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Links to similar discussions on other positions:
In recent years, positional scarcity has been a key component of fantasy football analysis and draft preparation. Putting a premium on positions that required only one starter per week leaves fantasy GMs with little margin for error at the flex-eligible spots that require multiple starters.
That's why the fantasy football industry has emphasized the "late-round" strategy with quarterbacks and tight ends.
These are the reasons why the late-round quarterback and tight end strategies work. And when you're done here, please check out this year's article on late-round quarterbacks, published earlier this week.
- Positional Scarcity
- Flat Scoring Distribution at Quarterback and Tight End
- Quarterback and Tight End are Predictable Positions
- Quarterback and Tight End are Replaceable Positions
Please note that all assumptions in this article are based on typical league setups (i.e., leagues with 18 or fewer roster spots that allow only one tight end starter).
Here are the starting players in a 12-team fantasy league vs. how many available NFL starters there are at each position.
- Tight Ends: 12 fantasy starters, 24 NFL starters
- Running Backs: 24-36 fantasy starters, 48 NFL starters
- Wide Receivers: 36-48 fantasy starters, 52 NFL starters
* The "NFL Starters" figures assume that certain passing offenses aren't palatable in typical leagues (hence the reduction from 32 at tight end and 64 at receiver) and make assumptions that some committee/third-down running backs are fantasy relevant (thus, a number greater than 32).
From last year:
At the risk of over-simplifying things, which position seems least important? Here are the same numbers presented in a non-football way. Let's say you're hosting a barbecue, and your grocery list consists of 12 sides and 30 hamburgers. Your local grocery store is running out of stock as you and 11 other people enter the store. Which of the following are you going to pick up first?
- 12 sides when 30 are available
- 30 burgers when 48 are available
Apologies to any vegetarians out there, but even a non-meat eater should understand the supply and demand here.
Takeaway: fantasy leagues require fewer tight end starters while more are available, making it a position with high supply and low demand.
Flat Scoring Distribution
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