The TE Land Grab drafting strategy - Fantasy Football Cafe 2014 Fantasy Football Cafe


Return to Football Talk

The TE Land Grab drafting strategy

Moderator: Football Moderators

The TE Land Grab drafting strategy

Postby spodog » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:03 pm

So I’ve been thinking about this somewhat off the wall idea for a while and wanted to see what the Café thinks of it.

For a 12 team* league format with both a required TE and a RB/WR/TE flex spot, I’ve been thinking about doing a land grab on the top tier TE’s in rounds 3-6, with the intent of grabbing 3 of these guys in those 4 rounds: Witten, Gates, Gonzalez and Dallas Clark

Here’s the theory:

If you look at the end of year stats at every skill position over the last few years, there are two pretty compelling observations to be made about the TE position.

1. Predicting a high % of the guys who will be in the Top 5 are much more predictable than who will end up in the Top 10 at RB or WR.
2. The dropoff in dependendable weekly production at the TE spot is pretty severe at around the TE5/TE6 spot

So the idea would be, while others are grabbing a WR2 or a RB3 in these rounds who they hope will be productive, I’ll be loading up on TE’s that I know will be productive, and scarce.

Then, around Week 3 or Week 4, after the early season unknowns start to clear up, and those inevitable early season RB injuries start to hit, I’m now in a prime spot to work a trade or two and move 2 of these TE’s for quality RB’s or WR’s to balance my team better for the rest of the season, as I’d expect at least a few teams will realize they are losing games because they are only getting 2 or 3 points a week from some TE with primarily blocking duty.

Meanwhile, in the first 3 or 4 weeks of the season, I’d be fine with plugging in Witten at the TE spot and Gates at the Flex spot on my roster.

* - I think this strategy would work even better in a 14 team league

Thoughts?
Image
spodog
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe RankerCafe SpotterWeb SupporterMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 4058
Joined: 21 Sep 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: At my trailer on the beach in Malibu

Re: The TE Land Grab drafting strategy

Postby dream_017 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:54 pm

I wouldn't give up a quality RB or WR for a few points more at my TE position. I'd sit and watch you flounder with having to start 2 TEs per week
dream_017
Cafe Google
Cafe Google

User avatar
ModeratorCafeholicFantasy ExpertCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe MusketeerWeb SupporterPick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 15301
(Past Year: 58)
Joined: 3 Aug 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Ford Field: Section - 132; Row - 19; Seat - 11

Re: The TE Land Grab drafting strategy

Postby My team is injured » Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:02 pm

Interesting strategy (my buddy did something similar with Gates and Gonzo a few years back) but I'm not sure it's worth the risk for this year's crop of TEs. Witten is IMO hands down the top choice with Gates and Gonzo as the lone two in the next tier. While I think drafting Witten early is a good move irrespective of this strategy, I'm inclined to think there would probably be higher scoring RB/WR options available for your flex spot when Gates and Gonzo are drafted. I'd also be hesitant to draft with the intention of trading a player depending on the nature of your league and how many trades usually go down.

With all this being said, I could see the merit in this strategy if say, you already have Witten and you're deciding among the likes of Thomas Jones, Jonathan Stewart, Jerricho Cotchery, Hines Ward, and Tony Gonzalez. I think Gonzalez projects out in PPR leagues favorably enough that I'd consider him straight up over these other guys for my flex spot and would probably lean towards taking him due to the positional advantage at TE you mentioned. But I wouldn't deviate from my normal value based drafting just to try out the strategy, I would only recommend it if the board of available players dictates it and I would cap it at 2 TEs and not 3 since you can only start 2 max and you never know how trades will go.
All of my analysis is based on PPR
My team is injured
Defensive Assistant
Defensive Assistant

Cafe Blackjack ChampionMatchup Meltdown Survivor
Posts: 413
Joined: 13 Oct 2005
Home Cafe: Football

Re: The TE Land Grab drafting strategy

Postby Kareighuis » Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:50 pm

My team is injured wrote:Interesting strategy (my buddy did something similar with Gates and Gonzo a few years back) but I'm not sure it's worth the risk for this year's crop of TEs. With all this being said, I could see the merit in this strategy if say, you already have Witten and you're deciding among the likes of Thomas Jones, Jonathan Stewart, Jerricho Cotchery, Hines Ward, and Tony Gonzalez. I would only recommend it if the board of available players dictates it and I would cap it at 2 TEs and not 3 since you can only start 2 max and you never know how trades will go.


