There is no “off” season in fantasy football. When you realize that the 2018 season is over, it’s time to prep for 2019. Planning for the future starts with reviewing the past so Andy, Mike, and Fedora Jason are here to give you 10 things from the 2018 fantasy football season that you should remember when building your 2019 squad. The guys really enjoy doing this episode and are ready to give you some great advice to help you improve as a fantasy player.
You can watch/listen to the full episode here but if you’d rather read all about it, we have you covered. Don’t forget to remember these 10 things.
10. The end is the beginning is the end.
In simpler terms, don’t overreact to the beginning of the season. After 2 weeks, guys who would go on to finish as RB1s, Kareem Hunt and David Johnson, were ranked outside of the top 100 overall. The opposite side of that coin is that guys like Blake Bortles and Andy Dalton looked like top-tier QBs. Don’t forget all the prep you put into your team and don’t start selling after the first couple of weeks.
9. Don’t buy the injury dip (and watch out for hamstrings).
This is the #1 thing that Jason reminds himself year in and out…and then he proceeds to ignore it. Some guys, like 2018 Doug Baldwin, start to plummet in drafts because of preseason injuries…let them. This is even more important to pay attention to when it’s a hamstring injury. Guys with hamstring issues have a more than 16% chance of re-injury after they do finally come back. A guy who is injured looks like a value…but he is still injured and is better off as another owner’s problem.
8. The perceived WR3 on a team can easily become the new WR2.
Don’t sleep on a WR just because he starts the season as his team’s third best WR. As training camp and the preseason games happen, players get better and can exceed expectations. Looking at guys like Kenny Golladay and Tyler Boyd, who were being treated as their own teams WR3 and finished the year as the top WR on their squad. Last season, 12 WRs drafted outside of the top 40 WRs, had 4 game stretches where they were ranked as a WR1. Look for WR3s on good teams vs a bad team’s WR2. Late in your draft, trust the talent.
7. RB burns go deep but ride those workhorses.
Last season, of the top 30 drafted RBs, 15 finished outside of the top 30. Those are the burns that go deep. Drafting RB is a scary prospect when 50% of the guys might bust. But, when you look at the 8 players that most often appeared on fantasy football playoff teams last season, 6 of those 8 were RBs, mostly workhorses like Todd Gurley and Christian McCaffrey. Even more interesting, 2 years ago, only 10 of the best drafted RBs missed the top 30. That means 2 things, there is a chance for correction at the RB position and there is a good chance that there will be an overreaction and you can use that to your benefit. Ignore that burn, and continue to grab those RBs early in your fantasy draft.
6. Rookie WRs take time to break out. Don’t be tempted to draft them.
It seems that the favorite lottery ticket late in drafts is always a rookie WR…and it rarely pans out. We continue to chase Odell Beckham and that 2014 WR class and it just doesn’t happen that often. In draft season, you’re looking for guys who come out of the gate quickly and that is not typically rookie WRs. Looking at Calvin Ridley, who is one of the top-10 rookie WRs over the last decade, but ranked 39th in the Ballers’ consistency rankings in 2018. For the most part, you end up cutting these WRs before they start to actually contribute. These are not the lottery tickets you’re looking for.
5. Irrational Coaching: an enemy of fantasy football logic.
Last May, the Seattle Seahawks made Rashaad Penny a 1st round pick…and did next to nothing with him. The Lions continued to feed LeGarrette Blount despite the clear case that Kerryon Johnson was the better talent. Ronald Jones barely saw the field. It was proven time and again, do not count draft capital too much into a player’s value.
4. Dynasty Depth Chart Deep Dive – Running Back
If you have a large bench, use it to grab 3rd and 4th RBs on rosters. You never know what string of events could transpire and give these guys immense value. Looking at 2018, Damien Williams, Jaylen Samuels, Gus Edwards, and Jeff Wilson Jr are all guys who stepped up at some point this season, despite being buried on their team’s depth chart when the year started. And another idea, if you are in a start-up dynasty, try to grab another owner’s handcuffs. It adds to the stress that other owners suffer throughout the year when you have the backup to all of their best players and one injury could ruin their season.
3. Remember those who are better than their end of season rankings.
As the new season approaches, we tend to look only at end of season stats and forget how guys got to where they finished. Looking at Jameis Winston, he finished the year as the QB22…but he missed the first 5 weeks. From Week 6 on, he was the QB9. Josh Allen was the overall QB1 over the last 5 weeks of the season. Guys like Leonard Fournette, Kerryon Johnson, and Dalvin Cook had end of year rankings that look sub-par, but all were top-15 RBs in games that they played. Injuries kept them out of games in 2018 and in turn kept them down in final rankings. These guys represent possibly great values in 2019.
2. Early QBs aren’t “safe”
If you are a member of the #FootClan, you know that the guys are proponents of the late-round QB. 2018 was a very good year for those that stream the QB position but even more so, it was a rough year for those that draft QBs early. Only 1 of the top 10 drafted QBs finished at or better than their ADP, Andrew Luck. You paid the high price for guys like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers while someone drafted Patrick Mahomes or Ben Roethlisberger at the end of their draft. Even worse when you know you could’ve used that draft capital on an RB or WR.
1. Fix your league now!
Identify the problem in your league…and FIX IT! Time to stop playing in Week 17 championships. If your league hates kickers, get rid of them. Is it time to add a FAAB to your waiver system? And if there are owners that are dragging your league down, maybe it’s time to replace them too.
Don’t forget to pre-order your Ultimate Draft Kit by March 1st to get those sweet pre-order bonuses.