Ian Allan's Mailbag
Posted Jun. 27 at 06:55 AM
Publisher Ian Allan fields your questions on strategy, how to run your league, player ratings -- and whatever else you think of. Updated every Friday during the season; Tuesdays and Fridays during the last two months of the preseason. You must be registered and signed-in to submit a mailbag question. After you sign in at the top of the page, the link to submit a mailbag question will become visible.
In our league we redraw for draft positions every four rounds instead of just using the 1-12 12-1 snake system. I have consistently said that this is unfair since it gives a huge advantage to some teams while hurting others. Other members of my league say that it all works out in the end. What do you think?
R J [Mobile, AL]
Your league uses a system where the first four rounds go 1-12, 1-12, 1-12, 1-12? That’s ridiculous. It gives way too much of an advantage to the teams selecting at the top of each round. And that difference can’t be corrected by adjusting the order of the remaining rounds. I feel strong enough about that issue that I would decline to participate in such a league. Even the 1-12, 12-1 snake system is flawed. It also tends to favor the teams with the higher draft positions, but not by as much.
Think of it in this way: If I gave you the choice of selecting 1st in the first round or 1st in the 10th round, which would you choose? You would select the first round, because those players are more valuable than the players in the 10th round. With the snake draft, the guy with the No. 1 spot gets first choice in all of the odd-numbered rounds, which by definition are all slightly more valuable than the even-numbered rounds that follow them. According to my stat projections, even with a snake-draft approach, the teams with the top 2 draft spots have a decided advantage over everyone else. While the worst draft spots (at least according to my numbers) are the Nos. 8-12 spots. That project to be about 7 percent behind statistically the five teams directly ahead of them -- and well back from the teams in the top 2 spots.
So what can be done to further improve the drafting process? I propose the following. Draft 1-12 in the first round, then reverse the order permanently – it would then go 12-1 for all remaining rounds. If you look at the projected strength of the teams using this system, you’ll see they’re closer together. The weaker teams all project to be statistically better, and the stronger teams aren’t quite as good – the No. 1 draft spot still comes out as the best, but with significantly fewer points. And the Nos. 2-4 draft spots become middle-of-the-pack teams.
How do you rate the long term potential of Matt Forte? He is on my dynasty league roster and other owners in the league have inquired about him. Should I attempt to sell high? Or, do you think he is the real deal?
Scott Turnbull [UPLAND, CA]
I’m high on Forte. I think he’ll get more rushing attempts than any of the five running backs selected in the first round – McFadden, Stewart, Jones, Mendenhall and Johnson. He may not be quite as talented as some of those guys, but I think he has an excellent chance to outproduce all of them this season. And while you’re in a dynasty league, there’s something to be said for here and now – this upcoming season is far more valuable than what may or may not occur in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Will your league even exist in 2010? We’ll have to make sure Forte is going to be a full-time player and get a peek at him in August, but I would be tempted to select him before any of those guys. So if you’re going to consider trading him, it should be with the goal of getting something substantial in return. If somebody’s offering a nice package of players or picks, I wouldn’t be opposed to moving Forte. He plays on a lesser team. But I wouldn’t be interested in giving him away.
I am starting up an auction league this year and have some questions. Its a 16 team league with 2 separate drafts, 8 teams per conference, 18 total rounds. What do you recommend for a starting bankroll? $100, $150, or $200? Does it really make a difference? After the draft a team may pick up free agent players without using a dollar value (used only for the draft) and trades are limited to one per week. Also, this will be a keeper league where you may keep up to 4 players (but only one of each position). Each player I draft I will carry the rights to for 3 years but I must keep them at the salary I bought them for in the draft each season. Free agent pickups are under just one year contracts and go back to the player pool the following year. Any player I drop during the season goes back to the player pool as well the following year. With all this in mind, does the starting bankroll matter and is there anything I should think about implementing for this style of league you can think of?
