beginning of the season did you know who the bad teams and QB were?

Baker Mayfield was being drafted as a top 12 QB this season. He had a great rookie season. He was expected to improve on that not regress. 

It seems like too much hindsight to actually be actionable next season.

For all we know the Browns improve their offensive line and Mayfield plays great next season. So avoiding good WR paired with him could be a lesson learned this year to only need to be unlearned again next year.

RB have had good seasons on bad teams plenty of times before.

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13 hours ago, Mongidig said:

I passed on Eckler to take Duke Johnson. I bought into the fact he was traded for a third round pick and would be a big part of this offense. The mistake is taking a pass catching back on a team with a running QB. 

you are not alone on this one.

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ALL players have value and are therefore draftable - there are NO absolutes.

Examine what happened LAST year and assume your league-mates will over-react: thanks Leveon for giving me Melvin in the 8th round!

Play it safe in the first 25 or so picks.

Focus on getting at 2-3 young, talented WRs in the 4th-10th rounds (Godwin, Golladay, Kupp, Chark, Sutton)

Take 2+ gambles (that could pay off big) in the mid to late rounds: AJ Green, Singletary, Sanders, Mattison, Edmunds, and don't complain when the hit rate is low as that is the nature of gambling!

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13 hours ago, Chaka said:

Don't be afraid to take the guy you want even if the perception is that you took him "too early". There is no value to not landing the players you want because you waited and got scooped before your next pick.

was a thread before the season "D. Cook with the 5th pick".  If you like your guy get him.

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1 hour ago, irishidiot said:

was a thread before the season "D. Cook with the 5th pick".  If you like your guy get him.

That's exactly the thread I was thinking about.

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It's OK to forgo name brand value and projected rank at RB for guys you think will have solid, steady volume without competition.

In a 14 team RB focused league, went WR in RD 1 from a late round slot after the big 4 (CMC, Zeke, Kamara, Barkley) were gone. Guys up next were RBs that were projected highly by all, nearly all were really talked up as 1st round no-brainers, but I really had questions about them -- DJ, Conner, Bell, Gurley, Fournette, and Mixon. Thought it was too high in RD1 to reach for a Chubb or Cook and though one might fall to me coming back in RD2.

Unfortunately Chubb or Cook did not fall (Cook taken in pick right before mine in RD2) so was eyeing two RBs that I knew were the centerpieces of their offensive running game, didn't think they had competition for carries given what I saw from their benches and usage last year:

Derrick Henry

Chris Carson

I thought that either could easily be a Top 10 RB if their usage remained. Got em both. Was laughed at pretty soundly for trotting these guys out as my RB1 and RB2.

Meanwhile, they are BOTH Top 10 backs.

Lesson: Sometimes with RBs a dependable role with high volume and little competition is worth more than sexier consensus pick where you might have lingering doubts about usage of these other backs, how the offense might fare around them with new personnel, coaches, etc.

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Hopefully already mentioned, but you are almost always better off filling your bench with rbs vs other positions.  Good luck finding one now.

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14 minutes ago, streamkeeper said:

Never draft a Cleveland Brown.

Or a lion rb. Unless his name is Barry Sanders.

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8 hours ago, Max55 said:

Also not sure if this is a draft thing as much as a general observation.

I feel like the season can really be divided into 3 parts.

1st 3rd - what players have outperformed their ADP and a couple early FA opportunities.

2nd 3rd - with all the bye weeks whomever has built the best benches have the advantage.

last 3rd - it starts to get really random. Having a healthy lineup and if a team can acquire those late season free agents that come out of nowhere and can win the league. 

Bottom line: the team you draft ain’t the team you’re ending up with

Two additional points that I feel are similar in sentiment:

- Kicker is a weird position, but I often target kickers on teams with just OK offenses. They’ll have plenty of FG chances. Usually let’s me guess a top 5-7 guy without reaching for Tucker or Gostkowski

- Either draft or stockpile players from fringe playoff teams as that becomes more clear. Those teams will be in the dogfight in your 3rd part of the season and not rest their key pieces. Similar to kickers, I want good teams but not great teams that clinch too early (Ex. Cowboys, Eagles, Packers, Vikings, Texans, Colts, etc.).
 

We probably should have collectively been higher on players like Cook vs Bell or David Johnson as the Vikings had a much better preseason shot at being in the fight than the Cards or Jets

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57 minutes ago, Leroy Hoard said:

Hopefully already mentioned, but you are almost always better off filling your bench with rbs vs other positions.  Good luck finding one now.

I think you're correct here just based on free agent availability. But this has to do with people holding on to the old ways. The high number of pass attempts, commitee situations, and a ppr takeover have only lessened the value of rbs. The top guys bring even more advantage now; but rb2 guys and worse have only gone down in value over the years while somehow their price remains the same. Its sort of weird really.

Edited by cloppbeast

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9 minutes ago, Jayded said:

Two additional points that I feel are similar in sentiment:

- Kicker is a weird position, but I often target kickers on teams with just OK offenses. They’ll have plenty of FG chances. Usually let’s me guess a top 5-7 guy without reaching for Tucker or Gostkowski

- Either draft or stockpile players from fringe playoff teams as that becomes more clear. Those teams will be in the dogfight in your 3rd part of the season and not rest their key pieces. Similar to kickers, I want good teams but not great teams that clinch too early (Ex. Cowboys, Eagles, Packers, Vikings, Texans, Colts, etc.).
 

We probably should have collectively been higher on players like Cook vs Bell or David Johnson as the Vikings had a much better preseason shot at being in the fight than the Cards or Jets

Many of us WERE high on Cook.  Indeed, I think EVERYONE recognized the talent.  It was simply that some people wrongly believe that "injury prone" is a real thing.  And maybe it is (see Fuller, Will) but I don't think it is NEARLY as predominant as many others do.

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1 minute ago, cloppbeast said:

I think you're correct here just based on free agent availability. But this has to do with people holding on to the old ways. The high number of pass attempts, commitee situations, and a ppr takeover have only lessened the value of rbs. The top guys bring even more advantage now, but rb2 guys and worse have only gone down in value over the years while their price remains the same. Its sort of weird really.

True, but availability still is a concern. It seems like there is always a wr out there but in my league most rb options are harder to come by.

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Stay true to your draft board.  I had some really good draft spots in my 6 redraft leagues. In the order they were drafted, I had #2(PPR), #4(Standard), #5(PPR), #8(Standard), #1(PPR) and #1(PPR).  In my first two drafts, I got McCaffrey as my first pick.  

So, in my 5th draft with the #1 pick, I took Barkley to change it up.  I'm 3-6 and need to win out to make the playoffs.  Its my only redraft team where I'm likely to miss the playoffs.  Had I taken McCaffrey, I'd be 6-3.

With my last #1, I changed up again and took Kamara.  I'm currently 7-2 and the #1 seed, so it hasn't hurt in that regard, as I would have likely had the same record with McCaffrey, but I'd gladly swap Kamara for McCaffrey right now.

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