I’m Back!

Hello Girls and Boys! I know The Football Femme has been silent for a while, but I’m now back in action. I know you all missed me but save your tears, I am returning a champion.

That’s right, I used my fantasy prowess to beat the boys at their own game…or whatever tagline my site uses. For those of you who don’t know, I participate every year in “The League” (clever name I know). It’s a 12 man keeper league $100 buy in. This was my fifth year playing so this win has been a long time coming, but I am the proud owner of Megatron. (quite possibly the most perfect trophy that has ever existed) I have to thank Cam Newton in particular for this epic win. I don’t think I could have done it without you. Though my team was decimated with injuries, I fought back, I played the waiver wire, I made the trades, and I clawed my way to victory. I also won $800 which is not so bad…

But enough about me, let’s talk about why I’m back. Dynasty Football.

Some of the fellows decided to get together and start a Dynasty League. This will be my first time participating in a Dynasty draft, so I have a pretty large learning curve to overcome. But why should I keep all this fantasy knowledge to myself? As I learn, so shall I teach. Or at least give you the best possible advice I can. My goal is to modify my drafting strategy “The Quick Shopping Method” to work for Dynasty drafting. The key I think will be deciding on a ranking system for players fantasy value.

So stay tuned guys and gals, especially if you’re in the market for some Dynasty Drafting tips and updates!

Cheers!

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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.  

2015 The Year of the Fantasy Tight End?

Week one is in the books. There were some highs. There were some lows. There was a lot of information to process. One of the biggest stand outs was just how productive tight ends were. Typically when we talk about fantasy tight ends you hear about Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, and maybe Greg Olsen thrown in for good measure, but this season there looks to be a lot more names added to the list. Even Gronk had a hard time staying at the top of the tight end leader boards, and it was rookie Austin Seferian-Jenkins nipping at his heals.

In fact, there were 13 tight ends who finished with double digit fantasy points. To put that in perspective there were 23 running backs, and 20 wide receivers who racked up up more than 10 fantasy points. If you play in a league that allows a tight end in the flex position this is huge. As more tight ends eat into receptions, and endzone targets, they’re going to eat into RB/WR production. Here’s a more in depth breakdown how fantasy tight ends performed in week one.

Rob Gronkowski 27.4
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 23
Travis Kelce 22.6
Tyler Eifert 22.4
Jason Witten 18
Darren Fells 14.2
Ladarius Green 13.4
Jordan Reed 12.3
Martellus Bennett 11.5
Eric Ebron 11.3
Jimmy Graham 11.1
Delanie Walker 10.3
Lance Kendricks 10.2

*based on ESPN standard scoring

Almost half of these guys are owned in less than 50% of leagues. And while I’m not saying all of these guys are going to put up these types of numbers every week, they’re all worth keeping an eye on.

Tight ends seem to be leveling the playing field between themselves and other players. Tight ends are typically taller, and stronger than wide receivers. This makes them the perfect endzone threat. If you’re having roster issues, and can play a tight end in multiple roster spots, it may be worth it to take a chance on one of these guys, or another tight end that’s caught your eye. I don’t see the “Tight End Trend” going away any time soon.

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/

Streaming Defenses: What it is, and Why it matters

If you’ve read any of my articles on draft strategy, you know I advocate for taking a defense and kicker in the last two rounds. The reason I lump kickers and defenses into the same category is that they have similar value. But, what makes up a players value? Basically three things: Points they produce, scarcity of position, and how many roles they can fill for your team: basic supply and demand. (More on that later). But what if the defense you draft, suffers some injuries, has a tough matchup week one, or just plain looks like crap during the preseason? No problem. As a matter of fact there will be multiple games where even the top defenses are absolutely unplayable. Opponents such as The Packers, The Steelers, and The Broncos are tough no matter who you are. But does this mean you need to draft a back up defense? Uh NO! Due to the reasons I will outline later, this is just silly. So what do I recommend instead? Streaming Defenses. This is simply picking up a favored defense on a weekly basis. Easy as that. Defenses that play teams such as The Rams, The Jaguars, or The Buccaneers are going to perform better quite frankly because these are pretty sub par offensive teams. Now, these are the best and the worst from last season, so things may change, but it’s a really good place to start.

Why Streaming Defenses is the best strategy.

