By Adam Benovic
A few weeks ago, I was asked to start writing here at IDPDynasty.com. When I was asked, I wasn’t sure what to say. I love fantasy football. I love scouting. But honestly, there’s so much I don’t know, especially in terms of fantasy. Despite the experience that I do have, I’ve never been in a dynasty league or an IDP one. What I took pride in was knowing players. Well, as someone who is always up for a new adventure, I knew that this was a risk that I wanted to take. So I decided to learn and learn fast. The first thing I did was look all over the internet for a league that was a good fit for me.
Looking for a league, I had a few criteria that I wanted to hit:
- I wanted to be able to learn on the job and bring that to my writing here at IDPDynasty, so an IDP league was an absolute must.
- In no way did I want to inherit someone else’s team. I have my own preferences in how I want to build a team, so I was only going to pick a start-up league.
- There had to be a mix of experienced and inexperienced players in the league. This one was going to be the most challenging. While I wanted there to be players who knew what they were doing, I wanted people who had no clue as well. I could learn from those with experience, but people who have never done a dynasty league will be more willing to take interesting risks.
I ended up finding one on Football’s Future, a forum for people interested in the draft. The commissioner was hosting his first league, although he had inherited a few teams before. It’s a small league, only 10 players, but we actually have a good mix. I was able to convince a couple of friends, one of them actually being Mike from here at IDPDynasty, to join the league.
Since joining the league, I’ve been doing quite a bit of research. I have to say, one of my favorite resources has been Ourlads.com. It’s a great resource that has the current depth chart of every NFL team (and other sports, if you’re interested). While it’s not the most accurate at the moment as camp battles begin to shake out, it gives some insight into where things stand heading into training camp. Let’s take the Raiders, for instance. While this will leak a bit of my research to my league-mates, I want to look at Michael Crabtree. Back when he was successful, Crabtree was paired with a successful quarterback. He obviously didn’t have that last year in San Francisco, as Kaepernick is clearly not the future of the 49ers at the QB position. While Kaep has a big arm, he has no control. Both Crabtree and Anquan Boldin were in the top 50 receivers for uncatchable passes for receivers along with Vernon Davis ranking 2nd among all tight ends in all uncatchable passes. Derek Carr, if he improves from last year, should be heads and tails above Kaepernick in terms of accuracy. So, seeing Crabtree as the #2 receiver with a more accurate quarterback, I’m more prone to take the risk.
That said, there are definitely other factors to keep in mind. In Crabtree’s successful periods, most of his plays were lining up on the right side. Last year, he mainly lined up on the left. Look at Oakland’s depth chart again to see where Crabtree is lining up as recently as OTAs. Mostly on the left. So, as a fantasy owner, I’m looking at both of these factors going into the draft to judge his value. Which was the real culprit in Crabtree not living up to expectations? Was it the side of the field he was playing on? Or was it that he didn’t have chemistry with his quarterback, and his quarterback showed notable regression? While it’s clearly a mix of both, one would cause me to draft Crabtree much lower and one would cause me to rank him higher on my draft board.
The draft is soon, only a week or two away, and I’m still constantly doing research. There’s more I still have to learn. But this is where I’m starting. I look forward to sharing this adventure with you all!
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