In Section III, redraft approach strategy was covered. The engine that makes the strategy go is what will be discussed in this installment, which is how to stream IDP mathchups.
Disclaimer: Watch for changing situations and emerging talent. This point was talked about extensively in Section I, but it is crucial for executing redraft approach. This approach will not work if you do not keep up with IDPs and how teams are using them!
One great tool for accomplishing this task is the Football Outsiders Snap Count Tool, with which you can see the snap count of any IDP on any week.
Example: In 2014, Avery Williamson was a talented rookie the Titans took in the 5th round. He was available on the waiver wire early in the season. When injuries and ineffective play at the position pressed him into action, he made the most of his opportunity. His defensive snap count began to double rapidly, demonstrating that the coaching staff trusted him increasingly on the field. Here are the numbers:
Week 3-13 snaps
Week 4- 26 snaps
Week 5- 56 snaps
Anyone in a tackle-heavy league paying attention to the situation in Tennessee and the talent of Williamson could have picked him up and streamed him for the duration of the year with fantastic results.
Don’t get fooled by statistics. This relates strongly to the previous point, but needs to be touched upon separately. Anyone can look at a player’s points trending upward and make a pickup. What becomes important is knowing the why behind their production. Was that monster game Player X just had created by an abnormal game script, or was Player X breaking out? There are going to be many "false positive players" out there for a streamer to pick up, play, and be disappointed by their production. Whether you watch the games for yourself, read beat writer reports, or follow IDP guru banter on Twitter, find out what’s behind a player’s outstanding performance before you excitedly grab him from the player pool.
Pay attention to injuries. One of the greatest opportunities that will commonly present itself to an IDP streamer is an injury to a starter. If the next man up is decently talented and can fill the injured player’s role, he can be a great streaming option for you until the injured player returns.
Example: OLB Danny Trevathan was injured for much of the 2014 season. Brandon Marshall got the starting nod when Trevathan couldn’t go and played well enough to be a decent starting option for streamers.
Start a watchlist. One of the most important things you can do to set yourself up for success is to maintain an IDP watchlist. You’ve done the homework by evaluating the talent and the situation in the scope of your scoring and settings. However, due to offensive stashing, you won’t be able to fit all the IDPs you like on your roster. This is where maintaining a watchlist comes into play. Most fantasy websites give you the ability to add players to a watchlist and some even give you the ability to receive e-mail alerts when there is a change to the players’ waiver availability or injury status. If your league doesn’t have that luxury included, keeping a list in an Excel spreadsheet would be a good idea. You essentially have these players on speed dial so that when you need to fill a weekly need, you have already prioritized your list and can quickly make the move.
Take a committee approach. IDP projections that you’ll find on most websites are based on a player's projected points for the entire year. In other words, projections don’t usually factor in how a player will do in an individual game. Many of your IDP opponents will lazily submit their IDP lineups by choosing the players with the highest yearly projections. You can take advantage of this by streaming the best option for the week (of those on waivers AND of the players you drafted) based on the factors previously discussed (match-up, stat crews, snap count, etc.). You give yourself the best chance to hit on the most fantasy points at the position per week and will ultimately make up the production you gave up when you passed on elite IDP options.
Example: At the beginning of the 2014 season, you had Jamie Collins Sr, Mychael Kendricks, and Von Miller in your start 2 LB tackle-heavy league. You also acquired Anthony Barr early in your season. Most yearly projections had Collins and Kendricks as the two you would want to start every week. Instead of blindly following projections, you started the two with the best match-ups and highest snap counts. Barr started slowly as a rookie, but picked up steam as the year went on. There were weeks he had much better match-ups than Miller or Kendricks. By mixing and matching these guys each week, you had a pretty good chance of closely matching even elite IDP production from week to week.
Plan ahead. It’s important that you plan ahead if you are going to use redraft approach strategy. Are you plugging in a guy who is filling in for someone who will be back from injury soon? Make alternate plans a week or two ahead so that you aren’t caught scrambling for a replacement. Also, the likelihood is high that as people figure out they can get away with streaming IDPs, you will have more competition with pickups. If you can scout good match-ups and make good pickups ahead of the actual games, not only will you have an edge, but you will also block other streamers against whom you might end up playing.
Section IV Takeaway: Playing the waivers and streaming match-ups is of utmost importance in implementing redraft approach strategy. It allows you a decisive advantage over the typical IDP player.