Friday, August 27, 2010

Why Do Some People Hate Puppies?

I recently did a draft with a group of friends that I have been in a league with for three years. Every year somebody does it, you know them as the puppy hater. It's the guy that takes a kicker or D/ST early in the draft.

This particular friend took the Jets in round 7, and as quick as a blink of an eye, or in this specific scenario a click of a mouse, a puppy died! Some of the guys he passed on were, Ahmad Bradshaw, Dez Bryant, Mike Wallce, Arian Foster and Jason Witten. Those are just the guys in rounds 7 and 8. I am going to lay out the reasons you should NEVER, and I repeat NEVER draft a kicker or a D/ST in anything but the last two rounds.

Going into last year here are the projections for the top 10 kickers:

1 Stephen Gostkowski
2 Ryan Longwell
3 David Akers
4 Nate Kaeding
5 Mason Crosby
6 Jason Elam
7 Rob Bironas
8 Nick Folk
9 Neil Rackers
10 Robbie Gould

Now, let's look at where some of these guys finished and who finished in the top 10.

#1 kicker in 2009 was Kaeding, so they were close on their projection
#2 was Akers, again pretty respectable
#3 Ryan Longwell, he was projected at #21
#4 Rob Bironas, a respectable projection
#5 Mason Crosby; well done fantasy experts
#6 Jay Feely; he was projected as the 23rd best kicker
#7 Gostkowski
#8 Matt Prater; projected at #17
#9 Lawrence Tynes; projected at #16
#10 Jeff Reed; projected at 21

Four of the top 10 projected kickers were either cut, injured or otherwise useless as kickers. As you can see, kicker projections are EXTREMELY irregular and for all intents and purposes impossible to predict.

Let's take it a step further, assuming you could predict the top 10 kickers accurately. The #1 kicker last year (Nate Kaeding), scored a total of 158 points and the #10 kicker (Jeff Reed) scored 126 points. This is a difference of 2 points a week. The difference in the two are negligible compared to other positions.

In comparison, the #1 receiver was Andre Johnson, he scored 205 fantasy points in standard leagues. The #30 receiver was Nate Burleson and he scored 101 points. A difference or 6.5 points per game. The #1 running back was Chris Johnson, he scored 330 points and Laurence Maroney was #30 and he scored 123 points, a difference of 13 points per game. I am using the #1 vs #30 players because these are the last group of people you would start. Standard ESPN leagues start 2 RBs, 2 WRs and 1 flex. Thus, the top 30 WR and the top 30 RB are probably on some body's roster most weeks.

More specifically, if you are in a 12 team league or you start 3 WRs and a flex, like we do in the league mentioned above, this is exaggerated even more. The gap between your #1 kicker and your #10 kicker were 2 points a week. The difference between your #1 RB/WR and your #30 RB/WR are 6.5 and 13 respectively and this gap widens if your league is deeper in either total teams or total starters.

Let's do the same thing with D/ST, here is a snapshot of last years flubs.

Projections for 2009 were that Pittsburgh would be the #1 D/ST, they finished 12th. Giants were supposed to be the #2 D/ST and they finished at 21. The Titans were supposed to be at #3 and they finished 24th. The Dolphins were supposed to be the #8 D/ST and they finished at 22nd.

On the other side of the coin, the Saints were projected as the #27 D/ST and they finished at #6. The Bengals were projected at #30 and they finished at #9. Denver was projected at #29 and they finished as the 10th D/ST last year.

The same thing concerning total point difference between the #1 D/ST and the #10 D/ST was 77 points. That is 4.8 points on an average week between the #1 starter and the last starting D/ST.

Of any of the positions you will start in fantasy your kicker and D/ST will have the highest chance of upsetting the projections and will have the smallest difference in points per week from the top to the bottom. Never draft a kicker or D/ST before the last round. Everytime somebody drafts these positions outside of the last two rounds a puppy dies. If you hate puppies, draft away. If you love soft, cute puppies then don't draft a kicker or D/ST until the last two rounds. Do the right thing, preserve our precious puppies' lives.


Anonymous said...

Your gay.

Stan Schlueter said...

Perhaps, but you're bad at grammar!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I was typing with one hand and polishing my 08 fantasy football trophy.

Anonymous said...

With the other.

S.P. Lunger said...

Here's my issue with your logic:

You have to consider value over replacement once your starters are set. If you have all your position players filled and the question is between a top dst or k (which I understand is no guarantee) or a flier on a 3rd string rb, then we know the rb will not score points on the fantasy bench. So now we have a window to consider taking a K or DST prior to the last two rounds because they have the potential of making a difference on the field. The backups, now so much.

Stan Schlueter said...

I get what you're saying about replacement. The problem is that every year there are people drafted in the rounds 7-15 that WILL end up being starters in fantasy football. I cannot predict which of those will be starters in the end no more than I can which d/st will be good. So if I'm going to take a player that MAY win my league or a d/st that is completely unpredictable and will DEFINITELY not win my league I will take the chance on the position player that has the posibility to win a league for me.