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The Re-Draft Roundtables Series
The Footballguys staff looks at various strategies to help you in redraft leagues.
Participating in a redraft league is a process that starts with the draft and hopefully ends with a championship. The Footballguys staff has answered several questions about various strategies to help you achieve your championship dreams. From the beginning to the end and everything in between, we've got you covered to give you the tools and knowledge needed to dominate your redraft league.
What is your approach to kickers and defenses for leagues that require them? How do bye weeks factor into your strategy? Is there a key to unlocking which team's defense will be a pleasant surprise?
One of the issues with defenses is the fallacy of prior strength of schedule. Assuming you know which defenses will be atop the fantasy standings on draft day belies years of history to the contrary. We start having a good sense of in-season value after about six games have been played. So rather than being smart and trying to grab your favorite defense a round or two earlier than your league mates, the truly smart play is to have a few units in your pocket who are playing terrible teams in Week 1. I almost always draft a DST I think has a juicy Week 1 matchup and fully plan on swapping them for another DST in Week 2.
As for kickers, there is no justifiable reason in most leagues to draft a kicker before the final round. Way too many people talk themselves into thinking otherwise. It's absurd.
For kickers and defenses, more often than not, streaming is the correct way to go about the process. You’re mostly drafting them in the last two rounds of your league, so the draft spot could matter a bit. I throw out all past stats for defenses, as not many team defense stats are sticky year over year. I prefer kickers that play in a dome or are named Justin Tucker since those have been the most consistent options. When looking at defenses to draft, I tend to look at sacks as that is always a key metric in a defense’s fantasy success.
If drafting early in the summer, I don’t select a kicker or defense unless the league forces me to do so. Instead, I draft players with a path to extreme upside should something happen to a starter in front of them. Unfortunately, there will be many injuries in training camp, so it’s smart to get out in front of this if possible. Bye weeks don’t factor into my strategy at all. Keys to unlocking a surprise defense include evaluating the roster and the schedule, especially the early season schedule.
I will almost always wait to take a kicker or defense until the last rounds. The elite defenses never seem to repeat during the following season, but pass rush is the most predictable common denominator for defensive fantasy points. A good pass rush will create turnovers and accumulate sacks. I do not factor in points allowed as this is often unpredictable. In my opinion, the optimal strategy is to pick a defense with favorable early-season matchups and then plan on streaming the best defense from the waiver wire for the rest of the year.
When selecting a kicker, it's best to look for a high-powered offense that will run lots of plays. You just need to consider how many times per game their team will reach their opponent's side of the field and set them up for a field goal or extra point.
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