The Ultimate Drafter Series

UPDATE (6/15/13):  Be advised that the starting requirements have been changed, and all 12 drafts will now start on the same day.

One thing that I have always tried  to do is push the envelope — from testing a business model for video delivery (sort of like Netflix) back in 1990 to finding new and innovative ways to help fantasy football evolve.

Back in 2002 I wanted to create a contest — something new and different — that  I could run in the forums at TheHuddle.com.  What I came up with was “The Huddle Challenge”(linked to HC3 in 2004).  A concept where you could start any player you wanted, but the catch was that once you started that player you couldn’t start them again(I called it suicide style). In order to make the process easy to manage each team had to select just one QB, RB and WR. Today that concept is known as tournament style.  A style that the FFTOC brought to the masses in 2004.

Last year, in an effort to help IDP evolve I created a league called Full Impact IDP.  What makes that league and concept so different is that the defensive scheme a team starts impacts their opponents offensive points scored.  It is similar to a scoring system that Sandbox used to use, but it is much more detailed, and that adds  to the strategy the concept presents.

That leads me to “The Ultimate Drafter” Series…

What is it?
What is the Ultimate Drafter Series?  It is a series that puts all participants on an equal footing by allowing everyone to draft from each draft slot.  It will be a “draft and forget it” league that utilizes best-ball scoring.  After all the points are tallied (total points league, no head-to-head) at the end of the season there will be one lone drafter that stands as “The Ultimate Drafter” — talk about bragging rights.

Why?
Why? Because fantasy football players are a competitive bunch.  It doesn’t matter if it is a league we are drafting for or just a mock draft in February, we always want to come out on top.

Drafting
Drafting, at least for me, is one of the best parts of fantasy football.  But make no mistake about it, while you can win a league from any draft position, there are positions that make it either much easier or much more difficult to do.  The Ultimate Drafter series takes that element away and gives every participant the opportunity to draft from each draft position.  Of course that means that in a 12 team league there will be 12 different drafts, but hey, who doesn’t love to draft?  Also, with everyone on an equal footing a true champion — The Ultimate Drafter — can be crowned.

12 Drafts
Non-IDP leagues will have a 22 round draft, and IDP leagues will have a 44 round draft — 12 of them.  All 12 drafts will start at the same time.  That might seem like a bit much but think about how often you check to see if you are up and you aren’t and have to wait.  Now you’ll have 12 chances to be on the clock.

Rosters
Non-IDP rosters will have 10 starting positions: QB (1), RB (2-3), WR (3-4), TE (1-2), Team K (1) and Def (1). IDP will have 20 starting positions: QB (1), RB (2-3), WR (3-4), TE (1-2), Team K (1), DT (1-2), DE (2), LB (3-4), S (2) and CB (2). The reason for the team kicker is because once the draft is completed there will be no waiver moves at all.

Scoring
SOFA (Site Owner Fantasy Association) scoring (IDP scoring)with a couple of tweaks will be used.  The tweaks are that interceptions thrown will be worth -1 and PPR will be graduated — RB (.75), WR (1.0) and TE* (1.5).

*QB, K, DT, DE, LB, S and CB will also receive 1.5 PPR.

One more twist
All team names will be Franchise 1, Franchise 2, Franchise 3, etc. That is unlike most drafts where you can enter your name or an ingenious fantasy football team name.  The reason is so that your fellow drafters won’t be able to — or at least not as easily — figure out who your target is based off what you have done in the other drafts.  After all, knowing and understanding the tendencies of those you draft with can be a huge advantage.  This is just another way to level the playing field a bit more, but after all the drafts are completed I will enter everyone’s actual name in place of their franchise number.

Our host
Myfantasyleague.com (MFL) — the best league management software out there — will be the home to The Ultimate Drafter Series. MFL also has an option where you can set-up your own Draft Only League for free.  They also offer multi-league discounts, referral discounts, as well as a discount if you move to them from another league management site. Yep, MFL rocks!

