Went to McDonald’s last week and found that they now tell me how many calories are in my fries. Oh yeah, and what ever else I pick I get the bad news. Great that’s just great! Last thing I need to know when I am picking out my quick meal is how bad it’s going to affect my waistline. I now have a choice to try to pick without looking at those numbers behind the Double Quarter Pounder or use them to save my waistline. With my 39th birthday days away, it is not as easy to burn off that Double Quarter Pounder as it once was. However, using those little numbers beside the menu choices I find that what I thought was a better pick was not as good as I thought. The Quarter Pounder (the Single) is only slightly higher in points than the Premium Crispy Chicken Sandwich. Now, don’t get me wrong there are better choices on the menu. If I use the information they give me, it can help me plan for those times when my boys want happy meals or we need something in a pinch.
Average Draft Position (ADP) can be used to help you plan your draft too. Every site out has them now, and you should use them. Preseason ranks are great, and I will make mine. I hope you read them and use them. Here is the question then. How do you make those preseason ranks and ADP’s work together to come up with your draft plan?
Read those preseason ranks and notes, digest them, and think of what players you want. Not their rankings, but what players you believe in. You need to be reasonable with your wants. I want a Double Quarter Pounder with the Large Fry. I can’t eat like that anymore, and if you do not have the first pick, you can’t get Peterson. This is where the ADP’s come in. They let you know what you can eat. I meant who may be available at your pick. If you just use the preseason ranks, you will draft the next guy off the list. This may be a guy you hate, don’t trust, or do not need. Don’t get stuck on rankings. What’s the point of reading and doing research before the draft, if you are just going to pick the next guy on the list.
Researching ADP’s prior to your draft will allow you to find out where the guys you want are going. Now, don’t fall into the trap of just looking for values compared to ADP’s. This is a way some people draft. If you like popping tags at the thrift store, then this is the style you should use to draft. However, I like to do my research and get the guys I think will have big years. Okay, let me get to the point. I will give you an example. I am a huge believer in AJ Green. His ADP is 14.4 at ESPN ( http://games.espn.go.com/ffl/livedraftresults). If I want him and I am picking 11th, I better take him there. You may say that he is not a first rounder. You may be right. I might be crazy. But, if I take him there, who have I lost? Just the two guys at picks 12 and 13. If I wait until the 14th pick, he may be gone.
The key is having a plan on who you want and when you think you can get them. If you are a Russel Wilson believer and want him as your QB, you need to have a plan to get him. First, look at his ADP of 51.2 per ESPN. That puts him in the 5th round. If you want him and are picking at the end of the 4th, you better take him there. Don’t wait for him to be a bargain. Furthermore, if you know someone else in your league wants him and you are picking before him in the fourth round, you should take him before it gets to that guys pick in the 4th round. If you do not, he will have two chances to take him before you get another pick. You’re not going to get every guy you want, so have a backup plan. You also need to have realistic ideas on who you can get. If I am picking in the top 5, AJ Green is probably not an option. I will have him slotted as my first option at my second pick. But, I will not expect to get him.
The point of this plan is to have fun. I feel picking the guys you think will have big years is more fun than taking the thrift shop guy that you don’t want. Remember, that the preseason rankings are only a guide. Don’t get stuck on them. Plus, things change. ADP’s are good to look at close to your draft to get an idea of the current market. It all comes down to this. I want a Quarter Pounder with cheese. In the past, I thought that the Premium Crispy Chicken Sandwich was better for me. Turns out, that if I knew that there was little difference between them, I could have gotten what I wanted and not felt badly. Same goes for your draft. If you want Wilson, then get him when you can. Waiting for him to be a value, will lead to you drafting Romo when everyone else passes on him. That might work out. But, what fun is it to own Romo?Written by Chuck Amspacher Fantasy Writer (@CaptainChuck46) Read more Great post at http://hofsportstalk.wordpress.com
Keeper leagues are my favorite fantasy league to be a part of. There is always a reason to check your team, do research, and dream of your team taking home multiple titles. As a whole, I find that keeper leagues keep people’s attention which creates an environment favorable for trading. I have used this time of year to make trades that have pushed my teams to titles and also to build for the future. Just last year I found myself in no mans land in the rankings. I had a limited chance to make a run to just get in the money. I decided it would do me better to build for the future. It was time to have the great sell off. The thing you want to make sure of in your sell off is that you have a plan for the future.