TYLER HAINES [LOVELAND, CO]
I think you’ve got a good outline. I like the rule about being able to protect only players who were purchased at the auction. Otherwise, you’ll tend to see teams protecting players who were picked up for virtually nothing during the season – maybe Ryan Grant from last year, for example. I also like that players can be protected for three years; that should give you a nice balance of teams being able to protect players like LaDainian Tomlinson and Adrian Peterson, but those guys eventually will have to be exposed for the other owners. I would prefer to let teams protect an unlimited number of players, but your system should work just fine. As for a bankroll, I suggest $100. That makes the bidding chunks bigger, and gives more power to the nominating owner. If you go with a bankroll of $1,000, it allows owners to sit back and cherry pick players nominated by other owners – “Oh, Arthur has started the bidding on Pierre Thomas for $1 – I’ll step in and steal him for $2.” With the $100 cap, a whole bunch of players will go for $1, so they’ll go to the team owners who begin the bidding – the second half of the auction becomes more like a draft. That’s the way I like it. The $100 bankroll also should make for a faster auction.
Only one more week until "The Bible" is out. I can't wait. If my draft date is my adulthood Christmas Day, then the day your magazine comes out is Christmas Eve. I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading it, and I have for most of the last 16 years. I take my good old time reading the entire issue over the summer, page by page, word for word, usually with a nice hoagie or other sports-appropriate food, all the way up to my August draft. Great stuff. … But enough of the ass-kissing! I'm in a pretty standard league; start 1Q, 2RB, 2WR, 1TE, 1 flex (WR or TE), 1K, 1D, standard yardage scoring system, we keep 3 franchise players a year. The question (finally), would you consider keeping 3 RBs? I have M Lynch, J Lewis, R Johnson and L Maroney. My only other legit options are T WhosYourMamma at WR and A Gates at TE. Would you go the three RBs route? If so, which three do you like best of the group?
SCOTT BRADY [COLLEGEVILLE, PA]
Sign me up for Marshawn Lynch, Laurence Maroney and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Jamal Lewis is a possibility, but he’s six years older than Maroney and I think he could tail off this season – the Browns have a much harder schedule. Maroney doesn’t catch many passes and might not get many carries at the goal line, but it would be tough to part with the starting running back on the league’s best offense. He scored 7 TDs in his final six games last season. Lynch, in my opinion, is your No. 1 keeper – a young, full-time running back. I don’t see any point in keeping a third running back ahead of Houshmandzadeh. He projects to put up numbers similar to those running backs, and he’s far less likely to get injured. I have some interest in Antonio Gates, but there are so many good tight end options that I wouldn’t want to use one of my keeper slots on him.
Question 3: I am starting up an...
Posted by andrew varner | Jun. 27 at 03:00 PM
commisioner nuthouse fantasy league (andy) -- what we do just for thought... 1. we have 9 total teams and play 16 games in 13 weeks...if you went to 18 you could play 16...we love the doubleheaders!!! (you might want to think about a probowl in week 17 also...) 2. we have always done $100 - use only whole dollar bids... 3. at the auction we bid on 2QBs, 3RBs, 3WRs, 2TEs, 2Ks, & 2 DEF/SPC T...then we switch to a draft (7 rounds -- it goes faster) with the coach with the most $$ picking first (tie...the team with the highest single bid amount on his roster picks first)... 4. we keep 3 players per year (if you keep 4 each at 16 teams there will be slim pickings!!!) and we have no contracts we have inflation...we buy players for $X and then to keep them the following year we add $2 to that X; the next year we add $4 more (on top of the $2); the following we add $8 if they keep him...keeping player X a 4th time would add $16 more - we'll never get to $32(i contemplated going 3,6,12,24 also - that didn't seem much different)... 5. any auction money left over rolls into the free agent bid fund -- then i add $10 each week to every teams fund... 6. with 16 coaches you are bound to get some ruthless people, be sure to have good trade restrictions to stop collusion...we do nothing unless someone cries foul (anonymously, and then all the uninvolved coaches vote -- you want a tuesday or wednesday deadline though in order to tackle the process in time...commisioner or party crying foul breaks all voting ties if needed)... 7. be sure to get a crazy rules page in writing before kickoff of game #1 for when randy moss catches then flips one over his shoulder to a teammate or if the offense fumbles then the defense fumbles in the same play before the offensive coordinator falls on it in the endzone...ian gets questions on these types of plays every year... enjoy, andrew w.
Question 4: Only one more week until...
Posted by andrew varner | Jun. 27 at 03:09 PM
i had maroney last year and i think i would personally choose lewis instead only because he is not committee(those other 2 stole lots of points from him)...i agree lynch and houshy though...
Question 4: Only one more week until...
Posted by SCOTT BRADY | Jul. 02 at 09:54 AM
Thanks. How about Rudi Johnson? Any interest in him? It sounds like he's packed on some muscle and they're going to run him a lot.
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