Last Week's Question: What is the best online
fantasy football glossary?
Last week's question
was inspired by a reader named David, who wanted to know how "handcuffing"
came to be the accepted term for drafting an NFL starter and his
backup. I hoped to hear from some veteran FFers who might know exactly
who popularized that term or exactly when or how it was popularized.
Unfortunately, I received no credible responses concerning its etymology.
Mike Krueger tried to help out by posing the question on the FFToday
boards, but he had no more luck than I did.
I'm sorry David, but you will just have to tell your brother to
get over his confusion and accept the fact that the word has been
accepted by the community that uses it.
As for my more general question about the best fantasy football
glossary on a publicly accessible website, the most useful response
came from Roger:
I have bookmarked a number of fantasy football
glossaries over the years. Whenever I recruit a new owner to our
league, I give them a link to the best glossary I know of at the
time. I have bookmarks for the sites you mention in your column,
and for a while I used the
one from Ron Knight (.pdf). I am not a fan of the Dummies
list because it just seems padded to me. I don't see any point
in defining "fleecing" as taking advantage of someone
in a trade because that meaning isn't specific to fantasy football.
I'm also not sure that there is any need to define terms like "elite,"
"damaged goods," or "game-time decision"--since
they all mean pretty much exactly what they say. What I like about
the Dummies page is that it loads quickly (whereas the Knight PDF
can take a while to render on crappy computers).
I went looking for a list as good as Knight's that would load immediately,
and I found a pretty good one from The
Fantasy Football Times, but you have to scroll halfway down
the page to get to the beginning of the list. That only confused
the people I mailed it to, so these days I use the glossary
on nfl.com. The list is comprehensive enough to be useful to
most owners (with definitions of such terms as ADP, IDP, and "performance-scoring").
More importantly for me, the page loads quickly--and even though
readers end up scrolling past the pointless video at the top, you
can see where the list starts from the second you load the page
(unlike the Times glossary). The writers include definitions for
some useless terms (e.g. "The Gooch" & "Houshmazoo"),
so it probably isn't quite as good as Knight's list. But the convenience
factor makes it the best glossary I know of.
My thanks to Roger for bringing the nfl.com glossary to
my attention. It does load quickly and is fairly comprehensive.
At first I thought that it omitted "lineup," but that
was because I had to look under S for "starting lineup."
The nfl.com glossary also introduced me to a term ("draft dasher")
for "People who enjoy drafting a fantasy football team but
disappear long before the season is over, abandoning their team."
I don't recall having seen that term before, but I am certainly
familiar with the phenomenon.
This Week's Question: How Do Experienced
Drafters Respond When Drafting-for-Value Compels Them to Take Multiple
Players from the Same Team?
Most experienced FFers have learned to build their fantasy rosters
the same way investors build their stock portfolios--with a heavy
emphasis on diversification. If you choose to stand or fall by one
NFL team with your fantasy squad, you will eventually fall--even
if the team you have chosen to focus on ends up going to the Super
Bowl. Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, and Roddy White are all desirable
players, but putting all three on the same fantasy squad is a great
way to ensure that you will win four games by a margin of 50 points
and lose eight by a margin of 5 to 10 points.
Even though a reader named Michael knows better than to draft too
many players from the same team, his draft position practically
coerced him into going more Lion-heavy in 2011 than he wanted:
I targeted Lions WR Nate Burleson in all of
my drafts this year. I felt I could get him in a late round, perhaps
drafting him as a WR4 or WR5, and fully expect to get solid WR3
production from him. However, in one of my drafts Calvin Johnson
unexpectedly (and happily) fell to me in a spot where I could not
pass on him. I drafted Johnson, fully planning to still aim for
Burleson late. However, a few rounds later the same thing happened
with Jahvid Best. I again felt I was getting too much value to pass,
so I drafted Best as well.
At that point I was uncertain if I should still be targeting Burleson.
The stacked bye weeks do not bother me, but the possibility of the
skill players cannibalizing each other's stats does. I'm extremely
high on the Lions this year, but at what point is it too many players
on the same team? For example, there is an owner in one of my leagues
who ended up drafting Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Peyton Manning,
AND Austin Collie. I can't imagine he's happy right now.
