Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fantasy Football Recap and Strategy Revision - December 30, 2008

At the beginning of the season I proposed a radical fantasy strategy that boycotted all positions besides RBs and WRs until late in the drafts. I used this strategy in six leagues and came out with fairly consistent results. My teams finished seventh twice, fourth once, third twice, and first once (and my keeper team finished third as well). Not as many wins as I was hoping, but my strategy is consistent; however, there is one modification that needs to be made.

There is one big difference between the elite teams of a league and the teams that just sneak into the playoffs or are fighting every single week. The elite teams have an extra wide receiver starting. These teams utilize a class of high reception TEs to add another receiver to their roster thus propelling them to the top of most leagues.
So my revision is to draft a premiere TE amongst the compilation of RBs and WRs. At the beginning of the season Yahoo accumulated that the top picked TEs were - in parenthesis is the average round drafted in - Antonio Gates (4.0), Jason Witten (4.5), Kellen Winslow (5.1), Tony Gonzalez (5.8), and Dallas Clark (6.0). At season's end, Gonzalez provided to be the most successful TE finishing with over 1000 yards and 10 touchdowns, making him a top 10 fantasy wide receiver. None of the other TEs were close, but when looking at each TE's fantasy output per game the numbers were relatively close in Yahoo leagues. Gonzalez averaged 10 points a games while Gates, Witten, and Clark averaged 8, 7, and 7 points respectively (Kellen Winslow was out for a majority of the season).
A TE is the key difference between a solid season and a championship season. Now the next step would be to exploit this notion by drafting the most efficient TE at the latest spot which would call for fantasy speculation. Obviously Tony Gonzalez will be the a much higher pick with the other TEs falling to the late forth and fifth rounds. Kellen Winslow was injured this season, but has proved to be a promising TE, so he may be a steal in the middle of a draft. I would look at Greg Olsen as a another late riser. Olsen plays in the struggling Bears offense, so I expect Lovie Smith to look to a more conservative run offense since the team has found some light in Matt Forte. The pass will be critical to keeping defenses modest and with Olsen's ability to stretch the defense with his down the field receiving, he could become an elite TE next season. Chris Cooley is another TE who should return to the top of the TE ranks after a mediocre season. A rookie that may have some impact next year is Jermaine Gresham from Oklahoma. He has proven to be a reliable receiver to Sam Bradford for the last two seasons and could become a successful TE in the NFL.

As for last year's speculation Andre Johnson provided to be a valuable fantasy asset while Reggie Brown was a liability was dropped mid-season for players like Pierre Thomas, Mewelde Moore, Dominic Rhodes, and Antonio Bryant. Willis McGahee was unreliable as I suggested, but it wasn't Ray Rice who stole a bulk of the carries, it was LeRon McClain. Reggie Bush was a valuable steal for most of the season and Edgerrin James was a costly pick since he lost his job to Tim Hightower (a pickup I was reluctant to make). Derrick Mason was another consistent pick. I cannot understand why he goes so late or undrafted year after year - he is a consistent wide receiver that provides 1000 yard and 5 touchdown seasons, year after year; however, he has just finished his twelfth season and it will be interesting to see how much he was left in the tank. As for QBs, basically every single quarterback that I drafted was a flop, but that was the plan from the start and I was swift in picking up the arms of Kurt Warner, Matt Ryan, and Joe Flacco. I do regret not picking up Aaron Rodgers, Matt Cassell, or Chad Pennington. If I had picked those guys up, all of my teams could have easily been top two or three teams.

Congratulations to all the winners and Good Luck on next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment