The FPC and the Tight End Position
By Jeff Pasquino
July 31st, 2011

Footballguys continues to advance the world of fantasy football. With several additions to their offerings last year, the much heralded Best Online Content Site for 2009 joined the world of High Stakes Fantasy contests and made an instant splash. Joe Bryant and David Dodds teamed with David Gerczak and Alex Kaganovsky of the Fantasy Football Players Championship (myffpc.com) to create the first annual Footballguys Players Championship contest in 2010 and by all measures it was a huge success. Now the FPC and FFPC are back again, better than ever for 2011.

By studying the rules of both the FFPC and the FPC along with some of the history and previous performances by FPC players, insights can be found that will help many players to not only compete well in both contests but also to be in a position to win their league and be in the running for a top prize in the championship round.

As the summer rolls on, I will continue analyzing many aspects of the Footballguys Players Championship and the Fantasy Football Players Championship. Through these articles I hope to provide extra help with fully understanding how to best build a top notch fantasy team within the contest. As someone who has competed against the best players in the world and in several contests much like the FPC and the FFPC, I fully understand how every possible advantage and extra edge can make all the difference in the world.

The Tight End Position

Under the microscope this time around is the position of quarterback. According the rules of the Footballguys Players Championship, the rosters are as follows:

Starting Roster

  • 1 QB
  • 2 RBs
  • 2 WRs
  • 1 TE
  • 1 K
  • 1 D/ST
  • 2 flex players (RB/WR/TE)
  • With the following relevant scoring system in place:

  • 4 points for passing TDs, 6 points for all other TDs
  • 0.1 point for every 1 yard rushing or receiving
  • 1.5 points per reception for TEs
  • Now, I have already discussed the impact of the 1.5 points per reception for TEs in a separate article here, so I will move on to focusing on fantasy scoring in general for tight ends.

    So how do you analyze the impact of this scoring system to the current crop of potential fantasy tight ends? We need to dig into some numbers.

    First, let's take a look at both the projected scores for the Top 30 tight ends this season and calculate some VBD numbers using the worst starter method (more on that in a minute). The results are in Table 1:

    Rank
    Points
    VBD
    Rank
    Points
    VBD
    1
    251.6
    96
    16
    167.3
    11
    2
    237.5
    81
    17
    158.3
    2
    3
    227.6
    72
    18
    154.4
    -2
    4
    218.1
    62
    19
    152.3
    -4
    5
    210.8
    55
    20
    147.3
    -9
    6
    198.1
    42
    21
    145.0
    -11
    7
    188.7
    33
    22
    141.9
    -14
    8
    188.4
    32
    23
    140.9
    -15
    9
    185.3
    29
    24
    133.2
    -23
    10
    182.5
    27
    25
    132.5
    -24
    11
    182.3
    26
    26
    123.7
    -32
    12
    180.1
    24
    27
    114.2
    -42
    13
    172.4
    16
    28
    112.9
    -43
    14
    169.1
    13
    29
    106.8
    -49
    15
    168.4
    12
    30
    98.7
    -57

    Table 1: FPC Projected Fantasy Points For Top 30 Tight Ends

    First a comment on the worst starter method. Even though only 12 TEs are necessary as starters (the rules require 1 TE per team), the Dual Flex rule put more of them into play. As a result, the 17th wide receiver is regarded as the last starter - meaning that most teams will be going with one WR as one of two flex players, and possibly even two most weeks.

    The VBD does not do much for a complete analysis without some context of other positions. Looking at the Draft Dominator, we can run a mock draft to get a feel for when the various wide receivers are slated to come off of the draft board. Table 2 gives some more insight as to when the mock draft says to take a wideout:

    Rank
    Points
    VBD
    DD ADP
    Rank
    Points
    VBD
    DD ADP
    1
    251.6
    96
    13
    16
    167.3
    11
    148
    2
    237.5
    81
    15
    17
    158.3
    2
    158
    3
    227.6
    72
    21
    18
    154.4
    -2
    159
    4
    218.1
    62
    27
    19
    152.3
    -4
    160
    5
    210.8
    55
    32
    20
    147.3
    -9
    173
    6
    198.1
    42
    60
    21
    145
    -11
    185
    7
    188.7
    33
    86
    22
    141.9
    -14
    201
    8
    188.4
    32
    88
    23
    140.9
    -15
    211
    9
    185.3
    29
    95
    24
    133.2
    -23
    222
    10
    182.5
    27
    96
    25
    132.5
    -24
    234
    11
    182.3
    26
    97
    26
    123.7
    -32
    240+
    12
    180.1
    24
    98
    27
    114.2
    -42
    240+
    13
    172.4
    16
    127
    28
    112.9
    -43
    240+
    14
    169.1
    13
    140
    29
    106.8
    -49
    240+
    15
    168.4
    12
    147
    30
    98.7
    -57
    240+

    Table 2: Draft Dominator FPC Mock - ADP For Top 30 Tight Ends

    Based on the results, no tight ends are first round picks, while three make in into Round 2 and two more in Round 3. After the first five TEs are gone, the value heads towards other positions until Rounds 7 and 8, where the next tier of tight ends go in a big run. At the end of Round 8 (or just into Round 9) the Top 12 TEs are gone and most teams will either have their starter or have grabbed two valuable tight ends. All remains quiet until later in the draft (about Round 14-15) where a TE2 run hits.

