Fantasy Football Express is Home of The Fantasy Man and is dedicated to giving fantasy managers the edge in winning their leagues. Up-to-date free fantasy football advice with guidance on Trades, Rankings, Mock Drafts, Draft Tools and Strategies, and overall weekly Team Management!

Monday, August 13, 2007

How To Become An IDP Master.....

One thing I love about fantasy football is leagues that involve IDP's (Individual Defensive Players). Playing smart fantasy football and organizing an effective draft strategy to include IDP's will help aid you in your league champiionship ambitions. For those who say you should wait until the end of the draft to pick defensive players....BAH! Choosing wisely and timely will give you a quick advantage before the season even starts. Follow the path I lay.....

One of my big money leagues is one that includes IDP's. Usually I wait until I have my starting offense (QB, 2RB, 2WR, 2FLEX, TE) and any big time sleepers I really want. Usually by the 7th or 8th rounds, two or three of the top defensive players are gone. Last year, the Cream of the Crop of Brian Urlacher, Jonathan Vlima, and Keith Bullock were gone before the 8th.

So lets say your doing 18-23 rounds depending on bench size. Me personally, I like to make sure I have a top notch defensive squad because they are players you can depend on every week. Last year, I think I nabbed Urlacher in around the 8th or 9th, Lewis in the 10th round and then Adalius Thomas in the 11th or 12th. Overall, I had a nice squad and I made key waiver pick ups during the season when I did not have Lewis. Also, taking the sleeper in Thomas paid huge dividends and was a major key to me making it into th eplayoffs in this particular league. I also drafted Roy Williams as a 4th defender whose hype I used to trade in a deal that landed me Cadillac Williams before week 3. That deal was a bust of course but trading the "hype" for a starting RB seemed like the smart thing to do at the time. Point here is that I am not waiting until the late rounds to pick up IDP's because I truly believe they are important to winning teams. My belief is that to get the best IDP's, you have to start plucking them once you have 6 or 7 offensive stars on your team including QB, at least 2 RB, and at least 3 WR. Once you start picking back ups and maybe waiting on a sleeper TE, you should start picking IDP's. The team with the worst IDP squad after draft day will have the toughest season, guaranteed.

As for what you should be looking for, you want guys who can consistently score 8-10 points minimum every week with potential for huge break outs. So you want to look for guys who do it all...95+ solo tackle potential, 2-3+ Interception potential, 2-5+ sack potential and the potential to recover fumbles, pass deflections, etc. Basically, you want the best , most effective middle linebackers you can get. A good fantasy mag that includes these guys can help. But just in case, here is the quick list I am looking at in no particular order. I feel if I can get 3 or 4 of these guys, I'll be good to go. You'll have to assume that most guys in your league get lazy when it comes to IDP's. They all say..."ah, I'll just look them up in the magazine as I draft". Thats a no no if you want to win. Do your homework and take notes on the following....

Brian Urlacher
Shaun Merriman
Adaliuis Thomas
Zach Thomas
Demico Ryans
Will Witherspoon
Shaun Phillips
London Fletcher
Ray Lewis
AJ Hawk
Keith Bullock
Keith Brooking
Kawika Mitchel
Nick Barnett
Daryl Smith
Donnie Edwards
Kirk Morrison

Thats the list I am concentrating on. Like I said, get 3 or 4 of these guys and and your all set, but by the 15th round, they could all be gone, so draft accordingly.

Mike Kuchera
Creator & Editor
Fantasy Football Express

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Fantasy Man's "Strategizing with the Bye Week"...

Welcome to Fantasy Football Express! This is the first strategy I plan to deploy in this 2007-2008 fantasy football season. Its an idea I toyed with a bit last season and to my surprise, it worked. Now, I want to share it all with you. Last year I used myself as the test dummy and tried a new strategy that I had never used or heard of. I actually thought of it by accident and it turned out to work great. The strategy.....planning your draft around the Bye week.

Now I know what all of you are thinking...."duh, we already do that". Yes you do, but not to the extent that I am about to explain. This is a strategy that takes research on your part and a need to pay attention to details. In the right hand column you will see that I have listed the bye weeks for every team for you as a reference. Now grab a pen and paper and take notes. This is a very simple strategy, but you need to make sure you dot your tee's and cross your eyes...oh um, sorry, I mean cross your T's and dot your i's.

