at been more true than in todays fantasy fo

in Hier könnt Ihr Umfragen erstellen und Posten 16.05.2018 15:35
von riluowanying123 • Gaser Meister | 2.685 Beiträge

My friend is a senior vice president at one of the worlds most famous investment banks.I bring this up not to brag that I actually have a friend (although, lets face it, that is an upset) nor to name-drop what his job is. I mention it only because this information sort of comes into play later. And I am all about foreshadowing. And name-dropping, of course, but trust me, this isnt the name-dropping moment. That comes later. More foreshadowing! Im a foreshadowing machine!The story actually starts with the fact that my friend Paul has a son who has graduated from high school and will be starting college soon.Now, I also have an 18-year-old who will be starting college soon, so were talking, Paul and I, about where the kids are going, what they plan on studying (as far as I can tell, for mine, its Snapchat, girls and girls on Snapchat), and its all exactly what youd expect, until Paul tells me this story.This past spring, he and his son are at the college his kid has gotten into. Its orientation weekend for all the incoming freshmen and their parents. Now, its a smaller school, with maybe 1,500 kids entering this year. Ive never been, but by all accounts its a fantastic university and looks amazingly beautiful. Even with the understanding that most college campuses are pretty nice, this place is exquisite.He gets there and its a fairly typical orientation weekend. Theres a tour, there are presentations explaining how to choose your course load, the kid meets his counselor, etc., blah, blah, blah. Its all what you expect when suddenly, Paul is slipped an envelope.Its an engraved invitation.For a dinner.With the president of the university.He assumes everyone got one of these and asks some other parents what time theyre going to the dinner. They arent. They werent invited.Oh.Smooth, Paul.So Paul goes to the dinner, and maybe theres 40 parents there of the couple of thousand who are on campus. Its in a fancy-schmancy room, the food is amazing and as dinner is finishing up, the president gets up to speak.Let me get right to it. Heres why youre here. Youre rich.As nervous laughter goes around, the president continues, smiling but serious. Hes not kidding.Why do you think you guys are sitting here eating filet mignon and drinking champagne while everyone else is at a cookout? Ive got an endowment to raise and I want your money. You see how beautiful the campus is? All the new buildings going up? How do you think that happens? Rich parents.He continues. Ive got buildings to build. Improvements to make. You want your kid to live in a dump? You want your kid to be safe? Because that costs money. And as all the parents are thinking about this, the president goes for the kill.So heres the deal. If you donate and your kid screws up, well look the other way. If you dont and your kid screws up, he or she will go into the system like everyone else and you take your chances.I stare at Paul. He shrugs. Clearly, when he showed up on campus, they Googled his name or something and quickly figured out what he did. Remember that, kids. No matter what your job or interest is, it can always be improved with some research.Im shaking my head at this story as I ask Paul, So, what are you gonna do?Donate, of course. My kids a screw-up.Although he didnt actually say screw-up.Now ...I have a lot of reactions to this story. I cant believe the president was that brazen. Am I shocked? Of course not. This is not new behavior or rules. Its been happening since the beginning of time.But to be that blatant about it? Whatever your status and position in life, it certainly speaks volumes about how this country works, for better or worse. Add this to the long list of stuff rich people get that everyone else doesnt.But my biggest reaction was that I was a big fan of the approach. Is it unfair? Of course. But its honest. You may not like the rules, but at least you know what they are. And when you know what the rules are, you can make choices, you can prepare, you can set yourself up as best as possible to navigate them and succeed.Which brings us meandering slowly via a semi-awkward segue (my specialty!) into the 18th annual edition of the Draft Day Manifesto. Sup, kids? Been a minute, hasnt it?Ive been in the same fantasy baseball league with my friend Don Smith for 33 years now. He was my very first commissioner, and on draft day, every year for 33 straight years, he shakes my hand and says the same thing. Its only the best day of the year.I smile back and say the same thing. Yes it is, Don. Yes it is.Theres nothing better than draft day, and frankly, nothing more important. And thats why we are