My friend is a senior vice president at among the world"s most famed investment banks.

You are watching: Matthew berry draft day manifesto 2016

I carry this up not to brag that ns actually have a girlfriend (although, let"s face it, that is one upset) nor to name-drop what his task is. I mention it only since this information sort that comes into play later. And I to be all about foreshadowing. And also name-dropping, the course, however trust me, this isn"t the name-dropping moment. That comes later. More foreshadowing! I"m a foreshadowing machine!

The story in reality starts v the truth that my friend "Paul" has a boy who has actually graduated native high school and will be beginning college soon.

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Now, I also have an 18-year-old who will be starting college soon, for this reason we"re talking, Paul and also I, around where the children are going, what they plan on researching (as far as I can tell, because that mine, it"s Snapchat, girls and girls top top Snapchat), and also it"s all precisely what you"d expect, till Paul tells me this story.

This previous spring, he and his boy are at the university his kid has acquired into. It"s orientation weekend for all the just arrive freshmen and their parents. Now, it"s a smaller school, with possibly 1,500 kids entering this year. I"ve never ever been, but by all accounts it"s a an excellent university and looks amazingly beautiful. Even with the knowledge that many college campuses space pretty nice, this ar is exquisite.

He it s okay there and also it"s a relatively typical orientation weekend. There"s a tour, there space presentations explaining exactly how to select your course load, the boy meets his counselor, etc., blah, blah, blah. It"s every what girlfriend expect when suddenly, Paul is slipped an envelope.

It"s an engraved invitation.

For a dinner.

With the president of the university.

He presume everyone obtained one that these and also asks some other parents what time they"re going come the dinner. Castle aren"t. Castle weren"t invited.


Smooth, Paul.

So Paul goes come the dinner, and maybe there"s 40 parents there of the couple of thousands who are on campus. It"s in a fancy-schmancy room, the food is amazing and as dinner is finishing up, the chairman gets up to speak.

"Let me obtain right come it. Here"s why you"re here. You"re rich."

As concerned laughter goes around, the president continues, smiling however serious. He"s no kidding.

"Why do you think you males are sitting below eating filet mignon and also drinking champagne while everyone else is in ~ a cookout? I"ve acquired an endowment to raise and also I desire your money. Girlfriend see exactly how beautiful the campus is? all the brand-new buildings walking up? exactly how do friend think the happens? rich parents."

He continues. "I"ve got structures to build. Enhancements to make. You desire your boy to live in a dump? You desire your boy to be safe? since that prices money." and also as every the parents space thinking about this, the chairman goes because that the kill.

"So here"s the deal. If girlfriend donate and your kid screws up, we"ll watch the various other way. If you don"t and your son screws up, the or she will get in the system like anyone else and you take your chances."

I stare at Paul. He shrugs. Clearly, once he showed up on campus, they Googled his surname or something and also quickly determined what that did. Remember that, kids. No issue what your project or interest is, that can constantly be improved with some research.

I"m shaking my head in ~ this story as I asking Paul, "So, what are you gonna do?"

"Donate, the course. Mine kid"s a screw-up."

Although he didn"t in reality say screw-up.

Now ...

I have a most reactions come this story. Ns can"t believe the chairman was the brazen. Am ns shocked? Of course not. This is not new behavior or "rules." It"s to be happening due to the fact that the start of time.

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But come be that blatant around it? everything your status and position in life, it definitely speaks volumes about how this nation works, for much better or worse. Include this to the lengthy list of stuff rich people get that everyone rather doesn"t.

But my best reaction to be that i was a huge fan that the approach. Is that unfair? that course. Yet it"s honest. You might not prefer the rules, yet at least you know what castle are. And also when you know what the rules are, you can make choices, you have the right to prepare, you can collection yourself increase as best as feasible to navigate them and also succeed.

Which brings united state meandering gradually via a semi-awkward segue (my specialty!) right into the 18th yearly edition of the draft Day Manifesto. "Sup, kids? been a minute, hasn"t it?

I"ve remained in the exact same fantasy baseball organization with my friend Don Smith because that 33 years now. He to be my very an initial commissioner, and on draft day, each year for 33 right years, the shakes mine hand and also says the exact same thing. "It"s only the finest day of the year."

I smile earlier and speak the very same thing. "Yes the is, Don. Correct it is."

There"s nothing far better than draft day, and frankly, nothing an ext important. And also that"s why we space here: to acquire you ready for draft day.

For practically two decades, we"ve to be doing the Manifesto, and as always, some points in here are unmodified from last year: The an easy blueprint for ways to begin to build a championship team, several of the strategy and, the course, together I was just telling anyone in the "deep sleepers" chat room top top my totally free Fantasy Life app, there will certainly be part over-the-top self-serving promotion.

And, together always, it"s crazy-long, so get comfortable, or better yet, save it for about two hrs after lunch. The Manifesto proceeds to command in printed posts left in the stall.

But don"t worry. There"s also new research, new analysis and also at the very least one brand-new joke for my editor. (Editor"s note: the wasn"t it.)

