Get ready for some really simple logic. If you follow the same advice that everybody else in your league does, then you’re going to get the same results. Which is to say that you’ll have an average team most years and randomness will cause you to have a really good team one or two years and a really bad team one or two years.
To have uncommon results, you have to go against the crowd. You have to trade players away when their value couldn’t be any higher. You have to pick players up when their value couldn’t be any lower and your trading partner has capitulated. You have to have a contrarian approach.
It’s not as easy as it sounds.
It might be a little easier if you remember that value in FFB is temporary. Player results typically see a reversion to the mean. If you look at the top 20 fantasy seasons among running backs over the last 20 years, and then look at each of those players’ next season, they lost an average of 25% per game in fantasy points in year two and also played on average two fewer games in the second year.
So when you’re evaluating players, forget about last year and tell yourself that you’re not getting last year’s player. The player you’re getting this year is whatever happens when you mix that player’s ability with their opportunity, strength of schedule, and a certain amount of randomness.
Try to clear the hype out of your head and look at things objectively. Being a contrarian isn’t about always doing the opposite of conventional wisdom. That’s called being disagreeable. Being a contrarian is about arriving at separate conclusions because you’re evaluating facts independent of hype.