There's no 'best' format for a fantasy league
As a kid, I had a Nintendo and a Sega Master System. When Sega Genesis came out, I got one. When PlayStation debuted, I got one of those too.
I had the PlayStation a month or two before I sold it, and I haven’t owned a video game system since.
Oh, I’ve played games. To this day, I can win Mario Kart on any format and any system. It just comes naturally to me, as naturally as, say, Madden does not. But at some point, games got more complicated than I cared to bother with. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do star-circle-right trigger-A to take a jump shot, I just didn’t care.
My all-time favorite video game is, and I expect always will be, the original Mario/Duck Hunt cartridge. I do enjoy Mario Kart, will play anybody and everybody in GoldenEye (and probably lose), and if we’re hanging out, I’ll give whatever a shot. But I’d rather have a controller with two buttons and a D-pad than 14 buttons, two joysticks, and, I don’t know, a memory stick or something.
None of this is to say the original games are by definition easier. Especially when you’re playing against someone. If you’re playing an opponent, it doesn’t matter if it’s RBI Baseball or whatever the 2018 baseball video game is, it’s not whether you’re better than the game, but whether you’re better than the person holding the other controller.
For me, in fantasy football, it’s the same way. I play PPR, redraft leagues. My keepers leagues are two-, three-keeper leagues. I have dabbled in dynasty, IDP, ridiculously deep leagues, but like water, I’ve found my level. It’s not a matter of being outclassed — the one IDP league I played and committed to, I finished second, losing in the finals by literally less than a full point — but rather a matter of this is the level of intricate I want to bother with.
Now, working where I work, I don’t have a choice but to know, to one extent or another, all the formats. I’m not the guy to come to if you’re deciding your fifth IDP keeper in your dynasty league, but if we’re discussing the 2021 outlook for Michael Gallup vs. Courtland Sutton, well, I can have the conversation and do fine.
But that brings me to the point: There is no fantasy format that is inherently “better” than another. I made a graphic for our Twitter account about the gap between the Nos. 1 and 2 RBs in standard scoring last year, and one of the first comments was denigrating standard scoring. Some who play two-QB or superflex look down on one-QB games. Keeper leaguers dog redraft, dynasty players think keeper is basic.
Play the fantasy game you like. If it’s the structure you like the best, it’s the “right” fantasy game. I will play the latest Madden game if I’m around friends and that’s what’s happening (and I’ll lose), but if I’m the one picking? We’re getting out the NES and playing Dr. Mario. And that’s just as good.
- The biggest fantasy news of the week, at least as far as PFF is concerned? Our 2018 projections are now LIVE. Jeff Ratcliffe offered up a sneak peek, and the full projections are available for subscribers. Jeff also ranked his top 62 wide receivers in this year’s draft class for fantasy purposes, as he works his way through the positions.
- Tyler Buecher finishes his pass through the positions to look at dart-throw additions for dynasty leagues with wide receivers and tight ends.
- Pat Thorman recapped the latest PFF Fantasy mock draft, a 12-team PPR league, with a question: Is it better to come in with a strategy, or go best player available?
- Scott Barrett’s Metrics that Matter series stayed with the pass-catchers with a look at WR Rating based on the passer, then diving in on Travis Kelce and Golden Tate.
- Michael Moore’s Player Showdown series squared off a veteran running back, Devonta Freeman, with a second-year guy, Joe Mixon. Speaking of second-year players, Dan Clasgens put the second-year running backs under the microscope to determine their fantasy status for 2018.
- Daniel Kelley continued his look at targets-per-route data with the AFC, then investigated quantity vs. quality as it regarded workloads in 2017.
- Tyler Loechner investigated the relationship between down and distance and fantasy scoring, then broke down quarterbacks’ fantasy success by the direction they threw the ball.
- Daniel Kelley, Dan Clasgens, Dan Schneier, and Michael Moore continued their series in the keeper longevity of the top players with a look at the wide receivers.
- Rookie Mock Draft and Dez Bryant Released
- Fantasy Specialty Podcasts