Let"s begin with the most necessary thing around this. If you take only one point from this whole article, it have to be this, especially due to the fact that I currently worked in the plug because that the app. The secret to win fantasy football is, very simply, this:

At a fundamental level, fantasy football is all about minimizing risk and also giving yourself the best odds to success on a weekly basis.

That"s it. The simple. Every little thing leads ago to that.


I compose it every year because it"s not just true, but it"s also very easy to lose sight of. Precisely one year ago, no one believed the backup running back for the Falcons with just three career carries inside the tackles would certainly wind up as the No. 1 running earlier in fantasy. That a back-up in Pittsburgh who got double-digit tote in only eight games would be the fourth-best RB. The a 30-year-old tight finish in his 9th season playing through a variety of QBs would be the fourth-best tight end in fantasy ... And also score 80 points more than Jimmy Graham. The Kirk Cousins would outscore Aaron Rodgers and also have twice as plenty of points as Andrew Luck. And that Tim Hightower, that hadn"t play in the NFL since 2011, would certainly be the second-highest-scoring fantasy running back during the season"s final four weeks.

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You can"t predict the future. I absolutely can"t predict the future. No one can predict the future. Ns literally had the main playcaller the a team with a running ago by committee (RBBC) tell me among the two men was going to have actually a big week critical season due to the fact that of what they were scheming and what they experienced on tape. Now, this person has offered me great info for a variety of years. 2nd series, the "other guy" damaged a huge play and also that was every she wrote. The one man barely touched the sphere again, as the "other" RB had actually a huge game. The coach texted ~ the game, "Sorry, man. After the run, he wasn"t coming out. The stayed warm all game."

It is what it is. No one can predict the future. So every you deserve to do is stack the odds in your favor as much as possible. Exactly how do we do that? price this question: What"s most likely to happen? and also then do that.

Does Paul certainly need to donate? No. Will certainly his boy screw up? who knows. But from talk to Paul, if he"s playing the "what"s most likely to happen" game, the price is "yes" to both questions. Therefore he"s donating to the college, he"s gonna sell internships to the college"s business department and also whatever else he requirements to do, because his kid is a bit of a screw-up and he wants to placed his child in the ideal position to win.

It may not work. At part point, the kid has actually to number it the end on his own, at the very least on part level, but Paul is doing what he deserve to to stack the odds in his favor.

It"s no fair, it"s not just, but it is the truth of the situation, so I understand why Paul is doing everything he can. Conserve me the "kid requirements to find out for himself" emails, tweets, snaps and also Facebook messages. I"m simply relaying the story the Paul said me. However I acquire it. If you have the means and you"ve to be told that that"s the deal ... I"m no gonna referee a guy for doing everything he can for his kid.

The truth is, it is in it college, fantasy football or any type of other aspect of life, the advice is the same:

The means to give yourself the best odds at obtaining the result you want is to minimize risk and play the percentages that offer you the best chance come win. That won"t constantly work, and there will be long shots indigenous others that pay off, however it will work a lot more often than not.

So exactly how do you stack the odds, lower risk and put you yourself in the ideal position to win? do the following:

1. Realize that there is no magic bullet

"Wait ~ above a quarterback!" "You have to grab two large receivers in the an initial three rounds!" "Go zero-RB!" "Go contrarian and go RB/RB!"

As you begin reading, watching and listening this preseason, you"ll hear a lot of suggestions ~ above what to do in her draft. If friend keep reading this (or hell, who room we kidding, skimming this), i am going come tell you my take it on each position. However the most necessary thing to establish is that there a most paths come glory on draft day.

I request the great Sean Comerford, who last year looked after our organization Manager product (100 percent free to play! with an awesome totally free app! Seriously, wait "til you use it!), to look at the championship rosters native the millions of leagues the play through us. leagues are totally customizable, that said, slipping in one an ext plug. But I request Sean to simply pull typical leagues, together that"s by far the most renowned format (seriously through faaaaar ... So patience down, PPR truthers. I favor PPR, too, however it is not "what everyone plays.") and also is fine for our purposes here.

Here"s the perform of most typical players on groups that play in the championship last season on in our standard league format, in addition to the percentage of groups they to be on:

Most common players ~ above "15 finalists

PlayerPosTeam% of finalists
Tim HightowerRBNO33.6
David JohnsonRBARI25.5
Doug BaldwinWRSEA24.3
Jordan ReedTEWAS23.4
Charcandrick WestKCRB21.4
Gary BarnidgeTECLE21.4
Kansas City ChiefsD/STKC20.4
Julio JonesWRATL20.1
Brandon MarshallWRNYJ19.7
Cam NewtonQBCAR19.6
Carolina PanthersD/STCAR19.5
Blake BortlesQBJAC18.3
Antonio BrownWRPIT18.1
Carson PalmerQBARI18.0
Javorius AllenRBBAL17.1
Tyler EifertTECIN17.0
Karlos WilliamsRBBUF16.9
Allen HurnsWRJAC16.4
Adrian PetersonRBMIN16.1
Michael CrabtreeWROAK15.8
DeAngelo WilliamsRBPIT15.3

I provided 15 percent ownership together the cutoff, and also that"s the list. No kicker got more than 11 percent. Last season to be a such a monster year through all the injuries, and you don"t have to look further than Tim Hightower, Charcandrick West or Gary Barnidge to understand how essential staying active on the wire during the season is ... BUT, critical year, both Adrian Peterson and Antonio Brown were consensus first-round picks and millions of people who walk RB in the very first made the championship game, just like millions of human being who go WR. And in case you to be wondering, plunder Gronkowski verified up on 11.34 percent the championship groups last season.

