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   My "Minimal WR" Strategy  (Exceedingly Long)
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Drugrunner
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My "Minimal WR" Strategy  (Exceedingly Long)
« on: Sep 4th, 2002, 9:48pm »
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What you are about to read (If you can make it through this thread)   are my thoughts on how to build a championship FF Team.  I would incourage you to work through it, as I promise it will be worth it.
 
A number of the comments in it are dated now, so please don't take everything at face value when it comes to player's opertunities.  For example, I tout Ben Gay in this Article, but he no longer has any Fantasy Value at all after being cut by the Colts.
 
So read it for a philosophy, and not necessarily players.
 
I would be happy to answer any and all questions anyone has.
« Last Edit: Sep 4th, 2002, 11:10pm by Drugrunner » Logged

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Re: My "Minimal WR" Strategy  (Exceedingly Long)
« Reply #1 on: Sep 4th, 2002, 9:50pm »
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The “Minimal WR” Fantasy Football Strategy by Drugrunner
 
All of my work and thoughts on Fantasy Football is geared and directed towards the Dynasty League Owner, although the thoughts involved can be used and executed by all types of Leagues.
 
The basic Premise of the “Minimal WR” Strategy is to forget WRs and TEs.  Wideouts are a dime a dozen, every year a new super group of wideouts comes out, and people waste roster space grabbing them and sitting on them for two - three years letting them grow and develop, if they even ever do. I myself sat on the next superstar WR of the NFL named Hart Lee Dykes for about 3 years. In the league you play in, does the guy that drafted Terrel Owens still have him? Not in mine, infact, I passed on picking him up when he was available as a free agent. But the guy that Drafted JJ Stokes high in the first round of Rookie draft still has him, still waiting for the guy to develop, unable to get any value out of him. I am sure your league is the similar. It takes too long to develop a WR, let someone else strike that mythical lightening of getting the next Randy Moss. It's never going to happen. Moss was highly touted, and drafted in the first round of the Rookie draft in every Dynasty league in existence. Never once has a virtual unknown WR come out his Rookie year, and performed at a high level. Never once.  
 
You aren't going to believe me, and that's fine, work with this for a year or two, and see that I am right before you just follow blindly, there is knowledge to be gained from attempting to hold WRs. I am saying that it is a total waste to hold guys like Josh Reed or Javon Walker on your Roster unless you are positive that they have won a starting job. Otherwise, you are wasting a Roster spot. Realistically, who is going to score more this year? Josh Reed and Javon Walker or say Dyson and Hilliard? Dyson and Hilliard are going to crush thier numbers, and you can get Dyson and Hilliard for basically the same Draft picks/Trade value. In Dynasty, there are tons of Owners that overlook a guy like Dyson, to go nuts for the Josh Reeds of the game, let them have Reed, while you take Dyson for the same basic cost. Let some other guy sit on Josh Reed for 2-3 years, wasting the roster spot, hoping that the guy pays off, and then in 3 years from now, what is the most likely result? History shows us that the most likely result is that if Reed does well, he will produce about like Hilliard does, and you can have Hilliard right now for maybe even less that it would cost to get Reed. Owners are just nuts chasing WRs. Young WRs are always way too expensive.  
 
How about the guy in your League that got Koren Robinson last year? What did he pay, or what draft selection did he waste? A top 8 pick in a Dynasty Rookie draft, I'm sure of it. Now, what does he get to do for wasting a Top 8 pick on a WR? He sat on him all last year, and if he started him, you got to hope it was on the one single week Robinson scored. This year, the guy will sit on him as well, and maybe get 8 TDs. That would be pretty high with Dilfer in there, much less Hasselbust. So, now we are two years in, and we have 8 TDs, and maybe 4 games that you could have actually started Koren because of the Matchup to show for it. On to year three, Now, let's say that Koren actually makes it in the league. About half of the "Super" WRs from any given year don't even make it. So, 50% of the time, you just got nothing at all to show for wasting a roster spot for two years. But lets say Koren makes it. In year 3, he scores Double digits, say 10 TDs, which is pretty damn good for any WR, and I am sure that if we go by the averages of all incoming WRs, the number I just randomly assigned to Koren are way over the top, but lets use a best case scenario.
 
What did you waste Roster wise to get those 10 TDs? Atleast two years of a position where you could have picked up a Dominic Rhodes, or some other player that could actually help you.  
 
I won't even go into what if you had used that top 8 pick on Lamont Jordan or Kevin Barlow instead of Koren Robinson.  
 
That's pretty realistic for what to expect for Koren Robinson. Now, some questions: Korin is/was very highly touted. How many of this years WRs are/were more touted than Korin Robinson? Certainly not Josh Reed or Javon Walker. How many of this years WRs are in a better position team and starting job wise than Koren Robinson? Certainly not Josh Reed or Javon Walker.
 
Let guys like Josh Reed or Javon Walker sit on some other shmo’s roster for 2-3 years, let them develop into Kevin Dyson's, which if you look at what their odds are given historical Data of all incoming Rookie WRs, would be pretty damn good, and then trade a Rookie Draft 1st rounder to acquire them after they have developed. You would have just wasted that 1st rounder on a WR that has to sit on your roster for 2-3 years most likely anyway.  
 
When it comes to your Roster configuration needs, you want and need 3 WRs total. 4 at the absolute most. Any more than 4 WRs in a league where you start 2 is just foolish over kill. If you start 3 WRs, you want 4 on your roster, 5 at the very most. Just make sure to not have major Bye Week issues, hopefully, none at all.  
 
Have as Few WRs as humanly possible, and never waste the years it takes to develop your own, trade for them, or pick up hot free agents.  
 
Use those Roster spots you used to waste on RBs and QBs. Pick up every young possible Future starter you can at QB. They actually will produce right away if given the starting job. So you have 5 starting QBs on your roster, do you think that can help you? Absolutely! Trade 1-2 of them for WRs or upgrades at WR after someone else wasted all the time of sitting on them for a few years.  
 
Take all that extra Roster room, and Pick up the Back ups to every stud RB in the league. Certainly get Robert Holcombe who will be the Starter for Tennessee this year if/when Eddie George has problems. It will be Robert Holcombe and Not Skip Hicks this year BTW.  
 
It's too late for me to recall the RB that New Orleans just brought in to back up McCallister right now, but that guy is worth to much more on your roster this year that Josh Reed could ever possibly be to you. McCallister goes down, and most likely he will, and you now have a starting RB. Any starting RB in the League is more valuable to you over a Rookie WR that you honestly won't start for any reason for another year or two.  
 
Think about it, is there really anyway at all that you are going to put Josh Reed into your starting Lineup even once this year? How bad will your season have to have gotten for that to happen?
 
The biggest point from that "Hold as very few WRs as possible, and never hold a Young WR" tirade from above is this:  
 
Whether you hold Young/Backup RBs, Young/Backup QBs, or Young WRs, you are going to waste a Roster spot this year.  
 
That's a given. The payoff from the QBs and RBs is far better. It is actually possible that you will use the QBs and RBs this year, BUT you will NEVER use the WRs this year.  
 
2 years down the road, the QBs and RBs if they develop are always going to be more valuable at the time than the WR if he develops. What's more Valuable right now? Tom Brady or David Terrell. Brady, and I am using a QB that was totally unknown at this time last year, and comparing him to the absolute top Young WR from this time last year.  
 
QBs and RBs are always more valuable than WRs in the developmental game, let some other unsuspecting owner develop the WRs for you, while you get twice the value out of the RBs and QBs, and then just trade some guy that has tons of value right now that you picked up for absolutely nothing last year for the WR that you want that another Owner sat on for years.  
 
I'd sure like to be the guy that wasn't wasting roster space on a WR that wouldn't possibly get into my starting Lineup last year and probably not even this year, to have been able to pick up Rhodes a few weeks before Edge went down because he had lots of space to do so.
 
Now that that is out of the way, there are two positions you should be directing your time and energy into. QB and RB. These are the positions where a deep sleeper can and will emerge. Just last year, Dominic Rhodes lead many a Fantasy Superbowl Squad to a nice run of wins projecting them to the championship. That is the player you want to find. Even in the deepest leagues last year, most likely no one bothered to hold Rhodes on his or her Roster behind Iron man Edge.  
 
In a deep Dynasty League this season, Rhodes is most certainly on a Roster. The current flavors of the season are also gone. In my League, I picked up Jamel White almost two years ago looking for deep Sleepers and held him since. Your league is probably the same. The guys that all the experts are talking about right now are long gone. Even guys like Brandon Bennett, now that we have all heard about the minor injury to Dillon, are gone.  
 
The only thing out there are guys that no normal Fantasy League Owner would think twice about. It's finding those players, and watching them become starters that Dynasty Owners revel in. Finding the next Warner or Tom Brady before the rest of the world has even heard of them. That's what we do
 
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Re: My "Minimal WR" Strategy  (Exceedingly Long)
« Reply #2 on: Sep 4th, 2002, 9:51pm »
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On to the next step of the strategy to use when looking for Sleepers that goes hand in hand with limiting the number of WRs on your team, and never acquiring Young WRs.  
 
If you don't understand the concept that I preach of never having Young WRs, and to only have the Minimum amount of WRs you possible can, please reread this thread, as it is all laid out up above.  
 
Now, on to how to use those newly freed Roster spots the best.  
 
What you are looking for is exclusively QBs and RBs, up above in this thread is the reasons why, so just scroll up and take a look if that seems unusual to you and doesn't make sense. All my arguments for this are within this thread before this post.  
 
