Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Friday League: The Team Team

The Team Team
Have you ever wondered if you would benefit from devoting your draft to acquiring all the skill players on an elite NFL offense?  If you draft a quarterback, two or three wide receivers, a tight end, a running back, and a kicker from one offense, you're essentially getting all the fantasy points scored by an elite NFL offense.  Probably, you're not going to have two running backs from that team: you'll have to get another running back from another team.  Of course that only helps you, because you're hopefully adding another elite scorer that can add more to your score than a team's #2 RB.


So this week's theme team, "The Team Team," is devoted to acquiring all the star performers from one elite NFL offense.  In assembling a Team Team, we're not looking for the best offense in the league.  We're not even looking for the most productive fantasy offense in the league.  We're looking for a team with so much depth and breadth that you can fill in all your key starter positions.  In most cases, we'd look to another team for a #2 RB.  But this year there is one team where you might be able to fill out a full Team Team starting lineup and feel good about it.

The 2011 New Orleans Saints were #2 in scoring offense and #1 in yardage offense.  And they've got the depth and breadth to fill out a roster:

QB: Drew Brees

RB: Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram

WR: Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Devery Henderson

TE: Jimmy Graham

Analysis: I don't think this is a good idea, of course.  You're not maximizing your potential score by getting top scorers from a variety of teams.  You are setting yourself up for disaster if something bad happens to the team you've chosen (hell, you're setting yourself up for disaster if they have a bad week or two).  You'd be using a gimmick instead of building a championship team.

But look: it's expensive to draft a 300 touch, feature running back.  If you can get a timeshare backfield, you're probably getting it pretty affordably, and you can use your resources at other positions.  In this case, you might end up with the #1 fantasy QB and the #1 fantasy TE (that puts up WR numbers).  You'll also get all the pass catchers that benefit from the #1 fantasy QB, meaning you are doubling up your passing/receiving numbers from the #1 fantasy QB.  And you're getting any rushing yards and rushing touchdowns from the team.

The weakest position with this Team Team isn't even RB (both Sproles and Ingram are legitimate starting options this year): it's WR.  After Baby Colston, you're not getting superstar production.  If you're sticking with the Team Team hardcore, you're willing to go thin at WR knowing that over the course of the season your #2 and #3 receivers are going to get theirs spread out (assuming Devery Henderson picks up Robert Meachem's production, your #2/3 WRs can combine for 1,200-1,400 yards and 12-16 TDs), and you're getting a TE that is basically a WR.  That's not great--unless you're playing a deep league.

If you play in a 14 team league, you're probably choosing a lousy #2 RB and #2/#3 WR anyway.  In such a deeper league, the Team Team might actually be worth attempting.  In a league like that, I like to play it safe and get an elite QB (much more reliable, much less injury prone, a good first round pick) and then try get both parts of a timeshare RB.  You're playing thin competition: if you can cheaply get, say, Sproles and Ingram, that becomes a reasonable starting backfield.  And in a deeper league, you might be starting the likes of Lance Moore anyway.

So in a 14 team league, do you think you could win a title with this Team Team?

Previous Theme Teams
The Return from Injury Team
The Sophomore Studs Team

Kinky Fantasy League Rule: Team Kicker
(here's another summer gimmick: I'll share some realistic but kinky fantasy league rules for your consideration).

Nobody really likes having to draft a kicker in fantasy football; hell, I don't even like learning the kickers' names.  Every fantasy expert tells you to draft a kicker in the last round.  It's both important and really doesn't matter.

But here's a kinky fantasy league rule regarding kickers that I like: the Team Kicker rule.  Essentially, when you draft a (real) team's kicker, you have rights to every kicker on that team's roster and any kicker that team signs throughout the year.  You still have to pay attention to kickers, but you don't have to worry about kicker injuries or cuts (especially useful if your league limits free agent pickups).