Keep in mind that I am not totally convinced this can be a real strategy, like I said, it worked for me last year but by accident. I plan to do it again in a money league to see if it was a fluke or not. But, the more I think about it, the more it make sense as an innovative strategy. Of course, injuries and fluke seasons will have to be limited for this strategy to pan out, and sometimes thats the biggest problem. Anyway, follow along.....

The Goal: When drafting your "starters", try to draft players who have the same bye week.
The Moral of the Strategy: I firmly believe, through evidence from a successful season last year, in Head to Head leagues, it could be beneficial to draft all of your star players which have the same bye week. The moral is that during the season, if you spread out your bye weeks, you basically hit about 7 weeks of games with a potential starter or star out of the lineup, which puts you at a disadvantage each week before the games even start. With all of your stars out the same week, potentially, you only lose one full week instead of basically losing a star player for seven weeks straight.

How to deploy this strategy:
1. Make sure this is a H2H league, I cannot vouch for Roto leagues.

2. Let's assume you emply 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 FLEX, 1K, 1 DEF...8 starting players and a defense.

3. Lets say you have the 2nd pick. You know LaDanian Tomlinson will be picked first and you plan to take Stephen Jackson. Jackson has a bye week 9. Now, from here, you want to try to pick your starters who have a by week 9. By the time the pick comes back to you, maybe you decide to take a shot at Brandon Jacobs for your Flex slot, since the Giants have week 9 off. On the rebound you take a WR and the best available is Plaxico Burress of the Giants and a week 9 bye. Your 4th and 5th rounds come and you pick a TE & QB respectively and take Vernon Davis and Mark Bulgar. for the 6th and 7th, you'll want to maybe pick your other WR and you last Flex player and you could potentially take Reuben Droughns to back up Jacobs and Mushin Muhammed who will probably slip. At pick 8 you decide to pick a defense, Chicago is most likely the best with Miami not far behind who both have bye's week 9. Then the kicker you can get later. Potentially, your team of starters could look like this....

QB- Marc Bulgar
RB - Steven Jackson
WR - Plaxico Burress
WR - Mushin Muhammed
Flex - Brandon Jacobs
Flex- Rueben Droughns
TE - Vernon Davis
K- Anyone
DEF - Chicago

That's not a bad looking team of starters. Of course 3/4 of your team could be from the same two teams. These are just the players I chose, but you can see what kind of team can be drafted like this.

4. After these first 8 or 9 rounds, its time for the back ups. It would be wisest to draft players from all different teams, none of which will have a bye week 9. This being so that on week 9, you'll have every position filled with a back up, get lucky enough, and you could even win that week.

Fantasy Football, in my opinion, is more of a game of luck. It comes down to playing the right players each week and having some of those players get lucky, or having someone on the other team have an off week. Sometimes is pure luck no matter how hard you plan. This strategy gives you a great chance to win every week except one, and even with decent back ups and waiver wire pick ups, you could still pull a win out on that week.

If you play in multiple leagues, give it a try and see what happens. Last year I did it by accident at the draft and I ended up winning the league. It was a free yahoo league but it still worked. This year I plan to do it again to see if it was a fluke or not, but in a money league.

Fantasy Man

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fantasy Football Express is leaving the Station....

Welcome to Fantasy Football Express, the twin brother to Fantasy Baseball Express and The Fantasy Man Show Podcast! If you have visited FBE in the past and you've enjoyed the free advice, personal email responses, the podcasts, articles/blos, draft strategies and team management guidance during your fantasy baseball season, then you'll love FFE.

With FFE, we're going blog style. Its easier for me to keep everything up to date and organized in a quicker fashion allowing me to dedicate mor etime to better quality articles, advice and podcasts.

I hope you enjoy the free advice you'll get here all year long at FFE. Remember, you can always email me your questions and comments. What goes for baseball goes for football! Good luck this season and check back every few days as I'll be adding content as I build this up. I will launch FFE with a huge Fantasy Man Show Football Podcast available July 1st!

Fantasy Man.... OUT!