Want to participate?
To start I am looking for experts to fill a 12 team non-IDP league and 12 team IDP league.  Then based on interest I will create additional Ultimate Drafter Series’.  If you aren’t an expert don’t fret, I’ll be creating first-come first-serve Ultimate Drafter Series’ too. If you are an expert and interested in taking part in The Ultimate Drafter Series please email me at ultimatedrafterseries@gmail.com.  Please include the site that you write for and your twitter handle if you have one.  If you aren’t an expert you can also email me at the above address, just realize that there might be a wait until I get the non-expert drafts going.

The catch
The only thing that I ask is that you do your part to bring added exposure to the concept.  Spreading the word via twitter (I’ll come up with a hashtag later), articles, blogs, forums, etc. would be much appreciated.

Follow me on twitter,@SteveGalloNFL & if you have any questions about The Ultimate Drafter Series please feel free to email me at ultimatedrafterseries@gmail.com

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Joe Flacco Is Elite By Association…The Tom Brady Comparison

One of the most polarizing things in all of sports over the past couple of years has been the use of the word “elite” as it pertains to NFL quarterbacks, namely Eli Manning and Joe Flacco.

It was August 2011 and Manning was being interviewed on ESPN New York 1050 by Michael Kay, “Is Eli Manning an elite quarterback? Are you a top-five, top-ten quarterback?” is what Kay asked Manning.

Eli Manning

You can’t spell elite without Eli.

Manning answered, “Yeah, I think I am.”, and it created quite the furor among both fans and the media. Eli’s eliteness was debated ad-nauseum for much of the 2011 season — a season that ended with Peyton’s little brother hoisting not only the Lombardi Trophy but also the Pete Rozelle Trophy as Super Bowl XLVI MVP.

Then approximately nine months after Manning was asked if he was elite, Flacco was posed pretty much the same question when Drew Forrester of WSNT.NET said, “Here’s the $100 million dollar question.  So your agent Joe Linta says, “if winning matters Joe Flacco is one of the top-five quarterbacks in the NFL.”, Forrester then asked, ” So I say to you Joe Flacco, Is Joe Flacco one of the top-five quarterbacks in the NFL? (Skip to 15:17)” Unlike Kay, Forrester didn’t exactly use the word elite, but when Flacco responded by saying, “Without a doubt. What do you expect me to say?”, you just knew that a fan and media frenzy about the topic would ensue. Flacco then clarified what he meant by saying, “I would assume everybody thinks they’re a top-five quarterback. I mean I think I’m the best.  I don’t think I’m top-five, I mean I think I’m the best. I mean I don’t think I’d be very successful at my job if I didn’t feel that way.”  It didn’t take long for fans and the media to once again end up consumed in a debate about a quarterback’s eliteness.  A debate that still rages on, fueled by the fire of Flacco’s terrific postseason run — a run that ended with Flacco hoisting both the Lombardi and Pete Rozelle Trophies, just like Manning did one year prior.

With the debate about Flacco being elite or not still raging on it seemed that finding a barometer to see if Flacco measures up on the elite scale would be the wise thing to do.  It probably seems crazy to use Tom Brady — a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer — as that barometer, but comparing what Brady accomplished in his first five seasons as a starter (his entire body of work wouldn’t be a fair comparison) should prove to be a very good way to gauge if Flacco is indeed elite.  That means for the sake of comparison Brady’s seasons from 2001-2005 (14 games started in 2001) will be utilized, and for Flacco it will be 2008-2012.

Tom Brady

Brady’s playoff record from ’06-’12 is 7-6 with no SB wins

At this point you are probably retracing Brady’s career to try to figure out if he was considered elite after just five years as a starter. He was.  Look no further than the July 2006 USA TODAY article, “Among NFL QBs, Brady at head of the class“, where Tom Weir wrote, “It also finally proved Brady can be mortal on a huge stage but did absolutely nothing to diminish his status as the NFL’s most esteemed quarterback. Our panel of experts made Brady a unanimous selection as the game’s best at directing an offense.”  Click to continue reading.

Follow me on twitter,@SteveGalloNFL & if you have any questions please feel free to email me at gallo@thehuddle.com

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