here: to get you ready for draft day.For almost two decades, weve been doing the Manifesto, and as always, some things in here are unchanged from last year: The basic blueprint for ways to start to construct a championship team, some of the strategy and, of course, as I was just telling everyone in the deep sleepers chat room on my free Fantasy Life app, there will be some over-the-top self-serving promotion.And, as always, its crazy-long, so get comfortable, or better yet, save it for about two hours after lunch. The Manifesto continues to lead ESPN in printed articles left in the stall.But dont worry. Theres also new research, new analysis and at least one new joke for my editor. (Editors note: That wasnt it.)Lets start with the most important thing about this. If you take only one thing from this entire article, it should be this, especially since I already worked in the plug for the app. The secret to winning fantasy football is, very simply, this:At a fundamental level, fantasy football is all about minimizing risk and giving yourself the best odds to win on a weekly basis.Thats it. That simple. Everything leads back to that.Everything.I write it every year because its not only true, but its also very easy to lose sight of. Exactly one year ago, no one thought the backup running back for the Falcons with just three career carries inside the tackles would wind up as the No. 1 running back in fantasy. That a backup in Pittsburgh who got double-digit carries in only eight games would be the fourth-best RB. That a 30-year-old tight end in his ninth season playing with a variety of QBs would be the fourth-best tight end in fantasy ... and score 80 points more than Jimmy Graham. That Kirk Cousins would outscore Aaron Rodgers and have twice as many points as Andrew Luck. And that Tim Hightower, who hadnt played in the NFL since 2011, would be the second-highest-scoring fantasy running back during the seasons final four weeks.You cant predict the future. I definitely cant predict the future. No one can predict the future. I literally had the main playcaller of a team with a running back by committee (RBBC) tell me one of the two guys was going to have a big week last season because of what they were scheming and what they saw on tape. Now, this person has given me good info for a number of years. Second series, the other guy broke a big play and that was all she wrote. The one guy barely touched the ball again, as the other RB had a big game. The coach texted after the game, Sorry, man. After that run, he wasnt coming out. He stayed hot all game.It is what it is. No one can predict the future. So all you can do is stack the odds in your favor as much as possible. How do we do that? Answer this question: Whats most likely to happen? And then do that.Does Paul definitely need to donate? No. Will his kid screw up? Who knows. But from talking to Paul, if hes playing the whats most likely to happen game, the answer is yes to both questions. So hes donating to the college, hes gonna offer internships to the colleges business department and whatever else he needs to do, because his kid is a bit of a screw-up and he wants to put his son in the best position to win.It may not work. At some point, the kid has to figure it out on his own, at least on some level, but Paul is doing what he can to stack the odds in his favor.Its not fair, its not just, but it is the reality of the situation, so I understand why Paul is doing whatever he can. Save me the kid needs to learn for himself emails, tweets, snaps and Facebook messages. Im just relaying the story that Paul told me. But I get it. If you have the means and youve been told that thats the deal ... Im not gonna judge a guy for doing whatever he can for his kid.The truth is, be it college, fantasy football or any other aspect of life, the advice is the same:The way to give yourself the best odds at getting the outcome you want is to minimize risk and play the percentages that give you the best chance to win. It wont always work, and there will be long shots from others that pay off, but it will work a lot more often than not.So how do you stack the odds, lower risk and put yourself in the best position to win? Do the following:1. Realize that there is no magic bulletWait on a quarterback! You must grab two wide receivers in the first three rounds! Go zero-RB! Go contrarian and go RB/RB!As you start reading, watching and listening this preseason, youll hear a lot of suggestions on what to do in your draft. If you keep reading this (or hell, who are we kidding, skimming this), I am going to tell you my take on each position. But the most important thing to realize is that there a lot of paths to glory on draft day.I asked the great Sean Comerford, who last year oversaw our ESPN League