How do you build that fantasy dynasty? First rule is to always build with position players. The amount of injuries that pitchers have along with the fact that there are very few pitchers who year in year out are great. The ones that are constantly good are already priced at a level that lessons their keeper value. Hitters have a much more steady track record. You still have the ups and downs with some(Jason Heyward), but there are many more hitters than pitchers sustaining a certain level of production.
Now that we are focused on hitters, lets look at your current keepers? Where are you strong, and where do you have holes? The last thing you want to do is handcuff yourself with 3 first basemen. Do not limit your roster flexibility, even though they may all be values. Find the positions you need to fill and then start looking for players that have good keeper value at that position. Hopefully, you will find one on a team in or near contention. Putting that team in the WIN NOW mode.
Next, you need to KNOW the team and the owner of the player you covet. No not who they are, but how they run their team, what type of players they like, what they think they need to win, and how much do they like the player you want. If this is a keeper league, you probably have been playing more than this year. If so, I always look back and try to see how that owner builds their rosters. Who they bid on. What kind of players they bid an extra $1 on. This will give you an idea of what type of player to offer them. Also, look at what trades they have made in the past. Have they given up young talent in the past to try to win now? Have they traded a star player for a closer before? Do they have a log jam at a position? Do they have a significant lead in a category? Is there a category where they are close to or bunched up with other teams. Last, is to find out how much they like the player you want and if there are any guys you have that they want. Its great when you get a chance to talk to the guys in your league about baseball. There is always information to be gleaned from these conversations. They want to tell you how this guy they drafted is amazing, or how they are not sure what to do with the three first basemen they have. People want to tell you their thoughts on their team. Let Them!!!
This seems like a lot of research, right? Well, yes it is. However, if you want to build that dynasty, you need to take the time to find a player with keeper value. One that will turn a profit for years. You then need to move players that are not going to have keeper value to you. Remember, for every team that is trying to rebuild there is one trying to WIN NOW. That guy does not care if he has to dump a bunch of players at the season’s end. His goal is to get that trophy, yahoo bath, bragging rights, or cold hard cash NOW. Help him win today, let him help you win next year, and the next year, and …
It is not easy to decide to rebuild. I had to make that choice last year in my Home league. It was time to rebuild after finishing in the money two out of the last three seasons and a near miss in the other. My team had some cap issues and contract issues. I had been that WIN NOW guy. Which is what you should be almost every year. I hate giving up. Even worse is looking at the standings for the last month and seeing my team drop to dead last. I ended with one of the leagues lowest point totals ever. It is worth it now as I have just moved into first place in that league. Amazing that one year ago I chose to rebuild and ended the season in dead last. I feel good about my team, and think I am set up for the next few years. However, I will be working those trading lines from the other side this year. Back in my WIN NOW mode!!!!
Tom Brady is getting dropped here. He is also dropping in my rankings!
- Aaron Rodgers stands as the #1 QB this year again. He is consistent and a SAFE pick that will give you one of the top QB totals. The only down fall is he will go in the first round. If you want him you better use your mid to late first round pick to get him. His ADP is 9.7 on ESPN http://games.espn.go.com/ffl/livedraftresults and Rotowire www.rotowire.com has his ADP at10.7. If he falls to the second round he is a steal.
- Drew Brees at number two and for many of the same reasons as Rodgers. As with Rodgers, Brees is consistent and I feel safe in thinking he will out perform last years numbers with Payton reinstated as head coach. They are pass happy in New Orleans. If Brees controls his INT this season he could be the #1 QB at seasons end. You will need to get him in the second round.