The key is not just take any QB and RB out there, but to target the ones that actually are going to help you This year, and hopefully (If you are doing everything right)in the future. In this pattern of thought, you have already accepted that you are going to be using Roster spots that are most likely a waste this year. Before, you used those spots to hold WRs that you were never going to put into your starting Line up EVER, so you were already wasting roster spots.
 
You are still going to waste roster spots. That can't be helped unless you are in a two team league. There is just no way that every roster spot you have is going to be held by a stud player that you might actually start. If that is the case, Stop reading anything I have to say, as you are the undisputed God of Fantasy Football already. Enjoy that Championship Trophy.  
 
But seriously, you are still wasting Roster spots, only now, you are wasting them in a more sound and logical manner. Holding currently non Starting QBs and RBs that have a much higher than average possibility to get on the field this year is going to pay off more than you would think. I'm not a math guy, so there isn't going to be any number crunching to prove what I'm saying. I am however a trends guy, and I have been known to overload you with repeated occurrences that happen alot, and then logic on how to take advantage of it.  
 
QBs you are looking for:  
 
You are looking for Value now. (Most, infact, basically everything I say is geared to Dynasty Owners, so I will get into alot of the future as well) Over the years, Top starters always go down, and some back up comes in to replace them and puts up great numbers.  
 
I can go on and on with examples of this in Brad Johnson in Minn, Jeff George in Minn, Todd Bouman in Minn, Warner in St Louis, Jeff Garcia in SF, the list goes on and on, it happens ever year.  
 
Here are two examples that I have struck lightening on. One is Tom Brady last year As it is still fresh in your minds about him, no need to get into it. The other huge payoff that I consider the best of my personal examples is when Warren Moon was playing for the Oilers, and putting up 30 TDs a year. It was back in the early 90's, and that season I had 3 roster spots devoted to the backups of the top QBs. I picked up all three guys for free off waivers, take a look at who they were. I had Marino's backup, can't remember who? Montana's Back up, some guy named Steve Young from the USFL that failed in Tampa, and Commander Cody Carlson behind Warren Moon in Houston. That season Moon went down, Carlson came in and had a great year. Remember the season when the Bills were down in the playoffs 35-3 to the Oilers, and K-Gun Kelly brought them back to win? It was that season, and Carlson was the QB for the Oilers replacing an injured Moon. Now, that season, I finished out the year starting Carlson, and made the playoffs. In the off season, I traded Carlson away to the team that had Moon for 2 future 1st round Rookie draft selections.
 
Now tell me that didn't pay off. Taking the backup to starters that could go down in High Powered Offenses is an excellent way to use those roster spots. You were going to waste them on a WR that would never play in your Line up. How different is it to waste them on a QB that will never play? Only difference is that the QB if he does play, and he actually has a chance to be in your Starting Line up unlike the WR.  
 
That Commander Cody Carlson pick up when he was behind Moon running the Run and Shoot Offense was Huge. The other QBs I picked up that year? The guy on the Phins I just cut, can't even remember his name, he was a total waste of a spot to me all year that never paid off. It happens. But I also held the Niner backup QB that season, and two years later, Steve Young took me to a Dynasty Fantasy Title in 1994. I would have never had the chance to have Commander Carlson take me to the playoffs, or win a Superbowl with Steve Young if I hadn't used the concept of taking Back up QBs in high powered Offenses. I might have had two or three WRs that I never started instead.  
 
QBs young or Old that are sitting behind great starters in great systems, that could go down, they don't even have to be good QBs
 
Guys that you want to look at in exactly the same situations this year  
 
Jamie Martin, (Although Martin just injured himself, and is out for the preseason, so don't do it yet). Now Martin is actually a pretty bad QB, and will never be much more than a journeyman in the NFL. Doesn't matter. Whoever is the back up to Kurt Warner is a player you should target. Remember that Martin is out for the Preseason, but all the other Backups suck as well, so he should retain the job. Watch this closely and see how it shakes out.  
 
Tim Rattay. I have just been informed by Rustydawg in another post that the long term prospects for Tim are not as rosey as I thought they were. Still doesn't change this season. If Garcia goes down, Rattay is an every week starter in the Niner system.  
 
Todd Bouman. Took over for Culpepper last year, and actually had better numbers that Culpepper did when he was healthy. Pepper goes down again, and Bouman is a Fantasy Starter.  
 
Look for High Powered Offenses where you can logically make a case that the starter could go down, and get the backups. The Owner that had Warner is most likely going to have to make a serious offer of talent to you if Warner goes down and you have the back up. Think about all the ways that will help your team this year if it happens and you are sitting on the back up.  
 
Now some offenses you just don't expect the starter to go down, so don't use the roster room. Like the Colts. The back up is Brock Hoard who is actually a pretty gifted QB, and Indy is certainly a High Powered offense. Sounds like a great move to get Hoard, right? I would suggest that Manning as a very small chance of going down, and not to waste a roster spot, but think about it for yourself, and see what you think. You could strike some serious gold if you can foresee Manning going down.  
 
Young QBs no matter the system that are very skilled, and have a chance to  
start due to injury or starter breakdown this season, or next at the latest

 
Here, you are looking to get a Starter, and starter this year, even if his team is bad, but he has a decent chance to keep the starting job for years if he can get his hands on it. This is more for the Dynasty Owners that the redrafters. The Example above of Steve Young was a great example. A gifted QB, who could start right away due to an injury to an ailing and older Montana, but also the perceived future starter. We all see how that worked out. Jeff Garcia just a few years ago in that some Niner system is another excellent example.  
 
This is pretty self explanatory, but briefly, A young back up that looks to be the future could produce for you this year, and is a lock to hold for the future. Either way, you are using a roster spot that for all practical purposes is a waste this year. You expect the roster spot to be wasted. You are looking to strike gold both short and long term with this move. Hey, you could be holding Tia Streets instead.  
 
Players to target in this category for this season:  
 
Randy Fasani. BassNBrew wrote an excellent evaluation of Fasani for this site. Go back and read it, as I don't think I could give you a better insight.  Basically, Randy could be the starter by mid season, and there is every expectation that he could be starting by next season. He is a talented QB and can produce in the NFL.  
 
Cade McNown. This is a personal favorite, and actually shouldn't really be here. You are looking for guys with a good shot at playing this year as an Ideal situation, but every once in awhile, a player is just worth looking at even though that isn't the case. McNown is that player. Really? Cade is going to wash out of the NFL, it's going to happen, no matter how much I wish it wasn't the case. But, Cade is seriously talented, and THE prefect Prototypical QB for the West Coast Offense. He could be an absolute star. Unfortunately, even if it happens, (It won't), there is no realistic way of thinking he plays this year at all, and maybe not even by next season, and that is even if he actually is able to make it and become a star. All that said, I'm probably going to pick him up because he is a favorite of mine. It's all about what you think, not what anyone else thinks. If you think the players situation is a good one or you just like what you see, do it.  
 
Rob Johnson. Maybe not a sleeper right now and probably on somebody’s roster, but I suspect that Brad Johnson will be named the starter this season for Tampa, and alot of the owners holding Rob Johnson are going to give up on him and cut him (Probably to pick up a WR) When that happens, grab him, as Rob should have an excellent chance to start sometime this season, and has very good skills to be an NFL starter for years.  
 
Todd Husak. Not really for this season, really looking at the future of the Broncos. When Todd came out in 2000, Mike Shanahan labled him "The QB of the Class", and Tom Brady, Chris Redman, and Chad Pennington all come out that year as well. Todd is a very talented QB, and can star if given the chance. Let's say that you don't think Husak can be a star because he didn't get drafted in the 1st round. I would say that Greise was a 3rd round selection for the Broncos. Say what you want about Mike Shanahan, and I have said countless things about him not to be used in Mixed company, He can draft and evaluate players for the system he runs. He has hit gold with so many late round selections that it is staggering to even think about it.  
 
Shanahan just recently went out and traded to get Husak, and there is every reason to believe that Husak can and probably will be the future starting QB of the Broncos. Unfortunately, It's also impossible to foresee him having even an opportunity to play this season behind Greise and Beurlien. But this is a guy to sock away for a season, and see how it shakes out.  
 
There are Tom Brady's out there every year. You should look for them, think about possibilities, and take a few shots. This is just to get you started, and not a complete list by any account. Look at the teams, and the back ups (The guy you want might not be the second guy on the Depth Chart, don't just stop there when looking), and find a brick of gold that you can call your own. To get you started, check out the Arizona Cardinals.  
 
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Re: My "Minimal WR" Strategy  (Exceedingly Long)
« Reply #3 on: Sep 4th, 2002, 9:52pm »
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RBs you are looking for:  
 
This is alot easier. You want RBs that have these qualities.  
 
(1) Good Balance and Vision
(2) Enough size and strength to be an every down Back, not just a positional role (3rd down Back)
(3) Special Runner and Skills, makes things happen.  
 
First, just throw out anyone 5'8" and under. Now, someone is going to come in here and tell me that without shoes Barry Sanders was 5'8", I know it is going to happen, and I expect it. Yes, I admit with that rule, and if Barry is barefoot, I just lost out of him as a Rookie. For every single case you can give me like that, I can give you THOSANDS upon THOUSANDS of cases where the 5'8" guy never even made it past training camp. If you want to look at a 5'8" guy, Don't. Let some other Owner hold him on his roster for the first season, while you can really watch him and decide if it's worth it. If it is, then just trade for him later. We are looking for good odds here, not one in a million shots. Take the better odds, and win more often.  
 
