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Quick Quarterly Quiz/Bench Depth



By Mike Davis | 10/8/20 |

Last week’s question: Does anyone serve as commish for a league without participating?

In my column for Week 4, I offered a soapbox to anyone who serves as a fantasy commissioner without actually participating in that league. That dying (or dead) practice is so moribund as to have produced zero responses.

Why might this be? I suspect it has something to do with the ease of setting up free fantasy leagues on all sorts of websites. The person who goes to Yahoo! or CBS to sign up for a league is probably the one who becomes “commissioner,” which amounts to little more than having privileges on the website escalated slightly above the level of regular league participants.

The upside of this dearth of feedback is that we can transition swiftly to our first in-season QQQ (Quick Quarterly Quiz).

Aaron Rodgers

Regular Season Quick Quarterly Quiz (QQQ) #1

Since QQQ questions concern season-long trends, it’s impossible to score our preseason answers until the Week 16 games (and most fantasy championships) are in the books. But we’ll be updating scores at quarterly intervals throughout the season by way of playing a little game we can call “if the season had ended on Monday night.”

I’ll be reviewing my answers from the preseason column about this quiz series (for which I used FFToday’s preseason PPR rankings) & scoring them as if the 2020 season ended after 4 weeks.

In August, FFToday.com projections ranked the top 5 QBs of 2020 as:
1) Lamar Jackson
2) Patrick Mahomes
3) Dak Prescott
4) Kyler Murray
5) Russell Wilson

As of 10/7/20 (based on scoring in the FFToday Staff League), the top 5 QBs are:
1) Dak Prescott
2) Russell Wilson
3) Josh Allen
4) Patrick Mahomes
5) Aaron Rodgers

Question 1) Which of these QBs do you consider most likely to remain in the top 5 through Week 16? [Note: You can answer any question with ‘none’ or ‘all.’ Answers are updated at quarterly intervals throughout the season and cannot be repeated (except for ‘none’ or ‘all’ which are always available).]

My preseason answer: Mahomes (correct for 4 points).
My first quarter answer: Wilson

Question 2) Which of these QBs do you consider least likely to remain in the top 5 through Week 16?

My preseason answer: Murray (correct for 4 points).
My first quarter answer: Rodgers

In August, FFToday ranked the top 5 RBs as:
1) Christian McCaffrey
2) Saquon Barkley
3) Dalvin Cook
4) Ezekiel Elliott
5) Derrick Henry

As of 10/7/20 (based on FFTSL scoring), the top 5 RBs are:
1) Alvin Kamara
2) Aaron Jones
3) Dalvin Cook
4) Ezekiel Elliott
5) Chris Carson

Question 3) Which of these RBs do you consider most likely to remain in the top 5 through Week 16?

My preseason answer: Elliott (correct for 4 points).
My first quarter answer: Kamara

Question 4) Which of these RBs do you consider least likely to remain in the top 5 through Week 16?

My preseason answer: Henry (correct for 4 points).
My first quarter answer: Carson

In August, FFToday ranked the top 5 WRs as:
1) Michael Thomas
2) Davante Adams
3) Julio Jones
4) Tyreek Hill
5) DeAndre Hopkins

As of 10/7/20 (based on FFTSL scoring), the top 5 WRs are:
1) Amari Cooper
2) DeAndre Hopkins
3) Calvin Ridley
4) Tyler Lockett
5) Stefon Diggs

Question 5) Which of these WRs do you consider most likely to remain in the top 5 through Week 16?

My preseason answer: Jones (incorrect for 0 points).
My first quarter answer: Hopkins

Question 6) Which of these WRs do you consider least likely to remain in the top 5 through Week 16?

My preseason answer: Hill (correct for 4 points)
My first quarter answer: Cooper

In August, FFToday ranked the top 5 TEs as:
1) Travis Kelce
2) George Kittle
3) Zach Ertz
4) Mark Andrews
5) Darren Waller

As of 10/7/20 (based on FFTSL scoring), the top 5 TEs are:
1) Travis Kelce
2) Robert Tonyan
3) Darren Waller
4) Noah Fant
5) Mark Andrews

Question 7) Which of these TEs do you consider most likely to remain in the top 5 through Week 16?

My preseason answer: Kelce (correct for 4 points)
My first quarter answer: Tonyan.

Question 8) Which of these TEs do you consider least likely to remain in the top 5 through Week 16?

