Fantasy Footballers Show Recap: 10 Things to Remember from 2020
If you only listen to one podcast this month, it should be the annual 10 Things to Remember episode from The Fantasy Footballers. Every year, the guys put together the best lessons they learned from the previous season and how you can use that info to be better in the future. There is no doubt that 2020 was long and full of terrors but we can still learn from that nightmare.
While I highly recommend you give it a listen (click that link above), here is my brief recap of one of my favorite offseason shows. As always…Don’t forget to remember these things.
10. Better to be a few weeks early on the rookie stash than too late.
Our first lesson comes from Mike Wright. Rookies take time and the rest of your league may not have the patience. When it comes to waivers and trades, you need to get rookies early and stash them on your bench. Worst-case scenario, they don’t hit and you have to drop them. In the best-case scenario, you end up with JK Dobbins. D’Andre Swift, and/or Cam Akers. The best indication of when to add a rookie is their team’s bye week. You want to get them just before the bye week because, after the bye, teams have been turning to their young players. You should know what you have within a few weeks of that bye. In fantasy, you need to think long-term. Don’t waste your waivers on one-week fillers. Set yourself up for the end of the season with young RBs ready to take over a backfield.
9. Sell WRs who are on fire one month into the season.
Next up was Jason Moore with an emotionally difficult task. If you have a player on your team that is setting the world on fire, it can be hard to part with them but you need to sell them before the floor falls out. Before you freak out, we’re not talking about trading away Tyreek Hill or Davante Adams. This is about historically inconsistent WRs that have strung together a great opening month. In 2020, the top-15 WRs included Tyler Lockett, Amari Cooper, DK Metcalf, Odell Beckham, Robby Anderson, and Cooper Kupp. These guys would have netted you quite a lot in a trade and, if you were being honest with yourself, you knew they were going to fall off a cliff eventually. This is not going to work every time, Stefon Diggs being a great example from 2020, but if you get enough back in the trade, it won’t hurt so badly.
8. Started from the top and now we’re here.
Andy Holloway gives us the next lesson and it’s all about the top-20 picks in your 2020 fantasy draft. Of those 20 prize picks, only nine delivered for your fantasy team, less than 50%. Six of those nine were affected by injury and that will always be a piece of the equation when making early picks. Another five were just flat out underwhelming in 2020. The point circles back to a Ballers favorite lesson: You do not win your season from the draft. Don’t put yourself on “autopilot” just because you killed your early rounds. Stay water. Adapt. Because you never know what could happen to the guys that you spent the most draft capital on.
7. Rushing QBs = fantasy football
Mike shines a light on a well-known lesson but one that needs to be remembered. Rushing QBs are truly a cheat-code in fantasy football. Of the top-10 QBs in rushing yards, only four missed the fantasy top-10 and only two, Cam Newton and Daniel Jones, could really be considered “disappointments.” The way fantasy is scored, rushing yards are so much more powerful for QBs than passing yards. Target QBs that rush, even a little bit, ahead of statues that play QB.
6. Mid-Round WRs > Mid-Round RBs
Jason was ready to title this “Mid-Round RBs suck!” but decided against it. For the intents and purposes of this lesson, Jason is discussing Rounds 3-7 in your fantasy draft. The WRs you can land here are so much more valuable than the RBs you can land here. You never want to lock yourself into a draft strategy, stay water, but the truth is that most of the RBs you can land here are going to bust. Since 2016, there have been 112 RBs taken in these rounds, 62% of the time, they don’t hit their ADP or return any value, while 22% of the time there a complete bust and finish more than 25 spots behind their ADP. Only about 10% of the RBs drafted here end up as some sort of league-winning value. Draft your RBs early or late, stay away from the middle.
5. Great tight ends are my new best friends.
Andy keeps this one brief. While streaming a great TE is possible, having the TE1 is an absolute joy. When you spend up to land a guy like Travis Kelce or Darren Waller, you have one less thing to worry about every week. Not to mention, you are saving yourself FAAB by not adding a new TE every week. Travis Kelce is worth a 1st Round pick in 2021.
4. Easy (Like Sunday Morning)
Mike tells us to not be lazy on Sunday morning! While it’s easy to set it, forget it, and enjoy football on Sunday, it’s not how you win the lottery. If you have a player that is IR eligible, put him in the IR and add a free agent. Play the “what if?” game. Look for RBs that would step up if the starter gets hurt and players that could blow up if the circumstances break their way. This is the type of lottery ticket that will help you win a trade the following week.
3. The early bird gets the worm.
Back to Jason as we hit the top-3 lessons from 2021. Don’t be afraid to spend your waiver priority and FAAB early in the season. If you keep waiting for the best possible player, you’ll end up missing out on guys and may never find the diamond-in-the-rough you were waiting on. True breakout players will get their opportunity early in the season.
2. No big slices from small pies.
Andy brings a word of caution with this lesson. Beware of pass-catchers from low-volume passing offenses. No matter how talented the stars seem to be, you will not get the volume you expect. The bottom-10 teams in terms of passing volume produced just two top-24 WRs: AJ Brown and Terry McLaurin. You might get a good week here and there, but the volume is too low for any consistency. It’s usually better in fantasy to have the WR2 from a high-volume team than the WR1 on a low-volume team.
1. Fix Your League Now!
This is the #1 lesson every year and rightfully so. If you need to fix your league settings, this is the time of year to do it. Is it time to switch to a FAAB system? Does your league want to give kickers the boot? Also, please stop playing in final-week championships. Note: Week 18 will be the final week starting in 2021, so Week 17 championships are officially allowed now! Another big thing to do now is to assess if your league has the right members? If you have a manager that doesn’t participate and isn’t fun…kick them out. Doing all of this now gives you plenty of time to prep for the change, and get new league members if you need to.