My own general strategy for diversification is a simple
and presumably commonplace application of the "other things
being equal" formula. As an example, let's say that I have
drafted Miles Austin as my top receiver. When I am ready to draft
a quarterback, I find myself looking at Tony Romo and Matthew Stafford.
Other things being equal, I want the quarterback who doesn't play
for Dallas, so I end up grabbing Stafford. That works out fine because
Romo and Stafford are both solid choices.
But what if other things aren't close to equal? What if I have to
choose between Romo and Kerry Collins? Have any seasoned drafters
actually applied a mathematical formula to the re-ranking of a player
whose team is already over-represented on their roster? Or is it
as simple as saying, "I don't care that player x is ranked
two full tiers ahead of everyone else left at his position. I won't
take him because I already have y number of players from his team"?
Is it safest to draft for value regardless of team distribution
and then diversify via trades? If you have given this question any
serious thought, I look
forward to hearing from you.
(Courtesy of Matthew
Trap Game (New England at Buffalo):
This match is guaranteed to be a shootout. The key factor here
is that Buffalo has the edge defensively. The Bills have given
up an average of 337 yards per game over the first two games of
the season, and the Patriots have allowed an eye-popping 479 yards
(good enough for a next-to-last ranking in the NFL). Ryan Fitzpatrick
may be without Roscoe Parrish for the season, but Dan Nelson seems
more than capable to step in opposite Steve Johnson. This game
will not be played in Foxboro, and although the Pats are heavily
favored, it will be hardly a blowout. The Buffalo faithful finally
have a squad that can compete against a playoff-caliber team.
For the first time in years, there is hope springing up off the
lake that the Bills might play a meaningful game in January.
#3 Pittsburgh over Indianapolis (1-1 KC,
It’s becoming a little painful to watch the Colts play without
Peyton Manning. Kerry Collins in his prime couldn’t hold
a candle to Manning, and today . . . what can we say except that
Collins is no longer in his prime? Last week the Steelers redeemed
themselves from their Week 1 loss to the Ravens and barring a
setback, that momentum should carry them to victory against a
team that is ranked 29th in both total yards (260/game) and points
(26 total points for the season). The Steeler defense still sets
the tone for this team, and the fact that Pittsburgh is ranked
2nd overall in yards given up will make things especially tough
on the struggling Colt offense.
#2: San Diego over Kansas City (2-0 AZ,
Kansas City is a mess. Last year’s playoff team is a shell
of what it once was. With Jamaal Charles out for the year with
a torn ACL, Matt Cassel and company will have to rely on Thomas
Jones and Dexter McCluster to carry the rock. Meanwhile, Vincent
Jackson had a career day last week with 10 catches for 172 yards
and two touchdowns. Somehow, that wasn’t enough for him
to get a contract extension. You can bet that this will make him
an “angry” player on the field and should translate
into another stellar day. While these divisional games usually
sound warning alarms in Survival Pools, The Bolts will be too
much to handle for a defense that has allowed 89 points in two
games (last in the NFL by more than 20 points over the 31st ranked
team). Unfortunately for Chiefs fans, embarrassing losses may
become a habit for this reeling franchise.
#1 Tennessee over Denver (2-0 SD, PIT):
Denver is a product of the NFL lockout. They have a new coach,
a new scheme, new players and some injuries. Tennessee meanwhile
is just trying to figure out how to distribute the workload for
players who are already enjoying success. Clearly the coaches
don’t think that Chris Johnson can handle the full-time
load yet as they have stated that Javon Ringer will see more action
in the running game this week. Matt Hasselbeck meanwhile has been
the beneficiary of taking it slow with CJ2K being shelved as a
decoy and Kenny Britt emerging as a consistent target for a quarterback
who lacked just that in Seattle the last few years. This game
won’t be flashy. It won’t have great highlights, but
CJ2K and company are poised for a solid outing at home when the
rest of your choices are either too tight to choose from or off
limits because you already used them up. I might prefer either
my number 2 or number 3 choice this week, but I have already used
both San Diego and Pittsburgh as my top picks.
For responses to this month's fantasy question please email