July 20, 2011
The craziest off-season of the Fantasy Football era is just about to hit. A new CBA should be in place soon, and then teams and players will nuke their way through a microwaved 2-3 weeks of player signings and movement. It's going to be fun, and it's going to be chaotic.
In a lot of ways we're entering the Great Wide Open with respect to player evaluation. We don't know who's been working out intently and who hasn't; we don't know much about the player-organized workouts; we don't know who's doing homework and who isn't. Hey, we're always making intelligent guesses on this stuff, but this summer we'll be doing more of that than ever before.
And with that in mind, let's embrace one simple concept, a way to break ties when you're doing your rankings. Change, for lack of a better word, is bad. Continuity is good.
As much as I can, I'm going to try to bankroll my teams with established players who are with teams they know and systems they already grasp. I don't want too much learning on the fly, especially with respect to the passing game (it's no wonder why so many rookie wideouts hit the ground walking in the NFL, and the same goes for free-agent wideouts who change teams).
Again, to be clear, I'm not making this a primary ranking consideration, but it's a good tiebreaker. Whenever possible, stick with a player who's with the same quarterback. If you can, tie yourself to players who know the team's system. Be careful of projecting growth with young players this summer, because they haven't had the right structure to get better within the framework of a team. Bid on what we've seen more than what we're willing to extrapolate.
This doesn't mean I won't chase some pet sleepers and breakthrough players, of course. I'm all in on Jordy Nelson(notes), say. But in the case of Nelson, I love that he's tied to Aaron Rodgers(notes) and Mike McCarthy, and he's probably looking at a snap promotion. This is not a case of hoping for something from a rookie wideout, or expecting a second-year player to click with a new coordinator or scheme.
Out with the new, amigos. Let's saddle up with the old. In the unknown summer of 2011, known commodities have never looked so good to me.