The best laid plans of mice and men…
(Note: this article appears as part of our 2013 Fantasy Football Draft Guide; a comprehensive piece that helps you win your upcoming draft).
I could spend a paragraph pretending that I’ve read both Steinbeck and Burns’ references to the above, but I’d be lying and you’d stop reading… the point, as I interpret it, is: in life we can’t control contingencies as well as we think we can and most of the time things aren’t going to pan out as we’ve planned.
Sure, the blueprint for fantasy success is laid in August, and I’m not suggesting that anyone not take draft day seriously – but the point I’m working toward is that no matter how hard you work at perfecting things in August (and you should) you’re playing to win in December anyway, and your roster will turn over a number of times between now and then.
With that in mind, here’s an important fantasy football draft strategy tip: remember that you’re playing to win late in the season. You need a handful of victories in September and October to get you there, but, fantasy championships are won in weeks 14-16.
What does this mean for draft strategy? For starters, you don’t have to be married to someone for the season just because you spent a 10th rounder on them in August. Sometimes things don’t work out. We grieve, and we move on. Trust me, its for the best. Beyond that though, it means that I’m not likely to shy away from guys like Josh Gordon and Justin Blackmon just because they’ll be on the shelf to start the season.
There are plenty of other examples, but, focusing in on these two players:
Justin Blackmon closed the season strong last year. While his QB situation hasn’t gotten any better this year, it hasn’t gotten any worse either. After posting a monster effort against the Texans in week 11 (and excluding a dud in week 13) he scored 12.2, 5.7, 9.3, 13.9 and 13.9 fantasy points to close the campaign. Entering his second season, and as a legitimate outside threat, he has plenty to offer his owners.
Josh Gordon, also entering his second season, has had a rough offseason. He finds himself missing two games to suspension to start the year, and has already had a few injury issues in his short career. However, he’s also the fastest guy on the field with a strong armed (if otherwise flawed) Quarterback, in an offense that should increase it’s downfield focus under Norv Turner. Each has a great opportunity to improve on his 2012 per game production.
According to fantasypros.com’s aggregate ADP, Gordon and Blackmon are being selected as the 39th and 46th Wide Receivers off the board in standard drafts. Each is almost assuredly going to deliver WR3 level production when they return to the field. Take the discount, go get them, and stash them for when it matters.