by title by author

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Fantasy Football Update

I have learned a lot in the past week. The draft is just a small part of fantasy football. An important part, but still only 1 step.

With the draft I positioned myself to do well this season. But then I began to look at my head-to-head schedule and had a rude awakening. The schedule makes a huge difference. In week 1, my opponent had a weaker team on paper for the season BUT a stronger team in week 1 match-ups. His players were playing some fairly weak competition in the NFL week 1. Mine? My star player, Stephen Jackson had his worse game of the year last season against the team he plays week 1. Same for my RB 3. My QB is facing the team that finished tops in the NFL last season against the pass. Only in week 9 when I have several players on BYE did I have such a bad schedule for my players. And in head-to-head competition all that matters is how many fantasy points your players can score that week. Can they score more than your opponent? Scoring more points over the season will not win for you.

So having such a tough opening was a good thing. It created a situation where I began to evaluate my weekly match-ups now. And by doing so, I noticed my weak spots. First I noticed I really needed another rb. I had already used the Free Agent pool to strengthen my WRs and drop players who I saw little use for other than on Bye week or if injuries occurred. I decided to fore go a 2nd TE and a 2nd K. If I needed one I'd grab one from the FA pool when needed. My 2 QBs had the same Bye week (my mistake) so I dropped Losman and picked up McNair who I saw as the best available in the FA pool. Looking at the end of the season (weeks 14-17), I noticed again that my schedule was not favorable at all -- one RB had 3 of the 4 games against TOP 5 NFL defenses against the run last season. These games will be the Play-offs and Super Bowl for Fantasy football so I began to look to see how I could improve my end of season chances without overly hurting myself during the weeks 1-13. In the end I traded Willie Parker RB PIT (he had a great season last year and is expected to do well this season by most pundits) and my Denver Defense for Reggie Bush and the SD Defense. For the season stats, I probably lost more than I gained BUT in my weekly match ups especially at the end of season I improved.

I also added Brandon Jackson from the FA pool. He is now my 5th RB. He gives me depth I need on certain weeks IF he gets the bulk of the carries at GB. I know he will start the season and am debating between starting him week 1 or Brandon Jacobs of NYG. Jacobs is more heralded BUT also faces Dallas at Dallas and the WR situation at NYG is still in doubt. Can Jacobs have a good game without Plaxico keeping Dallas D honest? A better game than Rookie B. Jackson at Philadelphia? How many TDs can I expect NYG to score against Dallas with or without Plaxcico?

So entering week 1, I am still trying to decide who to start. My week 1 opponent did help me a little by trading Plaxico Burress (if Plaxico plays) for another QB - Joey Harrington. But still our matchup on paper is close. I am still hoping to improve my team.

I also created an NFL schedule for this year that shows opponents according to how they did defensively a year ago. Teams change so those color coded blocks are not absolute but they give me a clue on whether my player is facing an average defense, a poor defense or a good defense. That lets me look closer at the matchup. Also have the offense from 2006 charted and color coded. Check it out and tell me what you think

No comments: