Free agency in 2011 is not going to work like 2010.
Last season we saw the most abnormal waiver wire pickups in the history of fantasy football.
Two of the top ten fantasy point scorers were undrafted according to the average draft position (ADP) at MockDraftCentral.com (in 10 to 14 team formats).
From 1998 to 2009, not a single player had ever finished in the top ten in fantasy points who went undrafted on average in the preseason.
In fact, from 1998 to 2009, just 14 players finished in the top ten in total fantasy points who were drafted with an ADP of more than 100. All were quarterbacks (the position that typically scores the most in fantasy scoring systems), with most of these surprises occurring when a backup replaced an injured starter.
If you use Value Based Drafting (VBD), which compares a player's fantasy points to his position, there was only one player from 1998 to 2009 who finished in the top ten overall who was undrafted in the preseason. Mike Anderson (DEN) in 2000 replaced an injured Terrell Davis early in the season and finished with 1,487 yards rushing and 15 total touchdowns. He finished 7th in VBD.
So in sum, from 1998 to 2009 there wasn't a single player who finished in the top ten in fantasy points who went undrafted. And there was only one player who finished in the top ten overall when compared to others at his position (VBD). So you had one chance in 13 years to land a free agent who could produce top-ten production.
But even more then that, your picks beyond the top 100 in your draft had almost no chance to be a top-ten impact player. Only 15 times did a player finish in the top ten in fantasy points who was drafted outside the top 100. Only eight times did a player finish in the top then when compared to their position (VBD).
So your odds of picking up a player who could put you in the super bowl were low.
Then in 2010, two players finished in the top ten in fantasy points who were undrafted (Michael Vick, Arian Foster).
And three players finished in the top ten compared to their positions (Arian Foster, Brandon Lloyd, Peyton Hillis).
And Vick would may been the fourth to finish in the top ten in VBD had he played enough games as he averaged the most fantasy points per game.
So last year wasn't just an odd season, it was an extreme outlier.
So don't go riskier this year with your picks and think you can pull a huge impact player from free agency. The math is heavily against it, and I'm not sure there are any trends in personnel in the NFL that would make me think last year was that much different than the previous 13 years.