Every Year, people are going to get all starry eyed over the new class of rookies. Don't bye into the hype. Pick and chose those exact guys with the best odds.  
 
This year, you are looking at: (This is a list of all Rookie RBs that even Qualify. Many are not sleepers in the slightest, but I wanted to give you the list of what you should be starting with before we go further.)  
 
Ladell Betts, Washington 5'10", 220, 4.6
Naheh Davenport, Packers 6'0", 248, 4.6
TJ Duckett, Falcons 6'0", 254, 4.55
Omar Easy, Kansas City 6'1", 244, 4.49
Tony Fisher, Packers 6'1", 226, 4.65
DeShawn Foster, Panthers 6'0", 222, 4.58
Paris Gains, Not with a Team 5'11", 230, 4.7
Lamar Gordon, Rams 6'0", 211, 4.53
William Green, Browns 6'0", 221, 4.63
Joe Hall, Not with a Team 6'1", 277, 4.92
Ennis Haywood, Dallas 5'10", 218, 4.74
Maurcie Hicks, Bears 5'10", 200, 4.55
Cortlen Johnson, Not with a Team 5'9", 200, 4.62
Eric McCoo, Bears 5'10", 214, 4.51
Dicenzo Miller, Tampa Bay 5-10, 214, 4.8
Maurice Morris, Seatle 5'11", 202, 4.52
Larry Ned, Raiders 5'10", 220, 4.65
Adrian Peterson, Bears 5'9", 205, 4.65
Clinton Portis, Denver 5'10", 204, 4.43
Luke Staley, Detroit 6'1", 227, 4.55
Chester Taylor, Ravens 5'10", 312, 4.62
Lew Thomas, Chargers 5'9", 219, 4.7
Jonathan Wells, Houston 6'1", 243, 4.7
Levron Williams, Not with a Team 6'2", 220, 4.63
Antwoine Womack, New England 5'11", 218, 4.55
Travis Zachery, Not with a Team 5'11", 197, 4.65  
 
Now, FOR GOD's sake, all the guys on that list are not studs in the making, don't think they are. Many aren't going to be anything at all without the perfect situation in the NFL. This is a list of the guys that you can possibly look at, nothing more. If a guy came out this year, and isn't on that list, don't waste your time, he's not going to ever have a chance anyway. Alot of these guys won't have a chance either, but we need a starting point.  
 
Save this list of players somewhere that you can refer to later. Some of these guys aren't good sleepers or possibilities this year, but with a team change, or a change in a teams roster/depth chart, they might become a good one. Just sock this list away as possible for the future that you want to remember. Like I said, guys that we are going to rule out in the next few minutes as not being sleepers, can come back next year and be good sleepers.  
 
Couple of Questions to answer right now  
 
(1) What about Joe Burns out of Georgia Tech, he's special with Good Balance and Vision? Right, he is, but at 5'8", eliminate him.  
 
(2) Joe Hall out of Kansas State, he weighs 277lbs, have you lost your mind? No, he could be an NFL talent if he gets his act together and his weight down. Remember that we are just identifying every possibility for later use here, not making any selections yet.  
 
(3) What about Joshua Rue of Duquesne, (Insert player here, ect) he's got Size, speed, whatever....? They aren't special, and aren't a good gamble to produce as an NFL featured runner.  
 
(4) Come-on, that list is huge, don't half those guys suck? Once again, this is not a list of every guy that will be a star in the NFL, only a list of anyone with a chance from 2002 Rookies. If they are not on the list, it's not even worth you exploring and learning about them.  
 
And that's just what you need to do next. In some cases, I am going to give you my thoughts on these guys chances, in others, you need to actually look for yourself. My list of the best chances could be different from yours. I am giving you a starting point in the hopes you look for yourself.  
 
Now, start eliminating the possible Sleeper finds from our list of 2002 Rookie RBs.  
First, take out the RBs not on an NFL team at the moment. But like I've pointed out, remember them for later. You never know when a Guy will get signed by an NFL team because of Injury to the starter and actually gain life as a Sleeper again. But for now, we can take out the following:  
 
Paris Gains, Cortlen Johnson, Joe Hall, Levron Williams, and Travis Zachery.  
 
Next, we want to look at all the Injured guys that we know of with no chance of even playing this year. This info is sometimes hard to find, so always be looking.  
 
From our list, Luke Staley and Antwoine Womack both fit the bill.  
 
But something to remember. Both of these guys are very special runners, and will have very good opportunities to be future NFL starting RBs should they return form Injury at their old form. If you are in a Deep Roster Dynasty League, or a League where you have an IR that doesn't count against your roster limit, you should pick up both of them and put them directly on IR for this year looking ahead for next year. Both have very good chances with the teams they are on to be the Starting RB in 2003-2004 as long as they regain their Pre-injury form.  
 
Next, eliminate the guys that are just buried in the depth chart, with no real perceivable chance of seeing the starting job this year, or even in the next 2-3 years. That eliminates the following:  
 
Tony Fisher, Ennis Haywood, Maurcie Hicks, Eric McCoo, Dicenzo Miller, Larry Ned,  
and Adrian Peterson.  
 
Now, I'm not saying that these guys won't get on the field, just that as it sits right now, this minute, it not very likely at all. You don't have unlimited roster spots, so you have to pick and choose the best situations.  
 
Can these guys be good sleeper pick ups? Absolutely, things might change for a number of reasons. The most likely are that we look back at them a year from now, and they are in alot better spot depth chart wise either on their team now, or a new one. The other possibility is injures to existing starting RBs or Back ups.
 
Now that we have done that, here is what we are left with to start exploring:  
 
Ladell Betts, Washington 5'10", 220, 4.6
Naheh Davenport, Packers 6'0", 248, 4.6
TJ Duckett, Falcons 6'0", 254, 4.55
Omar Easy, Kansas City 6'1", 244, 4.49
DeShawn Foster, Panthers 6'0", 222, 4.58
Lamar Gordon, Rams 6'0", 211, 4.53
William Green, Browns 6'0", 221, 4.63
Maurice Morris, Seatle 5'11", 202, 4.52
Clinton Portis, Denver 5'10", 204, 4.43
Chester Taylor, Ravens 5'10", 312, 4.62
Lew Thomas, Chargers 5'9", 219, 4.7
Jonathan Wells, Houston 6'1", 243, 4.7  
 
Next take out the guys we know are on Fantasy teams. They were drafted either in the Rookie draft, or in a start up draft, and there is just no way they are sleepers this year. Anyway, they are not sleepers we can just pick up, they will have to be traded for. That takes the following off our working list:  
 
TJ Duckett, DeShawn Foster, William Green, Clinton Portis, and Jonathan Wells.  
 
Now, what you are left with is a list of guys that have the ability to be a featured back in the NFL, and have a decent/respectable chance to see the field as a starter within say 2-3 years at the most, but this season as a possibility.  
 
Ladell Betts, Washington 5'10", 220, 4.6
Naheh Davenport, Packers 6'0", 248, 4.6
Omar Easy, Kansas City 6'1", 244, 4.49
Lamar Gordon, Rams 6'0", 211, 4.53
Maurice Morris, Seatle 5'11", 202, 4.52
Chester Taylor, Ravens 5'10", 312, 4.62
Lew Thomas, Chargers 5'9", 219, 4.7  
 
This list of 7 Players out of every RB that came out in the 2002 Rookie class is all you should even attempt to look at. If they aren't on this list, and they are a Rookie, don't pick them up for this season.  
 
Now, every new season, go through that process, and you will quickly develop your own list of the RBs to target year in and out. This was done so you can find sleepers, and not just listen and blindly accept what some expert is telling you.  
 
Take your List of 7 Sleepers that you should research and look at, and then add it to the players that are no longer Rookies, but have the same traits, and opportunities with the teams they are on.  
 
Those are your possible sleepers for this season.  
 
This year, you would also include these players to your 7 guys:  
 
Dorcy Levens, Eagles
Marlon Barnes, Miami
Travis Prentice, Houston
Ben Gay, Colts
Robert Holcombe, Titans
Rondell Mealey, Packers
Doug Chapman, Vikings
Terry Allen, Saints
Marcel Shipp, Arizona  
 
along with your first list of:  
 
Ladell Betts, Washington 5'10", 220, 4.6
Naheh Davenport, Packers 6'0", 248, 4.6
Omar Easy, Kansas City 6'1", 244, 4.49
Lamar Gordon, Rams 6'0", 211, 4.53
Maurice Morris, Seatle 5'11", 202, 4.52
Chester Taylor, Ravens 5'10", 312, 4.62
Lew Thomas, Chargers 5'9", 219, 4.7  
 
And there you have it. A list of every single possible worth while Player to consider as a Free Agent Pick up as a Sleeper for this season and beyond. 16 total Guys out of the thousands you started with  
 
Now all you have to do is research them, and make some choices based on what you think, and pull out the top 5 RB sleepers for the 2002 season as you see it, and then pick up as many as you can with the roster spots you used to waste on WRs.  
 
I will give you a good ranking of my top 10 sleeper prospects to pick up at RB for this season.  
 
