I’d say we’re about half way through fantasy football draft season. A lot of the questions that I have been getting on this site and on Twitter (@godhateslosers) are about drafting a defense.
The most popular strategy for this is much like the strategy for any other position: Get the best defense available. You will see teams going out and grabbing a defense as early as round 8. If that is what they feel they must do to own the Jets or Packers or Bears or whoever, more power to them.
I have a different strategy though. This was one of my most popular posts last season and it could hold the key to catapulting you into first place. I know that I’m not the first person to think of doing this, but I like to think that I have validated it. I have been using this for years and am quite proud of it. I’m a pioneer if you will, a visionary. Prepare yourself for the most groundbreaking idea to hit fantasy football since the auction draft.
The 2011 Fantasy Football season will be my fourth year employing the system I like to call Shuffling Defensive Strategy. I’m in five leagues, this is mostly due to my lack of a social life and inability to fall asleep before 3 a.m. I’ve never been much into video games, so I instead opt to spend my time gambling on how successfully large men will perform their jobs one week at a time. My first time using it was a little less than successful, but after a significant amount of time and research, it became a strategy that I use in every one of my leagues.
The basic idea is a simple one:
1) You are an owner in a 10-team league. Therefore, not including yourself, there are 9 starting defenses.
2) A handful of inexperienced owners will have more than one defense, because they are morons, so, let’s say that there are 12 NFL team defenses off the board. Leaving 20 in free agency on the waivers.
3) Every single year, there are 10-15 NFL teams with offenses that are suspect at best.
4) So, it is safe to conclude that an unowned, free agent defense will be playing against an aforementioned NFL team with a questionable offense.
The conventional method of owning a defense is to get one in the draft. And play them every week, subbing in a free agent DEF on bye week. Defense is the most ignored position on fantasy football rosters other than the lowly Kicker. With Shuffling Defense Strategy (SDS) you are taking advantage of the other owners’ lack of attention and profiting.
The fantasy projections for this season have the top 10 defenses averaging 134 points over the year, 8.4 points per game. By accurately using SDS, you can potentially double this number every week by playing a defense based on matchup.
For example, let’s look at the first few weeks of the 2010 NFL season. In week one, Seattle, Arizona, Detroit, Washington and Carolina (2%, 29%, 2%, 7%, 13% owned, respectively) were in the top seven point scoring fantasy defenses. Each of these teams scored more than 12 points. In week two, Miami, San Diego, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Atlanta and Kansas City (all teams under 50% owned at the time) scored more than 12 points. The common theme among these top scoring defenses: they faced an opponent with a poor offense.
So, which strategy would you rather employ? Draft the Pittsburgh Steelers in round 8, wasting a valuable bench spot and scoring an average of nine points per game? Or switch your defense weekly with a team in free agency and potentially get 12 points per game?
By simply doing a little research, or reading the research on a site (ahem, GodHatesLosers) that does the research for you, you can find the best matchup that is sitting idly on Waivers. With a little practice, and a healthy dose of GHL advice, you can increase your scores by four points per game, and have that trophy in hand in no time. It’s that easy. Also, you’re welcome.