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QB/WR and WR vs RB and RB - Draft Strategy Verdict

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Postby The Lung » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:19 pm

Paul Charchian from Fanball espouses a similar draft strategy he has entitled "Do the Opposite." Here is his 2006 review of such.

From http://www.fanball.com/buzz/article.cfm?id=8540

By Paul Charchian
Founding Publisher
Do the Opposite: 2006 in Review
Every preseason I spend breathless hours begging, pleading, and beseeching fantasy owners to "Do The Opposite," my term for a draft strategy that involves drafting receivers and quarterbacks early and filling your middle rounds with running backs. As the name would suggest, this is the opposite of how most people draft.

The premise goes like this: the running back position is ripe with injury and inconsistency. But the receiver and quarterback positions are much more stable. Further, those that think they can't find good running backs in the middle rounds are flat-out wrong.

While the season isn't quite done yet, it's not too early to evaluate how well an Opposite Draft worked, compared to the standard strategy of going RB-RB in the first two rounds.

First, note that everyone agreed, myself included, that the "big three" of Larry Johnson, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Shaun Alexander should have been the top three selections. After that though, the Opposite Draft was game on. So, as I analyze the Opposite Draft, I'm leaving those three out of the discussion.

I'll look at the running backs who typically were taken in the first two rounds, and then the receivers and quarterbacks who could have been taken instead.

Note, I'm using early September draft results from Fanball and AntSports.com for my list of players.

Typical First & Second-Round Runners
Tiki Barber, average draft position 1.5: Nice yardage, but one touchdown from a first round pick is disastrous to 90% of us.

Clinton Portis, 1.6: He posted seven touchdowns in eight games, which isn't bad, but his yardage numbers are lousy, and his season ended in week 10.

Steven Jackson 1.7: We're through 12 weeks, and he's only scored six times. His combo yardage numbers have been pretty good, but he's only topped 100 rushing yards three times. It's a mixed bag here.

Edgerrin James 1.9: A total disaster. No 100-yard games and only three touchdowns. Is it too late to bring back J.J. Arrington?

Ronnie Brown 1.10: He's a damn good back, who was criminally underused until the light bulb went on for Mike Mularkey in week six. He's only got five touchdowns and two 100-yard games. And his hand injury will sideline him 1-3 weeks.

Rudi Johnson 1.11: Johnson is having a solid season, scoring eight times, but topping 100 yards just three times is disappointing.

LaMont Jordan 2.1: Thanks to an injury-shortened two-touchdown season, Jordan has made an Edgerrin James pick look good.

Carnell Williams 2.2: One touchdown and two 100-yard games? Are you kidding me?

Brian Westbrook 2.3: He's been alright, especially in yardage-heavy and PPR leagues. Scoring just once from weeks six to 11 was very tough on many fantasy owners, though.

Willis McGahee 2.5: He showed some nice determination last Sunday when he played through the pain of three cracked ribs, but scoring one touchdown through the first 11 weeks is apocalyptically bad.

Willie Parker 2.8: Despite a terrible game last week (hey, it was against Baltimore), Parker is having a fine year, scoring 12 times, and posting over 900 yards already.

Kevin Jones 2.10: Seven touchdowns through 12 weeks isn't bad, and he's been a nice surprise in PPR formats.

Reggie Bush 2.11: As good as I thought he would be, he's been equally disappointing. A total loss. The only format where he's startable is in PPR leagues.

Julius Jones 2.12: He hasn't topped 100-yards since week six, and he's managed just three touchdowns all year.

Let's summarize:
- # of RBs who played below his typical draft position: Nine. Barber, Portis, James, Brown, Jordan, McGahee, Williams, Bush, and J. Jones.

- # of RBs who played to his typical draft position: Four. Jackson, Johnson, Westbrook, K. Jones (I'm being nice here).

- # of RBs who played above his typical draft position: One. Parker

Bottom Line: So, of the 14 runners who were likely to be taken after the Big Three in the first two rounds, only five have lived up to their selection status. That's a horrifying 36% success rate.

Typical First & Second-Round Quarterbacks and Receivers
Peyton Manning 1.10: Tom Brady and Carson Palmer didn't quite average out to second round picks, so I'm just analyzing Manning. His 21 passing touchdowns and two running scores equals at least 12.5 rushing/receiving touchdowns in most scoring systems. Only two players (LT and LJ) have more touchdowns.

Steve Smith 1.8: After missing the first two weeks, he has scored and/or topped 100 yards in every game but two.

Torry Holt 2.2: He's been quiet lately, but his seven touchdowns and three 100-yard games isn't bad.

Marvin Harrison 2.5: Five touchdowns and three 100-yard games are moderately disappointing.

Terrell Owens 2.7: Eight touchdowns is solid, but I'd like to see him top 100 more often.

Chad Johnson 2.9: He's in the middle of a historic run, which almost makes it worth forgetting that he only scored once in the first six games.

Larry Fitzgerald 2.11: Lousy season, marred by injury and inconsistent quarterback play.

Anquan Boldin 2.12: He's posted solid yardage numbers, but just four touchdowns.

Let's summarize:
- # of QB/WRs who played below his typical draft position: Three. Harrison, Fitzgerald, and Boldin.

