May 20, 2007
Apologies for the tardiness in posting this, my “Floyd the Barber manifesto” on managerial style in keeper / dynasty leagues. � Better late than never, I suppose, but here goes.
To point, I almost always value situation over raw talent, regardless of format.
The NFL is a league dominated by systems – the West Coast offense, the Zone Blocking offense, the Cover-2 defense, the Zone Blitz defense and the like. Trying to understand which offensive systems tend to create stud players at various positions is critical.
Some of this is obvious. � For example, who wouldn’t rather take a shot on an unknown Denver running back than one say, in Cleveland? Or on an Indy wideout than one in Kansas City? Why? The track record.
The RB success in Denver can be directly linked to former line coach Alex Gibbs creating the Zone Blocking style of line play. � Now a dozen teams are copying them. � And thanks to HC Mike Shanahan, the Broncos are also a West Coast offense making them an attractive and proven breeding ground for quarterbacks, wideouts and tight ends.
It’s all about the system a team chooses to run and the success they have in incorporating it.
So, let’s tackle a question like Adrian Peterson versus Marshawn Lynch. On the surface, I would favor Lynch due to situation, competition at the position, and surrounding talent.
Peterson is touted as being more talented, but unless Vikings QB Tavaris Jackson is the second coming of Donovan McNabb (as HC Brad Childress hopes) to elevate their non-descript receiving corps, Peterson will be facing the same eight-man fronts that plagued Chester Taylor in 2006.
Can Peterson’s talent overcome it? Hard to say. But that’s where I lean on the draft experts.
I’ll admit this upfront – I haven’t the time or desire to follow the college game, so that puts me at a degree of disadvantage in the dynasty format. But I -can- spot a great situation. Hence, Joesph Addai had more value in Indy than every other rookie back last year.
Sure, Reggie Bush, Laurence Maroney, Maurice Jones-Drew and others had varying degrees of success, and all may be more physically gifted, but who would you rather have today in dynasty? To me, Addai has no downside if healthy.
Back to Lynch v. Peterson. Most of the rookie draftniks favor Peterson based on physical gifts, and who’s to say they’re wrong? His highlight film is breathtaking. But Lynch is clearly in a better situation. They have a decent quarterback, a Pro Bowl type lead wideout and a bolstered offensive line.
The key to making this evaluation if you’re not a college fan, is which draftnik do you trust?
When the late, great Joel Buschbaum was alive, he was my rock; the king. When he used the word “plucked” in a receiver evaluation, my FF antennae would immediately stand at attention. His character evaluations were almost like prophecy written beforehand. And he did all from watching videotape in his home office, with a few phone calls thrown in.
To this day, I’m still adrift. I like Mike Mayock a little. Mel Kiper, of course. My old pal, Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, and truth be told, our own John Hansen.
John’s always had the sixth sense for fantasy, but he’s bolstering this with his own film study and greater insider contact information over the last few years. He’s not what I would call a full-fledged draftnik, but he’s watched enough film to make an educated evaluation on how a college player’s skills will translate to the pro game. And that carries weight.
At any rate, I’ve laid my cards on the table, so use this knowledge as you wish. My management style (even in dynasty) is to favor situation over talent and to go for the win now, which is a subject we’ll explore in this space in greater detail over the summer.