Not too many years ago I got to thinking about trying to slot potential roster together on the back end to help me figure my front end strategy. I think this is one of the pitfalls of of novice FFballers (not thinking things the whole way through or all the way around). We have visions of building sparkling starting lineups or RB depth, a handful of sleepers at different positions in our mind, but often we fail to put all the pieces together to see what it looks like, sometimes certain strategies at the beginning don't work the same with certain strategies at the end.
For example, maybe you love Tom Brady to blow it up this year and you like Carson Palmer to have a strong come back; but wait, they both have the same bye week! Now you either have to factor in drafting a 3rd QB, not drafting Brady or Palmer, or being prepared to pick a 3rd QB up week 8. It seems like small details but it's things like these people really don't think about until they actually go to select Palmer as their backup in round 9 or whatever and either forget to check their sheets and pick him or are startled to find he has the same bye week and panic as the clock is running on that pick.
Or maybe you like LT and Westbrook this year but also feel it's necessary to have Sproles and McCoy on your team "just in case". Congratulations, you just ate up 2 roster spots with RBs who might not play much all year, which is ok; but have you thought about probably needing to roster atleast 6 backs and how that affects your WR depth?
So just a couple examples of things to think about when it comes to putting together an entire roster strategy. I've found I draft more confidently when I have a good idea of where and when I can fit late round guys I like on my team. How many times have you or you've seen a guy in your league tear it up on paper the first 7 or 8 rounds and then have no clue what to do after round 10. You see them flipping between their draft mag pages or cheat sheets uncertain what to do and finally as time runs down on their pick they blurt out a name they regret 5 seconds later and this happens over and over again. Why? Because draft goals were short sighted.
To help be better prepared against these shortcomings during a draft, I suggest something like this:
1. Total the number of roster spots you have (I have 16 for example). 2. Wipe out mandatory starting positions (I have 9 (QB, 2RB, 2WR, RB/WR flex, TE, K, Def)) 3. May vary depending on your league (I wipe out 2 more 1 for back up QB and for 1 backup spot between a TE, K, or Def because it always seems between these 3 I draft one that has an early season bye) 4. Now how many spots do you have left? (I have 5 to use on either WRs or RBs) 5. Start looking at your roster from the bottom up and see who you like in those rounds, your methods do not have to be entirely the same. The important thing is that when you identify possibilities for what your back end might look like it makes your front end strategy formulations easier.
Based on 10 teams 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Ray Rice, Devin Hester 9. Julius Jones, Ray Rice, Devin Hester, Backup QB 10. Backup QB, Handcuff RB, Julius Jones 11. Backup QB, Handcuff RB, Chris Henry, Willis McGahee, Def 12. Backup QB, Handcuff RB, Chris Henry, Willis McGahee, Def 13. Handcuff RB, Fred Taylor, Leon Washington, Josh Morgan, Def 14. Handcuff RB, Mark Bradley, Earl Bennett, Def 15. K 16. Backup TE/K/Def
Now these are just players I like. Fill in with your own preferred targets. The important thing is that you will not be dazed in the 10th or 11th rounds, maybe needing a 3rd receiver and a slew of options like Holt, Driver, Breaston, Cotchery, Mason (none of which I like by the way) sitting in front of you and going "crap these guys really suck for a 3rd option". Meanwhile there are a number of great picks elsewhere but you are almost cornered into taking a guy you don't want because you have nearly exhausted your roster space in other areas with value. Maybe your back end strategy bears out that you like alot of late round RBs and so this tells you that you can burn maybe 4 of your first 7 picks on better WRs. Just an example.
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Great post. I do the same thing every year, but I do it for all 15 rounds of our draft. I have a minimum of 5 targets for each round, and have them listed in order of preference. It makes things much easier when the clock starts ticking. Overall, it's nice to have a "blueprint" for what you're trying to accomplish.
You notice a lot of people on here saying "I don't have a strategy, I just roll with it" - I think that is stupid. Especially if you know what pick you have prior to the draft, you can do so much preparation to help you have a quality draft.
QB: Schaub RB: LT, P. Thomas, Benson, Maroney, Ganther WR: Megatron, Boldin, Britt, Roy Williams TE: Gates K: Hartley, Kaeding D/ST: Cincinnati, Tennessee
Dan Lambskin wrote:i do something similar, but more just in my head than really breaking it all down like that
Same. When it comes to it, I have a decent idea of who has value and who will be taken soon so I need to grab them if I want them. I have a running list in my brain of my top 3 to 5 favorites at each position left just by looking at who is left.
I do this constantly for auctions. This year, I'm very interested in rebuilding my potential keepers at RB in my money league, so I'm thinking a lot about how much I'll need to pay for Mendenhall, McCoy, Greene, etc. The trick in an auction is to make a good enough estimate that I'll be have the money I need when the time comes, and not end up with too much money left over because I was afraid to spend on starter in order to protect my bench. Or I could just nominate them early, but then the other guys will still have money to spend, and they might go more expensive than I had wanted.
I do the same as well. This year I'm thinking of going WR/WR from the 12 spot, but I was worried about my RB's. So I predicted who I would be able to draft late and there's some decent options so I'm going to go ahead with that strategy.
It pays to know your rankings from top to bottom and identify your late values and sleepers as clearly as you've ranked the first round and second round. I don't necessarily work from back to forward like you do (although I may try the idea), because its hard for me to get a feel for what is going to be available late in drafts. I've found myself over the years flipping back and forth between selecting the players I like a round or two early and also just taking the values that continue to drop from round to round to fill out my roster. I think a little combination of both is required to come away with the best team (not just on paper), and mapping out picks gives you an idea of what your final roster is going to look like and how you want to fill out your bench before the draft even starts.
In competitive leagues this strategy comes into play regularly. In local leagues there is always going to be the idiot owner or two or four that is going to basically build your own team for you. How can you pass on drafting Chad Johnson in the 8th round of your draft this year even if you know you may miss out on Devin Hester? If Devin Hester is the guy you must have, it is an extremely difficult call to give up the guy that is such value and is so much more likely to be the better player.