I am a large believer in "best player available" because that the draft. By the time you room done v this write-up (looking like center of following week in ~ this pace), you"ll have the tools and also pieces in ar to have the ability to make any kind of decision to placed yourself in the best feasible position come win, no issue what happens in your draft. That"s the point. Not having any type of one specific means to draft, yet rather a framework that permits you come do whatever the breeze brings you.

2. Recognize your league

I promise, they"re no all this obvious, however you"d it is in amazed at exactly how many world don"t recognize all the rule of your league. Playing through three wide receivers in your beginning lineup is various than playing with two. What"s her roster size? How frequently can you make moves? What"s your waiver device like? Is the a PPR or 1/2-PPR league? execute tight ends gain 2 PPR? just how much because that a TD pass? Does her defense score points because that holding opposing teams to certain yardage totals or is the yardage totals and scoring totals? When"s your profession deadline? How plenty of teams do the playoffs and when do they start? Is it a re-draft organization or a keeper/dynasty league? all of these things and, frankly, every preeminence you have actually in your league helps shape a player"s value. Candid Gore has an ext value in a re-draft organization this year 보다 in a empire startup, you know? and how have the right to you evaluate players unless you understand their value?

You need to know your league"s rules inside and out, backward and also forward. Since that knowledge is what you"ll usage to (legally!) make use of those rules and also construct the ideal team possible on draft day. Is over there an injury slot(s) in addition to the regular roster, favor a DL slot in baseball? You deserve to be an ext aggressive with talented yet injury-prone guys, in the case. Are you compelled to leave the draft through a complete lineup? ns say you should have to, however if not, don"t bother with a kicker or a defense, and also use those 2 slots for extra place picks. You have the right to waive lock just prior to the season beginning or execute a 2-for-1 profession to take a D/ST and also K just prior to Week 1 starts.

Realize the the roster you construct on breeze day is not what you room stuck with for the entirety season (unless it"s a" best ball" form league), so learning what kind of movement is permitted is important.

Allow me to use this minute to say the if you don"t have a constitution for your league, girlfriend must have actually one. The much more clarity, the under fights. I likewise suggest have a three-person "competition committee" the anyone in the league can appeal to if there is a conflict with the commish that you i dont agree with. And there need to be two alternates in case the conflict involves the commish, a member of the committee or the the complainant is top top the vain committee.

3. It"s not a yearly game

OK, I said they weren"t every going come be the obvious, however I didn"t say none of them would it is in obvious. I can"t tell you how numerous years I"ve to be talking around this, and it"s really important to remember two huge things when constructing your lineup on breeze day:

a. It"s a weekly game.b. Her roster is no a finished item of job-related when you leave the draft.

Seriously, dumb as it is, compose these two phrases ~ above a piece of file and underline them. (And placed it next to the idea that fantasy football success is all around minimizing risk and also playing the odds. Also, draw my name and put a heart approximately it, just to weird world out).

You"ll hear a many in the preseason about how plenty of points, yards, catches, etc. Someone gained in a season, throughout the previous three years and also so forth, however as Hightower (out the the NFL in October, second-highest-scoring RB in fantasy the last four mainly of the season) teaches us, it"s about what you can do in any one given week and also that"s it.

On draft day, you are putting together a squad that needs to carry out one thing: outscore one other (predetermined) team during a details week. Knowing that there will be injuries, taking leave weeks and many various other surprises throughout the course of the season, what"s the finest collection of football player you have the right to put together on breeze day to give you a structure to have actually the best shot in ~ success every week?

4. Her magic number is 94

Ninety-four is a number that has actually been thrown approximately a lot below at Fantasy HQ. Friend see, in 2015, the average playoff team in a standard organization scored a the shade over 94 points per week. The previous three years it has actually been 93, so we feel pretty confident in this range. There will certainly be weeks girlfriend score much more than 94 points and lose, weeks whereby you score fewer and also still win, but in general, get to 94 clues a mainly in conventional scoring and also you"ve obtained really good odds of acquiring into the dance at the finish of the fantasy regular season.

Now, there space a lot of various ways to obtain to 94 points, that course, however here"s just how it damaged down, top top average, critical season:

QB: 19 pointsRB1: 11 pointsRB2: 8 pointsWR1: 13 pointsWR2: 9 pointsTE: 8 pointsFlex: 8 pointsK: 9 pointsD/ST: 9 points

That"s the median per position, yet obviously it"ll fluctuate based on what football player you have. Le"Veon Bell average 15 clues in the gamings he started and finished last season. For this reason if you"re gaining 15 native RB1, girlfriend can acquire just 15 from her QB ... Or 17 from her QB and 11 from WR1.

