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The stages of off-season information (1 Viewer)

Snorkelson

Footballguy
There are some distinct stages of off-season information that a savvy dynasty player should understand. 
1. The lead up to the start of the league year.

Leading up to the beginning of the year is important to leverage. Potential free agents, cap casualties, etc can change the makeup of nfl rosters, launching previous backups into relevance (chase edwards) or offering a discounted trade price (Aaron Jones) because of landing spot uncertainty. You can also overpay (aj dillon) for players during this time. News during this time is often reliable- so and so will likely be cut for cap space, team wants to resign player, etc. This is a good time to sell someone who maybe had a great playoff run but has otherwise been pedestrian. Also the time to try to buy rookie picks, as they will be more costly in the draft lead up/post draft period. 

2. The lead up to the draft.

DO NOT LISTEN to news during this time other than player evaluations. There’s a dead news period, so you get stories like “russel Wilson to be traded.” You can possibly leverage that news by buying someone like Lockett low, but news at this time is garbage most of the time. Mac Jones to SF was being built into fantasy values; it was a done deal, they went to his pro day! Take anything you hear in the lead up to the draft with a salt block. Still some time to move up or get rookie picks.

3. Post draft/June 1 cuts.

The time when you’re doing your rookie drafts; there’s information on depth charts but it’s speculation. Most active time for trading in pretty much every league. Rookie picks skyrocket. Trying to figure out skill positions that will open up room for a young player is the most important thing otherwise. Maybe you get russel gage as a throw in, or maybe you make a cheap offer on kmet or crowder in hopes they have a better situation by training camp.

First waiver periods in leagues, use your ww dollars for players who slipped through, or save them all for one big bid during preseason. 

The other info that comes out during this period is stuff like “Etienne/d. Evans taking snaps at wr” which influences the value of the wrs (shenault) but also “Titans to use Henry in the passing game more” so it’s more speculation really, but offers a buy/sell window sometimes. 

4. OTAs

PAY ATTENTION to the steady drumbeat. If every ota article talks about a young player who looks fantastic, they may just break out. 
IGNORE the hope peddlers. How can you tell the difference?

I look for a steady stream of good news- shenault looks great with no pads, if he continues to have good news through camp I’m real excited. Bryan Edwards posted a picture, and it’s “wr1!!!!” 
Coaches statements are hard to discern here- sometimes they seem down on a player as a motivational tactic, sometimes they talk up a role they have in mind. 
per @tangfoot: There are lots of positive stories that sound nice but aren’t actionable; player in best shape of his life, early draft pick looks good- the hope peddlers. Note these stories and look for that consistent good news. Pay closer attention to the negative stories, like “player had 3 drops” “rookie qb had 3 picks in red zone drills” “was working with trainers on the sideline.” 

Beware the speed merchant in the news before players are wearing pads.

5. Preseason

The cards are on the table somewhat. You can somewhat figure out how players will be used. People have their teams pretty much set. Last round of veteran roster cut downs (fournette/Robinson). Personally, in leagues with decent sized rosters, I’ll pick up any starting qb during off-season waivers and try to flip them for a late rd pick when a qb goes down, which happens a lot in preseason/early season. Need to be quick about it though- get that offer out there ASAP, owners will take that guy just so they aren’t over a barrel while they negotiate for a new starter. 

Last chance to use off-season faab money.

5. Week 1

Really no information to glean from, but it’s worth mentioning that week 1 can be the most valuable FA week. 
 

6. via @Biabreakable

Week 4 regular season/trade deadline

With 4 weeks of data to draw from, now is the time to look at usage and make trades to turn your season around or take your winning team to the next level (redraft). Bia expounds on those below in the replies with specific examples. 
 

Also take note of the nfl trade deadline, where stuff actually happens now as opposed to when it was week 6 and trades were rare. Leverage that information to look for cheap guys who might find an opportunity or veterans who might find themselves playing for a playoff run, or guys who might benefit from a qb change.
 

When you want to move on from a player, or want to acquire one, reading the off-season tea leaves and pouncing at the right time can bring TONS of value, or it can cost you dearly. 

 
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Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
There are some distinct stages of off-season information that a savvy dynasty player should understand. 
1. The lead up to the start of the league year.

