With the regular fantasy season over, it’s time to look back and reflect. Right now we’re in early December which means the 2018 Fantasy Draft won’t be for another nine months. It’s a fact that as humans we are forgetful by nature. We tell ourselves we will remember everything but in reality we don’t even remember what we ate for lunch on Saturday.
Part of being a successful fantasy football manager is to grow and adapt from year-to-year. Learning from mistakes is a crucial aspect that points to success at the game, though with a nine month gap between the end of the fantasy season and draft day, it is easy to forget the important takeaways.
So, in the interest of write it down, rather than try to remember, below is a list of things to remember when preparing for next season.
Take a QB late
It seems like every year we’re told we have to take a quarterback late in the draft. It’s easy to agree with in theory but when the clock is running and the only choice is between Aaron Rodgers and a running back with more question marks than touchdowns, the default pick is usually Rodgers. It’s true that there are QB’s who are completely safe year after year, but, the position itself is extremely deep. In fact the difference per game between QB7 and QB14 is a mere .8 points. That’s right: Not even a full point!
Take that information and factor that out of the top 10 quarterbacks drafted last season only 5 of them are in the top 10 after Week 13, and note that what we’re left with is a situation to completely avoid. Meaning take shots at the skill position players early and let the opposition draft the top end QB’s.
Don’t Reach on a Defense
Remember that hyper dominant Broncos Defense that helped fantasy owners win a championship in 2016? What about the turnover machine Chiefs defense that had the ability to score on any punt or kickoff? Well the truth is neither of those defenses is even in the top 12 for 2017.
Defenses are a unique position in fantasy football, played as a unit and with key injuries and free agency. That unit fluctuates more than any other discrete position from year-to-year. Since most of the points in fantasy football are scored using offensive players the changes to defenses often times fall on deaf ears. Some owners choose to grab a defense in the early part of the later rounds but we would recommend against it. Four of the top five defenses of 2017 weren’t even ranked in the top 12.
Good Things Come to Those Who Wait
Trust in your pre-draft research. Early in the season we have players who hit the ground running, while some have a slow start. Don’t put too much weight on those first four weeks, for the sample sizes are small while offensesive units are finding identities. Target and touch leaders change throughout this period and it’s easy to overreact.
That means dropping those late round sleeper picks for players who are performing right now could be a huge mistake. Sometimes it’s simply better to limit your transactions earlier in the season. Save that FAAB Budget or climb the waiver order while getting a true grasp on a player’s actual value. A great example of where I failed at this is with Robby Anderson and Marvin Jones, Jr.
I drafted both receivers in nearly every league I was in. By Week 4 when the BYES hit I had dropped nearly 70% of my shares in each player. At that time they were each outside the top 30 and I had felt that other players on the waiver wire had more potential. Completely throwing away my pre-draft analysis I shipped them both off only to have them post 20 point games several times for my opponents. Both are currently sitting in the top 12 at the WR position and through the past 6 weeks have averaged 16.9 and 17.4 PPG in a .5 PPR format. That’s a league winning type of production and a mistake I will remember for the 2018 season.
Follow Dare @DareMaybury and at Fantasy Football Advice.