This year Fake Pigskin are running IDP Draftmaster leagues! Click here for more information on these free to enter leagues designed to encourage new IDP players to take a shot at it without any season long commitment!
This article is designed to give you a very basic run down of how ‘draft only’ leagues work, and how to make the most out of your draft in the IDP Draftmaster leagues.
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How ‘Draftmasters’ work:
In a draftmaster, (also known as ‘draft and forget,’ or ‘best ball leagues’ ) the draft itself is not only the centre piece, it is the entirety of the league. You can’t make up for a bad draft with waiver moves, shrewd trades or risky lineup options, so you need to spend time thinking about how to approach your draft very carefully.
Your drafted team will score points each week, but instead of selecting a lineup, your optimal roster will be selected retrospectively by My Fantasy League, to give you the most possible points from your roster and the starting lineup settings. There are no weekly matchups, just a ‘league table’ if you will, of total points scored each week. The winner of the league is the owner with the highest points total over the whole season. There are no playoff games.
For example. If you draft Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, and in week 1 Brady scores 25 points and Rodgers scores 28 points, Rodgers would be selected as your starting quarterback, as he is your highest scoring QB that week and you can only start one in the lineup requirements. Brady’s points (and any other QBs ta sore less than Rodgers) won’t be counted In your weekly score. This works across all positions in your team.
To maximise your rosters scoring output, it’s important to keep a track of your bye weeks. If you draft 4 DBs for example, and 3 have the same bye week, that week you are relying on one player to score points for you for DBs. Spreading bye weeks to ensure the number of starters can be filled every week will give you a higher floor to work from.
Injuries and Suspensions:
In an ordinary league, if you’re stud gets injured or suspended it can be a nightmare trying to replace them. So be wary when drafting an injury prone player, or a guy with off-field issues that might earn him a suspension. If you draft a player who picks up an injury or suspension (after you’ve picked him), you are able to swap them out before the NFL season starts. It is the commissioner’s decision if the swap is warranted and this is done on a first come first serve basis after the whole draft is finished. Finally, you can’t draft an injured or suspended player and then swap them out before the season starts, they must be free to play when you select them.
A Guide to Non-IDP Draftmaster Strategy
Matt Rittle (@FFRittle) has kindly offered his knowledge and experience, gained from countless draftmaster leagues played with MyFantasyLeague.com. Matt is an undoubted expert in the field and was kind enough to answer some questions relating to the strategy involved in offence only draftmaster leagues, to give you some groundwork on the area if you are unfamiliar.
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Q: What is the optimal number of each position to have in a draftmaster? Where should you prioritise your backups?
A: In my personal MFL10 experience – there is no such thing as an “optimal roster” outside of each draft. Maybe one draft I go RB heavy early, and am chasing WRs the whole time. Another draft I might have two solid QB options, and don’t need a 3rd at all. Yet another draft may involve me punting TE entirely, and I’ll usually take a 3rd in those cases. It just depends for me. You can say, “oh I should only have x number of RBs,” but what if the right value presents itself in a round? Are you really going to pass on your optimum pick? No, of course not.
In the current 22 round MFL10 format, I view these as the minimums:
2 QB / 4 RB / 6 WR / 2 TE / 2 K / 2 DST
I say four RBs out of respect for some recent analysis done, but I nearly always take at least five, if I were being honest. From there, it’s just about draft flow, value in the later rounds, and where you feel weakest. I know some are trying to come up with an “ideal roster composition” right now, but I don’t think that’s a fixed target. Imagine if I told you to always take a WR in your first round. What if you had the first overall pick? Our strategies change based off each draft, and that’s how I view roster composition as well.
I’m still researching though, so in a year (or a week) from now I may later view all this as wrong. Honestly, it’s still relatively early in our best-ball analysis, as a community. Let’s talk in 2-3 years.
When should you take your RBs? Do you get a stud and loads of upside or just hit them late?
