Take Stock of Every Fantasy Football Player in Your Roster
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Now is the time to think about your fantasy football team.
Yes, that’s correct. Now it’s time for you to log in to your fantasy football platform.
This may bring back happy memories of a great title run for some. Some people might recall painful memories of late-season heartbreaks or early-round failures. No matter how your year ended, it is important to take stock of your entire roster in order to prepare for next season.
Fantasy football players who are the best prepared are usually the most successful. These are some ways to look deeper at your roster and learn from last year’s losses and wins.
Most important is value
Keep the word value in your head as you go through the exercise with your team. Fantasy football is all about finding the most productive players for the lowest possible price.
It is crucial to get the most bang for your dollar in dynasty and keeper formats. Bad values or, in certain leagues, poor contracts can have a negative impact on your fantasy goals. As an example, let’s take quarterbacks to show you how to correctly gauge value.
Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, and Dak Prescott finished second, fourth and fifth in fantasy scoring, respectively. Although the difference in points between the three players was only 17, their ADPs were very different. Watson was selected as QB2 and had an average draft position (ADP of No. 37 overall. Wilson was the eighth quarterback on the board, with an ADP No. 82. Prescott was 17th on the board, with an ADP No. 122.
Although each quarterback had a great season, it was clear that Prescott was the most valuable. Prescott produced the most impressive season at the lowest cost and was the best value in drafts.
When comparing players, value can be used to determine who wins if you have to make difficult decisions.
Identify your “steals”.
No matter if your team wins the championship, or misses the playoffs altogether, there are chances that you had at most a few draft day steals or trades. Highlight the players who have significantly outperformed their ADP when you evaluate your roster.
Steals are often the foundation of your roster in a dynasty or keeper league. Although it is easier to find studs in the early rounds, the best teams are able to identify the players that will make the difference at the end of the season. It’s easier to create a great team if you have more steals.
Lamar Jackson is a great example of a draft day steal. We all know that he had an MVP-caliber year. Did you also remember Jackson’s draft? Jackson was the 14th quarterback drafted with an ADP of just 106. You are correct — the league MVP was a 9th round pick last summer.
Courtland Sutton, another great example of 2019 is also available. The Broncos’ wideout was ranked No. Sutton was drafted No. 17 among standard league receivers, but he was actually the 44th drafted receiver last summer. Sutton was drafted in fact after Dante Pettis and Corey Davis.
Jackson and Sutton were the final two players I selected in my keeper league. Both played huge roles in my winning a fantasy title. Equal success.
Take a look at your steals when you go through your roster to find common traits. Did they have inexperience that made them undervalued? Were they drafted in the high-powered leagues? These similarities can be used to help you find steals in future drafts.
Learn from your mistakes
In fantasy football, perfection is impossible. Although I may have broiled about Jackson and Sutton in the previous paragraph, I also lost picks on Pettis and Dion Lewis in that draft.
Learning from your mistakes is the best way to improve your fantasy playing skills. Start by recalling why you took the player. You can do some research to find out if you overlooked any important information or if you made a mistake in your decision.
Pettis was a case in point. I felt he had the potential to be the No. Pettis is the No. 1 wide receiver in San Francisco. I chose to ignore the troubling statements from Kyle Shanahan, who said that he was still trying “to earn a position” on the team.
Next, identify the problem areas during the season. Maybe the player was hot at the beginning but then cooled down significantly in the second half. Was the player unable to play or was there an injury that caused them to miss games? Did the player’s circumstances change significantly? Did the team’s offense become more dysfunctional than you anticipated? Maybe the player is just not that great. These factors can all play a part in why your pick didn’t go as planned.
Pettis was affected by many factors. Pettis started the season in Shanahan’s doghouse, but he turned out to have a poor talent. Deebo Samuel’s emergence and the Emmanuel Sanders deal pushed him further down the depth charts. The power running game in San Francisco led the way. This allowed the 49ers to have a lead in most of their games. It also resulted in fewer pass attempts.
These mistakes can help you identify potential bust players and prevent you from repeating the same mistake twice.
What is sustainable?
We must be able to discern which performances are genuine and sustainable and which are just flukey in order to limit the effects of fantasy football’s randomness.
Start by looking at the game-by-game outputs in order to determine consistency. Your player’s season was it steady or a rollercoaster ride with high peaks, low valleys? What was the difference between top-two weeks and weeks outside of the top-30? Is the majority of your players’ production derived from a small number of games? These questions will help you determine if your players are real or fake.
Let’s take A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans receiver. Brown is an example. Brown was 21st in PPR and 10th in standard leagues last season. This is quite impressive for a rookie. Brown’s production is not as impressive as it seems. Brown was 49th among receivers in standard, and 55th in PPR going into Week 11. Brown caught 25 of his 52 receptions and racked up 605 yards. He also caught five of his eight touchdowns in the last six games.
Brown’s potential is undisputed, but I believe he will be undervalued in drafts next season due to his strong finish. It’s also hard to duplicate the Titans’ magical ride with Ryan Tannehill as quarterback. Brown is someone I would be happy to have on my team but I won’t draft him as the top 10 receiver in standard leagues.