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Fantasy Football Index publisher Ian Allan answers your questions about fantasy football. Click here to submit a question.


Mailbag for August 26, 2021

Ian Allan answers your fantasy football questions. In this edition. Does the reward outweigh the risk with seemingly elite running backs? Holding off the flaming pitchforks who say that Tyler Lockett, Josh Jacobs and Ezekiel Elliott are too high on the Fantasy Index draft board. Power-nerd supply-demand questions for auctions and overall lists. And much, much more.

Question 1

I’m in a 16-team auction league, and am often torn about whether to spend the ridiculous prices required to land a stud RB. Do you have any stats on how often a Top-10 preseason ranked RB ends up going down for the season due to a major injury? It feels risky to spend, say, 40% of an auction budget on just 1 player if there’s a reasonable chance that said player suffers a torn ACL early on. How often do the consensus top backs become complete busts due to injury?

Greg Resin (Torrance, CA)

Let’s do it this way. Take all running backs from the last 20 years who finished in the top-5 in fantasy points (using PPR scoring). Almost all of those guys would have been coveted in drafts. Then look at how they did the next year. Exactly half of them again put up top-10 numbers among running backs. But 26 of them ranked outside the top 20. The vast majority of those were affected by injuries, and I’ve got the number of games played for each player in there, so you can see that the vast majority of these underperformers were affected by injuries.

2001Edgerrin James, Ind.66621933129.532
2003Charlie Garner, Oak.145533864165.926
2004Jamal Lewis, Balt.1210061167164.228
2005Curtis Martin, NYJ127351185139.327
2006Shaun Alexander, Sea.10896487148.433
2007Larry Johnson, K.C.85591864128.537
2008Joseph Addai, Ind.125442067142.039
2009Michael Turner, Atl.118713510155.634
2011Jamaal Charles, K.C.2839120.2105
2011Peyton Hillis, Cle.105871303111.744
2012Maurice Jones-Drew, Jac.641486276.054
2013Doug Martin, T.B.645666170.257
2013Arian Foster, Hou.85421832108.546
2013Ray Rice, Balt.156603214182.122
2014Knowshon Moreno, Mia.31488122.6103
2015Arian Foster, Hou.4163227379.065
2015LeVeon Bell, Pitt.65561363111.249
2015Marshawn Lynch, Sea.741780382.761
2016Danny Woodhead, S.D.211635127.198
2016Adrian Peterson, Min.3728011.0123
2016Doug Martin, T.B.8421134387.556
2016DeAngelo Williams, Pitt.93431186100.149
2017David Johnson, Ariz.12367015.0110
2017DeMarco Murray, Ten.156592667173.521
2020Christian McCaffrey, Car.3225149690.454
2020Austin Ekeler, LAC105304033165.327

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Question 2

You guys have Tyler Lockett ranked pretty highly, and there's no doubt he buts up great total numbers for the season, but look at his game log for last year. Almost half his fantasy points came from 2 games (Week 3 and Week 7). Most other weeks, he put up duds, with a few solid games mixed in. What are your thoughts on trusting these boom or bust type guys each week?

Jeff Hornstein (Miami, FL)

Are we sure that Lockett is a boom-or-bust player? He was not an inconsistent wide receiver in 2018. He was not inconsistent in 2019. Typically, I think of boom-or-bust receivers as being deep threats who are depending on hitting on a long touchdown once in a while. Guys like DeSean Jackson or Marquez Valdes-Scantling. I don’t see Lockett is in that group. I see him more as a savings-bond type investment who’ll be an every-week starter kind of guy (even if that’s not how his numbers played out last year).

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Question 3

Is Michael Thomas done as a top wide receiver? Someone in my 12 team keep 10 standard scoring dynasty league has offered me Thomas and a first round pick this year for Cooper Kupp and my first round next year. I feel like he still has a lot left in him?

Damon Duhon (Baton Rouge, LA)

Pass. Thomas is probably still a good receiver, but he’ll miss at least a third of this season, and there are still issues to patch up with the Saints. Where he is playing in 2022? Once he returns and is healthy, is he better than Kupp?

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Question 4

Hello there I love your work. It has helped me for about 20 years win multiple leagues. My question is this on your TEAM DEPTH CHARTS are these complied by you or are you going by the TEAMS websites. The reason I ask is the TEXANS. You state David Johnson isn't very good these days and would probably be gone if not for his salary, yet he is listed as the NUMBER ONE RB?

