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Monday, August 6, 2012

Yeah, But When?

There are players out there with projected stat lines that are reasonable and who will consequently deliver a good value based on where they are projected to be drafted in your fantasy draft.

Some of those players will be solid, consistent performers for you.  You can count on them to deliver close to their average most weeks, and while not flashy, can be a low-cost steady contributor to a great fantasy team.

Then there are the rest.  You know the ones I'm talking about: They are projected to have a good season but you just know that 60% of their numbers will be accumulated in exactly three games.  Yeah, sure they will produce, but when?  Will I ever feel comfortable starting that guy?  How will I know when they will deliver?

When speculating in your upcoming drafts don't just project statistics, but also project consistency.  Often it makes sense to have a lower producer who can be counted on week-in and week-out to give you a certain fantasy point total.  Is there anything more frustrating than the player with weekly point totals like this:  17, 0, 3, 1, 22, 1, 28, 2, 4, 0, 14, 2, 22, 0, 0, 1.

I mean, really, you've had that guy before haven't you?  The good news is that that player will basically win 4 or 5 weeks for you with their sudden outbursts of points.  Assuming you start them every week.

The bad news?  They will lose more weeks for you, especially in the playoffs.  It always happens.

The worse news?  It's like timing the stock market.  You just can't guess right every time over any significant stretch of time.  In the line of points above you would probably start the guy for the first four weeks then sit him for his 22 points.  Maybe you start him for his 1-point week, maybe not.  Either way, you're going to sit him after it so you'd miss the 28.  Then you probably aren't starting him for several weeks.  Then, 14, 2, and 22 to finish the regular season... maybe he's good to go for week 14?  Nope.  Zero.  Arrgh!

If you pay attention to matchups and defenses you might be able to mitigate the risk somewhat, but it will always be a risk.  The better move is to mostly draft proven veterans who are squarely within their Prime Profile.  Identify those guys who will deliver for you by looking at what they have done over the past two seasons.

This combines with our 20/20 Process to help you have a solid foundation while allowing you strong upside on your team.  This is explained in "The Program" and detailed in the draft prep sections. 

Best of luck finding those mid-round steals in your drafts, folks.