Jumping into the postseason fantasy fray
Posted: Friday January 7, 2005 12:17AM; Updated: Friday January 7, 2005 12:17AM
The regular season is over. Traditional fantasy leagues have folded up their tents until fall. What's an owner to do? I have two words for you: Playoff tournament.
That's right. As a growing number of fanatics already know, those who still feel the need to scratch that itch can certainly do so. In most instances, it's a simple matter of adapting your current league's existing lineup requirements and scoring system to meet postseason needs.
A good starting point is stating the objective: Owners will select a single starting lineup prior to Wild Card Weekend. That lineup will carry through the playoffs. The team with the most cumulative points at the end of the Super Bowl wins.
It's pretty straightforward.
Just like regular-season play, you will receive points for the players you've selected each week they play. Unlike the regular season, all players are available to all teams. In other words, if every owner in your league selects the same quarterback -- Peyton Manning, for example -- that's fine.
When an NFL team is eliminated, so are its players.
Based on that objective, the obvious goal is to balance the single-game potential of given player against how deep into the playoffs you believe his respective NFL team might go. Meaning, players on Super Bowl teams -- who will have played a minimum of three (and possibly four) games when all is said and done -- will be more attractive (although not necessarily more productive) in this format.
So, when forecasting individual player production, you can't just take into account individual potential. You have to factor in his team's chances for postseason success. That opponents aren't certain until each round of the playoffs are complete adds to the intrigue.
Are you starting to get a feel for the possibilities?
For example, I personally believe that Pittsburgh will face Philadelphia in the Super Bowl. Because of that belief, my projections naturally skew heavily towards Steelers and Eagles.
But of course, it's not that cut-and-dried.
While I believe Pittsburgh and Philadelphia will reach the Super Bowl, that doesn't automatically make Ben Roethlisberger and Donovan McNabb my top quarterbacks. I need to account for the possibility/likelihood that Manning or some other quarterback on a team I expect to play fewer games is still be capable of outproducing either of my Super Bowl QBs.
In order to rank players, I start by making playoff predictions:
Super Bowl Rep: Pittsburgh Steelers
Super Bowl Rep: Philadelphia Eagles
Then I factor in my scoring system:
Four (4) points for all passing TDs.
Three (3) points for all field goals made.
Two (2) points for safeties and quarterback sacks.
Based on those parameters, I come up with my position-by-position favorites:
Remember: Those picks reflect my opinion; yours are will differ. The key, however, is to work your way through the NFL Playoff bracket, weighing potential matchups and creating your projections based on those progressions.
One last -- but still very important -- note: Because the format described above means any number of teams can wind up with the same lineup, tiebreakers are necessary. Some suggestions:
First Tiebreaker: Super Bowl Winner
There you have it, kids. I hope this primer is sufficient to push those of you standing around the edges into the postseason pool and further stoke the fires of those who have already made the move into fantasy playoff fun.