Fantasy Football 2014: Analyzing Your Mistakes

In 2013, I drafted Ray Rice, Stevan Ridley and Maurice Jones-Drew in one of my money leagues. Fortunately, I also drafted Josh Gordon and picked Knowshon Moreno up off of the waiver wire. I won six games, and I would have made the playoffs if I had won one more matchup.

My first picks fell apart on me, but was it due to poor drafting, being unlucky or some combination of the two? Here is how the first round of my draft played out last year:

2013 ESPN Fantasy Football

This is a standard scoring league, but as you can tell, there are several players who love to jump the gun on quarterbacks. With the third pick in the draft, however, that didn’t really alter my strategy. I was really torn between Rice and C.J. Spiller at this spot. Spiller showed some great potential in the previous year, and I loved that he was going to run until he “threw up”. Obviously Spiller and Rice were both busts, but if you look at the first round of the draft, Adrian Peterson was the only running back selected that finished in the top 10. At the time, I believe I made the right call. Rice had proved to be a reliable option from year to year, and I thought he would see an increase in his receiving yards as Anquan Boldin was gone and Dennis Pitta was injured. I can’t say I would have done anything differently here with the information that was available at the time.

I would, however, have changed things in round two.

2013 ESPN Fantasy Football

I had a huge grudge with LeSean McCoy from the year before. He was also my third pick from 2012, and he was a huge disappointment. I thought he was a candidate for a bounce-back year, however, and I even ran through some scenarios where I drafted him in the first round. I loved Ridley’s 12 rushing touchdowns from 2012, however, and he seemed like a workhorse back with his 290 rushing attempts in that same year. When it came time to make a pick, I was too worried about another poor fantasy season from McCoy, so I went with Ridley. I let fear play into my decision for my second-round pick, and fear proved to get the best of me. I made the wrong decision.

Round three did not go much better.

2013 ESPN Fantasy Football

Other than the Ben Roethlisberger pick, this round was very competitive. I thought Reggie Bush was going to have a good year and was severely undervalued, but I didn’t want to spend a third-round pick to find out if he was going to be a boom or bust. The scarcity of running backs started to worry me, and I thought MJD had a good chance of finishing with better stats than the previous year. In retrospect, I should have drafted a wide receiver at this point. The early run on quarterbacks led to the availability of some elite talents, and I should have jumped all over Brandon Marshall or Dez Bryant in the third round. Even with Rice as a first-round pick, I would have been much more competitive with McCoy and Marshall or Bryant in my lineup.

So, how can this information help me this season? I will know that there will probably be a quarterback rush once again, and that should allow me to build a well-rounded roster. I could land a stud running back in round one, see if I can snatch up Jimmy Graham in round two and land a talented wide receiver in round three. With seven quarterbacks drafted in the first three rounds, that means I am going to be able to find some deals, which I didn’t take advantage of.

It is hard to admit when you make the wrong decisions, but first-hand mistakes are really the best teachers. Instead of chalking up my season to dumb luck, I now know I need to control my fear, avoid grudges and take advantage of elite players falling in the draft due to any runs on quarterback.

Categories: Fantasy Football

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