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Things we've learned already in 2021 that we should write down and commit to memory NOW! (1 Viewer)

Ministry of Pain

Footballguy
I love Bloom and his article typically at the end of the year with everything he has learned...no reason to wait me thinks. I'd like to know what you all have seen and learned already plus we can help give hm a leg up on his final thoughts in 2021. 

-The San Fran 49ers are not worth stretching to try and carry on your roster...Kittle, Sermon, Mostert, Aiyuk, and even if you have a guy there that seems to get touches, they are always looking over their shoulder causing you do to likewise. It's simply not worth the effort as is. 

-Zac Ertz has never seen so much green grass in front of him as he did his 1st week in an Arizona Cardinals uniform and those are his words not mine. 

--Derrick Henry is the best RB in football right now and anyone that got him after the 1.01 was blessed this year near the top of the Draft. 

-Corderelle Patterson is the No 6 RB in Fantasy Football as of Week 7...read that again. 

-Najee Harris has had one of the quietest Top 3 starts to any Rookie RB campaign I have ever seen. I had to do a double take when I looked over his stats and FF points and am just kicking myself for not grabbing him somewhere earlier in the Draft right now. 

-Cooper Kupp and Matt Stafford have an even better connection than I could have ever dreamed of. I thought this would be even better than Golden Tate in Detroit but this is beyond expectations so far. Staff knows exactly how to use him and when to hit him with his passes. 

-Oh, Deebo is No 2 overall at WR?...let me go back to that San Fran statement a moment ago...so that's who is sucking up all the points there, IC that now. 

-Trying to platoon at RB2 is borderline FF suicide and yet I keep trying to just get 1 good RB and then take all that swag at WR in Rounds 2-3-4-5, find a good TE I like or maybe a QB mixed in there at some point but other wise mostly WR City in there and I keep chasing RB2 and Flex all year long. 

-"Alright Alright I apologize, I'm really really sorry. I apologize unreservedly. I offer a complete and utter retraction, the imputation was totally without basis...And was in no way fair comment and was motivated purely by malice and I deeply regret any distress my comments may have caused you...or your family and I hereby undertake not to repeat any such slander at any time in the future." MoPinion on Murray and the Cardinals.

-The Tennessee Titans are better than many believed and they are already battle tested in the Playoffs going all the way to the AFCC just 18 months ago. Pressure is on Tannehill because if Aaron Rodgers were running the show here or Russell Wilson, both seemingly wanting OUT of their respective places at the moment depending  on who you ask, but either of them and the Titans are Super Bowl Bound. 

-The Bengals are going to be really good and have QB1-WR1-WR2 all on rookie contracts for at least 1 more full season...strike while the Iron is Hot, this was going South when Burrow went down last year, props and kudos to him with not a smirk, that's a man trying to get it done in a place that is relatively impossible to win in. It's time to start filling in any and all holes along your OL and Front-7 while the getting is good because in 2 years at least 1 or more of them is going to command big dollars and then it gets a lot tougher trying to fill out the roster on a notoriously cheap owner.  Next thing you know another franchise QB walks out the door. 

-The Rams might be the 5th best team in the NFC but are still better than every AFC team you can put on the field. 

-Kenyan Drake is a prime example of a player who you can never count on and when he does hit, the likelihood that anyone had him in their starting line up is remote at best in ReDraft leagues. It happens at WR where a guy will go 1-2-3 weeks with nothing but vapor practically and then he has a week where he posts 5/80/TD and he is suddenly a Top 40 WR but typically he is a hole on your roster and a L in the Loss column and it wears on you. 

-Don't ever start Sam Darnold at QB for your fantasy team. 

What you got so far in 2021?

 

rschroeder1

Footballguy
Balancing not-so-good real life players vs. good fantasy players

I was right about Jalen Hurts...and I was very wrong about Jalen Hurts.  I'm not sure there's a ton to be gleaned from this; no one could have predicted the all Hurts all the time scheme Sirianni has conjured.  But it's something I will keep in mind in future evaluations, particularly at the QB position.

Be wary of consensus on players with little to no track record

I had D'Ernest Johnson stashed in a deep keeper league because I thought he was one of the more valuable handcuffs attached to two, instead of one, running backs.  However, I wasn't as aggressive to pursue him in my more shallow redraft leagues because literally every analysis of him I read included the word "plodder."

