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Should drafting a K and DEF be required?


DrRazvi

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Starting up year 5 of a hard-core friends league. Every year one or two guys do not draft a K or DEF, instead they load up on "prospect" skill players and see where they pan out preseason, then pick up & stream K and DEF when the reg season starts.

I don't have a problem with this strategy, but many of my leaguemates think that everybody should be required to draft a K and DEF to level the playing field.

Any thoughts?

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Sounds like they take a bigger "risk" than your leaguemates do in terms of what quality their K and D will be - a sign they are confident they can make do with whatever is on the wire for those spots all year. They trust their ability to stream effectively. I'd suggest the rest of the league do it themselves as well, if they think it's a successful strategy.

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If it's not in the rules, they can do it. If you think they shouldn't, put it up for a vote to add the rule in next year. Pretty simple to me.

One league I am in locks the WW until after the week 1 games are done, so this effectively eliminates this issue.

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Starting up year 5 of a hard-core friends league. Every year one or two guys do not draft a K or DEF, instead they load up on "prospect" skill players and see where they pan out preseason, then pick up & stream K and DEF when the reg season starts.

I don't have a problem with this strategy, but many of my leaguemates think that everybody should be required to draft a K and DEF to level the playing field.

Any thoughts?

If its such a requirement, why dont they do it? You could just draft a little later and not give them the free look at prospects.
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I don't see how being forced to draft a K/DEF levels the playing field. A lot of times I end up ditching my K/DEF for someone else midway through the season or earlier. A lot of late-round sleeper picks don't end up doing much. And people who look good in preseason (or week 1) don't always do much in the regular season either.

I bet whoever picked up Chicago defense felt better than the guy who took a late round flier on Peyton Hillis

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I do the same thing in every league. Even in leagues where you have to draft a K and DST, I just drop them for prospects. Doesn't really affect me much. Likewise, fairly often throughout the season I'll drop my K or DST for a waiver pick; and then try to work out a 2 for 1 trade or at least have more time to decide what I want to do.

Unless there's something built in to stop it, then either do it yourself or deal with it.

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I don't see how being forced to draft a K/DEF levels the playing field. A lot of times I end up ditching my K/DEF for someone else midway through the season or earlier. A lot of late-round sleeper picks don't end up doing much. And people who look good in preseason (or week 1) don't always do much in the regular season either.

I bet whoever picked up Chicago defense felt better than the guy who took a late round flier on Peyton Hillis

Chicago's lucky a** TDs pissed me off. Brian Urlacher turning into Adrian Peterson when he intercepted the ball.

But to answer the question. No, I don't think it should be a requirement. It's a stupid rule if you ask me.

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I never draft a DST or K if I don't have to. I stream those positions almost every week so it'd be foolish for me not to pick up a couple of fliers and see if their situations improve at all before the fantasy season commences.

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I'm targeting Gostkowski, and if he's available at a reasonable spot for me then I'm going to grab him. He's been #2 in fantasy points for kickers each of the last 2 years. 3 years ago he was injured, but 4 years ago he finished #4. Obviously kickers aren't that important but if I can get close to a sure thing at a reasonable price I'm going to.

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I'm targeting Gostkowski, and if he's available at a reasonable spot for me then I'm going to grab him.

Reasonable spot? What are you deeming as such? As far as I'm concerned, anywhere other than the last round of the draft is an unreasonable spot to select a kicker.

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I guess I'll chime in on my kicker strategy.

Only 3 kickers I'm targetting is

1. Gostkowski (He will go way before where I'd take him but he's just so unbelievably consistant for a kicker, top 5 every year)

2. Phil Dawson (Not a homer pick but the heart and soul of a Greg Roman offense is the kicker position. 49ers have made an obscene amount of FG attempts last 2 years. Dawson is money from long distance)

3. Josh Brown (Lawrence Tynes was on a record setting pace last year in NYG, Brown has a stronger leg).

I'll grab someone else random in the last round or the WW if I don't get one of them, but those are the only 3 kickers I'm the least bit interested in.

