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Postby bigGAME101 » Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:08 pm

Ok, in almost any format the first 3 picks this year are probably the best to draft in due to the fact LT, Alexander, and LJ are going to be there. Now, since you have said that there are 6 keepers, that means pretty much all the main players will be gone. Having said that, I assume that the top 30 RBs, 20 WRs, and perhaps 10 QB will be off the board (10 teams with 6 keepers). So in actuality thats about 3 RBs, 2 WRs, and 1 QB per team being kept (with perhaps a couple TEs in there). So the best spot to draft would still be in the top half of the first round IMO. At that point, you are building for depth and perhaps some young talent. Having a top pick this year may make or break your team depending on how well your draft goes in succeeding rounds. Having a guy like LT, LJ, or Alexander can save you a potentially bad pick or a big reach (which I'm sure we have all done) down the line.

Now I am confused as to if are joining a league that is already in motion with each team already having 6 keepers, or if the league is brand new with 6 keepers for the future. Here is what I would want in both cases:

If I was drafting for the first time ever this year, then I would want the third pick (of the first round). You don't have to mull over which of the Big 3 to take, and you get the better player in the second round. This also leaves you with a solid 2nd RB or WR1 in the third round depending on your 2nd round selection.

If I was drafting with 6 players already kept from each team, I would want the first overall pick. Almost all the quality players are gone at this point, and here the higher you are the better your flex or 3wr (or perhaps QB) will be. In any keeper/dynasty/rookie draft, I think everyone will agree that the higher the pick the better off you are.

Hope this helps a bit ;-D
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Postby Kensat30 » Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:32 pm

I think that the real reason running backs (RBs) are drafted so early in football leagues is because of "Stud RB" theory is self perpetuating. I know you're a novice to fantasy football and this could be a little bit complicated for you, so let me try to explain what I mean.

The general thinking of your average fantasy footballer is that RBs are gold in all forms of fantasy football. This is true to an extent as the top RBs tend to outscore their peers and the field by a large margin from time to time. That is why you see all the "Big 3" "LJ, LT, SA" talk this year, because they are perceived to outclass all the other RBs and hold a lot of value in all formats. I can pretty much guarantee you that these 3 guys will be the first 3 picks in 99% of leagues out there this year.

Back on the "stud RB" theory though. Basically, everyone wants the top RBs because they are the best possible players to own in fantasy football, and if you can land a pair of them to start every week, those two players can singlehandedly carry you to a title. That is where you get the thinking "if I draft two RBs in the first two rounds I have the best possible chance at landing those 'stud" RBs'". And the "Stud RB" theory was born.
---

Now at some point in time, the Stud RB theory evolved into the "RB scarcity" theory. Basically, all the good RBs with stud potential will be drafted in the first couple rounds and you don't want to be left out in the cold. And even further, that all the solid starting RBs who are worth a damn (not even a top RB) will be gone if you wait past the first couple of rounds. RBs are so scarce according to the "RB scarcity" theory, that if you don't draft your RBs early in the draft, you will be left out in the cold starting 2 scrubs every week, ruining your chances to win the league because RBs are so critical to your team.

Now, so many people who play fantasy football have seen that 80-90% of the players drafte in the first couple rounds turn out to be RBs, that they feel that the "RB scarcity" theory must be true. If everybody and their momma is drafting a RB, it must be really important that you also get one as well. In short, if everybody is drafting RBs, The "Stud RB" and the "RB scarcity" theories must be both necessary and true theories if almost everybody in the league is utilizing it. Groupthink at it's best.
--

As I become more experienced in fantasy football and have the vision to see things that the average owner doesn't (sorry if that sounds arrogant), I'm realizing that both of the "stud RB" and "RB scarcity theories" are half truths.

It's true that having two solid RBs to start every week is important. And it is tough for everyone in the league to start 2 each week because solid starting RBs are a finite resource in the NFL. BUT, I don't believe you have to drop your 1st two picks to find two solid RBs. And I don't believe that you are limited to starting just two RBs every week for 16 weeks of the season. What happens if you draft 2 RBs and then one gets injured? Or you have another RBs on the bench with a good matchup, but you are afraid to bench one of your first two picks? Sorry, kind of going off on a tangent and writing a novel here, but there is a lot of different thinking that goes into why such a high percentage of early picks are RBs.

For a contrarian viewpoint, check out the WR/WR thread in this forum, and read up on a little discussion on the unorthodox strategy of starting your draft with two wide receivers instead of RBs. Don't get led by the sheep thinking that you will miss out on all the good players if you don't start your draft RB/RB.
---

Do your own research and figure out what players you like and don't like. Look at other drafts and mock drafts on the internet to decide where certain players will be drafted and where you will want to select them. Cheatsheets are a start that can give you a general idea, but should not be the end-all.

If possible, a great asset for you would be to study your own league's past history. Even if this is your first year, find out if you can get a copy of the past drafts somehow so you can study the other owners' tendencies. Or you can go the direct route and just talk some fantasy football with the other owners to see where they are at and what kind of drafter they might be.

