Hello Friends! It's your old pal, Jimmie Maverick and I'm so excited we've got another season of fantasy coming up and it will be here before you know it. I've decided to compile my top 10 tips for the upcoming season. So let's get into it!
Last season the TE position was a complete wasteland outside of Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and George Kittle. All three had phenomenol (and record breaking) seasons and now you will have to pay through the nose in order to get one of those guys this season. Kelce and Ertz are going in the second round and Kittle is not far behind in the third.
As a general rule, Tight Ends are HORRIBLY OVERVALUED, meaning their draft position far exceeds their expected production. In fact, I had to adjust for this in My Perfect Fantasy Draft and give Tight Ends a value bonus or else they would languish at the bottom of each round's list and would never be a recommended no matter which round you were looking at.
I've been playing Fantasy Football for a while and it's amazing how significantly a position is impacted by a bad year. Just know the same thing happened to Wide Receivers after the 2017 season and they rebounded in 2018. Everything reverts back toward the mean and you will see plenty of good seasons out of this position so you don't need to pay through the nose for them.
Personally, I love Vance McDonald, Evan Engram and Austin Hooper. You can get them at a reasonable cost and they will give you good value, unlike the big 3!
Patrick Mahomes was amazing last year, but he was even more amazing for fantasy. Why? Because he was the 14th Quarterback taken at ADP #107. This means he offered tons of value. You hardly had to spend any draft capital and you got a QB1 performance out of him!
Now it's one year later and you're seeing Mahomes as the #1 QB drafted. His ADP is now in the 20s and 30s and, because of that, don't offer any value this season. Patrick Mahomes had a historic season last year, throwing for 5,000 yards and 50 TDs. In order to be worth this second round pick, he's going to need to meet or exceed those numbers, which is very hard to do! Defenses proved in the second half of last season how to slow this offense down. Mahomes was held under 300 yards once and to two TDs or less twice in the first 8 games but he was held under 300 yards 4 times and held to two TDs or less 5 times in the final 8 games.
There's always value available late in the QB position. This year's draft has players like: Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Tom Brady and Jameis Winston all located outside the top 10. All these guys offer top 5 production upside! Most importantly I'm going to get value out of them and I'm going to be able to spend those early draft picks on critical elite and near elite RBs and WRs!
Historically, when I look at my strongest and most dominant teams, they all involved getting a QB late that turned into one of the top producers that season.
The only thing you can count on with New England Running Backs is their inconsistency!
Last season Rex Burkhead was the prospective front runner in that backfield, he was selected at ADP #64 and how did that work out? On the other hand, Sony Michel was dealing with some injuries and was selected at ADP #100. James White was a complete afterthought at his ADP #160.
All I know is every time I've selected a New England Running Back early I get burned, but every time I select one late they work out fine!
You never know what Belchick's gameplan is, one week Michel will get all the attention, next week it will be White, some weeks it will be Burkhead. It all depends and good luck guessing which one will go off.
This season you have Michel at ADP #37, White at ADP #55 and Rex Burkhead as the forgotten one at ADP #199. Take a last round flyer on Burkhead, I'm betting that he'll give you at least a few startable weeks during the season!
Everybody already knows that rookie QBs have very limited value in Fantasy. What most people don't realize is that rookie QBs also bring down the fantasy value of every other player on their team!
Last season you had Baker Mayfield (Cleveland), Josh Allen (Buffalo), Sam Darnold (New York Jets), Josh Rosen (Phoenix) and Lamar Jackson (Baltimore) all starting as rookies. Can you name any player on those teams that were Fantasy superstars?
Even big fantasy names like David Johnson and Jarvis Landry were considered disappointing at best as a result.
Yes, by the end of the season you had several players like Nick Chubb and Robby Anderson start to make some noise, but you didn't want to draft them and have them as dead weight on your bench for half the season.
In My Perfect Fantasy Draft, any player that is on a team with a rookie QB starter has two stars deducted from their outlook as a penalty.
This year you'll probably see another one or two rookie QBs get named the starter. When that happens, I basically remove any player on that team from my fantasy list!
It's almost impossible to predict which defenses will be fantasy viable before the season starts. There is virtually no difference in points scored between the first kicker selected and the 12th Kicker selected.
So don't waste a valuable mid-round pick on either of these positions.
Also, most fantasy teams only select one of each (unless there's a super deep bench), so there's always plenty of options available on the wire. That means most weeks you'll have around 15-20 defenses and kickers to choose from, the cupbord on these positions is never bare. I've even picked up top tier kickers and defenses that someone else dropped because it was their bye week.
