Ask the Experts
Posted Aug. 22 at 09:10 PM
ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly, with answers to a new question being posted every Thursday morning.
How the guest experts responded when we asked them:
What lineup tweak -- a 2nd QB or TE, a RB/WR Flex, IDPs, or something else -- would you most like to see become more popular in fantasy football?
I'm a big fan of the two-quarterback format, which dramatically changes the early rounds, but in general any rule tweak that has us selecting and starting more players is a good move in my book. The deeper the league, the more it favors the skilled players in the room. Plus, it gives us more to watch (and root for) on game day.
Pianowski is a free-lance journalist who's been writing about sports (fantasy and otherwise) for a variety of websites, newspapers and magazines for the last 20 years. He can be reached at email@example.com.
I like the RB/WR flex lineup option. One of the leagues I play in starts 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 D, 1K, plus the 1 RB/WR flex position. The flex position forces Owners to do a little more homework from week to week. Rather than just starting another position player.
Ramsay is the senior analyst for draftchamps.com. Draft Champs has been providing custom cheat sheets and value-based draft guides to the fantasy football community since 2003. For more info, visit www.draftchamps.com.
DEREK VAN RIPER
I would like to see the 2nd QB become a more standard league roster requirement because as it stands now, the value of running backs in snake drafts and auctions completely dries up the early picks or the majority of the spending limit. Receivers at least draw a reasonable draft pick or bid amount, but it seems as though the common strategy is to "wait until late" for a QB because there is so little disparity between the seventh or eighth best guy and the 14th or 15th. It would have a very similar effects as having two catchers in fantasy baseball leagues, since two QBs creates position scarcity when teams are starting the 27th and 28th best QB in the league each week.
VanRiper is an editor for RotoWire.com and is entering his third season with the company. His weekly column "Moving the Chains" is syndicated at FoxSports.com, while his other duties at RotoWire include tracking Average Draft Position and managing the team defense and offensive line rankings. He's also worked as a Contributing Reporter on Yahoo! Sports' Fantasy Football Live Webcast on Sunday mornings.
It would have to be IDP. The biggest obstacle to IDP is playing it in the first place. Once experienced there is no going back. The bonus is you expose the second half of the game of football. You are no longer only interested in what happens on primarily one side. For those not into IDP yet, there is an entire fantasy world happening right in front of you each week. You don’t need to expand rosters tremendously, keep it simple with two to three defensive players, no flex. The standard DL, LB, DB is my favorite. Get in the game!
Weatherford is owner/editor of www.coachbox.com, a fantasy football news and advice community online since 1997. Weatherford was author of the directory and technical editor for IDG Book’s Fantasy Sports Online For Dummies. He has been participating in magazine and expert panels since 1997 and has played fantasy football for over 20 years.
I'm curious about what is most popular in the old-guard crowd. when we started we wanted scores to be relatively similar to real games. These yardage points are insane. We use a 1pt/50 & 1pt/100pass; just to let owners feel good about a lame starter. Points per reception allows the score to explode and it seems with 200 - 400 points there aren't many ties or close games and less drama. Plus, you are rewarding non-scorers. Mediocre junk players should remain just that. The network sites have dictated a change away from the philosophy of the home game and taught and encouraged these massive points. It's taken away a bit of the FF soul. Utility players are an awesome addiction and negative points are not within the spirit of the NFL nor our games.
Gleesing is the owner and senior writer for fantasyfootballdrafthub.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info, visit his website at www.fantasyfootballdrafthub.com.
This one is a tough call, but I would like to see individual defensive players and an offensive flex player become more popular in fantasy football. While the lineup that is normally used by leagues (1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF) iS fine, adding a flex and a couple of defensive players wouldn't hurt. Some owners may want to keep the normal lineup in place, but I don't see how it would hurt to expand. I think the addition of a flex would make things a bit more challenging when trying to decide match-ups each week, especially if you had to decide between a running back who could score more points in a part-time role compared to a receiver who may catch a couple of passes. Having two or three individual defensive player spots would be ideal, but league managers would also have to make sure the scoring would even out for linebackers, defensive backs and defensive ends, since linebackers usually get more points with tackles, sacks, interceptions and fumbles.
Lassan is a senior staff writer for Pro Fantasy Sports. For more info, visit the websites www.profantasysports.com and www.fswa.org.
