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Gone Fishin': A Scott Fish Bowl 13 Preview

Preseason Matchup Analysis

By Doug Orth | 7/9/23 |

Straight from the man who created fantasy football's version of the Midsummer Classic, The Scott Fish Bowl is "the world's most famous fantasy football tournament with nearly every analyst in the fantasy industry, athletes, actors, musicians, celebrities and thousands of other fans of fantasy football playing in the spirit of charity and doing good."

Scott Fish is one of the nicest people and arguably the most charitable person in the fantasy industry. Along with plenty of help from Dynasty League Football's Ryan McDowell and others, Scott spends countless hours during the late winter and most of the spring organizing this charitable event, which has expanded to 3,300 entries since its humble beginnings over a decade ago.

This event is an effort to raise awareness for Fantasy Cares - a foundation that primarily supplies toys for kids around the holiday season (but has reached out to many other charitable causes). Scott has created a league that could see a casual fantasy manager go head-to-head with a 20-year high-stakes veteran and/or retired NBA player Shane Battier and/or actor Tom Everett Scott.

That is not the only unique feature of this league. Scott makes it his mission each year to tweak the scoring system, which adds another challenging layer of competition to a league where managers are trying to beat more than 3,000 other competitors.

Speaking of the unusual setup and scoring system, let's look at what Scott cooked up this season:


Roster Size: 22 players (11 starters)
Draft: Snake, third-round reversal (1.12 will pick at 2.01 and 3.01)

Starting Lineup
QB: 1-2
RB: 2-6
WR: 3-7
TE: 1-5
K: 1-4

The following is straight from The Scott Fish Bowl page:

6 point passing TD
.1 points per completion
.1 points per first down
1 point for 25 yards passing (.04/per),
2 points per two-point conversion

6 point rushing TD
1 point for 10 yards rushing (.1/per),
2 points per two-point conversion
1 point per first down
.25 points per carry

6 point receiving TD
1 point for 10 yards receiving (.1/per),
2 points per two-point conversion
1 point per first down
1 point per reception

Extra 1 point per first down
Extra 1 point per reception

3.3 points for a made extra point
Decimal scoring bonus for FG (37 yarder = 3.7 points, 24 yarder = 2.4 points)

Special Teams:
6 points for any return TD
6 points if your player recovers a ball in the end zone for a TD (fumble recovery TD on Sleeper)


SFB13 is a superflex and tight-end premium league at its core, but it is so much more than that. It is also a points per completion (0.1), points per carry (0.1), points per reception (1.0, 2.0 for tight ends) and points for first down (0.1 passing, 1.0 for rushing and receiving, 2.0 for tight ends). Do not overlook the fact that all TDs are worth six points and completions get a bit of love, which gives the "pocket" quarterbacks much-needed boosts to compete with their more mobile brethren. Interceptions and fumbles will not be penalized!!! Very good and elite tight ends can make or break your season. Possession receivers - especially those who have the trust of their quarterbacks to move the chains - are at least on par with the explosive wideouts thanks to the first-down bonuses. Kickers - especially the Justin Tuckers of the world - are very viable as flex options. To the surprise of virtually no one, high-volume running backs rule the day over their less-involved position mates.

Before we get into the heart of the article, let's look at how position groups fared (with this exact scoring setup) over the last two seasons:

Top 25 (overall points): 14 QBs, 6 RBs, 3 WRs, 2 TEs
Top 25 (average - must play at least eight games): 16 QBs, 5 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE

Top 50 (overall points): 20 QBs, 18 RBs, 8 WRs, 4 TEs
Top 50 (average - at least eight games): 24 QBs, 15 RBs, 7 WRs, 4 TEs

Top 100 (overall points): 28 QBs, 30 RBs, 24 WRs, 13 TEs, 5 PKs
Top 100 (average - at least eight games): 34 QBs, 29 RBs, 24 WRs, 11 TEs, 2 PKs

Top 25 (overall points): 15 QBs, 4 RBs, 4 WRs, 2 TEs
Top 25 (average - at least eight games): 12 QBs, 8 RBs, 2 WRs, 3 TEs

Top 50 (overall points): 24 QBs, 12 RBs, 9 WRs, 5 TEs
Top 50 (average - at least eight games): 25 QBs, 15 RBs, 5 WRs, 5 TEs

Top 100 (overall points): 29 QBs, 26 RBs, 24 WRs, 14 TEs, 7 PKs
Top 100 (average - at least eight games): 32 QBs, 29 RBs, 25 WRs, 14 TEs

Now that we know how the positions have fared, let's add some context for a bit more perspective (all comments are based on average points from last season):

- The gap between QB1 (Jalen Hurts) and QB7 (Dak Prescott) was more than 10 points per game.

