Nease’s Insights—Creating A Winning Lineup Edge

Week 1 is fast approaching. Either your roster is filled, or your draft is about to happen. You want to get an edge on your opponents and you are stumped. What can I do, you say?

These last couple of weeks before the season starts, many owners sit back and just bide their time. In their minds, they are all set. They have a heaven-sent roster and no worries.

If your league is managed on (MFL), you may have noticed a power-rankings report they generate. On the right-hand side is a cumulative, play-all, won-lost record. Most people focus on that. However, the important stat is in plain sight on the left-side of the report.  Look at a column headed EFF.

That is one of the most valuable statistics you can find. When you set your lineup and score points, this statistic tells you what percentage of your potential points you have garnered. In this 2017 report, from the FanEx Experts’ League you will see that most experts leave up to about 30% of the possible points on the bench. Yes, I said on the bench!

Note that the top teams in each conference are rated at about 80%-85%. Where would you rank? Even they are losing 15%-20% of their possible points each week. How efficient are your lineups? We are going to discuss the nuts and bolts of how to try to improve your lineup efficiency.

Back in my three-part draft series, one of the main premises I espoused was a very basic point—draft a roster from which you can select a lineup each week that can score enough points to win That seems pretty simple and very obvious, but it is harder to accomplish than most people imagine.

We tend to concentrate on getting the best 4-5 top players we can. That leaves another 10-15 players that we tend to de-emphasize. We must, absolutely must, be able to fill our entire lineup from QB to DST with solid players in each lineup slot and have some capable backups left over. Yes, we have the waiver wire, but keep in mind that every owner in your league are vying for the top free agents too.

Your QB2 must be capable of stepping up and replacing your QB1. You have to have three solid RBs that you can interchange if you have to. At WR, you should be four-deep so you always have three that can play. You need to have a TE2 that can come in and at least do a reasonable job. Of course. A wise owner only keeps one PK and a single DST on their roster.

One feature that MFL, and probably other playing platforms have, are projected player points. This is one aspect of their lineup setting option that I do not like. Why? I cannot and refuse to rely on something so nebulous as fantasy scoring that is being projected by a half-baked proprietary algorithm. If the projections have any validity at all, why are everyone’s efficiency ratios so low? We must train our minds to ignore them. That’s right! Don’t even allow your eyes to focus on them.

This may sound like a Jedi mind game, but what I want you to do now is make up a sheet of paper, or use Excel if you wish, and list all your players. Note things like opponent matchups, home or road game, injury status and any other pertinent information you may have on your players. Then add their fantasy points to your analysis, both over the last three games, as well as for the season-to-date.

One last thing you can analyze is a report on MFL that tells you how many average fantasy points every team defense yields on each position—QB, RB, WR, TE, PK, DST—over the course of the season. Here is the 2017 report based on the FanEx Experts’ League.

When you have everything compiled, choose who you want for all of your lineup slots. Some of them are obvious—you always start a stud. Period! Once you get past those 3-4 guys, use the last three weeks stats as the next factor to consider. As the next criterion, use season-to-date scoring. As a final tie-breaker, use the fantasy points allowed report if you have access to it.

Keep in mind that there are an unbelievably large number of rankings and projections out there. If any of them were incredibly accurate, that resource would brag about their success and everyone would be using it. Do you know who that #1 resource is? No, because most of them give you the same namby-pamby crap. The Top 25 at each position are pretty close in most rankings, but when you get to the depth players, all you see are jumbled cheat sheets with mid to lower tier players ranked all over the place. How does that help you? The more you dig, the deeper your level of confusion gets. The only rankings that make sense to me are those based on a sound, mathematical basis. Consistency is the key to winning. There are plenty of free articles on that subject on our website.  

When you play a game, you must own the results that your decisions bring you. If you golf, you don’t have a surrogate play for you. When they shoot three under par, would you feel right going home and bragging about it? Of course not.

You would rather shoot an 85 yourself and brag about that. Well, your lineup should be the same way. Knowledge, as I keep preaching, is the key to winning in this game. Compile all the facts you can on an ongoing basis and generate an informed, decisive lineup every week. You will not win every game. You may not win many championships. However, your odds of success will be greater.

In the end, when you win that championship, you will savor it all that much more, knowing how you not only won, but how you out-smarted all the other owners in your league. Winning some $$ are great, but those bragging rights are priceless baby!

I can’t wait for Week 1 to start. Let’s all work together to have our best teams ever and win some championships.

The start of the 2018 season is almost upon us. Buckle up for the journey. My colleagues and I at Big Guy Fantasy Sports are intent on helping you become the champion 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!

Over the years many readers have contacted me personally for fantasy football questions throughout the year. I look forward to helping you in your quest to win championships this year. You can contact me by email with any questions you may have on fantasy football generally, or on consistency specifically, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., follow me on Twitter @mikeinsights, or join me as a member of Couch Tomatoes, my fantasy football discussion group on Facebook.

Good luck! Have fun!

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Every week Bob Lung and Ron Rigney of Big Guy Fantasy Sports tell you how Consistency can help you win in Fantasy Football!

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