This offseason I'll be playing in some MFL10s. If you haven't heard of these, they are draft-only leagues over email that you participate in at My Fantasy League.com. They bring out the nerdiest of the nerds like myself, because who in their right mind would draft a real team for money just weeks after the Super Bowl. And the answer of course is, many, many people would, but the competition is usually fairly good, because you have to really love fantasy football to get into these.
First, let me give you the basics of a MFL10 draft-only league.
Like it says, you only draft; there is no lineup setting, waivers, or trading. This of course plays into strategy, but we'll talk about that later.
Scoring is the same as in your basic PPR league: One point per reception, 4 points for a touchdown pass and 6 points for all other offensive touchdowns. And defenses get some points for stuff. Oh, and no kickers, which is new for this year.
Your starting lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex (RB/WR/TE) and 1 Defense. Your total score for each week is based on whoever scores the most points from your team's player pool, which is 20 players/defenses.
The winner for each MFL10 is based on the most total points, which is my favorite part of these leagues, because wins and losses each week are moot. If you have a huge week it doesn't just count as one win, it counts as a whole bunch of points.
I am no veteran of these, as I've played in a total of two. So I'll be taking a look from a beginner's perspective. For my first MFL10 of the year, I will need to be wary of players who aren't solid in their roles, as free agency and the draft could push around their value. But it also gives me the freedom to go after someone who I think has the ability to win a role, even if he doesn't have it at this point in time. The early drafts seem dumb, I know, but they can also stretch your drafting chops in an interesting way sometimes.
So you have 20 slots to fill, with nine of those being starters. Based solely on getting the most bang for your buck, the stat nerds over at RotoViz have looked extensively at lineup construction as it relates to winning your league. On average, you'll want to draft 2 QBs, 4-6 RBs, 7-8 WRs, 2-3 TEs and 3 D/STs. If I had to stick to one roster configuration, it looks like you'd be safe with 2 QBs, 5 RBs, 8 WRs, 2 TEs and 3 D/STs. Of course, that varies based on who you draft, but I the data is pretty straight forward when looking at what teams do the best.
The biggest difference between these MFL10s (or best-ball leagues) is that you don't have to worry about consistency. Of course, you want consistent players, but a player who goes off for 150 yards and two touchdowns one week and then puts up 50 yards and no touchdowns the next, just got you 100 yards and one touchdown on average, because their stats are spread out through 16 weeks. And even better, if you have another player who outachieves that 50-yard game, then his points count and those 50 yards never happened.
You'll often hear about a player being boom-or-bust, which can hurt you in a draft-and-trade league, but that same player could be much more valuable to your best-ball league. Think of Jeremy Hill last season. He had four games with two or more touchdowns and 10 games with no touchdowns. He probably killed you in a normal league due to his inconsistency, but in a best-ball league, he would have given you much more value.
Of course last season, if you picked Le'Veon Bell, Jordy Nelson, and a host of other top players who were injured, then your chances of winning dropped severely, but that's fantasy football. When picking my MFL players, I try not to worry about injuries. Of course, Arian Foster is a ticking time bomb, but if that injury risk is built in to his average draft position, then go for it, especially if he falls below his ADP. But remember, if you end up doing many of these leagues; keep an eye on who you've drafted in the past. You don't want to put all your eggs into one basket. The same is true with players who you really think are going to overcome obstacles, like depth chart, poor quarterback, etc., but having them on 75 percent of your teams is probably asking for trouble. Spread your sleepers out a bit. These leagues cost 10 bucks a piece and can add up, especially if you get addicted to them like seemingly half of fantasy-football Twitter.
It's still early, but My Fantasy League will have the ADP numbers for these leagues out very soon. It's great info to have because unlike ESPN or Yahoo ADP, MFL ADP is based on users who are up to date on player info and what it takes to compete in fantasy. And it will be somewhat skewed toward "best-ball players." From there, you can access value and work toward crafting the best possible team.