The Top 250 Dynasty Football Rankings 4.0 – Week 3 Refresh

As always, these #Dynasty250 rankings are designed for 2QB and superflex leagues, so if you play in single quarterback league, fade the QB’s. Next, ask your commissioner if you can change the league to be a 2Qb league.

Whether you play redraft or dynasty, if you’re new to ZeroRB, or maybe just generally skeptical after decades of drafting running backs in rounds one and two, take a moment to consider what has happened through two weeks this year. Had you followed my general strategy of buying the cheaper running back in each backfield, by ADP you would have Coleman, Ware, Sims, McKinnon, Riddick/Washington, DeAngelo, Crowell, C-Mike, Gio, Blount and Yeldon over the more-expensive nominal starters. With that in mind, maybe it’s time to sell high on a CJ Anderson for a 2017 1st (stacked draft class) and at talented backup running back (I like Alfred Morris). Maybe you can get even more than that.

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Dealing With Positional Scarcity

Today I want to talk about position scarcity again. I previously analyzed the stability of positional scarcity from year to year and found that there was more variation than I, and perhaps you, had expected. At the time, I used a “best guess” as to how many of each position would be used on a typical roster. I generally assumed that most utility and bench spots would be filled proportionally with first basemen, third basemen, and outfielders. I did not account for multiple position eligibility or calculate beyond my own speculation regarding which positions would account for the majority of unassigned slots. Having had a few months to think about how to make this process better, and the time to do so, I came up with the method that I’ll describe below. But first, a short description of the offensive setups in the leagues I studied – leagues that I play in, of course.

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The Top 250 Dynasty Football Rankings 3.0 – Week 1 Refresh

I’d like to remind readers right off the top that these #Dynasty250 rankings are focused on 2QB/superflex leagues, so if you’re in a league that starts one quarterback, fade the crap out of the QB ranks.

This is the final refresh before the start of the season, but I will be keeping these up to date frequently during the season to help give you a second opinion on trades. It’s good to pay mind to your preseason rankings rather than panic, but we all know that fantasy football is not like fantasy baseball where we can patiently “trust the back of the baseball card.” Dynasty football values can change lightning fast, so I will be nimble as new information comes in.

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The Next Next Big Things: Hitter Edition

Now that the clock has struck September, many of us are faced with the unfortunate reality that this just isn’t our year. Luckily in dynasty leagues, that old adage will always remain true: “There’s always next year” (technically in any league, and life too for that matter, most of the time. Fine, nevermind). While our competitors are still wasting time on boring stuff like, um, competing for this season’s championship, we can get a head start uncovering some gems to get us back into contention. Here are a few names that have shown some intriguing skills in 2016 while remaining somewhat under the radar on a national level. So let’s pour one out for the 2016 season (but only one) and get back in the game.

Luis Urias, 2B Padres

The Urias buzz has been slowly building, and for good reason. The dude can hit. Signed as a free agent out of Mexico in 2013, he established himself immediately as a batting average asset, hitting .310 in the Arizona League as a 17-year-old. Urias’s excellent batting average can in part be traced to his knack for putting the ball in play at alarmingly high rates. Even at age-17, he walked more than he struck out (18:13 in 179 plate appearances). In fact, Urias has continued this trend in every stop in his career, save one. In 1004 career minor league plate appearances, Urias has walked 8.4 percent of the time, compared to a meager 7.0 percent strikeout rate (or roughly 2395 percent lower than Mark Reynolds). The following season Urias showed no signs of slowing down, as he was promoted through the ranks, hitting .299 in 268 plate appearances spending between Low A Tri-City and Single A Fort Wayne.

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Planting Seeds: WR’s – Uncovering Future Starters

Dynasty leagues are often won by the teams that uncover value where others see none. Last year Gary Barnidge was a waiver add in even the deepest leagues while fourth round rookie picks from last year like Stefon Diggs and Thomas Rawls each provided significant ROI.

There’s signal to be found in the rotosphere if you know what to look for, but there’s also a lot of noise, which makes identifying these players challenging. That’s why I like to plant as many quality “seeds” (rostering or monitoring pre-breakout, under-hyped players). Any individual seed is unlikely to blossom into a stud, but if you plant enough quality ones, you give yourself a chance to get cheap starters. I’ve already talked about the seeds I am planting at running back and quarterback (for 2QB and superflex leagues), this post will focus on wide receivers who are either currently not starting, or not yet priced as viable fantasy starters.

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Do The Murph

No one was more skeptical of Daniel Murphy than I. Of course, I usually am slow to accept unexpected breakouts. The owner of Murphy in my dynasty league is well on his way to a last place finish and had been shopping Murphy all year. I have Jason Kipnis and Ben Zobrist so I wasn’t particularly motivated and eventually the other owner sold Murphy for Austin Meadows and Carlos Rodon, a return that I thought to be extremely strong. For months I was told how he would provide better statistics with far few strikeouts – they count in my league. But I held firm, I was convinced that the day I hypothetically acquired him would be the day he reverted back to his high average low everything else ways. However, he hasn’t and shows no signs of doing so.

The new Daniel Murphy emerged in the playoffs last year when he stroked seven home runs in 14 games on the way to earning himself a nice new contract with the Nationals. To date, he hasn’t missed a beat. The following monthly splits are from this year.

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Abandon Your Strategy

Hi all. I write about strategy, decision making, and human behavior as they relate to fantasy baseball and not-fantasy baseball over at Baseball Prospectus. Here at TDG I have written an article about these topics as they relate to fantasy football. If you have read my fantasy baseball articles, then you will recognize the concepts discussed in this article. My hope is that the ideas discussed are properly related to the concepts of fantasy football.

After a long offseason, after a lot of draft and auction preparation, after a lot of strategizing, drafts and auctions are finally upon us. We are in a wonderful day and age for fantasy football participants in which more amazing player analysis and (stemming from that player analysis) amazing strategy analysis is readily available than there was ever before thanks to our old friend the internet. Tons of information and analysis can be accessed with only a wi-fi connection and a little bit of effort on the participant’s behalf. The result of this? The 2016 fantasy football participant population (at least those competing in “competitive” leagues) will likely be the most informed and prepared fantasy football participant population ever.

The issue—at least an issue for those trying to win—is that preparedness or consuming the best analysis or having the most cutting edge strategy is likely only going to be enough to keep up with our competition as opposed to differentiate us. Why? Because if everyone is more informed, if everyone is improving, then no one is better off. In other words, improving is a means of survival rather than a means to thrive. So how then do we thrive? How can we hope to improve in ways beyond our competition? To do so, we need to improve in areas outside of rankings and analysis.

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