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2021 Strategy Thread/What We Learned In 2020


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41 minutes ago, BrianM said:

Have a rushing QB on every roster.   You're going to be an underdog at that position nearly every week if you're starting a statue.    My one non playoff team didn't spend a little extra in auction to get Josh Allen or Kyler Murray because I was set on just getting the cheaper option at the back end of the top 12 QB's, and that was a difference maker. In addition, avoid the old guys

Don't take the bait on going receiver heavy as an absolute.   Three top RB's for sure performed up to task,and that's it, so everyone's gonna preach zero RB next year.   If you had one of those RB's.......you almost certainly did well though.  A top RB is still IMO the path to a championship.  

No Rams.   None.  Not a single share of anyone on that team.    

I found myself coasting in a league, sure to get a bye at about week 10/11.   I maneuvered to get the Rams D and the Browns D because they played the Jets in weeks 15/16.  They combined for 8 points.   Defense was always a crapshoot, but now its not even worth a few minutes of time to research every week. 

In my auction keeper, probably a dozen different WR's went for cheap in the last two seasons during their rookie year, only to turn into amazing keeper options.  Given that i hear good things about this class, I plan to fill my back end with all of these types of guys.  

 

I don't know about that.  Plenty of the talking heads in the preseason were saying to take some combination of Rodgers/Brees/Brady in consecutive late rounds.  Rodgers is QB2, just 5 points behind HOMES in my scoring setting.  And the GOAT is QB7.  Both of these guys have the least rushing yards among the top 7 - Rodgers has only 37 rushes for 145 yards and TB predictably has only 25 rushes for 3 yards.  I'm guessing a bunch of his were kneel downs.  

If you picked either of these guys this year, you would have done really quite well.

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1 minute ago, CooL said:

I don't know about that.  Plenty of the talking heads in the preseason were saying to take some combination of Rodgers/Brees/Brady in consecutive late rounds.  Rodgers is QB2, just 5 points behind HOMES in my scoring setting.  And the GOAT is QB7.  Both of these guys have the least rushing yards among the top 7 - Rodgers has only 37 rushes for 145 yards and TB predictably has only 25 rushes for 3 yards.  I'm guessing a bunch of his were kneel downs.  

If you picked either of these guys this year, you would have done really quite well.

 

This is mostly circumstantial/scheduling, but I had Ryan and Brady.  Brady started maybe the last 10 weeks, but I fell off the path early with a few close losses, and the QB failed me in those.   Brady was clutch helping me get back in, but if I would've had Allen, I win at least 8 games, for sure.   

Nitpicky/micromanagement, I know, but I had the desire to get a rushing QB on draft day and backed away from it.   

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Even though you think the starting rb is in a horrible offense, draft them or pick them up. I faded James Robinson, gibson, and gaskin cause I didn’t believe in their offenses can provide reliable rb production

either grab an elite tight end or stream until you find a reliable one

Don’t play bad defenses even against bad offenses (example playing Texans vs bengals last week) 

Handcuffing is over rated

if you don’t have to stream, don’t stream

use your faab and high waiver priority

Be ahead on the ww. Pick up players on the bye or coming of the ir earlier 

be patient with rookie rbs

know your league mates and league settings 

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Honestly I'm looking at my two championship teams and trying to mine some good nuggets of info, but the only thing I'm really gathering is that it's all luck.  One team is basically the team I drafted, the other is almost all WW adds.  There is 0 player crossover between the two rosters.

I guess the best tip I can give is that winning seasons are made on smart WW moves - both those made and those not made.  Don't give up on your guys too early, and don't hesitate to capitalize when other managers do. 

Be smart, and be lucky.  That's it, that's the strategy.

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10 minutes ago, NyjersInParis said:

Even though you think the starting rb is in a horrible offense, draft them or pick them up. I faded James Robinson, gibson, and gaskin cause I didn’t believe in their offenses can provide reliable rb production

either grab an elite tight end or stream until you find a reliable one

Don’t play bad defenses even against bad offenses (example playing Texans vs bengals last week) 

Handcuffing is over rated

if you don’t have to stream, don’t stream

use your faab and high waiver priority

Be ahead on the ww. Pick up players on the bye or coming of the ir earlier 

be patient with rookie rbs

know your league mates and league settings 

Some good stuff here for sure.  Bolded the ones I really like. 

