Ask the Experts
Posted Dec. 16 at 09:00 PM
ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them:
The often arbitrary nature of the fantasy postseason: unfair, or part of the fun?
Absolutely part of the fun -- part of the challenge in fact. As you start to hit mid-season and are in position to be in the playoffs and know you'll be playing meaningful games in late weeks of the season you need to get ready. Look at the schedules of teams that may have a free agent QB, RB or WR (or any position) late in the season. What previously low value QB plays the worst defenses in the league to finish the season? Is there a D/ST that gets a low powered, struggling offense in the final weeks of the season you can pick up? We say it often -- there is a lot more to fantasy football than draft day and this is a big part of it.
Endsley is co-owner and a senior fantasy football consultant for FantasyDraftEdge.com offering customizable fantasy football cheat sheets and professional VIP advice all season long. For more info, go to www.fantasydraftedge.com.
Absurdly unfair! Especially when I lose! Seriously, head to head in the playoffs is a dinosaur, and needs to be replaced IMO by a "cut line". Rather then head to head on a weekend when Josh McDaniels decides he is going to allow his WR to break a meaningless record, and a good team suffers (i.e.: loses); there should be 13 weeks of a regular season and 3 weeks of "cut lines" until you get down to the final two. So 6 teams in a 12 team league make it, 2 get cut by not scoring enough in week 14, 2 more week 15 and the final two play for the prizes big $$ and glory. I'm in a league this season where a team scored 180 points in a H2H matchup in week 13 and lost, due to the lower team putting up their "score of the year." Not fair.
Tranquilli is the founder and the primary "brains" (if you stretch it) of BFDFANTASYfootball.com. BFD is about delivering the information players want, not fluff, just opinions that matter to fantasy football players. Lou has worked with NFL players and gives a unique perspective because of it. We'll be giving MORE teams away in 2009 to BFD subscribers!
While having head to head games against opponents that you cannot affect their scoring is certainly open for “unfair” or disappointing results, I have one suggestion. Try it without playoffs. Just play the 16 or 17 weeks straight through and you will see how much excitement and enjoyment you lose when Team A that has been rolling along all year actually clinches the championship with three games left to play. Or know that since you are in roughly fourth place with two weeks to go, that there is no possible chance that you can win so what is the point of all your hard work? Fantasy football should mirror running an NFL team to some extent and just like in the NFL it is the “one-and-done” nature of the playoffs that makes them so exciting. Sure it is arbitrary and so was you getting that draft slot to grab Chris Johnson.
Dorey is the co-founder and Senior NFL Analyst at The Huddle since 1997. He has produced award winning rankings and has projected the fantasy stats for every game over the last 13 years. David produces the bulk of The Huddle rankings and his “Predictions and Projections” breaks down every single NFL game every week through the Super Bowl. You can find more about David at TheHuddle.com.
It is what it is, and I see that as part of the fun. One thing I demand is that all my fantasy leagues hold their Fantasy Bowl during week 16, not 17, so most NFL players are still playing, Colts players not withstanding, of course.
Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc. His company offers an online rookie draft kit, preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, fantasy auction & regular drafting programs, weekly in-season fantasy newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its web site. He has been playing fantasy football since 1988 and is the reigning four-peat champion of the SI.com Experts Fantasy League, a nationally published writer in several fantasy magazines and a columnist for SI.com. For more info go to www.ffmastermind.com. Nazarek can be reached at 702-568-7118 or email@example.com.
I like the added excitement of the playoffs. You work 14 weeks to get into the tournament, and then your players have to deliver when the chips are down. If you don’t have the top seed, maybe you can still pull an upset. There tend to be more injuries and lineup changes late in the year, so there’s usually some Flavor of The Week player you can grab to potentially add some pop to your team.
Allan is the senior writer for Fantasy Football Index. He’s been in that role since 1987, generating most of the player rankings and analysis for that publication. His work can be seen in Fantasy Football Index magazine, and also at the company’s website, www.fantasyindex.com.
