Believe it or not, despite being 45, I’ve played fantasy football since 1991. How, at the age of thirteen, did I stumble into what was, at that time, some hybrid of a pub and a parlor game – a whiskey-soaked alternative to Bridge or Dungeons and Dragons, where scores were kept on scraps of graphing paper next to an open Sporting News? My father, a football-loving engineer, played since – I don’t know – maybe the late seventies or early eighties. He put his family up to it when he had been transferred across the country twice and lost his game. Six teams, touchdowns only, no mid-season drops, and no real clue what was happening until the final box score hit the Tuesday morning newspapers.
I have spent more than twice as many years on this marble playing fantasy football as not. For me, a home league is just this side of a sacrament. All due respect to every form of this, the greatest game on Earth, but a home league is the most authentic game – the O.G., the Founding Father – and this time of year represents an annual pilgrimage to a simpler time.
It’s easy to forget the tiny little game in the neighborhood for a $50 buy-in when we consume ourselves with the rhythm of a yearlong lifestyle with different iterations that dominate certain parts of the calendar. DFS, Dynasty, Best Ball, Pre-Season DFS, and even prop betting have their place in our hearts by now, so this time of year can sneak up on people.
But not to worry. We’ve got you. Shawn kicked things off last Tuesday with his Four Key Elements of Fantasy Football Home Leagues, and I followed with a look into mid-round RBs. Today, I will give mid-round WRs the same treatment as you prepare to win the coveted laser-engraved beer tumbler this time.
THE COUCH GAME IS EVOLVING
If you missed the above articles, I’d encourage you to go back and catch up on them. As Shawn pointed out, home leagues tend to be shallower – both in the starting lineup and on the bench. As such, there are more available outs off the waiver wire than in big-money games. This gives us the unique freedom to stretch our legs and try something different with our draft structure since there are more ways to skin the cat.
Many home leagues are half-PPR or standard scoring and require as few as two WRs and no Flex, so going big on WR early in a league like this may not be the most advantageous strategy. It’s also worth noting that people in home leagues are finally starting to prioritize WRs in the first five rounds more than they used to. It’s almost as if somebody has been telling us about this since 2013.
So, let’s try it. Let’s imagine a world where we let WR slide, or at least don’t hammer it as early and often as usual. What does it look like if we select between picks 60-144 (Rounds 6-12) and we still have a need at the WR position? Where are the life rafts? Is there still value? Let’s dig and find some of the best mid-round WR values so you can dominate at home.