[Author's note: For those of you still wondering about the Deadspin posters' fantasy football league league, we're all filled up with 16 teams. Some of you were inquring about starting another posters' league. If some of the more motivated posters are interested in gathering a herd and setting that up in the comments section of this post, feel free. For those posters in the FFLXDSP, the draft order, and the beginning of my conquest, will be announced August 9th. That's a Wednesday. -MMP]
I don't claim to be an expert. Well, at least not in fantasy football (FF). But when you're involved in ten fantasy leagues, you're bound to have opinions that differ from the conventional "wisdom." Some of this you may have already heard from other sources, but I suspect it will benefit a lot of people getting into FF for the first time this fall. These are just a few basic points I've assembled under the title "Don't Be That Guy."
Don't be that guy, the one that can't understand the concept of RELATIVE VALUE in FF. Yes, Peyton Manning is better than Tiki Barber, in football. But Tiki is more VALUABLE in FF. Consider:
MARGINAL COST: The difference between RBs 1-10 is MUCH greater than the difference between QBs 1-10. And you need TWO RBs, so don't fuck around with the quarterbacks until you have at least two dependable RBs on your team. I will get three, because the dropoff between the good backs and the average backs is so severe. Nobody seems to realize this until a week after the draft, when I'll find email in my box from some guy offering me Antonio Gates for Stephen Jackson. Don't be that guy.
Don't be that guy that goes right down the list out of his favorite magazine on draft day. The projections (especially the Yahoo! auto-lists) are wrong! So many rankings are based on what guys did last year. Is that bad? No, but that's not how you want to build your team.
VARIANCE: Almost half of the Top 10 players at each position fall out of the Top 10 the following year. Who will be taking their places? Figure it out. Whose situations have improved the most? Ronnie Brown is not splitting carries this year. Same with Ced Benson (at least for the time being). Jake Delhomme has another quality WR in Keyshawn Johnson. A little research goes a long way. Do some.
Don't be that guy that shits his pants in the 7th round because all the players' names that he recognized are off the board. Have a plan to use your later picks. How are you going to stock your bench? If you have to fill a flex position (WR/RB), which player(s) will you use (I recommend an RB if you have a good one available, as they produce more consistently than WRs)? Are you taking two QBs? Three? Figure it out. Your season will depend on how you use your later picks.
Unless you're serious about grabbing Antonio Gates or CHI DEF early, you can realistically go DEF, K, TE in rounds 11-12-13 in a 15-round draft. At that point, your draft is essentially over, since you'll dump one of your next two picks for anyone you pick up on waivers. I prefer not to keep subs at these three positions, and I will address bye week issues as they come through the waiver wire. Ideally, you want your K, TE, and DEF to have byes on three different weeks, to minimize the impact of losing their production. Also, I'll need only one roster spot to stock a sub for all three.
Don't be that guy that minds his business and doesn't talk shit because he's worried about getting blown out the following week. Enjoy your victory; that's the point. Get it in while you can. You don't have to run in Monday morning, screaming, "How'd that taste, bitch?!" Amp downn, little camper, especially if it's still a close contest and he's starting someone in the Monday Night game. You have the whole week to rub his nose in it, so pace yourself. Put some thought into that taunt. Haiku and limericks are great after big wins. There's nothing better than dropping a diddy like this in someone's inbox on Tuesday morning:
your fantasy team
was destroyed even worse than
your mother's hymen.
A good FF nerd will understand player value. Make his own list. Plan his draft. Talk shit. And a good FF nerd will enjoy his league and the season. Be THAT guy.
Monday Morning Punter will write about FF throughout the season.