Friday, August 07, 2009

Fantasy Football Dossier 1.0

"And of course you can't become
If you only say what you would have done."

And a big what's up to you too. Again, another extremely long and dragged-out hiatus from the blog, but I'm least for this one post. I mean seriously, how can I not have a fantasy football preview? It just would not have been right. If you're curious as to what exactly has happened in the last few months, then the next few words are for you. Otherwise, you might as well skip down a little bit.

In any event, there was a flurry of activity going on in my life, which of course you always hope is more positive than negative, because there can be instances when bad things continually reoccur in a flurrious manner (I'll take "Made Up Words" for $200). Well there were some of those bad things that popped up, but honestly, right now, it's looking really fine. A career change and a move to the city sometimes makes that work out that way. Sometimes, you can never accurately predict how a "life move" is going to work out. So far however, I really think I may be on to something. I compare this to going to a movie that no one has seen before, and you really have no way of knowing if you're going to like it outside of some reviews you may have heard (i.e. "The Hangover" reviews were mixed from the gun, but I was pleasantly surprised...Cambridge also had similar things "it's great for your age," but also, there was the "somewhat shady" aspect being floated basically...mixed). So far it's been really amazing. I just like having something to do every day, and that doesn't even account for work. I think in a past life, I was an explorer. Not a big-name explorer like Magellan, but maybe on a smaller scale...maybe like Hiram Bingham, the guy who founded the Machu Picchu in Peru (sure, the Machu Picchu is a huge deal, but I mean Hiram Bingham is not quite an A-List conversation starter is he? Actually, he probably should be). Anyway, what I like to do is make little trips to random places. A perfect example of this was when I first moved here. One particular day, I woke up and just decided "hey, I'm going to the Boston Common, Boston Public Library, Chinatown, the financial district, and Nickerson Field at BU (the place the Pats played when they were known as the Boston Patriots back in the early '60s) today"...and that's exactly what I did. It feels good when a plan comes to total fruition. So, I guess the short and narrow of this is that I'm feeling good about things, which is just really nice. I have things to do, I have a job which may lead to some opportunities down the road, and I have a place with a rooftop view of the Boston's not a bad situation at all (in no way am I attempting to extract any kind of jealousy from any of you reading this, but if you could understand some of the sort-of "hard times" I've fallen on in the past, you would understand that this is actually more of an exercise of relief and not about boasting about how great life is).

So hey, there was a point to this right? Oh yeah, fantasy football. It really doesn't get any better than this. Friends gathering around in person or on some online platform to roast each other for three hours, but having it be all in good fun. The total genius of this game has to be the involvement you start to have in games that otherwise would never attract anyone in their right minds. Now though, if you have Adrian Peterson, and he's in Candlestick playing the Niners in a 4:00 game, you know you have to be all over that. It all just brings a big smile to my face. So, here are some suggestions for you, and honestly, they may play to you, or you may think that this is totally irrelevant for your particular draft strategy. My hope is that it induces a couple of thoughts, even if the thought is "that is the dumbest s___ I have ever heard." Hey, you never know.

Snake Draft:

