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2021 Strategy Thread/What We Learned In 2020


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QB/Receiver stacks continue to work. This has been my experience in the past, and held true once again in 2020.

In the regular season, the top 2 teams in points had such stacks. It's a 2-QB league and one owner had Wilson/Metcalf and Burrow/Boyd, while the other owner had Mahomes/Kelce. The Mahomes/Kelce owner went on to win the championship.

This was our 15th season and the Top 5 most powerful teams in league history, have all had a QB/Receiver stack (with the Mahomes/Kelce team included in that bunch). 

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Same lesson I learn every year.  The fantasy football is a crock of Sh*t and there are thousands of things I can be doing better with my time and money...   With that said....see you guys ne

Don't reach on RB's late in the 1st round when there are top tier WR's or Kelce.  Josh Jacobs, CEH, Joe Mixon, and David Johnson all went ahead of Tyreek, Kelce, and Hopkins in my league.  I would nev

too glib / didn't read

Never stream a dogshi* defense (houston) because of a perceived “good matchup”.

 

And in general matchups are way overrated.  There are very few true shutdown corners or dominating run defenses to avoid.  
 

And on the flip side never trade for an inferior player because of a “good schedule” or try to offload a stud because of a “tough schedule”. It rarely works out. 

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What I will do next year.  

 

1.  Go RB, RB and possibly RB.... finding a healthy workhorse RB is much harder to find than a WR that can give you 10-15 points.    I made it to the championship with Golladay and ODB as my 1 and 2 receiver this year ( puke)

 

2.  With my RB picks...make an effort to go young... Swift,  Gibson.. Taylor...etc...

 

3,   Avoid WR's with a garbage QB.   

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On 12/28/2020 at 10:03 AM, KennyWoo said:

This will sound glib but it is not meant to be so.  The most important strategy is... having one.

So many people go into their draft or auction (if you have no strategy in an auction you are absolutely undone) with no strategy.  They are just flying by the seat of their pants.  Allow me to give you an example of what my strategy was this year in the redraft league I just won.  (Was it a good strategy?  Maybe, maybe not, but I had one.)

I picked at the #5 spot in a PPR Superflex 12-team league.  I learned of my draft slot about a week before the draft.  I began gaming scenarios out from there.  I had a clear top three: McCaffrey, Barkley, Zeke, in that order.  If any of them were available, I'd take them.  But I knew they'd be gone.  So I did my prep assuming they were out and how should I rank players from there?  In Superflex I like getting a QB early if it's a total stud I know will not "flop."  I was worried about Jackson in his second full season as a starter.  I knew the offense would regress some from its insane high and I thought with more "tape" on him his passing might be slowed down by defenses.  Mahomes's numbers figured to also drop off last year's historical totals but I knew he'd be a lock to be a league-winner type at QB.  So now all I have to figure out is whether to rank someone else ahead of Mahomes or not.  (I only have to rank two players to figure out who I'm taking at five as I already have my top three selected.)  A WR?  I never like taking a WR in the first half of the first round of a draft.  I've done it before and it never seems to work out well.  So now I'm looking at RBs: Kamara, Henry, Cook.  All had knocks for me coming into this season.  Henry doesn't catch passes.  Cook has had health troubles.  I go for safety in the first round, especially above pick #7 or so, based on the adage that "you can't win a league in the first round but you can lose it."  I can't remember now why I ranked Mahomes ahead of Kamara but I ultimately made the draft board McCaffrey, Barkley, Zeke, Mahomes, Kamara, in that order.  When someone took Michael Thomas at #4, I had my pick.  

I put in the work to know that I had to get a RB at pick #20 or #29 because I had worked on my tiers to know that I wouldn't be able to get a guy I was willing to lean on at pick #44.  Again, I had my tiers set up and when pick #20 came around I realized I couldn't wait until #28 and I pulled the trigger on Mixon (I'm moth to the flame for Mixon).  The next picks were almost all RBs and the next RB selected after my next pick (#29) was Lev Bell, showing my strategy worked.  By the way the Mixon pick was bad compared to some of the RBs that went right after: Aaron Jones was #22.  But this isn't about player evaluation, it's about strategy.  The RB run meant Dak fell to #29 in a Superflex.  I badly wanted to take him at #20, but I knew my situation well and, with him and Watson still there at #20, I knew if I passed on QB that worst case some RB I really wanted would fall so I gambled and won.  Dak was my #29 pick.  Now with Mahomes and Dak secured I know that I probably have the top QB unit in a Superflex league, and one that will give me massive week-to-week stability.  This unlocks me to chase upside.