Manager product (100 percent free to play! With an awesome free app! Seriously, wait til you use it!), to look at the championship rosters from the millions of leagues that play with us. ESPN leagues are fully customizable, he said, slipping in one more plug. But I asked Sean to just pull ESPN standard leagues, as thats by far the most popular format (seriously by faaaaar ... so calm down, PPR truthers. I like PPR, too, but it is not what everyone plays.) and is fine for our purposes here.Heres the list of most common players on teams that played in the championship last season on ESPN.com in our standard league format, along with the percentage of teams they were on:I used 15 percent ownership as the cutoff, and thats the list. No kicker got more than 11 percent. Last season was a such a weird year with all the injuries, and you dont have to look further than Tim Hightower, Charcandrick West or Gary Barnidge to know how important staying active on the wire during the season is ... BUT, last year, both Adrian Peterson and Antonio Brown were consensus first-round picks and millions of people who went RB in the first made the championship game, just like millions of people who went WR. And in case you were wondering, Rob Gronkowski showed up on 11.34 percent of championship teams last season.I am a big believer in best player available for the draft. By the time you are done with this article (looking like middle of next week at this pace), youll have the tools and pieces in place to be able to make any decision to put yourself in the best possible position to win, no matter what happens in your draft. Thats the point. Not having any one specific way to draft, but rather a framework that allows you to do whatever the draft brings you.2. Know your leagueI promise, theyre not all this obvious, but youd be amazed at how many people dont know all the rules of their league. Playing with three wide receivers in your starting lineup is different than playing with two. Whats your roster size? How often can you make moves? Whats your waiver system like? Is it a PPR or 1/2-PPR league? Do tight ends get 2 PPR? How much for a TD pass? Does your defense score points for holding opposing teams to certain yardage totals or is it yardage totals and scoring totals? Whens your trade deadline? How many teams make the playoffs and when do they start? Is it a re-draft league or a keeper/dynasty league? All of these things and, frankly, every rule you have in your league helps shape a players value. Frank Gore has more value in a re-draft league this year than in a dynasty startup, you know? And how can you evaluate players unless you know their value?You need to know your leagues rules inside and out, backward and forward. Because that knowledge is what youll use to (legally!) exploit those rules and construct the best team possible on draft day. Is there an injury slot(s) in addition to the normal roster, like a DL slot in baseball? You can be more aggressive with talented but injury-prone guys, in that case. Are you required to leave the draft with a full lineup? I say you should have to, but if not, dont bother with a kicker or a defense, and use those two slots for extra position picks. You can waive them just before the season starts or do a 2-for-1 trade to grab a D/ST and K just before Week 1 starts.Realize that the roster you construct on draft day is not what you are stuck with for the whole season (unless its a best ball type league), so knowing what kind of movement is allowed is important.Allow me to use this moment to say that if you dont have a constitution for your league, you must have one. The more clarity, the fewer fights. I also suggest have a three-person competition committee that anyone in the league can appeal to if there is a dispute with the commish that you disagree with. And there should be two alternates in case the dispute involves the commish, a member of the committee or that the complainant is on the competition committee.3. Its not a yearly gameOK, I said they werent all going to be that obvious, but I didnt say none of them would be obvious. I cant tell you how many years Ive been talking about this, and its very important to remember two big things when constructing your lineup on draft day:a. Its a weekly game. b. Your roster is NOT a finished piece of work when you leave the draft.Seriously, dumb as it is, write these two phrases on a piece of paper and underline them. (And put it next to the idea that fantasy football success is all about minimizing risk and playing the odds. Also, draw my name and put a heart around it, just to weird people out).Youll hear a lot in the preseason about how many points, yards, catches, etc. someone got in a season, during the past three years and so forth, but as Hightower (out of the NFL in October, second-highest-scoring RB in fantasy the final four weeks of the season) teaches us, its about what you can do in any one given week and thats it.On draft day, you are putting together a squad that needs to do one thing: outscore one other (predetermined) team during a certain week. Knowing that there will be injuries, bye weeks and many other surprises during the course of the season, whats the best collection of players you can put together on draft day to give you a foundation to have the best shot at success every week?4. Your magic number is 94Ninety-four is a number that has been thrown around a lot here at ESPN Fantasy HQ. You see, in 2015, the average playoff team in a standard ESPN league scored a shade over 94 points per week. The previous three years it has been 93, so we feel pretty confident in this range. There will be weeks you score more than 94 points and lose, weeks where you score fewer and still win, but in general, get to 94 points a week in ESPN standard scoring and youve got really good odds of getting into the dance at the end of the fantasy regular season.Now, there are a lot of different ways to get to 94 points, of course, but heres how it broke down, on average, last season:QB: 19 points RB1: 11 points RB2: 8 points WR1: 13 points WR2: 9 points TE: 8 points Flex: 8 points K: 9 points D/ST: 9 pointsThats the average per position, but obviously itll fluctuate based on what players you have. LeVeon Bell averaged 15 points in the games he started and finished last season. So if youre getting 15 from RB1, you can get just 15 from your QB ... or 17 from your QB and 11 from WR1.There are many ways to get to 94 from the combination above, but forget specific players for a second. I just want to focus on a simple exercise that will help during the draft (mocks or real) to get your team to a point where it can get to 94 points on a weekly basis.I will say that nine points from a kicker strikes me as high. Its extremely hard to predict kickers with any accuracy (see what I did? Accuracy? Hahaha. Ah, kicker jokes. I might be going crazy. How long have I been working on this? Send help and food.).So I want you to make a sheet that reads like the thing I posted above, but slightly adjusted:QB: 19 points RB1: 12 points RB2: 9 points WR1: 13 points WR2: 9 points TE: 8 points Flex: 8 points K: 7 points D/ST: 9 points Total: 94 pointsPlay with the points all you want. It doesnt matter, you can adjust during the draft.So in the draft, say you manage to grab pick No. 6 in an ESPN standard draft. We go to our handy ESPN ADP and see Todd Gurley is currently the sixth player taken on average in ESPN standard league drafts (as of July 24). So we put down our little sheet from up above and we get to pick No. 6 and take Gurley. We project Gurley to play 15 games and, rounding up, we have him averaging 15 points a game. So now our list looks like this:QB: 19 points Todd Gurley: 15 points RB2: 9 points WR1: 13 points WR2: 9 points TE: 8 points Flex: 8 points K: 7 points D/ST: 9 points Total: 97 pointsWe had penciled in RB1 for 12 points, so with Gurley we now get three more points to play with, making our new total 97 points. As we go through the draft, this will be a sliding scale. So, for simplicitys sake, lets just go down ESPNs ADP for the picks that draft slot would net and fill out the rest of our lineup. In Round 2, its Jordy Nelson at pick 15. We see WR1 is supposed to be 13 points a game, but we project Jordy at 12. So now our roster looks like this:QB: 19 points Todd Gurley: 15 points RB2: 9 points Jordy Nelson: 12 points WR2: 9 points TE: 8 points Flex: 8 points K: 7 points D/ST: 9 points Total: 96 pointsAnd so on. Just using that draft slot via ESPN ADP, the next six picks go like this: Sammy Watkins, Demaryius Thomas, Dion Lewis (it actually would be Ben Roethlisberger, but I went Lewis here at pick 46 -- Lewis ADP rank was 48 -- because there is no QB that lines up with the exact draft slot through the first 10 rounds), Delanie Walker, Carson Palmer (pick 68 instead of pick 66) and the Carolina Panthers D.So now heres what that roster looks like, with projected weekly point totals:Carson Palmer: 17 points Todd Gurley: 15 points Dion Lewis: 9 points Jordy Nelson: 12 points Sammy Watkins: 11 points Delanie Walker: 8 points Demaryius Thomas: 9 points K: 7 points Panthers D: 8 points Total: 96 pointsThere you go. This is actually a pretty solid starting lineup. Theres definitely some injury risk here with Gurley, Watkins, Lewis and Nelson all coming off injuries, or having a history of it, and I dont love going that early for a defense, but still ... a lot of upside.And you have two points to play with, on average, per week. Not sure many folks would go for the third WR after