Okay let’s go back to those three things I mentioned before, points, scarcity, and role fulfillment. These are things are how we decide how valuable a position is. We’ll get into points and scarcity later, but let’s talk about role fulfillment. A defense can only play in one roster spot for your team. You don’t have to play multiple defenses. A defense can’t fill a flex spot on your roster. One spot, that’s it. Now let’s look at points and scarcity. These are last season’s top performing defenses.

1. Bills

2. Eagles

3. Seahawks

4. Texans

5. Lions

6. Panthers

7. Ravens

8. Packers

9. Rams

10. 49ers

Between these top guys, there was a four point difference in game average between numero uno The Bills, and the tenth best guys the 49ers. Not too much of a spread. But the kicker is that after that there isn’t much of a fall off. The team that was 12th from the bottom. (20th overall) There was only a 1.5 point difference. And even the worst of the worst, The Raiders, had at least one game where they scored in the double digits. (against the 49ers, who last season were the 25th ranked offensive team) This tells us that as far points go, defenses don’t have a lot of value. (Not much point discrepancy) It also tells us that there is a lot of available teams to fill your roster needs. Every single team was playable at least once during regular season, and the top twenty were all within about 5 points of each other. This is why you don’t want to draft a defense early, and why it doesn’t make sense to carry more than one on your roster. They don’t have a lot of positional value. Instead stock up on receiver, or running back depth. Speaking of….

For reference lets check out running backs. You hear a lot about running backs right? They seem pretty important? Well these are last season’s top performers:

1.Demarco Murray

2. Le’Veon Bell

3. Marshawn Lynch

4. Matt Forte

5. Arian Foster

6. Eddie Lacy

7. Jamaal Charles

8. Justin Forsett

9. Lamar Miller

10. Jeremy Hill

Now between these guys there is almost a nine point discrepancy in points per game. (*ahem* double the point spread between defenses) And the discrepancy between the 10th RB Hill, and the 35th ranked RB LeGarrett Blount? 5 points. More than the spread between the top ranked kickers. The worst ranked RB literally had a negative PPG average, -.1. It wasn’t until the 154th ranked RB that a running back had a positive PPG average. It was a whopping .1. But what about role fulfillment? While defenses can only fill one role on standard rosters, running backs can fill three. You are required to start at least two running backs, and they can also fill your flex position. So while standard 10 team leagues only require 10 defenses, they can need up to 30 running backs. So their point production is more relevant, and their role fulfillment is three times as useful. How about scarcity? The number of running backs available affects the scarcity. You have a 1 in 250 chance of drafting the top running back (based on rankings for 2014). You have a 1 in 32 chance of drafting the top defense. Simple. Drop that extra defense and get more depth at running back, or wide receiver. That’s an order.

So what did we learn?

1.To stream a defense means to pick up a defense based on weekly matchups

2. DON’T carry more than one defense on your fantasy team. (seriously)

Good luck!

 

Week One Waiver Wire Pick Ups

There isn’t a draft strategy guaranteed to win you a fantasy football championship. There isn’t a golden rule that you can follow to insure you don’t end up drafting some duds on your team. There isn’t a cheat sheet, algorithm, or fantasy guru out there that can clinch a playoff spot for you. (though some come close) So if after the draft day glow wears off and you find yourself looking at a turd of a line up, it’ll be okay. You see, you have options. You have the wavier wire. That’s what it’s there for. It’s like the extreme makeover for otherwise crappy teams. It’s your Biggest Loser, your Rehab Addict, your Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It exists, to trim the fat, to give a fresh coat of paint, to throw a hot as hell blazer on your broken little team, and reveal it’s inner beauty. So without further ado, here are some guys you can target, if you’re feeling less than stellar about your draft.

Quarterback Jay Cutler, Bears– owned in 33% of leagues

People, the hate has swung too far. I know that Cutler looks like he’d rather have a profession as a Mad Man as opposed to a quarterback, but the guy isn’t as awful as he’s being painted. This season he should benefit from new offensive coordinator Adam Gase. (former OC for the Denver Broncos, and Peyton Manning) The Bears offensive line looks a lot tighter this year as well. The only thing holding Cutler back is that his receivers are a little banged up right now, but The Bears have a lot of hungry mouths to feed, and they all have good hands. Last season he finished as a top 15 QB. This season there’s no reason to think he can’t break into the top 12 fairly easily. This week they play Green Bay, so you can expect a lot of offense from both teams. If you hate your current quarterback, you could do a lot worse than Cutler.