This is the part I agree with the most.
I'd only consider taking 2 TEs, not three. Additionally, rather than considering a player a TE or WR, I'd lump the two together as Receivers. Wherever those who line up wide or tight stack up, that's how I'd go.
Kareighuis
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
CafeholicFantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe Musketeer
Posts: 3627
(Past Year: 3)
Joined: 14 Mar 2007
Home Cafe: Football

Re: The TE Land Grab drafting strategy

Postby biju » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:17 pm

There was a league I was in where someone tried this (for the most part) by land-grabbing assuming that everyone was going to come to them for a TE trade.

What this person didn't count on was that the *only* person who had a distinct advantage at the TE position was him. For all other games the other teams were roughly even and so it didn't become an "issue" until the playoff teams separated and they were looking for that final advantage going in. Then they started trying to work a trade, but at that time there was little incentive because the land-grab guy was way, way out of it and was just signing in once a week to set the lineup, if that.

In theory if everyone was able to make that deal for a RB/WR prospect I'm sure they would do it. But if you're thinking you're going to get a RB2 out of it I think you're doing to be disappointed. I probably wouldn't even go a RB3 "just in case" one of my starters got hurt and definitely not before I got at least one of the bye weeks in. But then I'm also a real pain in the arse to trade with...

:-D
Image
biju
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Fantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterSweet 16 Survivor
Posts: 5941
Joined: 6 Mar 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Seattle - Ballard

Re: The TE Land Grab drafting strategy

Postby Free Bagel » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:34 pm

spodog wrote:1. Predicting a high % of the guys who will be in the Top 5 are much more predictable than who will end up in the Top 10 at RB or WR.


That may make sense for the first TE you grab, but not the one you grab after that that you're planning to start in the flex. You need to compare the position you're starting them at, which would make your statement basically say that one of those TEs is more likely to finish in the top 5 overall (not counting QBs) than a WR or RB drafted in that spot would be, which of course is completely untrue.

Even many "busts" at WR and RB drafted in that area outscore the majority of TEs. Most would consider Lee Evans and Santana Moss busts last year, but they outscored every TE except Gonzo. And of course, no TE has the kind of upside that a WR or RB at that spot does.

Simply put, it just doesn't make sense to grab a TE to start in a flex spot. Most "bad" years for WRs and RBs would be considered a good year for TEs. The TEs only hold value because they're the only ones you can start in the TE spot, when you remove that positional advantage they are a terrible value. Since a single TE spot is required, that means their draft stock is still going to have to be high enough to draft them as an elite TE. But you're not drafting them as an elite TE, you're drafting them as a mediocre flex player. You don't take those guys early. You're essentially paying a price (drafting them early) for something you're not going to use (value added because they can be started in the TE spot).

Consider this. Derrick Mason has scored enough fantasy points that if he were a TE he would have finished in the top 3 for the last 8 years consecutively. Yet where is he traditionally drafted? In the 8th-12th round. Even elite TEs typically put up the same numbers as low-end WRs that you can get much later in the draft, so when they're competing for the same starting spot why would you take those numbers in the 4th round when you could get them in the 10th? Or when you could get a guy who will put up those same numbers but has a much higher upside?
Image
Free Bagel
Mod in Retirement
Mod in Retirement

User avatar
CafeholicFantasy ExpertMock(ing) DrafterCafe Musketeer
Posts: 8495
Joined: 25 Jul 2003
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Titletown, FL

Re: The TE Land Grab drafting strategy

Postby Stelly » Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:40 am

I've seen this strategy attempted in a baseball league, where a guy land grabbed all the Catchers. He thought he had all the trade bait in the world. In the meantime, nobody traded with him, and he was stuck with a couple high draft picks wasting on his bench.