- Cam Newton is ranked here because he has the ability to carry you team with his legs. He had a down year last year as a sophomore, but he did enough to show he is growing as a QB. He is worth a second round pick to me. However, ADP put him in the third round. I would take him sooner, but don’t let him go past the third if you do not have one of the two guys mentioned above.
- Matt Ryan has improved in each of his first 5 years. Matty Ice may be the on the verge of another leap forward with the weapons they have around him. He may bring the best value of any of the top 10 guys. He currently is a fourth round pick according to ESPN ADP. I would take him in the third. If you go RB-RB with first two picks fill your QB slot with Ryan.
- Matthew Stafford is ranked here for what he can do. He has a high ceiling, just not sure I am buying he will ever get there. He has the ultimate weapon in Calvin Johnson which helps his case. With his ADP in the 6th round it seems others are not buying it either. However, my projections put him here. What does this mean? Do I trust my projections or my gut? If I still need a QB in the sixth I will draft him for his value in round sixth round.
- Andrew Luck has proved he was the most polished QB to come out of the draft since the man he replaced. He may end up better then some of the guys ahead, however I think there is always a chance he does not take any huge steps forward this year. He will at some point in his career be at or near the top of this list. So for those of you in keeper leagues, get him before the 6th Round.
- Tom Brady has a very different looking set of receivers this year. He has lost Hernandez and Walker. Who knows for sure when Gronkowski will be back. Even then, how good will he be when he returns from his injuries. Brady is now 35 years old and we may see him start to regress some. This rank may be as much about him as it is about the other QB that are passing him. We are seeing the position depth grow at QB the last few years. This depth and the NFL’s wide open passing rules may push QB’s up the board as their point totals get higher. Add in the fact that there are more offenses featuring two RB. This dilutes the RB pool even more. I am not saying QB’s are going to take over the first round, however there should be more looked at more closely in the 2nd through 5th round.
- Tony Romo seems to be losing his shine after throwing 19 INT last year. Yet, somehow puts up lots of fantasy points. This is a much higher ranking then what I have seen in other places. I really just put my projections together and where they fall they fall. His ADP is 78.9 with ESPN and 68.5 on Rotowire. That is almost a full Round difference. I would take him if he drops past 80 and fell like I got a good value. I feel the next four QBs have a higher potential and may look to grab one of them. However, he should be noted as a nice pick who puts up solid numbers year in and year out.
- Peyton Manning was no doubt the come back player of the year last year. He came back from multiple neck surgeries to put up solid numbers. I am way out there on this one I know. But listen, he is 37 years old, he has had multiple neck surgeries, he will score almost 0 points in rushing, and the 37 TD is his highest total since 2004. I know he is going in the 2nd round according to the ADPs I looked at, so I will not own Peyton this year. I am okay with that. You should be too.
- Colin Kaepernick has an ADP in the 4th round. He was amazing last year. But, I feel safer with the QBs ahead of him. His passing numbers will be hurt with Crabtree out for what will be most of your fantasy season. Even though I projected him for around 600 yards rushing and 7 Rushing TDs, his passing numbers bring his overall point total down to this 10th place ranking.
- Robert Griffin may be one of the best QBs in the future. Move him way up this list if you are drafting in a keeper league. My concern is that he is being pushed to make Adrian Peterson type of return. No one before Peterson has ever done that. No one may ever do it again. Watch him in preseason and see how he looks. Move him up the list if he is going to be healthy. I however am not going to risk a higher pick on someone coming off an ACL who relies so much on his legs.
- Russell Wilson is yet another player I may not own ranking him here. I feel that he does not through the ball enough to be higher on this list. NFL Defenses are going to make adjustments to all of the running QBs. If he is contained more in the pocket I see the INT rate going up and the Rushing yards going down. We will see how this works out for the undersized QB.