There are numerous ways to get to 94 native the mix above, yet forget details players because that a second. I just want to focus on a an easy exercise the will aid during the draft (mocks or real) to obtain your team to a suggest where it can get to 94 point out on a weekly basis.

I will certainly say the nine points indigenous a kicker strikes me together high. It"s incredibly hard to predict kickers with any kind of accuracy (see what ns did? Accuracy? Hahaha. Ah, kicker jokes. I could be going crazy. Just how long have actually I been working on this? Send help and food.).

So I desire you to do a sheet the reads like the point I posted above, however slightly adjusted:

QB: 19 pointsRB1: 12 pointsRB2: 9 pointsWR1: 13 pointsWR2: 9 pointsTE: 8 pointsFlex: 8 pointsK: 7 pointsD/ST: 9 pointsTotal: 94 points

Play v the points every you want. The doesn"t matter, friend can readjust during the draft.

So in the draft, say you manage to grab choose No. 6 in an typical draft. We go come our comfortable ADP and see Todd Gurley is at this time the sixth player bring away on average in standard organization drafts (as that July 24). Therefore we put down our little sheet indigenous up over and we gain to pick No. 6 and also take Gurley. We project Gurley to play 15 games and, rounding up, we have actually him averaging 15 points a game. So currently our list looks choose this:

QB: 19 pointsTodd Gurley: 15 pointsRB2: 9 pointsWR1: 13 pointsWR2: 9 pointsTE: 8 pointsFlex: 8 pointsK: 7 pointsD/ST: 9 pointsTotal: 97 points

We had penciled in "RB1" for 12 points, so v Gurley us now obtain three more points come play with, making our brand-new total 97 points. Together we go v the draft, this will certainly be a sliding scale. So, for simplicity"s sake, let"s simply go under"s ADP because that the picks the draft slot would certainly net and also fill the end the rest of our lineup. In round 2, it"s Jordy Nelson at choose 15. We watch "WR1" is supposed to it is in 13 point out a game, however we task Jordy in ~ 12. So currently our roster looks choose this:

QB: 19 pointsTodd Gurley: 15 pointsRB2: 9 pointsJordy Nelson: 12 pointsWR2: 9 pointsTE: 8 pointsFlex: 8 pointsK: 7 pointsD/ST: 9 pointsTotal: 96 points

And therefore on. Just using that draft slot via ADP, the next six choose go like this: Sammy Watkins, Demaryius Thomas, Dion Lewis (it actually would be Ben Roethlisberger, however I go Lewis below at pick 46 -- Lewis" ADP rank to be 48 -- since there is no QB that lines up through the exact draft slot through the first 10 rounds), Delanie Walker, Carson Palmer (pick 68 rather of pick 66) and also the Carolina Panthers D.

So now here"s what the roster watch like, v projected weekly suggest totals:

Carson Palmer: 17 pointsTodd Gurley: 15 pointsDion Lewis: 9 pointsJordy Nelson: 12 pointsSammy Watkins: 11 pointsDelanie Walker: 8 pointsDemaryius Thomas: 9 pointsK: 7 pointsPanthers D: 8 pointsTotal: 96 points

There friend go. This is actually a pretty solid starting lineup. There"s absolutely some injury risk right here with Gurley, Watkins, Lewis and Nelson every coming turn off injuries, or having actually a background of it, and I don"t love walking that beforehand for a defense, yet still ... A the majority of upside.

And you have two points to play with, on average, per week. Not sure many folks would go because that the 3rd WR after ~ grabbing Nelson and also Watkins, however it just goes to display there are numerous ways to gain there. Having actually the allude totals helps keep you from veering turn off course also much.

Now that was simply going down the sheet and also not veering any. What if we placed a small thought behind it? below are three other lineups you could get from miscellaneous draft positions, utilizing ADP together our guide:

Pick No. 4 (Adrian Peterson in round 1)

PosPlayerRoundProj. FPPG
QBAndrew Luck5th18
RBAdrian Peterson1st15
RBLamar Miller2nd14
WRAlshon Jeffery3rd11
WRLarry Fitzgerald6th9
TEGreg Olsen4th8
FlexRyan Mathews7th10

Pick No. 7 (DeAndre Hopkins in round 1)

PosPlayerRoundProj. FPPG
QBCam Newton2nd21
RBEddie Lacy3rd11
RBLatavius Murray6th10
WRDeAndre Hopkins1st12
WRKeenan Allen4th11
TETyler Eifert7th8
FlexJeremy Maclin5th10

Pick No. 10 (Rob Gronkowski in ring 1)

PosPlayerRoundProj. FPPG
QBRussell Wilson3rd19
RBJeremy Hill5th10
RBDeMarco Murray6th10
WRDez Bryant2nd12
WRBrandin Cooks4th10
TERob Gronkowski1st11
FlexCoby Fleener7th8

Now, i don"t agree with every one of these projections (some room a little high for my taste), ns rounded up in every case and getting 16 points a week from your kicker and also defense is no offered these days. You need to be using every little thing projections heat up v your thinking (or just tweak ours till you feel an excellent about it).

