The Great Fantasy Football Reset – Countdown To Launch
Prepping for my first Superflex dynasty has brought me many joys.The greatest of which has been meaningful draft research before MLB’s Opening Day. Typically during this time of year my football self is lying in the fetal position somewhere and crying. The nature of dynasty football demands year-round attention and with my startup set to have its veteran draft in early April, I’ve been thinking about the draft earlier – and happier – than ever before.
I briefly mentioned this in my previous post, but I think it’s worth repeating, that everyone carries some perception bias when evaluating players and developing rankings. And yes, this could include an over-dependence on analytics. Luckily for me, I already own the fact that my process for evaluating fantasy talent isn’t exactly scientific. Traditionally, during the course of the long NFL offseason, I’ve collected piles of handwritten notes and questions on a variety of players and draft strategies. After revisiting favorited tweets and partaking in some mock drafts I then consolidate my gently-curated information into a single excel file and include positional rankings. Again, not the most scientific, but with a shorter-than-normal offseason before my draft, I’ve fallen into a similar routine in order to get my rankings in order.
With all that in mind, here’s a peek at my dynasty rankings:
For the most part, I think the torches and pitchforks can be set aside, as there’s nothing too crazy in these rankings. Listing Tom Brady as QB4 in my quarterback rankings might raise a few eyebrows, but the Patriots seem to be doing whatever it takes to ensure Brady has all the weapons he’ll need for the next three-to-four years. That looks to be about how much longer he’ll play and considering that he’s showed no real signs of slowing down, I’m willing to overlook his age.
In general, I think I’ll be pretty willing to overlook quarterback age when considering them as options. I know this flies in the face of conventional dynasty wisdom, but I’m fine taking an aging quarterback in my draft if I think the value is there, especially if I think I can get a few good years out of them. The opposite of this could end up being true as well. Depending on how I think my draft has gone at other positions, I might decide on a younger QB1 and “gamble” on that little bit of unknown, if I think the remainder of my team is solid enough to withstand any scoring volatility.
There are many “firsts” for me this fantasy season. In addition to 2QB/Superflex and dynasty formats, I’ve also dipped my toes into the world of MFL10s. To MFL10 veterans, it will come as no surprise that I’ve found these draft-only leagues to be an excellent substitute for traditional mock drafts. The real-money aspect of MFL10s essentially guarantees that owners aren’t just showing up to draft the starting offense of their favorite team and timing out for the remainder of the mock. Also, without the ability to manage starters or make roster moves, these best-ball drafts provide insight on how owners really value the players being drafted. Particularly in the later rounds of MFL10s you’ll start to see high-upside sleepers selected, perhaps giving us insight on who we should consider targeting in our various 2QB and Superflex leagues.
Here’s a quick look at a couple of my early MFL10 rosters:
Particularly with the quarterback position, I was happy with the outcome of these earlier MFL10 drafts. If there happens to be the opportunity to get a Philip Rivers-esque QB in the 10th or 11th round, I think I’ll be pretty happy.
As much as I’ve enjoyed using MFL10s as a practical guide to my upcoming veteran draft, I can’t ignore the fact that MFL10 rosters only start one quarterback and therefore won’t accurately reflect most 2QB or Superflex draft strategies. This isn’t to say that they’re all of a sudden useless to me as a mock draft substitute. Particularly for my upcoming Superflex startup, where starting two quarterbacks isn’t required, I think MFL10 ADP data can be quite the asset in determining how people are truly valuing players.
The Best Laid Plans…
In some ways, I feel that no amount of draft research can adequately prepare me for a startup draft in the spring. Without NFL free agency fully fleshed out and the draft yet to take place, projected rosters seem to still be quite murky. Plus we still have to wade through OTAs and training camp hype that usually fuels the late summer mock drafts that many first-time dynasty players are used to reading right before their re-draft league kicks off for the season.
Despite the unknown, I’m quite looking forward to this new process. I’ll always have my shot at subsequent rookie drafts, trades, and free agency acquisitions to make up for any startup draft blunders I might incur.
I own pick 12 (of 14) in my first-ever dynasty Superflex. I’m looking forward to seeing how the first few rounds play out, and sharing what I think my Quarterback strategy will be as the draft progresses.