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Written by Armando Marsal   
Thursday, 14 November 2019 10:40

 

Happy Monday Fantasy Guru fam! Hopefully everyone had a relaxing weekend and a great start to the summer.

Let’s get this week started off with some roster construction talk. Normally this is something you hear often in daily fantasy sports, being that it is a crucial part of the process. That being said, it is also very important for season long leagues.

WHAT IS ROSTER CONSTRUCTION?

Roster construction is essentially how you build your fantasy team. The reason this is so important is because this will ultimately dictate how you approach your draft and the decision making along the way until the final round.

There are scenarios you will be faced with during your fantasy drafts where you need to choose between a player with a consistent floor, but not a ton of upside, and vice versa. Then you have to decide when is the right time to take a quarterback, tight end, defense, or kicker. Understanding your risk tolerance is also key when building your roster. So many factors play a role during this process, but the end goal is to feel good about your team and comfortable with the build.

STARTING LINEUP

Depending on how advanced your league is, something you may come across is fantasy owners filling in their starting lineup. This is something I have advised against when asked about it. For instance, in a league where you have to start 1-QB, 2-RB, 3-WR, 1-Flex, 1-TE, 1-DEF, and 1-Kicker, I am not going to draft a quarterback earlier than I like to just because I am trying to fill in a starting position. On the contrary, I am all about letting others make that mistake and focus on loading up at the running back and wide receiver positions. Being that we must start six and these two positions are the most valuable in most leagues, I prioritize them immensely.

Look, I get it, having a strong option at each position is tempting, but you give up on depth which is very important in fantasy sports. In fact, it is just as important in real life sports. How often don’t we witness a key player at any position in football go down and immediately the team start heading downhill without that player. If that team had a respectable backup in place, the outcome could be different. Granted, not all players are replaceable because it is difficult to replace production from some of the top players. However, there is a difference between having a decent replacement option and a bench player that does not have much of an impact, if any at all.

YOUR BENCH

By now, if you have read my work, you know I like a balanced roster construction and my foundation is based on depth at the running back and wide receiver position. Normally I will focus on these two positions in the first 6-8 rounds. Of course this can change if the draft dictates for me to do otherwise. However, my approach is typically that.

As I mentioned above, depth in fantasy sports is very important. Injuries occur, there are bye weeks, and sometimes roles can change, which could affect one of your starters. Being able to absorb these changes in sports is very critical for long term success. What good is having a strong starting lineup if I cannot win when a player or two are not active? Therefore, being deep at the two positons that make up the most of your roster is something I focus a lot of my attention on.

Something that you also need to consider when drafting is the players you are selecting and the risk they come with. For example, Jordan Reed is a very talented tight end. In fact, he has displayed tremendous upside at various points in his career, but has yet to stay healthy for an entire season since joining the league. It is fine to take a chance on a player like this, but if you do, make sure you prepare for it and have depth at the position on your roster in case he goes down. This can be said about any player at any position who struggles to stay healthy. Yet, another reason why having a strong bench is so important.

FLOOR VS. CEILING

On draft day you will be faced with multiple scenarios where you have a decision to make and at times that decision is going to be whether you draft the consistent player with a strong floor or a player who has a ton of upside, but may not have put a consistent fantasy season just yet. Which way would you go? For me it is really dependent on how my roster is built at the time of the pick and what players are still left that could land to me later in the draft.

Again, not to be redundant here, but finding a good balance between the two if something I strongly urge. Let’s take a look at a potential wide receiver build for this season. Say you go with Julio Jones, Cooper Kupp, and Sammy Watkins as your three wide outs. With Jones you are getting the complete package, as he offers one of the higher floors and ceilings in the game. Then you have Kupp, who although is still in the infancy of his career, has displayed the ability to be a reliable option so far and has a strong role in the offense. Your third option in this case is Watkins who has yet to put a strong fantasy season together, but has displayed a ton of upside and could be put in a situation where he is the No. 1 wide out in a high-powered offense with an elite quarterback.

