The 2021 NFL schedule is here! This is the first time I actually start to seriously consider the landscape of fantasy football auction strategies.
Every other analyst will do this by tweaking their auction values chart. A few bucks more for a player with soft early games, a few bucks less for a player with tough playoff matchups.
That’s not what we do, here, however.
Auction value charts don’t work like snake draft rankings. Snake draft rankings, you just pick the player at the top of the list and rest easy knowing you got value. But, in the beginning rounds of an auction, there really is no value. Sure, in leagues with lesser-experienced managers, the first player or two might go for lesser than market value, but that’s once the market is set. Let me use an example: Say the first top 5 RB goes for $1 more than their listed value, and you pass because that number was larger than the number on your paper. Then, if the other 4 top RBs go for $10 more than listed value (which happens more often than not), that first RB that went for $1 more is an amazing value. But an auction value chart doesn’t tell you that.
That’s why our policy to just get 2-3 of your favorite guys for 50-65% of your budget, then figure out the rest of your team later.
Yes, that does mean you have to be a little prepared as to what players you love. But you’re doing an auction and currently researching fantasy football auction strategies: You can do this.
So, in this early article, I’m taking a look at the 2021 NFL schedule and seeing who gets a few more inches toward becoming a guy I “love” and who took a loss. If you disagree, that’s cool! I’m not here to tell you whom to roster, I’m here to show you tips and tools for figuring out how you are most comfortable evaluating players.
One way to do this is by looking at the schedule.
Fantasy Football Auction Strategies Based on the 2021 NFL Schedule
When it comes to analyzing the NFL schedule before the season, fantasy managers generally subscribe to 3 different schools of thought
Some believe only the initial month or so of games can be projected
Others believe the whole season, particularly the playoffs, can be projected.
Finally, some believe nothing can be projected at all, and that it is indeed an Any Given Sunday scenario.
Again, not going to tell you what to believe. Just providing the insights I would use for each school of thought.
First, some players that scored a few yards towards my “love them” end zone:
Najee Harris, RB, Steelers
The knock on Harris is that Pittsburgh’s offensive line isn’t good. They won’t have to be when playing the Raiders’, Packers’, and Bengals’ tissue-box defenses in September.
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts
Taylor has proven he can come on strong to bring fantasy managers a title. This year, the Colts get New England, Arizona, and the Raiders. Notice a pattern? The pattern is that I am forever doomed as a fan of the Raiders.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles
Hear me out, here: I’m not saying Hurts is the key to a fantasy championship. He might not even be starting in December. But grabbing him for a few auction buckaroos should buy you the time you need to develop a better long-term solution. His initial slate is Atlanta, San Francisco, then Dallas. In terms of rushing yards allowed to opposing QBs in 2020, those teams ranked 9th most, 2nd, and 7th. He should be viable for fantasy wins coming out of the gate.
Next, three players that took a big step back from winning my heart. Note, that I’m not including Joe Mixon, even though his early season schedule is an iron wall. Joe Mixon was never in consideration for the list of players I might step up and push in a big stack of auction chips to roster.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
I was already one step out the door from Jacob’s house, hat in hand. With the addition of Kenyan Drake and Jacobs suspiciously not finishing runs last year, I think he’s injured. But my opinion has downgraded from “potential value buy” to “just wave bye” with the release of the Raiders’ schedule. He gets the Ravens, Steelers, Dolphins, Colts, and Bucs to start the year. Nuh-uh.
Terry McLaurin, WR, Football Team
F1 is still a value buy for me. However, initial bouts against the Chargers, Giants, and Bills have me rethinking my level of passion. All three teams were top 10 in terms of fewest fantasy points allowed to WRs in 2020. He gets the Falcons week 4, I might instead try some trade offers.
Cam Akers, RB, Rams
Not saying I won’t be in love with these players come August. It’s May, for gosh sakes. But Akers opening up against three top ten defenses against the (fantasy) run has me pausing a hype train that was pulling out of my station. No I won’t reconsider my phrasing!
For most obsessive, in-depth fantasy football auction strategies content, keep checking Football Absurdity.
Also: Just because it’s May doesn’t mean we don’t have a tremendous amount of content for you to devour!
[Image source: sleeper.app]