Fantasy Football Strategy - Salary Cap Leagues 2012|
Salary Cap Leagues
Adding Another Layer Of Awesome To Your Leagues
Matt Falkow, RosterDoc.com
Salary cap fantasy football adds a new strategic wrinkle from your basic redraft leagues. For those unfamiliar with how salary cap contests work, here’s the skinny:
1. There’s no draft.
2. You’re given a salary cap of, in our case, $100 million dollars.
3. Player salaries slightly change each week based on performance. You’ll be rewarded for finding those sleepers.
For this article, we’re going to look deep into the RosterDoc.com contest ‘Loaded Salary Cap’. For just a $24.95 entry, you’ll be competing for the Grand Prize of $10,000. Registration is currently open at www.RosterDoc.com.
First, the basics;
You’ll pick a weekly 16 man roster comprised of;
4 Running Backs
4 Wide Receivers
2 Tight Ends
2 Defense/Special Teams
Each NFL player has already been ranked and given a week 1 salary.
You will have $100 million dollars available to assemble your squad. Salaries will change slightly each week based on player performance. Here’s the kicker…players will remain on your team at their current salary until you drop them. For example, Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles has a current salary of $7.7 million. If you select him now, he’ll stay on your roster at $7.7 million until you drop him. This means if Charles outplays his spot and in say week 4 he’s up to $8.7 million, he’ll still remain on your roster at $7.7 million. You will truly be rewarded for picking lower priced sleepers.
Here are a couple general tips for assembling your salary cap team;
#1 – Locate inexpensive players with good matchups. There will be cheap buys out there especially at RB and WR. Since the scoring format is PPR, guys like Santana Moss, Davone Bess and Pierre Thomas can be plugged in and get you a handful of points, while freeing up cap room to get higher priced players.
#2 – Play the matchups with your studs. When selecting your team, go through the top tier at each position and find the guys who could really explode. For example, if Ray Rice is facing the Steelers, and LeSean McCoy has the Panthers, it’s a no brainer to get McCoy on your team that week. Take the studs most likely to succeed without hesitating. Don’t pick by name value, pick based on their current weekly matchup.
#3 – Go cheap on kickers and defenses. Aside from David Akers, Stephen Gostkowski and Sebastian Janikowski, kickers are a complete crap shoot. Look toward the bottom of your list and save that cap room. Same rule applies for defenses. Look for the lower priced teams and find the one with the best matchup.
Now let’s go through the process and select a complete team. It’s important to find a happy balance between bargains and studs. You’ll be schedule watching more on the higher priced players, as your roster can be changed each week. Here’s a step by step look at selecting a team for Roster Doc’s Loaded Salary Cap contest.
Starting Salary Cap - $100 million
First Selection – Doug Martin – RB – Tampa Bay - $6.7 million ($93.3 million now remains)
I like to find a great bargain first and this one is a no brainer for me. Doug Martin is already the starter in the run heavy scheme of new head coach Greg Schiano. Tampa opens the season against Carolina who boasted one of the NFL’s worst run defenses last season. He should have a steady rise from this spot and is an incredible deal at $6.7 million.
Second Selection – LeSean McCoy – RB – Philadelphia - $11.7 million ($81.6 million remains)
Now that I have a cheap buy in Martin, I’ll cement a stud in McCoy. He’s a gem both on the ground and through the air. The Eagles have a dream matchup with Cleveland to open the year, making ‘Shady’ a great pick, and giving me two strong running backs.
Third Selection – Calvin Johnson – WR – Detroit - $11.2 million ($70.4 million remains)
Megatron is expensive but that opening game against the Rams is too juicy to pass up. He should be among the top receivers of week 1 so he’s worth the price.
Fourth Selection – Ryan Mathews – RB – San Diego - $10.8 million ($59.6 million remains)
Mathews is on the fringe of tier one, and out of the running backs surrounding him I like his matchup with Oakland the best. The Raiders couldn’t stop anyone last season, and the Chargers are out to make a comeback statement. Mathews should be among the top performers of the week.
Fifth Selection – Santana Moss – WR – Washington - $3.1 million ($56.5 million remains)
Time for a cheap selection to help maintain balance. Moss should act as a safety valve for rookie Robert Griffin III early in the season. He’s always been an underrated PPR player, and at $3.1 million I don’t have much to lose.
Sixth Selection – Randy Moss – WR – San Francisco - $5.0 million ($51.5 million remains)
The story lines are too good to pass up. Its Moss’ first game with the Niners, he’s playing his old rival the Green Bay Packers, and the Pack were terrible in pass coverage last season. Moss will roll into the season dedicated, and I like him to start off with a bang. He’s worth the risk at a relatively cheap $5.0 million.
