If you’ve ever concocted some crazy draft scenario that has you picking two tight ends in the first five rounds or going back-to-back-to-back with WRs to open a draft, this year, 2009, is the year you want to employ it.
I say, play in a couple extra leagues, try out as much crazy as you can. Definitely try the Ninja Attack Plan.
What makes this season the ideal testing ground? The depth.
Each position is dripping with potential, more than I’ve ever seen in my 13 years of fantasy football.
QB, WR depth you already know about
In years past, we’ve always looked at wide receiver and quarterback for value depth.
There are always Kevin Walters and Antonio Bryants that you’ll pick up off the waiver wire.
Every team can have a solid No. 1 QB. Not only that, QBs jump into the top 5 from mediocrity all the time. Aaron Rodgers in 2008 is an example.
Remember Tom Brady before Randy Moss’ arrival? He was what Donovan McNabb is now, a steal of a mid-round QB, but nobody considered him at the end of the first round.
But in 2009, the running backs and tight ends are just as deep as those two perennial value positions.
Plenty of options at RB…
You’re not going to find LaDainian Tomlinsons and Steven Jacksons late, but you will find Tim Hightowers (still the starter) and Willis McGahees (word is he’s the goal-line back?) in the very late rounds of your draft.
Guys like Jerome Harrison, who could split carries with rookie phenom James Davis if Jamal Lewis is cut as rumored, will be available on the waiver wire of most leagues.
Ahmad Bradshaw, who should take over as the new Derrick Ward back in the Giants rushing offense, falls deep into most drafts.
… and TE, too
At tight end, Zach Miller, Chris Cooley, Jeff Carlson and Owen Daniels all have top-4 potential, but are available in the middle of the tight end run.
Outside of the starting ADP in lots of leagues: Anthony Fasano and Visanthe Shiancoe. Only two TEs (Gonzo and Gates) had more touchdowns than Fasano and Shiancoe, who each had seven, in 2008.
Shiancoe is going as the No. 14 TE and Fasano is going after that.
Embrace depth. Who knows if it will return in 2010?
So if you’re going to go crazy, there’s no better time. If you go trip-WR to start your draft, load up on sleeper/upside RBs. You should expect one or two of them to break out. Knowing that your anchors at WR will keep you afloat (yes, two overused watercraft clichés in the same sentence!), you won’t need absolute studs at RB.
If you opt for RBs and WRs early, grab 3 sleeper QBs. I know, it seems like a lot, but if you snag three sleepers like Trent Edwards, Matt Hasselbeck and Mark Sanchez, you’re more likely to get a hit on one of them. If you hit on two of them, package one with some of your depth elsewhere in return for one of those top seven QB powerhouses. That’s a Ninja recipe for a fantasy contender if I ever heard one.
Similarly, if you wait outside of the top 10 at TE, take two upside TEs in quick succession increasing your chances of hitting on one of them.
If nothing else, the weak links at QB or TE provide you with roster flexibility to spelunk for waiver wire gems. Depending on how deep your crazy goes, roster flexibility could be your best friend when Broncos (starting?) WR Chad Jackson has a 10-catch, 200-yard game in Week 2.
In case you were wondering – and if you’ve read any of my posts, you’re probably not – my crazy goes so deep you have to go spelunking to find my sane. How deep is your fantasy football crazy? How are you taking advantage of the depth this year? Let us know in the comments.