The idea for the “All-Shut Out” team came to me as I was preparing my Fantasy auction strategy for one of my leagues. One Fantasy Football auction strategy for example is the classic “Stars and Scrubs”. In auction leagues, it is possible to come away for example with four Top 25 players. It is also possible to come away with zero first-rounders. Doesn’t mean either one of those teams will be better than the other. The reality though is you can get shut out of your targeted stud at every position.
With this reality, the vision that popped into my mind was Doc Brown and his DeLorean appearing in my driveway to let me know I got shut out of every single player I targeted. (The fact that in my mind an emissary from the future comes not to warn me about my family, neighbors, or even local politics but about fantasy football shows how really sick I am. But we’ll deal with that some other day).
Additionally, why he can tell me that I can shut out of my studs but not who actually finishes on top is another question.
But let’s get back to the main question: Assuming I get shut out, what team would I come away with that I would still be happy about?
The All Shut-Out Fantasy Football Auction Strategy
While this strategy can also be used for draft leagues where pick trading is common, I decided to create a Fantasy Football auction strategy that allowed for this possibility (Cost is in parenthesis, as provided by FantasyPros). Let’s break it down by position:
QB: Drew Brees ($25), backed up by Sam Bradford ($1)
Target: Andrew Luck/Aaron Rodgers
I’ve discussed earlier how the reports of Brees demise have been greatly exaggerated. I am happy to take 4,000-plus yards and 30 TDs for a cost 20% less than my top QB targets. Then add in Bradford, whose ceiling is sky high. Plus during Brees’ bye week, Bradford faces the Bucs who gave up the seventh most Fantasy points to quarterbacks last year. We’re saving over $10 at that position and I feel very confident.
RB: Jeremy Hill ($39) backed up by Latavius Murray ($25)
Target: Eddie Lacy/Jamaal Charles; Justin Forsett/Melvin Gordon
The more research I do, the more I like Jeremy Hill. The fact that he led the league in both rushing yards and yards per carry (so he provides both quantity and quality) in the second half last year makes him my top pick to finish as the top back of all non-first rounders. The next non-first round back behind Hill that I project to be a Top 10 back is Forsett, but in a PPR league especially he won’t be cheap. Melvin Gordon is also still an expensive get, but because Latavius Murray has a couple red flags, he’s available for less. He’s an incredible athlete (he ran a 40 under 4.4 seconds) and I have no fear of Roy Helu or any other player taking away touches. Giddyup.
WR: Alshon Jeffery ($13) backed up by Amari Cooper ($13) and Vincent Jackson ($12)
Target: Antonio Brown/Dez Byrant/Demaryius Thomas; Brandon Marshall/Jarvis Landry; Jeremy Maclin
If I get shut out on my top three WRs, I am happy to take Alshon, who is coming off a strong year and should be targeted even more this year. Obviously, I think the Raiders are going to take a step forward and Amari Cooper is the reason for that. He has the highest floor of any rookie. Meanwhile, I love Mike Evans. But the cost for VJax reeks of recency bias since he had only had two touchdowns last year. Despite the down year, it was still the fourth year in a row that Jackson had over 1,000 yards receiving. And something tells me there will be a few more touchdowns in Tampa Bay this year. Jackson might be one of my favorite value plays this season.
FLEX: Doug Martin ($6)
Target: Jonathan Stewart
Jonathan Stewart presents huge value as RB3. But Doug Martin presents even greater value (he’s six dollar less). He has a higher proven ceiling as Stewart has not rushed for 1,000 yards in a season for over five years while Doug Martin did it just three years ago when he rushed for over 1450 yards, plus notching another 400-plus yards receiving as well. With a crippled aerial assault, I also expect Stewart to see a lot of eight and nine men in the box. With Evans and Jackson present, I doubt Martin ever does.
TE: Richard Rodgers ($1)
Target: Rob Gronkowski
Of course Gronk is my target. But if I don’t get him, I’m going to wait and wait and wait. And you know what, I’m very happy to get shut out while others are spending their money on the Travis Kelces and Jimmy Grahams of the world. Aaron Rodgers has said he doesn’t know who Green Bay’s third WR will be. That’s because it will be Richard Rodgers filling that void.
K: Greg Zuerlein ($1)
Target: Justin Tucker
Some like Stephen Gostowski, but I don’t trust the Evil Hooded One and Tucker is so automatic. But if I can’t get him, give me a kicker who plays indoors. And he’s made 60-yard FGs? Why not?
DST: Ravens ($1)
The Ravens finished 2nd in Sacks last year and now have a healthy Lardarius Webb, plus one of the easier schedules including two against Cleveland plus the Jaguars and 49ers. Yes please.
The Shut-Out Team
So, what does this roster look like as a whole?
QB: Brees, Bradford
RB: Hill, L. Murray
WR: A. Jeffrey, Cooper, VJax
FLEX: D. Martin
And I still have over $40 to acquire quality reserves. I can use that to maybe stash an Arian Foster or Todd Gurley (or both!) perhaps, or go the extra buck or two on the deep sleepers I like if necessary.
So is this a viable Fantasy auction strategy? Okay, yes, there’s some “big game” missing here, but given that I got shut out from my primary targets at every position, there is still plenty here to mount on the wall. Next to my other FFL trophies of course….
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