Once I get to the late 3rd or the 4th, I focus almost exclusively on upside.  A 12-teamer is not so deep that you won't be able to find lower-end WR2 or RB2 (especially in PPR) types on the wire.  (Nobody wins because they had two guys in the RB20 range to use as RB2 and a flex.)  What you want is those "big hits."  So I focused on talented WRs and RBs who came with risk but had high ceilings.  I picked Calvin Ridley (who I expected to regress big time this season but the upside was there), Jonathan Taylor (who had more ceiling than him?), Kareem Hunt (same, what if Chubb got hurt?), Stefon Diggs (I, like everyone, thought the move to Buffalo would hurt him but we've see that incredible ability before), and Will Fuller (always awesome when healthy, the prototypical "joker") with my next five picks.  (Remember this is Superflex which pushes a lot of non-QBs down, if you're wondering how some of these guys were available so late.)  Notice along the way that I'm passing on Conner, Carson, Singletary, Gordon, etc., RBs who I just didn't think had a lot of upside.  I wasn't going to grab a starter just because I "needed" an RB2.  I was instead focusing on backup or committee RBs with league-winning upside or WRs who were being shunned for one reason or another but whose talent was undeniable.  (Fuller falls because of injury risk.  The way I look at it, he's such a beast when he plays, I'll take 9 games of him and I'll just deal with the injuries.)

After round 8, I had a ton of "misses" but I thought the upside was there on all.  Matt Breida (Fins' RB situation was unsettled and I have always loved the explosiveness), Alexander Mattison (priority handcuff), and I wanted to get cheap access to the SF RB situation so I took both Coleman and McKinnon late.  Again, upside, upside, upside.

I also had another strategy I'd committed to early: unless Kelce fell in my lap at #20, I was going to take a TE very late and basically just stream.  This tends to be a winning strategy most years, and often you can get off the streaming carousel with a good add.  (Goedert ended up being "my guy" eventually when he was dropped while injured.)

This has been a very long post and you'll certainly hate many of the picks I made.  But this post is about strategy, not specific players.  

TLDR, the strategy was:

1.  Picked top 5 so ranked 5 players, making first pick automatic.  
2.  Assuming I got Mahomes at #5, get one RB and one more QB with next two picks, unless something crazy happened like Kelce fell to 20 or a second stud RB became available at #29.  (This was all based on building tiers and knowing where the "drop offs" would be.)
3.  Get just one "locked in" RB and focus on high-upside guys with virtually no floor after that.  
4.  Use middle round (4th, 5th, 6th, etc.) picks to chase ceiling, as those are not picks to play "defensively."
5.  Punt TE and stream.
6.  In the first round, go for safety (floor).  After about pick #30 or so, chase the moon.  So many players "bust" that go in rounds 3, 4, 5, etc. that you might as well look for that ceiling.


Holy bleep...even your TLDR was...TLDR

You didn’t really write all that on your own right? Especially not using a phone. That alone earned you a rep. 
 

Oh great first strategy btw. I didn’t really read the rest so I don’t know. Haha jk great post man. 

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5 hours ago, ginocan said:


Holy bleep...even your TLDR was...TLDR

You didn’t really write all that on your own right? Especially not using a phone. That alone earned you a rep. 
 

Oh great first strategy btw. I didn’t really read the rest so I don’t know. Haha jk great post man. 

 

I write some long posts.  I understand that many will not like that and/or will rip me for it but I figure they can just not read it.  The post also serves as a reminder to me that I can go back to in future seasons if I want to remember a process I used.  So I don't really consider it wasted time, even if nobody reads it.

As for writing it on my own, I actually dictated it to the secretary in the production department of my office.  Then a girl from my steno pool edited it a bit before sending it back to me for another round before my guy at Simon & Schuster looked at it.  I had final approval (after my general counsel vetted it) and then my media team posted it here.