    This is great for a mock draft, but how about some real life comparisons? With the help of Clayton Gray here at Footballguys, he has pulled together some great ADP data based on last year's drafts and married that with the current ADP data for all of the top players. We can use this information to compare against the Draft Dominator mock results. Here are both ADPs compared side-by-side and their relative differences:

    Rank
    FFPC ADP
    DD ADP
    ADP Diff
    Rank
    FFPC ADP
    DD ADP
    ADP Diff
    1
    13
    13
    0
    16
    106
    148
    42
    2
    16
    15
    -1
    17
    117
    158
    41
    3
    20
    21
    1
    18
    124
    159
    35
    4
    24
    27
    3
    19
    135
    160
    25
    5
    29
    32
    3
    20
    145
    173
    28
    6
    34
    60
    26
    21
    153
    185
    32
    7
    43
    86
    43
    22
    160
    201
    41
    8
    56
    88
    32
    23
    167
    211
    44
    9
    62
    95
    33
    24
    176
    222
    46
    10
    69
    96
    27
    25
    185
    234
    49
    11
    73
    97
    24
    26
    193
    241
    48
    12
    78
    98
    20
    27
    205
    241
    36
    13
    84
    127
    43
    28
    214
    241
    27
    14
    91
    140
    49
    29
    223
    241
    18
    15
    98
    147
    49
    30
    231
    241
    10

    Table 3: Draft Dominator FPC Mock vs. 2010 FPC Data - Comparison of ADPs

    Several key facts can be pulled from Table 3 about tight ends and FPC scoring:

  • The Top 5 tight ends go about the same in both the FPC ADP and also the mock draft. Getting a Top 5 TE can be valuable, but very pricey when you have to spend a second or third round pick.
  • The next tier of tight ends (TE6-13) seem to go very early - almost too early - based on the FPC ADP data. TE6 flies off the board more than two rounds too early, and TE7-10 also go off the board 2-3 rounds early as well.
  • The "last starters" (TE11-13) go in Round 7, which is the least "reachy" of all the tight ends when you compare their ADP to the Draft Dominator mock results.
  • The top TE2s tend to go in Rounds 8-10, but the last TE2 is still there through Round 15.
  • Most teams will take at least two tight ends and about half of the franchises will draft three as the ADP results show an average of 30-31 TEs being selected.
  • The mock draft only selected 25 tight ends (hence the ADP of 241), 5-6 less than in most FPC drafts last season. Those numbers tend to skew the differences in the ADPs towards the end of Table 3.
  • Parting Thoughts

    Every fantasy league and its rulebook are a little different. For the FPC and the FFPC, the tight end position has many reasons to emphasize drafting them early and often. With the Dual Flex, up to three tight ends can start in a given week, and with 1.5 points per reception their value is bumped up a little across the board. Having the flexibility to start 2-3 in a given week - especially with bye weeks - is a nice option to have.

    So what is the right approach? Taking a Top 5-6 tight end seems too expensive when you look at the price you will have to pay (second or third round pick) and the added cost of not getting a Top 15 RB or WR instead. While the Draft Dominator mock hints that all tight ends are reaches, the thing to take away from it is that the best value picks occur for the trailing end of the TE1s (TE10-TE12). Grabbing a Chris Cooley, Owen Daniels or similar tight end in Round 6 or 7 when 8-9 tight ends have already been selected is a great idea and a good approach to an FPC draft. Another solid idea is to not wait on TE2, as they will dry up quickly after Rounds 9-11. Snagging two Top 15 or so tight ends gives stability and performance for your team and allows you roster flexibility when it comes to both bye weeks and the Dual Flex roster options.

    It takes a little time to get your mind wrapped around a new contest with a new set of rules, but the time spent is often well worth it if the goal is to field a competitive team. Giving a little bit of effort to get a greater understanding of the twists and turns to the rulebook can give turn a good fantasy player into a great one and a great player into a dominant force. Knowledge is power - so be as powerful as you can!

    Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to pasquino@footballguys.com.

    © 2011 Footballguys - All Rights Reserved