The 4for4 Mailbag: Preseason Week 3

Aug 25, 2016
The 4for4 Mailbag: Preseason Week 3

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.

@julesie: How do you handle crappy owners, you know the ones who don’t set lineups or make any moves?

JE: There always seems to be one in every league, right? They act like they are into it, invested in the season but slowly fall off the cliff into do nothingville. I understand your frustration on this and sadly there are several levels of crappy owners. Some actually set their lineup weekly, yet fail to make any waiver wire moves or use their FAAB (free agent acquisition budget), while others simply stop doing anything, leaving a stud on the bench for the entire fantasy season.

For me, I have a difficult time with it because of my innate competitive drive. I don’t have the capability to blow off a competition even if I am spending most of the season in the basement. A prime and very current example is a fantasy baseball league I play in. It is a free league with zero prize money -- we just do it for fun and to pass the time during MLB season because our hometown Rockies always find a way to blow.

Most of this season I was in 11th place, out of 12 teams. No matter what I did, even when I won, I still found myself at the bottom. There is one team we dubbed “the human bye week” because other than the draft, they did not touch their team once. Sadly, this team sat atop the leader board for several weeks which was beyond frustrating to the rest of us, but has currently fallen to fifth, still ahead of seven teams who are legitimately attempting to win each and every week.

Back to football. I know it can be brutal to invest your time and efforts into a league where not everyone is committed to taking it seriously. It is also worse when personal relationships are involved, however, there are two ways this can be dealt with. You either let this person continue to be in the league, take their money and consider it a fantasy bye week, or you tastefully kick them out in order to keep the league strong and competitive.

@kdthemua: Are you an early or late round QB drafter?

JE: I would say I fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to the quarterback position and it has served me pretty well thus far. Last season, my two main QBs in redraft leagues were Cam Newton and Russell Wilson. Both were middle round guys who blew up and are no longer on my radar for this season due to their astronomical ADP. Someone else can overpay for their points -- I would rather devote those earlier rounds to gaining more points from a WR or RB.

For the 2016 season, I have been focusing more on the second and third tier QBs, those who have plenty of upside but not such a steep price tag. Philip Rivers fits that criteria well, as he has a solid arsenal of weapons to throw to and has a current ADP of 8.04. According to John Paulson’s rankings, Rivers is sitting at QB9 and is projected to generate 274 points this season. Another QB who is on my short list is Tyrod Taylor due to his ability to score fantasy points with his legs as well as his arm. As QB11 with a projected point total of 270, Taylor’s ADP is an attractive 10.10 allowing you to grab some quality position players before investing in your QB.

Steve M. on Facebook: My girlfriend of less than a year wants to play fantasy football with me to “improve our relationship”. Am I nuts to let her do it?

JE: We can look at this from several different angles. First, you need to take note of her level of NFL knowledge, especially as it pertains to the fantasy realm. If she knows what she’s doing, is capable of drafting a team with little to no assistance and you are good with her entering your fantasy football world, then I say absolutely go for it. I have been in at least one league with my husband for 15 years and it’s been filled with tons of smack talk, side bets and only a few nights on the couch.

To borrow a quote from George Costanza, if you are not alright with your “worlds colliding” then I suggest joining a free public Yahoo or ESPN league together so that you can teach her the ins and outs of how fantasy football works, without it affecting your regular leagues. She’ll feel included, yet will still be at arm’s length from your sacred fantasy football mecca. Win-win.

@timmymc1985: Is there one player that stands out as the biggest bust for you over the years?

JE: Sadly, there have been many misses over the course of 19 years, but only a few that stick out at this moment. One of the first rules of fantasy football is to not let emotions get in the way, to draft with your head and not your heart. As far as my fandom goes, this is something I am extremely capable of and have no issue drafting players on teams that I personally loathe.

However, when it comes to holding grudges about players that have burned me, I am not so great at letting it go. Recency bias, when a person most easily remembers something that has happened recently as opposed to an occurrence a while back, can be helpful for fantasy players as well as work against them. In my case, if I draft a player that turns out to be a flaming pile of poop, I tend to stay away from them for several years.

There is one guy who stands out to me as my biggest fantasy bust, perhaps because I remember taking him in every redraft league I was in that season; Stevan Ridley. Coming off a breakout season in 2012 where he racked up 1,263 rushing yards with 12 touchdowns, I was all in on Ridley in the backfield. In Week 1 of the 2013 NFL season, Ridley fumbled the ball and, true to Bill Belichick’s form, was benched for the entire second half of the game. More fumbling ensued and the running back lost significant playing time to LeGarrette Blount for the remainder of the season.

As frustrating as it was to have a guy not pan out that I drafted in early rounds, the lesson learned was to not trust a New England RB, which is a strategy I still implement to this day. The way the Patriots’ offense is run by Belichick and to an extent Tom Brady, it will always be a committee of sorts and guys are constantly being rotated in and out of the dog house.

As always thanks so much for all your submissions this week. See you all next Thursday for the 4for4 Mailbag!

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