OpinionJune 9, 2009

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Flex Spots – Fantasy Football Poison

By Michael Gogel

Flex spots have somehow become a staple in the fantasy football world, and I for one just don’t understand it. At first glance, they look like pure gold for someone who is a roster vulture. But for the more sophisticated fantasy football player, I believe flex spots are evil and must be stopped. If you have any sense, you’ll argue these points when you set up your league and some genius wants to have eight flex spots for no good reason.

Flex Spots Rarely Flex: In most cases, a flex spot will either be a RB/WR or sometimes a WR/TE. Now think about this logically: if you have a second-tier starting running back and a first-tier second or third option receiver, who are you going to start 90% of the time? Most people with any sense pick the RB and with good reason. In this topsy-turvy world of two-headed and even three-headed running back systems in the NFL, and with the emergence of the Wildcat offense, RBs have increased their overall value while WRs continue to be a one trick pony. As for the WR/TE, the best TE in the league may not crack double digits in points, while a roll of the dice with a hot receiver can pay off dividends. Bottom line: smart coaches don’t gamble with the lesser proven producer in a flex spot decision.

It Kills The Waiver Wire:If your league is anything like mine, the waiver wire is El Dorado. Every week you can search up and down and find a gem that you’re excited to plug-and-play due to a more than favorable matchup, especially when bye weeks seems to decimate your team a few times during the season. Flex spots open up another roster spot per team and subtract one more substantial player on that waiver wire. This leaves you with the daunting task of crossing your fingers and hoping no one swoops in and takes Brodie Croyle before you do.

They Create Roster Vultures: A roster vulture is someone who just seems to troll the waiver wire first thing every Tuesday morning, gather up all the players of any value whatsoever and promptly store them snugly on his bench. He has no need to start any of them. He may not even trade them. He just strictly wants to make sure no one else has them. Nothing is more infuriating than someone who does this. The size of your overall roster reflects on the gravity of add/dropping anyone at a moment’s notice. Smaller rosters means roster vultures have to think twice before letting go of a potential late season bloomer.

It Put All The Emphasis On The Draft: Smart managers know that championship teams aren’t drafted, they’re carefully assembled during the season. Depending how conservative and communicative your league is, there may not be a lot of in-season trades. If that’s the case, your waiver wire is pretty much the only way you’ll be able to improve upon anything after injury or poor production. And as I’ve said before: Flex Spots Kill Waiver Wires!

They Kill Startup Leagues: If you’re just starting a league and you’re trying to gain some league loyalty, just say no to flex positions. They can suck all of the fun of the regular season. Newbies will be put off by the reasons I’ve stated above and you’ll end up with a carousel of players year after year, and the possibility of total collapse of your entire league only after a short period of time.

Call or write your local commish now and tell him: “Down with Flex Spots.”

Mike Gogel is a jerk, a crazy person, and a Libra. His love/hate relationship with fantasy football is similar to that of a really hot girl who goes out with a tool. (Mike, of course, being the really hot girl) Fantasy Football told him it loved him once, he concurred, and now it's allowed to ignore him and generally treat him like dirt. Mike went to Penn State University and much like every other person you'll ever meet from Penn State, he believes that his football team is the greatest tradition ever in the history of sports and nothing you can say will change his mind. You can catch up with Mike in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of pirater4u.
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