The reality is that for every 3rd string RB that hits (and so far it's just a couple games for D'Ernest that count as a hit), there will always be misses.  But I'm going to try to be more deliberate about identifying declarative statements that essentially can't be founded in fact.

I also violated my own long-standing rule here to ignore people who cite a Combine 40 time (I believe D'Ernest's was 4.80 or so).

Austin Ekeler is perennially under-ranked in draft guides.

Nothing else to add here.

Handcuffing RBs - talent vs. next up.

At the start of the season, where it was appropriate for my individual teams, I invested in Damien Williams as a cuff to David Montgomery.  Now of course, Herbert got his chance because of a COVID situation.  Maybe we never would have learned this year what he is.  But I'm going to try to be more cognizant of some dart throws using talent rather than situation.  I will admit I have leaned more heavily to situation.

 
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Andy Dufresne

Footballguy
Know what you're getting into with FFB. I say this with absolutely no sarcasm/irony/whatever and well over 30 years of  playing experience - it's mostly luck.

Between injuries and a league plagued with terrible coaching - I just don't see how it's possible to be consistently and consciously  "good" at the hobby.

 
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sushinsky4tsar

Footballguy
If you're going to go zero RB, commit fully to it.    Don't feel obligated to draft middling RBs with no sex appeal in the middle rounds to make up for it.

Along these lines, the back half of the draft is not loaded with countless WR gems like I think there's going to be in August.   WR2 and WR3s are important.   Draft them instead of the middling RBs that you felt you needed to fortify the position.

Could have had a great TE, great QB, and a very good WR core to offset a weak RB core.    Instead I have a great TE, great QB, weak WR2/FLEX, and weak RBs that are no better for what draft capital I did toss into them.   

 
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FairWarning

Footballguy
Same as any other year - be verrry leery of starting anyone with a groin or hamstring injury. And never believe reports of players only missing a week or two with a high ankle sprain.  I would take Pennie’s on the dollar to make them someone else’s problem.  See the CMC owners for more proof.
Add turf toe to that.  
 

in recap - soft tissue injuries - buyer beware, no matter how good the matchup is.

- fractures and smaller broken bones - they can be shot up. 

 

FairWarning

Footballguy
Never spend big money on FAAB. It rarely works out. Either strike early (Knox, CPat) before guys blowup or go for the value (Herbert) and hope it hits.
1st year we’ve had the FAAB.  I didn’t think I would like it, but it’s good.  Definitely strategy involved in bidding.  

 

Stinkin Ref

IBL Representative
There is so much free information out there that looks exactly the same you need to try and find areas where you can steal points. And stealing points doesn't always mean having them in your lineup.  The same end game can be accomplished by keeping players out of other people's lineups. Play keep away and value every roster spot you have like it is gold. Injuries, COVID, bye weeks....pay attention to your roster and that of the other owners in your league.  Your goal should be to have the highest scoring bench each week in addition to the highest starting lineup.  Sure you may not need RSJ or Mo Allie Cox, but somebody else might, like the Kittle owner or the Gronk owner, don't give them a free and easy filler....or the guy with Waller that you are playing this week or the guy with Knox hurt that you play next week, etc. Use the "locked player" set up your league has to your advantage and dump that Thursday player you ain't playing anyway for a player the guy you are playing that week may need Sunday morning cause he doesn't pay attention until then. Play keep away....

 
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tigerz

Footballguy
Always go RB/RB. There is no better first and second round pick even in 18 team leagues. This advice is scoring system agnostic - 6 pt QB / PPR / Guillotine / doesn't matter.

In the early rounds you are paying for volume. Don't worry about O-line (Harris) / Prior year carries (Henry) / Injury history (Cook / Barkley) etc. You have to take your shot. Any one of them can be viable. Any one of them can bust. It is a gamble you must make because you have no better options. Middle RBs are in committees or have significant issues. Committee RBs will make you go crazy. You need starting RBs. I drafted Melvin Gordon / Trey Sermon / Jamaal Williams and they all sucked. However, I don't know that the RBs at the end of the draft were good either though. Unless you can trade your way to a RB you need to draft early and pray they don't get injured.

Go WR in middle rounds once RB pool is done. 
Early WRs aren't a given either to be top 5 talent at the end of the year. Top 5 WR Guys like Chase / Deebo / Williams / Kupp are elite and did not go until 4th round or later. How many elite RBs come after the 4th round? Look for upside and if you like the story of their potential then go for it.

