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The following is a guest post from Adam Wilde, better known around here as Throwdown member awilde27.
Playing Fantasy Throwdown is not always about drafting the best team, as much as it is forcing your opponent to draft the worst team.
There’s a whole new animal in the fantasy football town known as Fantasy Throwdown, and being top dog in your home fantasy league is about as useful as a knife in a gunfight when it comes to Throwdown.
It is not always about drafting the best players in the NFL, as much as drafting the potential best player for the current week. Imagine the look on your friends’ faces when Eddie Royal is drafted, leaving someone by the likes of possible Hall Of Fame inductee Andre Johnson on the sideline. If this were the case Week 4 this season, your pockets may be twice as large.
Had this decision been too unbearable to make, have no fear. There are multiple different configurations of game play including, varying quantity of positional picks, flex positions, and even block features. Players can go from consideration as stud to dud and back again rather quickly depending on the lineup for your Throwdown challenge, and chosen NFL games impacting the depth of the player pool.
In any given Fantasy Throwdown event a drafter has the ability to choose players from three NFL games in a given week. The act of picking the game pool is an art often overlooked. If it is known you have the first draft pick, then be sure you pick up whichever game the Broncos are in, assuming Julius Thomas is healthy and has a favorable match-up.
Being the drafter with the second and third pick is equally as strategic, because if it is known Thomas is going first overall, not only ensure the games picked include another tight-end option but also someone like Brandin Cooks, to then take over the advantage at a different position. Think about these strategies before you pick your favorite teams match-up next week.
Utilizing the flex may seem a bit obvious. You’d like to take whichever available player is going to score the most points right? Sure, if someone like Demaryius Thomas is available, snatch him up, but chances are once it is time to fill the flex slot there will be some questionable options. In this event, begin to think of the flex similar to a block feature, which will be explained in more detail later in the article.
Once the time comes to draft a flex, say Julius Thomas has already been added to a team, and your opponent has decided to wait to draft a tight-end. Now comes the time to crush hopes and dreams of scoring any points at tight end. Draft someone like Vernon Davis, and leave only an array of back-up, low caliber tight ends to choose from.
The block is always difficult to feel good about. Why block a player, completely kicking them out of the game and wasting a draft pick, when you could draft them to your team? There are a few reasons, one being, to cripple a position.
After drafting a player in the flex at a position that is being dominated by your team, another tight-end is unable to be added. With Julius Thomas and Davis on the squad, there is still a great option with Jordan Reed. Block Reed towards the end of your draft, and almost scratch that position from the opponents line-up.
Next comes a unique situation, where a player is questionable as Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles was Week 4, and you aren’t willing to take the chance on him for yourself, but you surely dont want your opponent to own a top 5 running back. Once you’ve confidently filled the running back position with better options, you block him, as done below with Reggie Bush (questionable for Week 7). Had you let him slip you may have gotten hit with 3 touchdowns equivalent to a ton of bricks as Charles owners did to their adversaries Week 4. Ouch!
Playing Fantasy Throwdown is not always about drafting the best team, as much as it is forcing your opponent to draft the worst team. Think ahead as far as possible, asking yourself which position you can get the advantage of, which sleepers you are comfortable with drafting, and when to use the block, if at all. Once you’ve sidelined the generic drafting ideas, and given new light to the idea of Throwdown, your success will improve tenfold. Happy drafting!