Fantasy Football 2018

I’m a little late with this post as Week 9 of the Fantasy Football season is amongst us, but I’ve been meaning to recap my squad this year.

The facts.  I’m in a PPR format fantasy football league at work and for the past 3-4 seasons, my team has absolutely sucked.  My first couple of seasons were great.  I had a good stretch where over the course of three seasons I finished in the Top 3 each year and came away with the title 1 of those 3 years.  After that, it was all downhill from there.

Last year I saw a resurgence in my team as I finished in the Top 3 after a long drought.  I made the playoffs but saw a first-round exit as I came up short and was just 0.9 points away from advancing to the second round.  Over the years I’ve tried different strategies entering the draft, but over time I come to the realization that the more I prepared the more likely my team was doomed for failure.

Some people get stupid crazy when it comes to prepping for a fantasy football draft, and in the beginning, I was one of them.  To make a long story short, I think my son being born ended up helping me.  I no longer had the time nor did I want to spend endless hours doing mock drafts and studying different scenarios.  This year I was going to take a simplified approach.

The Draft. We typically have a draft lottery a week before the season starts to determine the draft order and then the draft takes place just a few days before the season opener.  This year I got the 3rd overall pick and my strategy was pretty basic.  I wasn’t going to play favorites.  I’m going to draft the best available guys while trying to get a player within the Top 10-15 of each position.

Each league is different but in theory, it can be applied to any league.  I looked at the league leaders from the previous season and broke it down by position.  Once I had the list sorted by position, I targeted the Top 10 of each position.

In a 12-team league, there was some strategizing but not much.  Instead of going for big names, I filled each starting roster spot with a player who had a high value from the previous season.  Now, you can never expect a player to perform the exact same way they did the season prior, but when it comes to fantasy some guys are a lock when it comes to their production on the field.

My Draft Picks:

Not only do we utilize a customer PPR format for scoring, but we also utilize an Offensive Player Utility (OP) spot which allows us to play two QB’s.  You would think in a 12-team league Quarterbacks come with a premium and are the most valuable (and they are), however, some end up pulling the trigger on some of the bigger name QB’s that don’t necessarily have the best fantasy value.  Despite that though, you still want to be able to roster solid QB’s as they will most like be your highest point produces every week.

We’re in Week 9, the NFL season has been fun to watch, and luckily for me, I haven’t been forced to make too many changes due to lack of production.  I’ve been able to stay on the offensive side of things; as I’ve dropped a few guys to better my team to set myself up to survive bye weeks and add depth for the backstretch of the season.

My Current Roster:

QB1 Kirk Cousins, MIN
QB2 Matthew Stafford, DET

RB1 Todd Gurley II, LAR
RB2 Mark Ingram II, NO
RB3 Chris Thompson, WAS
RB4 Latavius Murray, MIN

WR1 Mike Evans, TB
WR2 Robert Woods, LAR
WR3 Marvin Jones Jr., DET

TE1 Zach Ertz, PHI
TE2 Greg Olsen, CAR

D/ST1 Bears, CHI
D/ST2 Jets, NYJ

After 8 weeks, my team is 7-1 and holding on to 1st place.  I think the real reason why I delayed this post was that I didn’t want to jinx my team.  Although I’m knocking on wood as we speak (or as I type rather), we’re only halfway through the season.  I’m on a 7-game winning streak and just barely won my last matchup.  I go into every week with little to no expectations.  This is a cash league, and at some point, a line will be drawn between me and superstition, because I’ve got my eye on the prize.

Michael Jereld