- Six quarterbacks outscored all running backs and receivers. Justin Jefferson's near-historic season was only good for a 19th-place finish overall, behind 12 quarterbacks and four running backs.

- Jimmy Garoppolo (QB22; 23.1 points) averaged 0.03 per game less than new teammate Davante Adams (WR6; 23.1), who averaged 0.12 per game less than Matt Ryan (QB20; 23.3) and 0.37 less than Carson Wentz (QB19; 23.5).

- Another benched quarterback from last season (QB17 Marcus Mariota; 25.1) averaged less than a point per game less than Tyreek Hill (WR3; 25.9) and 0.1 more per game than Joe Mixon (RB6; 25.0).

- Brock Purdy (QB34; 17.1) averaged 0.04 points per game less than teammate Deebo Samuel (WR19; 17.1).

- Cordarrelle Patterson (RB24; 18.1) was as valuable as DeVonta Smith (WR16; 18.1) and slightly more useful than Tyler Lockett (WR17; 17.7).

- Only 10 receivers topped 20 points per game. If we round up from 19.5 points/game, they were joined by 28 quarterbacks, 22 running backs and six tight ends.

- Taysom Hill (TE12; 16.6) outscored teammate Chris Olave (WR26; 16.3).

- Only 37 players (not including kickers) finished within 10 points per game of their position leader. Of that group, 17 were receivers and 15 were running backs.

- Travis Kelce was the fifth-highest scorer in the league. The difference between him and the next closest tight end (Mark Andrews) was roughly the same as Allen and Prescott. Only five tight ends finished within 15 points per game of Kelce.


Quarterbacks should fly off the board in the first round of most of these drafts, as Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Hurts, Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert are near locks to go in the first round - if not the first 6-8 picks. Managers can make a strong case for selecting Kelce at 1.01.

After that, things become less clear. Whether there is a tier break after the first three quarterbacks listed above (Mahomes, Allen and Hurts) and Kelce, there seems to be a consensus that such a tier exists. Burrow, Jackson and Herbert probably belong in that tier with them, but each of the latter three comes with a perceived question mark that makes them less of a sure thing than the first three quarterbacks. Christian McCaffrey figures to be gone before the end of the first round, but enough managers could be freaked out by his splits with and without a healthy Elijah Mitchell to push him into the early second round in a few drafts.

As I see it, most managers will enter this draft believing there are four players in Tier 1 and four players in Tier 2. Thus, I believe it may be most helpful to look at this draft from three different perspectives. The four managers in the first group (1-4), the four managers in the next group (5-8) and the four managers in the last group (9-12).

Travis Kelce

Early draft plan for managers with a top-four selection (1.01-1.04):

The assumption here is that managers will choose between Kelce, Mahomes, Allen and Hurts, and it makes sense for that to be the case. If the name of the game is to gain a positional advantage as early and often as possible during the draft, you will be hard-pressed to find four players who do it better. Assuming managers start with Kelce, the next pick almost has to be the best available quarterback, which is about the only con of taking Kelce early. Why is that the case? It almost forces managers to take quarterback next. While the drop-off from Hurts-Allen-Mahomes to a likely second-round pick such as Trevor Lawrence or Kirk Cousins is substantial, the opportunity cost of waiting until the third round to select a QB1 almost negates the advantage Kelce's managers gave themselves by taking the Kansas City tight end early.

Third-round reversal is a major consideration for anyone drafting 1.01-1.04. Instead of selecting three of the perceived 28 top players in a "normal" draft, these managers will only have access to three of the perceived top 33-36 players. That is a big deal because managers should expect at least 15 quarterbacks to come off the board in the first 30 picks. The "Kelce advantage" essentially disappears if his manager has to rely on Daniel Jones as his/her QB1 in the weeks he/she faces Mahomes, Allen and Hurts.

