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Taking Stock of Every Team and Owner in Your Fantasy League (Fantasy Football)

by Matt Barbato | @realmattbarbato | Featured Writer
Jun 17, 2020

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Earlier in the spring, I provided my four tips for taking stock of every player on your roster. Now it’s time to put your league mates under the microscope.

Whether you’re in a full-fledged dynasty league or a redraft league, taking a look at your league’s landscape is always a useful exercise leading up to the new season. To help you do this, I’ve created profiles for the different types of owners and rosters you might encounter in your leagues.

You know your rivals better than I do, but this article will help you determine which teams pose a threat to your title hopes and which teams you can worry less about.

The All-In Owner

These are the die-hards. The All-In Owner doesn’t use a generic draft cheat sheet. Instead, they come to the draft with a personal list of rankings that they’ve been working on since May. Fantasy football isn’t just a fun hobby to them, it’s a part-time job. In plenty of cases, the All-In Owner is also the league commissioner.

The All-In Owner is typically the person taking all of the hyped rookies earlier than expected. Upside is their middle name, and they’re not afraid to take shots on younger players with potential. In dynasty leagues, they’re always trying to thread the needle between winning now and fortifying the future. They’ve got Twitter alerts set up for Adam Schefter so they can pounce on the waiver wire when breaking injury news comes out.

However, the All-In Owner can also be an over-thinker and a tinkerer. They make last-minute lineup changes based on new information and sometimes get burnt by their indecisiveness. They can be stubborn in trade negotiations and have a hard time cutting bait on guys they believed in. Sometimes their high upside approach backfires and leaves them vulnerable, but they tend to win more often than they lose.

The All-In Owner is always armed with information, which makes them a consistent playoff contender. The best way to beat them is to match their level of dedication and balance your roster with upside and safety.

The Casual Contender

The Casual Contender cares but isn’t quite as invested as All-In Owners. They have above-average knowledge of the NFL but aren’t the type of people who can rattle off depth charts. They rely on expert rankings but develop their own opinions when making draft and lineup decisions.

Casual Contenders do plenty to remain competitive and with some good luck end up in the playoff conversation more often than not. The worst-case scenario for a Casual Contender is to be out of the playoff race early, so they tend to assemble a roster of safer, proven commodities to avoid the risk of a wasted season. They pay attention but don’t always have the pulse on the latest trends or breaking news. In dynasty leagues, the Casual Contender focuses more on winning now than the future.

Casual Contenders are always in the mix, but their risk-averse strategy can prevent them from winning it all. Casual Contenders can be beaten with more information and calculated risks that result in lineups with higher weekly upside.

The Wild Cards

You never know what you’re going to get from the Wild Cards in your fantasy league. Just like DeSean Jackson, Wild Card owners have extremely wide variance. Their knowledge of the NFL is baseline at best. However, they know just enough to be somewhat dangerous. Their draft day goal is to land as many big names and explosive players as possible. They’ll reach for players they know and will likely be one of the first to draft a quarterback and tight end.

A Wild Card owner’s in-season management hinges upon how well their team is doing. When they’re in the hunt, they’re all over the waiver wires and sending trade offers. When they’re out of contention, merely setting a lineup can be too much to ask for. Their inconsistent level of involvement can be especially volatile in dynasty leagues.

Most importantly, Wild Cards aren’t afraid to go bold. They live by the mantra of “you gotta risk it to get the biscuit.” But here’s the problem, sometimes it works and results in a deep playoff run. The best way to overcome Wild Card owners is to capitalize on the value they leave behind during the draft and field a reliable starting lineup that gives you consistency against their boom or bust lineup.

The Clueless Contestant

There’s maybe one Clueless Contestant in your average fantasy league. They don’t try very hard in fantasy football and are only in your league because they love football and enjoy competing against their friends. They show up to the draft unprepared and tend to make the draft day sin of trying to draft a player who was off the board three rounds ago.

Clueless Contestants normally just stick to the cheat sheet they were given but have a tendency to reach for players they like or players on their favorite teams. Upside isn’t a concept they think about. They prioritize filling their starting spots before adding any depth on their bench.

Once the season starts, the Clueless Contestant’s roster mainly stays intact, aside from a few waiver moves. If everything breaks their way, the Clueless Contestant could be in playoff contention. But more often than not, this poor owner’s title hopes are dashed by November.

Beating a Clueless Contestant doesn’t take much. Just a bit of draft day preparation and a solid starting lineup should do the trick.

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Matt Barbato is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Matt, check out his archive.

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