Okay, so I'm going to break my "dossier" into two sections, because while both "snake" and "auction" drafts fall under the umbrella ('ella) of fantasy football, they are two completely different processes. So, this is the Snake Draft section. The snake draft is how traditional drafts work. The reason it is coined "snake" is because the draft order is reversed after every round. Simple enough right? The biggest part of the draft is before any player is drafted. It's all about draft position. This can absolutely make or break the entire season. If you get #1, get Adrian Peterson (unless you go rogue and pick Michael Turner...which, as my first little piece of advice, is really going out on a limb), but now you have to wait, and wait...and wait until the 20 spot (in a 10-team league) to pick again. So, while it's nice to get the best player available, you have to sit and watch all of the big names go off the board. However, I must say that drafting first has its advantages. You get three picks in the top 21. Sure, your backfield won't be stacked with big names (outside of Peterson obviously), but still, you will have three of the top 20 guys on your team, something that no one else can say. So, I actually am changing my stance that picking #1 sucks (I held contempt for going first because of my inner jealousy that I have only picked first once in my entire history of fantasy sports...the 2005 Fantasy Hockey draft...I picked Joe Thornton, and then the B's traded basically, I don't have fond memories of drafting first). I now am becoming aware of the amount of damage that can be done from the first spot. Also, in terms of mega-trades before the season starts, it all has to start with Adrian Peterson right? If his name is involved in any trade, it has to make to stop and say "wow" out loud as your reading the details on your computer. So, picking first is okay in my book. Now, let's see if we can find some other key aspects that may go overlooked once the draft gets going (by the way, due to the over-indulgence of fantasy information, there aren't a whole lot of stones that have yet to be unturned, but I'll do what I can).

The Bookends Theory (Drafting Last In The First Round, First In The Second Round):

(by the way, I set my iTunes to shuffle everything, so as I'm doing this, I'm going to share what song is currently going, so you can see what I am perhaps being influenced by at the time)

"Pink Bullets" ~The Shins

The thought process for the past decade has been the absolute necessity to draft two running backs with the first two picks. However, there seems to be a growing resistance to this because of NFL coaches becoming more and more aware that sharing the load between two running backs on the same team is a great way to increase the vitality of both backs (especially the one that is the "franchise" back). So, it is becoming more accepted to chance one of your first picks on a wideout or a QB. The reason I mention this in my "Bookends Theory" is because when you have the last pick of the first round, you have an overwhelming sense that you have to go running back. This is because the first nine or eleven, or however many people in front of you most likely took seven or eight of those runners off the board. Okay, so before you go Frank Gore/Brandon Jacobs, let's think about this for a second. Why go after the ninth or tenth best back when you get the first or second best QB/WR? It seems amazing to me that people feel the need to go running back because "there won't be any available later." That's simply not true. In fact, there is tremendous value in the later rounds with running backs. Here's a pretty good list of them, with their ADP (average draft position) next to them according to ESPN's "Live Draft Results" (which is a cumulative tallying of all live drafts that have occured so far on ESPN...this is one of the greatest stat initiatives to come down the pike in a long time):
  • Ronnie Brown* (30.4)
  • Kevin Smith (30.8)
  • Thomas Jones (33.9)
  • Jonathan Stewart (46.6)
  • Darren McFadden* (47.1)
  • LenDale White* (61.3)
  • Knowshon Moreno* (65.3)
  • Ray Rice (82.1)
  • Chris Wells* (84.4)
  • Donald Brown* (102.0)
  • LeSean McCoy (116.7)
  • Rashard Mendenhall (125.9)
(the guys with a * by their names are the guys I'm real high on right now)

So, if you are willing to sit back, be patient, and take a risk, you could really reap the rewards. Perfect example:

#10: Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
#11: Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
#30: Ronnie Brown, RB, MIA
#31: Thomas Jones, RB, NYJ
#50: Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
#51: Matt Schaub, QB, HOU
#70: Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN
#71: DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
...and so on...

As you can see, you can build an incredibly potent team by going with an alternative strategy like WR/WR or WR/QB with your first two picks (also, there exists the chance of breaking a record for having the most "Johnsons" on one team...oh you could totally take the last thing I said the wrong way...please don't)

  1. If given the opportunity to draft Chris Johnson and Steve Slaton at #10 and #11 exists, throw this theory right out the window. I'm telling you right now, if for some unknown reason, you get the opportunity to draft both of these guys, take it. I can't even begin to explain how it's basically money in the bank that you win a championship if you have those two in the backfield...just trust me on this one.
  2. Steve Slaton in general...I have no idea why, but it's all about Steve Slaton for me. I loved him at WV with Pat White and Noel Devine, and I loved how the Texans just went for it last year and started Slaton basically right out of the gate, and he responded with 1300 yards and nine scores. Big, big things are coming.
The Aaron Rodgers Theory:

"What Comes Around" ~Beastie Boys (you could interpret this one a lot of ways, because the beginning is exactly like the beginning to "Moby Dick" by Zeppelin, so you may be somewhat bummed out that it's not the original, but once the track hits, it's a nice, head-bobbing melody...)