(1) Lamar Gordon, Rams
(2) Terry Allen, Saints
(3) Robert Holcombe, Titans
(4) Ben Gay, Colts
(5) Marcel Shipp, Arizona
(6) Maurice Morris, Seatle
(7) Ladell Betts, Washington
(8) Doug Chapman, Vikings
(9) Rondell Mealey, Packers
(10) Travis Prentice, Houston  
 
One thing of Note. If you believe that Thomas Jones is a total waste of flesh, and will never make it in the NFL, then move Marcel Shipp to the top of your List. I believe that Jones will be fine, so Shipp is not high on my list, but He could easily be 1st or 2nd on your list if you have no faith in Thomas Jones.  
 
There, Finally, I thought this post would never get to the end. These are the way you find sleepers to hold on your team in the roster spots that in the past you wasted on WRs.  Along with what I believe are the Sleepers you should try to get for 2002, and the process of how you go about finding them each season.  
 
I hope this helps someone, because it turned out to be a much bigger project that I thought it was going to be when I started tonight.  
 
Most important Key is to use the roster spots you are going to waste anyway in the most productive way. That is the key to my whole philosophy.
 
************************************
 
The biggest point from that Hold as very few WRs as possible, and never hold a Young WR tirade from above is this:  
 
Weather you hold Young/Backup RBs, Young/Backup QBs, or Young WRs, you are going to waste a Roster spot this year.
 
That's a given. The payoff from the QBs and RBs is far better. It is actually possible that you will use the QBs and RBs this year, BUT you will NEVER use the WRs this year.  
 
2 years down the road, the QBs and RBs if they develop are always going to be more valuable at the time than the WR if he develops. What's more Valuable right now? Tom Brady or David Terrell. Brady, and I am using a QB that was totally unknown at this time last year, and comparing him to the absolute top Young WR from this time last year.  
 
QBs and RBs are always more valuable than WRs in the developmental game, let some other unsuspecting owner develop the WRs for you, while you get twice the value out of the RBs and QBs, and then just trade some guy that has tons of value right now that you picked up for absolutely nothing last year for the WR that you want that another Owner sat on for years.  
 
I'd sure like to be the guy that wasn't wasting roster space on a WR that wouldn't possibly get into my starting Lineup last year and probably not even this year, to have been able to pick up Rhodes a few weeks before Edge went down because he had lots of space to do so.
 
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Re: My "Minimal WR" Strategy  (Exceedingly Long)
« Reply #4 on: Sep 4th, 2002, 9:54pm »
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Now Lets look at some players, mostly sleepers, that you should be targeting to fill those newly opened up Roster Spots
 
Here are some AFC Guys that you shouldn't necessary pull the trigger on, but should be informed about:  
 
RB Marlon Barnes, Miami. 5'9", 209, 4.45 When Marlon came out in 99, he was full of promise. Sure, he was nursing a number of injuries, but he has big time NFL ability. Married with a child, which should help ground him. Flashed incredible skills while playing at Colorado. Pre injury had excellent speed, and was timed as fast as 4.25 in the 40. Quick, with a real burst. His field vision is good, but his real claim to fame is his superior balance. He has always been the type of Back that could explode through the hole take it yard with any touch of the ball. Missed the last few years with various injuries, but has been cleared with a full bill of health for 02 by the Miami Team Doctors. Ricky Williams is solidly the starter. He's also a fruit case, and ready to be captured by guys in White Coats at a moments notice. Williams is also alittle injury prone, and could miss time. Travis Minor and Robert Edwards are also in competition for the back up job. Minor is a bigger version of Warrick Dunn at best, and Edwards is a member of the walking Wounded. Should Williams go down, and Barnes get the opportunity, Look out if the man is finally Healthy and still playing like he did, as he has serious NFL skills and Talent.  
 
QB Josh Booty, Cleveland. 6'2", 221, 4.48.
Remember this guy? Most people don't. Sat behind everyone and their sister last year in Seattle. As he was a well known College Star, I won't go into his accomplishments, only to say that he came out of school way too early, and has been paying the price ever since. If something were to happen to Tim Couch long term wise, it would be Booty, not Holcombe that they continue to build the franchise around.  
 
QB Rohan Davey 6'2", 245, 4.9.
Take Tom Brady's leadership, and Chris Redmon's size and strength, put them together, and form a child. What do you get? Yes, a very ugly girl, but if it's a boy, you get Rohan Davey. Think bigger and stronger version of Ron Jawarski. Team Leadership just flows out of this guy, can take a team on his back, and take them to the promised land. Big and strong, and can make powerful throws. Problems are that (1) He is on New England, where Brady is the future as far as anyone can see. (2) Like Chris Redman and Ryan Leaf, tends to get too big, likes to eat I guess? (3) Needs to still delvelop. Has NFL skills and ability, and would be best served going to Europe for a season. For now, Damon Haurd is a decent backup to Brady, and will get the nod. But if you have unlimited roster room like these leagues with 35 players to a squad, and can hold a player that won't produce for the 2002 season, this is a guy to look at. Give him a year to develop, and he can play in the NFL.  
 
RB Travis Prentice Houston.
I'm only putting him in here just incase no one in your Dynasty league has pulled the trigger on him yet. And if they haven't, GET HIM. Might be worthless, but you will know in a few weeks, and you can cut him, won't hurt you in the slightest. BUT, he was drafted by Chris Palmer to be the Running Back for the Browns, and actually held that possition until Palmer was let go. Prentice was traded to the Vikes, who gave him a few opportunities at the goal line, until he was traded to the Houston Texans. The Offensive Coridinator of the Texans? You guessed it, CHRIS PALMER. Now, I'm not saying that Prentice is going to be a stud, far from it. But let's look at the Texan's RBs. James Allen, long considered to be too small, and Johnathon Wells who is unproved. Prentice may not win the starting job, infact, I am betting against it, but he could very well win the Goal line job. If so, that is maybe 6-8 short goal line Scores for this season. Grab him and see what happens, it could very well pay off, and if it doesn't, cut him in a month, you've lost nothing in the transaction. I am certain that he is long gone in almost every Dynasty League, but if not, GET HIM.  
 
RB Ben Gay 6'1", 227
I know, I know, I've been touting this guy for a year plus now, and everyone is just damn tired of me. But here is where we are today. Edge or Rhodes will be the starter in Indy, and Gay will never see the light of Day. I agree with you. But just something to ponder: Edge and Rhodes have had various Injury and Legal issues this offseason, and infact, are both injured now. Behind them, you have Brian Allen, a newly drafted Rookie standing a huge 5'8", who has a North/South running style, and no cut moves. You also have Styrone Stith, who also stands a whopping 5'8", and failed miserably when given the starting nod to replace an injured Fred Taylor with the Jags a few years ago. Last, you have Ben Gay, the Legend, with All pro ability and skills, touted as all world in everything coming out of High School, and then hit a series of bad events in his life. He is also not bright and has made countless bad choices. Edge and Rhodes, one of them will be there, right? I'm sure of it as well. But if not, Gay is seriously the only other option, and Edge and Rhodes are both having problems. The runner for Indy will be a star. Gay is the longest of long shots, but I will have him deeply socked away on my roster, thought you might want to think about it as well?  
 
RB Robert Holcombe 5'11", 220
Was highly touted coming out as a Rookie. Infact, those in Fantasy Football back in 1998 will vivedly remember him coming out of Illinois. Powerful runner and fantastic Reciever, (something we really didn't look for in RBs Fantasy wise back then). He was drafted by Saint Louis, and everyone had him competing for, if not winning the starting Job from Detox Larry (Larrence Phillips). In my League's Rookie Draft that year, he was drafted 6th, right behind Moss, and just in front of Manning. No one razed the guy for picking him either, we all thought Holcombe would at minimum be on the field, if not win the Rams starting RB job. Next thing you know, the Rams trade an unbelievable amount to the Colts to get struggling and worn down Marshal Faulk, and history as we all know it was written. I say Unbelievable amount for Faulk, because it was more than was traded to get superstar Eric Dickerson, and Faulk was in many people's eyes, washed up. Anyway, the past few years, Holcombe assumed the role of Full Back for the Rams, and did a fine job blocking and such. However, he is a skilled Runner, if he would just be given the chance. This year, he finally got out of St. Louis, and signed with the Titans. By almost each and every account I have been able to find, he has moved up the depth chart and is now sitting at the number 2 spot ahead of Skip Hicks, just behind Eddie George. Remember what Hicks did in Backup duty last year? If George goes down again, and most of us believe that George will go down at some point this year (Not Cracker though, who has him as a Stud this year), Holcombe becomes a very nice producer for any Fantasy squad. During that time, Holcombe will be a serious producer, warranting starting consideration over many well entrenched teams starters. He is one to get and hold a roster spot for.  
 
RB Antwoine Womack 5'11", 218, 4.55
Let me say first, I will be blown away if this guy makes it to the field in the 2002 season, I just can't see it happening. That said, Here is the future Starting RB for the Patroits. It is certainly not JR Redmon, or Kevin Faulk. Both of those stiffs would have a hard time making the roster if they went to a new team where they didn't already know the system. Ignore both of them, as they will never amount to anything as a featured runner. Faulk can be used in a third down role, but not much else. Womack, coming out of Virgina, is a better runner than Tiki Barber, and Thomas Jones, both who played before him. Lead the Atlantic Coast Conference in rushing for 2000, but missed all but the last 4 games of the 2001 campaign due to injury. Came back for the last 4 games, averaging almost 100 yards a game, before capping off the season against Penn State with 153 yards, and as many of us in the Midwest can still remember, single handily crushing Penn State's Bowl Chances last year. Started and Stared in the Post season All-Star game, but tore his left interior cruciate ligament in the Gridiron Classic in January.   Because of that injury and only playing 4 games in 2001, he was barely considered in the 2002 Rookie draft, and fell down the draft boards until finally ending up with New England. Like I said, there is basically no chance he plays this season, but if you have the roster spot to burn, and are willing to wait a year, I see Womack as the next starting RB for the Patriots once Antowain retires or is driven off.
 
