The Know-It-All Draft Strategy: Late Round Gems

Fantasy Football Prep

*Late Round Gems*

 

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

Do the last 5 Rounds have any value?

            The final rounds of a draft can make or break a team. Many owners get in a rush and pick the first name at the top of their lists. Then after the draft you see these same owners scouring through the Free Agent pool trying to fill holes they didn’t address in the draft when they had an opportunity. I am a strong believer in building a well rounded team from my starters to my bench. Therefore, if my starters ever fail me, I have a chance to pull someone off my bench to produce.

Here is a list of players to keep in mind during the finals rounds:

RB Kendall Hunter, SF: An explosive back that can catch the ball out of the backfield. He is one Frank Gore injury away from being a top 10 back.

WR Greg Little, CLE: He is the #1 reciever for the Browns, and is not even getting drafted in a lot of leagues. Played all 16 games last year and had over 120 targets. If the Browns can get a decent QB to throw to him I could see 70+ catches and 900+ yards which is a steal in the late rounds.

WR Kevin Ogletree, DAL: With all of the injuries and problems that surround the top 2 Wideouts in Dallas, Ogletree has a chance to shine. Even if Bryant and Austin are healthy, I could see Ogletree grabbing 60-70 balls.

WR Nate Burleson, DET: Played all 16 games. He was targeted 110 times. He caught 73 balls. He is also goes undraft in over 50% of fantasy leagues. Go figure…

RB Felix Jones, DAL: Had a 5.0 YPC in the 2nd half last year. A nice change of pace back and backup if he can stay healthy

TE: Dallas Clark, TB- Yes he has a lot of injury issues. Before he was hurt, he was on pace for 60+ receptions, 5 TDs in 2011. That was with Curtis Painter and Kerry Collins throwing to him.

QB Carson Palmer, OAK- He showed lots of improvement as the season progressed last year. In the 2nd half- completion rate of 63.2, 17 TDs, and 5 of 8 quality starts. Also had three of his four 300 yard passing games in the 2nd half.

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @Kstafford32

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The Know-It-All Draft Strategy: Touchdown Leagues

Fantasy Football Draft Strategy

*TD League Format*

 

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

How do I build the complete team?

The Answer: Develop a Pre-Draft Scheme

            To draft a perfect team in touchdown leagues requires more than just breaking down the stats and trends. You need to evaluate players and breakdown position scarcity. Every year as football evolves, so does fantasy football. You now have 4 Quarterbacks capable of tossing 40+ TDs and hitting around or beyond the 5,000 yard mark. More teams are moving towards Running Back by committee. As the passing game expands, so do the roles of Tight Ends and Wideouts. I remember when I first started playing Fantasy in the late 90’s, Tightend Tony Gonzalez was shocking the fantasy world by making his position fantasy relevant. Now days, his stats then would be lost in a crowded group.

Draft Breakdown:

Round 1- If you don’t land one of the three elite Quarterbacks, then go Runningback.

Rounds 2 & 3- Running Back is very thin, I would continue to draft Running Backs until the main starters are gone. For added depth, fill your flex with a back

Rounds 4 & 5- Since you could care less about receptions, you want to target your Redzone and/or Big Play Wideouts. I have seen such threats as Brandon Marshall, Jordy Nelson, and Mike Wallace fall to these spots.

Round 6- If you didn’t get an elite QB in the 1st round, take your QB here. If a Tony Romo or Philip Rivers does not fall here, Jay Cutler or Matt Schaub would be good value.

Rounds 7 & Beyond- I would continue adding depth with running backs and wide receivers. You can find nice backups like Toby Gerhart. I also like adding rookies on my bench as well. You should be able to get good value on a tightend in the 12 to 13 round range. Brett Celek or Jared Cook should be waiting there for you. About 10 total fantasy points separate these players from a player like Vernon Davis whose ADP is in the 4th-5th round.

If your league allows a deep bench, you might consider a backup Quarterback. If not, I would not waste a bench spot for a player you might use only one week out of the year. There is plenty of value in the Free Agent pool for a spot start.

Do not draft a kicker or defense until the final 2 rounds. I tend to change my defenses throughout the season on purely a matchup basis.

Remember the goal is to have a solid, well rounded team that consistently finds the endzone. Here is a mock draft I recently did with this format:

12 Team League, #6 Pick, TD Standard Format, H2H

QB: Philip Rivers (6th round)

RB: Darren McFadden (1st round)

RB: Jamaal Charles (2nd round)

WR: Vincent Jackson (4th round)

WR: Jeremy Maclin (5th round)

FLEX: Michael Turner (3rd round)

TE: Brett Celek (12th round)

D: Cincinnati (14th round)

K: Matt Bryant (13th round)

BE: Cedric Benson (7th round)

BE: Michael Crabtree (8th round)

BE: Malcom Floyd (9th round)

BE: Ryan Williams (10th round)

BE: David Wilson (11th round)

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @Kstafford32

The Know-It-All Draft Strategy: Dual Tight Ends

Fantasy Football Draft Strategy

*PPR League Format*

 

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

What are your options if your team ends up drafting at the back end of the 1st round?

The Answer:  The Dual TE Threat

            When you first propose this strategy, most people automatically think Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. To have a shot at that, you would have to use up your 1st and 2nd round picks. You would also, have to not strike out with the Running Backs and Wideouts you take in rounds 3-7.  When I look at it, I see it as a major risk. Many bottom picks will try this strategy on draft day, so you might have competition for these elite guys to deal with. There has to be a better way.

This only works in standard PPR leagues that allow a TE to qualify at the single Flex Position. It is very simple, yet genius. Here is the breakdown:

Rounds 1-4:

Target your pass catching duel threat Running Backs, and your heavily targeted Wideouts. If Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, or Tom Brady do not fall to you in the First Round, it is my belief that you should not draft a QB until Round 6 or later. You can get a better value-per-pick on a Quarterback in that range than you can in the 2nd-5th rounds.

Round 5:

There is 80% chance Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis, and Aaron Hernandez are still on the board. I like them in that order based on the amount of targets they receive. Based on fantasy points, these 3 compare to Jordy Nelson, Victor Cruz, and Mike Wallace who are all 3rd round to 4th round tier guys based on the latest ADP ratings.

Round 6-7:

I like a QB in Round 6. There is a chance Tony Romo or Philip Rivers might fall here. Even if they don’t, you still can pick up Peyton Manning, Matt Schuab, or Jay Cutler. Round 7 is where I take a Tight End for my Flex. If you are lucky, Vernon Davis might fall here. If not, you can still pick up Brandon Pettigrew, Jermichael Finley, or Jermaine Gresham. Based on fantasy points, those 3 compare to DeWayne Bowe, DeSean Jackson, Eric Decker who are 5th round tier players based on ADP ratings. Similar Running Backs that compare to these Tight Ends are Fred Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, and Michael Turner, which are 3rd round tier players. The obvious point, you get better value drafting a Tight End at your Flex.

This strategy is not perfect. You need several situations to play out for the right players to fall. A run on Tight Ends in early rounds could throw you off. Like any league, it is all about adapting quickly to the current flow of your draft. I always go into a draft with multiple strategies, and based on how my draft starts out I go with what draft scheme works best for the current situation.

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @Kstafford32

The Know-It-All Fantasy Football News & Notes

Fantasy Football News & Notes

 

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

Rounds 2 – 4

Player on the Rise:

Hakeem Nicks, NYG–  Averaged 2.14 fantasy points per catch the previous 3 seasons. Should see Redzone targets increase.

Player on the Decline:

Adrian Peterson, MIN–  I am still seeing his ADP in the mid to late 2nd round. To me that is insane. Recent news has shown he may not even be fully ready till week 3. He is safe in the 6th round or later.

The Conservative Pick:

Roddy White, ATL  He is going to get you 1,300 yards and double digit TDs.

High Risk, High Reward:

Reggie Bush, MIA  Finished 2011 with 6 of 7 quality starts. Seems to be comfortable in Miami and is the main option. Injuries are always the big risk. The bigger gamble is that he doesn’t have a consistent track record of production.

The Steal:

Miles Austin, DAL–  A healthy Austin should be back to receiving 170+ targets and being a huge playmaker for Romo this year.

The Rookie:

Doug Martin, TB  Has the skills to be a PPR league beast. I am thinking Matt Forte 2.0

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @Kstafford32

The Know-It-All Fantasy Football NON-PPR Rundown

Fantasy Football NON-PPR Rankings

 

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

NON-PPR Formats

1st Round Buys & Sells

Buy:

Aaron Rodgers, GB–  Best Player in this format. Has all the weapons and the offensive line.

LeSean McCoy, PHI– Yes I had him as a bust in PPR formats, but in TD leagues he produces. Expect 1300 yards & 15 Total TDs

Drew Bress, NO– 40+ TDS & 5,000 yards are almost a sure thing for him. Plays a schedule that is top 3 for Quarterbacks this season.

Ray Rice, Bal– 22% Redzone success rate in 2011. Consistent and the go to guy in Baltimore

Brandon Marshall, CHI– If you end up with a late 1st rounder, I would consider Marshall. He is reunited with Cutler where in Denver he averaged 1,300 yards and hit double digit TDs. Some people will bring up his off the field problems, but statistically I look at this as a safe pick.