grabbing Nelson and Watkins, but it just goes to show there are many ways to get there. Having the point totals helps keep you from veering off course too much.Now that was just going down the sheet and not veering any. What if we put a little thought behind it? Here are three other lineups you could get from various draft positions, using ESPN ADP as our guide:Now, I dont agree with all of these projections (some are a bit high for my taste), I rounded up in every case and getting 16 points a week from your kicker and defense is no given these days. You should be using whatever projections line up with your thinking (or just tweak ours until you feel good about it).The point is merely to show a goal to hit and a bunch of different ways to construct a starting roster that will give you a pretty good shot at winning every week. Especially once we add a bench in there that we can mix and match to account for injuries, poor matchups, bye weeks and whatever the hell happened to Eddie Lacy last year.Because, while this is a useful exercise, its really some loosey-goosey math. Gurley isnt going to get you 15 points every week. Some weeks itll be 22, some itll be eight and everywhere in between. Gurley is a no-brainer, start-every-week guy when healthy, of course, but not everyone on your team will be. So how do you decide which players to start every week? Well, thats what every article and ranking during the season will be for (more foreshadowing!), but for the purposes of draft day, how do we choose which players to roster?6. Range of outcomes: YearlyI discussed this in much more depth in last years Manifesto, but I want to bring it back for a refresher here. As you prepare for your draft or auction, you need to have an opinion on every player. You dont need to have stats or projections memorized, but just a general sense of how much you like that player in comparison to other players. Even if its just someones rankings that you trust, some way to differentiate between players as the clock ticks down on your pick.Heres one way that I evaluate players and Id like you to think of this as well: Every single player I roster has to have a range of outcomes that are one of two things:1. Players with high floors during the course of a season. 2. Players who could wind up as an elite option at a position in any one given week.Hold that thought and lets get back to what I said at the top of this:At a fundamental level, fantasy football is all about minimizing risk and giving yourself the best odds to win on a weekly basis.Thats it.The way we do that, of course, is by answering one simple question: Whats most likely to happen?Every decision -- whom to draft, whom to start, whom to pick up, whom to deal, everything -- all comes back to that.Its not tough to figure out.Adrian Peterson has scored double-digit touchdowns every season he has played more than one game. Whats most likely to happen this season?Drew Brees has thrown for at least 4,300 yards and scored at least 33 total touchdowns in eight straight seasons. Whats most likely to happen this season?Last season, 21 players had more receptions than Doug Baldwin. Last season, 43 players had more targets than Doug Baldwin. And last season, no player caught more touchdowns than Doug Baldwin. Whats most likely to happen this season?It doesnt always happen, but again, more often than not, players come back to the mean. Do I think Baldwin has a nice year? I do, and my rankings reflect that. But do I think Baldwin has a regression on his total fantasy points? You bet.Its a very simple exercise. Whats most likely to happen? Answer that question for yourself before every move and then, of course, act accordingly. Put the odds forever in your favor, Katniss, and more often than not, itll work out.Remember: You dont need to be perfect. You just need to win more often than not. You dont need to beat every team. You just need to outscore the one you play in your league each week.So lets go back to No. 1 in this section: players with high floors during the course of a season.Too often, people evaluate a player only in terms of what he could do in a positive manner, the best-case scenario for that player. People also tend to have recency bias, meaning we think only about how the player performed in the near past, not looking at a larger body of work.But just as important as what heights a player could reach is also what could happen if it all falls apart. Injuries are a whole different subject, but one of the reasons why I have Adrian Peterson as my No. 1 running back is because of his floor. Ive seen all of the stats on RBs over the age of 30 (he turned 31 in March) and with excessive usage (including playoffs, Peterson had 382 touches last season). I expect a bit of a downturn and I actually