Fantasy Football Keepers: Finding Value From Last Season

Fantasy season is almost upon us! And in some leagues that means selecting your keepers for the upcoming season.

For those unaware, a keeper league allows you to keep typically 1-3 players on your team from last year. The round that they were drafted from the previous season is the round they will occupy in this seasons draft. For example, if you drafted Allen Hurns in the 14th round (his 2015 ADP) he would make an excellent keeper this season as his current ADP is the 6th round. Hurns finished as the 16th best fantasy football receiver* last year so getting that type of value from a 14th round pick is highly desirable.

That’s the goal, plain and simple. To find the players on your team that offer you the most value. But, as with anything in fantasy football it’s not quite as black and white as all that. It’s not as easy as RoundA-RoundB=Value. You also have to consider whether that player is worth their current ADP, the value of the players postions, as well as taking into consideration the value of the actual rounds you’re gaining. Going back to our Hurns example; by keeping Hurns you’re gaining eight rounds. Sounds pretty good right? But what if you could keep Todd Gurley instead? Gurley’s 2015 ADP was in the 5th round and this season he’s being drafted in the 1st. That’s a difference of four rounds. This is an example of how RoundA-RoundB=Value doesn’t hold up. Hurn’s eight rounds just don’t have as much value as Gurley’s  four. Getting a 1st rounder in the 5th round is just too good to pass up. Not only did Gurly perform better than Hurns (he was the 6th best running back last season), but top tier running backs are simply more highly prized than most wide receivers. For those reasons, Gurley’s four rounds are more valuable than Hurn’s eight.

And let’s talk more about rounds for a second. As a draft progresses rounds decrease in value. The reason for this is the quality of players dwindle, and as a result your chance for striking fantasy gold dwindle as well. So, those four rounds in and of themselves have more value than the eight Hurns will gain you.

There is so much more that goes into fantasy football than A+B=C. It’s more like

equation

And it’s not all numbers either, because honestly stats can be manipulated to tell pretty much any story you want them to tell. Some people will tell you to check your gut at the door when it comes to drafting. I am not one of those people. If you have a player that you feel strongly about, that you really feel will outplay his draft price, pick him up.

Now please don’t be crazy and use that advice to take a kicker in the sixth round. Do your research, be smart, mock draft like crazy, and check back to FootballFemme early and often for advice. But when it comes to selecting keepers these factors are a good place to start.

 

 

*fantasy stats based on ESPN standard scoring

 

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How To Utilize The NFL Strength of Schedule Rankings For Fantasy Football

There are only 80 days until NFL kickoff and there’s no time like the present to start working on you draft strategy. While SOS shouldn’t be the primary source to influence your draft scheme it can be extremely helpful when deciding between players. When combined with offensive rankings you can pick teams with players who are more likely to produce fantasy football studs. But that doesn’t mean that teams with a tough schedule should be overlooked

Teams in the bottom third of rankings will have more games where they are playing ahead. This benefits running backs who will be used to run out the clock. It creates a more difficult environment for quarterbacks who will be more likely to play more conservatively to maintain their lead. Teams with the toughest SOS will be playing from behind. This benefits wide receivers. Quarterbacks will take the biggest hit due to tough defenses.

The site FFtoolbox took it a step farther by breaking it down by points allowed by position by opposing team.

I just brought all this info to one accessible place!

The main benefit though (as stated before) is using SOS to choose between players that you already like. So, if there are two RBs that you really like and one has a tougher schedule, it makes more sense to go for the guy with the easier schedule. Easy Peasy.

Start your draft day engines boys and girls. It’s right around the corner.

Rank Team Offensive Rank Position To Target
1. San Francisco 49ers 32nd
2. Atlanta Falcons 21st KR
3. Los Angeles Rams 29th
4. New Orleans Saints 6th TE
5. Seattle Seahawks 8th RB
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20th RB/TE
7. Arizona Cardinals 2nd
8. New York Jets 10th
9. New England Patriots 3rd KR
10. Buffalo Bills 12th
11. Miami Dolphins 27th
12. Carolina Panthers 1st TE
13. San Diego Chargers 25th TE
14. Denver Broncos 18th
15. Oakland Raiders 16th DEF
16. Kansas City Chiefs 9th TE
17. Washington Redskins 11th K
18. Minnesota Vikings 19th DEF
19. Houston Texans 26th DEF
20. Baltimore Ravens 24th K
21. Cleveland Browns 30th KR
22. Indianapolis Colts 23rd DEF
23. Pittsburgh Steelers 7th WR
24. Tennessee Titans 28th DEF
25. Jacksonville Jaguars 14th DEF
26. Philadelphia Eagles 13th K
27. Cincinnati Bengals 5th WR
28. Detroit Lions 17th QB
29. Dallas Cowboys 31st WR
30. Chicago Bears 22nd DEF
31. New York Giants 4th QB/RB
32. Green Bay Packers 5th QB

*SOS from ESPN Offensive Rankings from OddsShark Rankings based on FFtoolbox

Fantasy Football: How to Evaluate a Trade

Trading is a necessity in the business of fantasy football. It is a great way to improve your team and manage injuries and bye weeks. But trading can be intimidating for novice fantasy football players, and before you know it, you may be faced with some fast and furious trade offers. That’s why I’m here to help. Here is a quick guideline on how to analyze a trade.

