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All four of my teams are bad. One of them has been mismanaged wherein I’m taking some zeroes this week because no Sunday night moves were made, but the other three have been diligently managed even if some of those moves haven’t worked out.
I thought it would bother me less to have other people making the mistakes I’d usually make because (a) they’d be on it more; and (b) because I wouldn’t have the indignity of doing work at inconvenient times to face the consequences of my errors, but it bothers me roughly as much, either way, and as I said, one team dropped the ball entirely, something I would not have done, especially in April.
That said, I can hardly fault the managers when all four teams are bad, and there’s significant overlap between them. Surely, had I given them universal shares of Sonny Gray and Justin Steele instead of Chris Bassitt and Lance Lynn, things would look a whole lot different in the standings to date. The sad thing is I always draft Gray (perfect boring veteran, but I got spooked by his K rate), and I was on Steele before he got banged up in spring training.
I’m trying to have some equanimity — even the teams that win the overall make mistakes, and I certainly make many egregious ones every year, as none of my teams has ever won an overall. And three of four managers have been on it, and that’s all I can ask. Be on it, expect to get it right, expect to climb in the standings to the extent you can with the team I drafted. That’s about it.
I already do have some ideas for next year — not that I’m remotely giving up on my struggling teams after less than a month (I still expect to finish 1-2-3 in the Online overall and also win the Main Event, obviously.)
For starters, I will outsource again (if anyone will take them!), but I plan to do two things differently. First off, I will draft without ADP or projections. I will study early and make the cheat sheets by hand like I used to. I don’t want to be influenced by anything or anyone. Yes, it will cost me value if I take a fifth round guy in the third, but I doubt I’ll be that far out there vs ADP, and if so, it’ll be a good experiment. I just don’t think we (myself included) realize the extent of the biases we develop by knowing what everyone else thinks.
And why wouldn’t I run this experiment? I talk every year about how projections are fictions, and there’s groupthink once ADP congeals in February, and how even the projections themselves inform early ADP and contribute to the groupthink. Why not take a chance on bucking it entirely by doing my own genuine rankings? I’ve honestly been a nutless monkey not to have done it already. I think part of it was I wasn’t sufficiently motivated to research to the extent I’d need in order to wing it completely. It’s one thing to pick and choose a few guys you like a little more or less than ADP, quite another to build your own parallel universe from scratch.
Secondly, I’ll annotate my write-ups for the managers to give them a better sense of who I really like, and who just fell to me. If you’re having someone else run your team, you have to realize they’re not going to like your pet players, so if you took them for a good reason, you’ll need to let them know, lest they be dropped.
Here are the standings, BTW, much as it pains me to post them. Transparency is paramount. (I’ll include Sasha’s and my flailing NBA playoff team — which was a long shot anyway) for good measure:
. . .
I emailed Greg Ambrosius and Darik Buchar with a suggestion I only thought of because I’m outsourcing — let me (and them!) know if you think it’s a good idea. You know how FantasyPros grades your team at the end of your NFBC draft based on its projections? What if you could re-grade your draft at any time, based on the YTD stats? So, say through April, I’d look back on my draft and see where I should be in the standings had no one made any moves.
It’s not perfect because obviously some teams are drafted with balance and others in anticipation of moves being made, but it would give you a quick glimpse of how much of your fate was due to your draft and your management.