In your situation, I can see grabbing 2 TEs, but not three. Even two is a strecth, as I'd rather play a WR in a flex than a TE any day of the week. WRs tend to be more consistent in their production in my opinion, and have a much higher ceiling.

I'm not sure what type of RB you think you'd get for a premiere TE, but I can't imagine too many guys are going to be willing to part with an RB3, let alone and RB2 for a good TE. I know I sure as heck wouldn't.
10-Team, non-PPR

QB:
RB: R. Rice, CJ Spiller
WR: AJ Green
K:
Def:
Stelly
Head Coach
Head Coach

User avatar
Mock(ing) Drafter
Posts: 1271
(Past Year: 2)
Joined: 15 Dec 2005
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: The TE Land Grab drafting strategy

Postby joejlitz » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:16 am

Kareighuis wrote:
My team is injured wrote:Interesting strategy (my buddy did something similar with Gates and Gonzo a few years back) but I'm not sure it's worth the risk for this year's crop of TEs. With all this being said, I could see the merit in this strategy if say, you already have Witten and you're deciding among the likes of Thomas Jones, Jonathan Stewart, Jerricho Cotchery, Hines Ward, and Tony Gonzalez. I would only recommend it if the board of available players dictates it and I would cap it at 2 TEs and not 3 since you can only start 2 max and you never know how trades will go.


This is the part I agree with the most.
I'd only consider taking 2 TEs, not three. Additionally, rather than considering a player a TE or WR, I'd lump the two together as Receivers. Wherever those who line up wide or tight stack up, that's how I'd go.

I did this when Shockey went to NO. I already drafted Witten who went on to have his best year ever. Then I thought I would get Shockey "under the radar" and that he would EXPLODE in NO. I think his groin exploded, maybe but that is about it.

But - I did it when their were only low-end #2 WRs and #3 WRs left. It was worth the risk considering the other options available.

I would NOT do what you recommend. In my league, trading is nearly impossible. No one ever wants to give up true value. We have maybe 3 trades a year.
"There is no charge for awesomeness or attractiveness." - Po (Kung Fu Panda)
Image
joejlitz
Mod in Retirement
Mod in Retirement

User avatar
EditorCafeholicFantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe SpotterCafe MusketeerPick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly Winner
Posts: 7050
(Past Year: 37)
Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Home Cafe: Football
Location: G-14 Classified

Re: The TE Land Grab drafting strategy

Postby spodog » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:37 pm

Our league is fairly active in terms of trades, but I can definitely see guys sitting no their hands, unwilling to trade a RB whose riding pine on their team to get a top tier TE, as some of you have pointed out.

I'll probably refine this idea and ratchet down my target more into the mid rounds.
Image
spodog
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe RankerCafe SpotterWeb SupporterMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 4058
Joined: 21 Sep 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: At my trailer on the beach in Malibu

Re: The TE Land Grab drafting strategy

Postby Kensat30 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:50 pm

Never understood the "land grab" strategy, even if it was at a high profile position like RB. You end up with a weaker starting lineup and more points left on the bench. Other owners won't be willing to pay full price for your players, if they are willing to trade with you at all, meanwhile your advantage at one that position may not even be realized in the first place (if there is unexpected value to be found at that position later in the draft).

I think the only land grab strategy I have seen employed successfully was a guy grabbing 4 QBs in a row in a start 2 QB league. Guy grabbed two above average QBs in rounds 3-4 and then took two of the remaining passable starters in rounds 5-6. I think he ended up trading off one of the above average QBs and a scrub for a RB+WR package. I think that trade ended up happening only because the position became so scarce and one guys 2nd QB lost a training camp battle or went out in the preseason or something like that. I could have potentially upgraded my team by trading with the guy, but I made the decision not even to entertain a trade with him because I felt the rest of his team was weak and he was in my division.
Kensat30
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe Writer
Posts: 6427
Joined: 2 Jun 2004
Home Cafe: Football

Next

Return to Football Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

Forums Articles & Tips Start & Sit Sleepers Rankings Leagues


Get Ready...
The 2014 NFL season kicks off in 9:39 hours
(and 45 days)
2014 NFL Schedule


  • Fantasy Football
  • Article Submissions
  • Privacy Statement
  • Site Survey 
  • Contact