Beginner's Guide to Fantasy Football, Part 8 - Footballguys

Our beginner's series offers tips on analyzing your roster for strengths and weaknesses

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 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 a 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
Tm/Bye
1.09
9
RB
Leonard Fournette
Jac/8
2.04
16
WR
Keenan Allen
LAC/9
3.09
33
WR
Adam Thielen
Min/9
4.04
40
WR
Allen Robinson
Chi/9
5.09
57
RB
Derrius Guice
Was/5
6.04
64
RB
Rashaad Penny
Sea/6
7.09
81
RB
Duke Johnson
Cle/9
8.04
88
QB
Kirk Cousins
Min/9
9.09
105
TE
Jordan Reed
Was/5
10.04
112
WR
Nelson Agholor
Phi/10
11.09
129
QB
Patrick Mahomes
KC/10
12.04
136
WR
D.J. Moore
Car/11
13.09
153
RB
Bilal Powell
NYJ/11
14.04
160
DT
Kansas City Chiefs
KC/10
15.09
177
WR
Christian Kirk
Ari/8
16.04
184
PK
Mason Crosby
GB/8

Take this information and break it down by position.

Pos
Player
Team
Bye
QB
Kirk Cousins
Min
9
QB
Patrick Mahomes
KC
10
RB
Leonard Fournette
Jac
8
RB
Derrius Guice
Was
5
RB
Rashaad Penny
Sea
6
RB
Duke Johnson
Cle
9
RB
Bilal Powell
NYJ
11
WR
Keenan Allen
LAC
9
WR
Adam Thielen
Min
9
WR
Allen Robinson
Chi
9
WR
Nelson Agholor
Phi
10
WR
D.J. Moore
Car
11
WR
Christian Kirk
Ari
8
TE
Jordan Reed
Was
5
PK
Mason Crosby
GB
8
DT
Kansas City Chiefs
KC
10

Do a detailed breakdown of each position.

  • Quarterbacks - Grade: 8/10
    • Two capable starting fantasy quarterbacks with some upside heading into the season
  • Running Backs - Grade: 8.5/10
    • Very good starting RB1 in Fournette
    • Guice is a good RB2 considering his draft position
    • Penny is a great reserve back with good upside if the Seahawks offensive line can gel
    • Johnson and Powell are solid pass-catching backs who are perfectly capable of spot starts in your lineup
  • Wide Receivers - Grade: 9/10
    • Three players are capable of WR1 spot
    • Nice reserves in Agholor, Moore, and Kirk
    • Week 9 is a big issue with all three top receivers on bye
  • Tight Ends - Grade: 7/10
    • A healthy Reed is a great tight end, but who knows if Reed can stay healthy. A backup is needed here.
  • Place Kicker - Grade: 8.5/10
    • A great kicker in a great situation
  • Defenses - Grade 7.5/10
    • A good defense

Thoughts on this roster going forward

  • The quarterback position is strong and shouldn't need much attention going forward.
  • Running backs are good on paper, but there are questions after Fournette. Will the two rookies play as expected? Will they be parts of committees? Will the receiving backs be able to turn in consistent production?.
    Wide receiver is a big strength - except for the bye issue. It might be possible to package one of your top receivers with a rookie running back to improve your backfield and get a lesser wide receiver with a different bye week.
  • Tight end, kicker, and defense starting strength is good. There is no depth, but these positions usually have solid players available on most leagues' waiver wires.

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 a 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 UpdatesFootballguys News Blogger and The Shark Pool and you will be well on your way to a dominant fantasy season.