That Was Then, This is Now

In one of my previous draft strategy articles, I discussed preparation, approach and adjusting during a draft. Another ingredient for a successful draft is to think outside the box. What do I mean by this? Most fantasy owners do plenty of research, mock drafts, review ADP rankings, and go over many player rankings. If you look at my rankings, you may ask yourself why some of the players are ranked at a certain spot. While most owners refer to last season’s stats solely, I also take into account what a player could be this season. When drafting, fantasy owners should be thinking the same thing. Don’t misunderstand me, I do think last year’s stats are important, but, I also take into account what I think a player can do this year. Some questions you may want to ask yourself: Did the player end the season strong? Is there a new offensive coordinator in this team? If yes, does that help his cause? Did the offense add or lose a key player that can help or hurt the other players around him? One example that comes to mind is wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson of the Minnesota Vikings. Overall, his numbers were nothing to be super excited about. However, if you look at how he ended the season, it speaks volume on what he is capable of doing. In the month of December he scored six of his seven touchdowns. In addition, the Vikings added OC Norv Turner and rookie quarterback Terry Bridgewater. Those two additions are key to Patterson’s possible success this season. Sometimes taking a look at some of those things is how fantasy owners find gems the following season.

This exact theory works in the opposite effect as well. Look at Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown. Last season in Chicago, he arguably had the best season of his NFL career. He did so well that the Bucs signed him this offseason and he immediately was considered their starter. Many have speculated that he is going to a team with similar talent and therefore he will be successful. I think fantasy owners will be expecting much more than he will deliver. Here are some reasons why: First, Bears head coach Mark Trestman is an offensive genius. What he did in his first season as head coach with that offense is very impressive. Second, people forget that McCown has been around since 2002. He’s had several opportunities to start, but has never done enough to warrant him as a starter. Going back to having a talented offense; in 2004 McCown had Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin catching passes for him. That season he started 13 games and finished with 2,511 passing yards 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Prior to last season, his best QB rating was 74.9. Therefore while last season’s numbers appear to have boosted his fantasy value this season, fantasy owners should seriously think about what he really is capable of doing this season.

I know that nobody can predict the future, but by taking all variables into consideration you can make the best decision on draft day. So remember, just because a player had a good or bad season one year, doesn’t always mean it will happen again the following season. If it’s a rookie, always think of the opportunities he will get in his first season. Always know a players capabilities and situation when drafting him. I’ll conclude by saying that while other owners are thinking about what a player did last year, you’re one step ahead by thinking what he can do this year.

By: Armando

Twitter: @Armando_fbguru

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