The Results Are In!

Guys,

Thank you SO MUCH for voting. We had a 100% turnout rate, that’s fantastic! So, after collecting the hanging chads (I think it means we’re old that we know what that means), here are the results…

  • The waiver wire will now process everyday at 12pm eastern / 9am pacific.
  • The bench will be reduced from 8 to 7 spots, but there will be an injured reserve (IR) spot.
  • The divisions will be eliminated; however, teams will continue to play the same teams from their old division twice each season.*
  • In 2015, we will transition to an auction draft. Each team will have an auction budget of $200. Owners may trade auction dollars for the following season only. For example, during this season, owners will be allowed to trade 2015 auction dollars only. But, you may begin trading 2015 auction dollars now.
  • We will not value rushing attempts in 2015. That proposal failed.

*If people think that it would be fun to do an NFL-style power matching system in which top finishers from one season are pitted twice against each other the following season in a bookend fashion, we can do that too. I don’t want to force people to vote on this, so if you like this, just email me or say-so in the comments.

Value Rushing Attempts

Recognize this guy…?

That’s Jamaal Charles, the top running back in fantasy football last season. Under our scoring system, he averaged 191 fantasy points per game. That’s not bad, but it wasn’t enough to outscore Tom Brady, who was the 12th best quarterback.

Or take this fellow…

Shady McCoy was the #2 running back but he was outscored by quarterbacks Alex Smith (#15), Ryan Tannehill (#16), and Carson Palmer (#17). The problem?Running backs are undervalued.

But the solution is also pretty simple:

I propose we value rushing attempts.

Rewarding rushing attempts is nothing more than valuing a player’s usage rate. We already reward receptions, which measures the same thing, so it only makes sense that we would also value rushing attempts.

Ultimately, it is a more accurate measure of the number of touches a player receives.

It also makes sense though, because so many teams have migrated to the dreaded “Running Back by Committee” approach, which further depresses the value of individual running backs. I realize, of course, that running backs still average more attempts than receivers do receptions, plus running backs also have the opportunity to make receptions, while the reverse is rarely true. So I propose we value rushing attempts half as much as receptions. We currently award 5 points per reception, and so, I propose that we award 2.5 points per rushing attempt. What affect would that have, you ask..?

2013 NFL Running Backs by Rushing Attempts/Game

Jamaal Charles averaged 17.3 rushing attempts per game and therefore would have scored an extra 43.3 points per game. That would have given him 257.7 fantasy points per game, which would have put him ahead of all quarterbacks except Peyton Manning (357.5 pts/gm) and Drew Brees (311.1 pts/gm). And he would have only bee slightly ahead of Philip Rivers (256 pts/gm). Doesn’t that seem more appropriate?

Shady averaged 19.6 rushing attempts per game, which would have been good for an extra 49 points per game, giving him a total of 240 points per game. That would have sandwiched him between Andy Dalton (245.1 pts/gm) and Cam Newton (236 pts/gm).

It also makes the running back pool deeper, by giving a few extra points to secondary backs that consistently get 10 to 15 carries but aren’t party of the passing game. And since each team can theoretically start four running backs, it’s better for the league to make the running back pool as deep as possible. Anyone who was desperate for running backs to start during bye weeks knows exactly what I am talking about.

Because this change would affect the value of players, it couldn’t take effect until the 2015 season. So we are stuck with another season of undervalued running backs. But I encourage you to think this over carefully, because I am sure that next summer we will wish we had acted early to correct this.

Daily Waiver Wire

Razor Waiver Wire

I propose we process the waiver wire every day**.

Currently we use an auction-style free agent system and the waiver wire processes for the first time each week on Wednesday morning at 9am pacific. As a result, owners have approximately 36 hours to submit their bids.

The problem with that is there isn’t any opportunity to get a ‘deal’ on a highly coveted free agent because every owner has time to read the week’s ‘Top Add’ articles before submitting their own bid. I think it would be nice to reward owners who follow the games and are ready to submit their bids on Tuesday.

**Tuesday is currently the only day that wavier wire does not process. It technically processes on Monday, but only for players involved in the MNF matchup.