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I think Kelce in the middle first is a reach next year.
 

For one, his age is creeping up. He won’t be a truly worrisome age next year, but it’s not unrealistic that his speed or explosion decline to some degree. 
 

Two, he’s coming off a career/all-time season, and the odds of him repeating his 2020 performance are low, judging from history. It’s not impossible, but when you factor in my first point, it seems unlikely. 
 

Plus, it seems inevitable that just as circumstances propel the ADP for a TE into the 1st round, several later round tight ends will emerge with comparable numbers. Someone like Kyle Pitts, maybe. Or maybe Waller outperforms Kelce moving forward. I’d rather look elsewhere in the first. 

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1 hour ago, Paper said:

I think Kelce in the middle first is a reach next year.
 

For one, his age is creeping up. He won’t be a truly worrisome age next year, but it’s not unrealistic that his speed or explosion decline to some degree. 
 

Two, he’s coming off a career/all-time season, and the odds of him repeating his 2020 performance are low, judging from history. It’s not impossible, but when you factor in my first point, it seems unlikely. 
 

Plus, it seems inevitable that just as circumstances propel the ADP for a TE into the 1st round, several later round tight ends will emerge with comparable numbers. Someone like Kyle Pitts, maybe. Or maybe Waller outperforms Kelce moving forward. I’d rather look elsewhere in the first. 

I think the only real risk with Kelce is injury

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22 hours ago, Corleone said:

QB/Receiver stacks continue to work. This has been my experience in the past, and held true once again in 2020.

In the regular season, the top 2 teams in points had such stacks. It's a 2-QB league and one owner had Wilson/Metcalf and Burrow/Boyd, while the other owner had Mahomes/Kelce. The Mahomes/Kelce owner went on to win the championship.

This was our 15th season and the Top 5 most powerful teams in league history, have all had a QB/Receiver stack (with the Mahomes/Kelce team included in that bunch). 

 

Guy in my league had Mahomes/Hill and traded for Kelce midseason. Went 11-2 and won it all.

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On 12/29/2020 at 10:38 AM, NyjersInParis said:

Handcuffing is over rated

 

Overrated perhaps, but there are a few important ones every year.  McCaffrey is the obvious example this year.

I handcuffed Cook (with Mattison) and it was a wasted roster spot all year, but I still believe it was the correct move.

 

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On 12/29/2020 at 2:37 PM, Corleone said:

QB/Receiver stacks continue to work. This has been my experience in the past, and held true once again in 2020.

In the regular season, the top 2 teams in points had such stacks. It's a 2-QB league and one owner had Wilson/Metcalf and Burrow/Boyd, while the other owner had Mahomes/Kelce. The Mahomes/Kelce owner went on to win the championship.

This was our 15th season and the Top 5 most powerful teams in league history, have all had a QB/Receiver stack (with the Mahomes/Kelce team included in that bunch). 

 

Meh, tell that to us Brees/Kamara owners who sweated bullets in week 16.

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On 12/30/2020 at 5:43 AM, smash10033 said:

What I will do next year.  

 

1.  Go RB, RB and possibly RB.... finding a healthy workhorse RB is much harder to find than a WR that can give you 10-15 points.    I made it to the championship with Golladay and ODB as my 1 and 2 receiver this year ( puke)

 

 

 

   

Example from this year.

That was my strategy this year, and I did win the championship. Jacobs, Conner and Carson.  A. Rodgers and Ridley were the two that really carried me to the championship. I also picked Swift up from Waiver wire when an owner had to cut him. My  top three RB's were mostly a disappointment. 

Carson was the only one of the three RB's I could trust when he played. But him being injured and vultured by Hyde (next year Penny) was problematic too,

So long story short. You still have to get the right RB's if you go RB heavy early. And predicting who will be a stud RB next year will not be easy. Who would have thought at the beginning of the year that the Steelers could not run the ball?? 

I think your strategy is good. I'm just saying that using it may still produce mixed results. I probably will use it next year for the reasons you give. I just hope it produces better results.

 

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On 12/30/2020 at 6:37 AM, Corleone said:

QB/Receiver stacks continue to work.

