In the Fantasy world there are two realms: The technical realm and the basement realm
The technical realm is self-explanatory. The managers and writers in this realm are the cream of the crop. They posses more charts and crunched numbers than your resident accountant, they are armed with a myriad of acronyms that, to most, seem foreign, and they know more about every single player in the NFL than half the coaches walking the sidelines; unheralded in their craft to say the least.
Then there is the basement realm.
I say basement because most of the people in this realm are fairly new, or not as technical as the others. They aspire to one day be a member of the elite, they scour the internet—page upon, upon page— endlessly looking for that one tidbit of information that will put their team over the top. But the climb out of the basement is a difficult and very steep one; one that takes time and patience.
For those of you who are new to Fantasy; do not fret. Things aren’t as daunting as they seem, you can make Fantasy as complex or as easy as you want depending on how you do things, and what you think will work for you.
OK, we can get into the every two day updates on ADPs and the ever changing player rankings and all that fun stuff—and grant it— it does hold relevance, but when you’re just starting out or still relatively new, the best way to get things rolling is simply using your common sense—the rest will eventually come.
When you build your team, there are some things to take into consideration; how balanced will your team will be is a big one.
Here is an example of a roster on Yahoo I saw last year:
|QB Drew Brees|
|WR Plaxico Burress|
|WR Greg Jennings|
|WR Terrell Owens|
|RB Chris Johnson|
|RB Jonathan Stewart|
|TE Randy McMichael|
|K John Kasay|
Pretty good initial roster to the untrained manager, but a further look into things can reveal some potential problems. Notice one of the starting RB (Jonathan Stewart) was a rookie while the primary backup was Earnest Graham. The problem here is that a rookie is always a crap shoot, you never know what he is gonna do— if anything at all— and how much playing time he will get. In addition, you also should have a competent backup just in case something does happen. In this case, Stewart battled injuries and lack of time while Graham underachieved which spelled disaster for this manager. Another problem is scheduling. Notice the two defenses are Minnesota and Dallas. Both of these teams had a bye in week eight; this was never addressed before the season got under way nor was it attended to during the season; knowing your teams’ schedule ahead of time goes a long way.
The TE situation is also a problem, McMichael is a speedy guy but not really all that great; certainly not known for garnering points while Shiancoe falls under the same category—no balance what-so-ever. Needless to say this team did not even come close to the playoffs.
|QB J.T. O’Sullivan|
|RB Earnest Graham|
|TE Visanthe Shiancoe|
|WR Nate Washington|
|WR Miles Austin|
Another topic I want to touch is player names and the amount of focus new managers put on them instead of thinking outside the box.
A lot of times, I notice new managers almost always go for big name players rather than thinking things through. They go after guys like Owens, Ocho Cinco, Marvin Harrison, Burress, and let’s say Randy Moss, but big names don’t always mean Fantasy studs, in fact more often than not, this is true.
Season stats translate into points in Fantasy so let’s compare those “big boys” to the actual “big boys” of last year:
Big Name Starters Starters:
|Terrell Owens 14th overall NFC 1,052yds 10 TD|
|Plaxico Burress 55th overall NFC 454yds (injured) 4 TD|
|Ocho Cinco 33rd overall AFC 540yds 4 TD|
|Marvin Harrison 21st overall AFC 636yds 5 TD|
|Randy Moss 15th overall AFC 1,008yds 11 TD|
|Total Average 738yrds avg. 6.8 TD|
The big named players here were never top ten receivers and managers who drafted them with hopes that the name alone would garner points obviously found heavy disappointment.
The Actual Big Name Starters of Last Year:
|Andre Johnson 1st overall AFC 1,575yds 8 TD|
|Larry Fitzgerald 1st overall NFC 1,431yds 12 TD|
|Anquan Boldin 2nd overall NFC 1,038yds 11 TD*|
|Roddy White 3rd overall NFC 1,382yds 7 TD|
|Brandon Marshall 3rd overall AFC 1,265yds 6 TD|
|Total Average 1339.56yds avg. 8.8 TD|
*Even with the exception that Boldin missed four games you can see a vast difference in performance. The point being is simple: Drafting a guy just because of a name doesn’t mean anything, and with a bit of research into the player’s history, and a good look at their schedules, one may have realized the more popular players were probably not the best choices.
The moral of the story for those of you just getting into the Fantasy world is do your homework, take the hype, the talk, and rankings with a grain of salt, build a team that focuses on talent AND balance, and use your head.
And it doesn’t hurt to also read this and all the other columns here on Top Fantasy :)
Good luck to everyone this year, and I hope this helps those of you who may be new to this exciting world!