Wednesday, September 7, 2016

An Outsider Poet's Thoughts On the 2016 Fantasy Football Season

The fantasy football season officially starts tomorrow night, but for many Americans the nightmare has been going on for weeks now. I promised myself I wouldn't do any early drafts this year after the Jordy Nelson fiasco last year, but as August got here it just became very difficult to think about anything else. Us outsider poets are funny like that.

Another complicating factor is that fantasy football had been made illegal in 23 states, including the one I live in, so the platform I have been using since I started playing fantasy, CBS Sports, wasn't offering games in my state. In the past I had also used CDM to do a few drafts just for variety, and because I liked their platform, but I chose to do all my drafts on Yahoo this year just so I could have them all in the same place.

I drafted in 12 leagues. or I will have after my final draft of the season tonight. Like most fantasy players, I decided to go wide receiver heavy in the early rounds, and Jordy Nelson was a big part of that push. I wasn't able to get Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, Jr., Julio Jones, or DeAndre Hopkins at all, but I did upset the apple cart for some in my earliest draft by taking Allen Robinson in the first round, a move so audacious it upset many of the other drafters, even though Robinson is now considered a solid first rounder in most drafts. Lot of Jory Nelson in the second round. Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, Brandon Marshall. followed in a lot of drafts by snapping up Lasean McCoy where I could get him, then back to the wide recivers with players like Jarvis Landry, Golden Tate, Jeremy Maclin, Eric Decker etc then stacking up a few bum running backs like Ryan Mathhews and Rasheed Jennings, though I started to feel really good about Melvin Gordon and Gino Bernard early on. 

In terms of quarterbacks in the half of my drafts that were live drafts I waited. A long time, and took a combination of Kirk Cousins, Matt Stafford, Tyrod Taylor, Andy Dalton, even Osweiller. It remains to be seen if this tactic will be successful, but it allowed me to add Delanie Walker and Zach Ertz in a lot of leagues where I might have taken a Tight End later.

My revelation this year was that auction drafts rock. In fact, after discovering auction drafts I doubt I'll ever do another live draft. Being able to bid on any player at any time allows you to really shape your team exactly the way you want it. For instance, I don't even like drafting in the first two rounds, and in an auction draft I don't have to. I can watch everyone else overspend (in my opinion) for players that aren't twice as good as the players I will eventually pay half as much for. Sure, they're better players, but not twice as good. It's just a blast to wait and have that bankroll when the players that pop your cork come up and no one can take them away from you just because it's their pick.

It remains to be seen if I do better in the live draft or auction leagues, although I suspect I did much better in the auction drafts. It was a fun drafting season, and I'm glad Yahoo was doing drafts, even though their platform is slow as molasses, and I know Sundays will be a nightmare if I have to do last minute changes. Such are the trials of an outsider poet playing fantasy football.

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