How “Flexible” is your Flex position?


By: John McGlynn


January 29, 2018

Another year of fantasy football has come and gone, and it was just not long enough. Or was it too long for you? This all probably depends on how involved you were in your league, and how involved your league was in you! There are so many flavors of fantasy football to choose from and the flavors can be special ordered simple and perfect like vanilla, or super involved like triple fudge fish sauce caramel with extra prunes. Either way, it's only good if it's what you and your league mates like.  

Roster makeup is the embryo of all that is fantasy football. It's where you start everything. Most beginners would create a brand-new league on a host site, and the site would suggest a basic roster that usually consists of one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, one kicker, and one entire team defense. Not many people would retract any of those positions in the infancy stages of their league, but rather spend a year or two getting familiar with the positions and how to build on from there. Scoring plays the next biggest role in the makeup of your roster, but let’s cover the many exciting flex options in this article. 

The Flex spot is not new to fantasy football, but the number of flex spots, the using more flex spots instead of kickers and team defenses, and the use of a super flex is becoming more popular instead of the complicated two quarterback roster. My own personal league is pressuring the no kicker and no defense roster in favor of one or two flex spots. I was in a group chat with members of The 5th Down FF, and the suggestion of having a QB, and then all flex spots with no Kicker and no Defense was even mentioned as a league format. Is this getting out of control? Is the flex becoming the walking dead, infected spreading virus of traditional fantasy football? When is enough, enough?

The basis of your league is to draft the best player available at each position and shift gears from position to position to build the best team possible across the board. Sometimes you may have a great WR, and two good RB’s and must sacrifice a pretty good WR two in the fourth round because the number one overall TE is still on the board. If TE is a position to fill on your roster, then the strategy would be to take the best player available that fills your starting lineup first. Will the second WR score as many points as your TE one? It will probably be close, but if you were to grab a WR two, and then wait another round for a TE, a run on TEs might happen. This would mean that you might get the TE five to eight, which will not even come close to the TE one that you passed on. Also, most fourth to sixth round receivers are all usually going to score around the same. 

Would it be fun to draft sixteen players and put your top 8 players out as flex players? I don't think so. That is almost like best ball. Best ball would be where you draft a team in the beginning of the year, and every week, a certain number of your best players points are tallied as your starter points without even setting a lineup. Most TE’s would probably not be taken, and it really involves no skill. Most people would get bored with that, and just check to see how they were doing periodically throughout the year. I feel that is the way office fantasy leagues for people who don't even watch the games would run a league. Even if it was not best ball and you actually have to submit an eight-player lineup, you would have a pretty good idea of who your top eight players were every week from where you drafted them, minus one or two surprises.   

Sometimes gimmick scoring like extra points for first downs are created to test the waters and see if they catch on by a writer or a website trying to make a name for themselves and fail horribly, and sometimes things are laughed at and end up becoming the standard across the board like a flex. The flex spot was new once, and is a wonderful addition to fantasy football, but it should be kept as an additional bonus tool after a full roster has been submitted. It is also a reward for good depth drafting and it serves its purpose as a bye week fill in when your roster is small, and starters are tight. The flex, superflex, and possibly any other flex position that might come up in the future are a wonderful addition to a fantasy, but the basic roster needs to be the backbone of your league. 

Good luck as always, and please feel free to shoot me any commissioner related questions @jfmcglynn to Commissioner McGlynn. My inbox is open, and I will do my best to help if I can.   As always, feedback is appreciated.

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