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MahiMike
07-17-2006, 03:39 PM
Like many of us here, I've been playing/running a fantasy league for over a decade now. This is the time of year when every avid fan starts to look over the stats, articles and cheatsheets to try and determine the value of each player.

If there's one tip I can impart from my experience, it's this: Last year's stats don't necessarily equate to this year's stats.

Every year there are major or minor changes to team's that affect individual performances. Before getting down to the actual player, you need to first look at the level of their entire offense. Coach changes, coordinator changes, OL changes all affect the entire offense before the individual player can even have input.

Based on this, I always try and rank all 32 teams based on offensive ranking. I don't get too detailed, just rank by A, B or C. Then in later rounds, if I have to make a choice between say a Chris Cooley (WAS), Jerry Porter (OAK) or David Givens (TEN), I'll know to take Cooley since his team is an A-ranked offense.

Sometimes if the player is exceptional I'll take a Grade B player. But only if there are no Grade A players left. And no matter what round it is, I refuse to draft a Grade C player. I'd rather drop down a few slots on my sheet and get a Grade A player.

Here is how I've ranked the 32 teams this year. You may or may not agree with my rankings, but you can still use the system to break a tie in the later rounds.

Grade A (Best systems):
Notes
ARI Triplets in Bolden, Fitzgerald, Edge
CIN Triplets in Rudi, Chad, Henry
DAL TO gets them into A list
DEN Top 2 OL in NFL
IND Lost Edge but still have Manning
KCC Lost Priest, Saunders but LJ and Trent keep them in Grade A
SEA Hasselbeck excellent and RB not too shabby (did lose Left tackle though)
NYG Tom Coughlin knows offense
WAS Al Saunders knows offense

Grade B (Average systems w/quality players):
ATL Vick still overrated
CAR There's Steve Smith and then.....
DET Mike Martz pulls them up to Grade B
GBP Favre keeps them here (barely)
JAC Jimmy Smith leaving is a good thing - really
MIA Culpepper has new chance
NEP Tom Brady is the other Trent Green. Makes it happen w/no WRs
NOS Drew Brees and Reggie Bush move them up from Grade C
OAK I flipped a coin between Grade B and C. B won.
PIT Pittsburgh wins with the best trick plays in the NFL. Without them, they're nothing special.
SDC Were Grade A last year but lost Brees.
STL Don't expect them to air it out as much (see KC)
TBB Gruden knows offense but do his players?

Grade C (Fugitaboutit):
BAL Interesting to see what McNair can do.
BUF Where's Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas when you need 'em?
CLE I can't even name a player on this team
HOU Kubiak a big plus but where's the OL?
MIN The glory days are gone
NYJ Even Herm Edwards left this team
PHI See MIN
SFO Could surprise us. Hopefully.
TEN I love putting these guys dead last...)

Mile High Mania
07-17-2006, 04:15 PM
That's an interesting way to break it down, but I think it discounts a lot of players... esp when you look at your Grade C teams. Sure, overall they could and will likely suck, but there's a good deal of talent within those teams.

I thought the Cooley vs Porter vs Givens comment was interesting as well... if you look at ADP rankings right now in serious mocks (like on AntSports, MockDraft Central, etc)... Cooley is sitting there as the 7th overall TE with an ADP of Round 13.

Porter is a R8 guy while Givens is sitting there with a R11 ADP. Things will continue to change, but I just can't imagine realistically selecting Chris Cooley over those other two options.

Cooley has shown solid potential in his first two seasons:

+----------+-----+-------------------------+
| Year TM | G | Rec Yards Y/R TD |
+----------+-----+-------------------------+
| 2004 (http://www.profootballreference.com/years/2004.htm) was (http://www.profootballreference.com/teams/was2004.htm) | 16 (http://www.profootballreference.com/games/CoolCh00.htm#2004) | 37 314 8.5 6 |
| 2005 (http://www.profootballreference.com/years/2005.htm) was (http://www.profootballreference.com/teams/was2005.htm) | 16 (http://www.profootballreference.com/games/CoolCh00.htm#2005) | 71 774 10.9 7 |
+----------+-----+-------------------------+
| TOTAL | 32 | 108 1088 10.1 13 |

But, with the additions at WR that WAS has added this off season, I'm not sure a repeat of 2005 can be expected.

Just a thought...

