Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Jul 2012

FO's First Expert League Team

For those curious, I thought I would post the results of FO's first "expert league" draft of the season. This is a "Pros vs. Joes" league run by Fantasy Football Players Championship, with six professional football writers and six random FFPC players. It's done by FFPC rules, which means:

  • PPR for WR and RB, and 1.5 PPR for TE, which turns out to be very important.
  • An absurdly long 26-round draft, but then no moves whatsoever. The team you draft is your team, period.
  • Best scores of the week are counted without any worry about starters vs. bench.

The ramifications of this:

  • If you are in an FFPC league, be aware, the tight ends go OBSCENELY early. I used the KUBIAK workbook and had tight ends listed with 1.5 points per reception and no "waiver adjustment," but they still went far earlier than I had listed. We have Aaron Hernandez far higher than ADP, and he came out 28th on KUBIAK. He went 22nd. KUBIAK listed Jason Witten, Brandon Pettigrew, and Antonio Gates all around 50th. They went 30th, 43rd, and 26th, in that order. Once I realized what was going on, my hope was to wait and catch our big sleeper pick Kyle Rudolph, but I waited one round too long. As a result, I ended up with a bunch of mediocre tight ends, hoping that one of them can pull a decent game each week.
  • With a league like this, upside matters more than stability after the top 60 or 70 players, because you want to hit a guy who might get a starting job and put up a big week, rather than a guy who just gets 50 yards every week. That's how I end up with a couple Patriots near the end; you never know who might have the big game there.
  • Readers know that I think kickers and defenses are more predictable than people think, and they are often worth as many points as anyone but quarterbacks, so I wanted to make sure to grab two good kickers and two good defenses with complementary schedules.

One other thing I should note: I took Marshawn Lynch a lot higher than he currently is listed in KUBIAK because I was talking to Mike Sando yesterday, and he doesn't think Lynch is going to get suspended. Unless Roger Goodell wants to go out of his way to make Lynch an example, the fact is that his prior arrests don't matter; DUIs are considered separately under the drug policy, not the conduct policy. I'll be updating KUBIAK to reflect this later this morning.

I had the 10th pick in odd-numbered rounds, third pick in even-numbered rounds.

Here's the FO team:

QB: Tom Brady (2), Kevin Kolb (16), Matt Moore (22), Brian Hoyer (24), John Skelton (25). Arizona and Miami have reasonable matchups during the Patriots' bye week and the weeks they play the Jets. Week 3 could be a problem if the Ravens shut down Brady, as Arizona plays Philadelphia and Miami has the Jets.

RB: MJD (1), Marshawn Lynch (4), Shonn Greene (6), Jonathan Stewart (7), Rashard Mendenhall (15), Danny Woodhead (21). Surprised Mendenhall lasted that long, as he likely will start half the season.

WR: Mike Wallace (3), Percy Harvin (5), Reggie Wayne (8), Denarious Moore (9), Sidney Rice (10), Jabar Gaffney (23). I bet Gaffney has one huge game in a random week this year. Moore, like Rudolph, is a KUBIAK sleeper who a lot of FO readers will end up with this year.

TE: Marcedes Lewis (11), Tony Moeaki (12), Dennis Pitta (13), Ben Watson (20), Dennis Allen (26). Throwing crap at the wall.

K: Mason Crosby (18), Rob Bironas (19)

DEF/ST: Bears (14), Jets (17)

You can download the rosters and draft order here if you would like to check them out and discuss them.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 25 Jul 2012

12 comments, Last at 30 Jul 2012, 1:38am by Dan


by Joseph :: Wed, 07/25/2012 - 12:50pm

Did Jimmy Graham & Rob Gronkowski go in the 1st round or 2nd round? Cause they put up WR1 stats as TE's WITHOUT the 1.5 PPR.

by Aaron Schatz :: Wed, 07/25/2012 - 1:30pm

Yes, Graham and Gronk were gone by the time it came to me at Pick 10.

by Chris UK :: Thu, 07/26/2012 - 8:25am

Am I missing something in the excel download then. Looks like Gronk went 11?

by Aaron Schatz :: Fri, 07/27/2012 - 1:28pm

Whoops. I'm wrong then, I guess only Graham was gone. I must have thought I might get Gronk on the way back in round two or something.

by NateN61 :: Wed, 07/25/2012 - 12:52pm

Wow, Aaron! I will be so surprised in Marshawn isnt suspended. I think that the media attention to players getting arrested will compell Roger to bring down the hammer.