...right up until the moment they don't work. Eg this year in the final, having Mahomes/Hill/Kelce suddenly wasn't the killing advantage it was all season.

I'm not complaining, it's just an example: with a QB/WR/TE from different teams, they're not dependency, and there's a lower chance of the whole stack "collapsing" (*).

(* It wasn't that terrible; just not good enough to carry the team at the crucial moment)

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So many strategies that everybody always repeats and we've heard them all.  Go RB heavy, try to get a TE difference maker, running QB, WRs are easy to find, etc.

It may sound simple, but in PPR, next year I'm going to make sure I have a true alpha WR1 who is a target monster.  100 targets won't cut it.  I want 130 and above.  

Sure, a lot of those are first round guys - Hopkins, Davante, and Tyreek.  

But the others could have been gotten likely third round or later - Diggs (what a draft pick for his owners this year), Keenan Allen, Allen Robinson (always underrated because of sucky QB), Diontae Johnson, Calvin Ridley, and Robby Anderson (one of the bigger surprises of the year).

There are of course guys who do a lot with less - DK, Justin Jefferson, Thielen, and Mike Evans.  Jefferson had monster yardage while Thielen had 14 TDs.  I would target both of them next year as Captain Kirk can support two WRs even though he's an average QB.  Evans and DK I'll probably shy away from as I don't want to rely on TDs.

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3 hours ago, CooL said:

So many strategies that everybody always repeats and we've heard them all.  Go RB heavy, try to get a TE difference maker, running QB, WRs are easy to find, etc.

It may sound simple, but in PPR, next year I'm going to make sure I have a true alpha WR1 who is a target monster.  100 targets won't cut it.  I want 130 and above.  

Sure, a lot of those are first round guys - Hopkins, Davante, and Tyreek.  

But the others could have been gotten likely third round or later - Diggs (what a draft pick for his owners this year), Keenan Allen, Allen Robinson (always underrated because of sucky QB), Diontae Johnson, Calvin Ridley, and Robby Anderson (one of the bigger surprises of the year).

There are of course guys who do a lot with less - DK, Justin Jefferson, Thielen, and Mike Evans.  Jefferson had monster yardage while Thielen had 14 TDs.  I would target both of them next year as Captain Kirk can support two WRs even though he's an average QB.  Evans and DK I'll probably shy away from as I don't want to rely on TDs.

Yeah on paper that works if they stay healthy. Most guys don't repeat their seasons from the year before.  So, I will still go RB heavy always.  Though since I play PPR they have to catch passes too.

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A prediction: after most of the top end-RBs busting (McCaffrey and Barkley totally; Zeke mostly) plus three more top 10 ADP guys busting a bit (Mixon and CEH, plus Chubb missed a lot of games although still had a very nice season, and might at least be thought of by people as having been a bust or risky, etc.), you're going to see Zero RB en vogue again in 2021.

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54 minutes ago, fingers said:

Need to figure out a way to not lead my league in points against next year. What's the strategy for that??

we play two opponents each week. Got tired of having the second highest score for the week and suffering a loss. This way you are at least 1-1. It's not perfect. But it helps soften the blow of losing to the highest scoring team while your team  puts up a good score for the week.

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3 hours ago, KennyWoo said:

A prediction: after most of the top end-RBs busting (McCaffrey and Barkley totally; Zeke mostly) plus three more top 10 ADP guys busting a bit (Mixon and CEH, plus Chubb missed a lot of games although still had a very nice season, and might at least be thought of by people as having been a bust or risky, etc.), you're going to see Zero RB en vogue again in 2021.

Agree. It's all a crapshoot and no two years are the same. Yet some will draft with their hindsight 2020 glasses on. 

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Avoid anyone in Philly. There's a good chance that Dumb Pederson becomes the 1st HC to implement QBBC. He really is that dumb. He thinks he's innovating.

On Friday, Pederson said that his offseason goal was to fix Wentz and the quarterbacks on the roster. Wentz has shown he can play at a high level, but he looked nothing like he did in his previous four seasons.

Worse yet, his "specialty," the offense, has gone from trend-setting to sluggish to now one of the most predictably listless and uncreative in the entire NFL.

"QBBC will fix that, I'm a genius", Pederson thinks to himself. 

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