Ultimate Team By Committee (PPR)
By Jeff Pasquino
August 27th, 2011

WHEN THE BRITISH naturalist George Shaw received a weird specimen from Australia in 1799 - one with a mole's fur, a duck's bill and spurs on its rear legs - he did what any skeptical scientist would do: He looked for the stitching and glue that would reveal it to be a hoax. "It was impossible not to entertain some distant doubts as to the genuine nature of the animal," Shaw wrote of the seemingly built-by-committee creature, which he eventually named "platypus".

Over the past few years, there have been two very popular articles written by our very own Chase Stuart that look at an interesting approach to building a fantasy team with late value picks. Based upon the theory of using both Strength of Schedule ("SOS") and taking two players as a combination to build one very good player, he has discussed both Team Defense by Committee ("TDBC") and Quarterback by Committee ("QBBC") as a general fantasy league strategy. In general I think that this is a wise move because very early on in fantasy drafts there are a ton of RB and WR prospects to go after to build a great team. While there are a few studs at QB and also a few choice defenses, I do not see a huge need in leagues to pursue either too hard in the beginning stages of a fantasy draft.

So with this in mind, I started to think about what else can be done with the committee approach. Tight end? Perhaps. Wide receiver? A possibility, but it might be better to look at third WR options than any other option. What about running back? Hmmm, that might work. What if I could put together all of this and make a total team using committees? Would that even be possible?

Yes, Virginia, there is a Team Platypus.

With all of these concepts discussed here:

  • QBBC - Quarterback By Committee (Chase Stuart)
  • RB2BC (PPR) - Running Back #2 By Committee (PPR) (Jeff Pasquino)
  • WR3BC (PPR) - Wide Receiver #3 By Committee (PPR) (Jeff Pasquino)
  • TEBC (PPR) - Tight End By Committee (PPR) (Jeff Pasquino)
  • DTBC - Defensive Team By Committee (Chase Stuart and Jeff Pasquino)
  • I've taken a good shot at putting together an Ultimate Team By Committee (UTBC). For the Mike Hermans of the world, I hope you don't mind that I will pass on the kicker by committee. Leave that one for some else to think about.

    Let's address what we need here in Rounds 5-11. We want to get RB2BC, WR3BC and QBBC established and also mix in our first tight end. Looking back at the articles highlighted above I can now modify our earlier RB2BC and WR3BC recommendations.

    If It Walks Like a Duck.....

    So using the suggestions in the articles and some tweaks based on current ADP, here are the suggestions to build your very own version of Team Platypus:

    Pick Range
    1 to 12
    RB1 (w/early 1st rounder) or WR1 (w/late 1st rounder)
    13 to 24
    WR1 (w/early 1st rounder) or WR2/RB1 (w/late 1st rounder)
    25 to 36
    WR2 (w/early 1st rounder) or RB1/WR2 (w/late 1st rounder)
    37 to 48
    RB2 or WR3
    49 to 60
    RB2BC #1 - Fred Jackson
    61 to 72
    67 or 84
    RB2BC #2 - Marshawn Lynch (or Reggie Bush)
    73 to 84
    QBBC #1 - Eli Manning
    85 to 96
    QBBC #2 - Joe Flacco
    97 to 108
    WR3BC #1 - Jacoby Ford
    109 to 120
    WR3BC #2 - Robert Meachem
    121 to 132
    TEBC #2 - Jared Cook
    133 to 144
    TEBC #2 - Dustin Keller
    145 to 156
    Best Player Available
    157 to 168
    DTBC #1 - Detroit Lions
    169 to 180
    Best Player Available
    181 to 192
    Best Player Available
    193 to 204
    205 to 216
    DTBC #2 - Tennessee Titans

    Table 1: The Ultimate Team By Committee (UTBC) Blueprint

    Some of you may notice that there's a bit of inconsistency in Rounds 5 through 11. That's a good observation, and I can explain. Based on the combinations of QB, WR, RB and TE committees I had to tweak the selections to fit everyone onto the roster. I'll go over these tweaks, position by position, including the comments (denoted by 1-3 asterisks * above).

  • Running Back - (RB2BC): For RB2BC I have to take Fred Jackson first due to his ADP of 65, and then I felt comfortable waiting for Marshawn Lynch next in Round 6. His ADP is 67, so there is a chance he is not there for you at the next pick - just take Reggie Bush (ADP 85) who offers nearly the same fantasy value.

  • Quarterback - (QBBC): For QBBC the good news is that Chase Stuart identified a ton of options. Ideally I would have liked to grab Ben Roethlisberger, but his ADP puts him in Round 6 now and that would wreck the RB2BC. I then looked for Matthew Stafford and a good combination with him, but Sam Bradford and other viable QB2s also had ADPs that were too high and would make a mess at WR3BC. That left me with a good pair of Eli Manning and Joe Flacco, who both have good receiving options and running backs that can catch short passes and turn them into long touchdowns.

  • *Wide Receiver - (WR3BC): For WR3BC I had to go away from the original plan of Jacoby Ford and Lance Moore due to ADP reasons once again. Ford is still reasonable (ADP 108) but Moore has skyrocketed up to the area of Round 8 (ADP of 89), which interferes with our QBBC plans. To resolve that I decided to go with the pairing of Jacoby Ford and Robert Meachem, the third best pair from the original article. The good news is that the points hit is only 5.3 or less than 0.5 per week - a gamble I am willing to take to lock up the other committees. Meachem has great upside in New Orleans, especially if Marques Colston’s knee remains an issue. His ADP of 132 is also a great number and virtually guarantees that he will be there in Round 10.

  • Tight End - (TEBC): The tight end story is pretty straightforward and according to the original script. Jared Cook and Dustin Keller are the clear selections to form a strong pairing and are tops on the list for a TEBC combination. Taking both in Rounds 12 and 13 works well with their ADPs, which are both at 144 and higher.

  • Team Defense - (DTBC): The team defense duo is still Detroit and Tennessee, so the good news is that all of the desired players are available above Round 14 - so taking Detroit in Round 14 and coming back with Tennessee late is easily done. If you are the slightest bit worried that teams are grabbing second defenses, feel free to grab Tennessee a round or two early as it will not wreck your draft.
  • The good news is that we can get three of the four original top recommended players we originally wanted (Fred Jackson, Jacoby Ford, Jared Cook) which are all at the head of their respective committees, plus we have viable backup plans for the second half of both running back (Marshawn Lynch or Reggie Bush) and tight end (Dustin Keller) - both of which were in our original plans for RB2BC and TEBC. At wide receiver there is a bigger issue, but the downgrade from Mike Thomas to Robert Meachem only costs 5.3 fantasy points - a small price to pay to get all the rest of the committees assembled. Grabbing Eli Manning and Joe Flacco give us a solid quarterback duo and once again we have a plan in place to complete a strong committee.

    No plan is infallible, so that is why we have so many alternate backup scenarios planned out before the draft. Eliminate surprises and plan for contingencies. That's what we do - we adapt. Darwin would be proud.

    Best of luck this year.

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

    © 2011 Footballguys - All Rights Reserved