Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tips for trading players

Here are a few pointers for trading your players, if you can live with yourself.

1. First off nothing is more important than selling your offer. You may need to do some field work initially to be successful. Instead of trash talking other owners for acting a fool, play the good guy card and get in their good graces. When you get them to trust you, pull the carpet out from under their feet. Trash talking is fun, but not as fun as winning.
2. Sniff out the homers in your league. Usually right at the start you can identify one because of their team name or logo. Don’t assume they are idiots, do a little sucking up and try to sell them a hometown player, at a price of course.
3. Many of the sites you play at, once a trade has been accepted and is in the voting phase, if you cut a player in the trade the trade becomes null and void. This can come in handy when trying to find a better deal. Always include a player you are willing to cut in the deal. If the deal is accepted you can shop the “main” player in the deal to other owners and maybe you just might get a better deal. If you do get a bite you can void the original deal by cutting the stiff.
4. Always get the other owner to offer the trade. Work out the trade with private messages or e-mail and ask him to offer it to you. This way if you are clearly raping another owner’s team and other owners start complaining you can email them back and say “they offered it to me, how could I say no”. This will help you from being the league target.
5. Accept the trade at the point of the least owner activity during the week. If you accept it between Saturday and Tuesday you have to assume that most owners are setting lineups and checking scores which increases their chances of noticing the trade and voting against it. If they don’t see it, they can’t vote no. A non-vote is as good as a yes if majority rules.
6. If the commissioner has the ability to approve a trade regardless of how the league votes send them an e-mail explaining why it should be accepted. You might want to send an email finding out what their criteria is for approving trades prior to pulling off a deal so you can call them on it if they vote it down.

If you are really evil….

Get your girlfriend or buddy who has no interest to join the league and plunder their team throughout the season, if you can live with yourself.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Drafting Quarterbacks – Don’t get caught up in the hype.

Drafting a QB early is definitely a recipe for disaster. I have seen many teams draft the top QB in the first round, said player live up to expectations, but the fantasy team could not compete because they were sorely lacking in the RB department. An analysis of some statistics should help make the reason I say this a little more clear.

Using the statistics from the 2005 season converted into a standard scoring format yields us the following results:

1. Carson Palmer ------20.43 pts/wk
2. Peyton Manning -----18.57 pts/wk
3. Tom Brady ----------18.44 pts/wk
4. Matt Hasselbeck ----16.87 pts/wk
5. Eli Manning --------16.59 pts/wk
6. Kerry Collins ------16.40 pts/wk
7. Drew Brees ---------15.95 pts/wk
8. Drew Bledsoe -------15.56 pts/wk
9. Jake Delhomme ------15.33 pts/wk
10. Jake Plummer ------15.08 pts/wk
*6 points per TD
1 point per 25 yds passing
1 point per 10 yds rushing
-2 points per INT and fumble lost

5.35 points per week separated the top QB from the 10th QB. Considering the 10th QB was probably taken somewhere between rounds 10 and 12, it makes sense to take your first QB in those rounds rather than waste the pick early. Your team will be better off if you grab a starting RB or stud WR in the early rounds of the draft. Of all the starting positions of your fantasy roster the RB position has the slimmest of the pickings. As a rule of thumb, draft your first QB before the rest of the league drafts their backups. After you grab the QB, I suggest you grab another one right away. This will increase your chances of getting the coveted “gem” who might find themselves in the top 5 in QB scoring at the end of the year. There is one out there, try to land him on your roster. Last years was Carson Palmer.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Nailing the Draft - Part 1

The draft is the foundation for a successful fantasy football season. There are numerous theories that abound telling you how to dominate your draft. The essential tools you will need for draft day are as follows.

1. First you will need to know your leagues scoring system.

A thorough analysis of the leagues scoring intricacies is a crucial step before draft day. How each position scores will help you pre-rank your players. You will need to know how much of an impact RB’s and WR’s are on your roster. I will cover these positions first because, by far, they are the most essential. First and foremost get a hold of some projected stats. You can find these anywhere on the net, most of the time they are free. Adjust the stats based on recent player news, team news, roster movements, etc. Compile a spread sheet that utilizes the scoring system you are using to get the total points each RB and WR are projected to score for the season and divide that number by the total number of fantasy games they will play for you to get a number equal to the players projected points per week. From here you will want to formulate a game plan, depending on where you draft, to target the players you will add to your roster. This is the list you need to draw from for at least your first 3 rounds. If you are smart, and lucky, your first 3 picks will be RB’s. The reason for this is that RB’s consistently score closer to your average points per week while WR’s tend to be inconsistent, scoring a lot of points one week and scarcely scoring the next. If you can only start 2 RB’s at a time, you may want to take the top WR with the third pick.

A successful formula for your draft is:

- Your first 3 picks should be RB, RB, WR or RB, RB, RB. DON’T STRAY FROM THIS OR YOU WILL LOSE! Bank on it.
- Draft your first QB between rounds 7 and 12 or before the league starts drafting their backups, then draft several.
- Don’t get caught up in the run on DEF’s and TE’s.
- Draft your only kicker in the very last round.

2. Get value for your picks.

I will cover this more in depth in Nailing the Draft – Part 2