To maintain that "Kelce advantage" as long as possible, I would select quarterbacks with my next two picks and strongly consider taking a tight end (in the George Kittle-Kyle Pitts-Dallas Goedert-Darren Waller tier) in the fourth round to further hammer that advantage home. Not only are you maintaining the "Kelce advantage" with one of those tight ends, but you have also created high-end depth (Goedert averaged as many points in this format as Aaron Jones and CeeDee Lamb) at a weak position. Furthermore, loading up at tight end with Kelce on board should significantly decrease the odds of at least one other manager's chance to win the league and create some panic. At the very least, managers could feel pressured into taking options such as David Njoku or Chigoziem Okonkwo a round or two earlier than they want.

Preferred start for Kelce drafters: Kelce-QB-QB-TE

The dilemma for the early choice at quarterback is which one of the three to take, although I am not sure there is a wrong answer. The selection of a quarterback here does not necessarily limit the options for managers quite like drafting Kelce does because there is a good chance at least six - and perhaps as many as nine or 10 - other signal-callers will come off the board between your first and second pick. Andrews is Kelce's only real competition at tight end and should be long gone before the 2.09-2.12 range, but he should be scooped up on the off chance he is still available. Assuming Andrews is gone, drafters in this range will likely have the option of taking an elite back (Bijan Robinson, Jonathan Taylor, Saquon Barkley, etc.) or drafting another quarterback. T.J. Hockenson will go here in some drafts as well, but I would argue he should be more of a third-round consideration. Because the high-end/elite quarterbacks will be gone by the end of the second round, it makes more sense to grab a surefire RB1 here. There are enough "sustainer" quarterbacks to fill the QB2 slot until the end of the third (or beginning of the fourth) round.

Preferred start for Allen/Hurts/Mahomes drafters: QB-RB-QB-TE

Early draft plan for managers with a middle-four selection (1.05-1.08):

The assumption here is that you will choose between Burrow, Jackson, Herbert and McCaffrey. (Late drafters should consider themselves fortunate if one or two of them slip into the 9-12 range.) Much as was the case with the Mahomes, Allen and Hurts drafters above, the second-round dilemma comes down to selecting Andrews (in the unlikely event he is still on the board), an elite receiver, an elite running back or a second quarterback.

QB-QB is always a viable option in superflex leagues and is one here as well, although Burrow/Jackson/Herbert drafters should aim to fish in the Lawrence-Deshaun Watson-Dak Prescott lake and not the Anthony Richardson-Kirk Cousins-Tua Tagovailoa pond in Round 2. There is nothing wrong with the second group in Round 3, but a Round 2 pick should be one aimed at destroying the positional advantage created by the early drafters and not simply matching the players the early drafters will take with their next pick. (Remember, only five quarterbacks finished within 10 points per game of Hurts last year.)

Drafting Andrews (unlikely he makes it much past the 1-2 turn) or taking a running back such as Austin Ekeler or Robinson is probably the easiest way to close the aforementioned positional advantage gap in the second round for middle drafters who chose Burrow, Jackson or Herbert. (Remember, they will have the luxury of picking earlier in the third round than the early drafters and should be able to land someone like Geno Smith or Richardson as their QB2 at that point.) This is also about the time that the elite receivers (Justin Jefferson, Ja'Marr Chase and Cooper Kupp) should be considered. Going QB-CMC/Ekeler/Robinson in the first two rounds is probably the upside play, but it is important to remember how much higher the injury risk is for running backs than receivers. In a tournament with over 3,000 entries, it helps to have the foundation of your team healthy from beginning to end.

Year after year, my teams have been RB-heavy and made the playoffs. Year after year, I have seemingly lost at least two of those linchpins by the time the SFB postseason begins in Week 12. It gets old after a while. My advice: select the aforementioned top three receivers over the elite backs and put off running back until the Round 4-5 range. The elite receivers offer the same kind of positional advantage on the rest of the receiver field that the elite running backs do over their counterparts, but the cliff falls off much faster at running back than receiver, which is why your line of thinking should be elite WR>elite RB>low-end RB1, high-end RB2>low-end WR1, high-end WR2.

For example, there was just a five-point-per-game difference between WR12 (Jaylen Waddle; 18.8) and WR36 (Gabriel Davis; 13.8) last year. Conversely, there was a four-point-per-game difference between RB12 (Leonard Fournette; 22.2) and RB24 (Cordarrelle Patterson; 18.1).