"Hash Pipe" ~Weezer

(...I'm going to have to start calling these "two-song theories")

If I asked you to name me the leading point getter in ESPN formats last year, you would probably go Peterson, Turner, or some other running back...(reaching way back to channel my inner Lee Corso, something I haven't done in quite some time)...


Wow that felt good (college ball is coming up soon too by the way). Anyway, Drew Brees led all players with 295 points, and second?...Aaron Rodgers. I am telling you right now, Aaron Rodgers had the second most points of any player, at any position, in the league. This could perhaps be one of the ten most shocking fantasy revelations of all time. Aaron Rodgers! I love it! So, here is the theory: I mean basically...don't undervalue quarterbacks. Here's a list of the top 10 point getters from last year, and a list of the top 10 projected in '09:

  1. Drew Brees, QB, NO
  2. Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
  3. Deangelo Williams, RB, CAR
  4. Philip Rivers, QB, SD
  5. Michael Turner, RB, ATL
  6. Jay Cutler, QB, DEN
  7. Kurt Warner, QB, ARI
  8. Peyton Manning, QB, IND
  9. Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
  10. Donovan McNabb, QB, PHI
  11. Matt Cassell, QB, NE (I had to mention that)
  1. Thomas Edward Brady, Jr., QB, NE
  2. Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
  3. Drew Brees, QB, NO
  4. Peyton Manning, QB, IND
  5. Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
  6. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAX
  7. Kurt Warner, QB, ARI
  8. Matt Cassell, QB, KC
  9. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, SD
  10. Tony Romo, QB, DAL
Okay, the Romo projections are laughable (ESPN believes he will throw for 4,000 yards despite losing T.O. and having a trio of Roy Williams, Patrick Crayton, and Miles Austin...unless Jason Witten is getting 150 receptions, I'm not seeing it), but the point remains that seven of the top ten from last year and projected for this year are quarterbacks. Does it strike anyone else as being kind of strange that the guys who get the most points are going in like the fourth and fifth rounds (Brees, Brady, and Manning are exceptions)? Where is the logic there? I'm thinking that reaching for that quarterback is not such a laughable proposition anymore. A perfect example is back in '07 when I drafted Tom Terrific in the second round in every one of my drafts...and won every single one except for one league (yes, I was affected by the Westbrook "taking a knee on the one" incident). Right now, I have targeted Rodgers because you can get him in the fourth, and if you are able to get Greg Jennings to go along with him, it's going to be a good year for you.

  1. Jay Cutler, because who the hell knows what's going to happen to him this year.
  2. Matt Cassell...because who the hell knows what's going to happen to him this year.
The Brian Westbrook "Trap Spread" Theory:

"Sucka N***a" ~Tribe Called Quest
"People Watching"~ Jack Johnson

When I saw Brian Westbrook was going 22nd average-wise in drafts, I had the exact same feeling I get when I'm reading a spread and do a double-take on it. Basically, it entails that it's just too good to be true. Westbrook was going in the top 5 last year, and now he's outside the top 20? What the hell is going on here? Sure, Westbrook could prove everyone wrong and go nuts this year, but my conventional wisdom thinks that him being available perhaps in the third round is too good to be true. There are others like him as well:
  • Joseph Addai (54.3)
  • Willie Parker (55.2)
  • Larry Johnson (57.7)
  • Reggie Bush (59.0)
Can't you just see yourself getting two or three of these guys though? Then, when you say the name out loud, your voice influxes like your asking a question. In the fifth round, I take Reggie Bush...? I'm just making myself crack up now. In any event, I'm keeping away from all of these guys because their ADP is way too low to me...which means that not only is their ADP on point, but it should actually be lower (and that was a nice intro to the reverse psychology I have going on).