QB Todd Husak
Took over a good Standford team when Chad Huttinson left to play Baseball. Smart, a Leader, makes great field decisions. Very very smart. I'm not going to go into Depth here because even if/when Greise falls and stumbles, Beurlien is a lock to step in produce all year. But if you are really deep, and can hold him for a year plus, take a look at Husak. He has serious skills and Talent, and Shanahan went out of his way to trade to acquire him. Say what you want to about Shanahan, but he is an excellent evaluator of talent for his system in Denver, and he touted Husak when he came out in 2000 (Same year as Tom Brady, Pennington, and Chris Redman) as the QB of the class, and has now traded to acquire him.  
 
QB Marques Tuiasosopo, Raiders
I'm sure that this guy is gone, so no need to go into him, but if not, and Gannon stumbles due to Injury or Age, Tuiasosopo becomes the starter of a very powerful Offense. If someone doesn't have him, which I am sure they do, get him, Gruden labeled Tuiasosopo the Raider QB of the Future. No idea where that now stands with Gruden gone though?  
 
Those are the Deep Dynasty Sleepers in the AFC that I would recommend looking at, or at the least, keeping a serious eye on as the season unfolds.
 
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Re: My "Minimal WR" Strategy  (Exceedingly Long)
« Reply #5 on: Sep 4th, 2002, 9:55pm »
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here are the NFC Deep Sleepers I am tracking:  
 
QB Chad Hutchinson, Dallas. Ask SanBoy, this guy was a huge deep sleeper last year when most of us picked him up. Don't know if you can call him a Sleeper anymore now though? If he's not on a team, go get him, but I am sure he's gone. Just last year in a thread just like this one, he was about the top sleeper talked about by everyone.  
 
I'm going to take a second, and put up a Not to take as a Sleeper guy: QB Jesse Palmer Giants. The guy has the look of a Sleeper, Good size at 6'2", and 227lbs. Put up great numbers in College, and had an excellent showing at the Senior Bowl. Is the #2 guy on a good Offense, and Collins isn't an Iron man. All looks good, right? Well, I have problems with him, and it's not just because he is a Canadian Citizen. Blasted Canucks. Palmer is a product of Stever Spuriers QB school. Outside of the few Former Spuirrer QBs that are right now on the Red Skins in his system again, every QB he's ever produced for the NFL is a failure. Only reason to even consider him is that all Starting QBs have value no matter who they are. Let someone else ride this donkey, you don't want to be on it.  
 
Now, I know I've said don't take any Young or Unproved WRs, but just for this year, take a pretty good gamble. Pick up any starting QB or WR that the RedSkins have that is available in your league as a Free Agent. I don't care who the player is, as his talent or skill level doesn't make any difference. For this one year, give Spurrier the benefit of a doubt, and buy into his system buy taking any starting member of his passing game you can get for free, Heck, even take a TE if he's free. This won't be the case next year, this is a one year deal that you should try and take advantage of if you can get some guys for free. Don't trade for any of them though.  
 
RB Corey Schlesinger Detroit. Now, to be honest, this isn't going to pay off. But he's someone you should atleast have on your list as a possibility to win the Goal Line job in Detroit. I don't recommend that you actually get him at the moment, but you should have him written down somewhere for later possibilities.  
 
RB Rondell Mealey, Packers. Ahman Green has had problems in the past, and if they happen again, you are looking at this years version of Dominic Rhodes. I am not going to take Mealey personally only because I don't have the room after taking guys I think will pay off at better Odds, but Mealey is certainly a guy to have if something happens to Ahman. If you have the room, get him.  
 
QB Todd Bouman, Vikes. I'm not going into Bouman as we all know who he is by now. He becomes the leader of the team with Randy Moss if Culpepper has problems. I personally don't have any real faith in Pepper, but most people do. Last year, when Standing in for Culpepper, Bouman had better numbers than Culpepper before he was hurt. If Culpepper goes down, and I think he will at some point, Bouman becomes a QB worthy of starting in your League. Remember, that's exactly how Brad Johnson became a Top QB in the game for a few years.  
 
RB Minnesota Vikings. All right, this is a total sellout, but some Viking RB is going to be an excellent sleeper, and solid performer for this season. I just can't figure out which one, maybe you can, so here are my thoughts for you to consider. Michael Bennett is not a big back, and gets banged up between the tackles, he doesn't have the power at the goal line, and he has a history of injuries. Someone is going to either spell him, Take over for an Injury, or take over as the Goal Line back ala Leroy Hoard. Remember Leroy Hoard? As the Goal Line back of the Vikings under Denny Green, when Tice was on the staff, he scored over 30 TDs in 3 years. Someone is primed to take that role. Jim Kliensasser is the most likely candidate, but Tice has said he is moving Klieny to TE this season. Moe Williams and Doug Chapman both could take it. James Wofford stands 6 foot tall, and weighs 186 Lbs, so he is not the Goal line back, maybe the "between the 20s" guy if Bennet gets hurt, but not Goal line. My front runner at the moment is Doug Chapman, and if he was available in my League, I would pick him up and hold him. Somewhere in this mess is a brick of Gold. Can you find it? And if you can, please tell me about it.  
 
QB Randy Fasani, Panthers. Somewhere up above in this Thread (Top of pg 2 if I remember correctly), BassNBrew posted an excellent evaluation of Fasani, along with recent playing observations. Now, if that didn't sell you an Fasani, I'm not going to be able to here, because you can't be sold on him. BassNBrew sold me on him, and just yesterday I picked him up for my Roster, and I will be pleased as can be when he pays off. I was already watching him, but Bass sold me on getting him.  
 
RB Terry Allen, Saints. Since he just signed with NO as the backup to McCallister, someone has him. If not, this is the best Sleeper pick up available at the moment. Don't even bother reading the rest of this post, stop right now, and go pick up Terry Allen.  
 
Now, If Terry Allen didn't ruin the other cool sleepers in NO, I would be telling you about James Fenderson and Fred McAfee. But with Allen there, these guys don't matter anymore this season. But, if you are in the deepest of deep leagues, and have unlimited roster room, my homework to you is to find the best possible future starter between the two. It would have been an excellent sleeper position if Allen hadn't just been signed to play behind McCallister. (Fenderson is the one you would have wanted BTW)  
 
QB Rob Johnson, TB. When the guy that has Rob Johnson just gives up and cuts him soon, you want to see if you have room for him. He is the most talented of the 3 QBs in Tampa, and given the chance might surprise. Will he set the world on fire? Yes, Maybe in Gruden's system as the starter. If nothing else, a Starting QB has value, and he has a decent shot at starting at some point this year. Don't trade anything for him, wait until the guy that has him right now just gives up, and Rob becomes a free Agent.  
 
QB Josh McCown, Arizona. Don't pick him up at the moment, but be ready to. If Plummer is finaly decided to just not be an NFL starter by the Cardinal Brass, McCown is the guy they will turn the ball over to. I think Plummer is fine, and won't have any issues, but if you truly believe Plummer just sucks, grab McCown now.  
This next one, I don't agree with, but he should be mentioned.
 
RB Marcel Shipp, Arizona. I believe that Thomas Jones will have a fine season, and will lock himself in as the starter. If you believe that Thomas Jones is a waste of flesh, and will never produce, and that he is destined to fail, then Marcel Shipp is the very best deep sleeper available this year. Many people are going to tell you that Josh Scoobey is the replacement, and he might be at the Goal line, but nothing more. Scoobey is a North South runner who can't get outside. He gears down before making cuts, and loses all his power and speed. His playing speed is considerable less than his 40 speed. He Struggles to maintain his balance while making cuts. Never used in the passing game in College, and doesn't appear to have natural soft hands of a receiver. Scoobey is a powerful inside runner (He can bench over 400 lbs. 400lbs!?!?!), short yardage guy, but will never make it as a featured runner. A goal line job is the best he will ever be used for, certainly never a starting RB. Shipp on the other hand was used extensively at Massachusetts in the passing game. He has above average strength and balance. Stands 5'10", and weighs 220lbs. Has traditionaly made most of his yardage after contact. Was a top RB in Division 1-AA ball, who has always been a featured runner at every level, never a role player like Scoobey.  
 
Last year back in November, I said that long term, Lamar Gordon would be the Best Running Back out of the 2002 class. I am going to stick by that statement, when we look back a few years down the road, Gordon will be the top back still playing out of this class of Rookies (Although DeShawn Foster might yet wreck my prediction). If for some incredibly short sided reason, someone in your league doesn't have Gordon, For God's sake pick the man up. It would be the best move you can make all season.  
 
QB Jamie Martin, Rams. Can't make a deep sleeper list without including a few players. One of them is the Back up QB for the Rams, doesn't even matter who it is.  
At this point it's Martin, and to be honest, he's not all that good. Doesn't matter, if Warner goes down, Martin will be given the keys to drive the best Offensive Machine in the History of the NFL. If you have Warner, you better have this guy. If you can find room for him, you just have to consider picking him up.  
 