Richard Spinella (North Providence, RI)

The depth charts list the players in the order we would select them. I expect Mark Ingram and Phillip Lindsay will be used for more of the traditional running between the 20s. Those guys should both run for more yards, with more rushing touchdowns, than Johnson. But Johnson will be a lot more productive than either of those guys as a pass catcher. He’s really good in those situations, while Ingram is a lesser pass catcher and Lindsay is even worse (maybe the No. 1 worst passing-downs back in the league). Houston should be trailing by double digits in the second half often in their games, setting up Johnson to pick up plenty of cheap catches and yards on dumpoff passes. So if you’re in a league using PPR scoring, I would advise you to select Johnson before Ingram and Lindsay.

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Question 5

I think it's N Harris and K Pitts as the top two rookies. In a keeper league where the best 64 players are kept, I pick 3rd of course. Need to see if I should pay up to trade up in draft order. What are your top 5 rookies to draft at this time? Thanks as always since 1989.

John Macho (Elko, MN)

Three wide receivers were taken with top-10 picks, but none of them jump out as being safe selections. With JaMarr Chase, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, I would call all of them only slight favorites to be the best wide receivers on their own teams this year. How about Javonte Williams? He’s a rugged dude who breaks tackles. He’s looking like the Nick Chubb of this draft – a running back who went early in the second round who really should have gone a lot earlier. Williams is 2 years younger than Najee Harris. I’m in agreement that Harris and Pitts will be the first two selections, but no doubt the price would be dear to move up and get one of them.

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Question 6

I noticed that Josh Jacobs is much higher on your board than almost any other source. What is the reason for this, and do you believe Drake will make a dramatic impact on his touches?

Ryan Klein (Tinley Park, IL)

I think others are probably more worried about that being a one-two punch backfield. I think Jacobs will be the starter, with Drake more of a change-of-pace and third-down guy. I consider Jacobs to be in that modest starter level of running backs, along with guys like Joe Mixon, David Montgomery, Chris Carson and Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

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Question 7

0.5PPR start two RB, two WR and one WR/TE/RB Flex. It's a $200 keeper auction league that you can trade your auction dollars for players. I'm going in with $233 and am on the fence with keeping Claypool and Deebo both for $15 as my #5 and #6 WR. I really like the players but not in love with their situations. Based on the Index rankings I believe I keep them but if I drop them into the auction pool I have a better chance to get two of these Zeke/ Kamara and pair with Taylor/ Jacobs/ Barkley/ Harris. I'm keeping Chase Edmonds and Antonio Gibson so maybe that 2nd RB doesn't matter but my other WRs are Metcalf, Lockett, AJ Brown and Tee Higgins. My gut tells me to roll with Claypool and Deebo but I also feel like then I miss on a Callaway, Jakobi Meyers or Corey Davis. Keeping both Claypool and Deebo I've got about $75 to allocate to two running backs.

Adam Bjork (Waunakee, WI)

Claypool and Samuels both look like up-and-coming players to me. But the math is too complicated for me to just glance at a paragraph and say that they’re worth $10, $15 or $20. With both, I have concerns with the team. The Steelers have offensive line issues and a 39-year-old quarterback, as well as two other really good receivers. Rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth caught a couple of touchdowns early in their game last week. With Samuels, I’m a little worried about the quarterbacking. Jimmy Garoppolo looks like his confidence is shot. Trey Lance should be an excellent pro, but how long will it take? He’s a 21-year-old with limited experience and a run-pass game. He’s taken a bunch of sacks in the preseason. Lance looked really good on a couple of series against the Chargers, rifling in some strikes, but he doesn’t look like a quarterback who’ll be locked in on his two main wide receivers. They’ve got an elite tight end, and I think he’ll find the third and fourth wide receivers.

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Question 8

If you had to overpay in an auction for one player this year, who would it be?

Scott Turnbull (Aptos, CA)

Typically in an auction, I’m working off the dollars. I lock in on the projections and player values, then it’s a game of trying to collect as many “values” as you can. When we get to the end of the auction, I want to have turned by $100 in spending money into $160 worth of value (according to my player prices). So I’m never excited about a third of my payroll on one of the premium players.