Don't go early TE unless it's Kelce
Early TEs like Kittle and Waller are underperforming. They are not a given, but the sacrifice of an RB1 is. Only Kelce is a given. If they aren't elite then there are plenty of options on waiver / later rounds (knox / shultz / etc). If you pickup Pitts / Andrews / Hockenson it should be because they are the best player available and not the best TE available. Even now we don't know how they'll end up at the end of the year. What matters is you don't pass up on the Hendersons / Chase / Deebos of the world for them.

Don't go QB early
There's like 12+ viable starting QBs and the elite tier has like 5-6 guys in it. Zero reason to go QB early anymore. Better to pick a QB in round 7 or later. People are doing well with Herbert / Hurts / Burrow... Why pay extra for Mahomes / Allen and sacrifice an RB1?

Stack RB at the end of the draft
It's harder for WRs at the end of the draft to emerge. For every Sanders there's 5-6 other sleepers who don't make it. With backup RBs, it's more a matter of time than luck. With enough backups, eventually one of them will be starter worthy. Then keep loading your bench with as many backup RBs off waiver as other teams drop them and before they go off for cheap / free.

Draft D last but pick the one with great matches in the first few weeks.
Worked very well for Broncos / Panthers and you could get them after everyone picked their D. Even if they suck, you can always stream long enough to evaluate Ds and pickup the elite Ds like Dallas if you pay close attention. 

At the end of the day, it all comes down to luck. People keep thinking they can outsmart the masses but players probably have enough positive and negative analysis to backup any point of view. Anyone in R1 / 2 most likely deserves to be there so there should not be any DO NOT DRAFT lists. 

Waldman said not to draft Chase, Taylor, Kamara, Barkley, Swift, etc. Guy may be able to evaluate talent but there's a lot more to it than that. If you only listen to one analyst then you missed out on potential stars. Be open to all views and not myopic. Talent doesn't always win out in the end. Rational coaching is not a given. Draft capital is not the end all be all and good NFL players may not be good fantasy players.

Face it, you won't win every year or even every other year unless you play with noobs. You have a 1/10 or 1/12 chance of winning every year so you have to get used to losing and not let it change sound strategy.

I think if you do these things every year you'll probably put yourself in a good position to win. There will be plenty of years where you fail miserably because it all comes down to luck and if everyone drafted just ADP players you have a 1/10 or 1/12 chance at winning each year. Doesn't mean you suck, but unless your league is full of noobs you probably won't be making it to the championships every year even with sound strategy.

Stop playing regular fantasy football and play Guillotine leagues.

First year in this and I am convinced this is the best format. As an LM, it's set it and forget it. There's nothing for teams to complain about.

1) No trades allowed so no trade disputes
2) People don't set lineups then they get eliminated so no unfair giving free wins
3) No H2H scoring dilemmas where you go 0-7 because you face highest scoring team every week. You just have to not be the worst scorer every week.
4) Hate all-play or victory points because you like competitiveness? When your entire season can end every week and your entire roster goes to waiver when you do, every week matters and is very competitive.
5) Awful draft / hate your team / plagued with injuries? No problem. By week 17 you will end up with an entirely different team.
6) Waiver wire is like christmas every week with Henry / Cook / Kamara dropping every week. So much more fun than picking up D'ernest or Gainwall.
7) Every player matters, even when they aren't on your team. If there's a player you like on another person's team, chances are you'll have a chance to bid on them. When you have only one team that doesn't change, you ignore all other NFL players because they are unobtainable. 
8)It is the ultimate test of skill rather than luck. Since everyone plays everyone, scheduling doesn't matter and each week is fair. Everyone has the opportunity to bid on the same players every week and has the same FAAB to start with. Yes, there's still randomness, but the field is level.

 

barackdhouse

Footballguy
For the "it is mostly luck" crowd, consider this:

In typical 12 team leagues you only need to be "better" than 6 of your opponents on average to be a perennial playoff team. You could be marginally luckier or unluckier than average, in a given year, but if you really don't think you are "better" than just 6 other owners then what are you even doing in this hobby? Unless it is purely a home league office pool kind of thing. 

 

barackdhouse

Footballguy
You don't have to outsmart NFL scouts, GMs, coaches, FF analytics departments of various outlets. You only have to outsmart 6/12 and avoid snakebites. On average. 

That is a perennial playoff team. 

