Nothings happens in a vacuum even on the high school football field. Since we now have fantasy league action for high school sports, we need to take a look at how high school offenses work (and don’t work) to our advantage. A big part of this is the effect that a really good quarterback will have on the running game and vice versa. It’s important to understand this effect and pick your prep football fantasy league players accordingly. Let’s take look at how the sport really is about the team.
If you’ve played high school football defense against a really good offense then you probably know the feeling. It’s a bit like a cat playing with a mouse…just playing with it before going in for the kill. The quarterback just aired it out 3 times in a row with the last one being a 25 yard gain partially because you missed a tackle and didn’t see it coming. Once bitten twice shy and you’re not going to let that happen again. You’re falling right into his trap. You drop back a little bit more than usual and scan the potential receivers as the sting of recent events still echo in your head. The ball snaps and you find yourself moving backwards almost involuntarily. Wrong move, cowboy. It’s a run play and by the time you realize it, you’re 5 yards off position…a easy pick for the offensive lineman who’s built up speed and directed it your way with the tail back in close pursuit. It may be counter-intuitive but a solid quarterback can really help the run game owing to the inherent advantage that an offense has in high school football. I’m sure it’s somewhere in Sun Tsu’s Art of War but the advantage of foreknowledge is pretty powerful. A great quarterback can impact the running game by throwing the defense on…well on defense.
So how do we take advantage of this effect when choosing our fantasy league players? There’a few ways. First, apples and apples, choose a player at a given position from a generally strong team. It’s akin to the old adage about not buying the nicest house on the block. You may choose a star running back or QB but if the rest of the team is poor, that’s going to impact your player’s stat performance. Teams change from year to year as players graduate and/or come up from JV. A poor offensive line is going to hit your QB’s performance, not to mention your running back and receivers. You need to pick accordingly. Following this logic, the running back accompanying a really good QB (who skill of his own) may find the field’s a lot more open since the defense is overplaying and overcompensating for the passing game. If a running back is the sole bread winner for a team’s offense, all that extra defensive attention is not going to make his life easy or your stats as plentiful.
So when you’re picking your prep football lineup, make sure to look at the other pieces of that team’s puzzle. Then choose accordingly.