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Question 9

Hi Ian and Team FI, What is your most current thinking about QB Prescott? He's been moving down in my FI Custom Rankings. He's still the 9th best QB, and ranks 22nd overall in my 8 Team, 2 QB Keeper League. There's also a clear drop-off between Prescott and the next QB after him. I can Keep him as a 5th Rounder, with the 37th overall pick. Just wondering if you are having any doubts about Prescott's value, for whatever reason, in 2021.

Steven Schipper (Brampton, ON)

He’s been working through a shoulder injury, but he was throwing on Wednesday. I think he’s going to be fine. With those weapons around him, I think he’s in the mix to be a top-5 quarterback.

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Question 10

I have the 12th pick in a 12 team PPR league where 3 WR's, 2 RB's and 1 Flex position along with one: QB/TE/D/K will start. I am pretty sure only RB's, Mahomes and possibly Josh Allen (big Bill's fan in the league) will go before me. I am strongly considering picking Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill at 12 and 13 respectively. First...what RB's would be available to me at 36 and 37? you think this strategy would be effective?

Todd Faulds (Coral Springs, FL)

It would be hard to pass up an Adams-Hill combo if it’s there. Key would be cobbling together an adequate running back room later on. Andy Richardson and I both attempted the double-receiver start in mirrored drafts recently, and we’ll both probably have to further address running backs later. I ended up with Josh Jacobs and Travis Etienne as my two starters, plus seven other prospect-type running backs (where I’m waiting for an injury to the starter ahead of them). Andy got Chase Edmonds and Darrell Henderson as his two main backs.

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Question 11

I have the 2nd pick in a PPR league with 2 flex positions. Usually draft a RB early but is your opinion any different? Maybe Hill or Adams instead of Elliott or Cook?

Troy Marshall (Hiawatha, IA)

Everybody’s taking Dalvin Cook there. I don’t think the decision is that easy, but he’s the guy going No. 2 overall. If you’re thinking about selecting somebody else, I would think you could extract some value out of another owner by trading down a few picks. The guy picking fourth, for example, might be willing to toss you an eighth-round pick. I worry some about Cook’s durability issues, and whether the Vikings offense might slip a little, with a new coordinator, a lesser offensive line, and general team dysfunction with so many players (including Cook, apparently) being unvaccinated.

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Question 12

In our league teams can keep 5. My top 3 are set — D Henry, Kamara, T Hill — but I’m having trouble deciding between K Allen and Ridley for one spot, and Brady and D Prescott for the other. Customized rankings indicate I should keep Brady and K Allen, but I’m having trouble pulling the trigger. I don’t want to be the guy owning Brady when he finally gets old, and Prescott was tearing up the league before he got hurt last year. I know you’re down on Ridley compared with other analysts because you think the Falcons will run more — but won’t they have to pass when they fall behind, which may be often? So —persuade me. TD-heavy scoring system.

Eric Pryne (Vashon, WA)

If it’s a keeper league, 2022 should also be considered. Prescott and Ridley are lot younger than Brady and Allen, so it’s more likely that you would want to keep them heading into that season. I would definitely keep Prescott over Brady, and I would be torn on Allen/Ridley.

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Question 13

Dynasty TD dependent league. I have one spot so am I keeping Darrell Henderson or James Robinson? Was keeping Henderson until Michel trade due to Ram offense and Akers torn Achilles could be difficult to return from. Now with Etienne out Robinson should resume where he left off last year though with a slightly better offense and offensive line. However, Etienne should recover better next year due to his injury not being as significant as Akers. So, what say you?

Howie Fishman (Hermosa Beach, CA)

Robinson looks like the safer choice. He’s shown he can do it. And I’m not sure Etienne will be moving ahead of him anytime soon. Even before he got hurt, he was looking like he would be a disappointed – like he was going to be just an ordinary third-down back. He didn’t even get in the game on Monday night until either their fourth or fifth possession.

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Question 14

I’m in a 10 team PPR keeper league. I have the 1st pick. Do I keep Chase Edmonds in the 11th or Tyreek Hill in the 2nd?

Richard Breuer (Hartford, WI)

I’m not a huge Edmonds fan. I just don’t get the sense he’s going to emerge as a breakout starter kind of guy. I think he’s more likely to be a time-share guy with James Conner. A few weeks into the season, we might all agree Edmonds is more of a third-down back. But when you look at the price tags, Edmonds is the guy to keep. If he’s functional at all or even mediocre, he’ll outperform that 11th-round draft position. Hill, on the other hand, will be selected in the late first or early second round if you opt to let him go.

