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Facilitating Fabulous Fantasy Football Foolery

Assumptions

  1. You are not an expert in calculating, predicting or even fully understanding all the Fantasy Football statistics and projections.
  2. You are less skilled at Fantasy Football than the majority of other Fantasy Football team managers.
  3. You don't mind allowing a software algorithm help you make decisions.

Player Comparison Value

The strategy outlined here uses examples from the EspnFantasyFootballLineup.ps1 PowerShell script, which calculates the Comparison value for your current ESPN Fantasy Football team for you. It also uses the Fantasy_Football_Comparisons.xlsx spreadsheet to help you compare players that aren't on your team.

The Player Comparison is in and of itself totally meaningless. It is just a way to compare different players with a single metric. It is calculated by using this formula:

(((Projected Points + Average Points) / 2) * Multiplier) + (% Started / 6) - (Position Rank / 8)

The Multiplier is used to equalize the projected points across positions so that they can be compared against each other. These values were taken by comparing the average fantasy points per game per position (for the top 16 players in each position, by points) for the 2020 year. The average fantasy points for QB is the baseline used to determine the multiplier for the other positions. The multipliers are:

QB RB WR TE K D/ST
1 1.5 1.6 2.5 3.2 3.5

The "Fantasy_Football_Comparisons.xlsx" mentioned later on is simply a spread sheet with the comparison calculation already setup to allow the comparisons of multiple players.

Player Draft

Use Best Available Auto-draft with these Minimums and Maximums. Remember, you've already admitted that they are better at this than you are. 😃

8-6 Format

This is for a team with these starters: QB,RB,RB,WR,WR,TE,D/ST,K and 6 Bench slots.

Position Minimum Maximum
Quarter Back 2 2
Running Back 4 5
Wide Receiver 4 5
Tight End 1 2
Defense / Special Teams 1 1
Kicker 1 1

With this 8-6 team setup, it's OK to only have one TE, D/ST and K. Once you get past the top 10 or so players, an extra RB or WR that is higher rated overall in the draft is more important than a backup TE on your bench. This is due to the rate of injuries in RB and WR positions and that the average seasonal point difference between a good backup TE, D/ST or K is only a few points different than an average one. Also, since D/ST always play and K rarely get injured, having a backup is not terribly useful. The only time to be concerned is during that player's bye week. For those weeks, just trade your worst Bench player for the best available TE, D/ST or K.

The exception here is if a 2nd TE is higher ranked in the draft than the next available RB or WR. In this case having two TEs can be in your favor as TEs are notoriously inconsistent week to week as their coaches adjust the team's offense against their opponent.

During the Week

Before all game times

Use the EspnFantasyFootballLineup.ps1 (or similar methods for your league) and recent player news to finalize lineup for any players playing at those times. Injury reports come out just before game time, and you don't want to start a player who is not going to play.

Before Waiver Claims

Waiver claims usually run the 2nd morning after the last game of the prior week. With MNF being the last game of the previous week, waiver claims are run Wednesday AM.

Use the EspnFantasyFootballLineup.ps1 (or similar methods for your league), the Fantasy_Football_Comparisons.xlsx spreadsheet and Player stats to trade at least one player. This will encourage you to always make bench improvements.

Always look for improvements for ALL positions.

Trading your Bench TE for a better Bench RB or WR could be better for your team over the run of the season.

Improving Your Team

Position Strength

Identify weak positions by inspecting the Comparison values for your starters across positions.

Good

In this example we can see that there is a close balance between the Comparison values of the QB and RB starters:

   Position: QB

Name              Aquisition Injury Status Bye Projected Actual Average Multiplier % Started Position Rank Comparison Start ? Change
----              ---------- ------------- --- --------- ------ ------- ---------- --------- ------------- ---------- ------- ------
Lamar Jackson     DRAFT      QUESTIONABLE  8       24.85      0   29.38 1              75.63            11      38.35 START
Teddy Bridgewater ADD        ACTIVE        11      22.96      0   23.25 1               7.35            20      21.83 BENCH