Preferred start for Burrow/Jackson/Herbert drafters: QB-WR-QB-TE (assumes the likes of Andrews or Justin Fields will not last until picks 17-20)

It pains my CMC-loving heart (not to mention my desire to begin almost every draft with an elite running back), but this is not the format for him to be drafted ahead of the top six quarterbacks or Kelce. After that, he warrants consideration along with the top three receivers and Andrews. While there is a decent chance a full season in HC Kyle Shanahan's offense sends him back into the same stratosphere that made him a fantasy legend a few years ago, the downside to selecting him is that he gets hurt or loses enough work to Elijah Mitchell and/or Jordan Mason to cap his enormous upside. The No. 8 pick is the first time in this format I would consider him and that is in large part because third-round reversal almost guarantees the CMC manager can land two top-15 quarterbacks.

Preferred start for McCaffrey drafters: McCaffrey-QB-QB-TE (assumes Andrews will not last more than four picks into Round 2)

Early draft plan for managers with a late-four selection (1.09-1.12):

At this point, six quarterbacks, Kelce and McCaffrey (or perhaps a seventh quarterback like Fields) will be off the board in most drafts. Many fortunate souls will benefit from managers selecting Jefferson and/or Chase and/or Kupp in the first round, which will only enhance the value of having a late first-round pick in this format. However, for the purposes of this article, let's stick with the initial premise of six quarterbacks, Kelce and McCaffrey being the first eight picks.

This is where the draft gets interesting. Fields, Lawrence and Watson will typically be the next three quarterbacks to be selected. The first two will go in the first round in many of these drafts. So will Jefferson and Chase. Ekeler and Robinson will also be under consideration. I would be hard-pressed to bypass the best quarterback available and Andrews if the opportunity presented itself. Not only will the QB-Andrews team have a decent chance to go toe-to-toe with the Kelce team when the two teams do battle, but third-round reversal should also allow you to grab a high-end QB2 that allows you to close the gap on the teams that took elite quarterbacks early.

In some early mocks that I have done, Barkley has slid to my pick at 3.01. (Yes, I am all-in on the third-round reversal.) He is one example of a player I would take over a QB2 option at that spot because, yet again, he provides a positional advantage that not many others can or will. Fear not, there will be QB2 options available at the end of the fourth round. What we will not be able to predict with picks 3.01-3.04 is just how many more quarterbacks will come off the board between then and 4.09-4.12. I do not see much difference between a quarterback like Prescott (a potential option at the beginning of the third round) and Aaron Rodgers or Geno Smith (two options that could be available at the 4-5 turn). At worst, fantasy managers picking in the 1.09-1.12 range should have Russell Wilson, Derek Carr or Jared Goff available to them as their QB2. That is an acceptable outcome if managers were able to start Fields-Andrews-Barkley-Waller.

One final thought: if the opportunity presents itself to draft two quarterbacks (let's say Rodgers or Smith is the cutoff at QB2) and two tight ends (let's say the cutoff is Waller and Goedert), managers should take it. The ability to secure two top-15 quarterbacks in a superflex league and two top-five tight ends in a tight end premium-plus league where all four of them can start will not only provide a build that few other teams in the tournament will have, but that approach will also thin out positions that have a finite number of startable options. There will be a plethora of lead backs and WR2/3 types still available after the first four rounds. With the "finite positions" on your team pretty much set at that point, you may only need to take one more quarterback and tight end later in the draft and use the remaining 16 picks on running back and receiver.

Preferred start for 1.09 drafters (assuming six quarterbacks, Kelce and McCaffrey have been taken): QB-elite RB/WR-QB-TE

Preferred start for 1.10 drafters: QB-elite RB/WR-QB-TE

Preferred start for 1.11 drafters: QB-elite RB/WR-QB-TE

Preferred start for 1.12 drafters: QB-Mark Andrews-QB/elite RB-TE

Before we finish, here is a rough draft of how I expect the majority of SFB13 drafts to unfold (focus more on the players and less on the exact order they are drafted below). Remember, read left to right for the first and fourth rounds and right to left for the second and third rounds.

Doug Orth has written for FF Today since 2006 and has appeared as a guest analyst on several national sports radio shows and podcasts, including Sirius XM's Fantasy Drive, FantasyPros and RealTime Fantasy Sports. He is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

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