The 4for4 Mailbag: Preseason Week 2

The 4for4 Mailbag: Preseason Week 2

By Jennifer Eakins (4for4 Contributor) on Aug 18, 2016

Jennifer Eakins's picture

A proud alumna of the UGA Grady College of Journalism, Jennifer Eakins has been working in the sports industry for well over a decade. She has had stints with CNN Sports, the Atlanta Hawks and the Colorado Rockies. Her first fantasy football draft took place in 1996 where she selected Ricky Watters with the first overall pick, and she has been a fantasy degenerate ever since.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @themondaymommy.

Welcome to the weekly 4for4 Mailbag, where I answer your questions about all aspects of fantasy football including redraft leagues, DFS strategy, advice on handling angry football widows, and even some pop culture. Since it will be published on Thursdays throughout the season, I won’t be tackling waiver wire advice, so be sure to check out 4for4’s valuable articles on streaming and the like, to aid with your weekly roster decisions.

To submit a question for consideration, tweet me @themondaymommy or simply use the hashtag #4for4mailbag.

@levinem9: When is too soon to draft a defense? I always seem to panic and go early or end up without a good one.

JE: Similar to the TE position, I come from the school of thought that you either grab the number one DEF, or wait until the very end and stream them throughout the season. For example, last year I knew the Broncos defense was going to be lights out, due to living in the Mile High City and covering the team. For some reason, they didn’t receive much attention nationally, and I scooped them up with a later-round (12th or so) ADP in all my non-local leagues. In leagues where someone sniped the Broncos early, I waited and chose to stream various DEFs from the waiver wire throughout the course of the season.

Depending on how your specific league sets their scoring, defenses usually start to come off the board in the 10th round, with the exception of the one guy who reaches to the eighth for Seattle, or Tampa Bay in the early 2000s. This season, despite what some people seem to think, Denver’s defense will be worth a 10th-rounder along with Seattle. After those top two, I would personally wait at least until the 14th round and if most have already taken a DEF by then, I would wait even longer and grab one with a favorable schedule to start the season, then stream based on opponents for the remainder of the year.  

An excellent resource that I suggest you check out to help determine each team’s strength of schedule, is the 4for4 Hot Spots: Team Defense tool. Walking into your draft armed with specifics on which teams boast the cushiest schedules for DEFs could potentially make the difference between your team’s playoff appearance or an early exit.  

@trevorsolomon: If the Seinfeld characters had a fantasy football league how do you think their season would go down?

JE: While I am certainly no Larry David, I do think that I have a decent grasp on what a league would look like comprised of teams owned by the characters on Seinfeld. No doubt Jerry is the commissioner, as he is the glue that holds this crew together. He is the enforcer, making sure lineups are in and fees are paid on time. Seinfeld’s team finishes in the middle of the pack -- not great, but not awful.

George Costanza is the guy totally obsessing over his rankings, sitting at the draft with stacks of cheat sheets, trying to get the upper hand in any way possible. He’ll do whatever it takes for the inside scoop, pestering his old New York Yankee contacts to hook him up with people in the know. As a result, he over coaches week in and week out and falls way short of the playoffs.

While Elaine Benes is not a football fan, nor does she know much about playing fantasy football, she gets roped into joining the league and finds herself into it. She lucks out at first by drafting a decent lineup based on player’s names, mascots, etc., then actually learns as the season progresses and makes a legitimate playoff run.

No doubt, Cosmo Kramer falls ass-backward into a really solid team. He befriends a fantasy expert a la Matthew Berry or Mike Fabiano (or John Paulsen) while playing a random pick-up basketball game at the park. He then proceeds to use them as his personal consultant, texting advice on who and when to pick guys throughout the draft. Once the season begins, Kramer also manages to attend a charity event where he meets and convinces NFL players to guide him and eventually defeat Elaine’s team in the league championship.

@steelergrrl43: What is your take on female NFL sites and leagues that are exclusive to women? Are you involved in any of these?

JE: I am familiar with and am friends with many ladies who are contributors and do excellent work for female-oriented websites. While I understand the purpose and draw of these sites for some women, I personally am not involved or affiliated with any.

It may not be a popular take with women fans, but I feel that a fan is a fan. The NFL was something that I grew up watching from the womb. I don’t actually recall learning the game of football, it just happened, like learning the English language or lyrics to a song. I was often the only female, (other than my sister) in a room full of men every football Sunday throughout my childhood, with the exception of home games as my family has had season tickets to the Miami Dolphins since their expansion to the league in 1965.

In college, I was watching games with my guy friends on Sundays while my female friends were out doing their thing. This is the way my life has been and it’s just my normal. Playing fantasy football and rooting for your favorite team is something that is gender neutral to me, and always has been. So while I do understand it may be intimidating for females to interact with males on the subject, especially when they are just learning the game, hosting female game-watching parties and the like just isn’t my thing.

Mike on Facebook: Is there a need to research kickers and if so who should I target this season?

JE: No.

I could leave my answer at that and feel good about it, but it doesn’t make for an entertaining column. Kickers are a fantasy enthusiast’s nemesis, if you play long enough, you have been burnt by a random game where your opponent’s kicker goes off for 40 points causing a loss for your otherwise superior squad. Or, your kicker shanks a few in one game leaving you with negative points at his position.

Some people will add value to a kicker who plays indoors, or for a team that has trouble scoring in the red zone. However, in my opinion, it’s all an enormous crapshoot when it comes the kicker position. I suppose there are factors to take into consideration, however, I prefer to spend my research time on the other position players.

I always draft my kicker in the very last round, no exceptions. Kickers are the streamiest of positions as there are always guys hanging out on the waiver wire ready to kick each and every week.

Thanks for all your submissions this week. See you all next Thursday for the 4for4 Mailbag! 

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Filed Under: Preseason, 2016

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