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Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

I Am Thankful...

Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

For the logical fallacies present in the fantasy sports industry...

I am thankful.

For the blessing of recency bias in some fantasy prognosticators (never at FakeTeams, of course)...

I am thankful.

For all of the concocted narratives and head fakes that lead our opponents to making sub-optimal decisions...

I am thankful.

Here are a few of my favorites:

The Zero RB Theory

The promise of a silver bullet. A strategy that guarantees a successful draft and primes you for a long playoff run. These don’t exist in the fantasy marketplace. There is too much great content out there, and too much randomness in every sport to think any draft approach is a guaranteed success.

... Also The Zero WR Theory or Any Theory

This is not a slam on either theory, they have been proven to work. This is for those who decide to execute the strategy no matter what and force it in every draft. If you’re drafting 10th, and the first 9 teams are playing the same strategy and only one WR is off the board, don’t force Zero WRs. Zigging when others zag is the most profitable fantasy strategy in the game.

Positional Scarcity

More specifically, the ability to value it properly. Positional scarcity is a real thing; however, it is applied in all the wrong ways when making decisions on draft days. I love a good run on shortstops in the 8th-10th rounds of my drafts - I’ll sit back and grab mine 5 rounds later.

Closers in April

In the same vein as positional scarcity, the propensity to overvalue a closer with the job in April when there are 3-4 clearly better options in-house is incredible. Cream rises to the top, and plenty of Saves will be available on the waiver wire with just a modicum of due diligence.

Closers in July

In a position with so much turnover, any team building strictly towards a long-term vision has no need for a closer in July. One of the best hacks in rebuilding a dynasty league is speculating on closers in the first few months and flipping any current closers towards the deadline for prospects/draft picks. The closer in all likelihood will be of no use to you in a year or two - move them now while his value is highest.

“Best Shape of His Life”

This extends to any of the narratives that hype up a player’s draft stock - Jason Heyward’s updated swing mechanics, anytime a volatile player gets a change of scenery, or an underpeforming player comes in the next year in the “best shape of his life”. I know there’s a mental side to sports that we have difficulty measuring right now, and these certainly play an impact, but more times than not, these narratives lead to inflated draft values and a negative return on investment.

Kickers

I’m team #BanTheKicker until the day I die, but in the leagues I have to roster one I enjoy watching others spend anything but their last round pick on a kicker. I extend this even further beyond Kickers to anyone who drafts their starting roster before filling any bench spots. So much value opens up later in the draft because managers are skipping over the best player, just to fill a starting spot on their roster.

Site Provider Projections

Particularly around weekly fantasy football decisions. I always get a chuckle out of the opponent putting the higher projected player in the lineup, in favor of the player ranked higher on the site’s weekly rankings board. Projections are the easiest way to distract the lazy fantasy owners.

What are you thankful for in the fantasy sports world? Please leave a comment, reach out on Twitter (@BrianCreagh) or email me at bcreagh119@gmail.com