I think the second starting quarterback rule offers an interest fold, but I would probably have to say the running back/wide receiver flex is my favorite. Drafting three running backs off the bat is generally our strategy, and being able to start all three gives you a leg up on your competition. This also matters significantly if the league includes one point-per-reception scoring, since it gives extra flexibility when drafting.
KFFL offers football as well as baseball content and has captured over a dozen expert league championships. Founded in 1996, this company offers daily news, preseason draft guides, player rankings, sleepers, busts, weekly newsletters and more. KFFL also provides fantasy content to various organizations including SportsTicker and Yahoo! Sports. For more information, visit http://www.kffl.com/ .
I like the concept of a second quarterback. It causes that position to get the attention it deserves in fantasy leagues. NFL teams each start one quarterback, but they also tend to have only one draftable running back as well. The draft pool tends to run about 32 deep at each position. Yet, we draft twice as many running backs as quarterbacks, causing that position to get way too much attention in the first two rounds of drafts. I think the right mix is 2 QB, 2 RB, 2 TE and 4 WR.
Allan is the senior writer for Fantasy Football Index magazine. He’s also one of the main content contributors for that company’s website, www.fantasyindex.com. His IAN ALLAN’S MAILBAG column is posted on Tuesdays and Fridays.
I enjoy the strategy involved in IDP leagues, so I am always pushing in any league I am in to add defensive players. The reason for the slow evolution of the IDP leagues was the limited availability of stats, that's no longer an issue, so add those defensive players to your scoring.
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 e-mail to email@example.com.
That's an easy one. I love the FLEX option of starting an extra RB/WR/TE for my fantasy team. It provides extra excitement and ore scoring for your team. It also enhances drafting strategy with regard to drafting that third RB or 4th WR early. The more players starting for your team, the better!
Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc. His company offers an online rookie draft kit, preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, a fantasy auction drafting program, weekly in-season fantasy newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its website. He is also 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The flex position could be utilized more. Especially in larger leagues and the way NFL teams play 2 RBS. Having another position (RB?WR) with the ability to score could help fantasy teams that have players that won't put up big numbers each and every week.
Endsley is co-owner and a senior fantasy football consultant for FantasyDraftEdge.com. For more info, go to www.fantasydraftedge.com.
The “tweak” I would most like to see become commonplace is the use of a flex position but done in conjunction with awarding reception points. In an effort to make the league as fair and valuable player stocks as deep as possible, using reception points and a flex position allows fantasy team owners the most flexibility in fielding a competitive team every week and allows for many strategic moves in the draft and when starting players. The lower the number of starters, the greater advantage by owning one of the most valuable players in the league (AKA a top 3 running back).
Dorey is the co-founder of TheHuddle.com and the lead NFL analyst. He has been projecting players and predicting games since 1997 and has also authored the book Fantasy Football: The Next Level which is available at all major bookstores and at Amazon.com. Dorey won the Fantasy Football Index Experts Poll in 2005.
I’d like to see more leagues going with three wide receivers in their starting lineups, rather than two. The depth at wide receiver warrants it and it gives the wideouts a little more prominence early on because there are more spots to fill. The 1-2-2 configuration of QBs, RBs and WRs has been standard for a long time, but adding one more starting wide receiver is really the way to go.
Ambrosius has been the editor of Fantasy Sports Magazine since 1989 and is the founder of the National Fantasy Football Championship, the industry's first multi-city, high-stakes event with a $100,000 grand prize. Greg also founded the Fantasy Sports Trade Conference and was the FSTA president from 2002-2006. For more information on the NFFC, go to www.fantasyfootballchampionship.com.
I am pretty sure most leagues play 1 QB, 2 RB, 2-3 WR with the 3rd being a flex, 1 TE,1 Kicker and 1 Defensive team so from that perspective I am really not for adding any more starting spots on the offensive side of the ball. However, I would like to see IDP become more prominent in fantasy football. I am not for starting 7 or 8 defensive players but would like to see a team have to start 1 front four guy (tackle or end) 1 linebacker and 1 guy from defensive backfield and then a flex guy on defense. This would give owners who do their homework on both offense and defense a big advantage and force more fantasy players to study the defensive side of the ball that is so neglected in fantasy football in most leagues.
Swaw is senior writer and owner of GameTimeDecisions.net and the co-host of two fantasy football radio shows for ESPN AM 1000 in Chicago -- Fantasy Football Island and Fantasy Expert. He has been a keynote speaker for the FSTA and several fantasy football conventions with the likes of John Clayton, Chris Mortensen, Sean Salisbury and Mark Schlereth. For more info, visit www.gametimedecisions.net.