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Question 15

I finally have the #1 overall pick in my 16-team keeper league. My problem is 13 teams have keepers this year (11 RBs), so I'm going Davante Adams first overall. There will be 4 RBs left on the board: Ekeler, Harris, Carson and Mixon. I'm not wild about any of those guys. Should I load up at WR or go for the positional advantage of selecting one of the Top TEs or Mahomes.

James Stewart (Waynesboro, VA)

Adams would be a good start. In the second round, it would be nice to add one of those running backs, if possible. Kelce, Waller and Mahomes are difference-maker type guys, but I’m not sure if they’ll still be around.

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Question 16

Big fan of the work you do. I'm in a full PPR 12-man league with 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, and 1 Flex. Since there's such a premium on receivers (I'll probably start 4 every week), would you prioritize taking them early and often after the workhorse running backs are gone? Which running back do you think represents the biggest tier break for that strategy? My overall picks are #5, #26, #36, #37, #44, #53, #77, and every pick from the 5th spot after that

Garrett Seymour (New Glarus, WI)

I play in a couple of leagues with that format every year. I almost always operate under the assumption that I’ll be playing four wide receivers each week. So you’re going to need five good wide receivers coming out of the draft (to cover for byes, injuries, and the off chance that maybe somebody isn’t quite as good as you were expecting when you picked him). You’ll need a couple of running backs, of course, but I would be looking to be probably the first to selecting five or six receivers.

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Question 17

What are your thoughts on drafting in a 2 QB league, where pass TDs are 6 points? Sound logic seems to say to draft a QB in the first round, but the winner the last two years (this is our 3rd year) waited until the middle rounds, going RB in the first two rounds each time. Perhaps QBs are just too deep these days...

Josh Obusek (Pittsburgh, PA)

We can look at the value of the top guys relative to what will be left in the ninth round. That’s one way to do it. In a rough sense, let’s say 28 quarterbacks, 10 tight ends, 30 running backs and 30 wide receivers will be selected in the first eight rounds – 96 players overall. Then you can look at the best remaining guy who’s available at each position: Jared Goff (314 points), Jamaal Williams (145), Irv Smith (100), Hollywood Brown (131). If you’re not a Jamaal Williams fan, you could arguably sub in Gus Edwards (131). I don’t know your scoring system, by way, I’m assuming standard, with 6 points for TD passes. And you have better information on this in regards to how many players will be chosen at each position in the first eight rounds – you have the ability to look at drafts from previous years. I’m working strictly in theory. If we take the 96 players I think should be selected and subtract the ninth-round value from each of them, those figures suggest the first nine picks of the draft should all be quarterbacks. In general, my hope would be to start with two quarterbacks, then move to the other positions.

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Question 18

Can you explain what you have seen out of Zeke to move him up from your original projections. He is going as #2 in your PPR's but magazine had him about 4-5. Seems like not much difference between him and Cook or Henry...but curious on what makes you elevate him.


Cam Akers suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. That moved him up a spot. Elliott seems to be in good shape, and I think that Dallas offense is going to crank out a lot of points. Cook will be selected before Elliott in essentially every draft, but I don’t think the decision is that easy. Cook has had a lot of injury problems, while Elliott has been really durable. Elliott will be a much more productive pass catcher than Henry. Austin Ekeler is in this conversation, I think, but he’s riskier as more of a supped-up third-down back.

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Question 19

I am in a 12-team basic scoring league. I have been in it since the mid 90’s. A few years ago there was a rule change that allowed TEs to be played as a WR or RB. TEs could only be played as WRs for many years. I feel I have undervalued TEs for this reason. How soon should a top-rated TE go in this format?

Dan Myler (Dripping Springs, TX)

Kelce and Waller are difference makers, but not as much so when you move into basic scoring. Those guys are great in PPR, when you’re looking at their ability to catch 100-plus passes. But they haven’t been as dominant strictly as scorers. Same with Kittle; he’s been surprisingly underused in the red zone so far in his career. You added a nice rule there, increasing the value of tight ends (by allowing them to flex into other positions). With that rule, the guys who select Kelce and Waller have the option to try and choke out the rest of the league by also drafting Pitts and Hockenson. But it’s still a modest position, with a lesser supply and demand dynamic. Teams still are tending to start only one tight end, versus two and three at the running back and wide receiver spots. So I’m guessing there will still be some decent tight ends who slip through the cracks. Tyler Kroft, for example, maybe wouldn’t have been selected in your league a week ago. But now that he caught 2 TDs at Lambeau last week, he’s looking like a decent second tight end on the bench.

