Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by Scott Smith. You can follow him on Twitter @ScottSmith610 and read his fantasy football writing on RotoViz. …
The Scott Fish Bowl (#SFB480) is back and bigger than ever this year with 480 teams. In about a week, some of the top names in the fantasy football industry will collide in draft rooms to see who has what it takes to be crowned the #SFB480 Champion. With a unique scoring system and deep roster requirements, this isn’t your daddy’s PPR league. Navigating through recent mock draft ADP and #SFB480 ADP brought the following tips to light.
1. Some Things Never Change
Rule number 1 is always the same no matter what… Know your format. The #SFB480 is a superflex format that requires 11 starters (including four flex positions) and 11 bench players. With 22 players rostered on each team and no in-season trades, it is imperative to draft a good team as the waiver wire will likely be scarce, making major team alterations unlikely.
The #SFB480’s unique scoring system will drastically alter both draft strategies and player outcomes. Rushing attempts valued at .25 points per attempt is the biggest game changer for both running backs and quarterbacks alike. Receptions drop to .5 for wide receivers and remain a full point for tight ends. There are also no penalty for turnovers (Eli Manning thanks you Scott Fish).
2. Throw Traditional Rankings Out The Window
Some of the brightest minds from some of the top sites in the fantasy industry are represented in this league. With many sites offering rankings for both PPR and standard scoring leagues, few offer any rankings specifically for the #SFB480. The other fallacy in rankings is the failure to paint a clear picture of the possible scoring gap between two similarly ranked players. Search for trusted sites offering season long projections. Aggregating these projections and using the “Wisdom of Crowds” theory along with ADP will likely give you a better plan of attack for the #SFB480.
With the #SFB480 being a superflex and QBs getting the added scoring benefit of .25 points per carry, QB ADP is pointing up. The top 12 QBs are coming off the board around 20 picks earlier in #SFB480 mock drafts. Based upon ADP, the middle of the 4th to the end of the 5th round seems to be the sweet spot for drafters to target their 1st QB.
— Salvatore Stefanile (@2QBFFB) July 3, 2016
While it certainly isn’t necessary to be the first person to lock up your QBs, it may not be wise to be last. In 2015, only three QBs had 100 or more rushing attempts. While Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Tyrod Taylor are the most likely to reach this apex in 2016, don’t count out Alex Smith. Smith finished 2015 with 84 rushing attempts and offers nice value coming of the board as the QB19.
5. Running Back Revival
Anthony Amico of Rotoviz has spent much of the offseason advocating for a Robust RB strategy in 2016. The #SFB480 scoring format may offer the perfect battlegrounds for making this strategy a success. The ability to start so many RBs combined with the .25 point per carry make RBs more important than ever. If we apply #SFB480 scoring to the top-50 RBs of 2015, their scoring increased by nearly 16%. In 2015, RB1s (in the #SFB480 scoring system) averaged 235 carries. Players like Chris Ivory, Frank Gore and Jonathon Stewart all saw a healthy bump in final rankings based upon their volume of carries. Don’t underestimate the value of a carry in this format.
5. Invest In Unsettled Backfields
Situations in Cleveland, Miami, Chicago and Baltimore offer the opportunity to get carries at a relatively cheap price. Based upon early #SFB480 mock drafts, each of the RBs on these teams have and ADP in the sixth round or later, giving you a chance to build the foundation of your team in the early rounds. The ADP for these backfields also gives you the opportunity to nab the top two backs in these rotations. With such deep rosters, it could prove prudent to carry both RBs during the season and let either playing time or injuries sort the situation out.
6. What About Zero-RB?
The Zero-RB strategy has reached new heights recently by evidence of WR ADP in PPR leagues. The Fantasyland podcast recently devoted an entire episode to the theory making it more mainstream than ever. With RB scoring up as we stated earlier, the opposite is true for WRs in the #SFB480 format. WR scoring drops 17% among top 50 WRs in the #SFB480. Those numbers actually catapult the top-50 RBs to outscore the top-50 WRs by about 2.3% based upon 2015 numbers.
