Chris Guide to 2017 Offseason – part 1

Chris Guide to 2017 Offseason

In truth the off-season started right when the fantasy regular season ended; and for those who missed the playoffs, it probably started for you end of November. It’s an exciting time of the year for you dynasty dy-hearts (see what I did there?). This article is a guide for those who has not paid attention to the offseason, but are starting to feel like they need to to succeed in dynasty.

It is not a “how to scout” article, because lord knows I know absolutely nothing about scouting. I did pretend scout for one offseason, and it was fun, but not conducive to helping me in a game that relies on stats over pass blocking skills.

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Texas A&M Josh Reynolds

AP – Butch Dill)

Critical Listening

Whether you are a regular podcast listener or watch all the All-Star Games, Combine, or Pro Day, you have to have critical listening skills. Most of us, and yes that means you too, are really lazy listeners. How do I know this? Because you jump at the chance to argue for or against a player when someone presents one side of an argument. Because most people are such terrible listeners, they had to invent a career in teaching people to become professional listeners (namely your therapist).
This is not saying that there aren’t bad scouts out there, absolutely there are a plenty. But more often than not, I see people jumping at the chance to attack someone, because said person presented their case in a 140 character limit or only has 30 min air time on a podcast to touch on 10 different prospects. Take a step back, and listen for not just what is being said, but also in what context the report being framed in.
For example, I see a tweet that praises Zay Jones, almost without fail two types of response will follow: a.) “Yeah! Dude he’s my fav too, he’ll be such a steal!” or b.) “He’s not good man, he can’t hold Corey Davis’ jock”.
People often listen in dichotomy, either a player is good or a player is bad. The gray area is too scary for the lazy ones. Instead of jumping into drawing a conclusion, take a step back and ask the following questions: “In relation to which group of talent is he compared to?”, “Is his strength something he can count on in the pro level?”, “What are some disconfirming evidence?”, etc.

You are wrong, and so is he/she. Get over it.

we-suck-againI love learning. Part of learning is making mistakes and making wrong calls. And part of the fun is when you can hone down a process that works consistently for you. Too often people get shamed for making wrong calls, and that just shuts people down from learning. Because every statement or claims made afterwards has to be a perfect call…We pressure and demand perfection from others, while excusing our own faults or mistakes. Admitting to being wrong is ranked as one of the highest level of psychological pain; more so in certain cultures than others. It is a little wonder that we don’t want to be wrong.
This has important impact on the way we absorb information. Are you familiar with the concept of confirmation bias? (if not google is your friend). Well, even understanding that everyone has them, it doesn’t mean we got it under control. It is fast and automatic, almost second nature. But, learning doesn’t happen when your brain is on auto mode.
Instead, one way to challenge yourself is to actually look for cues or evidence that run contrary to your initial thoughts. Challenge your own preconceived notions. It doesn’t mean that your eyes are deceiving you. Your ideas may still hold, but by challenging yourself to look for things where you might be wrong, you can build a more well-rounded view of a player, and make informed decisions. For example, Corey Coleman was one such player that I had to re-evaluate, after giving him an initial look. He is fast, elusive, and toys around with defenders. But I also thought he was lazy and that over relied on one aspect of his game to win in college; something that wouldn’t translate over to the pros. A second look revealed to me that Baylor system has taught him to not put effort when he’s not part of the read. Moreover, his elusiveness was also a product of bad CBs he faces most of the time.

Dak Prescott

Dak Prescott looks to keep it rolling and stay undefeated. (Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports)

It’s never 100%

Even with the best resources, all the All22 films, the best statistic models, access to the coach’s interviews, maybe you even dug so far into a player’s past that you know how many times he cheated on his 3rd grade test. You have to relinquish the fact that you don’t know how a player will develop in a certain scheme, coach, environment, or team. A great player can be rendered useless, just as a mediocre player can be elevated into a stud. We as people are prone to think just because a player has this skillset or physical ability now, they will 100% translate over to the NFL or that the player will maintain these skillsets. Contrary to this notion, players develop and regress all the time once they enter the pros. So, you should write your ideas and decisions in pencil, not pen.



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