As you can see there is risk involved here, but you have an elite receiver, a consistent receiver, and one with upside, so you are limiting your potential downside without affecting your upside. The same can be said about running backs like Lamar Miller who are far from sexy, but are on the field so much that they offer a consistent floor. Always remember, opportunity and role is very important in fantasy sports.

LATE ROUNDS

This is where the magic happens. How you handle the late rounds is very important to your roster construction and the foundation of your team. In these rounds, you want to focus on drafting players with upside and not necessarily focus too much on floors because you do not have to count on these players on a weekly basis. Granted, if a veteran player that has been consistent throughout the years, yet he is passed his prime and might not be as exciting as he once was, is still available, don’t hesitate to draft him. You want the right combination of stability and upside in your bench as well. In the late rounds, you can target players who could eventually have a role, as well as players who stand out during preseason or training camp and are an injury away from having a huge impact. Being that this is a redraft, I would not at all focus on developmental players who are unlikely to have a role or make an impact this season. Those type of players are best for keeper or dynasty leagues.

WHEN TO DRAFT A QUARTERBACK?

This is a question that is often asked when people are prepping for their drafts. Honestly, I wait until mid-late rounds of my drafts to take my quarterback. Remember, you only need to start one quarterback in your fantasy team and the difference between QB5 and QB 15 since 2010 is an average of 3.4 fantasy points per game. When you look at it from that perspective, you realize that it is not that urgent to take a quarterback early. Granted the difference between QB1 and QB15 is far more significant, but on average, the first quarterback is being taken in the second or third round of most fantasy drafts, and the opportunity cost you are giving up in other positions is just as significant, if not more.

I took a look at some ADP rankings while doing this and I thought I’d share this with you. Here are some of the quarterbacks being drafted in the ninth round and later: Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Jameis Winston, and Cam Newton. All of these obviously come with risk, but would it really be surprising to anyone if several of them or at least one finished the season as a QB1? I’d say the answer to that is not at all. So before you pull the trigger early on your quarterback, keep this in mind. Below is a chart I created that can be useful for quarterback production throughout the years.

 


2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011  2010
Rank FPPG FPPG FPPG FPPG FPPG FPPG FPPG FPPG FPPG Average
QB1 26.94 22.56 24.44 25.44 23.68 27.00 22.91 25.20 26.69 24.98
QB2 22.53 19.72 22.21 22.13 22.57 23.36 22.36 26.87 20.97 22.52
QB3 22.06 19.12 22.16 21.94 20.84 19.63 21.77 23.86 19.06 21.16
QB4 21.66 20.15 21.78 21.41 20.48 19.51 21.59 23.85 19.04 21.05
QB5 21.22 18.79 19.88 20.26 20.26 18.96 22.60 22.46 18.71 20.35
QB6 20.39 18.35 18.68 21.28 20.01 18.86 20.25 19.03 18.41 19.47
QB7 19.66 22.05 18.24 19.34 18.77 18.60 20.18 18.26 16.78 19.10
QB8 20.59 17.65 18.12 19.33 18.46 18.08 19.03 18.22 16.60 18.45
QB9 19.28 17.48 17.88 19.21 18.29 17.77 18.75 17.66 16.46 18.09
QB10 18.87 18.18 17.46 19.14 18.22 17.44 18.24 16.90 16.28 17.86
QB11 18.71 16.91 18.55 18.96 17.97 17.06 18.19 19.72 15.74 17.98
QB12 18.42 17.89 18.44 18.59 18.75 18.10 17.18 15.44 15.53 17.59
QB13 20.83 16.42 17.16 18.22 18.51 17.77 16.72 16.01 17.38 17.67
QB14 18.06 15.38 17.11 18.02 17.16 16.53 15.68 15.47 15.87 16.59
QB15 19.50 16.33 18.03 19.71 16.88 16.47 15.62 14.16 15.79 16.94
QB16 18.29 14.42 17.89 17.13 19.21 20.13 16.29 13.98 17.46 17.20
QB17 15.81 15.33 18.81 17.03 16.70 15.33 15.07 13.59 18.33 16.22
QB18 14.92 15.17 17.53 16.12 14.71 14.35 14.83 15.11 16.84 15.51
QB19 14.62 17.28 21.55 19.62 15.52 17.62 14.81 12.88 13.44 16.37
QB20 14.45 17.11 15.93 16.37 13.25 13.91 14.71 12.22 13.12 14.56
QB21 18.51 14.76 15.51 19.03 14.75 12.58 18.09 13.56 14.58 15.71
QB22 19.62 13.68 15.70 18.02 15.83 16.54 13.42 13.51 11.82 15.35
QB23 19.03 14.02 15.69 15.35 15.81 16.33 13.77 13.30 12.49 15.09
QB24 14.78 13.98 14.25 13.31 13.22 19.49 12.49 16.61 15.55 14.85
QB25 14.42 12.25 17.37 16.15 12.22 11.68 14.40 15.48 12.82 14.09