Pretty nice draft but not too sure about your TE's considering the 1.5 PPR. What was your strategy? I know there is a big drop-off after Tier 1 but why no Tier 2 when there are so many?

by t.d. :: Wed, 07/25/2012 - 1:07pm

Garrard's going to be the Miami quarterback

by Jason Mulgrew aka J Dawg aka Uncle Jase (not verified) :: Wed, 07/25/2012 - 1:20pm

Howdy all,

It's been a few years but Uncle Jase is back to bless you with interesting football commentary. The FO team will not be a winner. It's okay. It might win a few games but I don't see enough impact players on it. Not trying to be rude. Just calling it like how I see it.

J Dawg

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 07/25/2012 - 2:32pm

T. Bardy gerat qb to have.

RB corpse look pretty good.

TE crew questionable.

K good.

WRs alright.

Team defense pewttty good.

Tema has shot to do well.

by Dan :: Wed, 07/25/2012 - 5:24pm

Some suggestions for this format:

You drafted too many QBs. If Brady is healthy, then the 4 other QBs will probably combine for about 1-2 extra starts, worth about 30 fantasy points added to your team. 30 points from 4 guys - you could get way more than that just drafting more kickers. Yes, it's good to have some insurance in case Brady goes out, but roster spots are extremely valuable in this format, and it's not worth using more than 3 at the QB position. With Brady as your #1 I might take the chance to only draft 2 QBs total (just get a more reliable #2).

In best ball leagues I try to get as many flex-able players as possible, so that whoever has a big week can make the starting lineup. And they don't have to be high-upside boom/bust players: even those 50-yards-each-week guys will still have their 4-60-1 games, which is 16 points. They also may have more upside than you realize - look at Nate Washington last year.

If there weren't any good WR options around in round 22+, then you could've taken more WRs in the teens and waited on your Def & PK - best ball format means that 3 mediocre defenses/kickers will score about as much as 2 good ones.

What would your roster look like if you did something like: QB in round 11, 1 TE & 2 WR in round 14, 16, & 17, Defense in round 22, 24, & 25? Something like:
QB: Brady & Flacco
TE: probably the same guys, maybe someone like Fasano in Chandler instead of one of them
WR: add 2 guys like Jonathan Baldwin, Bess, James Jones, or LaFell
Def: Falcons, Bengals, Titans

by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 07/25/2012 - 6:42pm

Interesting points. I've never played this format but can see it would require a severe rethinking over traditional leagues where you only need to worry about fielding a decent starting lineup and you can add and cut guys throughout the year.

Looking over the rosters, nobody took more QBs than the FO team. One team actually decided to go with just two. And nobody had more than three defenses, which I found somewhat surprising. Maybe there was a rush on them so it was impossible for anybody to stock up? I'd think defenses would be great because they're steady points, they don't get benched or hurt like normal players can, etc.

by rfh1001 :: Fri, 07/27/2012 - 4:02am

If it's top scorers that count, and you don't have to worry about picking them, then maybe taking a punt on a load of QBs isn't the bad idea. Brady's magic, but I bet he isn't the scoring QB more than half the weeks, and I bet the one who randomly outscores him each other time does so by a really useful chunk of points.

by Dan :: Mon, 07/30/2012 - 1:38am

Last year in my 16-week draftmaster league, Brady was QB4 with 405 fantasy points. QBs 14-17 were Joe Flacco, Josh Freeman, Andy Dalton, and Alex Smith. If you had all 5 of those QBs on your team, then Brady would've started 9 out of 16 weeks (missing his bye and 5 others), and you would've gotten 438 fantasy points from the QB position. That's only an extra 33 fantasy points added by your other 4 QBs: 17 during Brady's bye and 16 scattered across the other 6 weeks where one of them outscored Brady by a bit.

33 points is about what you can expect to add by drafting a 3rd defense.

And that's with QBs 14-17; Moore & QB Cardinals will be lucky to crack that range.