Wait to draft kickers, defenses
All veteran fantasy football GMs know the age-old maxim: Never draft a kicker or defense until the last picks of your draft. With rare exception, this is an immutable law of fantasy football; but is it sound advice?
I researched the issue, so I instructed the Sports Grumblings' computer,
Looking at the results, we see some interesting trends:
• Over the past three seasons, only
• No kicker was in the top five all three years.
• While we had a different "top leg" each of the last three years, the points produced by the top kicker was amazingly consistent..
• On average, the 12th-rated kicker can be expected to produce close to
The lesson: trying to determine the top-rated kicker from season to season is a crapshoot. Furthermore, unlike the other positional players, selecting a "top" kicker isn't likely to result in a top performance. Think about it: we can debate whether
Many of my readers know that I am a huge proponent of using individual defensive players (IDP) in fantasy leagues; but realizing that many leagues have not seen the light of fantasy football salvation, I'll try to provide some insight into the performance of defense/special teams selections.
Again, I imposed on
Again, some interesting trends are presented by the results:
• The 12th-ranked team's totals remained within 4 percent of each other.
• On average, the 12th-rated D/ST could be expected to produce about 67 percent of the top-rated D/ST.
These findings would indicate that selecting defensive teams might be a bit easier than kickers in that defensive teams seem to display a bit more consistency amongst the top performers; however, this is a positional consistency, that is, in the aggregate. Predicting which D/ST will actually place well in the scoring is still very hit-or-miss: look at the
OK, all this information is interesting, but does it support the theory that you should wait on kickers and defensive teams in your draft? In general, the closer the 12th-rated spot to the top-rated spot, the longer you can wait to draft that position. Given kickers and D/ST, the numbers indicate that D/ST should be drafted ahead of kickers.
But what about when these two positions are compared to the other offensive positions? The same type of analysis indicates the following order of value: WR, RB, QB, TE ... and all four shake out ahead of the kickers and defensive teams.
Sometimes, those old age-old maxims actually deserve to be age-old maxims!