QB Tim Rattay, Frisco. Same sitsuation as above with Martin. If Garcia goes down, Rattay becomes a stud. Only difference is that unlike Martin (Who basically is just a bad player), Rattay is skilled, and could easily become the next great Niner QB. However, Garcia is much more of a Lock to stay healthy all season, and if you are just picking up the Backups to the Stud QBs (Something that has paid off for me countless times - GB Commander Cody Carlson) then you should take Martin over Rattay. If you are looking long term at the future, then certainly Rattay over Martin.  
 
QB Cade McNown, Niners. This is a personal favorite. But don't pick Cade McNown up, infact, I strongly encourage you not to pick up Cade. That said, If there was ever going to be a rebound player that come back from Death to be perhaps the top QB in the game, it would be a skilled QB like Cade in a system that seems like it was created with him in mind all those years ago (West Coast). Cade is the perfect West Coast QB, and has the skills to excel. The only problem is that Cade should most likely wash out of the league as a Failure. Like I said, don't do this, it's a sucker bet. But if you believe in Miracles, this is the biggest possible payoff out there anywhere, PERIOD.  
 
RB Morrice Morris, Seatle. There is just no way he is still available, but if he is, pick him up behind Alexander.  
 
Those are some of my NFC Deep Sleepers that I am watching.
 
Next, I am going to include a number of Questions that have been asked in relation to this season about the Minimal WR system:
 
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Quote:
What about a player like Ron Johnson. He made a spectacular catch in Friday nights came against Detriot. # 83. Doesn't show up on nfl.com stats yet.  
Thanks guys...
 
 
Don't waste your Valueable roster spots with guys like Ron Jonhson. You are never going to start him this year, and if you need to, you have alot more problems with your team than anyone should have to deal with.  
Just find one single Young WR that you actually think could be a stud someday, and make him your 4th WR on your team. You have your 2 starters, your reserve, and MAYBE, just MAYBE the one prospect, TOPS.
 
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Re: My "Minimal WR" Strategy  (Exceedingly Long)
« Reply #6 on: Sep 4th, 2002, 9:56pm »
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Quote:
DR -  
A couple of opinions from another Pats fan.  
Womack has no chance of playing this year because of the injury.  
Womack's chances next year don't look so good either. The Pats have two first rounders next year, and possibly 2 second rounders. They will very likely go RB with a high pick next year.  
Not a certainty, but something worth looking at.  
Also Redmond is not as bad as a lot of people think; he's had a decent camp and could be a decent backup to Smith.

 
Totally agree with the thought that there is no chance that Womack plays this year. Infact, somewhere up in this thread I said a few times that I would be shocked beyond belief if he steps on the field this year.  
 
What I am recommending is that you pick him up for nothing as no one else is going to bother grabbing him off waivers, and then drop him straight into your IR, which shouldn't count against your roster for this season. Then, at the end of the season, after the Superbowl, you will most likely have to cut down to the Roster limit. At that point, you can decide what you think his chances are for the 2003 campaign, and if you want to hold him over the off season.  
 
There is absolutely no reason not to do this, it's doesn't hurt you in the slightest, and it keeps anyone else from being able to grab him later.  
 
As for the Pat's Draft picks for next season: One, you can't control what they do in the draft, so don't put alot of mental energy into it. Even if they do draft a Rookie Running Back in the 1st round, grabbing Womack now hasn't hurt you at all.  
 
It is my belief however that the Pats go hard and heavy on the Line and the Defense in next years draft. But even in the worst case scenario where they use all of their early round picks on RBs, and do draft 4 Rookie RBs in the 1st and 2nd round, it still doesn't hurt you to hold Womack this season, and if you decide to Hold him over the Off Season thinking he is the Patriot Future it only costs you a single roster spot for the off season that you would have probably wasted on a WR anyway.  
 
It's Opportunity Cost versus Potential Payoff.
 
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Quote:
First let me say, great article Drugrunner. Probably the best thing I've read in awhile over here. I agree mostly with your WR theory but here is my question. How do you get your starting WRs? I mean in most leagues guys are hoarding anyone who has a caught more than one pass in preseason. I'm just curious if you pick them up out of the FA pool or by trade.

 
I acquire my WRs through trade. What I am going to give you here is just some examples out of my thoughts, it may not be the same in your league, but you should be able to extrapolate.  
 
Having WRs is not a bad thing, but make sure they are starters. Don't waste you time with non starters. As soon as you see a guy get a job for any reason, put in to pick him up on Waivers.  
 
Last year you could have picked up Chris Redman after he was cut by the team that drafted him in the second round of the Rookie draft. Redman was cut because the team was saving space to hold Todd Pinkston and JaJuan Dason. Now this year, after Redman has been named a starter, take him and one of your WRs and trade for an Upgrade at WR. You will have upgraded your WR substantially, without really giving up anything as you picked up Redman. Redman was easy to get in the last few years, especially when he was buried at the #3 spot for the Ravens.  
 
Owners in Dynasty Leagues sell out former stars way too easily. It might be just a few weeks too late right now, but just before your rookie Draft, when owners are focused on the future, I know for a fact that Galloway could be had for a second rounder of the Rookie Draft. I saw it happen in two different Leagues. I saw McCaffery go for a 3rd rounder in a 16 team league. Owners just sell established guys way too cheap chasing unknown Rookies. There is no way that McCaffery should be traded away for what equaled the 36th pick of the Rookie Draft. Outrageous. But it happens all the time.  
 
What is Jerry Rice worth right now in your Dynasty League? No where near the probably double digit TDs he will get you this year. I've already seen one owner unload him for a 2nd round pick of the 2003 Rookie Draft just to get something out of him. Same with Tim Brown, the guy is way undervalued in Dynasty right now. Before last season started, I saw Cris Carter go for a 2nd rounder.  
 
And I'm not even saying that you can't get Superstar WRs using this system, far from that. Infact, you will have a better chance to get them over trying to develop your own.  
 
The basic overall thought is that WRs take to much time to develop, and the rate of return just sucks. Invest in QBs and RBs instead. Then take the extra value you have from QBs and RBs that have developed much quicker, and at a greater sucess rate, and get the exact WRs you want.  
 
You want Randy Moss, great, go get him. He's worth probably 4 players/1st round Rookie picks. So trade a QB, a RB, a WR, and a 1st for him, you can afford to pay it now. You developed half those guys out of nothing anyway. But now you have Randy Moss, who you know is already developed, and he isn't going to wash out of the league.  
 
Just let somebody else sit on your WRs for the years that it takes. For me, I concider the rest of the League to be my Farm Squad when it comes to WRs. All of my WRs were drafted by someone else, that I traded for.  
Here's an Example from the past. About 3 years ago, Fred Taylor was the starter in Jacksonville, He was/is a superstar. So, for absolutely nothing, think about who would be good to have on your team, and decide that having Taylor's back up is the way to go. Pick up James Stewart as a free Free Agent. Because of an Injury to Taylor, Stewart has a good season for you, and then gets traded to Detroit. That season, he scores 11 TDs for you as a starter. At the start of last season, you could have traded him for about any WR you wanted straight up. Stewart went on to score 10 TDs last year. Even right now, with Luke Staley out for the season, Stewart, who remember you picked up for free, is going to score another 10 TDs, How many WRs could you get for him right now? Just about all of them, and the ones you can't in a straight up deal, take say Armani Toomer and James Stewart, and get whoever you want as an Upgrade at WR.  
 
Dynasty is about developing talent. Just let someone else develop your WRs for you. QBs and RBs have a greater payoff, you can get who you want later, after you are sure that the WR is a stud.  
 
I'd hate to be the guy that drafted Michael Westbrook all those years ago, and is still sitting on him. I'd much reather be the guy that just traded for Tory Holt because I had the fire power to do so.  
 
I don't want to be the guy that wasted a top 3 Rookie draft pick on Peter Warrick, who EVERY Expert in America called "Can't Miss". Let somebody else develop Warrick, and someday if he really actually becomes a stud, just trade for him, but you will know exactly what you are getting at that point. And if that happens, the guy that drafted Warrick will most likely unload him cheap just to finally get out from under him because he's afraid that Warrick's new found explosion is fake, and that Warrick is going to fail again.
 
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I would like to know your best deep sleepers which you kept who became stars/contributors. Some of these names I am reading are not just deep sleepers, they are cryogenic frozen/never were and never will bes.

 
Just to name a few I've personally hit on over the years:  
 
James Stewart behind Fred Taylor in Jacksonville before Taylor got injured the first time. He had to beat out Styrone Stith, but when he did, he became a good starter, and has put up 20 TDs in the last two seasons with Detroit.  
 
Leroy Hoard after being driven out of Cleveland, during the first year in Minn when he did nothing backing up Robert Smith. Went on to put together 3 years in a row of 10+ TDs.  
 
Jamel White - Hasn't hit big, but the guy scored 6 TDs last year in 2001 after I picked him at the end of the season in 2000.  
 
Tom Brady before the season started last year.  
 
Terry Allen after his Career was deemed over due to the injuries he had in Minn. He was basically in the sistuation that say Curtis Ennis is in right now. Was signed for league minimum in Washington, and I picked him up. Went on to scare 21 TDs that season.  
 
Brad Johnson coming out of NFL Europe as the 3rd stringer in Minn.  
 
Jeff Garcia as a free agent coming out of the CFL traped at #3 on the SF depth chart, argueably the best pick up I've made ever in all the time I've played Fantasy Football.  
 
