Scott Fish Bowl Fantasy Football Strategy: Analysis On #SFB9 Scoring
The Scott Fish Bowl has never been your average fantasy league and #SFB9 does not disappoint. If you are unfamiliar with the history of the Scott Fish Bowl and what the league does, I encourage you to check out the website: ScottFishBowl.Com. However, what we are here for today is to take a closer look at the 9th annual edition of the Scott Fish Bowl’s specific fantasy football scoring. Using our custom cheat sheets tool here at RotoExperts, I was able to get a loose projection for Scott Fish Bowl Number Nine’s scoring. Now, one key difference that really is not able to be built into a projection model is first down’s. However, the assumption we will have is that more targets = more first downs. Pass receptions are much more likely to be first down’s than rush attempts, so targets are even more valuable in the version of fantasy football we are playing in the Scott Fish Bowl. Before we dive into specific strategy points, here is the official #SFB9 Scoring from MyFantasyLeague
Combined with the starting roster requirements (11 total starters, 1-2 QB’s, 2-6 RB’s, 3-7 WR’s, 1-5 TE’s), this is one of the most fun leagues to try and solve for the optimal format. The first thing you should notice is just how insane the amount of points a tight end can get is. Our projections, ran through this scoring (without accounting for first downs), have Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and George Kittle all scoring more points than any wide receiver. Even mid-range tights are more valuable than you would expect. A five-catch, 54-yard outing for a tight end with three first downs puts them well over the double-digits in fantasy point scoring.
These cheatsheets, generated here, clearly show the value of the elite tight ends. Despite Jones, Hopkins and JuJu Smith-Schuster being projected well ahead of Ertz and Kittle in normal fantasy football settings, the two secondary elite tight ends seem like the better leverage plays in this format. With tight ends getting extra points for receptions, first downs and then the yardage bonuses after 50 yards, we should really expect massive seasons from the three big tight ends of fantasy football. I pick at 1.09 in my division of the Scott Fish Bowl and if Travis Kelce is there at my 1.09, you can be very certain that I am going to take him.
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How Does The Scoring Impact The Value Of The Various Positions In The Scott Fish Bowl?
An important note about first downs and the yardage bonuses for every 50 yards gained (essentially doubling the value of 50 yards): while these are nice land posts and really reward fantasy football players who put together strong rosters, they are not the most projectable categories from a season-long perspective. We know that heavily targeted players (at running back, wide receiver and tight end) are all more likely to generate first downs than players who are not heavily targeted but there are not necessarily players who have a “skill” of generating more first downs than another. 2018’s Receiving First Down’s Leaders are simply the players who were consistently receiving the most targets with a small amount of variance induced.
This is not to say that we should disregard the fact that first downs are scored at all. If anything, heavily targeted wide receivers and tight ends are that much MORE valuable because they are frequently scoring bonus points that are not awarded in normal PPR formats. On average, the elite wide receivers gained more first downs in the passing game than the elite running backs did on the ground in 2018 (which we should expect given the value of passing versus rushing).
So comparatively speaking, the top end range of running backs and the middle tier of running backs racked up considerably fewer first downs on the ground. However, the place where running backs really have an advantage in the SFB9 fantasy football scoring is in their ability to get BOTH the 50+ rushing and 50+ receiving yards bonus. Due to the nature of the running back position, the elite running backs are just so much more likely to hit the double bonus than wide receivers are. Running back with 104 combo yards could theoretically outside a wide receiver with 149 receiving yards even without scoring a touchdown! This graph from Rotoviz shows how often CMC, Zeke, Kamara, and Barkley hit the achievements last season.
So the elite running backs are essentially locked into getting at least one achievement bonus per game. Elliot missed only once, Barkley twice, while CMC/Kamara did three times (less than 20% of games for all 4). However, of this group, all of them hit 15+ bonus points at least once. Compare this scoring to the elite wide receiver distribution.
The frequency of the double bonus (or 20+ bonus point) games is removed entirely when you take rushing out consideration. The RB group also pulled up slightly more triple bonus games than the elite WR group. Where the wide receivers seem to have an edge is in the discrepancy of single bonus and double bonus games. In the lower end range of outcomes, the wide receivers outperformed the elite running backs which we should expect in a heavily PPR and target based format. Wide receivers rule the roost in the Scott Fish Bowl but elite running backs (the TRULY elite) have the highest per game ceiling between the two.
For what it is, worth here are the scoring distributions with all four positions highlighted.
As you can see, quarterbacks have the “best” distribution of all the positions but their scoring is basically very flat and a reason why it is not overly worth it to chase quarterbacks in this format as long as you have a couple of guys who are going to start games. Tight end distribution is extremely bunched up from 2018 and there are fewer tight ends capable of posting 20 to 40 point fantasy point games simply because there are only a handful of tight ends who are getting the requisite volume to produce those totals.
Running backs have a slightly higher distribution of points on the extreme end (20+ point totals) but wide receivers are more slightly likely to garner 5-15 points than running backs are. That seems intuitive, given the value that receiving has over rushing in a PPR format that also rewards first downs and long touchdowns. It is easier to both gain more yards and accrues first downs as a pass-catcher than as a rusher.