Only one I don't really agree with is the good RB/bad offense philosophy.  RB is a freaking crap shoot at the end of the day.  Sometimes talent prevails, other times it doesn't.  Just gotta hope you get lucky.

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13 hours ago, affliction said:

I can tell by this thread 3 tight ends are going first round next year. Good luck with that 


Kelce is the only one deserving of that. He’s a beast and stays healthy too.

You can’t dog on the old guys at QB like one of the posts up top. There should be a lot of championship rosters with Rodgers at QB who was drafted between the 5th-7th rounds.

I hate going QB early, so I’m looking for that guy again next year. It’s burned me before (Kevin Kolb, Mayfield, Ryan).

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I think I've been playing long enough to not have a fixed strategy. 

 

Pick the best available player (in your eyes), but don't overload at one position. Obviously, you'll hit some and miss some. The difference will be where you drafted the hits: the later the better.

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Read half of the first page and will read the rest, but I agree with what several have said, it's about just having a good understanding of the landscape of the NFL, and I think paying attention heavily during the previous season is the best strategy.

You can do all the research you want, but I'm starting to believe that it quickly gets to a point of paralysis by analysis.

Ultimately know who the studs and good players are.  Know or try to get a good projection of what the system and playcalling will be like.  Pay attention to the offensive line (effing Joe Mixon).  Be weary of and adjust expectations for aging players, especially in new situations with QB (AJ, Hilton).  Take a good look at talented younger players and figure out who looks poised to be a stud even if underperforming the previous year.

I'm throwing all notion of positional necessity out the window, especially in leagues where we have two flex.  One team in my 14 manager league (two flex) was autodrafted and sold off.  That team was an absolute wasteland at RB and had to start Jones and Fournette some weeks, yet they had the second best record.  Pick studs regardless of position, don't be afraid to reach on a QB if you feel like they will win matchups for you week in week out (still I think I would avoid one in the first couple rounds).

Screw rigid strategy, still do your research and have as complete an understanding as possible of every relevant player, but don't buy too much into "expert" opinions.  Oftentimes you will be led astray by somebody spending all their time crunching numbers when you might have a far better read because you followed along the previous season and can read between the numbers.  Draft for upside and players in good situations, don't follow the board and take a low upside consistent producer that will likely be an unexciting start any given week (some may disagree with this).  I won't call it a strictly BPA (best player available) approach, but don't feel bad if you drafted stud TE WRs and a QB and are still looking for a RB in round 5.  Get guys who [you are most sure] are going to help you win games.

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15 hours ago, BrianM said:

Have a rushing QB on every roster.   You're going to be an underdog at that position nearly every week if you're starting a statue.    My one non playoff team didn't spend a little extra in auction to get Josh Allen or Kyler Murray because I was set on just getting the cheaper option at the back end of the top 12 QB's, and that was a difference maker. In addition, avoid the old guys

Don't take the bait on going receiver heavy as an absolute.   Three top RB's for sure performed up to task,and that's it, so everyone's gonna preach zero RB next year.   If you had one of those RB's.......you almost certainly did well though.  A top RB is still IMO the path to a championship.  

No Rams.   None.  Not a single share of anyone on that team.    

I found myself coasting in a league, sure to get a bye at about week 10/11.   I maneuvered to get the Rams D and the Browns D because they played the Jets in weeks 15/16.  They combined for 8 points.   Defense was always a crapshoot, but now its not even worth a few minutes of time to research every week. 

In my auction keeper, probably a dozen different WR's went for cheap in the last two seasons during their rookie year, only to turn into amazing keeper options.  Given that i hear good things about this class, I plan to fill my back end with all of these types of guys.  

 

I've apparently run out of likes for the day and owe you one for your post.  Also wanted to say the bolded gave me a quick immature chuckle.

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14 hours ago, affliction said:

I can tell by this thread 3 tight ends are going first round next year. Good luck with that 

I'll take Kelce mid/late first, Kittle 2nd, Waller maybe late 2nd or early 3rd.  Its a huge advantage and the RBs taken there have a huge bust rate. 