Barry Word in Kansas City. Went from Working construction to starting for the Chiefs for two seasons.  
All of those guys were in cryongenic frozen/never were and never will bes when I picked them up. There are alot more that spring up, How about Kurt Warner? But those guys are players that I've actually had.  
 
But the best Sleeper Draft selection/pickup I ever saw wasn't made by me. In 1990, a guy in my league took relatively Little known, Contract hold out Emmit Smith in the very last round of a Dynasty League draft.  
 
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Re: My "Minimal WR" Strategy  (Exceedingly Long)
« Reply #7 on: Sep 4th, 2002, 9:57pm »
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OK Drugrunner...I have been mesmerized and converted by your theories. They make great sense. This isn't a "Should I make this trade?"  
but this is a question about whether I am applying your principles correctly. Does trading A potential stud 2nd year WR, #2 WR on higher passing offense, Koren Robinson and less of a potential stud Santana Moss fighting for #2 WR on a low passing offense for an esablished #1 on a medium octane offense in Amani Toomer?  
Would that be going overboard to trade those two or is this exactly the kind of trade you are talking about and then I can grab a David Garrard or James Wofford with the extra roster space.

 
In theroy, you want to have proven WRs that you know will produce, and not waste time with unknown WRs.  
 
Here are a few interesting facts. I am not a math guy like alot of people around here, that is just too much work. I am a "Trends" guy. If it's happened before, it will happen again. Those that forget history are doomed to repeat it.  
 
In the last 10 years, 42 WRs have been selected in the 1st round. and over half of them (26) scored 2 or less TDs in their first season. Only 5 caught 6 or more TDs, and only 3 of those 42 first round WRs had 1,000 yards.  
 
Now, in your sistuation: Santana Moss, all 5'10" of him is exactly the kind of guy that you don't want to have. He is short to start, and has very short arms given NFL standards. Is a good Althlete, maybe even a Super Althele, but not a super Football Talent. If points were awarded for Verticle Leap, Moss would be one of the top WRs in the game. To me, Sanatana Moss is Desmond Howard. Let him sit on someone else's roster and eat their space until/if he can prove me wrong. Not saying he can't be special, only that he won't be special. Let someon else deal with a guy like that.  
 
Add to that that Vinny, although a top QB, he is about 100 years old, and could take a wrong hit at any time and go down. Behind him, you have unproven Chad Pennington. Now, I run hot and Cold on Pennington about every other day. His claim to fame is that he was Randy Moss's QB at Marshal, and we haven't really seen him play in the NFL. Maybe Randy is the reason he did well in College, maybe Chad is actually good? In College Pennington was a Mechanical passer without a great arm to drive the ball down the field. He always underthrew Randy Moss and was much less acturate with the long ball, but Moss being the Talent he is made up for it. Now, what is Santana Moss's claim to fame? He is a speedster, who can get down the field quickly, beating out the defenders. And Pennington's weakness? He can't get the ball down the field without having the time to plant his feet, and losses acuracy in a hurry on the long ball. Those two things don't add up together very well. Pennington also spent his college career locking onto Randy as his first read, and tipping his hand to soon. In the NFL, that can mean Interception city. There is just no real way to know what the deal really is with Pennington right now?  
 
When looking at Sanatana Moss's long term production it has to be handcuffed or tied very closely to Chad Pennington. Sanatana Moss's greatest abilities (Speed to get deep), are not very good positives when looking at Pennington's greatest weakness (Executing the long ball). Pennington will be given every opertunity to be the future of the Jets. If someone loses out of the two because they don't mesh, it will be Santana.  
 
Armani Toomer is worth 3 Santana Moss's at a minimum. Toomer is going to score 7-11 TDs, most likely 8-9, he is going to play every game, and I know that I can count on him. The Giants look to have a resurance this year, infact I put $10 bucks on them to win the Super Bowl this year at the sports window. If I go to war week in and week out with Toomer, I can still win the battle. I will lose hopeing that Santana Moss can produce.  
 
However, at this point, you already have Koren Robinson. I wouldn't have traded for him yet, and I certainly wouldn't have drafted him. But, you already have him. Stick with him as your 4th WR. There is no reason to get rid of him at this point, unless some owner comes to you offering the world for him. Let other people try and get him from you, don't go out trying to trade him, as the process of just offering a player will lower the player's perceived Value.  
 
If there is a Randy Moss from the WR class of 2001, it is Robinson, and not Terrell. He has more size, ability, and talent than Torry Holt, who also went to NC State and played in the same basic system, against the same basic competition. He is in a great system to be in with the Talent around him, Holgrem as a Coach, and the West Coast Offense.  
 
I wouldn't go out and trade for Koren Robinson right now, let someone else take another year of possible gamble on him. But since you already have him, and there is a much better than average chance that he will be special, and given the fact that He will start and produce this year I would hold him. He has actual value to you right now unlike Sanatana Moss.  
 
Trading for a potential Stud second year WR makes no sense, let someone continue to eat up their roster room for him. But if you already have him, trading away that guy when it costs you nothing to hold him makes no sense either.  
 
If you can take Sanatana Moss and a Back up RB and get Toomer, Absolutely do that. If you can get a 1st rounder in next years Rookie draft for Sanatana Moss, absolutely do that. There is no reason to hold Sanatana Moss unless no one will give you any value for him. If no one wants him, then you almost should look at just cutting him, as he will cost you more in lost opportunity with the used up Roster spot for a year plus, than he can benefit your team sitting on it hoping he becomes special.  
 
Hope that makes sense?
 
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Re: My "Minimal WR" Strategy  (Exceedingly Long)
« Reply #8 on: Sep 4th, 2002, 9:58pm »
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Drugrunner,
Thanks for your Article. It's been very thought provoking. I'm in my 4th year of fantasy, but not dynasty league. We are a 10 team league with rosters of 20...to be reduced to 16 (because most participants do not want to do the research and the feeling is that smaller rosters w/o IR will give an equalization with fellows like me who enjoy getting lost in this reading). We keep three and in effect start with round four to draft our rosters.
We play two WR's. I have always taken a shot on many undeveloped,umproven WR's and have "lost those spots on my roster"...last year: Gardner, Chad Johnson, Quincy Morgan, Porter,
Donald Driver to go with my Derrick Alexander, Boston, Moulds, Toomer. Because of Alexander's, Toomer's, and Mould's inconsistency, my team struggled and only once or twice did Gardner and no other help me. But Gardner, was too inconsistent to count on. Your words make me think more clearly about this topic and will, I believe, add strength to my RB holdings...which in turn will give me value to trade for serviceable WR's if needed as the year progresses. Any ?'s or comments welcomed.

 
Just a comment:  
 
Last season you had Donald Driver, Derrick Alexander, Boston, Moulds, Gardner, Chad Johnson, Quincy Morgan, and Porter and Toomer at WR where you can only start two players.  
 
In your league where you can only keep 3 players from year to year, can you see what an Entire waste it was to even have Gardner, Chad Johnson, Quincy Morgan, and Porter on your team for any reason?  
You are never EVER going to start a single one of them EVER, and you are never ever going to hold a single on of them for the next season since you can only hold 3 total players.  
 
Gardner, Chad Johnson, Quincy Morgan, and Porter were absolutely worthless in every possible way. They hurt you greatly by eating up Roster spaces you could have used for Back up RBs and QBs.  
If there was ever a team that might have actually had Dominic Rhodes already on his roster last season before Edge went down, It could have been you  
 
You absolutely wasted 4 useful roster spots.  
 
Infact, in a League where you only keep 3 total players, only the top 4 WRs in the game should ever be considered as a Keeper, and not always even then. Now, I haven't looked to see if Bye weeks weren't an issue, so don't get technical if there were , but in a League like that where you start 2 WRs in your weekly lineup, you could have gone the entire season with only Boston, Moulds, and Toomer. Starting Toomer and Boston, and using Moulds as a back up. Infact, you most likely did exactly just that even though you had another 6 WRs on your roster. You probably didn't even use any of them.  
 
So, Gardner, Chad Johnson, Quincy Morgan, Donald Driver, Derrick Alexander and Porter were all totaly usless, and you wasted 6 Roster spots on them.  
 
Now, If you had taken the back ups to the top 6 RBs in the league instead, you would have had Dominic Rhodes already on your roster, and his Value alone was worth more than all 6 of those guys to you last year, as you never needed to start a single one of them ever.  
 
And you still could have had 5 more possible big payoffs. Tom Brady could have Easily already been on your team as well. Lots of huge payoffs could have been sitting in your hand, and you would be considered a total genius by the other owners in your League.
 
You held 9 WRs, when you only needed 3, 4 at the very most.
 
Just something to think about.  
 
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Ok DR, just a quick question. Who would you rather have, one of those guys in the top 4 or 5 of your list , or one of the top WRs from this class (donte, lelie, walker, gaffney, caldwell, reed).  
Also, does this change your mind if your in a league that starts 4 wrs

 
You would rather have any of the Sleeper QBs and RBs from my lists over any young WR.  
 
The only Young WRs to even consider in the slightest are those who have locked up starting jobs, and even then, let someone else take them as they are not proven, and could easily lose that starting job. You still shouldn't, but you can try it if a Young WR has a locked up starting job, and I mean the #1 or #2 spot, not the #3 spot, he is actually going to play this year, and might start for you as long as you are following the rest of this strategy and not holding a stable of WRs that you will never use.  
 