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I'm targeting Gostkowski, and if he's available at a reasonable spot for me then I'm going to grab him.

Reasonable spot? What are you deeming as such? As far as I'm concerned, anywhere other than the last round of the draft is an unreasonable spot to select a kicker.

To be honest, if you're high on a kicker or defense I think it's fine to jump as long as it's only a couple rounds. A lot of times my 12th and 13th round picks will be guys who would otherwise be undrafted, so it wouldn't really matter if I jump up and take a kicker or DST in the 12th round. Chances are you'll end up dropping your 12th round pick anyways.

If you jump up too high, for example single digit rounds, then you're just being stupid. Remember people jumped up for Akers and SF Def last year.

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I'm targeting Gostkowski, and if he's available at a reasonable spot for me then I'm going to grab him.

Reasonable spot? What are you deeming as such? As far as I'm concerned, anywhere other than the last round of the draft is an unreasonable spot to select a kicker.

Round 12 (out of 15) in a 10 team league. Maybe 11 if nobody I like is available and I want to be more sure that I get him. Also non-ppr (I imagine more receivers have value in ppr, IDK though). All the people taken around that spot or after are 2nd/3rd string RBs and WRs and crap TEs who most likely won't amount to anything. If I get a solid kicker, he's going to be in my lineup every week. If I gamble on a later round sleeper, they'll be lucky to have a good week here or there but probably won't consistently see one of my starting spots.

Also Gostkowski scored 157 points last year (and 145 the year before). He scored more points than guys like BJE, LeShoure, Sproles, DeAngelo Williams, Woodhead, Ballard, Mike Williams, Steve Smith, Lance Moore, Stevie Johnson, Torrey Smith, Austin, Maclin, Lloyd, etc. He scored more points than any TE last year. And a lot of those guys are projected to go way ahead of Gostkowski.

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why not just have the draft much closer to the start of the regular season? preseason should be pretty much over by the time you draft anyway

In at least one of my leagues, it's virtually impossible to get a date in late August where all owners are available.

We always do live, in-person drafts but most of the owners are family guys who vacation frequently in the summer. Sometimes an ideal draft date just isn't an option.

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Also Gostkowski scored 157 points last year (and 145 the year before). He scored more points than guys like BJE, LeShoure, Sproles, DeAngelo Williams, Woodhead, Ballard, Mike Williams, Steve Smith, Lance Moore, Stevie Johnson, Torrey Smith, Austin, Maclin, Lloyd, etc. He scored more points than any TE last year. And a lot of those guys are projected to go way ahead of Gostkowski.

How many points a player scores doesn't matter. It's how many more points they score than somebody else. He scored 27 more points than the 12th best kicker last year, and 19 points in 2011. Not a tiny amount, but considering I wouldn't at all be surprised if Gostkowski fell outside of the top 5 this year, it's not a huge amount either. You can actually stream kickers pretty well too, probably getting top 5 production out of it. Nobody holds a backup kicker, so you always have tons of options.

Again, I actually saw a couple people jump to single digit rounds for Akers last year. Similar reasoning, he's been top 5 forever, scores so many points, etc etc. Didn't really pan out, he was meh. You could have gotten a better kicker off waivers.

Also reminds me of how in the ESPN "experts" mock drafts, the 49ers DST repeatedly went in single digit rounds, e.g. round 7: http://sports.espn.g...k2k12mockdraft2 lol, just lol

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Gostkowski scored 157 points last year (and 145 the year before). He scored more points than guys like BJE, LeShoure, Sproles, DeAngelo Williams, Woodhead, Ballard, Mike Williams, Steve Smith, Lance Moore, Stevie Johnson, Torrey Smith, Austin, Maclin, Lloyd, etc. He scored more points than any TE last year. And a lot of those guys are projected to go way ahead of Gostkowski.

This logic is really flawed. If every owner in a given draft were applying this rationale, about 15 QBs would be going in the first two rounds because they score more points than all of the other players.

A sound draft strategy doesn't involve selecting the players who are simply going to score the most overall points. We have to apply principles of VBD (Value-Based Drafting) or we'll end up doing things like selecting our kicker before potentially useful skill players.