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Question 20

Long-time subscriber and big fan who's in a bit of a pickle. PPR 10-team Keeper league where we keep three players every year (straight up - no draft pick involved). I lost two of my keepers this summer (Akers and Michael Thomas) leaving me with the likes of Antonio Gibson and Allen Robinson as my two main keepers. On the roster I have... very little... Kyler Murray and Chase Edmonds as third keeper optins and no one else really. I have the opportunity to trade a 5th round pick in this year's draft for Mike Evans, or I can trade another owner a 4th round pick for either James Robinson or Tyler Lockett (or Swift...). So trading a draft pick to fill in my third keeper. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Eric Hachlinski (Bloomfield Hills, MI)

You have four keeper possibilities: Gibson, Robinson, Murray, Edmonds. I don’t see any point in trading away a fourth- or fifth-round pick for a player who isn’t necessarily an upgrade. I would be inclined to just keep your three best guys. (The teams looking to trade Evans and Robinson, by the way, presumably have three players they like better than those guys– I would guess they’d be willing to trade those players for much later picks, with the alternative being they won’t get anything at all.)

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Question 21

I have been doing a normal fantasy league for years. This year trying a "best ball" league. Any strategies you have for that type of format? Thanks.

Rick Cwik (Lemont, IL)

In those kind of leagues, I typically carry only two quarterbacks. Take two good ones, and then it frees you to select another running back or wide receiver, rather than a third QB. I typically like to have a deep group of wide receivers that I feel good about.

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Question 22

I've joined a new league and I could use some help tweaking the 'auction values' section of the Scoring System to come up with an overall top 200:

Scott Anderson (Lakewood, CO)

I don’t have the scoring system, but I think you’ll be looking at 10 kickers and 10 defenses (with the ability to use the waiver wire, as needed). With double starting quarterbacks, I think 34 will be rostered at that position. About 20 at tight end, 65 at wide receiver and 51 at running backs. The last few guys at each position, by definition, are worth only $1.00. In general, I would go with about the bottom 30-35 percent at most of the positions worth only $1.00 – the “who cares?” guys. At kicker and defense, just a couple of players are perhaps worth more than the $1 min. In general, maybe 12 tight ends, 37 running backs, 25 quarterbacks and 53 wide receivers. Something like that. Plug those in and see if it’s to your liking.

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Question 23

A blast from the past. Long time and ways from our time together in Tokyo at the Daily Yomiuri. In a dynasty league I can trade either Nick Chubb or Antonio Gibson for DK Metcalf. Which would you trade? It’s not a traditional league, but RBs who rack up receiving yards help. Teams go head-to-head in total rushing yards (7 points) passing yards (7 points) and receiving yards (7 points). Touchdowns worth 4 points for rushing and receiving and 3 for passing. Hope to hear from ya long lost buddy. Konichiwa.

Brent Maycock ()

This is a nice surprise. It’s been over 30 years since we worked for a few months together in Tokyo. Good times. I remember you had come from Missouri, which has a noted journalism program, so no doubt you’re a little disappointed that Drew Lock thus far hasn’t been able to quite get his career off the ground. I’m not sure I have any clever insights for your eclectic format. I haven’t played in anything like that, so it’s hard for me to get my mind around it. In general, both Chubb and Gibson would go about 10th among running backs in that kind of a format, I think. Chubb is a little better than 10th strictly as a running back, but he hasn’t been used much as a pass catcher, which is a factor. To win the 7 points for receiving, it would help to have running backs helping out. Gibson is a little unproven, having been mostly a wide receiver in college. They’re hoping he’ll step up and emerge in his second season, but I don’t know that he’ll be a huge pass catcher either. I think they’ll still use J.D. McKissic on obvious passing downs. With Gibson, I like how they use him in goal-line situations. That coaching staff tends to emphasize the run when it’s close to the end zone. Christian McCaffrey was a reliable touchdown scoring for them in previous seasons, and Gibson scored 11 touchdowns in his final 13 full games last year. I’m not sure I’d trade either of these guys for Metcalf. In a dynasty league, Metcalf looks like a top-5 guy, but it’s easier to find wide receivers than running backs. With Metcalf, I suppose it’s also reasonable to wonder how long he’ll be working with Russell Wilson. In the offseason, there was the weird deal where Wilson’s agent said he’d like to be traded, even listing his four preferred landing spots. If Wilson gets moved in the offseason, Metcalf’s value could decline in a hurry. Good luck, and great to hear from you.