Scott Fish Bowl Nine Analysis Takeaways
– Securing one of the elite tight ends (Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Zach Ertz) should be one of your primary goals in the first two rounds. It is likely that Kelce is going to go in the top five picks in most #SFB9 leagues so if you are able to get him any later than that, you’re printing profit. Outside of those three, you are probably better off trying to take a spread approach and drafting a plethora of upside tight end types later on in your drafts (Chris Herndon, Mark Andrews, Tyler Eifert, Jack Doyle) instead of focusing on the mid-range of the position. Tight ends pick up their steam in this format from extra targets, not touchdowns so the Eric Ebron/Hunter Henry style players actually do not gain as much value.
– You actually should not rush your quarterback selections. You’ll likely want your roster to contain at least three quarterbacks who have a chance to start games but passing on an elite running back or wide receiver in the first three to four rounds for a middling quarterback is not the optimal strategy. A third-round style quarterback is likely to be very close to a sixth-round quarterback in fantasy points per game and if you draft three later-round quarterbacks, you can play the matchups a little bit and you’ll still have relatively strong running backs and wide receivers. It is tempting to add Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson or the other elite names at the position but given that the goal is really to just have two usable quarterbacks with studs at other portions of your roster, I would not personally plan on spending premium picks on quarterbacks.
– Given the roster requirements, where each roster can start up to seven wide receivers but you only have to start two running backs, combined with the PPR format, this is a wide receivers league. Outside of CMC/Zeke/Kamara/David Johnson/Saquon in the first round, I am planning on mostly opting for wide receivers over running backs for the first half of my #SFB9 fantasy football draft. Consider players at a similar ADP: Marlon Mack and Amari Cooper. Cooper’s scoring distribution, with first downs and bonuses at every 50 yards, dwarves the scoring distribution of a ground-bound player like Mack. You can find analogous examples of this up and down the Average Draft Position for the first seven rounds of 2019 fantasy football
– Pass-catching running backs have more value in this format than the normal PPR format due to the first-down bonuses and 50+ yardage bonuses. While this obviously elevates the value of the elite tier of running backs, it also creates some value for satellite backs who might not be their teams primary rusher. James White, Dion Lewis, Jalen Richard, Jaylen Samuels, Theo Riddick and Giovani Bernard are very good latter-half targets in your #SFB9 fantasy football draft.
–Overall, roster construction should lead you to stockpile as many viable wide receivers as possible. You can start up to seven wide receivers and have to start at least three, whereas you can get by on two running backs most weeks. If possible, starting multiple tight ends is desirable. An example would be taking several of the previously mentioned veterans (Eifert, Doyle) later on in your draft and hoping to have the ability to start two or more of them in a few weeks (especially the heavy bye weeks). Ideal roster construction is likely three quarterbacks, six running backs, nine wide receivers, and four tight ends. With three quarterbacks, you have decent odds of finding two to start each week even if the third is someone like Josh Rosen or Eli Manning who may not start 16 games. Overloading at wide receiver allows you a higher ceiling for your weekly flex plays and provides more long term roster upside. I would even consider going to five tight ends over a ninth wide receiver because finding a sleeper tight end in this format has legit league winning upside.
2019 Scott Fish Bowl Nine Player-Specific Targets
Running through our customizable cheatsheets and projections, I have created a list of specific targets per position when taking Average Draft Position into account
QUARTERBACK: Dak Prescott/Josh Allen/Lamar Jackson all come with a cheaper cost, reasonable projected passing volume with some built-in rushing floor and potential to hit the 50+ rushing yard bonus as well. Backend QB3’s like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen, Eli Manning, Drew Lock, Marcus Mariota and Ryan Tannehill are rosterable in this format and have more value than you would think because of how many QB injuries occur during the year.
RUNNING BACK: The obvious candidates are obvious (Barkley/CMC/Elliot/Kamara/DJ/Bell/Melvin Gordon) and we don’t need to spill any more virtual ink on them. However, there is a clear tier of guys who seem like great mid-round targets for #SFB9. Kenyan Drake, Tevin Coleman, Ito Smith, Nyehim Hines, Duke Johnson, Jaylen Samuels, Chris Thompson, Royce Freeman, and Chase Edmonds all project a bit better for this format than expected and hopefully will find themselves on my #SFB9 roster.
WIDE RECEIVER: As I have discussed ad nausea throughout this post, your wide receivers are going to be the backbone of your #SFB9 roster. If you are not lucky enough to get to one of the elite running backs or Travis Kelce in the first round, starting WR/WR/WR is very viable in this format. The first few rounds of these drafts are likely to be littered with QB’s being overdrafted, as well as the normal miscalculation of players like Leonard Fournette or Marlon Mack. It is entirely possible you might be able to go Odell Beckham/JuJu Smith-Shuster/Keenan Allen with your first three picks in a league that really rewards consistent volume and distance scoring. In the mid-tier, we are more enticed with volume-hogs than normal. Golden Tate, Curtis Samuel, Kenny Stills, Dede Westbrook/Marquise Lee, Corey Davis, Allen Robinson, Jamison Crowder, and Marquez Valdez-Scantling all have better projections in the SFB9 scoring than they do in normal PPR leagues.
TIGHT END: The thing I am wrestling with most is where to take Zach Ertz and George Kittle. Travis Kelce is maybe the third or fourth most valuable player in this format but uur projections have Ertz/Kittle finishing above ALL wide receivers (not a typo: this is how valuable tight ends are). I would expect a lack of distance scoring from Ertz/Kittle compared to Julio Jones/Hopkins/Beckham but the weekly floor is actually higher given just how often they will be targeted. Chris Herndon, Greg Olsen, Tyler Eifert, Jack Doyle, Darren Waller and Delanie Walker stick as obvious later-round targets at the tight end position who can become weekly flex plays.