Let's keep in mind that, even in a 16 team league, there will be anywhere from 10 to 16 starting kickers (depending on byes) on the wire in any given week. How many starting RBs are usually sitting around on the wire after waivers are processed? None. Ever. Probably not even in like an 8 team league.

If you aren't drafting all your skill guys before your kicker and streaming the position week to week, you might not be fully maximizing your roster's potential.

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How many points a player scores doesn't matter. It's how many more points they score than somebody else. He scored 27 more points than the 12th best kicker last year, and 19 points in 2011. Not a tiny amount, but considering I wouldn't at all be surprised if Gostkowski fell outside of the top 5 this year, it's not a huge amount either. You can actually stream kickers pretty well too, probably getting top 5 production out of it. Nobody holds a backup kicker, so you always have tons of options.

Again, I actually saw a couple people jump to single digit rounds for Akers last year. Similar reasoning, he's been top 5 forever, scores so many points, etc etc. Didn't really pan out, he was meh. You could have gotten a better kicker off waivers.

Also reminds me of how in the ESPN "experts" mock drafts, the 49ers DST repeatedly went in single digit rounds, e.g. round 7: http://sports.espn.g...k2k12mockdraft2 lol, just lol

I understand that opinion and it's perfectly reasonable. I normally don't target kickers and this will be the first year I'm doing so, so I could be completely wrong. But at round 12 he just seems like more of a sure thing than a WR or RB who I will probably just end up dropping for someone else. Obviously drafting a kicker in the teens is stupid, but in the last few rounds I don't see it being any riskier than grabbing someone else in that area - a person who is likely to sit on the bench and eventually get dropped.

I've also never been someone who streams kickers or defenses (at least not on a weekly basis). I usually don't get it right and always seem to pick the player/team who is projected to do well and ends up under-performing. I'd rather have a person who is somewhat more stable on a weekly basis. Also I don't like using kickers on teams with bad offenses (they get less opportunities if their team can't move down the field), even if they're projected to do well. I stayed away from Akers last year because he wasn't on a team with a good offense. I like Gostkowski in part because the Patriots are good at moving the ball down the field, but they're not so good that they're only going to be scoring TDs.

I definitely agree about the defense part though, it's all about the week to week matchups and I will be spending my last round pick on a D. I suck at streaming defenses too though, so I normally stick with someone a few weeks at a time.

This logic is really flawed. If every owner in a given draft were applying this rationale, about 15 QBs would be going in the first two rounds because they score more points than all of the other players.

A sound draft strategy doesn't involve selecting the players who are simply going to score the most overall points. We have to apply principles of VBD (Value-Based Drafting) or we'll end up doing things like selecting our kicker before potentially useful skill players.

Let's keep in mind that, even in a 16 team league, there will be anywhere from 10 to 16 starting kickers (depending on byes) on the wire in any given week. How many starting RBs are usually sitting around on the wire after waivers are processed? None. Ever. Probably not even in like an 8 team league.

If you aren't drafting all your skill guys before your kicker and streaming the position week to week, you might not be fully maximizing your roster's potential.

I think the difference is that QBs only take 1 roster spot. Whereas RBs and WRs take up 2 or 3 spots each. That means there only needs to be 12 viable QBs (when there's 32 nfl teams to choose from), vs like 30 RBs and 30 WRs. If each team only needed 1 qb, 1 rb, and 1 wr I'm sure QBs would be the first ones off the board.

If I get it right and land a solid kicker, he's going to average 9 points or so a week. If I'm stuck flipping between waiver wire guys I'm going to get some wrong and have weeks where I get someone who ends up with almost no points. The guys I draft in round 12 or later are more than likely to do absolutely nothing anyways. The RBs that late especially are a crap shoot. You might get lucky and find a good WR, but the odds are you won't imo - these are 2nd/3rd stringers who are going to sit on my bench, won't play much, and I'll probably end up dropping for someone else anyways. I'm forced to use a roster spot on a kicker anyways, I might as well get someone solid if I can and if he's available at the right spot.