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Question 24

I am in a 10 man PPR league and currently have the 3rd overall pick. Is Davante Adam’s the best pick here? Assuming McCaffery and Cook go 1,2. I value running back over WR but I think Dak’s injury could play a factor with Zeke and I don’t trust Kamara with Winston or Hill. Thoughts?


Adams looks like a very safe pick to me. I don’t anyone picking him with a top-5 pick will regret it.

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Question 25

I know you’ve addressed this hundreds of times over the years. I’ve been a loyal reader and subscriber for years. This year I’m finally dipping my toes into the Auction water. I’m in a 12-team league. Cap is $200. What the best way to determine values?? I know the questions you’re gonna ask. How many players will go for $1…… since I’m new to this, I don’t know how many players will have a value of more than $1. Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated!!! Also, I was having technical issues on Sunday printing out cheat sheets. I took a shot in the dark and called the Fantasy Index number for help. Thank you so much to the individual who answered and walked me through my issues. You don’t get that support with anyone else!

Bryan Morris (Pine City, NY)

I prefer a $100 cap. At $200, there’s too much ridiculous cat-and-mouse infighting over the $1 and $2 players at the end of the draft. The $100 version is cleaner, and it goes faster (with half as many dollars being utilized). But whatever. You asked about setup. Decide how many players at each position will be drafted, and then you need to set up baselines at each position. Below the baselines, every player is worth $1.00. Above the baseline, value is determined by how much better they are than the best of those $1.00 players. For example, consider Zach Wilson. He’s perhaps good enough to be on a roster, but he’s not a player you would want to spend more than $1.00 on – you’d rather save those extra dollars to help you land better talent at more important positions. Baselines can be affected by league rules and roster sizes. For the 20 or so leagues where we’ve done the set up, it seems like usual about 60-70 percent of quarterbacks go for the league minimum (so if 20 were being selected, the bottom 6-7 would be going for $1.00). At running back, it’s about 65 percent in most leagues. Wide receivers seem to be a little closer to 70 percent. Tight ends down around 55 percent.

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Question 26

A couple of years ago you did an article and stats on Defenses "Strength of Schedule". It was really helpful. If this is available, I can’t find it. If it is not please bring it back it was really good.

Stephen Burch (Liverpool, NY)

I looked under the Strength of Schedule tab. Sure enough, we haven’t done a defensive version yet this season. I will get one up within a week.

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Question 27

Got a quick question. Long-time subscriber and I have always done a custom list for rankings. I am in a 10 team ppr league that awards 6 pts for all touchdowns and a bonus of 3 points for any touchdowns over 50 yards (9 total points). Those are the only differences between your 12-team PPR rankings and our league. I am trying to dial in the rankings based on 10 teams so I decided to just switch the number of teams only for now (no adjusting the points for scoring) to your 12 team PPR to see how it affected the rankings and it did nothing to any of the rankings or points to the players by position but it did change the rankings "All Positions" somewhat significantly such as moving Travis Kelce to the #2 position for 10 team from the #7 spot in the 12 team? I have the first pick this year and am conflicted a bit on CMac as my first pick and I am considering one of the other top position players such as Mahomes, Adams, Kelce and Cmac. Any input or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Dan Miles (Martinez, CA)

For all scoring systems, the overall rankings – the top 200 – are determined by first agreeing on a baseline level of production. Typically, that’s a guy you might be able to get in the 11th round or so in your draft (a late-round pick) or a player who would go for $1 in an auction. You decided on the best-available such player at each position. The overall rankings, then, are determined by measuring how much better players are then those baseline guys. If you’re in a 10-team league, for example, you might decide that the 11th-best tight end (Irv Smith, perhaps) is that baseline guy. In a 12-team league, maybe the baseline tight end is more like the 17th-best guy (perhaps Anthony Firkser). So now, when looking at Travis Kelce, his value has changed. His numbers, of course, are the same, but there’s a larger difference between Kelce and Firkser than between Kelce and Smith. When we change the baseline players at each position, it causes shifting in the overall rankings.

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