Simple research can also payoff bigtime. Like finding out what players scored in the previous year based on your scoring system. It may give you an idea of which players are valuable and which players to avoid, and more importantly which players you will be able to get later than their value would suggest. Study your league scoring and format and it may vary well debunk the "Stud RB" theory by itself. Or it may point you in the direction that you want to start off the draft with 5 RBs, who knows. Every league is different, but when you do as much research as you can and you start understand every angle of the game, you won't get sucked into picking somebody just because you think you have to.
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Postby onnestabe » Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:40 pm

I'm not going to hit the 'quote' button, Kensat, since the post was long, but I loved it. I consider myself to be a fairly advanced FFer, but I never really thought about the RB, RB theory that way (as a self-perpetuating half-truth). I knew that you could win with strategies that don't involve two stud RBs, but I just never followed through with that line of thinking.

Definitely good stuff ;-D
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Postby citybirds27 » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:26 pm

Kensat30 wrote:I think that the real reason running backs (RBs) are drafted so early in football leagues is because of "Stud RB" theory is self perpetuating. I know you're a novice to fantasy football and this could be a little bit complicated for you, so let me try to explain what I mean.

The general thinking of your average fantasy footballer is that RBs are gold in all forms of fantasy football. This is true to an extent as the top RBs tend to outscore their peers and the field by a large margin from time to time. That is why you see all the "Big 3" "LJ, LT, SA" talk this year, because they are perceived to outclass all the other RBs and hold a lot of value in all formats. I can pretty much guarantee you that these 3 guys will be the first 3 picks in 99% of leagues out there this year.

Back on the "stud RB" theory though. Basically, everyone wants the top RBs because they are the best possible players to own in fantasy football, and if you can land a pair of them to start every week, those two players can singlehandedly carry you to a title. That is where you get the thinking "if I draft two RBs in the first two rounds I have the best possible chance at landing those 'stud" RBs'". And the "Stud RB" theory was born.
---

Now at some point in time, the Stud RB theory evolved into the "RB scarcity" theory. Basically, all the good RBs with stud potential will be drafted in the first couple rounds and you don't want to be left out in the cold. And even further, that all the solid starting RBs who are worth a damn (not even a top RB) will be gone if you wait past the first couple of rounds. RBs are so scarce according to the "RB scarcity" theory, that if you don't draft your RBs early in the draft, you will be left out in the cold starting 2 scrubs every week, ruining your chances to win the league because RBs are so critical to your team.

Now, so many people who play fantasy football have seen that 80-90% of the players drafte in the first couple rounds turn out to be RBs, that they feel that the "RB scarcity" theory must be true. If everybody and their momma is drafting a RB, it must be really important that you also get one as well. In short, if everybody is drafting RBs, The "Stud RB" and the "RB scarcity" theories must be both necessary and true theories if almost everybody in the league is utilizing it. Groupthink at it's best.
--

As I become more experienced in fantasy football and have the vision to see things that the average owner doesn't (sorry if that sounds arrogant), I'm realizing that both of the "stud RB" and "RB scarcity theories" are half truths.

It's true that having two solid RBs to start every week is important. And it is tough for everyone in the league to start 2 each week because solid starting RBs are a finite resource in the NFL. BUT, I don't believe you have to drop your 1st two picks to find two solid RBs. And I don't believe that you are limited to starting just two RBs every week for 16 weeks of the season. What happens if you draft 2 RBs and then one gets injured? Or you have another RBs on the bench with a good matchup, but you are afraid to bench one of your first two picks? Sorry, kind of going off on a tangent and writing a novel here, but there is a lot of different thinking that goes into why such a high percentage of early picks are RBs.

For a contrarian viewpoint, check out the WR/WR thread in this forum, and read up on a little discussion on the unorthodox strategy of starting your draft with two wide receivers instead of RBs. Don't get led by the sheep thinking that you will miss out on all the good players if you don't start your draft RB/RB.
---

Do your own research and figure out what players you like and don't like. Look at other drafts and mock drafts on the internet to decide where certain players will be drafted and where you will want to select them. Cheatsheets are a start that can give you a general idea, but should not be the end-all.

If possible, a great asset for you would be to study your own league's past history. Even if this is your first year, find out if you can get a copy of the past drafts somehow so you can study the other owners' tendencies. Or you can go the direct route and just talk some fantasy football with the other owners to see where they are at and what kind of drafter they might be.

Simple research can also payoff bigtime. Like finding out what players scored in the previous year based on your scoring system. It may give you an idea of which players are valuable and which players to avoid, and more importantly which players you will be able to get later than their value would suggest. Study your league scoring and format and it may vary well debunk the "Stud RB" theory by itself. Or it may point you in the direction that you want to start off the draft with 5 RBs, who knows. Every league is different, but when you do as much research as you can and you start understand every angle of the game, you won't get sucked into picking somebody just because you think you have to.




So thats why drafts go on WR runs or Kicker runs?
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Postby citybirds27 » Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:36 pm

OK next question...

Since Kickers and D/St have about the same value apparently, is it ok to trade a kicker for a defense if you have 2 amazing ones and lack a defense?
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Postby onnestabe » Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:57 pm

citybirds27 wrote:OK next question...