Seventh Selection – Tom Brady – QB – New England - $12.5 million ($39 million remains)
I want a top QB, and with Aaron Rodgers playing San Francisco, Brady gets the nod. There are just too many playmakers in the receiving game and you know returning coordinator Josh McDaniels will want to make an emphatic statement to open the season.
Eighth Selection – Jahvid Best – RB – Detroit - $4.8 million ($34.2 million remains)
Best is a major mystery heading into the season, but he’s had a ton of time to be concussion free, and with Mikel LeShoure suspended, Best should slice up the Rams defense. It was a tough call between Best and Pittsburgh’s Isaac Redman, but even on limited touches I like the explosive potential of Best.
Ninth Selection – New Orleans Saints – D/ST – New Orleans - $3.1 million ($31.1 million remains)
Now it’s time to get defense out of the way so I can see what I have left for the remaining positional spots. The Saints get the Redskins in week 1, play at home, and should be pumped in their first action since ‘Bountygate’.
Tenth Selection – Oakland Raiders – D/ST – Oakland - $3.0 million ($28.1 million remains)
They share the cheapest defensive salary at $3.0 million and are playing at home on Monday Night Football. That’s good enough for me!
Eleventh Selction – Coby Fleener – TE – Indianapolis - $4.3 million ($23.8 million remains)
Fleener should be a mainstay on my team, as he’s expected to creep up into the top 10 at the tight end spot. You have to believe rookie Andrew Luck will lean on his old college buddy, especially early in the year as he gets his feet wet. He’s a great bargain at just $4.3 million.
Twelfth Selection – Steven Hauschka – K – Seattle - $3.2 million ($20.6 million remains)
We’re getting down to the end here and it’s time to fill up the remaining positions while watching my pennies. Kickers are a dime a dozen, and I actually like Hauschka and the Seahawks in their opening tilt with Arizona.
Thirteenth Selection – Jay Feely – K – Arizona - $3.3 million ($17.3 million remains)
Another inexpensive kicker in that same Seattle/Arizona game, Feely should have a few scoring opportunities. Three spots to go.
Fourteenth Selection – Lance Kendricks – TE – St. Louis - $3.6 million ($13.7 remains)
I’m kind of forced into this pick. I need another quarterback and another wide receiver so I have to go cheap at the TE2 spot. Kendricks figures to be more involved in the offense and will have a healthy Sam Bradford when the season opens. The Rams play the Lions so you know they’ll be in catch-up mode early. He’ll chip in at least 6 points.
Fifteenth Selection – Jay Cutler – QB – Chicago - $8.5 million ($5.2 million remains)
It’s a great week 1 matchup for Cutler as he can feast on the Indianapolis Colts with his old friend Brandon Marshall. At a very affordable salary, I’ll now be able to grab a respectable receiver with my last pick.
Sixteenth Selection – Robert Meachem – WR – San Diego - $5.1 million ($100,000 left over)
It may take Meachem a little time to click with Philip Rivers, but he’s a great buy at $5.1 million and has nationwide sleeper status. He’s a guy that can stay cheap on my roster as the weeks go on.
Here’s a snapshot of the entire roster;
QB – Tom Brady – New England - $12.5 million
QB - Jay Cutler - Chicago - $8.5 million
RB - LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia - $11.7 million
RB - Ryan Mathews –San Diego - $10.8 million
RB - Doug Martin –Tampa Bay - $6.7 million
RB – Jahvid Best –Detroit - $4.8 million
WR - Calvin Johnson –Detroit - $11.2 million
WR - Robert Meachem –San Diego - $5.1 million
WR - Randy Moss –San Francisco - $5.0 million
WR - Santana Moss –Washington - $3.1 million
TE - Coby Fleener –Indianapolis - $4.3 million
TE - Lance Kendricks –St. Louis - $3.6 million
K - Jay Feely –Arizona - $3.3 million
K - Steven Hauschka - Seattle - $3.2 million
D/ST - New Orleans Saints –New Orleans - $3.1 million
D/ST - Oakland Raiders –Oakland - $3.0 million
This looks like a strong team to open the season with. I have studs in Brady, McCoy, Mathews and Calvin Johnson, along with inexpensive sleepers in Martin, Best, Fleener and Meachem. Those four are guys who should see an increase in salary as the year progresses, but they’ll remain on my roster at the above price. As the weeks go on you’ll undoubtedly play with different lineup combinations, but as you can see its pretty simple and a lot of fun to plug in the numbers and see how your squad stacks up.
Visit www.RosterDoc.com to play Loaded Salary Cap and shoot for the $10,000 Grand Prize!
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