CORY J. BONINI
Let me begin by saying that I'm not a fan of standard head-to-head formats. I'm tired of seeing high-scoring teams miss the playoffs for a team that has squeaked out a few lucky wins by the skin of their teeth. I believe that removes a great deal of skill and caters to luck. A total points race is easily the most accurate way of regularly crowning a deserving winner and determining which owner made the best decisions. Thus, naturally, I'm not a fan of the arbitrary nature of fantasy playoffs. I know it is here to stay, because most owners want a head-to-head element. Whether it is driven by competitive spirit or ego, which is often separated by a fine line, fantasy owners wish to feel like they were directly responsible for knocking off their opponent. Oftentimes, bragging rights are the driving force. I'm strictly in favor of a total points league that offers a better barometer of talent than the whimsical format most leagues currently employ. If owners wish to add a head-to-head factor, it can be done for bragging rights or a nominal point bonus for the winning roster. Another option for owners is a versus-all format in which each team plays every other squad every week. I can't wait for owners to open their collective eyes and realize the elimination of head-to-head end-all, be-all formats is the best way to go.
KFFL.com offers fantasy football, fantasy baseball and fantasy NASCAR content. We have captured well more than a dozen expert league championships. Founded in 1996, KFFL offers award-winning daily news feeds, preseason draft guides, player rankings, sleepers, busts, weekly newsletters and more. KFFL is completely free! For more information, visit www.kffl.com.
I don't think that the rules of fantasy playoffs are unfair at all. You get comfortable with the nuances of your league throughout the year so the playoff are just an extension of that, there really are no surprises. What is unfair is a guy like Brandon Marshall plugging along at 10-15 fantasy points a game all season and then jamming me with 40 in the first round....sorry that was probably off topic.
The May brothers have more than 16 years of combined fantasy football experience and are the co-founders of FantasyDraftMaster.com. The cornerstone of FDM is the UberRank which is a revolutionary approach to the traditional fantasy football cheat sheet. FantasyDraftMaster.com also offers insightful and humorous commentary on football happenings as well as recommendations on waiver wire pickups, line up submissions and weekly pick em' pools. For more info, visit www.fantasydraftmaster.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This question comes at a bad time after my opponent in the playoffs, had some of his best players facing the worst teams in the NFL, the Bucs, the Lions and the Seahawks. I am an advocate of having your season go through the entire NFL season and then at the end of the year, you redraft for playoffs, based on playoff matchups, using a salary cap. There is no skill to playoff matchups, it is simply the luck of the draw. Either that or perhaps, playoffs that run over multiple weeks where you simply use total score and not head to head matchups, seems like a better solution to me.
Kamys is president of Dr. Stats Fantasy Sports. His company, via the web, offers player news, injury reports, cheat sheets, projections, weekly matchups, statistics, and a customized team tracker. Dr. Stats Fantasy Sports also e-mails preseason newsletters and reports throughout the season. For more info visit www.docstats.com or send email to email@example.com.
Head to head, more fun. Total points, more fair. At the end of the day I prefer leagues that reward total points, but it's always cool to try different formats.
Pianowski has been playing fantasy football for 15 years and writing about it for 12. He joined Yahoo! Sports in 2008 and has been blogging 24/7 on RotoArcade.com ever since.