I like the idea of 2 QBs. QB is currently the deepest position in all of FF when you only have one starter and I would like to see the 2 QB system implemented because it will put a priority on what is widely considered to be the most important and glamorous position in football.
The Fantasy Consultant (www.thefantasyconsultant.com) is a fully dedicated fantasy football resource run by a former McKinsey and Co. consultant. TFC’s standard service offers detailed player previews, position previews identifying break out, busts and sleepers, weekly and full-season player projections/rankings customized to your scoring system, daily in-season emails and much more. The Premium service includes direct email access to The Fantasy Consultant for all of your lineup, trade, waiver, keeper and draft questions.
I just did a draft with a QB/RB/WR/TE flex -- wow, that sounds like a letter from Dan Aykroyd's "Decabet" skit on SNL way back when -- which I think is a great tweak. The scoring system across positions is balanced enough that people approached it differently; some wanting a third running back to start there, some a second quarterback, etc. Anything that brings in a new element of strategy that gets different owners thinking in different ways is a plus.
Richardson has been a columnist and contributor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and web site for the past six 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. Other writing credits have included FFToday.com and football coverage for newspapers in Colorado and Florida. For more information go to www.fantasyindex.com.
Posted by Shaun Hawkins | Aug. 22 at 11:00 PM
As an FF Veteran since 1988 who has played in every type of league imaginable; It seems as stats have become easier to track the scores of games have skyrocketed. We old-school guys liked to emulate REAL games and REAL SCORES! So, the last few years we have instituted the 2 QB starting rule, along with 1RB, 2WR, 1TE, 1 FLEX RB/WR/TE, and 1K. Now, here is where we differ... to keep scores similar to real games and in the 20-40 point range we use 1pt/25yd rush/rec plus 1pt/50yd passing. Additionally, we use IDP, but we subtract their points from your opponents score. What do you guys think of a system like this that tries to stress QB importance (like REAL football), AND keep scores looking like real football?
Posted by David Zendano | Aug. 23 at 05:47 AM
An owner in one of the leagues I'm in this year posed the question of eliminating kickers. Since his league only drafts 16 rounds, I was all for it. The more I got thinking and talking with him about it, I think it would be a great idea to just forget about drafting a kicker in any league. It's just a last round waste of pick that could have been a potential superstar. Jones-Drew and Colston in the 16th round of last years draft or Jeff Reed? Easy answer for me.
Posted by Mike Koop | Aug. 23 at 06:26 AM
PPR's make us cringe. Everybody should eliminate them or give PPC's (Points Per Completion) to the QB who delivered the ball to the receiver. Our league uses 1-qb, 1-rb, 2-wr, 1-te, 1-k, 1-d and 2 flex (rb-wr-te). QB's get 6 pts for td's like everyone. Our drafts aren't overly RB heavy due to our scoring system and lineups. We also give Yardage Pts to the Def (under 300 yds = 2 pts, 250=4,etc...) and DEF scores 2 for allowing under 14 pts, 4 under 10, etc... Also position players need 50 yds before getting yds pts and QB's need 150 pass yds. I think our drafts are more fun with most people getting a qb by round 3 and def by rounds 6 or 7.
Posted by KURT FERNSTROM | Aug. 23 at 06:32 AM
Limited (or no) in-season pickups. Makes the draft more important, more trading, can't "stream" QB or K or D.
Posted by Alan Hight | Aug. 23 at 05:03 PM
What about TEAM OFFENSE: http://www.geocities.com/alanhffl/Rulez/offense.htm And WHAT ABOUT OFFENSIVE SCHEMES: http://www.geocities.com/alanhffl/Rulez/scheme.htm It's puts more owner managing of talentinto fantasy football
Posted by William Chitwood | Aug. 31 at 01:35 AM
We had our draft last week and really struggled with a propossed adjustment to our leagues starting line up. We are a keeper league (1 guy each year) with 14 teams and are in our 11th year. Running backs have always ruled our league. With a good keeper and an early draft position you can dominate the league. We have always had a 2/3 RB/WR/TE flex with no required TE position and draft 14 rounds. This year we required the TE position and removed the flex completely. We will see how it goes and adjust next year. I believe we feel like we should have a flex position but are not sure how to position it so that it doesn't just put us back to in "RB's RULE" mode. I'm personally leaning toward a QB/WR/TE flex for next year but like reading about other teams structure to understand the best fit so keep this article around for next year.
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