   Position: RB

Name             Aquisition Injury Status Bye Projected Actual Average Multiplier % Started Position Rank Comparison Start ? Change
----             ---------- ------------- --- --------- ------ ------- ---------- --------- ------------- ---------- ------- ------
Joe Mixon        DRAFT      QUESTIONABLE  10      20.56   13.7    14.8 1.5            95.83             5      41.87 START
Alvin Kamara     DRAFT      ACTIVE        6       22.13      0    15.3 1.5            99.65            15      42.81 START
Kenyan Drake     DRAFT      ACTIVE        8       10.98      0    10.4 1.5            18.06            33      14.92 BENCH
Devin Singletary ADD        ACTIVE        7       10.35      0   10.57 1.5            17.59            30      14.87 BENCH

Needs Improvement

In this example we can see that there is quite a bit of difference between the WR #1 (Moore) and TE #1 (Higbee) showing that the TE position is weak:

   Position: WR

Name             Aquisition Injury Status Bye Projected Actual Average Multiplier % Started Position Rank Comparison Start ? Change
----             ---------- ------------- --- --------- ------ ------- ---------- --------- ------------- ---------- ------- ------
DJ Moore         DRAFT      ACTIVE        13      17.41      0   19.93 1.6            80.34            11      41.89 START
Robert Woods     DRAFT      ACTIVE        11      13.97      0    10.4 1.6            65.72            48      24.45 START
Cole Beasley     ADD        ACTIVE        7       12.32      0   14.13 1.6            21.07            29      21.05 BENCH
Emmanuel Sanders ADD        ACTIVE        7       11.25      0   14.13 1.6            13.46            29      18.93 BENCH


   Position: TE

Name          Aquisition Injury Status Bye Projected Actual Average Multiplier % Started Position Rank Comparison Start ? Change
----          ---------- ------------- --- --------- ------ ------- ---------- --------- ------------- ---------- ------- ------
Tyler Higbee  TRADE      ACTIVE        11       9.12      0    9.53 2.5            39.07            13      28.21 START
Tyler Conklin ADD        ACTIVE        7        8.16      0   10.53 2.5             7.38            11      23.22 BENCH

Bench Strength

Try to keep the Comparison values of your benched players at 50% or greater of your starters in that position. It should be as high as possible, for obvious reasons, but this will be harder in leagues with more teams.

Good

The Comparison value for the bench QB is greater than half that of the starting QB for this example:

   Position: QB

Name              Aquisition Injury Status Bye Projected Actual Average Multiplier % Started Position Rank Comparison Start ? Change
----              ---------- ------------- --- --------- ------ ------- ---------- --------- ------------- ---------- ------- ------
Lamar Jackson     DRAFT      QUESTIONABLE  8       24.85      0   29.38 1              75.63            11      38.35 START
Teddy Bridgewater ADD        ACTIVE        11      22.96      0   23.25 1               7.35            20      21.83 BENCH

Needs Improvement

Since 50% of the average starting RB Comparison value would be around 21 for this example, there is definitely an opportunity for improvement for player #3 (Drake) and #4 (Singletary):

   Position: RB

Name             Aquisition Injury Status Bye Projected Actual Average Multiplier % Started Position Rank Comparison Start ? Change
----             ---------- ------------- --- --------- ------ ------- ---------- --------- ------------- ---------- ------- ------
Joe Mixon        DRAFT      QUESTIONABLE  10      20.56   13.7    14.8 1.5            95.83             5      41.87 START
Alvin Kamara     DRAFT      ACTIVE        6       22.13      0    15.3 1.5            99.65            15      42.81 START
Kenyan Drake     DRAFT      ACTIVE        8       10.98      0    10.4 1.5            18.06            33      14.92 BENCH
Devin Singletary ADD        ACTIVE        7       10.35      0   10.57 1.5            17.59            30      14.87 BENCH

Final Notes

  • Keep in mind that your goal for the regular season is to be good enough to make it to the playoffs, not to be the best team every week. Don't worry about what happens in any one week, but do look for long term trends.

  • Don't worry about a player having a bad week here and there. Between minor injuries and pro teams constantly adjusting their offense style to try and overcome their opponent's defense, stuff happens. That means your stud WR might have a bad week just because their Head Coach decided to run the ball for most of the game. It also might be a twisted ankle early in the 2nd quarter. It doesn't mean your player suddenly sucks. Here too, it's important to watch the trend over the last few weeks, rather than any specific week.

  • Don't be surprised when you trade away a player only to pick him back up later in the season. This happens to me a few times each season, especially when not many of the other team managers are using waiver claims to improve their team.

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