 

TheWinz

Footballguy
It's nearly impossible to do, but you must be completely unbiased towards players.  Here are a few examples:

Antonio Brown - hate him all you want, but the man can still play.  Since he left the Steelers, he has played in 14 games, and all were QB'ed by Brady.  Brady loves him and he has went for 78 catches on 112 targets (70%), with 957 yards and 9 TD's.  Extrapolate that over a 16-game season and you have 89/1094/10, and those are WR1 numbers.

Josh Gordon - love him all you want, but poor Josh's time to shine was nearly 10 years ago.  When you are behind some guy named Byron on the depth chart, it's time to hang up the cleats.

 

TLEF316

Footballguy
Yeah, the idea that fantasy football is "all luck" is a bit of an overstatement. 

Is luck a HUGE part of it (especially when it comes to winning a league) of course. But there's a reason that in most leagues,  there's 1 or 2 guys that make the playoffs like 80-90% of the time. 

Sound meta  strategy, knowledge of what situations produce results and a little bit of hard work (doing a little research on a week to week basis and getting out in front of the "hot" waiver pickup) will get you into the playoffs with a top 3-4 team in all but the most hard core of leagues.  (Unless you just get decimated by injuries)

But yeah....then it's mostly a crapshoot

 
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zamboni

Footballguy
Don't handcuff your RB unless you own Cook, Elliott and maybe one of two others that have clear cut/top notch backups that can replace most, if not all, of your stud's production.

Perhaps there will be a few more top notch cuffs next year, but more often than not, you wind up using a roster spot - and limiting your roster upside - with a guy who may not be the clear cut backup and/or gets mired in RBBC once the starter goes down.

 

greenmountaingoat

Footballguy
FF success:

25% Drafting well (tons of work goes into this and it will either be wiped out by or supplemented by luck and management). I drafted meh this year out of the 11. Couple guys working out, couple guys not at all working out. Every year we all think we have it figured out and we  just don't. 

45% Luck- both just dumb ball/coaching luck, situation luck. No one has a crystal ball. Sometimes it's just not your year. Dropped TDs. Holding penalities. Injuries. Covid. Or you draft Mike Williams at 12.03 and voila. Or you pick up Swift/Kupp at the 4/5 turn. Congrats, you're awesome at ff. LOL. Not. You got lucky.

40% Sharp management. I feel like my team is always crumbling a bit and I'm rushing in with pillars to support a wall that's falling in. This is the only way to make up for the things you have no control over that don't go your way. 

Give 110% 

Oh, and don't fade Jamarr Chase. 

 

BobbyLayne

Footballguy
Listen, poker comes down to luck as well. I’m going to have positive EV over the long term more often than 95% of players bc I’ve put in the work, not bc of random variance.

Agree with many points brought up (emphasis on RBs early, stacking late, always having 4-6 upside/lotto guys on my bench. Nothing new under the sun. Biggest (relearned) take away from 2021 is ignore 99% of the FUD & hype from preseason. Based on August, Chase & Toney were complete busts, Lamar was overhyped, and Swift was both injury prone and unlikely to see RB1 level touches.

Situations do change, it’s good to be flexible. But the VAST MAJORITY of the time my evaluations of late June are more trustworthy than consensus & trends on Labor Day.

 

fightingillini

Footballguy
Reading this thread I learned that more people should consider super-flex or start 2 QB leagues.
This!

I won't play in a league that isn't a superflex or start 2QB leagues.  Gets out of the typical 15 of the first 20 picks being RBs in drafts.  You will see many QBs go in the 1st round along with the top RBs and top WRs.  Makes the draft much more strategic and interesting.

 

zamboni

Footballguy
Based on August, Chase & Toney were complete busts, Lamar was overhyped, and Swift was both injury prone and unlikely to see RB1 level touches.
Yup - Tony Jones having standalone value in addition to being a high end handcuff was another. And there are many more that escape me.

Unfortunately, the preseason trap happens every year. As much as we try to discount it though, sometimes it's unavoidable when there is little sample size. Even more so now with fewer preseason games and fewer and fewer proven guys even playing in preseason.

 

fightingillini

Footballguy
Oh, and don't fade Jamarr Chase. 
I avoided Chase in drafts and look so dumb doing it. :wall:

I would venture a guess that 1/2 of the league's winners will have one or more of the following WRs in their team.....Chase, Kupp, Mike Williams, and Deebo.  All are killing it in relation to their draft position.

