When you go to a Marvel superhero movie, you don’t do it for the specific purpose of seeing the after-credits scenes. But they are included, so you stick around to watch.
Sort of like how you should treat kickers and defense/special teams in fantasy football drafts. They’re not the reason you are interested in participating in a fantasy league. They are just a roster requirement that has to be filled.
And like those hidden stingers at the end of some films, when you draft, those positions should also come at the end. The very end. Like, the last two picks.
Why? Because the variation in scoring between the “players” at those positions (yes, we know DST isn’t a singular “player” but a collection of defensive stats and special-teams scores, which is why we used quotes, duh!).
There is little variance, compared to other positions, between the top and the bottom. Because you can drop either kickers or DST any given week for a different option of similar potential production. Because streaming week to week is a valid method if you don’t like your draft pick.
There is, however, a different approach the Madman is taking this season that we haven’t in the past. We are picking our kicker ahead of our defense. Yes, yes, we know this flies against our repeated past chants to take kickers last.
But we do have a reason. We’re not going to take the Rams, our favorite DST, because they will be gone by the time we turn our attention to that position. If they slip, sure, we would audible and break the aforementioned rule. But they don’t. Likewise the Jaguars, our second fave.
Beyond those two, we really have little preference. Sure, Eagles would be nice, but we don’t consider the Philadelphia DST to be dramatically better than, say, the Vikings or the Texans or the Panthers or Ravens or a large group of playable units.
We do think there is slightly more difference in, say, Robbie Gould or Harrison Butker in Round 15 and the leftovers in Round 16. That is because we have concerns about the red-zone efficiency of the 49ers, with Jerick McKinnon as the lead running back and a QB with a small sample size in Jimmy Garappolo. Likewise, Patrick Mahomes II in Kansas City.
It pays to note: Determining which of the last two rounds you use to pick these positions is like splitting hairs, as long as you wait to do so.
You’re not going to leave the theater during the movie to make sure you can stick around for the end-credits scene. Don’t leave the productive portion of your fantasy draft to draft a disposable position. Wait until the end.
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