Ultimate Team By Committee - Footballguys

Using Multiple Committees to form a strong fantasy team in a standard league

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 running back and wide receiver 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-wide-receiver 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
  • RB2BC - Running Back #2 By Committee
  • WR3BC - Wide Receiver #3 By Committee
  • TEBC - Tight End By Committee
  • DTBC - Defensive Team By Committee

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.


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
37 to 48
49 to 60
RB2BC #1 - Tevin Coleman
61 to 72
73 to 84
WR3BC#1 - Cooper Kupp
85 to 96
WR3BC#2 - Devante Parker / Jamison Crowder
97 to 108
RB2BC #2A - Carlos Hyde / Best Player available / David Njoku (TEBC #1)
109 to 120
TEBC #1 - David Njoku / QBBC #1 - Alex Smith
121 to 132
QBBC #1 - Alex Smith
133 to 144
QBBC #2 - Jameis Winston
145 to 156
TEBC #2A - O.J. Howard / Best Player available
157 to 168
169 to 180
Best Player available
181 to 192
DTBC #1 - Pittsburgh Steelers
193 to 204
DTBC #2 - New England Patriots
205 to 216
Best Player available
217 to 228
229 to 240
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 14. 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 gets tricky for a number of reasons. First, there is the concern over the New England backfield. Uncertainty over Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead makes it tough to figure out who is the right guy to target, but I would not mind at all owning either one. I want to target Burkhead in later drafts as Week 1 approaches if it becomes clear that Michel will miss a few weeks or more. To make room for this, I have to take Tevin Coleman in Round 5, a little early but that is okay as we are walking away with who we want nearly across the board. Take Coleman in Round 5 and your favorite Patriot in Round 6. That gives you a Top 20 projected RB2BC with either New England option to combine with Coleman. Lastly, if Carlos Hyde slips into Round 9, snap him up as a strong depth play - but only if you think your TEBC and QBBC will work out if you grab him. Losing one or both committees is not worth taking Hyde if you think it could jeopardize getting Njoku or Alex Smith.
  • Wide Receiver - (WR3BC): For WR3BC one of the original plans is still the goal, which is to get Cooper Kupp in Round 7 and then either Devante Parker or Jamison Crowder in Round 8.
  • Tight End - (TEBC): The tight end story can also be tricky here. David Njoku's value is ascending, and I almost want to say to take him in Round 9 just to be safe. That secures him as your top tight end and opens up Round 10 to take Alex Smith to start your QBBC off right. Follow up the Njoku pick with either O.J. Howard in Round 13 or either Eric Ebron or Cameron Brate in Round 14. Howard is still my preference due to his higher utilization last year in the red zone than Brate, and Ebron is competing with Jack Doyle.
  • Quarterback - (QBBC): Quarterbacks are relatively deep through 20 or so options, and I just love how the schedules of Alex Smith and Jameis Winston line up. This is one of the best committees that I can see for 2018 right now, so take Alex Smith before it gets too close to his ADP and then lock up Winston. Both should be on your roster by the end of Round 12.
  • Team Defense - (DTBC): The team defense duo is still Pittsburgh and New England, and the good news is that all of the desired committee players are in the first 14 rounds, so taking the Steelers in Round 16 (ADP 196) and following up with the Patriots (ADP 203) locks up the desired pair for 2018. Just keep in mind, once again, that they face each other in December (Week 15) so expect to spend a bench spot for a second defense through that week.

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 pasquino@footballguys.com.

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