Contributed By: Craig Davis
In this rendition of REAL VALUE, we will fill you in on some specifics. Hopefully, after reading Part I and Part II, you will be better informed on this particular drafting strategy and not have so many questions. One of the major misconceptions people first have is that REAL VALUE is based on the previous year’s statistics. Nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone who drafts a team based upon the previous year’s statistics is just asking for a 3-10 type season. Even fantasy players who follow football know that statistics change from year to year. There are several factors to consider at the beginning of every season including: sleepers, snoozers, offensive personnel changes, defensive personnel changes, schedule strength, and coaching changes… to name a few. However, do keep in mind that there will be some players who post similar numbers in back to back years.
Remember this… REAL VALUE IS BASED ON THE UPCOMING YEAR’S PROJECTIONS, period. In order to truly be successful, you must study statistics from more than one year and be able to arrive at some sort of projection for each and every player in the league. Many people don’t want to take the time to do that, and understandably so. Therefore, we’ve provided our list of 2005 Projections to help you out. You’ve got too many important things to do. Why waste your time when you could be doing other things? That’s why we’re here.
Now, let’s answer a few questions.
1)What happens if I follow the Real Value Cheat Sheet provided and I draft three running backs with my first three picks… but when my fourth pick rolls around, the Cheat Sheet tells me to take another running back based on his REAL VALUE? Should I take another back, even though he’s going to be a bench player? What should I do?
Great question. In your basic scoring performance league, teams are usually required to start two running backs and three receivers every week. So, knowing that, it’s very apparent that you need to fill those two positions as quickly as possible, without sacrificing a stud QB or TE in the process. There are two ways to handle this dilemma. First, you have to look at the difference in REAL VALUE points between the top rated RB left on the board and the top rated WR, QB, and even TE. If the RB is more than 7 or 8 REAL VALUE points ahead of the next highest player, you take him. However, if the difference is lower than that, you definitely need to consider taking another position player. Chances are, there will be a WR close by. Knowing that you start three wide receivers every week, you probably need to go that way. It’s all about common sense. You can’t take 6 RBs with your first six picks. You have to be a little smarter than that. Best case scenario is that you draft two RBs with your first two selections, then take two or three highly touted WRs, then a QB and a TE. Sometimes it doesn’t work that way, but that would be best case scenario. Remember to fill your starting lineup as best you can first. If you do happen to end up with a few extra RBs or WRs early, you can always use them as trade bait later in the season.
2)I’ve always heard that you must draft two running backs with your first two picks, yet according to the REAL VALUE in a basic performance scoring league, after the first three or four RBs, you have a couple WRs and even some QBs. Do you have to follow REAL VALUE, or can I still get my two RBs, and then follow the cheat sheet?
The easiest answer is to tell you just to follow your instinct. But that won’t work. Oh sure, you might get lucky here and there, but overall, you need to follow the logic of REAL VALUE to draft a competitive team each and every year. Have you noticed how one year you made it to the playoffs in your fantasy league, only to miss the playoffs badly the next year – or vice versa? This should not happen when using REAL VALUE. You should be able to draft a competitive team by following this simple strategy, even if you miss out on two stud RBs. Let’s look at the table below, assuming you drafted a team based solely on the REAL VALUE cheat sheet. Assume you got a stud QB and WR with your first two picks. Then you got a decent RB, followed by another great WR, average RB, solid TE, and below average RB. Your opponent in Week 1 drafted like most people do… RB, RB, RB, WR, etc. Now, here’s a fairly accurate summary of what could happen in week 1 when you and your opponent compare fantasy points on Tuesday morning.
WEEK 1 – Your Team vs. Your Opponent’s Team
|YOUR TEAM||YOUR OPPONENT|
|QB||A||16 fantasy points||QB||A||19 fantasy points|
|RB||A||8 fantasy points||RB||A||18 fantasy points|
|RB||B||6 fantasy points||RB||B||14 fantasy points|
|WR||A||18 fantasy points||WR||A||7 fantasy points|
|WR||B||14 fantasy points||WR||B||6 fantasy points|
|WR||C||10 fantasy points||WR||C||4 fantasy points|
|TE||A||9 fantasy points||TE||A||5 fantasy points|
|PK||A||9 fantasy points||PK||A||8 fantasy points|
|DST||A||7 fantasy points||DST||A||9 fantasy points|
|TOTAL FANTASY POINTS = 97||TOTAL FANTASY POINTS = 90|
**This table is purely hypothetical*** Notice, you outscored your opponent by seven fantasy points… due in large part to the fact that your WRs out-scored his WRs by such a large margin (42-19=23). Granted, his RBs did outscore yours (32-14=18), but it wasn’t as much damage as your WRs did. You gained 5 fantasy points because of it. Now, in future weeks, you know you can’t expect your WRs to always perform that well, but on the bright side, you can’t expect your RBs to perform that poorly either. It’s a bitter sweet process.
3)According to your Cheat Sheet, the top-ranked DST is ranked #32 overall. Are you kidding me?? Does that mean I would actually take a defense in the third round of a twelve-team league?
NO!! Remember, the REAL VALUE Cheat Sheet is not an exact science. It is solely used as a guide for you to realize which players are more valuable than others throughout the course of the year. It doesn’t mean that you have to draft a kicker or backup QB ahead of two very solid backup RBs. You have to use a little common sense when it comes to drafting. If you have the 8th pick in a 12-team league, chances are that the top-rated DST will still be available when it’s your turn in the third round. So do you take them because they’re next in line on the cheat sheet? Well, that really depends on the “tendencies” of your league. If this is your first year playing in a league, it’s a little harder to judge what those tendencies are. But if it’s your second year or beyond, you pretty well have an idea of what other owners tend to do. MAKE SURE YOU SAVE ALL DRAFT LISTS FROM PREVIOUS DRAFTS. This way you can track the other owners’ “likelihoods” when it comes to picking defenses, tight ends, and even kickers. Simply put, if you think a top-ranked DST will be around in the third round of your draft, but no one is likely to take a defense until the sixth round at the earliest, then don’t take them until the fifth round. However, if you think this year the trend will be to grab defenses in the fourth and fifth rounds, you might consider following the cheat sheet a little closer. This also applies to kickers and tight ends… mainly because they don’t find as much “favor” with fantasy football owners on a global level.
We hope this helps clear up any questions you might have had about REAL VALUE and how it can help you in your draft/auction. If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.