Interactive Offseason Q&A

Jeff Haverlack

Congratulations on making it through another eventful NFL season!  2021 is in the books and we can now, officially, turn our full attention to 2022.

I'm going to keep this short and sweet because you mostly likely don't care enough about many of my 2021 takeaways that are still bouncing through the recesses of my brain. To be sure, 2021 felt a lot different than previous years and I found myself contemplating material strategy changes to employ going forward based on some of the trends we continue to see. That probably makes for a good article in and of itself. Based upon the number of questions I continue to receive through our/my multiple channels, you all have lots of questions.  Being as how my favorite part of DLF is in my interaction with all of you, I'd say we're a pretty good match!

Overall, 2021 was one of my better dynasty seasons. I play in 12 dynasty leagues, 10 of which I measured in that two of them were orphan teams I adopted. I won't measure them until I have two years under my belt to complete a rebuild. For 2022, one of those teams will move up giving me 11 to measure. In the end, I sent 30% of my teams to the championship game and thought I could have 40% if not for a bad-beat in the semi-finals. 80% of my measured teams made the playoffs.

2021 was a great year but I spend little time looking in the rear-view mirror. To be sure, I do take a look at what made each team successful in hopes of replicating the variables across other teams but, in the end, I concern myself with making the playoffs more than winning the championship. Once you reach the playoffs, variability and luck both play very large roles. You need to have Lady Luck on your side.

One of my overarching take-aways from 2021 is that I now find myself shading more to young wide receivers over running backs when building my dynasty teams. I've always sought balance with a slight weight given to "known-role" running backs who also perform well in the passing game. A combination of injury, running back by committee (RBBC) trends and fading draft value over the years for the rushers has finally added enough straw to this camel's back that I've now changed my build strategy materially. I've dabbled with receiver-heavy builds in the past with decent results but the impact of a high-volume runner behind an effective offensive line is a difficult thing to pass up. Add in a top quality quarterback and the one-two punch can be a formidable advantage every Sunday. To wit, I'm also known to overweight top quarterbacks in my rankings because, once you have a young every-week starter and no longer have to play the rotation game, you understand just how much of a benefit it can be. Similar to the tight end position, outside of the top few players, you may have a starter but only a nominal advantage over your opponent.

With the NFL Combine drawing near, to be followed by the NFL Draft, dynasty rookie drafts and, then, start-up drafts, no doubt many of you have a lot of questions. Maybe you're wavering on your build strategy. Maybe you are wanting to build via the NFL Draft or, perhaps, even considering getting out of the rookie draft game altogether and going with more "known" production. In dynasty, it all has value and the different strategies is what makes the fantastic wheels of our hobby turn.

I certainly have my own style of play. I can be bold with some of my assertions, such as ignoring most of the current-day metric trends that I don't feel I need to use to be competitive. I've looked at them, used them and quickly discarded most. It adds a lot of work for no level of material return or advantage in my estimation. I also have found that "known value" is greater than "unknown" in most cases. Read that as a productive young player being worth more than a rookie draft selection of near-equal (Trade Analyzer) 'value.'  Value of tight ends in tight end premium formats? Vastly overrated based on my research, at least outside the top four or five players in our rankings. While I'm extremely supportive of any other coach using alternative strategies to me, don't think I'm wishy-washy with my own beliefs and strategy. When it comes down to winning my leagues, scouting rookies and ranking players, I follow what I have found to work best and make no apologies. I don't change what works because of hype or trend but I'm willing to adjust when I find doing so is justified.

You've read enough about me and my style, so let's get to your questions. My views are my own and don't be afraid to discard them completely if my advice/thoughts don't work for you, or are too much against your style. I strongly suggest not playing in any way which reduces the amount of enjoyment you derive from our favorite hobby.  First and foremost, this game needs to be fun! Anything above and beyond that is an added bonus.

Hit me with what is on your mind - all questions and comments accepted!



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Interactive Offseason Q&A