Which goes back to the early comments......get your RBs early.  WRs are so deep and there are a few that are drafted in the 4th round or later that hit really big.

 

zamboni

Footballguy
Which goes back to the early comments......get your RBs early.  WRs are so deep and there are a few that are drafted in the 4th round or later that hit really big.
In general, I agree with you due to position scarcity of RBs versus WRs, but try telling that to the CMC or Saquon owners if they didn't land one of the top WRs. 

I don't think there's a right answer as to going stud RB early or zero RB - a lot of it just comes down to blind luck who gets hurt and who doesn't.

 

fightingillini

Footballguy
FairWarning said:
Same as any other year - be verrry leery of starting anyone with a groin or hamstring injury. And never believe reports of players only missing a week or two with a high ankle sprain.  I would take Pennie’s on the dollar to make them someone else’s problem.  See the CMC owners for more proof.
On groin and hamstring injuires....while I generally agree with you, D Andre Swift does say hi.

100% agree on the HAS......I had one in high school and it was 2 1/2 months before I thought it felt 100%.  With elite athletes and top notch treatment, it's still a 4-6 week injury.

 

Ministry of Pain

Footballguy
DeShaun Watson is going to be a MIami Dolphin in the coming days...weeks...months?

-Seems like the deal is in place

I think I feel bad now for Tua 

 

tangfoot

Living Slackmaster
Mac Jones is probably going to end up as the best QB from this class.
I'm not making any kind of prediction based on a few weeks of play, especially when one rookie QB is hurt and another is extremely raw.  I would still rank Mac at the bottom of the top 5 QB prospects today, but the one thing we are certain of at this point is that his coaching and development is likely to be superior to all the others.

 

menobrown

Footballguy
 ignore 99% of the FUD & hype from preseason.


This is a tough one and really other then injury type of misfortune I'd venture to say how I process preseason/training camp info is key to my season.

The reason I say it's tough is  that I don't think 99% of the hype is bogus, but a lot and trying to ascertain what is bogus and what is not is legit.  We can cite examples of training camp steering us wrong and tons of examples of training camp/pre-season steering us right. For instance you referenced Chase. But following beat writers reports I got higher on players like Kupp and Deebo then were  I was at with them in say June.  Knowing what is fact or fiction and what is current but likely to change is key and I have been discovering over the years not all beat writers are equal, some will drop valuable nuggets but a few will constantly lead you wrong.

 

tigerz

Footballguy
The whole luck vs skill thing…

there is a basic level of proficiency needed but beyond that it’s not skill, it’s luck. There’s no elite managers. Just competent managers. In a league with all competent managers it’s luck.

It’s more about whether your opponents lack skill than your personal skill. It’s not really possible to be a top tier fantasy football analyst. You listen to all these guys and I don’t think anyone is smarter or better than any other. They are all guessing based on wildly inaccurate information.

most of the time all analysts give same advice on who to pick up. If half your league fails to read and do that then yeah you have an advantage. That’s not really because you are so good at fantasy football but that others are lazy.

if you fleece someone in a trade it’s not because you’re a skilled trader but your partner is someone who doesn’t know what they are doing and you are taking advantage of their ignorance.

if someone reaches during draft and has an unbalanced team then that’s lack of skill on their part. But if people follow similar strategies of value based drafting, not reaching, getting rbs early, etc then all those people should do similarly well in the long run.

I realize most leagues have guppies who do stupid things in draft and that’s why most people make playoffs again and again but I don’t equate that to people being the best analysts and knowing the outcome of every week and picking the right players out of mccaffrey cook Elliot. Most people judge themselves on hindsight.

it’s luck and lack of diligence by others that determines the outcome. You can go against consensus and be right sometimes but usually consensus happens because we all guess the same thing. 
 

Just my 2 cents, feel free to disagree.

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
Opportunity/Tatgets gets often equals production. 

Many of the TEs we’re calling “busts” now were predicted to be such my many based on opportunity. Targets = production.

Similarly Pitts ascension to “elite” seemed extremely predictable based on what scouts, the team & beat writers all said of his usage. The optimism through the first 4 games was based on his role and his targets. He was basically playing WR. It was only a matter of time for the production to catch up. 

So the lesson for me is “Follow the targets”. This was my first year really paying attention to targets for receivers & TE in my draft prep, and I used it to heavily sway my rankings. between that & some good fortune I’m 6-1. 

