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A big part of dynasty (and fantasy football as a whole) is taking a stand on whether we believe what we have seen will continue or not. This could be from week-to-week, year-to-year, or in dynasty from a previous-to-future general sense. By this point of the season, taking stock of your roster and team situation is key.
Over the offseason, one historical project was looking at season starts and the playoff odds in dynasty leagues. Specifically, the analysis was through the first month of head-to-head results.
Let's start with the quick good news and 3-0 teams. They have a 91% chance to make the playoffs in the sample, which grows to 97% if advancing to 4-0. Even if they lose this week to go to 3-1, they are 82% playoff bets. In short, this is not a critical week for those teams in the macro view. That should be of no surprise as many good teams get off to quality starts, whether NFL or in a dynasty.
Next, 2-1 teams. At present, they are 68% odds to make the playoffs. With a win, they elevate to 3-1 and 82% like above. The key point is dropping to 2-2 does not produce 50% odds. Instead, the result is 43%. These are all six-team playoff structures and 12-team leagues for the record. The explanation is likely that 4-0 and 3-1 teams at this juncture are such favorites to secure many of the playoff spots that 2-2 teams are closer to the 1-3 teams in odds as a result. By historical probabilities, the 2-1 teams this week have the most to gain and lose by their result.
The 1-2 teams actually have little on the line in Week 4. Their 35% odds today rise to only 43% with a 2-2 record and 23% with a loss to a 1-3 record. In short, 1-2 teams are not in a great spot, but their 1-3 odds are not much worse. One of the key takeaways from this study was a 1-3 start is not a death knell and should not be a time to fold up camp and look ahead to the next year.
Finally, the 0-3 teams. This is a critical week. At 5% odds today, they rise to 23% with a win to a 1-3 record. However, it drops to 3% with a loss. At 0-4, that is a legitimate moment to question the current season and know you are a substantial historical outlier to make the playoffs. Also, a much longer bet than even 1-3 teams. Also, know that probably half of the playoff spots, if not more, are near-locks to the other teams.
One other aspect to consider is at 0-4, there is not as much schedule luck (misfortune) which could be at play as compared to once or twice going up against the highest-scoring team in the league or being a hard-luck loser early on. Getting a single win in the opening month is the minimum threshold for optimism.
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