The DeSean Jackson Theory:

"Smackie The Frog" ~Mitch Hedberg (yeah, like I'm going to skip over a Mitch Hedberg must be dreaming)

"Fireworks"~ Moby

I have had this theory in my head for quite some time, and I really think this year it will pan out for me. The reason I picked DeSean Jackson is that, invariably, when his name gets called, or when someone picks him, the reaction will be either "damn it" or "nice" or "damn it...that was nice." Also, any kind of "hmmm" and "interesting" are all good signs. Basically, what you want to do is look over the list of players and figure out which guys will elicit that kind of response. I have looked over the list of the top 200 guys (let's face it, it's not going to get past that in basically any draft), and here's my list:
  1. Larry Fitzgerald (8.3)
  2. Chris Johnson (8.6)
  3. Tom Brady (13.2)
  4. Steve Slaton (17.0)
  5. Calvin Johnson (17.2)
  6. Steve Smith (21.1)
  7. Marion Barber (21.2)
  8. Roddy White (28.4)
  9. Marques Colston (33.7)
  10. Dwayne Bowe (36.5)
  11. Aaron Rodgers (37.2)
  12. Brandon Marshall (41.0)
  13. Darren McFadden (47.1)
  14. Matt Ryan (50.7)
  15. DeSean Jackson (65.2)
  16. Knowshon Moreno (65.3)
  17. Greg Olsen (80.2)
  18. Kellen Winslow (92.0)
  19. Donald Brown (102.0)
  20. Dustin Keller (131.7)
If any of these guys are involved in trade discussions, especially the top-tiered guys, you perk up. It just happens like that. Some names just grab you more than others. You have to keep this in mind when you're drafting. Seriously, it's going to come down to taking a guy you may not even be sure about (Moreno is a perfect example), but you know that others are huge on him, so now, you are able to hedge your bets because if you're not 100%, you now have trade bait. Now not only do you have a talented player, but you have a leg up in trade talks. It's almost a oxymoron in a way. You want the flashy-name, non-controversial players (well, Kellen kind of breaks that mold). I don't know how it's even possible to do that, but the 20 guys listed (for the most part) fit that description. You really could build an entire "trade bait" team. Follow me on this...

Let's say, for example, you pick in the middle of the first round...say #6 in a 10-team league:

#6: Chris Johnson
#15: Steve Slaton
#26: Roddy White
#35: Brandon Marshall
#46: Matt Ryan
#55: DeSean Jackson
#66: Knowshon Moreno
#75: Greg Olsen
#86: Chris Wells
#95: Jerricho Cotchery
#106: Donald Brown
#115: Donnie Avery
#126: Trent Edwards
#135: Dustin Keller
#146: Patriots D/ST
#155: Mason Crosby

I mean seriously...that's a pretty good team. It can be done is what I'm getting at. It's one thing to say "hey, get really good players that have high trade value," it's another thing to actually see a plausable series of events like the one I just played out happening. Doesn't looking at that team get you excited? That's what you have to do. You have to get a team together that gets you so pumped for the season that you can't even stand yourself. And then, imagine all the trade possibilities you have going right there. Two stud runners complemented by three rookie running backs, four receivers who are about to become the #1 throwing options on their respective teams, the offensive rookie of the year, two tight ends who are about to get huge stat boosts with their new QBs in place...I'm like bouncing off my room right now.