In preparation for this draft I decided to go to the Zero-RB Godfather, Shawn Siegele, for his input on implementing the strategy in this setting. He stated:
“With RBs scoring so many more points and the ability to use so many in your starting lineup, Zero-RB really isn’t feasible.”
Making Zero-RB even more complex to employ in the #SFB480 is the diminished value of normal RB targets. Guys like Danny Woodhead, Charles Sims, Dion Lewis, Duke Johnson and Theo Riddick have all been valued draft commodities for owners wishing to go the Zero-RB route. Under #SFB480 scoring, those guys all drop 5 spots or more in the final RB standings in comparison to PPR standings. While any strategy can prove successful, Zero-RB is not for the faint of heart in the #SFB480.
7. Sleeper Alert
Based upon #SFB480 scoring, no player gets a bigger bump in rankings under these rules than Tavon Austin. Aggregate projections from the top sites value Austin as the 81st ranked player overall. Austin’s current ADP has him going 43 picks later at pick 124. Jeff Fisher’s affinity for allowing the WR to run the ball makes Austin the unique WR that benefits under these rules. While Coach Fisher’s suggestion that Austin could see double his 2015 receiving output this year may seem overly optimistic, grabbing Austin anywhere after the eighth round could prove to be a value.
8. Tight Ends Are Just Big Receivers
Tight Ends have become even more valuable this year as they are the only position to get a full point per reception. Based upon 2015 numbers, if you combined WRs and TEs, 8 of the top-24 finishes would have belonged to TEs. Rob Gronkowski, Delanie Walker, Jordan Reed and Gary Barnidge would have finished 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th under the #SFB480 scoring in 2015. If your goal is a be the first to fill your flex, using multiple tight ends to accomplish this task may be the value play you’re looking for. [Editor’s Note: If you’re looking for an example of how going TE early would look in the #SFB480, our own Sal Stefanile utilized the strategy in a recent mock.]
9. Stacks on Stacks on Stacks
TJ Hernandez had one of the best tweets of the off-season:
There were 412 instances of a WR scoring 15+ PPR FP in 2015 (approx WR24 numbers). 43% of those instances included WRs on the same team
— TJ Hernandez (@TJHernandez) June 30, 2016
With starting rosters featuring four flex positions, stacking is a sure way to hedge your bet on weekly production. Using two players to target a high share of a team’s production is a great way to get consistent scoring. It’s also a great way to counter missing out on top QB production. In 2015, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns combined to score 60 percent of Jacksonville’s offensive touchdowns. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker combined for over 2500 yards and 26 touchdowns. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders combined for nearly 52 percent of the Broncos’ total targets. Search for teams without a viable third option in the passing game and target the top two guys from that team.
10. You Only Live Once
One strategy will test the testicular fortitude of even the bravest of men… it’s the Zero RB/WR. Okay, so I may be talking out of my ass on this one but just hear me out. Throw caution to the wind and grab two QBs and two TEs in the first four rounds. When looking at aggregate projections from the top sites, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson are projected to be the top scorers in the #SFB480. Based upon those same projections Russell Wilson, Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Reed have the widest point differential drop off of any players not drafted in the first round. Grabbing a combination of these players could set you up to have the highest projected total through four rounds. Maybe you miss out on Cam Newton. Just target Rodgers or Brees to go with Wilson. What if you miss out on Gronk? Grab the player of your choice in round three and shoot for Reed and Olsen in the fourth and fifth rounds. You will have the rest of the draft to fill out your roster with all of the RBs and WRs of your heart’s desire.
Now I can bore you with all the numbers and research showing that this will work but the truth is we’re coming off of the 4th of July weekend and I’m too lazy for that. So I will leave you with this. Think back to the best times you had when you were younger and in your prime. Those nights when you had a few adult beverages too many and some crazy shit went down. Those are the stories you tell to your friends when reliving the glory years. Just think, you could one day tell your friends of how you won the #SFB480 by going Zero-RB/WR. NO GUTS, NO GLORY!
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