Leading up to the beginning of the year is important to leverage. Potential free agents, cap casualties, etc can change the makeup of nfl rosters, launching previous backups into relevance (chase edwards) or offering a discounted trade price (Aaron Jones) because of landing spot uncertainty. You can also overpay (aj dillon) for players during this time. News during this time is often reliable- so and so will likely be cut for cap space, team wants to resign player, etc. This is a good time to sell someone who maybe had a great playoff run but has otherwise been pedestrian. Also the time to try to buy rookie picks, as they will be more costly in the draft lead up/post draft period. 

2. The lead up to the draft.

DO NOT LISTEN to news during this time other than player evaluations. There’s a dead news period, so you get stories like “russel Wilson to be traded.” You can possibly leverage that news by buying someone like Lockett low, but news at this time is garbage most of the time. Mac Jones to SF was being built into fantasy values; it was a done deal, they went to his pro day! Take anything you hear in the lead up to the draft with a salt block. Still some time to move up or get rookie picks.

3. Post draft/June 1 cuts.

The time when you’re doing your rookie drafts; there’s information on depth charts but it’s speculation. Most active time for trading in pretty much every league. Rookie picks skyrocket. Trying to figure out skill positions that will open up room for a young player is the most important thing otherwise. Maybe you get russel gage as a throw in, or maybe you make a cheap offer on kmet or crowder in hopes they have a better situation by training camp.

First waiver periods in leagues, use your ww dollars for players who slipped through, or save them all for one big bid during preseason. 

The other info that comes out during this period is stuff like “Etienne/d. Evans taking snaps at wr” which influences the value of the wrs (shenault) but also “Titans to use Henry in the passing game more” so it’s more speculation really, but offers a buy/sell window sometimes. 

4. OTAs

PAY ATTENTION to the steady drumbeat. If every ota article talks about a young player who looks fantastic, they may just break out. 
IGNORE the hope peddlers. How can you tell the difference?

I look for a steady stream of good news- shenault looks great with no pads, if he continues to have good news through camp I’m real excited. Bryan Edwards posted a picture, and it’s “wr1!!!!” 
Coaches statements are hard to discern here- sometimes they seem down on a player as a motivational tactic, sometimes they talk up a role they have in mind. 
Beware the speed merchant in the news before players are wearing pads.

5. Preseason

The cards are on the table somewhat. You can somewhat figure out how players will be used. People have their teams pretty much set. Last round of veteran roster cut downs (fournette/Robinson). Personally, in leagues with decent sized rosters, I’ll pick up any starting qb during off-season waivers and try to flip them for a late rd pick when a qb goes down, which happens a lot in preseason/early season. Need to be quick about it though- get that offer out there ASAP, owners will take that guy just so they aren’t over a barrel while they negotiate for a new starter. 

Last chance to use off-season faab money.

5. Week 1

Really no information to glean from, but it’s worth mentioning that week 1 can be the most valuable FA week. 
 

When you want to move on from a player, or want to acquire one, reading the off-season tea leaves and pouncing at the right time can bring TONS of value, or it can cost you dearly. 
Love this. It's very much in line with how we think of our content in the Premium Subscription content flow in what we provide. 

 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
5. Preseason

The cards are on the table somewhat. You can somewhat figure out how players will be used. People have their teams pretty much set. Last round of veteran roster cut downs (fournette/Robinson). Personally, in leagues with decent sized rosters, I’ll pick up any starting qb during off-season waivers and try to flip them for a late rd pick when a qb goes down, which happens a lot in preseason/early season. Need to be quick about it though- get that offer out there ASAP, owners will take that guy just so they aren’t over a barrel while they negotiate for a new starter. 
I'm curious with only 3 preseason games if we'll get the "dress rehearsal" game (i.e. Game 3 in past seasons) or if starters will play very little - my guess is the latter, especially with a 17 game regular season.

 

Amused to Death

Footballguy
2. The lead up to the draft.

DO NOT LISTEN to news during this time other than player evaluations. There’s a dead news period, so you get stories like “russel Wilson to be traded.” You can possibly leverage that news by buying someone like Lockett low, but news at this time is garbage most of the time. Mac Jones to SF was being built into fantasy values; it was a done deal, they went to his pro day! Take anything you hear in the lead up to the draft with a salt block. Still some time to move up or get rookie picks.
Love this one. Always ignore reports that Team X is looking to trade up because they love player Y. There is not one GM or scout leaking their draft plans to anyone. Not their wife, their kids, and especially not a reporter. These stories are leaked for a reason and its not to give FFL players the inside scoop.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
This is great Snorkelson!

I would like to add a 6th stage to this process which occurs after week 4 of the regular season.

With 4 weeks of data to work with one can reasonably project those 4 games for the rest of the season. These projections will not always be correct but they will likely be more accurate than the offseason projections were for certain players.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
4. OTAs

PAY ATTENTION to the steady drumbeat. If every ota article talks about a young player who looks fantastic, they may just break out. 
IGNORE the hope peddlers. How can you tell the difference?

I look for a steady stream of good news- shenault looks great with no pads, if he continues to have good news through camp I’m real excited. Bryan Edwards posted a picture, and it’s “wr1!!!!” 
Coaches statements are hard to discern here- sometimes they seem down on a player as a motivational tactic, sometimes they talk up a role they have in mind. 
Beware the speed merchant in the news before players are wearing pads.
I wanted to add a couple examples of this.

When the Vikings got Stefon Diggs he started tearing things up in practice and scrimmages right away. You heard about this a lot through mini camp and preseason. There was a story of Mile WIlliams saying Diggs was going to be like Antonio Brown.

Then Diggs did not even play until week 4 of the regular season. When he did finally get to play he had 4 straight 100 yard games the first one happening against Denver who had one of the best defenses and backfields in football at the time.

Last season all of the talk in preseason and mini camp was about Irv Smith emerging as a starter and expected increased role in the passing game.

That did not happen. The beat writers and so on were all sleeping on how good Jefferson was going to be. Irv Smith missed 3 games and honestly I think Jefferson took a lot of Irvs opportunities over the middle. I was watching cut ups of Smith and Jefferson recently and Smith is wide open on a lot of those plays going to Jefferson and by mid season Jefferson is catching a lot of balls over the middle. He seems fearless there.

Now this offseason we are hearing that Irv Smith has gotten bigger and stronger and I see this as a precursor to possible steady drum beat on him that may or may not manifest itself in caches and yards for Smith in 2021.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
I just wanted to point out a contradiction in my statements.

Because Diggs did not play in those first 4 games of his career you could not project the Vikings accurately at that point like you would be able to most seasons.

Its a pattern with the Vkings coaches. Jefferson did not start until week 3 of last season either.

 
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tangfoot

Living Slackmaster
4. OTAs

PAY ATTENTION to the steady drumbeat. If every ota article talks about a young player who looks fantastic, they may just break out. 
IGNORE the hope peddlers. How can you tell the difference?

I look for a steady stream of good news- shenault looks great with no pads, if he continues to have good news through camp I’m real excited. Bryan Edwards posted a picture, and it’s “wr1!!!!” 
Coaches statements are hard to discern here- sometimes they seem down on a player as a motivational tactic, sometimes they talk up a role they have in mind. 
Beware the speed merchant in the news before players are wearing pads.
I would just like to add that the most important information from this time of the year are negative stories.  Just about everyone in the league gets a positive story about how they are have been working diligently in the offseason and are poised for a career year.

The truly actionable news during this period are the stories that say negative things about a player.  So and so had three drops today.  Rookie QB threw several INTs during the red zone drill.  Holdout, doesn't know the playbook well enough, isn't in shape, missed practice, was seen on the sidelines being worked on by trainers.

 

Snorkelson

Footballguy
Are there any particular injuries that are red flags during the off-season? I’m thinking foot injuries can be tricky and usually linger. What injuries stand out during OTAs/training camp that would make you prioritize a backup or avoid a player in redraft?

 

rockaction

Footballguy
Are there any particular injuries that are red flags during the off-season? I’m thinking foot injuries can be tricky and usually linger. What injuries stand out during OTAs/training camp that would make you prioritize a backup or avoid a player in redraft?
Rookies with soft tissue injuries when camp rolls around? It just puts them way behind the eight ball, and even if they were scheduled to take over the starting job at some point, a potentially lingering injury like that just pushes it way back. 

Anybody with back trouble. Never met a guy whose back miraculously got better in a short period of time.

Quaterbacks with any sort of shoulder/neck problem, either side of the body. Fade that. We saw what happened to Peyton Manning and Newton. They fell off a cliff.