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20 hours ago, Brettg57 said:

I have been running a 12 team league with buddies of mine and am also strongly considering ridding Team DST for 1 or 2 IDP. 
 

One thing I learned, in this year was especially luck driven. 


One or two IDP is just way too few. The wire will be oversaturated and there will be zero need to draft one until the very end of the draft. I’ll be like playing in a 4-team league. If you’re going to do IDP, go all in and roster several. Otherwise, there’s no point. 

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15 hours ago, affliction said:

I can tell by this thread 3 tight ends are going first round next year. Good luck with that 

every season everybody goes in to the season going "you can wait on TE this season! there's good options in the later tiers! There's a lot of TE talent out there!". Every season we find out that actually there's only 2-4 really good dependable TEs and every other TE spends the season bouncing between "sometimes startable" and "waiver wire trash". I'm not saying you should draft a TE super early or late or whatever but just know--this happens almost every season so plan accordingly

 

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I think flexibility is key - there are so many ways to win, and we all have our preferences on which positions to focus on. Find whichever path you prefer, or whichever the draft/auction leaves you with and go from there.

I've always been an RB heavy guy, and that hasn't stopped me from doing well. It's just a strategy I'm personally more comfortable with. If you feel better about your strategy vs going with something you've heard other ppl talk about, you'll likely do better IMO.

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1 hour ago, CharlesCC2 said:

Read half of the first page and will read the rest, but I agree with what several have said, it's about just having a good understanding of the landscape of the NFL, and I think paying attention heavily during the previous season is the best strategy.

You can do all the research you want, but I'm starting to believe that it quickly gets to a point of paralysis by analysis.

Ultimately know who the studs and good players are.  Know or try to get a good projection of what the system and playcalling will be like.  Pay attention to the offensive line (effing Joe Mixon).  Be weary of and adjust expectations for aging players, especially in new situations with QB (AJ, Hilton).  Take a good look at talented younger players and figure out who looks poised to be a stud even if underperforming the previous year.

I'm throwing all notion of positional necessity out the window, especially in leagues where we have two flex.  One team in my 14 manager league (two flex) was autodrafted and sold off.  That team was an absolute wasteland at RB and had to start Jones and Fournette some weeks, yet they had the second best record.  Pick studs regardless of position, don't be afraid to reach on a QB if you feel like they will win matchups for you week in week out (still I think I would avoid one in the first couple rounds).

Screw rigid strategy, still do your research and have as complete an understanding as possible of every relevant player, but don't buy too much into "expert" opinions.  Oftentimes you will be led astray by somebody spending all their time crunching numbers when you might have a far better read because you followed along the previous season and can read between the numbers.  Draft for upside and players in good situations, don't follow the board and take a low upside consistent producer that will likely be an unexciting start any given week (some may disagree with this).  I won't call it a strictly BPA (best player available) approach, but don't feel bad if you drafted stud TE WRs and a QB and are still looking for a RB in round 5.  Get guys who [you are most sure] are going to help you win games.

This last part is something I definitely noticed this year. I'm usually always someone who fades QBs and TEs because I feel the need to want to load up on RBs and WRs. But the guy I lost to in the playoffs had Mahomes and Kelce, and was able to just get consistent production from his WRs and RBs by having guys like Evans, Cooks, Hunt, and Taylor. His Mahomes/Kelce stack was enough to give him a solid floor every week. So I think next year I will go in more open minded if a guy like Kelce is on the board and I'm looking at a bunch of RBs that I don't feel great about...I convinced myself to take Drake this year in the second round because I didn't want to miss out on a "stud" RB. In reality, just taking Kelce was the way to go and I could have just been fine at RB2 by drafting upside guys later in the draft or being active on the waiver wire.

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5 minutes ago, yossarian said:

every season everybody goes in to the season going "you can wait on TE this season! there's good options in the later tiers! There's a lot of TE talent out there!". Every season we find out that actually there's only 2-4 really good dependable TEs and every other TE spends the season bouncing between "sometimes startable" and "waiver wire trash". I'm not saying you should draft a TE super early or late or whatever but just know--this happens almost every season so plan accordingly

 

Yes.  Every year I say I'm not going to spend on a TE because there's lots of options, but every year it's a total crapshoot.  There's 10 "high upside", "athletic", "former basketball player!", "young TE who will be a young QBs safety blanket" options.  