The Brady-Moss Theory:

"F.O.D."~ Green Day

This one is old, but it's such a great strategy that I think it's worth repeating. Once you have drafted a QB or a receiver on your team, the immediate idea should be to add the QB who tosses to the receiver you have, or add the primary target for the QB you picked up. Now this can go a lot of different ways. For example, if you target the Matt Ryan/Roddy White combination, you are going to have to get that accomplished in the first five rounds most likely. However, there are alternatives to this. For instance, say you wait and pick up Matt Schaub, but you did not draft Andre Johnson. That's okay, because later on you can get Owen Daniels, and it's almost the same thing. Sure, Johnson will get more looks and more points, but you will still get the "double point" thing happening with Schaub and Daniels starting for you every week. Yet another way to do this is to draft a "bye week" receiver to accomplish this feat. While I'm not completely sold on Jay Cutler, he will present an interesting situation if you draft him as your starting QB. With Cutler on board, you can get either Devin Hester or Earl Bennett (or both if you feel the inclination), and they can jump in for you when your #1 or #2 receiver is on a bye. Sure, you're not going to get it every week, but you're going to get it at some point, and also, again, who knows what is going to happen in Chicago. Hester is basically a full-time receiver now, so is it possible that Hester can approach 1,000 yards, or Bennett, Cutler's teammate at Vandy, doing that as well. Look, Cutler's presence should account for close to 3,500 yards...someone is going to get those yards (by the way, this is exactly why I'm totally not sold on Matt Forte being in the top 5...Cutler is a bomber, and I just don't see him giving the ball to Forte 30 times a game. Forte is absolutely a great player, but I wonder if the expectations for him could be a little too high). It also works vice versa with the receiver and a "bye week" QB. A perfect example is Matt Cassell. On probably every team, Dwayne Bowe will be a starter, but on probably half of those teams, Cassell will be the backup. When Cassell fills in on the bye, you will get double points with him and Bowe in the lineup. This is also helpful if, knock on wood, your starting QB goes down. At least you have the combo set up for the remainder of the season.

The 2-QB Theory:

"Electric Feel"- MGMT

Of course, you usually pick two QBs in a draft. One of them being the guy who will start for you for the majority of the season, and then one to jump in on bye weeks. Here's my contention: As long as you are drafting two of them, why not draft two stellar ones? I'm not saying draft Brees and Brady in the first two rounds, but maybe something like Brees and Matt Ryan or Aaron Rodgers? This is something I'm putting a lot of emphasis on especially after last season and the Brady fiasco which basically cost me in every league. This works in multiple ways. First, you get two quality QBs that you can toggle off and on each week based on matchups. Second, you won't have as severe of a drop-off than you would if you went with a David Garrard or Chad Pennington as you're second QB. Third, once your second QB covers your first's bye week, you have a valuable trading commodity if you feel like taking a risk. If you think your QB1 will be able to hold on for the remainder of the year, then you can trade QB2 and pick up a lower level guy (Shaun Hill and Jason Campbell come to mind) just in case. As much as the NFL is attempting to protect the quarterback, freaky things like what happened to Brady will happen again, so this is a nice insurance clause to have.

The 2-TE Theory:

"When The Sun Goes Down"- Arctic Monkeys

I may be late to the party on this one, but doesn't it seem a lot easier to find a kicker and a defense on bye weeks than a tight end? It always seems like Vinsanthe Shiancoe is always the best option...and honestly, I really don't feel like dealing with that this year. So, I'm trying to set myself up to have two above average tight end options right from the start of the season. This is unlike the 2-QB theory in a way because it's highly unlikely that you're second TE will be of any huge trading value (unless you end up with a Witten/Gonzalez combo), so this pick will be a guy who will basically be on the bench almost all season, but, and this is like the 2-QB, he can always slide in there if the #1 man goes down. Good in the byes, good for's just a good idea.

The Suspension Theory:

"#34"- Dave Matthews Band

This year this mainly has to do with Marshawn Lynch, who was suspended for the first three games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. However, he is still able to practice with the team, meaning that when Week 4 comes around, he should be at full strength, and he is a top 10 running back at 100% and on the field. The question then is this: Would Marshawn Lynch be worthy of a fourth round pick? See, I say yes to this for two reasons. First, once Lynch comes back, he will be money, and again, if not top 10, then borderline top 10 at least. Second, you are going to need three decent backs anyway, so will it really interfere with this strategy? The three game suspension means that the bye weeks do not commence until Lynch returns, so you don't have to worry about getting anyone to fill in from Weeks 1-3. Brandon Marshall had a similar thing happen to him a few years back, and I remember him being lights out upon his return. I doubted Lynch once...I'm not about to doubt him again.