 

TIGHT ENDS, DEFENSES, KICKERS

Tight end is a tricky positon for me and the way I approach this position is strongly dependent on my league’s scoring settings and format. Normally I would like to take a tight end at some point in the middle of my draft, however, if the tight ends I am comfortable with come off the board before I can get one, then I will just wait a bit longer. This is a position that I am comfortable streaming throughout the season.

As far as defenses and kickers are concerned, I wait until the final two rounds of all my drafts to address these positions. I stream defenses in just about every league I’m in. For kickers, I like to choose players on offenses that get in field goal range often, are not very good in red zone opportunities, and play indoors. Both of these positions can be streamed, so unless your league has special scoring for them there is no need to draft either of the two before the final two rounds.

CONCLUSION

At the end of the day, building your roster boils down with how you feel most comfortable doing so. Hopefully I was able to give you a good foundation on how to approach a draft and tackle roster construction. Building a strong core is important and so is having a deep roster. Don’t worry about taking a quarterback early, as the chart above shows the difference in weekly production is not significant once you pass a certain point. Kickers and defenses can be streamed, so don’t exhaust any pick before the final two on either of these positons. Focus on loading up on running backs and wide receivers throughout your draft because one can never have enough of these two positons. If you can find consistent production out of those two positions throughout the season, you will put yourself in a good position to have a contending team. Have a good combination of both upside and consistency throughout your entire roster. Take advantage of good value on draft day.

It’s been fun my peeps. As always, you can reach out to me in the chat room with any questions or on the Twitter machine @Armando_Marsal. Good luck all!

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 November 2019 10:51
 
FSWA announces 2018 award finalists PDF Print E-mail
Written by Andy Behrens   
Saturday, 19 January 2019 05:46
The Fantasy Sports Writers Association has announced finalists for our 2018 writing and media awards. Our judges reviewed hundreds of submissions across 23 categories. RotoWire led all content providers with 15 finalist nods, followed by Rotoworld with nine. Winners will be revealed on the FSWA awards show on SiriusXM in early February. 

 

Finalists for 2018 are as follows: 
Last Updated on Saturday, 19 January 2019 05:53
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Three chosen for Hall in 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Andy Behrens   
Monday, 15 October 2018 06:05

 

The Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame committee has selected three individuals for induction in 2018. We are pleased to welcome this year's Hall of Fame class:

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 January 2019 05:56
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2019 FSWA award nominations open PDF Print E-mail
Written by Andy Behrens   
Saturday, 09 November 2019 00:00

 

 

FSWA members will be able to submit nominations for the 2019 Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards beginning Saturday, November 9, continuing through Saturday, December 14. At the conclusion of the submission process, an independent panel of judges will decide each of the award categories. 

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 November 2019 16:45
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New award categories for 2018 PDF Print E-mail
The News
Written by Andy Behrens   
Saturday, 06 October 2018 06:02

The Fantasy Sports Writers Association will introduce new categories for our 2018 writing awards. A committee of FSWA members met during the summer to review our categories and offer recommendations. The following awards will be added this year: 

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 January 2019 05:57
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