Jilly
07-17-2006, 04:18 PM
Thank you for the work....it is helpful to me. I'm doing my first draft this year....I'm excited but also very nervous. I'm limited in my knowledge of players, etc. I know the top guys, but other than that I'm screwed. So whatever help for a gal like me, would be great.

Nzoner
07-17-2006, 05:48 PM
Thank you for the work....it is helpful to me. I'm doing my first draft this year....I'm excited but also very nervous. I'm limited in my knowledge of players, etc. I know the top guys, but other than that I'm screwed. So whatever help for a gal like me, would be great.


Make sure to nab a good kicker by the 5th or 6th round.

Jilly
07-17-2006, 06:07 PM
Make sure to nab a good kicker by the 5th or 6th round.

So I'm thinking I start with running backs, then quarterbacks...I'm hoping I don't get screwed in the order i pick. So you think a kicker by 5th or sixth? I guess that makes sense. I'm not sure if I should draft the whole team and then go with back ups.....or if I go ahead and get some good back ups if they're still available before maybe other positions.

alnorth
07-17-2006, 06:27 PM
Running backs are good. There is a very big difference between a good running back and an average one, and they get hurt a lot, so I try to get a quality backup. Other positions like QB's tend to have a few superstars and then a huge number of guys that put up decent stats. If your QB gets hurt your usually still ok with a backup and a waiver-wire special, but if your RB goes down without a good backup, your screwed.

I also like quality TE's, there are a few guys who produce and a whole hell of a lot who do virtually nothing. WR's are streaky, I try to get receivers who arent terrible, but I'm not going to bet the season on a top WR.

As for kickers, you dont need the best kicker, but I try to draft one before the top 1/3 is gone. With kickers, the team is probably more important than the person. Any random joker can kick extra points, and there isnt a huge spread on FG ability. This may change if your league places a huge premium on 40+ and 50+ FG's and big penalties for misses. Defense depends entirely on your league rules. In some leagues defense is marginal and in others they are significant.

Hydrae
07-17-2006, 06:40 PM
SEA Hasselbeck excellent and RB not too shabby (did lose Left tackle though)

I believe Hutchinson was the left guard.

The other thing to keep in mind is that no matter what team, someone will put some numbers. So although Arizona has sucked the last couple of years as a team, Boldin and Fitzgerald have been good for fantasy.

One last side comment, you have Baltimore as a grade "c" team but I am very interested to see how McNair and Mason look now that they are together again.

Nzoner
07-17-2006, 06:44 PM
So I'm thinking I start with running backs, then quarterbacks...I'm hoping I don't get screwed in the order i pick. So you think a kicker by 5th or sixth? I guess that makes sense. I

I guess I should've added a ;)

Seriously,there is no magic formula to drafting,alot of it depends on your scoring system,know it inside and out before deciding on a draft plan.One other tip that I personally use,take the best player left on the board,in other words you may not have a tight end yet but don't grab one just because you need one if there's another player at another position that you have ranked higher.

R&GHomer
07-17-2006, 08:29 PM
I've never taken the time to get into fantasy football, but I was thinking about doing it this year. Any free guides or helpful info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Mile High Mania
07-17-2006, 08:35 PM
Kickers... wow, you can take them in the second to last round... then go defense last. Seriously, fill up your other positions.

Don't draft with your heart, meaning don't take Trent Green in R2 and Kennison in R4. Don't be afraid to take players on teams you hate... it's 'fantasy'.

wutamess
07-17-2006, 10:19 PM
FFL 101

First 2 rounds draft best RB's available.
3rd round draft backup RB or stud WR - whichever is better.
Next 2 rounds draft - if you didn't draft 3rd RB do it in round 4 & then WR.

Next 2 rounds draft best WR's unless T.G. or Gates is still available (or QB can be picked up here).

Next round draft QB. Might get Brees, Favre, Brunell, Culpepper, Vick, McNabb, Warner, etc.

what ever you do... draft Kicker & Defense with your last 2 picks.

wutamess
07-17-2006, 10:20 PM
I believe Hutchinson was the left guard.
One last side comment, you have Baltimore as a grade "c" team but I am very interested to see how McNair and Mason look now that they are together again.

And Clayton.
He came on VERY STRONG at the end of last year with Boller.

CHENZ A!
07-17-2006, 10:30 PM
I go here from time to time for some useful info from around the league. I also like to look at their average draft position tool.

http://www.antsports.com/

Nzoner
07-17-2006, 11:10 PM
Kickers... wow, you can take them in the second to last round...