Since Kickers and D/St have about the same value apparently, is it ok to trade a kicker for a defense if you have 2 amazing ones and lack a defense?


There's no problem with that, but here's a little tip:
One of the Cafe vets, Plindsey, does defensive rankings each week during the season based on matchups. It takes a few weeks to get enough data for the rankings to be useful, but after that they are very reliable. A lot of people around here use those rankings to pick up Defenses from week to week instead of carrying the same one all year.

I would suggest trying to trade for a very good defense, and if the other guy won't bite, just look at the schedule for the first 4-5 weeks to see which defenses play against poor offenses. There should be some defenses available as free agents that can get you through the first few weeks. Also, you should be able to wait a whlie before you make a decision on this.
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Postby The_Dude » Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:19 pm

Kensat,

What a great post!

I'm a RB/RB/RB/RB/RB/RB person, but your posts have really made me think. There's a group of people in academia who study something called "Game Theory." Game theory, basically, is the study of the rational actor, and what a rational individual would do to maximize their utility (or best interest) in a situation, given their expectations about the behavior of others.

In this sense, a fantasy draft is dynamic, in that a draft strategy must be based on your expectations about others.

Let me give you an example. I did a yahoo mock earlier this week with the idea that "I'm going to try out the WR/WR strategy." I get to the mock and I'm randomly assigned the 2nd overall pick. So, I can't not take LJ at 2, and I figure, "well, I'll go with the RB/WR/WR strategy that Bagel has been talkign about." The problem was that I became wed to the strategy and in retrospect, I didn't really get the duo of stud receivers I had hoped for, AND there were good players at the RB position left on the board. Part of the reason for this is that 12 player went WR/WR, forcing a WR run in round 2.

The point of all of this is that the more I play fantasy football, and the more drafts I participate in, if you don't know the motivations/strategies of those you are playing against, you must have a dynamic draft strategy - one that includes not only positional lists/ranks, but also tiers (or methods similar to Plindseys' VBD/ADP hybrid strategy). You must be able to adapt to what has gone on on the draft board and infer about the strategies of other players. If you play in a long-time league, then chances are you'll be able to develop strong priors about others' draft strategies, particularly those who don't spend all day at a site like this, talking about this stuff until they're blue in the fingers.
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Postby petedog9 » Thu Jun 22, 2006 6:08 pm

I agree and also am a beleiver in the teiring system. I never have a draft strategy etched in stone but rather a few scenarios in hand depending on how the draft plays out. In my main $$ league, I saw everyone going wr crazy so I drafted many extra rbs knowing these people would see their weaknesses at the position and come calling to me soon thereafter. Last year the wr position was widely ignored much to my amazement as we start 4 wrs in our league. I went after the as many quality wrs in the middle rounds as possible knowing I had plenty of trade bait. I go into every draft looking to nab the best value available knowing trade talks will begin shortly after the draft by many in our league.

I guess what I am getting at is that keep in mind that your team is not yet completely formed just because your draft is over... I have won my main $$$ league twice in the last 4 years and the other two years was won by my buddy who I have shared this strategy with and he employs as well.... (10 team)
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Postby whodey#9 » Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:18 pm

Great posts Kensat and The_Dude ;-D my head is starting to hurt since I'm think of some many new ideas !+)
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Postby no1cowboysfan » Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:44 pm

I agree with Duder and Pete in the fact that it is important to be flexible in your draft ... but I also think its important to have a mindset going in. A few things to consider before you even THINK about going position by position is this ...

1) Know thy players. As Kensat said, do your own research and compile your own rankings. Rank your players on how YOU want to draft them. Keep a list of your most valuable players handy when you draft, and x them off as they go. Those that don't are left wondering how you managed to get Plaxico Burress in the 9th.

2) Know thy drafters. If possible (especially amongst your friends), know their draft tendencies and plan accordingly. For example, I took HELL last season about drafting Kevin Jones with pick 16. After his piss-poor season, I know none of my friends (maybe one rogue guy who drafts on potential ... I'll have to plan around him) will want to draft Kevin Jones at all ... I can probably get him in the late third / early 4th. And I think he's going to rebound this year. So I know I can take a stud at WR in the second without worrying about being high-and-dry for a RB2.

3) Know thy draft position. Like El Duderino was saying ... you aren't drafting WR in the top three. Even if you want to, take one of the top three guys and trade him later if need be. This also ties in with know thy drafters ... if you know one guy who covets a certain player, draft him, then high sell back to him later. Cruel ... but oh, does it work.

4) Thy must get as many top-tier positions as possible. This in essence is more valueable than going RB/RB. Having a sure-fire, every-week man is much more vital than a RB2. There are top-tier guys in EVERY position that will vastly outscore everyone else in their respective position. Peyton ... Gates ... Rackers (heh). You know the team. As long as you get one from every position, your team will beat two good RBs every week.

So really, saying "I'm going to go RB/RB" is insane before the draft ... ESPECIALLY if you don't know these four things. Draft position is vital. You can have a main idea of what you'd like to do, but if you don't pay attention to draft slippage, you can miss big.
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