Use those valuable middle rounds to stock up on running backs and wide receivers.
What do the following players have in common? Jarvis Landry, Jimmy Graham, Allen Robinson, Dion Lewis, Carlos Hyde, Brandin Cooks, Trey Burton, Kirk Cousins, Michael Crabtree, and Sammy Watkins have in common?
All these players were in the top 100 in last year's draft. They all switched teams during the off-season and they all, except for Brandin Cooks, sucked for fantasy!
It is like this every year. There's one or two guys which will do well, everyone else is terrible!
Good luck figuring out which of the players from this year's batch will buck the trend. You'll probably guess wrong, so don't even bother.
I can't wait to hear all the platitudes from coaches over the next few months! Things like "He's definitely going to be ready for week 1", "We love the hustle in this kid!", "He's really made some strides during the off-season".
They are all lies and designed to confuse and confound us and the other teams.
Instead of listening to what the coach does, watch how he utilizes his players during training camp and the pre-season.
If a player is coming back from a season ending injury and you don't see him participating in practices, that's a bad sign. Likewise, if the highly touted rookie is being supplanted by a clearly less talented player, it means there's some aspect of his play that he's not getting (pass blocking, route running, etc.).
Fantasy Football Coaches are a very optomistic lot. When you hear that a player is going to miss 2-6 weeks from a knee sprain, we are all guilty of saying to ourselves, "Whew! Only 2 weeks!" and then we get pissed when it's longer than that.
Injuries are a common occurance during pre-season. When it happens it can have a tremendous impact on that player the rest of the season. Those early reps with their Quarterbacks and coaches are critical to that player's role once the season starts!
When it comes to injured players, I need to see them register as a full-participant in practice and see them play a series in a pre-season game. If they're not doing that, the player isn't healthy (even though he may be off the injury list) so you'll know to stay away come draft day!
The only time you can control injuries is during the draft. My goal is to draft a team of players, all of whom are 100% healthy and ready to play come week 1!
My app savagely penalizes injured players, it will deduct 3 stars from their Outlook, which basically relegates them down to a one or two star player. This is just to make it clear that you should avoid these guys!
My favorite players to draft are the ones that have a huge contract extension coming up.
In My Perfect Fantasy Draft, I clearly identify all players that have their rookie contract expiring either after this season (gold dollar) or after next season (silver dollar). Quarterbacks and players in the top 20 are more valuable with a silver dollar because they tend to have their contract extended a year in advance. All other players outside the top 20 are more valuable with a gold dollar. Both receive a bonus to their Outlook rating in the app.
There are a lot of outstanding players with tons of potential that have contracts coming up for renewal. Amari Cooper, Jordan Howard, Derrick Henry, Hunter Henry, etc.. How they play this season will determine if they get paid $20 million or $50 million+ on their next contract.
That's a ton of incentive to these young guys!
Season Long fantasy requires you to have players who receive consistent usage regardless of how the game is going. There is nothing worse than the player that gets 12 targets one week and 2 targets the next. You can't trust players like that for you fantasy team because they will cost you games!
Consistency is one of the four key factors I use in my app to evaluate players. It is a measure of the variance in a player's usage on a week to week basis during the prior season as compared to other players of the same type. It's rated on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being best.
When a player scores low on consistency, it means they're hard to trust. Kenny Golladay is currently ranked very high (ADP #33) but his consistency rating of 2 out of 10 makes me want to stay away. Here are his targets each week last season: 12, 9, 7, 4, 9, 2, 1, 5, 13, 15, 8, 8, 4, 8, 15.
Look at how horrible his usage was from weeks 4-8, that means the entire month of October he was killing your team. I'm sure many fantasy coaches gave up on him or relegated him to the bench only to see him explode in usage come weeks 9 and 10, then back to middling usage for the next month. It's nice to see he finished strong on championship week, though!
At his point in the draft there are plenty of great options which score much better on the Consistency scale. Guys like Robert Woods (9), Stefon Diggs (6) and Julian Edelman (10) all will provide you with better steadiness in week to week usage.
And there you have it! Follow these 10 tips and you'll have a great draft. Better yet, subscribe to My Perfect Fantasy Draft and rule your league on draft day! My app will break the player list down, round by round, so you can easily find the best players at each and every round in your draft. Value, Outlook, Consistency and Reliability are the four key stats I use to rate players and our new VORC score will help you find the right players to rule your league in 2019! You can even try the app for free, just click on the "Get A Free Trial" button. Thanks for reading!