A fantasy team comes with responsibilities, and one of those responsibilities is checking your league emails. Scattered in those league emails will be trade offers. There is nothing worse than spending time trying to research a trade to better your team, only to have it go unnoticed. So always observe. Check your emails, check your texts. Someone is spending time to improve their team. The least you can do is look at the offer. Trust me, when you have two running backs down with injury, you will want someone to listen to your trade offers to rebuild your team.

First, you need to identify the skill level of each player. If you click on the players name it will bring up the fantasy scores by week. Check the player being offered first because you should have a pretty decent idea of the fantasy value of your own players. The two main things you will need to check are: the health of the player(s) offered, and the average points per game. Don’t just go by name recognition. Be sure to evaluate the player. Next, compare the player being offered to the player you would have to give up. Never take a player whose average points per game are much lower than who you are trading away. A couple of points difference is fine. Especially if you have a need for that particular position. But a fair trade is going to be pretty balanced. If a trade seems too good to be true, it probably is. Now this will be about the only time in fantasy football that bye weeks matter. If you are desperate for a tight end, you’re not going to want a tight end fast approaching a bye week. Not only that but check match ups. If a player is going up against some really tough defenses (just check the current defensive rankings) then it’s going to affect their fantasy value. There’s a lot to evaluate in a fantasy trade. Don’t take it lightly. 

Of course, there will be times that you will be desperate for a player or a particular position, and if a suitable player can’t be found on the waiver wire, you may end up with a trade that is a little more unbalanced than you would like. These will be a little harder to analyze. To make some headway into solving this tricky situation, you will first need to determine just how badly you’re in need. Rank your situation from 1:You need a player but you can afford to find a subpar replacement off the waiver wire if you can’t make a trade happen, to 10: Your season will END if you don’t make this trade. If the player’s game average falls within one point of your above ranking then the trade is an option. Here’s some more advice. A kicker and a defense will pretty much always be of less value than any other position. And the inverse to this player dilemma is true as well. If you know a fellow league manager is scrambling for a position that you have some depth at, make them an offer. You may end up getting a great value out of the deal.

But for every good trade that goes through, you will see plenty that you’re going to decline. Here’s the deal though; Even if you don’t like a trade at first glance, don’t just click the “deny” button, take the time to analyze the offer. This is as much for your benefit, as for the benefit of other league members. Even if a trade seems unbalanced, take five minutes to study and consider it. Yeah I know, there is no way that you’re trading your stud quarterback for a kicker. But by analyzing the offer you can deduce a few things. First, it reveals the needs of other teams, and what they have to offer for value. Second, it can show you the value of the players you have. So even a dead end trade offer can be enlightening. The opposite is true as well. Never automatically accept a trade. Always analyze the offer.

If you have sat staring at your screen, switching back and forth between ESPN and Yahoo, and you really can’t decide if a trade is in your best interest, you can always check out fantasy football trade analyzers. There are more than a few out there. Google it, try out a few, find one you like and stick with it. They will analyze your trade offer for free, and give you some good feedback. And if you want to crowdsource an assessment, check out twitter. Use the #fantasyfootballhelp to encourage people to weigh in. People love to share their opinion and one or two may have some really insightful criticism.

The key is to take your time and make the most educated decision you can. Even a bad trade can be remedied with some quality time on the waiver wire. Fantasy football is constantly changing, so just make sure you’re ready when it does.  

A Beginners Guide to the Waiver Wire

For those just starting out, the Waiver Wire can be tricky to navigate. Not only do you have to decide who you’re going to pick up but you may not even know how to take advantage of it. I’m reblogging an article I wrote last season around this time, because it’s still just as relevant. For those just starting out, I’ve broken down the waiver wire into the 5 W’s. Who, What, When, Where, Why. Check it out here:

https://footballfemme.com/2014/09/01/the-5-ws-of-the-wavier-wire/

Preseason Prep

The time has come boys and girls. It is officially Football Season! Today’s kickoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings Marks the beginning of the 2015 season. But now is not the time to start cracking open beers, and putting on you sweat pants. It’s the perfect time to start your Preseason Prep!

  1. Join a League.

That’s right, you can’t play if you don’t join, and there are a variety of different options for you out there. One option is to create a league with friends. Some easy to use sites are ESPN, and Yahoo. They are very user friendly. However, for season long use I definitely prefer ESPN.

