New Draft Strategy – Don’t Give A F*ck


Hear me out for a second… I play in one fantasy baseball league and every year the draft sneaks up on me. I’m always unprepared for the draft and predictably, my team usually suffers. This year I tried something new – invented by Grantland’s Jonah Keri – called the I Don’t Give A Crap strategy.

I’ll let Mr. Keri explain,

Pick your favorite projections system. Baseball HQ, Rotowire, Rotoworld, ESPN, Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs, whatever. Your one and only goal is to get a bargain on each and every player you buy. That’s it. You have no targets to shoot for other than value, value, value. You’re not loading up on hitters (or pitchers). You’re not targeting specific players.

Now what does this have to do with fantasy football? Well as you may or may not know, the RotoViz team recently launched our own staff dynasty league (#RotoVizDynasty).

I decided to go ahead and test out the I Don’t Give A Crap strategy and see how it translated to fantasy football. After a few of my own tweaks, I introduce you to the I Don’t Give A F*ck (DGAF) fantasy football draft strategy.

First, there are a few caveats:

– We did not do an auction draft (which would be ideal for this approach) so instead of dollars, I put every player into one big cheat sheet ranking my No. 1 guy all the way to No. 300 regardless of position.

– To determine my rankings, I used the RotoViz Sim Score Apps to come up with baseline 2013 projections for every player. I then tweaked these projections for players who were/are either injured (Michael Crabtreee, RGIII, Rob Gronkowski) or whose situations have dramatically changed (Wes Welker, Reggie Bush, Percy Harvin).

– When it comes to the draft, I tried to be completely positional agnostic. Other than my rankings, I didn’t give a f*ck how many WRs I have or how early I drafted a QB. As best I could, I took the highest rated player on my cheat sheet.

– This was very hard because our league is a PPR and allows me to start up to 5 WRs, but again I stuck completely to my rankings.

I know that reading about someone else’s fantasy football team is like flipping through their family vacation photo album, but to illustrate how a DGAF team might turn out, here is how my team looks so far:

Round One Pick 11 – Adrian Peterson

I was ecstatic to get All Day with my first pick. He was my No. 3 ranked player behind Doug Martin and Ray Rice, but he fell because our league favors WRs very heavily and it’s a dynasty league. Guys like C.J Spiller, Trent Richardson, Dez Bryant, and Demaryius Thomas all went before AD because of some combination of their age and pass catching ability (remember it’s PPR). Typically, even in keeper or dynasty leagues, I’m trying to win this year. So much changes in the NFL year-to-year; I’ll take a 28-year-old Peterson and give you a guy like Alfred Morris or Trent Richardson because I’ll worry about next year next year.

Round Two Pick 18 – Cam Newton

Superman Cam was the second QB off the board, but was actually the No. 1 QB on my cheat sheet. I don’t completely disregard age as you can probably tell from this selection and Newton’s similarity scores paint the most optimistic future of any signal caller in the league. It was hard to pass up a WR here knowing I wouldn’t pick for another 21 spots, but that’s the play when you don’t give a f*ck. Also, I usually adhere to the “draft a QB late” strategy, but again, I’m position agnostic.

Round Three Pick 39 – Eric Decker

Round Four Pick 46 – Maurice Jones-Drew

Round Five Pick 67 – Wes Welker

These were probably my three most controversial picks. Decker and Welker were ranked No. 18 and 19 respectively on my big board and I don’t give a f*ck that they are on the same team because, well… I don’t give a f*ck. MJD fell for a number of reasons: he’s getting older, he’s coming off an injury (some might call him injury-prone), he showed up to OTAs out of shape, he’s part of a less than stellar offense, oh and he may have been involved in a fight outside of a club. Do I give a f*ck? I do not. I ranked him as the No. 10 RB and I got him as the 19th RB off the board. That’s value according to my rankings and that’s what the DGAF strategy relies on. It’s about creating a cheat sheet and sticking to it. Maybe I did not properly rank MJD, but that’s not a flaw with DGAF, but rather a flaw with my rankings.

Round Six Pick 74 – Greg Jennings

Round Seven Pick 95 – Jason Witten

Round Eight Pick 102 – Jared Cook

In our league, we can start up to two TE’s because of a WR/TE flex spot. Thus I ranked every WR and TE as the same position. I viewed Jason Witten the same as I viewed Desean Jackson (went four spots before Witten). I viewed Jared Cook the same as I viewed Sidney Rice (went one spot after Cook). They are all pass-catchers in my mind. If I project Cook and Witten to produce more fantasy points than the WRs available, do I care what position they play? You guessed it… I don’t give a f*ck.

Our draft is ongoing, and after it finishes we’ll have our rookie draft, giving me another chance to get a young player to satisfy the “build for the future” mentality of dynasty leagues.

Maybe you hate the DGAF strategy; maybe I’ve inspired you to give it a try in a mock draft. The main thing I wanted to see was how a team would look if you removed some of the more emotional aspects of drafting. I tried to separate names from players and select completely based on my projections.

What do you think? Are you ready to start caring less?

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