Top Q's & A's from John Paulsen's reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything)
With the fantasy football draft season upon us, John Paulsen recently spent some time participating in an "AMA" on reddit. For the uniformed, reddit is a social networking platform where registered members can submit content, such as text-posts or direct links, to a wide range of communities (subreddits). Our favorite subreddit here at 4for4 is /r/elimanningface. AMA stands for "Ask Me Anything," which is a popular series where users get a chance to ask the poster questions about anything they want.
John is a regular contributor to the subreddit /r/fantasyfootball which is where the AMA took place. Here are the top questions and answers from John’s AMA.
Drafting a bust in the first few rounds (e.g., Monte Ball) can really kill your chances of winning the league. What are some warning signs that a high ranked player may become a bust? Do you see any of those signs on current high ADP players?
I wrote a couple of articles about this during the offseason. Should You Be Drafting More Wide Receivers in the First Round? and Are Early Round Receivers Safer Than Running Backs? These are more for PPR leagues than standard, but basically I found that we can expect a higher rate of return from the receiver position due to the higher bust rate of early round running backs. I'd be looking out for a system change/downgrade, and age is also a consideration if you're trying to avoid injury.
How risky is taking McCoy this year, Buffalo with an improving young o-line and Sexy Rexy loving to run the ball I think he might be a good high risk/high reward pick early in the second round ? Thoughts and concerns??
I'm a bit low on McCoy due to relative efficiency of the Buffalo offense vs. Philadelphia. They will run the ball a lot, so touches shouldn't be a problem, but red zone opportunities may be an issue. Also, new OC Greg Roman didn't utilize Frank Gore as a receiver while in SF, so I'm not optimistic about McCoy's reception total.
Whats your opinion of Arian Foster this year compared to the top tier of AP, Bell, Charles and Lacy.
He's a fantastic fantasy player when healthy, but carries more injury risk than the guys you mentioned. That said, he is finally healthy this offseason and should have a great year if disaster doesn't strike.
How do you avoid groupthink in the fantasy football expert community? And What popular piece of FF wisdom is actually incorrect or misguided?
I don't read a lot of other work unless it's something that challenges my preconceptions or is particularly interesting. It's starting to diminish, but I still see quarterbacks go way too early in most friends-and-family drafts. The position is so deep now that it makes much more sense to draft a guy in the 9-15 range and load up at other positions.
Projections for Melvin Gordon this year and going forward?
I have him for 224 car, 981 yards, 6.3 TD, 25-192-.9 in receiving game. I think Danny Woodhead holds down the 3rd-down back role for another year. Gordon should be good long term.
What are your expectations for Ameer Abdullah this year?
I believe he'll take over the Reggie Bush role in the offense. Joique's stock is slipping due to injury, but I still think he leads the team in carries. Abdullah should provide RB2 numbers in PPR. Theo Riddick is the dark horse.
Last year your draft crush was Antonio Brown. I made it a point to draft him when I could, which proved to be fantasy gold. Any early indications on this year's (early round) draft crush?
Probably Frank Gore.
Based on likelihood of the starter getting injured and ability of the backup, what's your rankings of backup RBs like Knile Davis, DeAngelo Williams, Christine Michael, etc. to target in standard redraft?
I'm not sure Michael is even the right handcuff for Lynch. Turbin has been playing ahead of him for years. Knile Davis, Alfred Blue, Fred Jackson (if he makes the team), Ryan Mathews, DeAngelo Williams and Montee Ball are all handcuffs that jump out.
John, without revealing too many trade secrets, what is a lesser known or often overlooked aspect of predicting a players performance in the upcoming fantasy season?
You can't just take last year's performance and assume a player will match it. There is typically some regression to the mean, whether it be positive or negative.
Miami has a greatly improved offense, and may still add Evan Mathis, who are the fantasy viable players for the dolpins and what are your expectations?
I like Ryan Tannehill and Lamar Miller (not too worried about Ajayi). Jordan Cameron could re-emerge as a strong TE1 again. Landry will be good in PPR formats. I'm worried about Stills vs. Parker. One of those two won't have much value. The defense is one of my favorite targets this year with the addition of Suh.
Many more questions, answers, and discussion can be found in the original post on reddit.