To use a team kicker rule on a web league, the commissioner just needs to set the allowed roster on the website larger than the actual allowed roster of the league.  Then if a team has two kickers on its roster, or has signed another kicker while its starting kicker is injured, or whatever, you can stash the additional kicker on the roster without the additional kicker actually taking up a roster spot.  The "team kicker" is itself one roster spot, like a team defense.  You can monitor the rosters to make sure nobody is using the extra roster spots for other purposes yourself.  You can decide whether a) you still only allow one kicker in the starting lineup, or b) you allow two starting kicker spots, but only let a manager start multiple kickers from the same NFL team.

Arian Foster goes vegan
(NFL.com, Foster's Twitter Account, Mercy for Animals)

I think we're going to see stories about professional athletes trying a vegan diet a bit more regularly (well maybe not regularly regularly, but it's not uncommon in the websites I frequent), because veganism is becoming more mainstream (well not mainstream mainstream, but more known of and more accepted), and because professional athletes care greatly about the health of their bodies, a vegan diet can be extraordinarily healthful, and some athletes will at least want to try it.

Arian Foster is also a poet.  So he's got that going for him too.

(also, you would have to pay me $50 cash to listen to Hugh Douglas, Stephen A. Smith, and Skip Bayless discuss whether Foster's decision is a good idea).

Adrian Peterson
Is Adrian Peterson starting to concern you (City Pages, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, Star Tribune, Sports Illustrated)?  I don't know.  In conflicts, there is a lot of subjectivity in how people respond or react to others: one party reacts without knowing the other party's intentions or motivations, and that reaction itself gets reacted to, and situations can escalate unnecessarily without either party feeling responsible.  There's also a lot of subjectivity in understanding what occurred and why, but those with the power tend to get to define objectively what occurred, even when they are subjective participants.  I don't know what happened, but I suspect a minor conflict got escalated when two parties weren't sure what the other was really up to.

Kick Ass Links
On making professional sports teams and their stadiums more environmentally friendly (Salon).

Chris Carr (Pioneer Press).

Kevin Love nominated to make the Olympic team (Timberwolves.com).

How did you enjoy the Darko era? (Pro Basketball Talk).

5 comments:

  1. I kind of like the idea of a team team, but I think it's more because of the benefit of getting double points for passing/receiving TDs and therefore RBs are easily ignorable for me.

    For example, I'm targeting Brady or Stafford in the 1st or 2nd round of my snake drafts this year, and those QBs greatly affect who I take later. If I land Brady in a mock, I target Gronk in rd 2 and Brandon Lloyd later. Welker is a bonus, but I'm not crushed if I don't get him. I like other WRs better near his ADP, but I feel that Brady, Gronk and Lloyd are good values at their respective ADPs.

    Likewise, if Brady is gone in rd1 but Calvin Johnson is on the board, I take him and target Stafford, Pettigrew and Titus Young later on.

    of course, I adapt to each draft as it comes to me - taking an elite over Brady or CJ in rd 1 if that's what my projections say to do.

    I am staying away from the NE and DET backfields altogether, though.

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  2. That's true: if you go halfway on a Team Team, you can also devote your resources to getting two starting RBs from other teams and really maximize your points. If you pick the right team, you'll still get passing points consistently, but have the breakout potential at RBs too. And it seems doable.

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  3. hey PV, was it you that was writing about the unfairness of head-to-head fantasy leagues in that you could be the 2nd best team one week and still go 0-1?

    If so, I've got a questions for ya. I looked to see if I could set up a league where every team plays every other team each week and I couldn't make it happen on one very popular hosting site. Any recommendations on good, easy-to-use (and free!) sites that will host a league like this?

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  4. Peter:

    That is me that writes about that a lot.

    In my league that uses what we call Cross Country Scoring (everybody plays everybody each week, highest score goes 9-0, second highest score goes 8-1, etc.), we use Yahoo! for the scoring, lineups, transactions, and basically everything else. However, I do the weekly and cumulative standings manually. We set up a blog to post the standings and other things, but you could also do it right on the Yahoo! message board, or just email them. It takes me about 10 minutes every Monday night.

    I don't know of any web sites that will do it for you. I know a few years ago the Fanball fantasy mag had an article about a similar scoring system, and I think there was a web site then that did this; however, I don't know much about what's happened to Fanball since (no mag anymore).

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  5. Good to know! I'm glad I won't be wasting any time looking for the site with those settings. Thanks!

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