This has been one of my worst seasons in the TFL (fantasy football) that I can remember. I am still trying to pinpoint the reason behind the demise and struggles of my team. I don’t think I can lay blame on any one factor, it’s a combination of the draft, decisions and poor performance, all have contributed to my current standing in the league (8th out of 10…and falling).
I have seen a lot of fantasy football over 27 years of participating and while not every year is a positive year, this is by far the most I have struggled. I feel like that head coach who has young talent at the skill positions, but just cannot get the best out of them to be successful. So where did I go wrong?
I believe there are three areas I failed in that contributed to this difficult and grueling season. First and probably most important was the draft. This works in conjunction with free agency and decisions on whom to pick up, drop and start on a weekly basis. Finally there is the actual player performance, something none of us as fantasy owners have any control over.
The draft. I have said this before, preparation is the key to a good draft. I believe that goes without saying. This year was different because I changed online resources for my preparation. After setting up scoring for my league I printed cheat sheets, which every one users, making minor adjustments for players I would hope to draft. Unfortunately, it was failure of epic proportion because I had intended to draft players using a tiered system but ended up using the individual rankings at each position. This caused me to select players I probably should have passed on and passed on players I probably should have drafted.
I still stand by my draft strategy, which didn’t differ much from what Russ Bliss at FantasyFootballStaters.com posted prior to many league drafts. I believe this is a tried and true strategy, Russ’s strategy has contingencies, each round depending on what position you need. You can read how my 2010 draft played out. Unfortunately it was the decision making when the selection rolled around to me that left a bit to be desired.
Decision making is the key to any successful fantasy season and is something owners battle with all year long. Call it the “What if..” or “Who should I play…” syndrome, but we face it each week. I would say more often then not, you end up over thinking the situation, playing the wrong starter and end up kicking yourself come Monday morning. Much like using a draft strategy, this year has been unique because instead of taking the opinions of “experts” on a single fantasy site, I have the option to share my questions and insight with thousands of other like minded owners using an online forum.
Not quite sure how answers to my weekly dilemmas have assisted or hinder my decision making process. What it has done in some cases is spawn discussion on players, their match up and potential. But remember what I just said about over thinking a situation? Sometimes you must just go with the gut feeling and make the play.
This was also the first year using a site of this type. In the past I relied on a handful of “experts” to give me their opinions, read their articles and trust their research and insight. This year, while my personal decisions have not been great, I have spent a great amount or time researching players, pulling stats and comparing potentials of players. I believe it has made me more aware as I scroll through material. Unfortunately research does not always lead to victories or high scoring weekends. Sometimes luck comes into play.
Finally the factor we cannot control is how a specific player will perform. We have all selected players high in the draft and over the course of 17 weeks we become frustrated because of the ineffectiveness on the field. This is something you don’t plan for but my adjust to as the season wears on.
While there still are 5 weeks of the NFL season remaining I am already looking towards next year. Now with a year of FFS under my belt I have altered my mindset, something that had been unchallenged for many years as it relates to fantasy football. I have met some knowledgeable owners who have provided a different insight that might make me approach next year differently. It now becomes on how to apply those changes and improve upon the factors I discussed in order to build and manage a successful fantasy team.