I will make “targets” the centerpiece of my draft prep for receivers every year. It may well be the most important stat.  

 
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Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
The whole luck vs skill thing…

there is a basic level of proficiency needed but beyond that it’s not skill, it’s luck. There’s no elite managers. Just competent managers. In a league with all competent managers it’s luck.

It’s more about whether your opponents lack skill than your personal skill. It’s not really possible to be a top tier fantasy football analyst. You listen to all these guys and I don’t think anyone is smarter or better than any other. They are all guessing based on wildly inaccurate information.

most of the time all analysts give same advice on who to pick up. If half your league fails to read and do that then yeah you have an advantage. That’s not really because you are so good at fantasy football but that others are lazy.

if you fleece someone in a trade it’s not because you’re a skilled trader but your partner is someone who doesn’t know what they are doing and you are taking advantage of their ignorance.

if someone reaches during draft and has an unbalanced team then that’s lack of skill on their part. But if people follow similar strategies of value based drafting, not reaching, getting rbs early, etc then all those people should do similarly well in the long run.

I realize most leagues have guppies who do stupid things in draft and that’s why most people make playoffs again and again but I don’t equate that to people being the best analysts and knowing the outcome of every week and picking the right players out of mccaffrey cook Elliot. Most people judge themselves on hindsight.

it’s luck and lack of diligence by others that determines the outcome. You can go against consensus and be right sometimes but usually consensus happens because we all guess the same thing. 
 

Just my 2 cents, feel free to disagree.
There’s a whole topic about this that I started recently. Definitely worth a read-through. :)  

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
Oh, and Zero RB strategy is for Zeros.
More and more I feel like the whole “zero RB” schtick was all a post hoc fallacy all along. 

It sort of boils down to “I was super lucky last year or two by drafting badly & taking just the right handcuffs who all magically worked out for me & I ‘shipped. I will now start a cult around this.”

meanwhile the zero RB team in my league who started with Mahomes/Hopkins/Keenan Allen/ARob/Hockenson/Darious Leonard is 1-6, and none of the scrubs he’s rolled out at RBs have broken out. He traded Mahomes for Robinson & a lesser QB, and picked up Alex Collins, which didn’t work out so well this week. Meanwhile I took Gainwell in the last round & he’s suddenly valuable enough to trade, despite my taking 4 RB though 8 rounds. 

For “Zero RB” to work, one has to be extremely lucky. Anyone saying it’s easy to identify the breakout backups is wishful thinking-Ing. I recall seeing at least one writer saying D. Evans was the perfect 2021 zero-RB guy, as a Henry breakdown was inevitable based on workload. I wonder what that writer’s record is right now. 

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
Andy Dufresne said:
Know what you're getting into with FFB. I say this with absolutely no sarcasm/irony/whatever and well over 30 years of  playing experience - it's mostly luck.
I largely agree with this, as I argued in the skill vs luck topic. You have to be skillful, but all the skill in the world won’t save you from a player popping a hammy 3 mins into a game, giving you a 0. 

Andy Dufresne said:
Between injuries and a league plagued with terrible coaching - I just don't see how it's possible to be consistently and consciously  "good" at the hobby.
The one caveat to this is work. Effort pays. You can work harder than your league-mates to be better prepared. Over time, those who work harder tend to win more. Still need luck, but drafting a quality deep roster, being Johnny on the spot with timely FA pickups, being willing to outbid or use WW priority when appropriate can help mitigate a little of that luck factor. 

Otherwise I agree. 

 

BobbyLayne

Footballguy
This is a tough one and really other then injury type of misfortune I'd venture to say how I process preseason/training camp info is key to my season.

The reason I say it's tough is  that I don't think 99% of the hype is bogus, but a lot and trying to ascertain what is bogus and what is not is legit.  We can cite examples of training camp steering us wrong and tons of examples of training camp/pre-season steering us right. For instance you referenced Chase. But following beat writers reports I got higher on players like Kupp and Deebo then were  I was at with them in say June.  Knowing what is fact or fiction and what is current but likely to change is key and I have been discovering over the years not all beat writers are equal, some will drop valuable nuggets but a few will constantly lead you wrong.
I’m with you unearthing who the reliable beats are (& just as importantly, who is not.) I have a bunch of book marks to Twitter accounts, blogs & local papers. It’s a little embarrassing to admit - guys, I swear I have kids & a meaningful life outside FF - but I actually have 32 bookmark folders, one for each team, of just that. Naturally some are more populated than others but I have at least one local/dedicated site for every franchise.