Dammit man read the whole thread

Nzoner
07-17-2006, 11:13 PM
FFL 101

First 2 rounds draft best RB's available.


I play in a very competitive 12 man league and won the championship one year after at pick 12 & 13 taking the best on the board which happened to be two wr's by the names of Randy Moss & Torry Holt.

Jilly
07-18-2006, 04:54 PM
So running backs, then a quarter back....probably a tight end next.... defensive players rack up less points right, so I choose them last? Then what....wide receivers or linemen? I hate not knowing what I'm doing.

Nzoner
07-18-2006, 04:58 PM
So running backs, then a quarter back....probably a tight end next.... defensive players rack up less points right, so I choose them last? Then what....wide receivers or linemen? I hate not knowing what I'm doing.

Are you playing for money or just for the hell of it?

Jilly
07-18-2006, 05:03 PM
Are you playing for money or just for the hell of it?

money and a sense of satisfaction that me, the new girl, would win against a bunch of "experienced" guys. I'm pretty competitive.

wutamess
07-18-2006, 05:05 PM
draft QB no earlier than round 5-6. stack RB's & WR's.
Get 3 good RB's.
RB's score you the most points from week to week unless you get Manning (but you never know which Manny you're getting so don't pick QB that high).

TE: Unless it's Tony or Antonio, don't draft higher than round 8.

Draft kicker & defense with one of the last rounds.

Don't worryu about drafting linmen... think of defenses as a whole. Not too many FFL's have individual linemen.

Try not to get more than 2 players from the same team.
Try to stay away from Tandems... like Manning & Harrison... if both have bad games you're screwed.

Pick defenses that'll give you more sacks, turnovers, etc.

Nzoner
07-18-2006, 05:17 PM
money and a sense of satisfaction that me, the new girl, would win against a bunch of "experienced" guys. I'm pretty competitive.

Then I'll say it again,learn your scoring system and let that be your draft guide as there is no exact science to drafting in FF.

For instance,our 12 man league awards bonus points to our defense for the following

Shutout=15

1-10 points allowed=10

11 to 20 points allowed=5

We also draft coaches and get a 10 point bonus if our starting coach wins,so those two scoring factors alone in our league makes for a different strategy when drafting.

Hope that helps some,and good luck showing the guys up.

alnorth
07-18-2006, 06:19 PM
defensive players rack up less points right, so I choose them last?

In most leagues with defense, you draft teams, not players. e.g. Indianapolis Colts Defense, Seattle Seahawks Defense, etc.

In most leagues, defense isnt worth much so you draft close to last. However, if your league awards a ton of points to defense, it may be worth consideration, but thats rare.

Mile High Mania
07-18-2006, 08:04 PM
So running backs, then a quarter back....probably a tight end next.... defensive players rack up less points right, so I choose them last? Then what....wide receivers or linemen? I hate not knowing what I'm doing.

We have some articles on strategy on our site. Feel free to drop by, but as Nzoner said, knowing your scoring is key.

Factors going into your draft:
1 - How many teams? This determines the position depth, esp at RB.
2 - How many do you start per position each week? 1 QB, 2 RBs... is there a flex position? Do you have to start a TE?
3 - Scoring. Knowing that you start 2 RBs, 2 WRs and a TE tells you that you have to get a top TE early. If you start 2 RBs, 3 WRs and no TE... then you don't care about drafting a TE, unless it's as your 4th-6th WR.
4 - Where in each round (especially early, like Rounds 1 thru 5) are you drafting in each round?

Those 4 things will tell you how to build your strategy, just make it flexible. Sites like AntSports (and MockDraftCentral) are great for viewing Average Draft information - it will tell you by position what a players Average Draft Position (ADP) is. This isn't a science and is different in every league, but if you have your eye on getting certain players - you can 'guesstimate' which rounds you need to target them.

Example... let's say you really want Warrick Dunn. Well, you don't want to spend a R1 or R2 pick on him... his ADP is R3/9th pick. So, you can go elsewhere with your first 2 picks and then get him in the 3rd possibly.

There's lots of things to consider... you could walk in blind and just take the best available, but that doesn't always work.

ct
07-19-2006, 10:31 AM
Best advice by far in here is to know your scoring system very very well!! Mine is a PPR league, with bonus' for avg yds per rush/rcpt, so RBs who catch the ball and run for high average are HUGE, and I draft accordingly. This doesn't work in all formats.

