Win the Flex Position – 2016 Edition

One of the ideas that we’ve written about on the site is what we call “Winning the Flex” and is related to Shawn Siegele’s guidance that the flex position wins fantasy championships. Winning the Flex is also an idea that is tangentially related to Zero RB, to the extent that Zero RB says that you should load up on WRs because they’re the highest scoring position in PPR leagues, and when the flex is accounted for you can start a lot of them.

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By RotoViz Staff | @rotoviz | Archive

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  1. Love this tool, I think you should make it available generally in the apps tab.

    I've been playing with it. It is interesting to see how the estimated values change as you include different years. For example, what happens if you believe 2015 RB-pocalypse as an outlier, you can exclude it to see what the estimates would have been with a year that was more like 2011-2014.

    You can also see how much the small sample size of a few years can change our estimates.

  2. Matt says:

    There's a discussion to be had here about the TE position. I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out what that discussion is though. After the 2nd TE is off the board, all TE equities are uniformly positive. I'll just spam some thoughts now & hope someone can help make sense of it.

    1. Gronk has easily the lowest equity in first 100+ picks and this troubles me deeply.
    2. This data suggests that if you don't buy the anti-fragile argument, but do want to pick on the inefficiencies of the market, your strategy should be WR rounds 1-4 & TE rounds 5-8.
    3. In practice this would be a huge pain to manage which TE would start each week & limit your roster flexibility since really in most leagues you can only start two TEs.
    4. So maybe the optimal strategy is WRx4, TEx3, then start trying to pick off zero RB & breakout WR type picks.
    5. My concern then turns to drafting all those TEs in rounds that usually contain the true breakout WR guys, especially in sharp drafts. Hitting on one of those guys turns your season on it's head so thats a huge opportunity cost.
    6. Given all the above, how do we adjust the calculation given you can always start more RB/WRs than TEs?
  3. I think you probably want to throttle the amount of TEs you take, but in a 2 Flex league I think that opens things up a little more to incorporating TEs as part of your ZRB team. I actually did this in a dynasty startup recently and drafted 3 TEs in the middle rounds. If you look at just a PPR league, those top TEs will be akin to top 24 WRs. For the reasons you mention I think that drafting WR first makes sense as you can get upside. But then when people keep flogging the dead horse or WR in the middle rounds, or worse turning to RBs, you can pull 1-3 TEs off the board depending how many you start.

  4. David says:

    I've been a huge advocate for taking Gronk for the last two years for the security blanket he provides. Although I may not be getting a great ROI for his draft position/auction price, I know that I'm getting a proven product with a completely secure role on a great offense. It gives me the freedom to experiment a bit more with other positions.

    I realize this may be entirely irrational when viewed in a non-human context of just running numbers, but even if it is just a placebo effect I've found it helps me perform in-season management better.

    The idea of taking another TE somewhat early is intriguing.

  5. I might be looking more to get a combo of Reed, Olsen, Kelce, and Fleener. Gronk's QB situation could be bad all season which might make him fall closer to the pack in terms of production, and he costs you a super safe shot at a WR1. The Titans figure to be run-heavier than last year, Kendall Wright should be healthier, DGB should take at least some step forward, and they added Rishard Matthews. Hard to see Walker getting targeted nearly as much as he did last season.

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