We are only a few days from the biggest charity based fantasy football league’s kickoff - Let’s delve into the Scott Fish Bowl in its eighth year and the push to involve charity components in leagues. More leagues are adding a charity aspect, donating part of the winning ‘pot’ to a charity and it’s an increasing trend that is really fun and feels great too!
One of the leagues I am in is run by Matt Price (@mpricer) and it now consists of two leagues. Matt is a zookeeper by day and fantasy aficionado basically all the time. He’s a great guy that is always willing to help - a wealth of knowledge. The first Red List league consisted of 24 owners and sent over $300 to a charity benefiting Cheetahs - the team ‘mascot’ of the first year’s champion. The second Red List league just kicked off, consisting of 36 teams and will send over $450 this season alone to a charity represented by the league’s champion. During the startup and while picking team animal representatives, an impromptu bidding war started and over a hundred dollars was donated to charity. The leagues are full of active owners that love making a difference and are passionate about fantasy football.
There are many leagues like this - I see many pass through on my Twitter timeline, it isn’t hard to find one. I suggest finding a league that has a cause you are passionate about. I have seen leagues with winnings going to cancer foundations to donating money to a family victimized by fires to domestic violence funds and any cause in between. It’s an awesome facet of the community that is growing; it even makes it a little easier if you lose when you know the money is going to a great cause!
THE SCOTT FISH BOWL
The Scott Fish Bowl is entering its eighth season and has now grown to 900 teams! There are satellite leagues and Celebrity Eliminators accompanying the drive to raise money for Toys for Tots. There is also a 24 hour pod-a-thon ran by the FLAFFL crew July 9 and 10. Follow @FLAFFLHouse on Twitter for updates and ways to watch and help. At the time of this writing, www.fantasycares.net has raised over $22,000 dollars to buy toys for families and kids in need. It has raised all this money that goes directly into buying toys and brought a huge aspect of the fantasy community together. Scott Fish (@scottfish24) is one of the most active members of the community, running dozens of leagues and is a genuine great guy - he takes time to help the little guy if there is a question and is a wealth of knowledge.
How does a league of 900 teams work? If you have commissioned a league, you know that sometimes just 12 teams can be a lot of work. There are 75 divisions of 12 teams and the playoffs are a crazy endeavor and Scott makes it work. To simplify, teams make rounds of playoffs and top scores advance until 15 teams are left standing in Week 16 with the highest score winning a plethora of prizes donated from the fantasy community. A good number of the teams are managed by members of different websites, podcasts, and publications and the competition is fierce.
Scott changes the scoring every year now and always has creative twists to keep it fun and change things up. This year it is a superflex league and you have to start 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, and 1 TE. Then there are four flex spots and one can have an extra quarterback started. Typically this leads to quarterbacks being at a crazy premium, but this year also features -4 points for each interception which can make a huge difference. Each position also gets a bump of 0.5 points per first down with the tight ends getting an extra 0.5 points for each first down and an extra 0.5 points for each reception.
Jim Day (@fantasytaz) has been running Draftmaster SFB8 mock drafts and started over 25 in the last month. I analyzed some data from these mocks to see trends in mock drafting and what can possibly be expected in the actual draft which kicks off July 9th at noon.
In a typical superflex draft, quarterbacks fly off the board. In last year’s Scott Fish Bowl they were at such a premium that backup quarterbacks like Nick Foles and Brett Hundley would fetch the entire waiver budget of a team when they hit the market. The trends thus far in the mock drafts I analyzed data for bucked the typical trend. Aaron Rodgers was the top quarterback, average draft position 13.28 in the 14 drafts I ran numbers for. Russell Wilson had ADP of 20.14 and was the only other quarterback going off the boards in the first two rounds. Round 3 was where they typically started flying off the boards and the consistent quarterbacks with fewer turnovers dominated. Deshaun Watson (24.28), Carson Wentz (27.71), Cam Newton (30.35), and Tom Brady (33.21) were the highest drafted consistently in mock drafts. A potential bargain based on the ADP I collected: Alex Smith at 69.5 has historically been a very efficient quarterback that limits turnovers, while he is going behind many more QBs with a higher volatility.
Running backs dominated the mock drafts and the consensus seems to be they will be a majority of the first few rounds. Todd Gurley was easily the most common first overall pick, with an ADP of 1.57 in data collected. He tallied 404.3 points in SFB scoring, nearly 50 more than Le’Veon Bell in 2017. Bell was the second off the board nearly every draft and the ADP of 2.28 reflected that. In nearly every mock Gurley, Bell, Ezekiel Elliott (3.07), David Johnson (3.79), and Saquon Barkley (5.64) were 5 of the first 6 picks. Alvin Kamara slid right in behind Antonio Brown as seventh off the board with the ADP of 7.57. 12 of the first 24 in players were running backs with Kareem Hunt (9.57), Dalvin Cook (13.5), Leonard Fournette (13.7), Melvin Gordon (14.42), Christian McCaffrey (21.07), and Devonta Freeman (23.17) rounding out the top twelve. Mark Ingram will miss the first few games of the season but was a very good RB in this scoring format Ingram was the RB5 last season (although well behind Gurley and Bell at 280.1) and averaged 18.67 points a game. He is being drafted in the seventh round on average with ADP in mocks of 75.58.
Wide receivers take a back seat in this scoring format but the elite wideouts definitely can make a difference. The top three in ADP were Antonio Brown at 6.14, DeAndre Hopkins at 8.78, and Odell Beckham Jr. at 10.79. Obviously this trio can help lock down your wide receiver corps and provide stability but beyond that there is a lot of solid production from second round and beyond. Julio Jones (15.92), Michael Thomas (16.28), Keenan Allen (18.28), and Davante Adams (23.21) were the other WRs consistently going in the first two rounds and there are many bargains to be had later in the draft to the patient owners. Adam Thielen (41.21) and Jarvis Landry (68.14) finished as WR1s in the scoring format and were being drafted later in mock drafts. I know Landry is going to a new offense but he was drafted over pick 70 in 8 of the 14 drafts I gathered numbers for- this seems criminal!
With the bump in scoring implemented by Scott, the top tight ends score nearly identical to the wide receivers, but the cliff after the top few is pretty steep and the mock drafts reflected that. Rob Gronkowski at 19.79 and Travis Kelce at 24.07 were the only tight ends taken in first few rounds, while Zach Ertz squeaked into Round 3 consistently at 32.57. The rest of the tight ends are scattered and values can be had but draft spots were all over the place. Kyle Rudolph is due for a good season with Kirk Cousins at quarterback and his ADP was 73.09. But he was drafted as early as pick 49 and as late as 89. Drafting your starting tight ends are going to be very fluid in the Scott Fish Bowl. If you miss out on the big 3, you will still be in decent shape by watching the board and grabbing some of the next tier TEs.
I hope everyone enjoys this time of year. Even if you aren’t in SFB8, follow along on Twitter and play in the satellite leagues and please donate to Fantasy Cares. There are pictures on the Fantasy Cares site of all the toys bought last year and even a video of a news report done about all the work Scott does. It’s truly amazing, and I experienced firsthand the generosity from Toys for Tots 12 years ago when a tragedy struck my family and they brought toys so my girls could have a Christmas. It’s a great cause!
This is the link to ADP data I collected- thank you again to Jim Day (@fantasytaz) for organizing all these mock drafts!