For the uninitiated, Fanium Fantasy Football is a new app available on the iTunes and Google Play store. The app allows users to join both public and private leagues to participate in 8 team drafts. The format is interesting, as it requires 2 starting quarterbacks, 2 running backs, 4 wide receivers and 2 tight ends. They got it right by not including kickers or team defenses in their starting lineups. The scoring is as follows
20 passing yards = 1 point
5 rushing yards = 1 point
5 receiving yards = 1 point
Touchdown (Pass, Rush, Receiving, Return)= 7 points
Two Point Conversion = 2 points
Interception = -3 points
Fumble = -3 points
Reception = 1 point
For more info, check out their website.
What follows is a Rotoviz staff draft, with some strategy tips from our writers. (Thank you Ryan Roulliard for the table)
Fanium Draft Tips
- In the 2 tight end format, I’m of the opinion that Jimmy Graham is the number 1 player overall. An argument for Calvin Johnson can be made, but given that only 8 teams are involved, it’s easier to find elite receivers. Bryan Fontaine’s team is still very solid at wide receiver, despite taking Graham early. The format also provides extra value for Gronkowski because finding a stop gap while he is recovering is going to be more productive than in a standard 12 team league.
- Despite the 2 quarterback format, the Late Round Quarterback strategy still reigns supreme. Getting a premium player (in this format) like Jason Witten is more important to me than locking down a plug and play quarterback. I would much rather roster a trio of Cutler, Bradford and E.J Manuel than use any of my first 5 picks on a quarterback.
- Wide receiver is king. The unique format completely turns traditional fantasy worship of the running back on it’s head. Whereas players like Matt Forte, David Wilson, DeMarco Murray and Lamar Miller are on the bench, top notch wide receiver talent thins out early. Teams relying on guys well outside the top 20 will struggle to compete against with more consistent high end production. For example, Daryl Richardson, who is one of my favorites, was my 2nd to last pick. Running back production is replaceable in this format, but there is no substitute for a real WR1. In general, the format flips traditional RB-WR leanings, making running back deep and wide receiver thin at the top.
- As usual, Shawn Siegele has some of the best thoughts about the new format. You can find his write ups of the Pro Football Focus staff draft here and here.
- I think Ryan Roulliard came away with the best team. He embraced the Late Round QB philosophy to select E.J Manuel late and paired him with Russell Wilson who is my favorite signal caller out of the bottom half of the top 12. He has 3 legitimite WR1′s (assuming health) in Julio Jones, Hakeem Nicks and Marques Colston and added Mike Williams, a Rotoviz favorite as a WR4. His tight end 2 of Brandon Myers is pretty ugly, but considering Jordan Cameron is a bench player in this league, I think that he will be able to stream well enough to overcome that.
So what’s the strategy?
If you are playing in a Fanium league with friends for some cash, or just pride, the draft plan is pretty simple. Attempt to get 2 or 3 elite wide receivers with your first 3 picks. If you are able to get 2 of Calvin, Dez Bryant, A.J Green, Brandon Marshall or Demaryius Thomas (there is a drop off after these guys), then you are going to be the favorite in your league. Players like DeMarco Murray and Lamar Miller are way, way down in Fanium’s draft room and you can use that knowledge to your advantage. After taking your elite wide receivers, focus on a tight end like Rob Gronkowski (if he falls due to health) or Jason Witten. Your second tight end isn’t as big of a concern, but having a productive and reliable TE1 is important. As Shawn noted in his write up, after those strategical implementations, you should largely follow a Best Player Available format. Use our QB, RB, WR and TE Sim Score Apps to create your own projections and create your own rankings for best player available.
Rotoviz Contributor Matt Rittle agreed with the BPA philosophy, writing
“I started off my first fanium draft with an elite RB pairing of Foster and Spiller. I was so proud. Until I saw Chris Johnson go like six rounds later. I’ve heard stories from friends in other fanium drafts that RBs like Bradshaw and Vereen have gone undrafted (at times.)
As a result, I decided to go the complete opposite direction in my second fanium draft. As such, I couldn’t pass on Calvin Johnson in round one. When Brandon Marshall fell to me in round two, that was another no-brainer in PPR. Roddy White fell to me as about the 12th WR off the board, which was too much of a bargain to pass up – again. I still got Brady and Ryan, two top eight quarterbacks, as my QBs in this one. While I may have no RBs or TEs at this point, I feel I’m killing this draft. Even after waiting so long on TEs and RBs, I still got two solid RB2s in Bush and Bell (pre-injury). Even after all this, I still landed Olsen and Rudolph. I just went for talented players with lots of upside. The rosters are so shallow in this eight-man league, there will be tons of players available on the waiver-wire throughout the season if it comes to it.”
Ryan Rouillard, another participant in the league, has the following tips for our readers:
“This was the first I’d heard of Fanium and of course now I’m hooked. I’m not gonna lie though, I kinda shanked my first pick. I am guilty of not paying close enough attention to the scoring and lineup wrinkles as I selected AP at 1.02. I probably would have gone Megatron (or possibly Graham) in hindsight. I do feel like Peterson’s weekly floor is pretty high, which does sorta fit what I was looking for, so maybe it’s not that bad.
These were the rough guidelines Rouillard pick players:
- Upside Galore: With an 8 team league talent is abundant, so I was looking for players in all rounds of the draft who I felt could finish in the top 5 at their position in any given week. Give me Mr. Upside over Steady Eddie.
Target Rich Environment: To achieve that top 5 upside, I tried to grab as many guys who I think will be the top receiving target in their offense. Rarely do WR2s (in the NFL team sense) consistently produce top 5 weekly finishes.
Going Yard: My definition of “top 5” was somewhat adjusted by the doubled yardage points. With RB/WR/TE I penalized guys less for a lack of TD prowess than I normally would. With QB I really wanted to target guys who run, since those points are even more pronounced than usual.
LRQB 4EVA: The battle between 2QB starting requirements vs. 8 team league was something I struggled with at first. In 12 team leagues I believe in going QB a lot earlier than usual, but with an 8 team league we’re really only looking for the best 16 QBs in any given week. I felt like that balanced out the urgency for QB2 a bit. I took the last of the running QBs (well, aside from Vick who we weren’t sure was the starter) in Wilson with my first QB pick, and then waited until the 3rd to last round of the daft to take EJ Manual as my QB2 (pre knee surgery announcement).
Graham or Bust: If you don’t get Jimmy Graham, I think you should wait an eternity on TE. There are so many upside guys you can stream, I can’t justify taking my TE1 anywhere in the first 10 rounds unless it’s Jimmy G.
- Bait ‘n Switch: You can add/drop as well as trade in Fanium leagues, so I tried to stock up on as many WRs and RBs as I could on the theory of short supply. If I whiffed on my QB or TE picks, I figured I could always trade a great bench WR to someone hurting at the position, in return for their QB2.
Contact me on twitter for your Fanium and all other fantasy football questions, @davismattek.