dont expect him to finish the season as the No. 1 running back.But I have him at No. 1 because of his high floor. You dont have to finish the season as the top RB to be worth the top pick. I do, however, feel hes the safest running back out there. Barring injury, his most likely range of outcomes is somewhere between RB1 and RB7. He has the least likely chance of being this years Eddie Lacy.Meanwhile, David Johnson is going fifth among RBs and in the first round on ESPN. Johnson had an amazing rookie season and I think he is a very talented running back, but he has had a total of four -- count em, four -- games in his NFL career with double-digit carries. Thats it. He performed very well in those games, but its a very small sample size, and ask anyone who spent an early-round pick on (ahem) Montee Ball, C.J. Anderson or even Jeremy Hill last season. All were high draft picks based, in essence, on having a big half a season and none lived up to their ADP.So ... could the Cardinals go to a three-man committee with Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington? Or maybe defensive coordinators spent the offseason studying tape of the Seahawks in Week 17 last season when they held David Johnson to 59 toothless yards on 14 touches and figure out a way to bottle him up. DJ also had only 78 total yards (on 21 touches) against Green Bay in the playoffs, averaging just 2.3 yards per carry. In fact, including the playoffs, the Cardinals finished the season with four games versus playoff teams. During that stretch, David Johnson averaged just 3.18 yards per carry. He beat up on a hapless Philly defense that seemed to have given up for the year, but the jury is still out on him against tougher competition. Now, I have Johnson ranked high, so Im a believer, but Im also a little nervous. His range of outcomes is very wide, anywhere from a top-three running back to this years Zac Stacy.Im not going to do this for every player. Everything else you read/hear/see from me (and everyone else) this preseason will be about player evaluation, so Im keeping this mostly to theory and strategy.So, as much as possible, I want players with a high floor. And not just a high floor for the season, but a weekly high floor. That consistency, week in and week out, is what wins championships. Not every player is a stud, but knowing you can count on a solid seven points a week from someone is more valuable to me than a DeSean Jackson type, who will score 12 points one week and then two the next. Its still 14 points over two weeks, but Id rather get the seven every week. That consistent production at as many roster spots as possible is what will help you plan the rest of your roster to figure out the best way to get to 94 points a week.Remember when I spoke earlier of having an opinion on players? It was probably last week in terms of actual reading time. Well, I want you to at least have an opinion on the range of outcomes for every player. Even if you just take a rankings sheet and quickly go down the list making notations like wide, medium or small. Doing this exercise will help reshape how you view each player and guide you through the draft.If you want extra credit, I suggest taking our projections, along with a few other sources, and creating a range of projections. So when you are doing the sheet we discussed up above, when you draft, say, LeSean McCoy you can write 11-16 for a range of potential points per week he could get. And now, instead of shooting for 94 points (or whatever your target is), you can aim for more of a range, say 90-100 for a week.Now theres a finite amount of players with a high floor and/or a starters level of consistency that we want them in our lineup. So if Im not drafting high-floor guy, Im drafting potentially a stud in any one week guy.7. Range of outcomes: weeklySo, as you move toward the middle, and especially later, rounds of your draft or auction, I want you to stock your team entirely with players who could potentially have a high weekly ceiling.Again, this is a weekly game. So, obviously, every single week you are going to look at all the players available to you -- on your roster and in the free-agent pool -- and decide on a starting lineup.As obvious as it seems, thats actually a huge step that gets overlooked a lot in fantasy. Because its not just enough to have a good player, you need to know when to start that player. In Week 11 last season, Spencer Ware had 12 touches for 101 total yards and two touchdowns against the Chargers, but very few people started him that week, as Ware had received only two carries for four yards the week before.Compare him to DeAngelo Williams, who was useless behind LeVeon Bell, but when you knew Bell was out (first two games last season and Weeks 9-16) he was a top-five