In PPR, this year there was...

Kelce 312

Waller 251

Hock 169, Tonyan 166, Logan Thomas 163, Andrews 163

Gesicki 149, Hunter Henry 145, Gronk 144, Ebron 141, Jimmy Graham 141, Fant 140, Jonnu Smith 138, Engram 137, Hurst 136, Schultz 132

 

That's incredible.  The divide between Kelce and Waller is 61 points.  Biggest gap between #1 and #2 at any position.  That's 3.8 points per game advantage.  the gap between Kelce and #3 Hockensen is an astounding 143 points!  Which is an incredible 8.9 points advantage.  Looking at these four tiers, the Hock tier isn't bad.  Then there's a bunch of guys in the 130s/140s.  So basically it didn't matter who you owned really if it wasn't Kelce or Waller, since the advantage between Tier 3 and Tier 4 amounts to 1 point per game.  So while it might have felt ok to own Hock, Tonyan, Thomas, or Andrews, they really didn't provide any advantage over anyone.

The take away is that KELCE IS A MONSTER and provides an enormous advantage.  Sure, you could always say "well of course, you draft the #1 guy at the position and he'll provide you a good return".  But that's easier said then done with the other positions.  Kelce has been so good, and so consistent, that it's almost a given that he'll provide you a tremendous advantage.  He deserves to go back end of round 1 every year.

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I won 2 out of 3 leagues, the one without Kelce I did not.  Kelce was the cheat code this year but last year it was CMC.  Given that the top 3 consensus picks this year busted it’s hard to say what strategy is best. 
 

I will say that in my main money league Kamara was on the winning roster 2 years in a row.  Kittle was also on the winning roster last year.

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I try to stick with evaluating my thought process around players and not so much whether they worked out. I'll spare everyone the things I think I was right on but here's where I was absolutely wrong:

  • DK Metcalf is just a deep threat and won't get enough targets (Failed to account for any improvement or Seattle opening up the passing game)
  • AJ Brown won't be able to repeat his yards per catch explosiveness and won't have a ton of targets (He didn't repeat or have many more targets but was still very worth drafting)
  • Josh Allen is too erratic and having Singletary & Moss shows Bills want to run the ball primarily with Diggs to keep defense honest (Again failed to factor in any improvement or properly consider his upside - also underrated how adequate of a #2 Beasley could be/is)
  • Alvin Kamara's contract issues and his needing an injection in his lower back for inflammation are bad signs! (Maybe they were red flags, but he was still worth taking as a Top-5 back)
  • Chark will at least repeat his 1000 yd, 8 TD 2019 season and Minshew & the Jags are good enough to get him the ball (Avoid WRs with a QB you'd never draft)
  • Ekeler's receiving usage was a product of Rivers and Tyrod won't use him the same way (maybe Tyrod wouldn't have, but I grossly underestimated Ekeler)

 

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My initial thoughts without really pondering them are

1.  Take WRs who are connected to elite QBs

2.  Draft Henry or Kamara 

3.  Try to get a few elite players who you will never question starting (I had way too many similar players this year and it was always hard to know who to start; this was mostly due to my top 2 picks injured/somewhat busting).

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I don't think that IDP vs DST is going to help things much.  The standard deviation of weekly points for the top 20 IDPs and top 10 DSTs both typically come out to be ~5.  Granted, there's a notably lower standard deviation for the top 20 IDP vs top 10 DST, but the important thing to note is that the top 20 IDPs span 4 standard deviations, while the top 10 DSTs are condensed to 3.  On top of this, you have 5 DSTs in that 1st tier/deviation vs 2 IDPs.

Basically, the top 5 DSTs averaged a 1.87 pt advantage over the bottom 3 starting DSTs, and a 1.32 pt advantage over the middle 2.  However, the top 2 IDPs averaged a 1.60 pt advantage over the bottom 11 of starting IDPs.  Even if you condense things to something like single IDP, the top 2 average a 1.25 pt advantage over the bottom 5.  That's pretty top heavy, and probably won't make things feel any more consistent than just sticking DST.

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