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Quick Inside Slant: Week 3

Impressions of the 2014 NFL Season as perceived by a Creative Writing graduate student, part-time amateur stand-up comedian and collegiate intramural flag football legend.


By: Dustin Fisher

Fantasy football

OK, gang. Back to actual football. Well, kinda.

One of my fantasy football teams (Touchdown My Pants) is undefeated right now, which OFFICIALLY qualifies me as an expert. Yes, I know it’s a bit late to talk about fantasy draft strategy as you’ve probably already drafted your team, hated it, offered to trade all 16 players for anyone else’s team sight unseen, and decided you’re never taking a running back in the top 5 again. That’s fine because this REVOLUTIONARY NEW FANTASY DRAFT TECHNIQUE will take you 11 months to understand. It is called simply “The Seven-Step Projected Drop-off Technique” and it will guarantee victory in whatever league you play in. Unless you play in a salary cap league, an auction league, an auto-draft league, a PPR league, an 8-team league, a 14-team league or if somebody else in your league is also using the technique or one of your players gets hurt.

Step One – Player Evaluation: Sure, it’s difficult to predict how many fantasy points a player will score in any given season. Adrian Peterson went in the late 2nd round to a bunch of lucky bastards cringing their way through the process of clicking their draft button two years ago. If ESPN was correct with all their weekly projections, I’d have gone 11-2 last year. Instead, I did not. Thankfully, accuracy does not matter in this phase because all inaccuracies will be made up for in Step Seven. What I recommend is to take the ESPN, Yahoo, and Fox Sports season projections, load them onto an Excel spreadsheet (it HAS TO be Excel) and take the average. Then, add or subtract 10 to 20 points based on things Matthew Berry says on TV.

Step Two – Average Draft Position: Now, you need to predict the average draft position of all players. This is easily done by going to and looking at their average draft position (ADP). Because their ADP chart is based solely on where players are going in their mock drafts, which are drafted by people of the world at large, and because your draft will be conducted by a subset of those people of the world, they should draft players exactly where the ADP has them going. It’s logic.

Step Three – 40 Mock Drafts: YES. YOU READ CORRECTLY. You need to do 40 (forty) mock drafts FROM EACH POSITION on 5 different fantasy hosting sites. Yes, you may need to do up to 480 mock drafts and yes, that IS grounds for divorce, but glory does not come to the married. After you have done these mock drafts and saved all of them in a separate Excel file and processed your very own ADP, take a nap. When you wake up, compare that ADP with the one from Step Two. See?

Step Four – Roster Construction: This is a term I learned when trying to sound smart in front of people who didn’t think I was. I changed some minds that day. This is the essential essence of the Seven-Step Projected Drop-off Technique. It’s why you don’t draft kickers in the first three rounds or take players with difficult names to pronounce. Once you have done your 480 mock drafts and made your new ADP chart, you need to make ANOTHER CHART listing the top player possible at each position, in each round, according to the ADP with your amended player evaluations. OH SNAP! This is starting to make a little sense, isn’t it?

Step Five – Do Math: Now, run every scenario you can, constructing your roster with the top player at each position according to your most recent chart, and see which combination adds up to the most points. Try drafting RB, WR, RB, TE, QB. Then try WR, QB, RB, RB, TE. Then maybe QB, RB, TE, WR, WR. Keep going until you’ve either tried them all or you get hungry. Then continue after you’ve eaten a bagel, perhaps with cream cheese. I recommend salmon-flavored. You could also get a computer program to do this. OR you could WRITE ONE. Good thing you’re 11 months ahead!

Step Six – Projected Drop-off: It’s time. Draft time. Your goal is to figure out if you don’t draft a player at a certain position, how many points you will lose when your turn comes back around again. All that Excel work and all those nights alone in a motel disowned by your wife and children are finally going to pay off. Now with the utmost of care, figure out which position will drop off the most until the following round. And the next round. If this sounds exactly like what you did in Step Five, it’s because it is. Now you have guaranteed success for your fantasy team. There’s really no need to play out the season. Just show the commissioner your work and collect your winnings. If he or she DEMANDS that you play out the season “for chips and giggles”…

Step Seven – Guess: When it’s actually time to draft, people do stupid things. They aren’t perfect. You may be all ready to draft Drew Brees and then someone will go against the ADP and take him early. Take him FROM YOU. DO NOT automatically take the next quarterback. Or the player from your next round. Or the player on the list that the idiot was supposed to have taken. In fact, don’t draft anyone. This is the part that’s a little tricky. But given 11 months to think about it, I’ll bet one of you can come up with something. Do that and email me the answer. Thanks.

And there you have it! The BRAND NEW Seven-Step Projected Drop-off Technique, explained for the first time in print. The beauty of this method is that it’s actually what everybody does anyway. They just don’t know they’re doing it. And now you do. You’re welcome.

Next week, I’ll explain the Whoever Plays the Bucs Technique for your office Survivor Pool. It’s only one step.

Dustin Fisher is a writer, comedian, storyteller, and stay-at-home dad. Follow along with his dad blog at or buy his first book, Daddy Issues.

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Dustin Fisher is an amateur standup comedian, storyteller, freelance writer, and stay-at-home dad, all of which are just better ways of saying “unemployed.” He worked in the area of collegiate recreation for the previous 14 years at UMBC, Miami University and the University of Baltimore. There, he became somewhat of a folk legend on the flag football field and actually got paid to play fantasy football. Dustin is currently in the MFA program at the University of Baltimore seeking a Masters degree in Creative Writing. He has made contributions to various publications including The Good Men Project and the Baltimore Fishbowl. For more about Dustin, check out his stay-at-home dad website, Daddy Needs a Nap. Dustin lives with his wife and daughter in New Carrollton, MD in a house surrounded by too many trees to get the Dish Network.

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