fantasy running back and everyone started him. I would much rather have my roster filled with a bunch of guys like Williams than someone like Theo Riddick. Riddick is a nice little PPR play, but in standard leagues, hes never going to be a top-five player in a week. There will be a lot of weeks this season when Riddick outscores Williams ... like all the weeks Bell is playing. But Id still rather have a dominant, say, five weeks of Williams than 11 games of five points or so from Riddick. Even if Bells suspension is not upheld and hes eligible to play all 16 games, Id still draft Williams ahead of guys like Riddick.So, because I nerd out on stuff like this, I went back and looked at the ESPN consensus ranks for every offensive position for every week last season. Specifically, I wanted to see how many different players we ranked as starters in any given week. Regardless of the accuracy of the ranks, the point is that going into any one week, the expectation was that this player was generally accepted as worthy of starting consideration.? During the course of a 17-week season, 20 quarterbacks were ranked in the top 10 (starter worthy) at least once.? There were 53 RBs ranked as a top-20 option at least once last season.? There were 45 WRs ranked as a top-20 option at least once last season.? Finally, there were 19 TEs ranked as a top-10 option at least once last season.? In total, 137 players were worth putting into the 60 starting slots of QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE of all teams in a standard 10-team league at least once last season.It takes a village.This is a very simple but very important concept: not every player on your team needs to start every week. In fact, they cant. You just want players who can start for you some weeks. Some of them will be the every-week building blocks we discussed earlier, but others will be just weekly rentals.Yes, there will be the Kirk Cousinses, Thomas Rawlses and Gary Barnidges of the world who will emerge, but for every Spencer Ware and Tim Hightower there are a lot more Dwayne Harris, Mike Gillislee, Devin Funchess, Matt Jones, DuJuan Harris and Charles Clay types who are hot pickups one week, only to be back on the waiver wire in a few weeks.Heres a crazy stat: Of the 137 players who were ranked as a starter at some point last season, approximately only 20 percent of them were not drafted in ESPN standard leagues. In 2014, that number was 18 percent.In other words, the majority of your starters this year are most likely going to come from the group of guys who were drafted/purchased at auction. So, while the draft isnt the final piece of the puzzle, it is a big one.In assembling your team, realize that you want players who have the potential for a high weekly ceiling -- someone who, if the situation is right, could be an elite option in a given week. Speaking of building your team ...8. All about the first four, baby!Ive said before there are many ways to win, and while I (mostly) dont care what positions you go with in the first few rounds, I do care that whomever you get is rock solid. Consider this (or just sit there while I write it at you): In the past two years, the average ESPN Fantasy team has seen 26.1 percent of its annual points come from its first two picks in the draft. Extend it one pick further and youre talking about 36.4 percent, two picks further and its up to 47.5 percent of your points ... 47.5 percent!Thats nearly half your points coming from just one-fourth of your picks. (Not to brag, but I did that math in my head.)As Ive said often (possibly at the start of this article. Who can remember anymore? Where am I? Where are my pants?), you cant win your draft in the first few rounds, but you can lose it. Never has that been more true than in todays fantasy football landscape.If you have to take a shortcut during your fantasy football research, do it in the later rounds. When you mock draft, when you research, focus the majority of your time on the first four rounds. Its important to have late-round sleepers and youll have some of your starters come from the middle rounds, so no snoozing then, but if theres one area to focus on, its the first four rounds. Hopefully you know your draft pick early enough and you can mock from that slot, considering every possible scenario.9. Whats with all the WR-early-in-the-first-round talk?Yeah, last year was brutal for early round running backs. And many rankings have wide receivers at the very top of the first round, including my buddy Antonio Brown at No. 1 (told you the name drop was coming!). So whats the frequency, Kenneth, he said, showing hes still hip with the cool references. Is this something to consider? Is this just an overreact

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