Also don't draft with your heart, keep Homer in the dungeon. That works in not drafting your own homers when they aren't BPA, but also don't hesitate on the division rivals. I won last year with 4 RB tandem(in order selected) of LdT, Lamont Jordan, Steven Jackson, Larry Johnson, a Homer and 3 "rival" team's RBs.

DaKCMan AP
07-19-2006, 10:41 AM
I'd make Carolina an "A" team. Jake Delhomme is no slouch, Steve Smith is a stud and they added MeShawn this offseason. As long as one of their RBs can stay healthy, they'll be solid.

Also, I'd put Pitt to a C. There trick play ability decreases with the loss of Randle El and they also lost the Bus. Big Ben will be a Big Bust this season.

Jilly
07-19-2006, 10:43 AM
You guys are awesome! I owe you all drinks!!! And I'll let you know how I did in the draft... it sounds like I first need to study the scoring system of the league.

DaKCMan AP
07-19-2006, 10:51 AM
It's also very important to pay attention and keep track of everyone else's rosters the draft takes place. That can help you target who to take when.

For instance, lets say I'm in a 12 team league that starts 1QB, 2RB, and 2WR and I have the 10th pick. It's my pick and I am deciding between a QB or a WR and the best available QB is rated higher than the best available WR. I see that the teams with the 11th and 12th picks already have QBs so even though he's lower rated, I"ll take the WR and grab a QB on the loop back.

ct
07-19-2006, 11:15 AM
It's also very important to pay attention and keep track of everyone else's rosters the draft takes place. That can help you target who to take when.

For instance, lets say I'm in a 12 team league that starts 1QB, 2RB, and 2WR and I have the 10th pick. It's my pick and I am deciding between a QB or a WR and the best available QB is rated higher than the best available WR. I see that the teams with the 11th and 12th picks already have QBs so even though he's lower rated, I"ll take the WR and grab a QB on the loop back.

Excellent point!! If you see that 10 of the other 12 teams have QBs, and you see 2 or 3 left w/ same value, wait a round or 2 and build your depth at RB/WR. Just don't wait too long before they start nabbing backup QBs.

Jilly
07-19-2006, 11:23 AM
It's also very important to pay attention and keep track of everyone else's rosters the draft takes place. That can help you target who to take when.

For instance, lets say I'm in a 12 team league that starts 1QB, 2RB, and 2WR and I have the 10th pick. It's my pick and I am deciding between a QB or a WR and the best available QB is rated higher than the best available WR. I see that the teams with the 11th and 12th picks already have QBs so even though he's lower rated, I"ll take the WR and grab a QB on the loop back.

Same with a running back, right? If they all have QB's and I don't have one yet, but there is a hella good RB out there like Tomlinson, then I take him...if I am like one of the last 3 picks. What it it's a snake draft? Same thing?

DaKCMan AP
07-19-2006, 11:40 AM
Same with a running back, right? If they all have QB's and I don't have one yet, but there is a hella good RB out there like Tomlinson, then I take him...if I am like one of the last 3 picks. What it it's a snake draft? Same thing?

Yes, same strategy regardless of position. This strategy works best for picks made round 3 or later. In the first 2 rounds you want to take the best available player depending on the depth left. What I mean by this is say a great RB and a great QB are still available in the 2nd round and you're not sure who to pick. Well, lets say that there are 3-4 QBs left that are all at that similar 'great' level but there's only 1 RB left and after that RB there is a dropoff to a lower tier. Take the RB.

There's all different types of strategies and methods and many of them can be used together. A lot of it is just judgement, analysis and forecast.

Nzoner
07-19-2006, 03:39 PM
You guys are awesome! I owe you all drinks!!!

Cool,I collect mine Monday night.

Jilly
09-06-2006, 11:15 AM
OK...so my draft was Sunday Night and here's what I did: Had to pick 15, and can't remember off the top of my head all of them, but here are some in no particular order....

LT
Carson Palmer
Marc Bulger
Hines Ward
Steven Jackson
Reggie Wayne
DeShaun Foster
David Akers
Heath Miller
Randy McMichael
The Panthers defense


So, how did I do????? I'm thinking I did great...but who knows....it was awesome though....so much fun.

MahiMike
09-06-2006, 11:48 AM
I think you did pretty very well for pick 15. I had pick 9 in a 10 team league and ended up with many of these same guys. After watching MNF last week, I took Palmer at #9 overall. Looks like you did too. I have Foster too who I think will surprise. Good Kicker. Great defense. Nice draft. Well done.