The Bench Is Too Big

The League currently allows 10 starters, 8 bench players, and 1 injured reserve spot. This means that all 12 teams could, and often do, roster 19 players. Simple math tells us that means that 228 players are locked up at any given time. The result of that was felt by each of us last season–waiver wire scarcity.

Just think about what your bench looked like last season–how much garbage was on there? Now think about that time you ran to the computer to bid on some guy you just heard about, only to find out that he was already rostered. It also allowed people to hoard valuable positions. Scarcity, and to lesser extent, hoarding, is what allowed Winerman to overbid on free agents in early weeks only to (unsuccessfully) attempt to extort a trade from the rest of us shortly thereafter.

The ESPN default for 10 team leagues is to have 7 bench spots with no injured reserve. I think this is a good compromise for us since we are a league of 12. And so…

I propose that we eliminate one bench spot and the injured reserve spot.

That's a big bench!

This would have no effect on the rest of the roster setup. It is simply a reduction in the size of our bench. It’s a very small change, but it will go a long way to alleviate the roster pressures created by such an active league with enormous benches.

It is difficult to imagine what the pros of such a large bench are because, beyond hoarding, it promotes inactivity among owners because they don’t need to cycle any bench players to accommodate for injuries or bye-weeks, plus there is little reason to do so when you know the cupboard is bare. But, if there are folks who like the big bench, I’d like to hear why. So please email me or the League with your thoughts.

Waiver Wire Warfare

I am in four fantasy football leagues and after three weeks of football, I feel I have enough data to make the following observation… This is the tightest, most aggressive waiver wire I have ever seen.

But what has turned us all into waiver wire hawks? Maybe its the fact that the Bad News Barristers have always remained 12 teams strong. Or maybe its our huge 8-player benches. Or it could be the addition of the Offensive Player position.

Or maybe it was Hank bidding $90 on Da’Rel Scott, who I think is this guy…

But Hank isn’t the only one who has made some questionable decisions. Kennedy paid $40 for James Starks only to watch him go down the next game. But Kennedy wasn’t going to be fooled twice though, letting Greg take Jonathan Franklin, the Packers third stringer, for a cool $11.

And what the f#ck has Winerman been doing? Other than emailing us weekly trying to trade us everyone but Geno Smith? He’s been paying $24 for Eddie Royal, $15 for Jason Snelling, $10 for Andre Ellington, $8 for Robert Turbin, and $5 for Donnie Avery, plus a revolving door of garbage for $1 – $3. Perhaps the fervor will die down once Winerman has exhausted his auction budget (he has only $14 left).

But we are all victim of the waiver wire madness. After the T-Rich trade, Willis McGahee went to Weiss for $21. And I paid $11 for Chad Henne, who I have since dropped. That decision was motivated by the fact that there are absolutely ZERO starting quarterbacks on the waiver wire. Indeed, quarterback scarcity has definitely played a role in the close attention being paid to the waiver wire. After all, when I went to the wire to replace Henne, I was shocked to learn that I wasn’t going to get the jump on Brian Hoyer, because Kennedy already had him. Even more amazing. It was announced this morning that Josh Freeman was being benched and that Buccaneers would start rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. Osman picked up Glennon on September 13th! So, I was left to pick up this guy…

For those who don’t immediately recognize him, that’s Matt Cassell. Yes, formerly of the Patriots and Chiefs, but he now plays for the Vikings. He’s not the starter yet, but he will be soon. And when that happens, Mike Glennon will be Osman’s only starting quarterback on his roster. Anyone else smell a trade? But that’s what it takes in this league, apparently. And I, for one, think its awesome.

The only problem with it that I have is that we have too long to weigh our decisions. Perhaps we wouldn’t have to waste so much money out bidding ourselves if the waiver wire processed on Tuesdays as well. The down side of this is of course that we will only have about six hours to get our first waiver wire bids in each week (from approximately midnight to 9am pacific). The upside is that we might be able to get a deal once in a while because it doesn’t give everyone a chance to read Chris Harrison’s free agent suggestions on Tuesday afternoon. If other people like the idea of a Tuesday waiver wire, we will put it to the League for a formal vote.

Kudos to you all for making this the most competitive season of Bad News Barristers fantasy football yet. Keep up the good work and good luck in Week Four!