:bag:

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
Stop worrying about Derrick Henry not catching enough passes. Every year I have him ranked too low because he doesn't have the receiving volume. :wall:
Me also. I should have taken Henry 1.01

i considered it. I didn’t.  Not just the receiving but the absolute certainty that X# of carries = injury.

What we didn’t take into account is that only applies to humans, and Henry is an alien.

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
I’m with you unearthing who the reliable beats are (& just as importantly, who is not.) I have a bunch of book marks to Twitter accounts, blogs & local papers. It’s a little embarrassing to admit - guys, I swear I have kids & a meaningful life outside FF - but I actually have 32 bookmark folders, one for each team, of just that. Naturally some are more populated than others but I have at least one local/dedicated site for every franchise.

:bag:
Damn dude, I don’t have kids or a meaningful life & I have like 4 bookmarks. :lol:  

 

TwinTurbo

Footballguy
I'm not making any kind of prediction based on a few weeks of play, especially when one rookie QB is hurt and another is extremely raw.  I would still rank Mac at the bottom of the top 5 QB prospects today, but the one thing we are certain of at this point is that his coaching and development is likely to be superior to all the others.
I had him ranked #2 QB before the draft. Mainly because his accuracy on longer throws is #1 even though his arm strength is not. He drops dimes like nobody else in this class. 

 

fightingillini

Footballguy
Opportunity/Tatar gets often equals production. 

Many of the TEs we’re calling “busts” now were predicted to be such my many based on opportunity. Targets = production.

Similarly Pitts ascension to “elite” seemed extremely predictable based on what scouts, the team & beat writers all said of his usage. The optimism through the first 4 games was based on his role and his targets. He was basically playing WR. It was only a matter of time for the production to catch up. 

So the lesson for me is “Follow the targets”. This was my first year really paying attention to targets for receivers & TE in my draft prep, and I used it to heavily sway my rankings. between that & some good fortune I’m 6-1. 

I will make “targets” the centerpiece of my draft prep for receivers every year. It may well be the most important stat.  
I generally agree with "Follow the targets" but you have to go deeper than that.

Targets are important, but you need to also look at the depth of targets and target quality.  For example, Jakobi Meyers gets a lot of targets, but he doesn't get them down the field or in the redzone, so his upside is capped quite a bit.

So targets are important, but depth of target and redzone target %.  Also catch percentage matters too, along with talent of QB.  Robby Anderson is getting a lot of targets but is not catching many of them....some of that can be blamed on Darnold's inaccuracy under pressure.

You also need to understand changes in the whole team makeup when projecting targets.  Most thought DeAndre Hopkins will get 150+ targets, since that's happened for the last 6 years.  But AZ brought in AJ Green, drafted Rondale Moore and has Christian Kirk, so the pieces where there to take target share from Hopkins, which is what happened.

A WR might have a lot of targets in the previous year, but a significant percentage of those targets came in "garbage time" situations, and won't transfer to next year if that team's defense is better.  Looking at targets and target share under "neutral game" conditions is something worthwhile to took at.

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
A WR might have a lot of targets in the previous year, but a significant percentage of those targets came in "garbage time" situations, and won't transfer to next year if that team's defense is better.  Looking at targets and target share under "neutral game" conditions is something worthwhile to took at.
Oh, definitely - excellent points, all. I was keeping it simple, but you’re spot on. projected targets are absolutely worthy of consideration.

It’s another good one for this list: you don’t get to use past stats for your scores. In Hopkin’s case I had age & competition for targets as reasons to downgrade him (dealt him away in dynasty for 1.08 which I used on Pitts, too). Of course, I thought it would Be Kirk, Chase Edmonds & Moore taking them, not Green, but your point is accurate. Reading the room & determining how likely a player is to repeat their prior target share is absolutely part of the process.

Oh, and while we’re on the “past performance is no guarantee of future” theme, another good one is “don’t chase touchdowns”. TDs can be flukey, fickle things. Like chasing wins for FBB pitchers. It’s just so hard to predict. Every year I try to separate TDs from player rankings - I don’t dismiss them entirely as some players seemingly have a nose for the end zone, but I’d rather target high catch, high target receivers & let the TD’s sort themselves out. 

