Part I of my two-part article on MFL10s gave an overview of what these leagues are – draft-only bestball fantasy football leagues hosted by MyFantasyLeague – and roster construction – what your roster should look like after your draft. Today, in Part II, various strategies on how to pull together your winning roster.
There are many different strategies that you can explore playing MFL10s: RB early/heavy, WR early/heavy, early QB/TE, and what I use called, “Volume Value Drafting”. As with fantasy football in general, there is more than one way to do things strategy-wise, and luck plays a part. Below is a description of each strategy and how it can win and how it can lose.
Note for all strategies, picking top players that get hurt/suspended or just stink will kill any strategy, and hitting on guys like Jeremy Hill or Odell Beckham Jr. in the very late rounds of a draft last spring or summer can turn an otherwise bad strategy into a winner.
RB Early / Heavy
This strategy is to take 4 RBs in the first 5 rounds and end up with 4-5 RBs total. This can work with studs and hitting on WRs later on. You generally want to take 8 WRs to make up for the lack of top end talent. If a top RB gets hurt or vastly underperforms and your WRs can’t hold their own, you probably will be a top half of the table team, but won’t come in 1st place.
WR Early / Heavy
Punting RBs until later (maybe grabbing one RB in the first five rounds), this strategy gives you a high floor as WRs will put up a lot of PPR points. The downside to this strategy isn’t apparent until you get to your RB2-RB5 selections. Having guys like Frank Gore, Shane Vereen or Ryan Mathews as your second through fourth RBs can be a little scary, and they won’t be consistent week to week without the upside that the top RBs do. Going WR early, you need to get lucky and hit on a late RB. You increase your odds of hitting a sleeper drafting six RB in this strategy.
Early QB or TE
Taking a QB or TE early such as Rob Gronkowski, Andrew Luck, Jimmy Graham or Aaron Rodgers is a sidestep from the above two strategies. The main thing to note with this strategy is that it gives you the luxury of drafting just two QB or TE, not three, using the extra roster spot elsewhere. How beneficial this is somewhat depends on how any one particular draft plays out (i.e. what positions fall and represent the best value), which is sometimes tough to predict.
Volume Value Drafting
This is my favorite strategy, used by a number of players who draft a high volume of MFL10s. In a nutshell this strategy is, “take what the draft gives you”. Draft players that fall further than they should, and mix up similar guys to balance out your portfolio across numerous MFL10s of any one given player.
Last year I created an ADP drafting tool to help me draft in this manner, identifying the best draft values, and I have found it to be invaluable. This year the draft tool is available to the public.
This tool is generally for people that plan to do 15 or more drafts. Last year I did 40 MFL10s, winning six and finished second in ten. I am very happy with these results and got unlucky in a few, which could have pushed the 1st place finishes to as high as nine. This year my goal is to complete 70 drafts.
The thought process for Volume Value Drafting is to get guys BELOW where they normally get drafted. For example, I not a big Colin Kaepernick fan. His ADP is 128 right now, but I have 1 share at 143, so I got him a full round and a half after the average. Another example is Vincent Jackson. His ADP is 83, but I got him at 110 in one draft, over two full rounds after most people draft him.
By doing this over and over again, I have a lot of shares of players drafted after where they should be taken. Compared to a team that took players near the average, I can put together teams that shouldn’t be possible, but they are. If I don’t get a guy I really wanted in a draft, I know there will be other chances in another draft to get a player where I want them, at a discount.
Team defenses are very random and I want to get as much of a mix as possible across the league, so while I would normally not take a defense in Round 14, in order to get a few shares of the Houston Texans or Buffalo Bills, I have to draft them a bit earlier.
After Round 14 or so players can really fall in drafts. Some teams may think, “I have enough RB”, or WR, or any position, and just not draft that position at all, no matter what player is available. Drafts where a few owners think this way provide a great opportunity for drafting a team worth much more potential than what you paid for it in draft picks.
With my ADP tool you can also easily track completed drafts and look at a player you have a lot of shares in from all of your MFL10s. If there are multiple QB2s you like at roughly the same ADP, you can easily glance at what QBs you already have and mix up your shares. Percentage-wise, I currently have a high stake in Blake Bortles, so going forward I may grab Alex Smith or even Robert Griffin III for my QB2/3 to spread out the risk.
Here is hoping you take the plunge trying an MFL10. If you have any questions then look me up on Twitter @MikeMar05 as I love to discuss this format.