Sell:

Chris Johnson, TEN–  He doesn’t score TDs anymore. Played 16 games last year and ended up with 4 TDs. Only scored once in the first 8 games.

Cam Newton, CAR– Defenses figured him out in the 2nd half last year. He is a dual threat, but not a big enough threat in the air. He is the most overrated player in Fantasy Football this year. He could have 10 rushing TDs, but if he only passes for 15-17 you are not getting much overall. If you don’t land a Brady, Rodgers, or Bress- wait and get a Romo, Rivers or Ryan in the 6th Round or later.

Matt Stafford, DET– No we are not related. You see 41 TDs last year and you dream big. Let me bring you back to reality. The Lions will be forced to run the ball more this year and they have a nice 3 back set to accomplish that. He threw for a career high 663 times. If you break down his YPA and his TD/ATP ratio, they are horrible. He is no Aaron Rodgers, who threw 162 less passes and had 4 more touchdowns. A top QB, but not elite.

DeMarco Murray, DAL– Through 13 games he only scored twice. Overall he scored on only 5% of his Redzone touches. He is Felix Jones 2.0.

Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC– Hate to pick on him two days in a row, but he just has too many negatives going against him in NON-PPR Formats. His below average offensive line and under performing QB cannot get this successful scoring RB into the redzone. The holdout ordeal doesn’t help either.

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @Kstafford32

The Know-It-All Fantasy Football PPR Rundown

Fantasy Football PPR Rankings

 

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

Here is my first batch of news/notes from the preseason. Focusing on PPR leagues:

1st Round Buys & Sells

Buy:

Arian Foster, HOU–  Best player in the draft, not much he can’t do. Only concern is health. Faces one of the easiest schedules for running backs this season.

Ray Rice, Bal– Good for 70+ receptions, not to mention his 1,500 rushing yard potential and double digit TD. He is a top 3 fantasy player.

Calvin Johnson, DET– 150+ targets, good for 85+ receptions and double digit TDs

Darren McFadden, OAK– Injuries have slowed him down, BUT he has potential to be the Top Fantasy Running Back. Good for 1,300 rushing yards. Is averaging .82 points per touch the last 2 seasons. With Michael Bush gone, look for him to do some work.

Julio Jones, ATL– Yes I left out Roddy White. Jones is emerging, and this is his year. Look for 75+ receptions, and double digit TDs from him.

Sell:

Matt Forte, CHI–  Running behind a below average offensive line. Look for the Bears to throw it more in the RedZone with the addition of Brandon Marshall. Let someone else take Forte in the first round.

Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC– Has a high redzone success rate of 21%, but his team never gets in the Redzone. With him holding out and being on a dismal team, I would pass.

Wes Welker, NE– 173 Targets in 2011. With Lloyd in town, I see those targets going down. Declining Endzone Rate, with higher risk of injury on top of the worst schedule in the league for a Wideout.

Andre Johnson, HOU– Injuries have killed his last 2 seasons. Top player at his position, but he can’t produce when he is on the bench.

LeSean McCoy– There is no way he is repeating 20 TDs from last year. He was unsuccessful on a high rate of 30% of pass plays directed at him. I blame some of that on his Quarterback. He is a nice player, but has to be the most overrated player in the 1st round with ADP of #3 overall.

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @Kstafford32

Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings – Third Base

 

Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings

Updated 2/21/11

 

 

Third Base

 

Kyle Stafford – @KStafford32

Player Rankings by Position:

Catchers

First Base

Second Base

ShortStop

Third Base

Outfield… coming soon

Starting Pitchers… coming soon

Relief Pitchers… coming soon

Closers… coming soon

 

The rankings are based upon the following:

 

Random Variance Score- shows the results random variance had on a player’s 2011 season and the probability that a player will exceed or regress in 2012. Scoring is a -5 to +5 scale that measures several sabermetric categories that reflect if a player is prone to regression.

 

The Mayberry Method- a 0-5 scale of a fantasy players Power, Speed, Batting Average, and Playing Time.

 

Health & Age- Player is given a score A to F based on the combination of health history and age/regression.

 

Runs Above Replacement (RAR)- Estimated number of runs a player will generate above his replacement

 

On Base Plus Slugging Average (OPS)- Combines On Base percentage plus slugging percentage to show a players overall performance. Elite players will bat .900 or higher. Stars will bat .800 or higher. The average player will bat above .650. A bad score is anything under .650

 

 

1. Miguel Cabrera, Det

Age: 29   2011 Stats: .344-30-105

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

-2

5155

A

39.1

1.034

 

Another MVP Caliber year for Cabrera. The 2011 AL Batting Champ hit .356 in the second half leading a well rounded Detroit team to the AL Championship series. I don’t see the move to third hurting him much. I could see a slight drop in power numbers with all of the weight he has dropped to play third. He is in the middle of his prime, and with the addition of Prince Fielder I see a better pitches coming his way. His contact% has been on 4 year incline. You can count on .300-35.100.

