Fortunately, I had a bye last week and didn’t have to pay too much attention to fantasy. However, I did see the craziness that was Week 14 in Fantasy Football. Duds by Aaron Rodgers, Dwayne Bowe and Adrian Peterson probably lost many managers their leagues. Meanwhile, Deion Branch, Jason Witten and Derrick Mason ushered many to Week 15. So, how do you plan for this stuff?
What could be the better system for executing fantasy playoffs in the NFL? For one, ESPN Standard Leagues need to eliminate the idea of playing the championship into Week 17. Plenty of players are unusable at that point. But what about weeks 15 and 16?
Playoffs in fantasy sports are so unique because oftentimes the team that has led the league all season, for one reason or another, gets knocked out in the playoffs. Last year, I dominated my league until Week 16, when I started Chad Ochocinco over Jonathan Stewart. Stewart of course had a monster week and I lost by three points. But the common methodology for approaching fantasy playoffs differs depending on who you talk to. Some experts say to play the players that got you there. In other words, don’t get cute about lineups at this point of the season. However, some would argue that matchups and situations are never more important than the playoffs. In my example from last year, Stewart became the primary back and had a great matchup against a bad New York Giants defense. I should have played him, but Ochocinco had been my guy all season.
Which brings me to this year. So, I got Kenny Britt who I just picked up and have never played all season. He’s got a great matchup against the lowly Houston Texans secondary. Do I start him over the proven, fairly consistent Mike Williams of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Is there a better system for fantasy playoffs? I’m not so sure there is, but it does tell you one thing: anything can happen.
“Fantasy sports and basketball are really made for each other,” he said.
Although fantasy sports can be traced back to baseball and football, basketball’s style of play is ideal for fantasy.
Of the four major North American sports, basketball is the most individualistic. For one, as opposed to football and baseball, there are only five players on the court for each team. Furthermore, in opposition to hockey, which has six players on the ice, basketball players supply the most consistent production, largely due to the high scores of games.
In baseball, football and hockey, scoring is at a premium. Average totals in baseball are 7 to 9 runs per game; in football, 3 to 4 touchdowns per game; in hockey, 4 to 5 goals per game. Professional basketball averages nearly 200 points per game. Thus, a player like Lebron James or Kobe Bryant are going to get more consistent opportunities. In hockey, a great player like Alex Ovechkin can go an entire week without scoring a goal. Likewise, in one baseball game, the St. Louis Cardinals can score nine runs and Albert Pujols could go 0 for 5.
Consistency may be boring, but it is rewarding as well. Fantasy basketball rewards the knowledgeable fantasy manager. In football, you may get lucky with a guy like Kenny Britt, who has two more touchdowns this season than star wide receiver Reggie Wayne. Simply because he’s found the endzone four times, Britt’s value is high even though his real-life value is much lower than Wayne’s.
On the contrary, in fantasy basketball, if you draft the productive players, they are more likely to produce on a consistent basis. In other words, there’s no Kenny Britt in fantasy basketball.
Therefore, fantasy basketball tends to be the best evaluator of a fantasy sports manager. Less luck. More consistency.
As Ronis said, they’re “made for each other.”