Here's a general strategy question with a real-life example...there is lots of detail, but it's needed to lay out the question. The draft is over so I can't do anything about this one. But, I was thinking this might make for some good discussion for others going into drafts this week.
Well, today I did a 10 team draft with people from my work. IRON CHEF was also involved since we only had 9 members for the league, so you can ask him about it also.
Going into this thing, I had no idea how "knowledgable" the other drafters were in fantasy football (other than IC...I was pretty confident he knew what to do). So, I basically had to assume they knew what they were doing. I have heard several of the people in the league talking fantasy before, so that's all I had to go on.
The settings were sort of weird. There was no TE slot, and QB's had odd ultra-high scoring...point per 20 yards passing, 6 point TD's, -2 for INT's, but -1 for sacks taken. These settings actually made me bump Manning up to my #4 overall pick...something I would never consider in a "normal" league without sacks or with 25 yards/point passing or 4 point TD's. Since Manning barely ever gets sacked (13 last year compared to 30+ for all other starting fantasy QB's with the exception of Favre - but that will probably change this year, Plummer, and Collins), I felt his value jumped up considerably also.
Anyway, I got the 3rd pick. I assumed that Manning would be taken before he got to me anyway, and he was taken 2nd. That got me SA with pick #3.
After that, that's when a lot of the bad picks started...and when I should have realized I was essentially drafting with idiots.
Someone took Barber in the first round, then Tony Gonzalez in the first as well (totally baffling since there was no TE slot...I could MAYBE understand it if there were, but this guy obviously had a man-crush), and McNabb was taken at #10. Gates wasn't far after that in round 2. Other notable picks in Round 2 - Adam Vinatieri and PIT - yes, we live in Steelers country.
Anyway, as I laughed at all these bad picks, I ended up getting Deuce with pick #18...total steal in my book. Then, on the way back, there were still insane amounts of good RB's left. So, I went ahead and took Julius Jones with my 3rd rounder. I almost took Holt, but I figured with the idiotic picks that came after me that surely there would be decent WR's left to take later.
Anyway, the stupid picking continued...Favre, BAL, and Ward went in Round 3, and Brady went in Round 4. I took Burleson in that round.
Then we have Round 5. One of the biggest travesties in fantasy football was found here - Clinton Portis was STILL AVAILABLE!
At this point, I wanted to take him sooo badly...but with 3 other solid RB's already taken by me, I had to pass him up by taking Darrell Jackson. I really didn't feel like trading with people, but in retrospect, I should have just taken him anyway and tried to trade.
Fast forward a little...more bad picks continued, and guys like Westbrook, Arrington, LJ, and Caddy fell, fell, and fell. LJ in Round 11, and Caddy wasn't taken until Round 12 by IC.
Draft is over...I'm thinking I am in pretty good shape with this bunch:
Plummer (due to the sacks thing I had him ranked way higher), Brooks
SA, Deuce, JJ, Taylor, Bennett
Burly, D-Jax, S. Smith
STL (I am rotating defenses all year...all the good D's were gone WAY too early, and the only other one I considered - Carolina - was taken in Round 11 by IC as I took Brooks as my backup QB.)
Unfortunately, I am not liking my standing here. Due to all the horrid drafters, about 5 of the 10 guys have unbelieveable teams. The Manning owner will crush us if he repeats last year, but even if he doesn't, this is what he has:
Portis, Jackson, Jordan, Parker, Faulk (he picked up Parker and has him starting; he has Portis on the bench for whatever reason
Owens, Bruce, Branch, McCardell
You know what the sad thing is...I'm not so sure he even drafted the team himself
...he never said anything during the draft, and he took the whole time limit on pretty much every pick. I think I know who the guy was, but either way it was a little suspicious.
OK, so here's the question - if you KNOW the people in your league are going to make idiotic picks, do you go "idiotic" yourself and take studs from other positions with less value, or do you stick to a normal "expert" strategy that says to take the highest valued player available?
Example - I think Culpepper should do well again. I could have taken Culpepper 3rd overall and STILL gotten Duece/KJ in round 2-3, or I could have gone Culpepper/Deuce/Holt and still gotten Portis/Jordan in Round 4, and then followed it with Burleson and D-Jax in Round 5.
Here's the point I'm trying to make...If you're in a 10 team league, you know that the number of players you'll need is smaller. Because of this, everyone SHOULD have a good team. But, if some of the people are utter moron drafters, then you may want to alter your strategy from one of value drafting to one of "stud" drafting. Since you're pretty sure that you'll be able to get top talent MUCH later than normal, you can be a little crazy and take studs at other positions before they should be taken and still end up with a heck of a team.
Does this make sense? Any comments about the "theory" I laid out? I don't need you to critique what I did really...just want to know if this idea makes sense.