 

 

2. Evan Longoria, TB

Age: 26   2011 Stats: .244-31-99

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

+5

5245

B

16.8

.847

 

Longoria is young and his elite potential is still on the rise. I would not be too concerned about injuries. Batting Average took a hit in 2011. I would expect a rebound, and if he can get 550+ AB, expect 35-40 HR Power. Showed great PX and xBA.

 

3. Hanley Ramirez, Mia

Age: 28   2011 Stats: .243-10-45

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

+2

3235

B-

.05

.709

 

2011 was a year to forget for Hanley. Injuires and clear lack of motivation made him almost worthless to fantasy owners. I have never bought into the hype surrounding Ramirez. He has had only one great season (2009: .342-24-106, 27 SB). I think he can be a nice player, but when the “experts” call him elite I just laugh. His entitlement toward himself  is enough to scare me away from him. Ramirez is a classic case of High Potential. If he could show his talents you might see a season that look like .350-40-120 with 35+ SB. He reminds me of a former High Potential, unmotivated player I remember from St.Louis named J.D. Drew.

 

4. Adrian Beltre, Tex

Age: 33   2011 Stats: .296-32-105

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

0

4145

C+

14.9

.891

 

Beltre showed us 2010 in Boston was no fluke. He hits in a powerful Texas lineup that gives him plenty of chances to drive runs in. My main concern when I evaluate Beltre is his injury history. He missed August last year with a bum hamstring and had a nice injury history before that with Seattle.

5. Ryan Zimmerman, Was

Age: 27   2011 Stats: .289-12-49

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

-2

3225

C+

5.1

.799

I feel Zimmerman is very underrated. He has 35+ HR power, and can hit .300+. At 27 he is entering his prime with a lineup in Washington that is only getting better around him. Injuries have been a hurdle for him lately, but he is healthy heading into 2012 and should continue to put up premium stats.

 

6. David Wright, NYM 

Age: 29   2011 Stats: .254-14-61

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

+1

4125

D+

2.7

.769

Ever since taking a 93 mph fastball to the head in August of 2009, Wright has showed a steady decline. Not the Elite player that many thought he would be, but is still a talented 3rd baseman. 30 HR power, BA in the .280 range, and steals 15 bases is a nice piece to have on your team. 

 

7.  Kevin Youkilis, Bos

Age: 33   2011 Stats: .258-17-80

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

0

4235

F

12.1

.818

 

Being on the wrong side of 30 has not fared well for Youkilis. Since 2009 he has been on a downward trend that took a huge dive last year when injuries came into the picture. He still put up .818 OPS, but with the high risk of injury don’t expect 25+ HR power to come back.

 

8 Pablo Sandoval, SF

Age: 25   2011 Stats: .315-23-70

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

-1

4145

B+

18.4

.914

 

Sandoval came back huge in 2011. At 25 years old, you can only hope the sky is the limit for this rising star. The metrics show 30+ HR potential and with a .315 average could bolt him into the elite discussion. Lets see how 2012 turns out before we crown him, but it should be fun to watch him continue to develop. 

9. Alex Rodriguez, NYY

Age: 36   2011 Stats: .276-16-62

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

0

4125

F

8.1

.818

 

 

You can no longer consider A-Rod elite. You can’t count on much with the declining trends, injury history, age, and overall regression. He still has the potential at his age to hit 25-30 HRs and drive in 100, but staying on the field is the issue.

10. Aramis Ramirez, Mil

Age: 34  2011 Stats: .306-26-93

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

-1

4235

C+

15.9

.865

 

Even with injuries, Ramirez has been able to slug 25+ HR for the better part of 4 of the past 5 seasons. He hit .306 and hit 96 RBIs on a horrible Cubs team last season. With the Brewers, I could see him picking up some of the slack Prince left behind.   

 

If you would like to explore more in-depth about Advanced Metrics, here are some amazing resources/people that have made a priceless impact on the way I evaluate players and it has shown in the success I have each year. I do not get any kick backs from this list, just like to promote great materials/information when I see it.

 

http://www.baseballhq.com  – Ron Shandler is amazing, buy Baseball Forecaster… it’s my “Fantasy Bible”

 

http://baseballguys.com/ – Ray Flowers gives simple, but great wisdom on the world of Fantasy Sports. Follow him on twitter @Baseballguys

 

http://www.billjamesonline.com/ – Bill James is the Godfather of SABR, If you are new to the game here is where you start to learn advanced metrics

 

 

Questions? Comments? Follow me on Twitter @KStafford32