- # of QB/WRs who played to his typical draft position: Five. Manning, Smith, Holt, Johnson, Owens.

- # of QB/WRs who played above his typical draft position: None.

Bottom Line: I'm a little disappointed that none of these guys has blown away his projections, but still, you can't argue with a 63% success rate.

I'll let you do the math. A 36% success rate for runners versus a 63% success rate for receivers and quarterbacks. You should be able to draw your own conclusions here, so I won't insult you by stating the obvious.



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Postby skinsfan » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:25 pm

My team's 4-7-1 (awful!).

I'll give you my top 5. I think that were it not for injuries, my team would've been amazing:

1) Alexander
2) Fitzgerald
3) Roy Williams
4) Burress
5) Parker

And this was my plan going into the draft irrespective of my pick because I had a good feeling about Parker. But I had a better feeling about Ronnie Brown and pulled the trigger on Brown for Parker/Keyshawn before Week 2.

I still believe that RB-RB was a poor strategy unless you were targeting one guy because coming into the year I had a bad feeling about James, Jordan, Caddy, and Westbrook (hey, at least three were right).
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Postby onnestabe » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:44 pm

onnestabe wrote:1st place
6-2 record
Rnd 1: Terrell Owens
Rnd 2: Chad Johnson
Pick 8 in a 12 teamer

(I did well with my RBs - KJ, Ahman, Fred Taylor; and Colston at TE and Brees at QB doesn't hurt as late-round value picks)

To update, I am now 9-4 and a lock to finish number 1 in the regular season ($50 prize for that accomplishment ;-D ). I am battling some key injuries right now (Colston, KJ), but Chad and TO are starting to show up, and I will get a bye in week 14 to give the injured guys an extra week to get healthy.
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Postby shasty mcnasty » Tue Nov 28, 2006 3:28 pm

i'm in a ten team redraft PPR league, and this year we couldn't find a time to draft, so we autodrafted on Yahoo. Obviously, this won't apply to those who draft live, but i think that alternate drafting strategies such as Wr-Wr actually work better in the autodraft, because Yahoo automatically fills all starting spots before bench spots, thus ensuring that even if i picked WR-Wr-WR, I would still get 2 of my top-rated RBs in the 4th and 5th rounds. Since it was impossible to start a run on RBs that would leave me empty-handed, i drafted WRs with my top 3 (Smith-Holt-Roy), and then picked FWP and Foster in the 4th and 5th rounds. This thoroughly upset a couple other managers who had planned to go RB-WR, but who hadn't accounted for so many WRs being off the board so early. I had the #6 pick in the 1st round, Steven Jackson was still on the board...he's the one RB that was available that, if i hadn it to do over again, i would go RB-WR instead of WR-WR for. But all in all, i'm doing well; i'm in 2nd place, 1 game out of 1st, and scored the 2nd most points (1st place is the LT team). Incindently, about mid-season, i traded away Holt (after all his big games), Tatum Bell (acquired for Foster), FWP, and Lundy, acquiring SJax, Addai, Rhodes, and RMoss, so my team now looks like it would have if I had gone RB-WR, more so than the original WR-WR-WR.

A couple points:

First, I think there's less risk going WR heavy in an autodraft, because owners can't take all the decent RBs early, which can and does happen in some live drafts, and which could really screw up the WR-WR strategy.

Second, I also agree that those mid-round picks can make all the difference. FWP was an absolute stud for me, thus giving me 2 stud WRs and 1 stud RB, and giving me alot of victories. Not only that, but i also have Colston. So really, my success this season may have more to do with FWP drafted late, and Colston off the wire in week 1 (and starting at TE) than with going WR-WR.

Third, you obviously have to carefully evaluate which players you are picking and passing. Last year, i went Wr-Wr with Moss and Owens, and i finished near the bottom of the league. This year, i purposefully went after the kind of WR who i thought would give me consistent points (Smith and Holt), and stayed away from more high risk/high reward players like TO, CJ, Santana Moss, etc. Additionally, i felt like some of those top RBs had alot of questions (Lamont, Edge, Ronnie, even Tiki, with a goal line back, Caddy, etc.) and that i could, if i was lucky, get players that might give me comparable points in later rounds, allowing me to get stud WRs at the top.

Fourth, you have to be lucky to win. I had Holt while he was blowing up, and traded him the week before he went into this slump; also in the trade, i acquired SJax and Addai, who, since i acquired them about 4 weeks ago, have been pretty consistently huge for me. I guess that's selling high and all, but it's also turned out better than i would have guessed.

All told, i'm rather fascinated by the WR-WR strategy, and will continue to strongly consider it, depending on my draft position. I think the first 5 or so RBs for next year(LT, LJ, Alexander, SJax, FWP) should get picked at the top. But others, who have a goaline back, or who share time, or who get injured alot, or who are on bad teams, etc. etc., should be skipped over for a stud WR. On the other hand, i have a hard time seeing taking a QB in the 1st or 2nd. I guess Manning pretty much justifies it, and maybe McNabb as well, but there are just so many good QBs available later, and since you can only start 1, I'd have a tough time pulling that trigger.
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