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The Salary Cap Roundtable Series
Joining a salary cap league can be intimidating for even a seasoned fantasy football player. Fortunately, the Footballguys staff has experience in this format and will help you. Over the summer, we'll cover various topics ranging from basic to advanced strategies.
What common mistakes do you see other Salary Cap drafters making that people should avoid?
The most common mistake I see from other Salary Cap drafters is valuing players exactly on par with consensus. Identifying players that you would bend your budget for prior to draft day is essential. Additionally, in my experience, most Salary Cap drafters come to the draft only considering player values. Positional budget restrictions can be key to constructing a balanced roster. For example, I may be higher on 4 running backs than consensus, so I choose to spend up. But the opportunity cost of doing so may weaken my wide receiver or tight end rooms. Furthering that, jumping the gun on players early in the draft and not practicing patience with your salary cap allocation can be problematic. Toward the end of drafts, it's much easier to find fantastic WR3 options at massive discounts if you have the cap space to acquire them. The final mistake I've seen that people should avoid: paying more than $1 for kickers or D/ST. Every dollar matters!
There is a fine line between being aggressive for a target or 'must have' player and throwing an entire team-building plan to the wind and hurting a Salary Cap league's results. A bidding war can lead to harmful results for the winner of said war, especially early in the nominations. The difference later in the draft would be more known variables with acquired players, remaining funds, and having fewer desired pivots available at that time.
There are three mistakes I see most commonly. One, not adjusting for inflation or deflation dynamically. Two, fixating on specific players instead of tiers. Three, price enforcement to the detriment of your own plans.
Every draft is different, and if you see players going for well over your projected values early, you need to dynamically adjust the remaining player values. That's hard to do without using a software program like our Dominator. But it's critical because you need to decide whether you can also overpay to ensure you get elite players, and then know that the end game is going to be chock full of inexpensive options.
In salary cap drafts you cannot fall in love with specific players. If you think Josh Allen is the No. 1 quarterback and his projected value is $35, you have to be able to walk away if the bidding goes well past that. Too often I'll hear after a draft how someone felt their plans went off the rails when two or three specific players were overpriced early. That should never happen. Draft stats via tiers, not the names on the jerseys.
Ensuring a leaguemate doesn't get an extreme bargain is a smart defense, but you need to be careful. For example, if you've already spent $80 on receivers and that was your allotted budget for the position, and suddenly a receiver is coming off the board at $5 you had valued at $15, going that extra dollar or two may derail your own roster construction. It's a delicate balance. Sometimes you have to let other people get bargains.
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