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Q&A - Should Fantasy Leagues Adjust Point Values Based on NFL Trends?
Week 3

Last Week’s Question:

What FF tools do you use that other players and commissioners might not know about?

I received an excellent answer from Joe on this question that involves visiting two websites:

I use the "points allowed - by position" feature. Then I break down each position and include their upcoming week's opponent.

I make the post available to all to see:

Shameless plug, but it's a great tool that your readers might enjoy.

Readers who are in a hurry may not take the time to think through the uses of these links from Joe, so I want to illustrate one way to put these tools to work.

Imagine that you went into the season using Kevin Kolb as your starting QB. Before the Week 1 games were over, you suspected that you would need a different quarterback for Week 2 (and likely beyond), but there were probably very few starting QBs available because the tendency in most leagues is for players to draft too many quarterbacks and to cut their backups loose as the season progresses.

With all of the most desirable quarterbacks already taken, who did you snap up to fill in for Kolb in Week 2? You knew that you probably wouldn’t find the long-term solution to your quarterback problem until you could negotiate a trade or until the bye week schedule forced one of your opponents to cut a desirable backup QB to make room for a receiver or tight end.

Put simply, most owners of Kevin Kolb didn’t need a great quarterback in Week 2. They just needed an adequate QB who would be facing a soft defense. To find that player, owners don’t need a list that sorts QBs based on their own productivity and availability; they need a list that sorts defenses based on how opposing quarterbacks have fared against them.

That is why Joe starts with the page that he linked for us. Readers who are unfamiliar with the website may have trouble navigating their way to the page. I recommend a Google search with the following three terms in the search bar:

  • points allowed”
  • by position”

If you enter those 3 search terms into your Google search bar with spaces between them and no punctuation other than the quotation marks where I have used them, Joe’s first tool should appear at the top of the list generated by Google. You will be able to sort and re-sort the table based on whatever position you are most interested in by playing with the bars at the top of the page.

But you do not have to play with that table or even visit the website because Joe has already done all the work for you here:

I had to scroll about one-fifth of the way down the page to get to Joe’s listings about quarterbacks, and I have pasted the top 10 choices here:

  Points Allowed to:  QB Week 2 Opponent
Team / FPts Quarterback
1. Texans 34 McNabb
2. Lions 26 Kolb, Vick
3. Patriots 25 Sanchez
4. Bengals 25 Flacco
5. Packers 24 Edwards
6. Chiefs 23 Delhomme, Wallace
7. Panthers 22 Freeman
8. 49ers 22 Brees
9. Broncos 22 Hasselbeck
10. Browns 20 Cassel

Joe’s list would have been a very quick way to see just how attractive such QBs as Josh Freeman and Seneca Wallace (available in most leagues) were for FFers who needed a QB in Week 2.

Thanks to Joe for sharing his research with the rest of us. I have bookmarked his page and expect to be a frequent visitor.

Most of the other responses that I received were about the strengths and weaknesses of various league-hosting websites, a subject that already received attention in Week 11 of 2004 and Weeks 6 & 16 of 2009. I have filed these responses for a more comprehensive discussion of league-hosting services when the time is right.

This Week’s Question:

Should Fantasy Leagues Adjust Point Values Based on NFL Trends?

Dan wants to know if we in the fantasy community will “ever come up with some point standards.”

Can we not examine the NFL, come up with a value for each skill position as well as defense and special teams and have a general outline of what positions and areas warrant the ability fantasy wise to be able to score fantasy points? It just seems every couple of years leagues should analyze the NFL trends, and adjust the percentages on what all these fantasy positions should be able to produce.

When rule changes result in productivity spikes for quarterbacks and receivers, does your fantasy league scale back the value of receiving yardage or increase the value of rushing yardage to get RBs back in the mix?

Years ago, I belonged to a league whose commissioner adjusted the scoring every off-season. He wanted the average score to be 100 points per game per team, and he also tried to adjust the scoring system so that the curve generated by the top 10 QBs was as similar as possible to the curves generated by the top 10 RBs, WRs, and defenses. He didn’t worry about tight ends or kickers, and I never asked him why he did things that way.

If you adjust the scoring in your league in response to new scoring trends in the NFL, I would like to know what your approach is and why.

Last Man Standing Picks (Courtesy of Mark Den Adel)

Last week I got the upset pick right concerning Miami over Minnesota. I was 2 out of 3 thanks to the Bears beating the Cowboys. The Chicago offense surprises me, and I don't know if it is a product of facing bad defenses or if the Martz/Cutler combination is for real...? This week the three games I’ve picked seem obvious...

1) New England over Buffalo – Tom Brady excels against Buffalo after a loss. Buffalo is changing QBs, and their offense has been non-existent. New England wins by double digits.

2) Minnesota over Detroit – Minnesota needs a win and can’t afford to go 0-3 and be three games behind the Green Bay/Chicago winner. Due to the offense’s woes, the Viking defenders will play like they have to win the game. Minnesota’s run defense will tame Jahvid Best, and the pass defense will eat up Shaun Hill. The Detroit pass defense is weak, so expect a big game from Shiancoe.

3) Baltimore over Cleveland – The Ravens have won the last four meetings and need a division win after losing to Cincinnati last week. That was to be expected coming off an emotional win over the Jets on Monday night the week prior.

Upset Alert – Dallas over Houston – Dallas is a desperate team at 0-2. The Texans are 2-0 coming off two tough games; they won’t have the energy to win their third straight. Dallas will right the ship, establish a running game and come out with a win. Andre Johnson is nicked up, hurting Houston offense.

For responses to this week's fantasy question please email me.