As you read this, you are being bombarded with mental input on what to do with your fantasy football teams. Drop Luck. Trade to get Luck. Trade Adrian Peterson high. Buy Fitzpatrick. Dump Cousins. Bench Phillip Lindsay. Cut all 49ers players. And the list goes on and on.
In fantasy football, everyone claims to be an expert. Most are pretenders. The best experts, the real ones, will admit they are human and make mistakes. They are not always right. What they are though is consistent, my colleague Bob Lung’s favorite words. They apply the knowledge that they have gained about fantasy football to make fantasy football decisions.
When we make a mistake, we are crushed. Our self-confidence is shaken. We need someone to say it is alright. Everything will work out. We need someone to remind us that we are human. We are all influenced by a spiritual AI entity. I have named it Algo Rhythm.
Algo Rhythm was born to analyze baseball in the late 1970s and the father was Bill James. Sabermetrics was greeted by skepticism and has grown to be the law of the land. Now analytics as they call it has spread to other sports, including football. The problem is that people listen to Algo and in many cases, no longer think on their own.
We need to revive and stimulate our own creativity and ability to make decisions confidently. Algo can be a good friend, but only as a source of input to our own knowledge bases. We need to go back in time and rekindle our own analytical abilities. Otherwise, before you know it, you’ll be saying, “Alexa, check with Algo and submit my fantasy football lineup.” C’mon, that is even more lame than joining a weak league just to feel like a winner.
Let’s start off by talking about the flex position. We look at our lineups and fill in most of the slots pretty easily. In a 10-player lineup, there are 7-8 gimmies. By the time we get down to our flex player, we are just happy to have someone to put in that last slot. But, what the heck, that’s what everyone does anyway, right? Why just accept mediocrity? With minimal effort you can expand your usable players.
First, what is the best position to use as a flex player? Certainly not a TE. There is no way a TE 13 or lower is going to score enough points. If you have two Top 5 TE’s, one could be a decent flex choice, but that is uncommon.
Looking at RBs, we have a similar problem. Assuming that the Top 24 of them are already starters, RB25s and lower usually lack the scoring potential to be good flex options. Usually 3rd down RBs and a handful of others are good, but are in short supply.
WRs however give us a pretty bountiful supply of flex alternatives. While a RB typically catches less passes and gains yards rushing and by scoring TDs, WRs catch passes, gain yards and score TDs, Thus the odds of WR37s and lower scoring better in the flex position, than either RB25s or TE 13s.
Here are some strong flex player options to consider. I have included their three-week scoring by week and in total, along with their weekly averages.
- RB Javorius Allen, BAL 14-15-18 47 16
- RB Kerryon Johnson, DET 7-12-13 32 11
- RB Nyheim Hines, IND 12-8-9 29 10
- WR Cooper Kupp, LAR 18-12-17 47 16
- WR Nelson Agholor, PHI 14-23-6 43 14
- WR Calvin Ridley, ATL 0-17-41 58 19
- WR Geronimo Allison, GB 18-12-16 46 15
- WR Keelen Cole, Jac 8-25-9 42 14
- WR Jakeem Grant, MIA 15-5-21 41 14
Ok, you got the idea now? Yes, there are a few low games, but for the overwhelming majority, these points could be difference-makers. In week 2, I both won a game and lost a game by less than one single point. A sound flex player can make you a winner, rather than a loser, more times than not. Even Algo would give it a thumbs up.
There is another way to give yourself an edge. When we look at our players’ opponents, which teams give up the most, or least fantasy points, in total and by position. I wish there was a way to find out. Good news—there is!
For those that use MyFantasyLeague.com, look under league reports and click on the Points Allowed-By Position option.
There you will find how teams give up fantasy points, both by position and overall. By using this data, here are some things you will learn is that after Week 3:
- The stingiest defenses are the Rams, Ravens, Jaguars, Redskins and surprisingly, the Cowboys.
- The most-friendly defenses, yielding the most fantasy points are the Chiefs, Buccaneers, Saints, Seahawks and 49ers.
- When you look at the 32-teams as a whole, there is a huge per game fantasy points given up average between the Chiefs and the Rams.
- The teams currently giving up the highest points to team defenses are the Cardinals, Vikings and Lions.
- On the other end of the spectrum, the teams hardest to get defensive points against are the Chiefs, Panthers and Ravens.
- We can see that the Saints, Bears, Eagles and Pittsburgh are the toughest teams on yielding fantasy points to RBs.
Thus, this can be a handy tool to have at your fingertips. Follow the link above and check it out. It is from the FanEx Experts League which uses a representative PPR scoring system. I use the FanEx stats from MFL as a reference frequently.
In chess, the key to winning is to be a step or two ahead of your opponent. The same is true in fantasy football. With the availability of so much information, we can scan depth charts and see who the next players to come onto the fantasy scene may be.
In researching this, I went to my favorite depth chart, the one kept very current by Bob Henry at Football Guys.
Here are some names to put on a watch list. They may or may not develop, but being at least aware of them gives you a needed edge over those who have never heard of them.
- QB Lamar Jackson, BAL
- RB Marcus Murphy, BUF
- RB Nyheim Hines, IND
- RB Rashaad Penny, SEA
- RB Ronald Jones II, TB
- RB Ryan Nall, CHI (Practice Squad)
- WR Chad Williams, ARI
- WR Javon Wim, CHI
- WR Tajae Sharp, TEN
- WR Taywan Taylor, TEN
- WR Jaron Brown, SEA
- J. Uzomah, CIN
Just remember, Algo Rhythm is by no means all bad. Just remember that he is another tool to improve your knowledge of fantasy football. Keep control and be decisive about your fantasy teams. Seek advice and make your own decisions. Accept responsibility for your own teams\ success, or failure. Our journey through life is full of decisions, with both positive and negative results. The pride you feel when you outplay your opponents is priceless. Keep your eyes on the prize at all times, both in your fantasy world as well as in reality.
Week 4 is here. Time to kick some ass!
We are now starting to move smoothly through the 2018 season. All of us at Big Guy Fantasy Sports are intent on helping you become the champions you want to be. With our poignant articles and being the home base for the consistency theory, a sound, mathematically-based alternative to ADP, we will be with you for the 2018 season in its entirety. What happens then? That my friends, is easy. We start over and do it all again in 2019!
Good luck! Have fun!