My preseason answer: Waller (incorrect for 0 points)
My first quarter answer: Andrews.

In August, FFToday ranked the top 5 defenses as:
1) Rams
2) Steelers
3) Chiefs
4) Patriots
5) 49ers

As of 10/7/20 (based on FFTSL scoring), the top 5 defenses are:
1) Colts
2) Ravens
3) Buccaneers
4) Chiefs
5) Patriots

Question 9) Which of these defenses do you consider most likely to remain in the top 5 through Week 16?

My preseason answer: Steelers (incorrect for 0 points, though Pittsburgh’s unexpected bye in Week 4 is a rip off).
My first quarter answer: Colts

Question 10) Which of these defenses do you consider least likely to remain in the top 5 through Week 16?

My preseason answer: Patriots (incorrect for 0 points, and a double rip off because if the Steelers had played in Week 4, they would have finished in the top 5 defenses & knocked New England out).
My first quarter answer: Chiefs

This Week’s Question: Optimal bench depth

Today’s question concerns bench depth in a 14-team league with 10 starters required each week and only 6 bench spots available. Brian wants to know if 6 bench spots seems like too little breathing room in a league with so many starting reqs (2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE + 1 flex) and so many owners (14 is a different world than 12).

He didn’t connect his question to Covid concerns, so the sudden postponement of the Pittsburgh-Tennessee game didn’t seem to impact his thinking (though it may impact your answer).

In Brian’s own words:

Trying to figure out how many [bench spots] we should have. Are there any guidelines?

We have a 14-team league with 1 QB 2 RB 3 WR 1 Flex 1 TE 1 K 1 Def and only 6 bench spots. This seems like too few to have. I already lost S.Barkley, C.Sutton and M.Mack this year, but I didn't have room to really handcuff my RBs.

Thanks for any advice.

If you have any advice, recommendations, or experiences to share with Brian on the question of bench depth, please share them in the comment section below or by emailing me.

Survivor Pool Pick (Courtesy of Matthew Schiff)

Trap Game – Houston over Jacksonville

Jacksonville is supposed to be a team that can easily be beaten, right? Miami beat them, but then Houston just fired their coach, and the last time Romeo Crennel coached, it was in ClevelandÖ. Need I say more? Look for Gardner Minshew and crew to steal this one on the road.

#3: Rams over Washington: 2-2 (Bal, KC, az, sf)

The Rams get another NFC East Game on the east coast, this time in the early slot instead of the 4:15 pm game. Donít worry LA faithful: Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods are too much for the Washington secondary. Moreover, the LA defense will feast on Kyle Allen and company as well. If you didnít use the Rams last week, this is your second chance--and a very tempting one if youíve used Baltimore, KC, or Arizona.

#2: SF over Miami: 3-1 (ind, AZ, TB, BAL)

This pick is not for the faint of heart. The 49ers are coming off a sloppy loss to the 1-2-1 Philadelphia Eagles--an offense, that up until last week, hadnít scored more than 20 points, except in their tie with Cincinnati. But the 49ers Defense is ranked 4th in passing defense, the strength of the Dolphins, and 14th against the rush. This bodes well for a team in need of a home victory for last yearís NFC Champions, and to stay close in the NFC West race.

#1: Baltimore over Cincinnati: 4-0 (KC, GB, IND, LAR)

I almost chose the 49ers game as my top choice last week (phew!). And now I trust in the Ravens to keep this 2020 survival pool streak going. Cincinnati is no cakewalk. The Bengals are an improved team with Joe Burrow poised in the pocket in his first year under center. Joe Mixon had his best day as a Bengal last week, and even though the Bengals lost to the Chargers, they seem to be pointed in the right direction. Meanwhile, the Chiefs laid out the blueprint for the rest of the NFL to follow when it comes to defeating Lamar Jackson and company. No, Iím not comparing Burrow to Patrick Mahomes--so I donít expect the Bengals to take the Ravens to the woodshed the way Kansas City did. But this one should be close. Any game between division rivals is bound to have twists, turns, and funny bounces. Donít expect the Ravens to cover the spread and donít be surprised if youíre holding your breath in the last two minutes, hoping that the most consistent kicker in football, Justin Tucker, saves your butt.


Mike Davis has been writing about fantasy football since 1999--and playing video games even longer than that. His latest novel (concerning a gamer who gets trapped inside Nethack after eating too many shrooms) can be found here.