One thing I don’t see discussed much in fantasy football circles is coaching style. No, I am not referring to NFL head coaches, but rather fantasy managers. When you are running your team during the season, what is your coaching style?
What I mean by coaching style is this: You won’t have plug-and-play players at every position, unless you’re drafting against a bunch of morons. By a plug-and-play player, I mean somebody who is so top tier at his position that he WILL be your starter as long as it isn’t his bye week, or he gets hurt.
So when you don’t have a plug-and-play at a certain position, you will play matchups all season (unless you get lucky and one of your guys turns into a stud mid-season). But after the first few rounds in any redraft league, the plug-and-play guys dry up fast (although you can usually find a plug-and-play K or DST later in any draft, but that’s another discussion). In dynasty league rookie drafts, plug-and-plays are the sole domain of the first round.
So what is coaching style? That is where you draw the line with your drafting. Going into a draft, you WILL get starters at a specific position(s) ASAP, because you do NOT want to be playing matchups all season long there. What happens when both (or all three or more) of your options are playing tough defenses in a week? Or what if they are all playing cream puff defenses? You will inevitably have to do this with any position, unless you get lucky and draft an all-stud team.
But YOUR specific coaching style is the one position where you don’t want to be playing matchups. For me, that is running back. It is rare for me in a redraft league to go past the third round without two plug-and-plays at RB. I’ve had enough years with “middling” backs to know how ugly that looks. It’s just painful. Even when you guess the matchups right, you end up losing the game anyway because the other guy has some kind of Marshall Faulk beast RB who beats your best by 20 points. But that is my own personal neuroses over running backs, which leads to my coaching style.
So when I hear people talking about the “zero RB” drafting style, I cringe at that. If you can be happy playing matchups with some scrub RB’s, while you plug-and-play your wideouts, God bless you! I can’t do that.
I bring up this topic because it occurred to me that my coaching style was influencing my drafting. In my PPR superflex dynasty league, I was looking at potentially seeing both Trevor Lawrence or Kyle Pitts at my draft position…and then I watched some tape on Michael Carter. I can always use another good RB (I have Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake in a 16 team, deep league), and Carter gives me that little RB chill, that feeling I love to get watching my runner do his thing.
Hello, I’m Ed, and I’m addicted to running backs…