Week One Prediction: 19 points

Wide Receiver Danny Amendola, Patriots– owned in 13% of leagues

The Patriots have been decimated at wide receiver. Brandon LaFell was just put on the PUP list, Brandon Gibson is on season ending I/R with an ACL tear, and Reggie Wayne just flew the coop for his own personal reasons. This leaves Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola,and Aaron Dobson to carry the load, and Edelman is dealing with his own injuries. A lot of times, waiver pick ups are made based on weekly matchups, or just filling a temporary void, but Amendola can offer you value all season. He’s currently the best back up option in New England. With all of Tom Brady’s preseason woes, you better bet he’s going to come out swinging. If you have a spot on your roster, Amendola is a great player to target.

Week One Prediction: 10 Points

Wide Receiver Ted Ginn Jr, Panthers-owned in 1.4% of leagues

Injuries. Injuries, everywhere. Leading receiver Kelvin Benjamin is out for the season with an ACL tear, and Devin Funchess is a rookie so that leaves us with Ted Ginn. Ginn didn’t exactly impress last season, but his fantasy production came with a lot of militating factors. One, he has a less than desirable quarterback situation. Two, he was buried in the depth chart. It’s worth noting that in his previous season with The Panthers he averaged 15.4 YPC, and had five touchdowns. With Benjamin out Cam Newton is going to need a long ball threat and I think Ginn is just the guy for the job. Funchess could eat into some of Ginn’s production, but the job is Ginn’s until he proves himself. Ginn is another player that offers season long value for your team.

Week One Prediction 9 Points 

Tight end Ladarius Green, Chargers– owned in 9.4% of leagues

Green has been vaulted back into fantasy relevancy with the suspension of Antonio Gates. Gates is out for four games, and Green looks to take over his roster spot. Phillip Rivers is a competent quarterback, who likes to target his tight ends in the endzone. There’s every reason to expect that Green will come down with a few TD’s while starting. Though Green is only a viable starter for the first four games of the season, I think he’s worth an add if you want an upgrade at TE. Keep and eye on him throughout the regular season as well. Gates isn’t getting an younger.

Week One Prediction: 8 Points

Running Back Dri Archer, Steelers- owned in .7% of leagues. 

This one is more of a reach, but hear me out. After LeVeon Bell serves out his two game suspension, it’s more likely to be Dri Archer on the field backing him up as opposed to DeAngelo Williams. Archer has better hands and more speed. The only thing that Williams has over Archer, is his strength and ability to run through players so this does take away short yardage options, like on 3rd and 1. But if it’s a short yardage situation on the goal line it will be Bell not Williams that gets the carry. Martavius Byrant is also suspended for four games, so having one more guy with soft hands on the field gives a boost to the Pittsburgh offense.This is a highly speculative grab but if you’re in a PPR league, a league that allows return yardage, or a 12-14 man league, Archer may be worth a stash.

Week One Prediction: 7 Points

Running Back Cameron Artis-Payne, Panthers– owned in 15.4% of leagues

Cameron is currently back up to the injury prone Jonathan Stewart. Stewart averaged 9 carries a game last season when he participated in a Running back committee approach with DeAngelo Williams, so I don’t expect him to get a heavy workload, and due to the loss of starter Kelvin Benjamin The Panthers are going to need to get their run game going to open up the field. Artis-Payne looked good all preseason, and I expect him to eat into Stewart’s touches and yardage. Plus last season, Cam Newton scored 5 rushing touchdowns. I don’t expect the same rushing TD production out of Newton this year. Payne will get a few of those TD looks. As far as handcuffs go, there are only a couple I would rather have on my team than Artis-Payne. He’s on a running back hungry team, behind an injury prone starter. For reference, Christine Michael has been a trendy name lately with his trade to the Dallas Cowboys, and is currently owned in 25.4% of leagues. Between these two I’d rather have Payne.

Week One Prediction: 6 Points

*Since it’s week one I tried to list guys that could help your team more than week one. If you’re already looking to tidy up your roster you’re obviously going to need the help. Good luck out there!

Why No One Wants Tim Tebow

If you’ve read much of my stuff you know how I feel about Tim Tebow, so my posting this article on my site shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Even though this article was written almost two years ago it’s still just as relevant. There are so many quarterbacks being traded and picked up that, to me, don’t have as much to offer as Tebow. I dont get it. But I wish him the best of luck, and as unlikely as it is, I hope to see him back on the field soon.

Why No One in the NFL Wants Tim Tebow