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 (Jeff Pasquino)
- RB2BC - Running Back #2 By Committee (Jeff Pasquino)
- WR3BC - Wide Receiver #3 By Committee (Jeff Pasquino)
- TEBC - Tight End By Committee (Jeff Pasquino)
- DTBC - Defensive Team By Committee (Chase Stuart)
I've taken a good shot at putting together an Ultimate Team By Committee (UTBC). 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 5-14. We want to get RB2BC, WR3BC, TEBC and QBBC established. Looking back at the articles highlighted above we can now modify our earlier RB2BC and WR3BC recommendations if necessary in order to secure all the committee duos we want to roster.
IF IT WALKS LIKE A DUCK.....
|1||1 to 12||RB1 (w/early 1st rounder) or WR1 (w/late 1st rounder)|
|2||13 to 24||WR1 (w/early 1st rounder) or WR2/RB1 (w/late 1st rounder)|
|3||25 to 36||RB/WR|
|4||37 to 48||RB/WR|
|5||49 to 60||45||RB2BC #1 - Bilal Powell (if available) / Best Player|
|6||61 to 72||79||RB2BC #1 - Frank Gore (if no Powell) / Best Player|
|7||73 to 84||87||QBBC #1 - Phillip Rivers|
|8||85 to 96||99||RB2BC #2 - Derrick Henry|
|9||97 to 108||113||WR3BC#1 - Mike Wallace|
|10||109 to 120||119 / 126||WR3BC#1 - Rishard Matthews or Corey Davis|
|11||121 to 132||103 / 135||TEBC #1 - Eric Ebron or Coby Fleener|
|12||133 to 144||106 / 162||QBBC #2 - Eli Manning / Carson Palmer|
|13||145 to 156||Best Player available|
|14||157 to 168||180||TEBC #2 - Cameron Brate|
|15||169 to 180||192||DTBC #1 - Philadelphia Eagles|
|16||181 to 192||Best Player available|
|17||193 to 204||Best Player available|
|18||205 to 216||Best Player available|
|19||217 to 228||Kicker|
|20||229 to 240||241||DTBC #2 - Jacksonville Jaguars\\|
|Note - One Round (Either 5 or 6) will be "Best Player Available"|
Table 1: The Ultimate Team By Committee (UTBC) Blueprint for Standard Leagues
Some of you may notice that there's a bit of inconsistency in Rounds 5 through 12. 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.
- Running Back - (RB2BC): This one is very tough to execute as Bilal Powell is now way higher on the ADP list (probably Round 4) than expected back in July. So, either take him in Round 4 if you really love him or definitely in Round 5 if he slips that far as the first part of your RBBC. If Powell is gone, take Frank Gore in Round 6, even though it is early for him (ADP about overall), so that you can secure the first half of the pair. Regardless of Powell or Gore, snap up Derrick Henry in Round 8 to complete the RBBC. That gives you a Top 5 pair from the original article at a nice price.
- Wide Receiver - (WR3BC): For WR3BC one of the original plans is still the goal, which is to get Mike Wallace and Rishard Matthews. Considering ADPs, Wallace (ADP 113) in Round 9 followed by Matthews (119) in Round 10 should do the trick. Corey Davis (ADP 126) is your Plan B to pair with Wallace, and both pairs are Top 6 options.
- Tight End - (TEBC): The tight end story is tricky with all the ADP shuffling at the other positions. For that reason, I am moving away from the original plan of getting either Eric Ebron or Jack Doyle early due to Rounds 5-10 all being full. Round 11 is the first chance to really get a tight end, and Ebron should be long gone by that point. If not, feel free to snap up Ebron and continue onwards, but most likely a lesser tight end pair is in order. I like starting with Coby Fleener (part of the original article) and then pairing him with Cameron Brate (ADP 180) in Round 14 to be safe. Brate's value is still depressed with people thinking rookie O.J. Howard will steal value from him, but in reality Brate offers great TE2 value with strong upside. While Fleener-Brate was only the 33rd pairing in the original article, their projected score was 100.75, about as much as Eric Ebron (96.2) plus a bye week filler. Again, that projection assumed a lot of value going to Howard, which I just do not see. Taking two strong TE2s after Round 10 is a great value play.
- Quarterback - (QBBC): Quarterbacks are tougher this year, mostly because of the projected ADP clustering the QB2s in Rounds 10-12. For QBBC the good news is that securing Philip Rivers offers a ton of options. I happen to think that Rivers makes a strong lead for the committee this year, and any reasonable QB2 should do well as the second option of a quarterback pairing. Given that we are left with Rounds 12-13 to get the second quarterback, Eli Manning (ADP 106) is unlikely to be there, but if he is go ahead and snap him up in Round 12. Otherwise, take Carson Palmer (ADP 162) in Round 12 to be safe and call it a day.
- Team Defense - (DTBC): The team defense duo is still Philadelphia and Jacksonville, and the good news is that all of the desired committee players are available after Round 14 - so taking the Eagles in Round 15 (ADP 192) and the Jaguars very late (as late as the final round, given Jacksonville's ADP over 240) are still a strong option. Taking a kicker in Round 19 should give you the one you want more than waiting until the last moment, where Jacksonville should still be available.
The good news is that we have numerous options this year to form the Ultimate Team By Committee (UTBC). Like in several past years, there has to be some tweaking to get all the committees into the roster, but with some flexibility (and the supporting articles), all five committees are ripe for the picking with barely any changes to the five plans needed at all. That means 10 of 20 picks are already done for you, so you can focus on the first four rounds and then value picks in Rounds 13-17.
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.
Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org.