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Prea, I vehemently disagree with that philosophy, but different strategies work for each owner I guess. What makes fantasy sports fun is that your team is YOUR team and it's up to you to build that team however you want.

The way I look at it, you HAVE to fill all of your bench slots, one way or another. I hear people sometimes say that they took a K or DST before the final 2 rounds "because there wasn't anybody left". I never understood that. Like I said, you have to fill your roster. Do you think the RBs and WRs that'll be there in round 16 will be favorable to the ones there in rounds 10, 11, or whatever when there was "nobody left"? Of course not. They'll obviously be far more inferior options.

The way you're proposing it is that the guys on the end of your bench are essentially worthless anyway and are going to likely be dropped. How much worse do you think the skill guys will be who you'd be drafting the the final round (when most of your opponents are likely selecting their kickers and DSTs)?

In almost any draft, there are only as many kickers drafted as there are teams in that given league. Even in a large 16 team league, the final owner to select a kicker is still getting a guy who is projected to finish in the top half of his position. In a 10 or 12 team league (which is obviously more common) the last guy who picks a kicker can land a much better kicker than that even (basically a guy projected to finish in the top 30% or so at the position). It's pretty rare that an above average kicker (which, like I said, every owner should be drafting in leagues with 16 teams or less) will give you very many 2 or 3 point efforts. It's been well documented that there is usually little variation between the top kicker and the median kicker in the rankings.

Throw in the fact that kicker is the most difficult position to project and ADP rarely resembles actual performance (as even the most skilled pundits and experts will admit) and, at least to me, it's pretty much impossible to rationalize selecting a kicker with anything other than one of my final 2 picks.

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The way I look at it, you HAVE to fill all of your bench slots, one way or another. I hear people sometimes say that they took a K or DST before the final 2 rounds "because there wasn't anybody left". I never understood that. Like I said, you have to fill your roster. Do you think the RBs and WRs that'll be there in round 16 will be favorable to the ones there in rounds 10, 11, or whatever when there was "nobody left"? Of course not. They'll obviously be far more inferior options.

Aside from the fact that TEs, Def, Kickers and QBs are some of the players taken around that area by other teams (everyone else is not going to only draft RBs and WRs - so some people can fall). I do have some late round players that I can still target and might be available. Vincent Brown, Michael Floyd, Kendall Hunter, Danny Woodhead - all guys projected to go around 14 or later, and I don't see them being any worse than guys like McGahee, Moreno, Pead, LeShoure, Denarius Moore, DeAngelo Williams who are predicted to go higher (in some cases there are later guys who I like better than ones going earlier).

It's not like the prospects in round 12 are impossible to miss on. I really don't see a different between players going in round 11 or 12 vs those going in 13 or 14. I only spend 1 draft pick on a kicker, it's not inconceivable that I target some players worth a round 12 pick who fall to round 13. So in exchange for drafting a bench player a round later than I otherwise would (which is really not a big difference), I get a potentially consistent kicker who will actually be starting and putting up points (as opposed to rolling the dice with different kickers each week).

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I really don't see a different between players going in round 11 or 12 vs those going in 13 or 14.

In exchange for drafting a bench player a round later than I otherwise would (which is really not a big difference), I get a potentially consistent kicker who will actually be starting and putting up points

There's no difference between guys who go in round 11 and guys who go in round 14? I'll be honest. I'm having a hell of a time following your logic here. I know we all have our late round sleepers or whatever but it's pretty much common sense that players going 3 rounds apart from each other are likely to represent a gap in production, even in the late rounds.

Anyway, as far as drafting a kicker "who will actually be starting an putting up points", like I implied, you'd have to be in a league with 26 teams or more to be in a situation where there isn't a starting kicker available every single week (assuming your league starts 1 kicker slot).

I'm repeating myself here, but in common leagues with 10, 12, or even 14 or 16 teams, EVERY SINGLE team has the opportunity to draft a kicker who is projected to out-perform the median. It's not like if you wait on kicker, you'll end up stuck with somebody useless. It's actually the exact opposite.

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