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Beginner's Guide to Fantasy Football: Section VIII

A how-to guide for analyzing your roster

"For me, winning isn't something that happens suddenly on the field when the whistle blows and the crowds roar. Winning is something that builds physically and mentally every day that you train and every night that you dream." -- Emmitt Smith

You just spent countless hours devoting yourself to the fantasy draft, poring over countless notes, articles, statistics and everything else you could read in order to have the best possible draft. You arrived at the draft confident and prepared, knowing that you were going to have the preeminent draft possible this season. The past 4+ hours were spent drafting the players you believe will carry you to the league championship. You know that the draft went smoothly and you weren't left scrambling at any point. More than likely, as a Footballguys.com subscriber, you were ready thanks to our articles, features and tools such as our very own Draft Dominator and the fantasy draft unfolded beautifully in front of you, leaving you great value to pick up throughout the process.

After the draft, you have a couple cold ones, talk some trash with your league mates and then have a choice to make:

  1. Congratulate yourself for having the perfect draft and wait for the season to begin
    or
  2. Take stock of your roster, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each position

Many fantasy owners do not take the time to reflect on their own rosters and that is a poor decision. No matter how marvelous your draft was, there will always be some positions stronger than others and it is important to highlight both the strengths and weaknesses of your roster to properly etch out your plan of attack going forward.

After your draft, really take the time to give serious reflection in regards to your roster. Try to look at the players impartially as there are many different aspects of your roster to look at after the draft.

  1. Bye-week strength and conflict
  2. Starting lineup strength
  3. Back up strength
  4. Best position(s)
  5. Worst position(s)
  6. Possible trade bait

Here is a look at a potential draft for an owner in a league where you must start 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, and 1 TD.

Pick
Overall
Pos
Player
Team
1.09
9
RB
C.J. Spiller
Buf
2.04
16
WR
Dez Bryant
Dal
3.09
33
WR
Andre Johnson
Hou
4.04
40
WR
Victor Cruz
NYG
5.09
57
RB
Vick Ballard
Ind
6.04
64
RB
BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Cin
7.09
81
RB
Mikel Leshoure
Det
8.04
88
QB
Eli Manning
NYG
9.09
105
TE
Greg Olsen
Car
10.04
112
WR
Kendall Wright
Ten
11.09
129
QB
Joe Flacco
Bal
12.04
136
WR
Vincent Brown
SD
13.09
153
RB
Pierre Thomas
NO
14.04
160
DT
Houston Texans
Hou
15.09
177
PK
Matt Bryant
Atl
16.04
184
WR
Stephen Hill
NYJ

Take this information and break it down by position.

Pos
Player
Team
Bye
QB
Eli Manning
NYG
11
QB
Joe Flacco
Bal
8
RB
C.J. Spiller
Buf
8
RB
Vick Ballard
Ind
4
RB
BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Cin
8
RB
Mikel Leshoure
Det
5
RB
Pierre Thomas
NO
6
WR
Dez Bryant
Dal
5
WR
Andre Johnson
Hou
8
WR
Victor Cruz
NYG
11
WR
Kendall Wright
Ten
11
WR
Vincent Brown
SD
7
WR
Stephen Hill
NYJ
9
TE
Greg Olsen
Car
6
PK
Matt Bryant
Atl
7
DT
Houston Texans
Hou
8

Do a detailed breakdown of each position.

  • Quarterbacks - Grade: 7/10
    • Two capable starting fantasy quarterbacks with some upside heading into the season
  • Running Backs - Grade: 7/10
    • Good starting RB1 in C.J. Spiller
    • Vick Ballard is a good RB2 considering his draft position
    • BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a solid reserve back
    • Mikel Leshoure and Pierre Thomas each could be solid options if things fall their way
    • Week 8 could be an issue with two of the top three backs off on a bye week
  • Wide Receivers - Grade: 9.5/10
    • Almost as good as a team could realistically expect
    • Three players are capable of WR1 spot
    • Nice reserves in Kendall Wright and Vincent Brown
  • Tight Ends - Grade: 7/10
    • Greg Olsen is a good fantasy starter (still need a backup)
  • Place Kicker - Grade: 8/10
    • Good kicker in a good situation (still need a backup)
  • Defenses - Grade 8/10
    • A very good defense (still need a backup)

Thoughts on this roster going forward

  • Quarterback position is strong and shouldn't need much attention going forward. Wouldn't be a bad idea to get another serviceable fantasy quarterback down the road.
  • Some question at the running back position in behind the starting two.
    Wide receiver is a big strength. Possibility to package one of the receivers to increase running back strength.
  • Tight end, kicker, and defense starting strength is good but no depth at those positions as of yet.

Once you have identified the various weaknesses and strengths of your fantasy roster, it will be time to take steps to strengthen the roster. You will be able to use trades and waiver wire pickups to turn around the weaker aspects of your roster, and you should take the time to target teams that have weakness in positions that you have significant strength (receiver in the example above). One of the better aspects of the Draft Dominator is the ability to see the projected total scoring for each of the franchises in your league. You can compare your draft to the others in your league using this feature and can target teams with strong running games, great quarterback play and questionable receiver ability just by clicking a button. It is a fabulous tool that helps you truly break down your fantasy draft.

Now you are ready to begin tweaking your roster and to start the season in your quest for the championship. Track all of the fantasy football news leading up to and through the entire season using our free Daily Updates, Footballguys News Blogger and The Shark Pool and you will be well on your way to a dominant fantasy season.