The suggest is just to present a goal to hit and a bunch of different ways to construct a beginning roster that will offer you a pretty great shot in ~ winning every week. Specifically once we add a bench in there that we can mix and match to account because that injuries, poor matchups, taking leave weeks and whatever the hell taken place to Eddie Lacy last year.

Because, when this is a helpful exercise, it"s really some loosey-goosey math. Gurley isn"t walk to get you 15 points every week. Some weeks it"ll be 22, some it"ll be eight and everywhere in between. Gurley is a no-brainer, start-every-week man when healthy, of course, yet not anyone on your team will certainly be. So just how do you decision which football player to start every week? Well, that"s what every article and ranking during the season will be for (more foreshadowing!), but for the functions of draft day, how do we choose which football player to roster?

6. Variety of outcomes: Yearly

I discussed this in much more depth in critical year"s Manifesto, but I desire to carry it back for a refresher here. Together you prepare for your draft or auction, you require to have an opinion on every player. Friend don"t require to have actually stats or projections memorized, but just a basic sense of just how much you favor that player in to compare to other players. Also if it"s just someone"s rankings the you trust, some method to differentiate in between players together the clock ticks under on her pick.

Here"s one way that i evaluate players and also I"d favor you to think the this together well: Every solitary player ns roster needs to have a selection of outcomes that are one of two things:

1. Players v high floors throughout the course of a season.2. Players who can wind up together an elite option at a position in any kind of one provided week.

Hold that thought and let"s get earlier to what I claimed at the optimal of this:

At a basic level, fantasy football is all around minimizing risk and giving you yourself the best odds to win on a weekly basis.

That"s it.

The means we do that, that course, is by answering one simple question: What"s most likely to happen?

Every decision -- who to draft, who to start, who to pick up, whom to deal, whatever -- all comes ago to that.

It"s not difficult to figure out.

Adrian Peterson has actually scored double-digit touchdowns every season he has played more than one game. What"s most likely to occur this season?

Drew Brees has actually averaged an outstanding 19.8 fantasy points every game throughout the previous eight seasons.Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesDrew Brees has thrown for at least 4,300 yards and scored at least 33 full touchdowns in eight right seasons. What"s most most likely to occur this season?

Last season, 21 football player had much more receptions 보다 Doug Baldwin. Critical season, 43 players had much more targets 보다 Doug Baldwin. And last season, no player caught an ext touchdowns 보다 Doug Baldwin. What"s most most likely to take place this season?

It doesn"t always happen, but again, an ext often 보다 not, players come ago to the mean. Carry out I think Baldwin has actually a nice year? i do, and also my rankings reflect that. Yet do ns think Baldwin has a regression top top his total fantasy points? girlfriend bet.

It"s a very basic exercise. What"s most most likely to happen? price that concern for yourself prior to every move and also then, that course, act accordingly. Put the odds forever in your favor, Katniss, and more often than not, it"ll job-related out.

Remember: friend don"t have to be perfect. You just need come win much more often than not. Friend don"t need to beat every team. You simply need to outscore the one you play in your organization each week.

So let"s go ago to No. 1 in this section: players v high floors during the course of a season.

Too often, civilization evaluate a player only in regards to what he might do in a positive manner, the best-case script for that player. People also tend to have recency bias, meaning we think only about how the player perform in the close to past, not looking in ~ a larger body that work.

But simply as crucial as what heights a player can reach is likewise what could happen if it all drops apart. Injuries are a whole different subject, yet one of the reasons why I have actually Adrian Peterson together my No. 1 running ago is since of his floor. I"ve seen all of the stats ~ above RBs end the period of 30 (he turn 31 in March) and with excessive consumption (including playoffs, Peterson had 382 touches last season). I expect a bit of a downturn and I actually don"t mean him to finish the season as the No. 1 to run back.

But I have him in ~ No. 1 because of his high floor. Girlfriend don"t have actually to finish the season together the top RB come be precious the peak pick. I do, however, feeling he"s the safest running ago out there. Prevent injury, his most likely range of outcomes is somewhere in between RB1 and RB7. He has the the very least likely possibility of gift this year"s Eddie Lacy.

Meanwhile, David Johnson is walking fifth among RBs and in the an initial round top top Johnson had an exceptional rookie season and also I think that is a really talented to run back, however he has had a total of four -- counting "em, four -- gamings in his NFL career v double-digit carries. That"s it. That performed very well in those games, yet it"s a very little sample size, and also ask anyone who invested an early-round choose on (ahem) Montee Ball, C.J. Anderson or even Jeremy Hill critical season. Every were high draft picks based, in essence, on having actually a big half a season and none lived up to their ADP.

So ... Might the Cardinals go to a three-man committee v Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington? Or maybe defensive coordinators spent the offseason researching tape the the Seahawks in week 17 last season as soon as they organized David Johnson come 59 toothless yards on 14 touches and figure the end a means to party him up. DJ additionally had only 78 complete yards (on 21 touches) versus Green just in the playoffs, averaging just 2.3 yards per carry. In fact, including the playoffs, the Cardinals perfect the season with four games matches playoff teams. Throughout that stretch, David Johnson averaged just 3.18 yards per carry. The beat increase on a hapless philly defense that appeared to have offered up because that the year, yet the jury is still the end on him versus tougher competition. Now, I have Johnson ranked high, for this reason I"m a believer, yet I"m likewise a tiny nervous. His selection of outcomes is an extremely wide, everywhere from a top-three running ago to "this year"s Zac Stacy."

