I spent a ton of time contemplating my fantasy football draft strategy this season. Last year I did quite well, but I think that was at least partially due to the lockout. This year, owners were doing their homework early.
So here comes my moment of honesty. At least as far as my two “most important” teams are concerned, the best draft pick I made was the Chicago Bears defense. Seriously. They have single-handedly won at least two games for me. Not to mention offering me a huge advantage at the D/ST position over almost every other owner.
But we (me and everybody else) tell you during draft season that D/STs and Kickers don’t matter. Here is the dirty little secret: D/STs and Kickers DO matter. In fact, they decide fantasy football match-ups every week.
Think about it. How many kickers scored more points than Marshawn Lynch or Jamaal Charles did last week? At least five, and that depends on your scoring system. Should you run out and trade a RB for a Kicker who did well last week? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean that you should just plug in a Kicker or D/ST and forget about them until they have a bye week.
Fantasy football is a weekly game. But we draft it as a full-season game. That’s fine in baseball and even basketball. We all love football because there are so few match-ups and anything can happen in any given week. If you are not trying to maximize the points you get from your Kicker and D/ST, you’re doing it wrong.
Don’t go making changes just to make a change. Just remember, during fantasy drafts, we talk about not drafting a Kicker or D/ST until late because we don’t know how they will perform. Historically at those positions, there is a tremendous amount of turnover in the top-5.
We’re seven weeks into the season. We have a pretty good idea about who is what now. The sample size isn’t huge, but it’s enough to draw some basic conclusions. In other words, find a D/ST playing against the Jaguars or Browns. Don’t just start the Ravens or the Packers D/ST because you drafted them.
Find kickers who you think will be playing in close, high-scoring games. If those games are played indoors, that’s a huge plus. It’s really that simple Many owners look to low-scoring games for Kicker points when they should just be looking for whatever match-up looks like a high-scoring affair. Points are points, any way that you get them.
Good luck to all this week, and for the rest of the season. For other fantasy football stuff, and more, you can follow me on Twitter @SportsSomething