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Redraft Preparation for 2020
Coming off an article about my redraft experience in the DFF Championship, which can be found here, I would like to move into a new, more general topic. In this piece, I will cover what redraft players can do right now, assuming you’re not focused on participating in championship week. Even if you are in the championship, you could still take some of this advice. But, of course, you should primarily focus on grabbing those titles in week 16.
#1: Join a Dynasty League
This is the easiest way to make sure that you are 100% prepared for your redraft leagues in 2020. Now, some might say that dynasty and redraft are two completely different formats and that playing in one does not benefit your skill in the other. For me, that argument is entirely wrong for two main reasons.
First, scouting a rookie class for a dynasty rookie draft that takes place in April or May will allow you to be familiar with rookies before redraft season in August. For example, in 2019, you would already have a good idea of the skills and profile of Josh Jacobs. This knowledge allows you to make an informed decision about where you might or might not want to select him in your redraft drafts. Even more importantly, you will gain familiarity with lower-profile rookies, who are often less discussed in redraft. This knowledge might have resulted in grabbing D.K. Metcalf, Marquise Brown, or Deebo Samuel late in drafts. Even if you don’t draft these rookies, when it’s time for your early-season waivers, you will already know all of these names and will have a leg up on your league mates.
The second important reason is that massive value changes occur between the end of the fantasy season in December and the start of draft season in August. If you show up a week before the draft and use a cheat sheet, you will be okay; but you won’t be able to think for yourself and understand why the rankings have shifted so much. Playing in a dynasty format will mean that you’re trading and doing waivers year-round. You have to follow news around the NFL during the offseason if you want to succeed in dynasty.
Therefore, you should join a dynasty league today and reap the rewards. Dynasty is also an amazing and fun format. Even if my argument didn’t convince you, you should still play dynasty for its excitement.
#2: Review Your Draft and Transactions
Another critical step to take is to review your drafts and transaction logs from the 2019 season while everything is still fresh in your mind. Let’s start with the draft. I would suggest looking at your draft and evaluating how each pick played out over the full season. If a lot of your draft picks busted, try to see if there’s something in common; or if it was merely bad luck.
There are certain parts of fantasy football that are more predictable than others. For example, if many of your players were from low-scoring offenses, you might want to try and draft more high-upside players in 2020. However, if your draft contained a bunch of injured players, then it’s possible that you made good decisions at the time, and they didn’t work out. The same logic applies if your draft went well, just in reverse. The main goal is to remember that in the long-term, process matters more than results. If you think about fantasy football the right way and have a good draft process, building a balanced and high-upside roster, you will find long-term success.
While drafting is vital to redraft leagues, transactions during the season are the most significant difference between successful and unsuccessful teams. In my DFF redraft wrap-up, I discussed how I made far more transactions than anyone else. While there is no correct or wrong number of transactions. If you made less than 20 add/drops throughout the season, I would suggest looking through your week-by-week lineups and seeing whether you started the best players on a week-to-week basis.
Especially in leagues with a D/ST slot, starting a different D/ST each week is often the best strategy. A low transaction count shows that you probably didn’t stream D/ST. In addition to D/ST, quarterback and sometimes tight end can and should be streamed, which is essential to a good redraft strategy. Of course, the prime waiver wire pickups are typically at running back and wide receiver, so reviewing each week’s waivers and seeing who you picked up compared to your opponents is also important.
#3: Pay Close Attention to the End of Season
This idea is mainly an argument against checking out from fantasy football if you’re already eliminated from the playoffs. Every season, some players get hot near the end of the year and then are relevant for the next season. From last year, Damien Williams comes to mind as he rose from obscurity near the end of the season. He subsequently rose to a second or third-round pick in 2019 redrafts. Even though he was a complete bust this year, knowing about Williams and seeing the effect he had down the stretch would have allowed you to have a more informed opinion of Williams than if you had stopped playing around week 12 or 13.
This year, there have been quite a few players that have broken out recently, such as Raheem Mostert, Anthony Miller, and Breshad Perriman. It is still unclear where these guys will rank going into 2020. Yet, knowing about them now allows you to get a leg up on those later rounds in your 2020 drafts. Similar to playing dynasty, a deeper and more complete awareness of NFL players and their roles is sometimes the best way to improve your redraft results. Therefore, continuing to set a lineup and make moves through week 16 is a good strategy.
#4: Curate Your Podcast Feed
I started listening to fantasy podcasts in 2017, and my fantasy game has been immensely improved ever since. First, there are now podcasts that are redraft-focused year-round. Considering the growth of the fantasy football industry, it is not surprising that listeners desire content 365 days a year. I would suggest checking out the Dynasty Football Network, our podcast feed at DFF.
Even though every single one of our shows is excellent, we are not the only podcasts out there. I would suggest exploring all the options and reaching out on Twitter. This will help you see which podcasts provide the information or style you’re most interested in. Learning by listening to podcasts while working or doing things around the house will give you a wealth of information just by putting in headphones. Plus, most podcasts out there are hilarious and fun. They’ll make boring activities or days go by that much faster.
Thanks for reading this article. You can find me on Twitter at @DFF_Justin. I’d love to interact with anyone in the community, so reach out anytime! I’ve been taking fantasy questions lately and trying to help out with all formats, so keep sending those questions my way.
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