I"m no going to execute this for every player. Whatever else girlfriend read/hear/see indigenous me (and everyone else) this preseason will be about player evaluation, therefore I"m keeping this greatly to theory and strategy.

So, as lot as possible, I desire players v a high floor. And also not just a high floor because that the season, however a weekly high floor. The consistency, main in and week out, is what wins championships. Not every player is a stud, yet knowing you can count on a solid 7 points a week from someone is more valuable to me 보다 a DeSean Jackson type, who will score 12 point out one week and also then 2 the next. It"s quiet 14 point out over two weeks, but I"d rather gain the seven every week. That consistent production in ~ as plenty of roster point out as possible is what will aid you plan the remainder of your roster to figure out the best method to get to 94 point out a week.

Remember as soon as I spoke previously of having actually an opinion ~ above players? that was probably last week in terms of actual reading time. Well, I desire you to in ~ least have actually an opinion ~ above the selection of outcomes because that every player. Also if you simply take a rankings sheet and quickly go down the list making notations prefer "wide," "medium" or "small." act this practice will aid reshape how you see each player and guide you v the draft.

If you desire extra credit, I imply taking our projections, in addition to a couple of other sources, and creating a variety of projections. So when you are doing the sheet we questioned up above, when you draft, say, LeSean McCoy you can write "11-16" for a range of potential points per week he can get. And now, rather of shooting for 94 point out (or every little thing your target is), you have the right to aim for much more of a range, speak 90-100 for a week.

Now there"s a finite amount that players v a high floor and/or a starter"s level that consistency that we desire them in our lineup. For this reason if I"m no drafting high-floor guy, I"m drafting "potentially a stud in any type of one week" guy.

7. Range of outcomes: weekly

So, as you move toward the middle, and also especially later, ring of her draft or auction, I want you to stock her team totally with football player who could potentially have actually a high weekly ceiling.

Again, this is a weekly game. So, obviously, every single week you room going to look at all the players accessible to friend -- on your roster and in the free-agent swimming pool -- and decide ~ above a beginning lineup.

As apparent as the seems, that"s actually a large step the gets overlooked a many in fantasy. Because it"s no just sufficient to have a great player, you require to understand when to begin that player. In mainly 11 critical season, Spencer Ware had actually 12 touches for 101 complete yards and also two touchdowns against the Chargers, yet very few people began him that week, together Ware had received only two dead for 4 yards the main before.

In the nine gamings in i beg your pardon DeAngelo Williams to be the Steelers" primary ball carrier critical season, he average 18.4 fantasy points per game.Justin Aller/Getty ImagesCompare him come DeAngelo Williams, who was useless behind Le"Veon Bell, yet when girlfriend knew Bell was the end (first two gamings last season and Weeks 9-16) he to be a top-five fantasy running earlier and everyone started him. Ns would lot rather have actually my roster filled v a bunch of guys like Williams than someone like Theo Riddick. Riddick is a nice little PPR play, but in conventional leagues, he"s never ever going to it is in a top-five player in a week. There will certainly be a most weeks this season as soon as Riddick outscores Williams ... Choose all the weeks Bell is playing. Yet I"d quiet rather have actually a dominant, say, 5 weeks the Williams 보다 11 gamings of 5 points or for this reason from Riddick. Also if Bell"s suspension is not upheld and also he"s eligible to play every 16 games, I"d still draft Williams ahead of guys like Riddick.

So, due to the fact that I nerd out on stuff choose this, i went earlier and looked at the agreement ranks because that every offensive position for every week last season. Specifically, I want to see how countless different players we ranked as "starters" in any type of given week. Regardless of the accuracy of the ranks, the suggest is that going into any one week, the expectation was that this player was generally embraced as worthy of starting consideration.

• during the food of a 17-week season, 20 quarterbacks to be ranked in the peak 10 (starter worthy) at least once.

• There were 53 RBs ranked as a top-20 choice at least once critical season.

• There were 45 WRs ranked together a top-20 alternative at least once last season.

• Finally, there were 19 TEs ranked as a top-10 choice at the very least once last season.

• In total, 137 players to be worth putting right into the 60 beginning slots that QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE of all teams in a standard 10-team league at the very least once critical season.

It takes a village.

This is a very straightforward but an extremely important concept: not every player on your team needs to begin every week. In fact, they can"t. You simply want football player who have the right to start because that you part weeks. Some of them will be the every-week structure blocks we debated earlier, but others will certainly be simply weekly rentals.

Yes, there will certainly be the Kirk Cousinses, cutting board Rawlses and also Gary Barnidges of the civilization who will emerge, but for every Spencer Ware and also Tim Hightower there space a lot an ext Dwayne Harris, Mike Gillislee, Devin Funchess, Matt Jones, DuJuan Harris and Charles Clay types who are warm pickups one week, only to be ago on the waiver cable in a few weeks.

