How to Win the #SFB480
Surely you’ve heard of the Scott Fish Bowl (aka the#SFB480). The biggest Superflex league in the world has become a staple of the fantasy offseason. … Drafting in early July every year and bringing the entire community together.
This year, the draft expands to 480 teams, and starting July 11th you can expect to see hashtag #SFB480 all across fantasy twitter as participants share their draft picks.
The Top-10 Teams
In this article, I make no attempt at predicting the future, no attempt to tell you how to draft for #SFB480 in 2016. Instead, this is a snapshot of the ten teams at the top of the league at last season’s end.
In a league with 480 teams, my goal is to win the league, not merely to make playoffs. So rather than study the “best teams,” I intentionally focused on the teams with the best finishes. This absolutely brings luck into the equation, and that is a large reason why you should not necessarily take this data as predictive of how to build a good team this year. This is a pure hindsight view of last year’s Scott Fish Bowl: now that we know which teams won, what did they do to get there?
Here are the top-ten teams at last season’s end:
- 2015 Champion: Fan – Derek Myers
- Dynasty Football Warehouse – Jeff Melbostad
- Fan – Christo Hees
- UTHDynasty – Tim Torch
- Fan – Andrew Chandar
- Fan – Colin Pratt
- Fantasy Savages – The Street Free Agent
- 4for4 – Russell Manalastas
- XNSports – Dave Major
- Fan – Devin Chrystal
All the following data will be drawn from those ten teams.
I was particularly interested to see how these top teams drafted last year. As I prepare my own draft strategy for #SFB480, I wanted to see how these bright minds approached things. Below, we take a look at several aspects of their drafts.
First Three Rounds
There were a variety of approaches to the first three rounds, but seven of the ten teams went RB in the first round. Those first 30 picks were distributed this way: 7QBs; 11 RBs; 12 WRs; 0 TEs. Below, you can see exactly how each team approached the early draft:
|Tm 1||Tm 2||Tm 3||Tm 4||Tm 5||Tm 6||Tm 7||Tm 8||Tm 9||Tm 10|
Three quarterbacks were drafted in the first 18 picks of 2015 SFB ADP, but the top-ten teams waited much longer to draft their quarterbacks.
Not one of the ten teams drafted a quarterback in the first round, and only four took one in the second round. Late-round QB was in full effect among these elite teams — four teams did not draft a quarterback before the fifth round, remarkable patience in a Superflex league.
Tight Ends: Who Needs ‘Em?
Only one of the ten teams drafted a tight end before the seventh round, and half of them didn’t draft one at all in the first ten rounds. Not one owner thought Rob Gronkowski was a worthwhile pick.
If you are drafting in #SFB480 this year, make sure you know TE scoring has changed. Last year, tight ends got no bonuses, but in 2016, TEs get an extra 0.5 points every time they catch a pass. Each owner will have to decide how much to value that bonus, but you are playing at a disadvantage if you do not keep it in mind.
These ten teams drafted in a variety of ways, focusing on a mix of different players. That said, there were a few commonalities. Two players were heavily involved in building these elite teams:
- David Johnson: Owned by 5/10 teams, average pick of 136.
- DeAngelo Williams: 4/10 teams, average pick of 171.
Although not quite as popular, several players were drafted by 30% of the top-10 teams:
- Adrian Peterson: Average pick of 3.7.
- LeVeon Bell: Average pick of 5.
- Russell Wilson: Average pick of 17.3.
- Mike Evans: Average pick of 27.
- Tom Brady: Average pick of 49.
- Golden Tate: Average pick of 58.7.
- Martavis Bryant: Average pick of 72.7.
- Julius Thomas: Average pick of 85.
- Chris Ivory: Average pick of 108.3.
- Delanie Walker: Average pick of 129.
- Scott Chandler: Average pick of 244.3.
Over sixteen weeks, most Superflex teams start a variety of quarterbacks. Bye weeks alone mandate starting three QBs over the course of a season, but injuries, poor play, and sleepers mean owners often start several more.
Half of our ten teams only started three quarterbacks ever last season. Two of those never even rostered a fourth quarterback, at any point. That stat makes intuitive sense: if you can draft reliable QBs who don’t get hurt, you will fare better in a Superflex league than if your QBs struggle with inconsistency all year.
But what about the actual streaming process? How well did these owners decide which quarterbacks to start each week, how well did they play matchups? Below is a table of how many weeks (out of 16) each team had a QB on their bench outscore a QB they chose to start:
While a couple owners played the QB position masterfully, I was surprised to see that three had bad streaming weeks at least half the time. Their success — despite poor QB streaming — likely speaks to the floor of a starting QB, along with the relative importance of the position, but it surprised me nonetheless. (These high numbers of bad streaming weeks are consistent with Adam Harstad’s finding that, shockingly, players tend to score better when on our bench than in our starting lineup.)
Good luck to you, all, if you are playing in this year’s Scott Fish Bowl. I am in the Tina Fey division, and I look forward to competing against you all.
If you did not get a spot in this year’s league, go ahead and sign up for the 2017 Scott Fish Bowl now! Scott said that roughly 1,300 people got turned away this year, so you want to get your name in the hat early for next year.