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Schwamm Sez: Basics (3)

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For reference, previous Shwamm Sez posts can be found here:


Intro:  Introduction

Basics (1):  Know and Understand Your League's Scoring

Basics (2): Know Your Opponents


For the next topic of discussion, let's dig into...




Don’t be that owner who drafts a player who was just cut or just blew out their knee.  Don’t be the schmo who gets suckered into a trade for a player who has retired or has been suspended for half a season by the league.


I played this game at a time when it was much harder to stay on top of all the information, but you don’t have any excuse now.  There are a ton of websites and phone apps available to allow you to stay up-to-the-minute, and many are free.  Find them and use them.  I don’t intend to share my favorites… find your own.


I also think it is useful to look at player rankings available on a variety of different websites, but I usually look at them as guidelines only.  Too often, the people creating the rankings are under-informed, extremely biased towards a particular team, conference, or region, or are working exclusively from previous production/stats. 


When you prepare for the draft, don’t imagine that knowing a few things about the top 50 or so players is going to do the trick.  Analysts who post top 50 Big Boards are wasting my time, in my opinion, and I generally avoid them.


As I saw John Dee indicate in another thread, typically it is rounds 5 on that make the difference between a winning team and a losing one.  I completely agree.  You ought to have information between your ears (or at least someplace you can access quickly) on about the top 200 players at a minimum.  I would typically look at more like the top 300.  ish.


For me, that information includes name, position, team, age, years in the league, bye week, who his coach is, who his positional coach is, how their coaching may impact the player’s production, how recent team changes may impact his performance, where he is on the depth chart, odds that might change, who he’s playing, how he’s fared against those teams in the past, etc..   


As you probably already know, national media just never seems to really know what is going on, especially with the smaller market teams, so I’ve tracked down who the local people are, and try to follow what they say about their team.  I have also tracked other teams forums, but have had trouble on occasion determining who is informed and who is a blowhard, so I haven’t gone that route as often in recent years. I’m not suggesting you need to quit your job and take FF research on full time, but I always aimed to make informed decisions during the draft where others might be throwing darts.


Besides, from my experience, nothing quite intimidates FF opponents like somebody asking “who the heck is Ace Sanders” late in a draft, and being the only one in the room able to instantly rattle off his info like it’s your social security number.


Once I have all the data collected (an ongoing process, and never really “done”), I like to look at stacking things in many different ways.  I’ll typically keep track of 10+ websites, and how they rank players.  I then maintain my own ranking for each position, a big board, an ADP board, rankings based on weather and strength of schedule implications, lists of guys nearing the cliff or their breakout years, and lists of guys likely to exceed expectations (as defined by the media) and guys likely to fall short.  I’ll get into more details on stacking information in a future post.



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