Here"s a crazy stat: that the 137 players who were ranked as a starter at some allude last season, approximately only 20 percent of castle were not drafted in traditional leagues. In 2014, the number to be 18 percent.

In other words, the majority of your starters this year are most likely going to come from the group of men who to be drafted/purchased in ~ auction. So, if the draft isn"t the last piece of the puzzle, it is a huge one.

In assembling your team, realize the you want players who have the potential because that a high weekly ceiling -- someone who, if the case is right, could be an elite alternative in a offered week. Speak of building your team ...

8. All around the an initial four, baby!

I"ve said before there are plenty of ways come win, and while i (mostly) don"t treatment what positions you go with in the first few rounds, ns do care that whomever you acquire is rock solid. Take into consideration this (or simply sit over there while I write it in ~ you): In the past two years, the average Fantasy team has seen 26.1 percent of its yearly points come indigenous its very first two picks in the draft. Extend it one choose further and also you"re talking about 36.4 percent, two picks further and it"s as much as 47.5 percent of your points ... 47.5 percent!

That"s nearly fifty percent your points comes from just one-fourth of her picks. (Not come brag, but I did that math in my head.)

As I"ve said frequently (possibly in ~ the start of this article. Who deserve to remember anymore? where am I? Where space my pants?), girlfriend can"t win your breeze in the first couple of rounds, but you can lose it. Never has that been more true than in today"s fantasy football landscape.

If you have to take a shortcut during your fantasy soccer research, carry out it in the later on rounds. Once you mock draft, as soon as you research, emphasis the majority of her time on the very first four rounds. It"s vital to have late-round sleepers and you"ll have actually some of her starters come native the center rounds, so no snoozing then, yet if there"s one area to emphasis on, it"s the very first four rounds. Hope you know your draft pick early enough and you can mock from that slot, considering every possible scenario.

9. What"s with all the WR-early-in-the-first-round talk?

Yeah, critical year was brutal for early on round running backs. And also many rankings have vast receivers in ~ the really top that the first round, including my friend Antonio Brown in ~ No. 1 (told friend the surname drop to be coming!). Therefore what"s the frequency, Kenneth, the said, reflecting he"s tho hip v the cool references. Is this something to consider? Is this simply an overreaction come one anomaly of a year or is this a legit consideration?

Visual evidence that i have an ext than one friend.Art StreiberIt"s legit. As well legit come quit! (Seriously, it"s no wonder I"m together a hit with the youngsters on MySpace). Anyway, i looked in ~ the RB-versus-WR thing for our Fantasy magazine, and here"s what i found:

During the past three years, broad receivers drafted inside the top 30 (the first three rounds) to be the most likely non-quarterbacks come return top-30 worth at your position.

Check that out. In 2014 and 2015, 25 to run backs were drafted in the an initial three ring of typical leagues. Just 68 percent that them perfect the year as top-30 to run backs.

However, in that same time frame, 19 vast receivers were drafted in the an initial three rounds, and 89 percent of lock finished together top-30 receivers.

One that the factors receivers repetitively return worth is that they aren"t as large of an injury threat (sorry early Jordy Nelson and Kelvin Benjamin drafters last year). During the past three years, running backs taken in the peak 30 in its entirety on have actually missed 131 full games (2.98 games a season ~ above average), and also receivers have actually missed just 43 (1.43 gamings on average).

That"s simply a bunch of numbers to tell you what friend instinctively recognize (I obtain paid by the word. Hopefully.) ... That play running ago is more hazardous come your health and wellness than large receiver.

Incidentally, critical season to be a weird anomaly, however it"s still worth noting that seven non-quarterbacks had at least seven gamings of 15 or an ext points. 6 of lock were broad receivers.

More ~ above the position:

In the previous three years, 14 different receivers have had actually at the very least two periods of 1,100 receiving yards or more. 7 of those WRs had actually back-to-back 1,100-yard periods in 2014 and also 2015. With three times as numerous 200-point receivers as running backs in 2015, the "going safe early" argument favors the wide receiver.

10. Therefore I"m going WR early and also blowing turn off RB, right? gained it.

Hold on, Sparky. To run backs -- and also running backs early -- room still a vital part that a successful draft. Much of the take-a-wide-receiver-over-a-running-back data is it was crooked by last season, when there to be an inordinate number of injuries and ... Eddie Lacy. (Bangs head against desk repeatedly. No, I"m entirely over it, why execute you ask?)

Not-so-fun fact about Eddie Lacy"s 15 gamings last season: he scored 3 or under fantasy points seven times; in the various other eight games, he score eight point out or more.Mark J. Rebilas/USA today SportsAs I pointed out what seems prefer a month back at this point, it"s a weekly game. And also stud to run backs are more likely to carry out weekly help. Every my friend FSWA room of Famer Tristan H. Cockcroft"s consistency rankings for the past three years disclose that the most regular non-QB place is, in truth ... To run back.

Counting just players who have actually played at the very least two seasons since 2013, 12 running backs have a "start" portion of at the very least 50 percent (meaning they finished the week as one of the peak 25 players at their position in a offered week at the very least 50 percent of the time). Meanwhile, only nine vast receivers deserve to say that.

