In this series, I track weekly progress in my guillotine league. For the main post, covering the league’s details and my overall Bid Low, Bid Late strategy, click here.
It’s Week 7, and the league is down to below 12 teams. That means the talent concentration, after waivers, is greater than in typical fantasy leagues. In my league, however, we start 3 flexes in addition to the usual 2 WR, 2 RB, and 1 TE. I am therefore satisfied with this week’s starting lineup, which is:
Cam Newton, QB
Joe Mixon, RB
Chris Thompson, RB
Jarvis Landry, WR
Corey Davis, WR
Travis Kelce, TE
Alshon Jeffery, WR
Sammy Watkins, WR
Damion Ratley, WR
No football content in the above music video… but it’s great. Check it out.
Notes on Starters
Chris Thompson may be injured, in which case I’ll have to roll with a bad RB option, either Kapri Bibbs or Jamaal Charles. The RB I way overspent on on waivers, Devonta Freeman, has been placed on injured reserve, illustrating my point about why it’s a bad idea to spend too much too early in the season. I’ll probably go with Bibbs, since he seems likely to get most of Thompson’s role if Thompson is out, and has done a decent job since coming to Washington.
Doug Baldwin is on bye. When my top 5 WRs are playing, I just start them all. That’s Baldwin, Landry, Jeffery, Watkins and Davis. Because Baldwin is out, I needed to choose between my next best flex options: Damion Ratley, Antonio Callaway, Cameron Meredith, and Larry Fitzgerald. On Thursday I made the decision not to start Fitzgerald, which is unfortunate because he got 4 receptions for 4 yards and a touchdown. I now need to choose between the others. It will probably come down to the choice between Ratley and Callaway. We’ll see.
I feel okay about surviving this week. My team has no superstars but pretty solid guys, some of whom score well on any given week. Baldwin is my only starter on bye, but a lot of other teams will have top players missing due to Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Oakland and Seattle’s bye weeks. That means Davante Adams, Antonio Brown, Juju Smith-Schuster, and James Conner unavailable to their owners.
I generally like my players’ matchups this week: Joe Mixon is up against KC’s worst-ranked RB defense. Jarvis Landry and whichever other Cleveland wide receiver I go with will be up against Tampa Bay’s 31st-ranked defense against WRs. Travis Kelce is going against Cincinnati’s 29th-ranked defense against TEs. Sammy Watkins and Corey Davis face bottom-half defenses against the WR. Only one player faces a top-10 defense against his position, and that is Chris Thompson (or Kapri Bibbs), who faces the number 10 defense in Dallas. A good formula for above-average performances from my starters.
Free Agency and FAAB
I noted last week that due to my Bid Low, Bid Late strategy, I had the second most FAAB money left at $814, after one team that had $912. Two other teams had more than $300 FAAB, at $614 and $505. (FAAB is the Free Agency Auction Budget, the “dollars” that teams can spend on players dropped to waivers).
Well, all three of those teams went on a spending spree this week, leaving me far in the lead in spending power.
The team that had $912 is down to $310, having spent $301 each on Keenan Allen and Sony Michel. Other large expenditures included Stefon Diggs for $350, Gronk for $151, and Josh Gordon for $114.
For reference, my bids on those players were $59 for Diggs, $52 for Gronk (who I still believe in), $51 for Michel, $49 for Keenan Allen, and $41 for Josh Gordon. I see Diggs as having about a 50/50 chance to be a Week 16 starter, Gronk about the same, Allen maybe 30%, and Michel maybe 20%.
I didn’t win any auctions, but as a result I have a huge lead in FAAB. I remain at $814. The next best team has $495. After that, it’s $310, $300, and $180. A couple of teams have no budget left.
At this point, I believe I am the favorite to win the league. Last week I thought it was the team with $912 FAAB and Adam Thielen. Despite him picking up Stefon Diggs and Sony Michel, I think my FAAB advantage will enable me to build a better roster by Week 16. That team (call it Team Thielen) has the following players:
QB: Wentz and Roethlisberger (neither probable Week 16 starters)
RB: Cohen, Michel, Hyde, Dion Lewis (none probable Week 16 starters)
WR: Thielen, Tate, Keenan Allen, Edelman (Thielen probably a starter, maybe a 70% chance that there’s another starter in the bunch).
TE: Kittle, Ebron, O.J. Howard (50% chance one of them is a starter)
I figure this bunch of players has 2 or 3 that would be Week 16 starters (remember, only 18 players start that week). This is probably better than what I’ve got, but not by much. Kelce and Newton have decent chances of being starters. Mixon is maybe 30-40% a starter. Between Landry, Baldwin, Davis, Jeffery, and Watkins, and a couple of long shots with upside on my bench – Devonta Freeman and Dez Bryant – there’s maybe a 50% chance that one of them is a starter.
So Team Thielen may only need to get 6-7 players compared to my 7-8 players, and is less likely than me to be eliminated in the next few weeks, but I have $500 FAAB dollars to outbid him with. Advantage me, I would think.
I see the main competition now as Team OBJ (a likely Week 16 starter). That team also has two other likely starters in Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey. It has several players who could emerge as starters by Week 16, including Kenny Golladay, David Njoku, Russell Wilson, James Conner, and Josh Gordon. And the team has $495 FAAB bucks. If the likely starters pan out and a couple of the prospective starters turn out to be starters (an improbable event, I think, but not a longshot), this team only needs to acquire 4 players to be competitive. More probably, the current roster has 2.5 – 3.5 starters on it compared to my 1-2, and I have a $300 advantage to overcome a 1.5 starter deficit. I don’t mind being in this position.
Well, one week at a time, though it’s important to always look forward to Week 16. Onward to Week 7.