In a League that starts 4 WRs, you are also going to have alot more Roster spots to use to start with. The Roster size will be alot bigger because you have to be able to field a starting Line up, so just expand your Total WRs accordingly. You want to have 5 if you can pull it off, but realistically, you will need 6 to cover the Bye Weeks, and possible injuries.  
 
You only want as few total WRs as you can possibly get away with, and perhaps one single young WR that will get on the field this year that you truly believe will be a star. But really, you don't want any young Prospect WRs of any kind.  
 
Each and every year the rookie class has 6-7 WRs that could be stars. Even if you don't really believe what I am saying, I would ask you to do this. Try it for a season. Just give it a chance. If you decide after the season that what I preach is wrong, then just next season there will be another 7 brand new Rookie WRs you can waste roster spots on.  
 
In dynasty, trying this for a season isn't going to set you back at all. You can load up on Young WRs each and every year. And each and every year, they aren't going to pan out for you at all. But you can easily go back to holding them again after you give this a shot for a season.
 
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Whats better value. Rams Backup(Martin?) or QB for Redskins(Wuerffel?)???

 
It's opertunity. You are almost convinced that Wuerffel will be on the field this year producing for your team. There is a very good expectation that he will be the starter this year, and next year as well. Even if you are down on Wuerffel, you have to admit that you suspect that he will be the starter for atleast part of this year. So in worst case senerio, he can produce for you team, and he has a pretty high upside if the "Fun and Gun" takes off, and he is the captain of the ship.  
 
On the other hand, whoever the backup to Warner is, he only produces if Warner goes down. Even if he will produce more by the virtue of just being on the Rams as the starter, he has a much smaller % opertunity to actually produce.  
 
Wuerffel over the Rams Back up without a doubt.
 
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Re: My "Minimal WR" Strategy  (Exceedingly Long)
« Reply #9 on: Sep 4th, 2002, 9:59pm »
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I've been reading your threads on this, Drugrunner, thanks for explaining your thoughts. A few quick questions. Do the other owners realize you're doing this? What do they think about it? Have any of them started using your strategy or trying to use it?

 
I am assuming you mean in the leagues I play in. I've not laid it out to anyone but in my 16 team league, I know that one owner is aware of it from a post I made like this right here in the Shark Pool last year. He hasn't noticably changed his roster though (I've been watching) In the last year, he's added Justin McCareins, Quincy Morgan, Regie Wayne, Andre Davis, and Jabbar Gaffney. He's got a Balenced roster philosophy and a belief in developing WRs. (It's never panned out for him in 13 years though)  
 
Another owner is a realitive new owner who joined the Dynasty League 3 years ago. He lives just a few miles from me, and I got him into the League, so I talk strategy alot with him. I've explained some of the principals of Minimal WR to him, and he has started to move in that direction. But to be honest, he only became a student of it a few weeks ago after the first Preseason game when we spent hours talking Fantasy together. Even then, I didn't go into it as far as you need to follow with him (I don't want to have to face my own thoughts). We only have 16 total roster spots in this League, and he has been constaintly holding 7-8 of them for WRs. I didn't really plan on laying out my thoughts to him as I don't want them used against me, but his roster is just too painful for me to look at, and he asked for my advice.
 
In my primary League (a 16 team Dynasty League in it's 13 year), I only really would worry about one owner picking it up, as the core talent on his team is that much better than the rest of ours. No one in my league really reads the Shark pool all that much, although I know that atleast 3 other guys are registered members. I actualy thought about not putting this up to avoid the risk of him reading it, but I don't think it's all that great of a risk.
 
Now, how do the other owners react to my team configuation?  
 
It's actually very funny. I get comments all the time like this: (Infact, I will pull a few direct quotes off our League Board)
 
" (me) used three roster spots on retired players during the offseason, in addition to carrying bums like Ben Gay and some guy named Dee Brown who allegedly is the 4th string RB for Carolina. The entire value of his team is tied up in about 6 players and the rest are all injured, retired, or dead (I think Rodney Culver is still on his roster somewhere)."
 
"How many bums you going to carry this year?"
 
"How the Hell do you win games with all those misfits on your roster?"
 
"Yes, but without your Core guys, you would have the worst team in the history of the League"
 
Basically, My team has a Core of players just like yours. The only difference is that instead of carrying a player like Jabbar Gaffney (Who most people accept has value), I carry Ben Gay instead.  
 
When it all shakes out, who is carrying more value? You with Jabbar Gaffney who is never ever under any circulmstances going to be in your Starting Line up this year, Or even next year to be honest, or Me, looking for Edge to go down so I can have a shot at the Featured RB for the Colts?
 
Unless you really think about it, your team looks alot better on paper than mine. But if I hit on even one of the countless injuries that happen every year, I am going to burry you.
 
And if I don't hit on even one of the Injuries, benchings, weird flukey things this season, and my long shot doesn't pay off? Well, then I still have the same value to my starting Line up as you do carrying Gaffney, neither one of us ever used the players we held in that spot.
 
I've won countless games and been to the playoffs alot more often than I should have over the years.  
 
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First off, great Article on young WRs. I have taken some heat from league owners for drafting two QBs, 3 WRs, and 1-2 TE, K, DT and loading up on backup running backs.
I am going into this year in a 16 team league with Ricky Williams and Ahman Green and wanted to get their backup. I was thinking about Minor to back up Williams but noticed your comments on Barnes (a player that I have gotten in the past during my backup RB runs).  
 
I hate to bother you with this question, but if Ricky were to go down, do you think it would be Minor or Barnes that would eventually get the carries? Additionally, do you think Mealy is the main backup in GB or would someone else pick up those carries?
 
In the past, I usually use the depth charts and target the named #2 that I think is behind an "injury prone" back (if there really is such a beast) and has some potential. But your post made me think and realize that its often the #3 back that ends up getting the carries and that the number 2 is merely a change of pace back.
 
I appreciate any help you can provide.

 
Right off the bat, if Ricky were to go down today, Minor would be the back up. However, and I've said this in Posted evaluations of Minor before, he is NOT the long term answer. Here is really what your answer is: If Barnes can prove to the Miami Coaches that he has kept the form that made him a top prospect before his injury, the job is not only his, but he has long term potential in the NFL somewhere. The same could be said for Robert Edwards as well.
 
Either one of those two guys has the ability to be a Feature Runner in the NFL if they have returned from injury to be what they were. Minor, on the other hand, doesn't fit into the role. He will get opertunities only because he is the only option. He is not suited to be a featured runner.
 
Take a look at both Barnes and Robert Edwards, if one is playing like before, there is your answer. If not, it's Minor, but you have no long term potential in Minor. If for some reason, Ricky could never play Football again, and Minor gets the job, the Phins can't got with him long term. You getting Minor would be a one year stop gap at best if he becomes the back up. However, if Edwards or Barnes can play like they used to, you are looking at a possible long career if Ricky goes down permenately.
 
If all three are all Healthy, playing, and on an even plane, Barnes is the most talented, and will win. He also has had more time to recover than Edwards, and I think the better chance of returning to form.
 
Now, For Green Bay. You have two Options. The first is Mealey, who I have highly recommended. He has the skill to be an Every down back, and play well in the NFL. If you put a gun to my head, and made me predict this year's Dominic Rhodes, out of every player in the NFL, I would say that it is Mealey (Lamar Gordon being the other guy I would say). Everything is lined up the best for him to do it, as Ahman has had injuries. The only caution I have for you is that he has taken two years to get past his ACL tear to get back in playing form for this season.
 
Now, when looking for the next possible guy behind Mealey, you need to jump possitions, and goto the second string Fulback for the next starter. William Henderson can perform in the role if Forced, but the real answer is going to be that the Pack would go with Najeh Davenport, using Henderson to block for him. The Pack is hoping it won't ever get that far, and there's no reason to believe it will. For it to get to Davenport, Ahman has to go down, and Mealey has to have more problems with his ACL. When looking at the Pack, it's Ahman, followed totaly and entirely by Mealey, and then stop looking.  
 
Like I said before, If you forced me to find a Dominic Rhodes for the 2002 season, I would say it is Mealey (as well as Lamar Gordon). If Ahman goes down, Mealey is a 1K rusher, and puts up 10 TDs.
 
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Question for you. How do you see this strategy working in a redraft league? It seems that you just shorten the deep sleeper list to target players that have a chance of playing THIS YEAR.  
 
Also, how do you end up drafting in the early rounds? Are you more concerned with going for a stud WR early, assuming that one of your sleeper RB or QB pans out? Or do you still target stud RB'S?
 

 
In a Redraft league, if it were me, I would still target the Stud RBs when you have to, for example in the top 7 picks or so, but if I was in the #9 spot, I would go for a big 3 WR, and come back hitting RB hard. All you want at WR is the minimal number you can get away with, but make sure each is a solid producer. Doesn't need to be a Superstar at all. Infact, in the example above where you took a Big 3 WR in the first round, I would probably not revisit WRs again until round 6 at the eariliest, more like round 7, hitting RB hard. In a League I recently did with Various FF "Experts" for FBGs.com, I actually Took Harrison in the 1st, and Garcia in the second before hitting RB for the next 4 rounds. Alot will be determined on how your draft is going. And Yes, target players looking to produce this year in a redraft league. You wouldn't change the way you look at things, it would just be alittle easier, as you can eliminate a number of guys right off the top by not dealing with Long Term potential.
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