If we raise the bar come 60 percent of the moment (and, come on, 60 percent shouldn"t be also tough because we space talking about the stars here), we are left with only four large receivers. Four! Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr. And also Brandon Marshall. Top top the other hand, seven running backs qualify, and that number jumps to nine if you count David Johnson and also Todd Gurley (I didn"t due to their much shorter track record).

Running backs score an ext touchdowns, and it provides sense due to the fact that they get an ext red zone touches (2.5 a game for running earlier compared with just 0.7 for vast receivers among top-30-drafted football player the previous three years). That equates to more opportunities for scoring (more touches close to the finish zone ... Who says I don"t walk in depth through the analysis?) and, ultimately, tasty fantasy points, which, currently that I check out it written, ns promise to never ever write again.

11. So currently I"m walking RB? Wait, what? I"m completely confused now. This sucks.

The answer, frankly, is either/or. The odds are much better that a very drafted vast receiver will, by the end of the season, return an ext value than a very drafted running back, however on a week-in, week-out basis, stud running backs are an ext consistent than stud wide receivers.

One of the reasons for this is it"s easier to know when a running ago will go off. Mine team of fantasy minions and also I went earlier and studied begin percentages of every the energetic leagues (so as not to litter off the data through leagues wherein teams quit playing). Critical season on average each week, there was a 51.1 percent chance that a WR the finished in the height 12 the week to be on someone"s bench. Meanwhile, a top-12 RB was no started just 42.1 percent the the time. Once you think around it, it provides a many sense. It"s less complicated to project when a running earlier is walk to obtain a decent workload than a broad receiver, also a stud. There"s much more competition for balls in ~ the pass-catching position than at running back. So as soon as deciding between a RB or WR in the early on rounds, it"s no just about the details player, how the breeze is going and also your own roster construction, but additionally how i was sure you feel in your very own weekly lineup setup abilities.

Come on now. Be ethical with yourself. I"ll start. I downloaded a bunch of Disney songs because that my children on my phone, but sometimes ns listen to them as soon as they"re no around. Hey, several of them room catchy. So sue me.

By the way, as lengthy as we space talking about running backs, we looked at all the games in i beg your pardon a running earlier had 20 or much more touches. Eight groups alone (Vikings, Falcons, Steelers, Bears, Bills, Bucs, Panthers and Rams) merged for 40.5 percent the the 20-touch gamings from RBs. You desire to recognize which handcuffs are worth getting to for? over there you go. Qualified running backs in run-heavy schemes are worth picking even if friend don"t have actually the starter, as they are just one injury far from being taken into consideration a for sure weekly play.

12. Room we at quarterback yet? seriously dude, I just qualified because that social security. This is taking forever.

What have the right to I say? I"m wait on quarterback this year, also in analysis. I"ve been playing fantasy football for practically three decades and also never have I gone into a season v the QB place as deep together it is this year. Together we keep talking about building a team to complete on a weekly basis, upstream QB manufacturing is the easiest to find on the waiver wire during the course of a season.

Fun fact: There room 32 groups in the NFL, and last year there were 32 quarterbacks that posted a top-five fantasy performance throughout a week.

Fun reality 2: Going back to those begin percentages, 33.3 percent of every the top-five QB performances last season came from a player owned in less than 50 percent of active leagues the week. Virtually a 3rd of every top-five performances to be on the wire in a bulk of leagues. For comparison come the "studs," the QBs that were owned in at the very least 95 percent the leagues that week? lock accounted for 31.1 percent of the top-five performances. Yep. On any type of given week, it was actually much more likely the a top-five quarterback to be in free agency than basically universally owned.

To provide one more example, i looked in ~ the top 5 quarterbacks in each of the following segments: weeks 1-4, main 5-8, weeks 9-12 and Weeks 13-17. That"s 4 segments of five quarterbacks, an interpretation there room 20 "spots" to be claimed. You"d mean the upstream to occupy most of them, no? The elite class was represented, yet so to be the middle class and the reduced class. Every in all, 14 quarterbacks make this list. Fourteen. That"s 44 percent the the beginning QBs in the NFL. If you"re curious, here"s the list: Aaron Rodgers, Andy Dalton, electronic came Newton, Tyrod Taylor, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, attracted Brees, Carson Palmer, Eli Manning, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Russell Wilson, Marcus Mariota, Kirk Cousins and Blake Bortles.

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You never want to placed too lot stock into any type of one year, yet as teams proceed to pass much more and much more -- critical year there were 18,298 full pass attempts, the most in NFL background -- and the reality there room so plenty of talented QBs in fantasy-friendly offenses ... I will not it is in the an initial person to breeze a QB in any type of of my leagues this year.

If you breeze Tom Brady, there are plenty of quality choices at quarterback to rotate to while you wait because that Week 5 to get here.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images12a. The Gronk You tourism continues

Tom Brady is a really viable QB to breeze this year and I am not worried about the four-game suspension. Among my favorite QBs to pair through Brady room (with their very first four gamings in parentheses):