These best-ball drafts (or any draft, really) are all about value. Sometimes I’ll take four straight RBs to start, and sometimes I’ll take four straight WRs. It just really depends. I think in general, it’s really important to have one solid RB. Even if you go “anti-fragile” and “punt RB,” so to speak, I think having one solid option is a huge help. People forget that part of the edge in “anti-fragile” (zero RB) drafting comes from working the WW actively. In best-balls, you don’t have that luxury. I don’t mind going WR-heavy, or RB-light if you prefer, as the value presents itself…but it’s not something I’d force or pigeon hole yourself into.
Last year I tried to always take at least two RBs through four rounds, and that worked really well for me. With some current MFL10 ADPs, I’d probably say that more often than not, having at least 2 RBs through 5 rounds – a solid strategy, if not necessary.
When should you take WRs? Do you have to get one in the first couple of rounds or can you sit back and wait?
Again, just depends on value. In best-balls, you can kind of string together some streaky players late and maybe be okay. Imagine a crew of R Randle, C Shorts, M Jones, K Stills, B Hartline, and D Baldwin. That might work out okay for you, since you don’t have to pick which to start every week, and you could actually have that crew – if you picked a WR between rounds 7-12 and got lucky.
Other times, I have 4-5 WRs by round 4 or 7, so you just never know.
I will say that this year, much after round 12 of typical MFL10 drafts the WR landscape is quite barren. I always try to get at least four, if not five WRs by that point. That’s a must, in my mind, with current ADPs.
Q: Is a 2 or 3 TE Strategy advisable? How about QBs?
Honestly, I’m still doing some work on this front. My current thoughts and research seem to show that there is value in a 3rd QB and 3rd TE. The question remains, though, if that has MORE value than a 3rd kicker, 7th WR or 3rd defense. It’s tough to say, honestly, and I’m still looking into it. Pragmatically, I’ll go with 2 QBs or 2 TEs if I feel confident in my other starters. It’s kind of that simple, to me.
Q: Do you chase upside or stick with consistency?
Good question. Both?
You need some of each, but if I was forced to pick only one – I’d say upside. The problem, though, is that everyone defines upside differently. Some define it as “crappy players they love,” others define it as “will breakout this year, I feel it!” So it’s tough to talk about, without defining.
However, generally, we’re (usually) better off with more volatile players who end up scoring the same amount at the end of the season as more consistent ones.
Q: Which player do you own the most stock of in MFL10s?
I keep a database of this, so in order: Marvin Jones, Antonio Gates, TY Hilton, and then a four way tie with Stevan Ridley, Khiry Robinson, Zac Stacy, and Rod Streater.
There’s a few other players I expect to surpass a couple of those players soon, though. I’m trying my best to get all the Sankey and Baldwin shares I can, and there are a few late round sleepers I’ve been buying a lot of recently, as well.
Q: Which (type of?) player do you avoid in regular leagues but gravitate towards in draftmasters?
WIll you ever feel great about starting Kenny Stills? Maybe not, but I love him in best-ball. Basically, I think it comes down to guys with hard to predict big weeks. A player like Desean Jackson, on the Washington team names, might be a player I avoid in seasonals, but aren’t as afraid of in best-ball leagues. Similarly, some late round fliers or sleepers hold more value in best-balls. Ivory might be one example of this. Heck, even Tolbert or Steve Smith, ya know?
What’s the Magic Formula?!
Value and flexibility. Approach each draft with a blank slate, and respond to what you see happening. Otherwise, you may have a great draft if things fall the way they need to – to play into your specific strategy…but what if things cut a different way? Set aside the emotions and crushes, and draft the best value you can every round. Most drafts have a way of coming back around in your favor, when you do.
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A big thanks to our guest Matt Rittle for sharing his thoughts with us. Make sure you follow him on twitter @FFRittle – this advice isn’t for IDP, but is still golden in the IDP Draftmasters because it gives insight into the offensive side of things.
The next article will feature IDP Strategy for draftmasters to help you work out when to take your players and how to build your roster.
Find Matt on Twitter @FFMattLane or leave comments in the box below!