Rib injuries and abdomen injuries just linger, too. I still think Chark had problems stemming from one explosive hit last year that nearly went through his body. He missed the next week's game even though he had stayed in the current week's game.

Foot was a good one. Mekhi Becton has a foot problem and for such a huge dude, that can really be trouble.

 

Snorkelson

Footballguy
Rookies with soft tissue injuries when camp rolls around? It just puts them way behind the eight ball, and even if they were scheduled to take over the starting job at some point, a potentially lingering injury like that just pushes it way back. 

Anybody with back trouble. Never met a guy whose back miraculously got better in a short period of time.

Quaterbacks with any sort of shoulder/neck problem, either side of the body. Fade that. We saw what happened to Peyton Manning and Newton. They fell off a cliff.

Rib injuries and abdomen injuries just linger, too. I still think Chark had problems stemming from one explosive hit last year that nearly went through his body. He missed the next week's game even though he had stayed in the current week's game.

Foot was a good one. Mekhi Becton has a foot problem and for such a huge dude, that can really be trouble.
Good point about rookies- if they have an injury that forces them to miss time during the off-season typically grounds them in year 1. I’d extend that idea to players with new teams or new coordinators; playing in a different scheme with unfamiliar teammates takes reps, not time on the bike. 

 
Love this one. Always ignore reports that Team X is looking to trade up because they love player Y. There is not one GM or scout leaking their draft plans to anyone. Not their wife, their kids, and especially not a reporter. These stories are leaked for a reason and its not to give FFL players the inside scoop.
Genuinely curious, I know most turn out to be false (49ers - Mac Jones) but a team like the Jets who everyone knew was taking Zach Wilson first, how and why did that get out so early then? I'm probably missing something obvious here.

 
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BobbyLayne

Footballguy
Next 6 weeks are a dead zone. Outside of Rodgers declaring he’s had a change of heart and his position toward management has changed (/s) or Watson clearing all civil and legal matters, ain’t nothing of substance gonna happen [between] the end of minicamps and beginning of TC.

ETA: “look at how chiseled he looks - dude is rocked!” and “best shape of his life” are not newsworthy.

 
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Biabreakable

Footballguy
I would just like to add that the most important information from this time of the year are negative stories.  Just about everyone in the league gets a positive story about how they are have been working diligently in the offseason and are poised for a career year.

The truly actionable news during this period are the stories that say negative things about a player.  So and so had three drops today.  Rookie QB threw several INTs during the red zone drill.  Holdout, doesn't know the playbook well enough, isn't in shape, missed practice, was seen on the sidelines being worked on by trainers.
I know this has happened many times before but I am coming up with nothing as far as an examples right now.

I know there have been RB with foot injuries early on who end up having sub par seasons due to turf toe or similar ailment. I think this happened to CJ Anderson one year IIRC. Also this is an injury that the player could recover fully from at any time with enough rest but the players wont get that during the regular season.

Another example I just thought of is Knowshon Moreno who was let go by the Broncos but in great position to start for the Miami Dolphins in 2014 but he had injury concerns as part of why he failed in Denver and they let him go. He only had 32 touches for the Dolphins that year before they had to shut him down.

 

tangfoot

Living Slackmaster
The Washington Post's Sam Fortier reports Washington RB Antonio Gibson is still rehabbing from the toe injury he suffered late in the 2020 season. 

Gibson missed two games near the end of his impressive rookie campaign with the toe issue. Fortier said Gibson is "able to make cuts he needs to," but the toe injury is "something he'll have to monitor moving forward." 
@Biabreakable

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
Yeah I read that about Gibson. Its a concern.

I realized why its hard for me to remember these things and there are hundreds if not thousands of examples depending on how much a time frame we might be looking at.

I struggle to remember them all because each case of this is sad and I try to forget them.

 

tangfoot

Living Slackmaster
Amari Cooper (ankle) is not participating in this week's minicamp.

Cooper required a cleanup procedure on the ankle following last season, and it still isn't ready to go. Coach Mike McCarthy is "hopeful" Cooper is ready for the start of training camp.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
Thanks for posting current news examples of this tangfoot. That would take this thread from theory crafting (my favorite part) to direct application of actionable information useful to everyone.

 

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