The 2012 fantasy football season is over for most of us. For us dynasty-guys we often roll right into the off-season and start assessing our team’s needs, wants, and goals for the next season. The beauty of dynasty leagues is that there really is no off-season, but often times that means there is very little time for true reflection and analysis. We are coming up on 2013 in a few days and I feel it is fitting to list some of my New Year resolutions/realizations that I have learned or verified from the 2012 season.
- I will not draft players who have just had “Career” years– Cam, Stafford, Gronk, and Graham are prime examples of this. In 2011 I drafted Stafford around the 8th round of my one redraft league and also managed to grab Cam in the 15th and final round of the same draft. Both these guys were taken in the top 2-3 rounds in most start-ups this year, even though we KNEW there was some “fall-off” coming and yet we drafted them anyway. In dynasty it ok to still draft these players even though we know a let off is coming, but I need to be more aware of the reality/certainty that the production I saw from this career year will almost certainly not be matched, let alone exceeded. Players to be careful of due to career years in 2012 are: Adrian Peterson, Brandon Marshall, Dez Bryant, and JJ Watt.
- I will not chase “Elite” QBs in 2013 – There is a notion in the fantasy football-world that you need an elite QB to win a championship. While owning the likes of Drew Brees, or Tom Brady certainly doesn’t hurt your chances, the day of chasing an elite QB are over. This year we watched as elite-needing-QB-owners chased after the likes of Brady, Brees, and Rodgers in the first or second rounds and the rest of the owners panicked and started grabbing players like Cam and Stafford in the 3rd. 2012 was a back to reality year for quarterback scoring and a year in which we saw the emergence of at least 4-5 more elite options. My list now includes: Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Peyton, Stafford, Cam, RG3, Luck, Ryan, and YES Tony Romo with Dalton and Wilson knocking on the door. If my math serves me correctly that is 8-9 sure-fire elite options with 2-4 more very close. So why race. In a 12 team league there will be a good QB option for you, so I expect to see people (wise people anyway) waiting on QBs a little longer in 2013.
- I won’t go chasing TEs in 2013 –Yes, Gronk “probably” would have had a similar year had he not gotten injured… … but… … HE DID. He also happens to have the perfect situation with an all-time great QB leading a TE-focused passing attack. After Gronk every TE expected to perform at a high level was a disappointment: Graham,Vernon, and Hernandez would be the top 3. However, like EVERY year, those that waited and took chances on Gonzo, Witten, Olsen, and Miller were rewarded with top 5 production from a player they took deep in most start-ups. THIS WILL NOT CHANGE. Teams are looking to get the TE more involved yes, but the majority of offenses in this league still rely on RBs, and WRs to move the chains on a regular basis. In 12-team leagues, you are assured a chance to nab a couple TEs that have the chance to produce at a top 5 level and even if you don’t the level of production just doesn’t vary that much and it is the easiest position to upgrade at. I won’t disregard the TE position but I won’t be focusing on it either.
- I will spend more time managing my RBs- The RB position has become the most difficult position to manage in fantasy football. Every year we see players like BJGE, Alfred Morris, and Steven Ridley jump up to be very solid producers at the position and every year we see players like Rice, McCoy, Forte, and CJ?2 under produce. I resolve to spend more of my time focusing on this position for my teams. Bell cow backs are a thing of the past so managing this position is only going to get harder and harder. I vow to fill my roster not only with MORE RBs where I can, but also with better researched backs that have the best potential for break out at some point of the season. I will take into account talented back ups to injury-prone starters.(Moreno) I will buy into situational opportunity (BJGE) and I will not discount perennial disappointments like NE and Washington when assessing potential breakout players.
- I will stay more grounded around hype-chasers – My passion for this game/sport is also one of my biggest issues. I am a natural optimist and between that and my ability to get excited about damn near anything, I fail to see through the hype as well as some. I mean we all get caught up in “the hype” at some point or else we would never lock on to our favorite breakouts and prospects. However, people get so caught up in statistics and situational opportunity that it can easily be exploited both in trades and start-up drafts. I am ashamed to admit that I truly thought Robert Meachem would have a breakout season this year. Both his raw “combine” talent and his FA landing spot made many believe this was finally Meachem’s breakout time. If I had been a little more objective about his prospects or even just watched the preseason chemistry with Rivers a little closer, I would have tried harder to sell Meachem to another “believer” instead ofl nestling him deep on one of my rosters PRAYING for a glimmer of hope going into next year. Hype is unavoidable but to be able to capitalize on that hype and remain logical and objective is the key to gaining the advantage. This is also crucial during draft time as there are certainly a handful of “rookie-chasers” who are obsessed with youth and “potential” in dynasty leagues. Next year I vow to remain more objective and let others do the chasing.
These are just one guy’s resolutions/observations and they are general at that. Here at DFW we vow to go as deep as we can to help you better understand strategies, trends, philosophies, and just the overall game of fantasy football. Thanks for a great 2012. Stay tuned for our off-season content starting Monday January 7th were we will begin our/your preparation for 2013 dominance. Thanks and have a happy and safe New Year!