And I came up with a shtick,
that'll be lamer than Hell,
but will rhyme with Mike Vick.
OK. A better writer than me would have given that stanza more than 13 seconds of thought before rhyming shtick with Vick. more importantly, a better writer than me never would have bothered with imbecilic rhymes in the first place, but I live with two toddlers who respond only to things that rhyme. For example:
This diaper of yours
is always so full
I'm beginning to think
that you are part Bull
Fine, I'll stop. Back to business. Like many of you I have my first draft of the season this Saturday. Two of them in fact. The first for my own league and the second for my favorite league - my keeper league. After 9 seasons of fantasy ball and 4 seasons in a keeper-style league I can honestly say that if you can convince your commissioner to take the extra time and energy to go keeper, you should do it. The advantages far outnumber the weaknesses (which as far as I can tell fall solely on the person managing the league - sorry Steve).
In no particular order
1) When you can keep a few players (we keep 2) you can develop a core team around which you build over time. Maybe you have a stud QB and a stud receiver, you know that you won't have to be overworried about those positions with your first couple of picks. This is especially nice if you can keep a top QB. The guy who won last year has been keeping Drew Brees since he became a Saint. This will be his last year to hold him, thankfully - but he created a championship team out of his ability to keep a top tier QB.
2) Consequently you get more interesting drafts. Since everyone isn't chasing blindly after the same top tier guys you get a lot more diversity among the picks. Our drafts aren't even remotely similar to any Average Drafts you see online. Last year Peyton Manning went 1st. That guy didn't finish in the money or anything, but he thought a top QB was his best chance so he took it.
3) This format opens to the door to more generational thinking. Last year a team named the Stompers picked up Michael Vick off waivers (in this league the lower you take somebody the longer you can keep them - so this was a huge windfall for the Stompers). This year my team traded the Stompers my 1st round pick in 2011 and my 3rd round pick in 2012 for rights to Vick. Could be a huge mistake on either of our parts, but it certainly will provide for a lively draft.
4) This particular keeper format moves any potential keeper up two rounds each year they are kept, and you are not allowed to keep anyone drafted in the 1st two rounds. So guys that come out of college with a ton of buzz can almost never be keepers, but all those sleepers that come out of nowhere can sit on an owner's team for as long as 7 years before they are forced back into the general draft pool. A few years ago a guy took a 9th round flyer on Chris Johnson who was (at the time) getting split evenly with Len Dale White. A few sandwiches later White is a non-entity and the Chris Johnson gets to be kept the next 3 seasons. Wham!
Not that there's anything wrong with the standard draft. Shaking up the fantasy snow globe every year means everyone always starts with a clean slate. But where's the fun in that? The best players can reap sometimes small, sometimes huge year-over-year benefits from drafting wisely, and we all like that.
A general question for those wiser than I
I'm entering my first Auction-Style league this year. What have you learned? What are important drafting strategies beyond: "Don't overpay for Eli Manning!"
I'm anticipating a bit of a learning curve here, but the draft is no time to find out all the things you don't know. Post your tips in the comments. Thanks.
Monday, August 22, 2011
And I came up with a shtick,