Don’t have friends no problem! There are plenty of ways to beat anonymous people into fantasy submission. Yahoo, and ESPN both offer leagues that you can join. Another great option is a new site http://www.myfantasyleague.com. They offer leagues you can join at any time at a variety of price points. Creating a league requires a little more finesse, but the open drafts are a lot of fun. It’s important to join a little earlier than your typical draft though because the drafts last A LONG time. Check out more about MFL’s here:

https://footballfemme.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/mfl-draft-only-league-the-details

Don’t want to keep up with a league all season? No problem! Daily Leagues have been gaining a lot of traction. Check out http://www.draftkings.com or http://www.fanduel.com to get your daily fix. Another option is http://www.skyllzone.com. Instead of beating your fellow humans, you get to sock it to some computers. Each computer drafter is equipped with its own programming that makes it unique. You have to pay to play, but once you’re in, you can earn skyllpoints that you can use to enter paid leagues.

2. Start your research

If you haven’t already started your research, then now is the time. Seriously the amount of info out there is mountainous. Get on twitter, use the Google, sign up at http://www.yourfantasyfootballcoach.com, the options are endless. It’s not a bad idea to go ahead and print off some cheat sheets and start tinkering to create your own rankings. There is still a full month until the real games begin, so projections are extremely fluid. Keep up with injuries, and preseason performances. Oh yea, and one more thing: MOCK DRAFTS, MOCK DRAFTS, MOCK DRAFTS.

3. Actually watch the Preseason games.

A lot of people ignore preseason games. It’s true that the big names aren’t on the field, and a lot of games don’t have the flash and panache that you see in regular season games, but they still have value. This is where you can find some quality sleepers. Plus why not get a taste of that football greatness as soon as you can?? Some sleepers I have my eye on are:

  1. Eddie Royal
  2. Brian Quick
  3. Dewayne Allen
  4. Cameron Artis-Payne
  5. Roy Helu

So get out there people! Join a league, do your research, and rejoice because fantasy football season is finally upon us!

The Quick Shopping Method Continued

If you would like to know more about the Quick Shopping Method, check out:

http://www.yourfantasyfootballcoach.com

I will also be writing there from time to time so if you just can’t get enough of draftdaydame, you now have another option to get your fix. Not to mention a great place to get advice and learn more about the game.

Also, if you have a question email me at draftdaydame@gmail.com and I will feature your question in a post!

It’s almost here! 7 days until kick off!

Key things you need to know before you draft.

So you’re doing your research, downloading and printing cheat sheets, telling everyone you know about this new league you just joined when they ask you, “Is it PPR or standard scoring?” “WHAT?! I thought I just needed to print this 9 page cheat sheet off of ESPN and come up with a clever name! There’s more to this??” Yes, there is much, much more, though a clever name is a good start.

Again DON’T PANIC most of this information we’re going to go over can be found on your leagues home page. There should be a link to this page in an introductory email that you received. Also your Commissioner can answer any questions that you have. Your Commissioner is the ipso facto Commander in Chief for your league. Every Commissioner I’ve ever met has been far from shy about their position, so this person should be easy to identify.

First you need to know what type of roster is appropriate for your league. Standard Leagues require you to have 1 QB, 2 RB’s, 2 WR’s, 1 TE, 1 Kicker, 1 Defense, and 1 Flex position (that can be occupied by a RB or WR). However, there are 2 quarterback leagues, leagues that you can use a tight end as a flex player, and leagues that allow you to draft defensive players (or IDP’s) This has a direct impact on how you draft. For example, if you are in a league that requires you to have 2 quarterbacks it’s perfectly acceptable to draft up to 3 quarterbacks, but if you are in a standard league where only 1 quarterback is required, drafting 3 quarterbacks is not advisable. So make sure you know what your roster will require before you sit down to draft.

Another thing to consider is scoring. Even standard leagues sometimes have slight variations in how many points are scored per action. Another scoring type that is very popular is PPR scoring, which credits Points Per Reception. How your league players are scored will affect their value. Luckily, many websites will take this into account and you can find customized player rankings, but it’s important to keep this in mind when preparing for your draft.

Knowing how many people are in your league is important, and not just so you can keep track of all the teams you’ve ground into dust with your fantasy prowess. The amount of people directly influence how many quality players will be chosen, and the amount of teams that will make the playoffs.

Understanding all these things will help you get the most out of your draft, but the key to success is practice. But how do you practice sitting in a room fighting over who gets to draft Peyton Manning? Let me introduce you to your new best friend, the Mock Draft. Mock Draft, Mock Draft, Mock Draft; I hear repeating things three times helps with retention. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the process of drafting, along with what round players are being drafted. It’s also helpful to try drafting on different webpages, as player rankings will change from site to site.

So tighten those gladiator sandals and get to stepping! These drafts aren’t going to prepare for themselves! (Boys the gladiator sandals are optional, the stepping is not)

~draftdaydame