Granted lady luck has some part in the fantasy football outcome, but I am tired of the loser in any given contest blaming “luck”. There are steps (and strategies) you can take to mitigate your risk. Some work, some do not and some work some of the time. Handcuffing your stud RBs backup is a perfect example. Those Larry Johnson owners, who whine about bad “luck” as he is suspended and traded, need to reflect on how they got in the situation in the first place. He was a “bad boy” going into the draft. You knew the risk! If you passed on getting LJs handcuff in Jamaal Charles, then you have nobody to blame but yourself for missing 31 points versus the Bills 30th ranked rush defense. Moreover, you will miss his gift of a good day this week versus the Browns 27th ranked rush D. If you kept just one kicker after the free agency period ended and he is John Carney or Shaun Suisham you are screwed. However, you made the choice to keep only one kicker and probably have an extra RB (who may have turned out to be Quinton Ganther-in which case the strategy worked). Had you gone with a back up kicker (for weather, injuries or suspensions) you might have eight or more points this week (or been without a RB or WR that may have been needed). So stop blaming everyone but yourself. You draft. You add/drop. And you start/sit em.
Sam Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Almanac 2009, all available at his website, www.ffguidebook.com, at all major bookstores, and at www.amazon.com. He is a 19-year fantasy football veteran who regularly participates in the World Championship of Fantasy Football (WCOFF), National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th overall in the 2008 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC).
Having just lost as a 2nd seed facing a sub-.500 7th seed, I do get frustrated at times with fantasy playoffs, where facing one player with a monster game can end the season of a better overall team. Unfortunately, I still like the head-to-head element of the playoffs in general; if one of my leagues were total points, I would essentially have clinched the thing around week 11 -- and while that would have been nice, it's also kind of anticlimactic. The best system I've seen yet is a two-week playoff: Four teams in the postseason, playing two-week semifinals over week 13-14, with a two-week championship game in 15-16. You still get the playoff system, but the better overall team is less likely to be knocked out by one great performance.
Richardson has been a columnist and contributor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and web site for the past eight years. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections, as well as various site features. He has run the magazine's annual draft and auction leagues since their inception. His A DAY OF FOOTBALL wrap-up column appears Mondays during the NFL season.
Posted by MARTIN DONNELLY | Dec. 17 at 11:54 PM
Tranquilli, "Rather THEN head-to-head..." Come back when you learn the language. Why is it not surprising to hear such alternative lifestyle nonsense from guys who sit around watching the race for having the lightest beer.
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Dec. 18 at 12:16 AM
I edit the answers, so that error is on me. I don't require experts to proofread their answers, I just want to receive them in a timely fashion. Believe it or not, I do have a fairly strong background as a copy editor, but I'll admit that mistakes get through on occasion. I was watching the NBC pregame show last week and they put up a stat line for St. Louis receiver Brandon Gibson but instead used Laurent Robinson's name (who of course has been on injured reserve for more than two months). I don't know. I get bothered when I see mistakes, too, but we're not putting together legal documents here or anything. I'll try to be more careful in the future, though.
Posted by CURT GOLDGRABE | Dec. 18 at 12:38 AM
Head to head playoffs are just like the regular season--frustrating, exhilarating and intense. In our league, double points are awarded for non-Sunday games. My opponent in the playoffs had Peyton, MJD and Reggie last night, so I'm in a huge hole heading into the weekend. But I have Romo, Barber and Meacham (plus Tynes) playing for double points too. After coming out of shock last night, I'm even more excited to see what happens in the Saturday night game, plus the others this weekend.
Posted by KING PURSER | Dec. 18 at 04:11 AM
Our league has enjoyed a hybrid scoring system for the last 18 years. We play Head-to-Head, but the Championship is based on Total Points. 70% of the payout goes to the Total Points King, and 30% goes to the H-to-H Super Bowl. Total Points is a better measure of skill, and the Head-to-Head keeps things lively, particularly towards the end when some teams are out of the running for Total Points.
Posted by John Wissing | Dec. 19 at 12:50 AM
This week is our league's championship. In a PPR league, which do you start, Barber or Moss? I already have Forsett, Benson, Fitz and Welker in the lineup. Also, at defense Arizona or Houston?
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Dec. 19 at 01:12 AM
I personally am afraid to bench Moss, but Ian appears to like Barber better this week. I've got Arizona ranked higher than Houston, but their projected statistical value is pretty similar -- both have really nice matchups.
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