The Steel Curtain Theory:

"Meet Me In The Morning"- Bob Dylan

Maybe I'm on my own here, but all of a sudden I'm kind of seeing the logic in drafting defenses really high up in the draft. Think about this: Last year, the Ravens led the D/STs in points with 182. Comparatively, Marion Barber, who is a sure-fire second-to-third round pick, put up 169. Hmmm...very interesting. Now my thinking is not to go too crazy here. The Steelers are going to go in the first six rounds, which is still a little too high for me, but a unit like the Titans you could probably get in the ninth or tenth rounds. So, no longer will I snicker when defenses go off the board early. These savants apparently knew what they were doing (I feel like this is a Bud Light commercial..."today we salute you, Mr. Drafting Defenses Before Drafting A QB guy).

Auction Draft Strategies:

So we covered the snake, now onto my newest obsession: auction drafts. I cannot wait for this to be available to me for basketball and hockey (I believe it was last year but I didn't notice). Auction drafts are amazing because there are no "picks." Rather, there are "nominations." Just because you have the first nomination, it does not mean you get the first player taken. In an auction draft, everyone gets to bid on every player, so hypothetically, everyone has a chance for everyone. This I like a lot. This means that a computer throwing me into a random pick (usually a sucky pick, like 9th or 10th) is not going to make or break my season...I will make or break my season. Is there any more maddening feeling than getting outbid by someone by a dollar and trying to figure out if you should outbid the guy or let him have the guy? It makes you nuts because you're trying to look out for your overall budget, but you really don't want to see a guy you targetted on another team. I've done a few of these, and here's a few principles that I can throw your way:

The Brian Cashman Theory:

"The Air Near My Fingers"~ White Stripes

"Prelude in C With Harp and Violin"~ Bach

I immediately thought of Cashman when I was thinking up this theory. Despite the recent struggles of the Sox and the resurgence of the Yanks lately, one thing still remains: Yankee championships won before $100 million contracts: 26; Yankee championships afterward: 0. With that being said, there simply is a much harder time to win a fantasy championship if you go for all the high ticket items. Sure, having AP and Maurice Jones-Drew in the same backfield is great, but you have to spend over half your team's budget to do that, and you will be stuck with having to deal with the under $10 crowd, and that isn't the greatest collection of players ever. So, here is my contention: It seems to me that splitting the difference is just the best way to go. Again, I come back to Steve Slaton, because you can get him for pretty much half of what Peterson goes for, and then, with the savings, you can go get Marion Barber and still be spending about as much as you would for just Peterson. Then, when talking about Fitzgerald, you are probably looking at around $45-50 for him. Instead of dolling out that kind of bank for one guy, you can get a combination of Roddy White/Marques Colston/Dwayne Bowe/Greg Jennings. So, much like the Yankees should have done, you are getting two quality players for the price of one high-ticket item.

The Bye Week Theory:

"Doctor My Eyes"- Jackson Browne

"Goodbye Blue Sky"- Pink Floyd

"H"- Tool

This one I believe could be one of the more inventive ones I have come up with. I am going to do a draft based on this one, and ride it out this year and see what happens. This is putting the scientific method in motion here. Okay, so let me explain this one. Imagine if you will that come draft day, you pick out one of the bye weeks of the season (4-10), and then draft a large portion of your starting lineup to all have that one bye week off. Here's a list of the bye weeks this year:
  • Week 4: Arizona, Atlanta, Carolina, Philadelphia
  • Week 5: Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans, San Diego
  • Week 6: Dallas, Indianapolis, Miami, San Francisco
  • Week 7: Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, Seattle, Tennessee
  • Week 8: Cincinnati, Kansas City, New England, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington
  • Week 9: Buffalo, Cleveland, Minnesota, New York Jets, Oakland, St. Louis
  • Week 10: Houston, New York Giants
So, let's take, for example, Week 8 (and yes, it's because of the Pats). Here's an example of how the auction may play out, and how much you're probably going to end up spending:
  • QB- Tom Brady ($40)
  • RB- Steve Slaton ($38)
  • RB- Clinton Portis ($35)
  • WR- Dwayne Bowe ($20)
  • WR- Wes Welker ($18)
  • RB/WR- Darren McFadden ($17)
  • TE- Kellen Winslow ($2)
  • K- Stephen Gostkowski ($2)
  • D/ST- New England ($1)
  • BE- Dustin Keller ($1)
  • BE- Trent Edwards ($1)
  • BE- Donald Brown ($6)
  • BE- Jerricho Cotchery ($9)
  • BE- Donnie Avery ($3)
  • BE- Felix Jones ($5)
So basically, outside of McFadden and Slaton, every player in the starting lineup has a bye week on Week 8. This way, instead of staggering the bye weeks, you get them all over with (for the most part), in one shot. Therefore, you are taking a risk for one week in order to have your entire lineup active for every other week. So come Week 8, yeah, you're going to be in a little bit of trouble. However, you will have your lineup ready to go for the other 16 weeks. Again, this has yet to be done, so the results are still is, after all, a theory.

The $160 Theory

"Candyman"- Grateful Dead

"Monkey Man"- Rolling Stones

I've broken it down, and realistically, if you don't want a completely terrible bench, you can spend $160 on the starting QB, two starting RBs, two starting WRs, a flex RB/WR, and a starting TE. Let me explain in another format:


QB, RB, RB, RB/WR, WR, WR, TE: $160
D/ST: $1
K: $1
2 Backup WR/RB/TE: $2
5 Bench Players: $36

So you spend a buck on the D/ST and the kicker. Then, factor in a buck a piece for two backups at RB/WR/TE (Kellen Winslow, Dustin Keller, Tony Scheffler, Donnie Avery, LeSean McCoy, Rashard Mendenhall, Percy Harvin), and you are left with $36 to spend on five other bench guys. I think the key really is to not box yourself in with anything. You want to have options at all points of the draft. You don't want to spend too much money too fast, and you don't want to be Daddy Warbucks at the end with $20 to spend on a bench player and a kicker. It's all about finding that happy medium really. I really think $160 is really pushing it to the max in terms of your starting seven though. Once you go over that, you're going to back yourself into $1 land, and while there are some nice options there, you really are cutting down on your options. If you have $40-50 to spend on the rest of your team, you're not going to get everyone you want, but you will be in a position where you will have at least decent backups that you can plug in for bye weeks.

The T.O. Theory

"A Kiss Is Not A Contract"- Flight Of The Conchords

This one is really simple. When you are up to nominate someone, nominate people that you want nothing to do with. This has a two-prong effect. First, you are making other teams spend their money on players you don't want, thus cutting into their budget. In addition, you are filling a spot on their roster, which means that they have one less spot to try and get someone that you actually want. In every single auction draft, I throw out T.O. as the first one, and usually what happens is that not only does he go for about what his MSRP is ($20), but he may even go for something higher. Imagine, a guy you don't want is out there, and there are bidding wars for him. I mean people are actually spending money and time worrying about a guy who you won't touch with a six-foot pole. How great is that? Basically, you want to spend other people's money and spots so you can get the guys you need cheaper.

Well, I think for right now that's all I have for you. I may add some more if I come up with any others, but for now, I think this is a nice little blueprint to have. If anything, it does suggest thought, which was the entire purpose of writing this. Good luck everyone. Hope all is well. Peace.