Draft Strategy

Zero WR is Your High Upside, League Winning Strategy for 2016

If you have been reading RotoViz for any length of time, then you’re familiar with Shawn Siegele’s Zero RB strategy. It is easily one of the most influential draft pieces of the past few years, and undeniably has won leagues for many people. What is probably much less known is the Zero WR strategy (or similarly Matthew Freedman’s RB5x strategy), which is executed somewhat similarly, but with an emphasis on early RBs instead of WRs.

Before starting, it is important to inform you that the purpose of this article is not to tell you that Zero RB is a bad strategy, or that it can’t win leagues in 2016. It absolutely can.1 But in 2016, I’m going to be hunting for upside and drafting for the win through Zero WR. Here’s why.

  1. And probably will when you consider the sharpness of a lot of the players currently using Zero RB strategies.  (back)

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By Anthony Amico | @amicsta | Archive

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  1. It is not best-ball specific, but I have been using it there and believe it will be the dominant strategy. Weekly decisions can definitely be tough with later WRs, but the ultimate goal is to find WRs you feel good about starting every week anyway, much like when you do Zero RB and you want to find those RBs to start later or on waivers.

  2. Not trying to be an ass but with all this zero RB this and zero WR that; what about just good old fashioned loading up on a healthy mix of RB AND WR that you believe in and taking best available based on who you think is being undervalued haha

  3. I was actually pondering this over the weekend, so its funny that you would bring this up. I think that the biggest thing I've taken from @FF_Contrarian's work is that we will probably be at our best when we are admitting we will be wrong. From that standpoint, I think that the idea of "best player available" is a little bit of a farce from the standpoint that you probably are never actually taking the best available player.

    With this in mind, I always want to try to gain as much equity as I possibly can through whatever draft strategy I employ. That is to say, where can I gain the biggest edge on my opponants in the simplest fashion?

    In a Zero RB draft, I am doing this through putting myself in position to have a dominant WR core, as well as being able to take advantage of my opponants misfortune. In a Zero WR draft, I am looking to dominate at the RB position due to falling value, while also being much more resiliant to injury than my opponants.

    By loading up on a position, I am basically saying "Yes, I will probably be wrong, but I am increasing my odds at beings succesful in this one area, while leaving myself outs elsewhere". I think the analogy I would draw would be in DFS, when a particular player is going to be extremely chalky. In large field tournaments, you either want to be almost all in on that player if you believe in him, or extremely underweight on him if you dont. Thats the only way to gain equity from that player. In redraft leagues, it is looking like the WRs are going earlier than ever, so I either want to go even heavier at WR (a hopped up Zero RB approach), or do the exact opposite (Zero WR). It's all about putting yourself in the best position to gain equity from your opponants' approach.

    I'm sure there are many ways to view this topic, and surely infinite ways to draft, but this is how I tend to approach things.

  4. Have you actually employed this strategy yet and how much crap did you take when drafting that 4th and 5th RB so early in the draft? Social pressure alone would keep my weak constitution from employing this strategy. smiley

  5. One major advantage of Zero RB is the ability to strike gold through the waiver wire. RBs get hurt and are replaced and that replacement production is typically an improvement on a roster built by Zero RB. I am unsure if the Zero WR strategy has that advantage. I understand how a Zero RB team gets stronger through the year, but I don't see that happening with a Zero WR. At least in redraft.

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