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
I'm not making any kind of prediction based on a few weeks of play, especially when one rookie QB is hurt and another is extremely raw.  I would still rank Mac at the bottom of the top 5 QB prospects today, but the one thing we are certain of at this point is that his coaching and development is likely to be superior to all the others.
Agree 100%. And honestly this is how I felt in the preseason. I recall many industry writers felt the same pre-draft. That he was the most NFL-ready of the bunch, but with the lowest future upside. Then when he went to the Pats & the dumped Cam, it seemed like he had the best opportunity of the rookies based on coaching.

He was a capable college QB. He just might lack the ceiling of a Lance, Fields or T-Law for the future. 

Time will tell if that’s true. 

 

Stinkin Ref

IBL Representative
not to let luck vs skill hijack the thread....but count me as one of the few that think skill matters more than most think....but it depends on your definition of "skill"....skill is probably not the right word..... think the word "skill" is what trips people up in the discussion....really these days FF is nothing but clicking a mouse when it comes down to it and we can all do that....clicking a mouse is the actual skill thats involved....the work before the click is what is really the discussion....

there are a lot of little things IMO that add up to having FF "skillz"....I think it's a little bit of a disservice to discount the things consistently good fantasy owners do.....just because others could be able to them too, they just don't....someone above basically said in all aspects of FF it's not skill it just not being as lazy or dumb as others........FF like many things (say playing the piano or juggling) isn't some natural god given talent/skill......it is a combination of things....is it a skill that I manipulate the league rules and set up to my advantage more than others...that I do little things that add up and pay off..?....IDK..... :shrug:

example: it was 5 minutes before kickoff the week CEH got hurt this last time, I owned him in a league....I had two defenses for some reason....I said to myself why carry this extra defense, why don't I snag Darrell Williams just in case CEH gets hurt and then I won't have to do the WW bid war/dance the following week for him if something happens to CEH....well sure enough it played out like that .....so I think "strategy" may be a better word for the discussion....luck vs strategy/work...I also think adding in things like passing your own individual  "eye ball" test and gut feeling comes into play...

for dudes here on this board....( I am assuming most of you are pretty good at this hobby)....if you were to ask your league mates they would probably say "that dude is always really good at this FF stuff"....his has some FF skills....he always seems to be one step ahead of everybody else or whatever....but its not really skill, its work combined with strategy....

 

tigerz

Footballguy
More and more I feel like the whole “zero RB” schtick was all a post hoc fallacy all along. 

It sort of boils down to “I was super lucky last year or two by drafting badly & taking just the right handcuffs who all magically worked out for me & I ‘shipped. I will now start a cult around this.”

meanwhile the zero RB team in my league who started with Mahomes/Hopkins/Keenan Allen/ARob/Hockenson/Darious Leonard is 1-6, and none of the scrubs he’s rolled out at RBs have broken out. He traded Mahomes for Robinson & a lesser QB, and picked up Alex Collins, which didn’t work out so well this week. Meanwhile I took Gainwell in the last round & he’s suddenly valuable enough to trade, despite my taking 4 RB though 8 rounds. 

For “Zero RB” to work, one has to be extremely lucky. Anyone saying it’s easy to identify the breakout backups is wishful thinking-Ing. I recall seeing at least one writer saying D. Evans was the perfect 2021 zero-RB guy, as a Henry breakdown was inevitable based on workload. I wonder what that writer’s record is right now. 
Precisely right. I did this twice this year when I thought it would work.

hill and diggs over Antonio Gibson. And took Jacob’s and edwards in 3 and 4…. Not zero rb but still effectively that with Edwards not starting a single game. Managed to get lucky and get Patterson but it just happened he fell to me in waivers and sony michel and Ronald Moore fell to someone else. Percentages wise you are much more likely to hit a higher percentage of your round 1/2 RB than your waiver wire RB pickups. RB pool is always thin so you are limiting yourself by waiting until the first 20 RB are off the board. If anything it’s about the best available player not specifically ignoring RBs as a strategy.

Second league is a guillotine league where I can buy an elite RB later in season so I valued picking safely over second tier RBs. Ended up with Jefferson, AJ brown, Lockett, kupp and still struggling.

even the best wide receivers are just so inconsistent. You cannot beat volume rushes and receptions from an elite RB. It is the biggest advantage. If the top 5 WR off the board were guaranteed to be top 5 WR at end of year then different story but it’s not shaping that way this year.

 

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