By: Jarred David @ricco_3733
I’m Not Sexy; Neither is My Dynasty Draft
Every year we wait what seems like forever to get back into the things we love the most: pumpkin spice everything, leaves changing, family holidays, and, of course the most important thing, fantasy football. The draft is what we hold near and dear to our hearts outside of our team winning the Super Bowl (and yes, as a Cowboys fan, I still need to keep a VCR handy — you bite your tongue!). But one of the most important drafts is a fresh dynasty draft. So as John Connor said it best in Terminator 3: “There is no fate but what we make for ourselves,” I’ll give you my draft analysis on a brand new, 12-team PPR dynasty league (1.5 PPR for tight end), what my draft selections were and why I chose what I did and how other’s choices influenced own fate. So if fantasy football articles, beer, pizza, bad puns and rosterbating (forever unclean!) are your thing, then enjoy the article.
We all were randomly drawn and had the chance to select where we wanted to draft. As for me, I was next to last drawn, where spot seven or spot eight was available. I chose lucky number seven. My team is Doctor Doom’s NFL Minions.
Round 1 is always the land of opportunity when it comes to trades and player selection. The wealth is plentiful. The superstars are deep. The opportunities are endless. You get it. However, fantasy football always throws a “Randy Johnson slider” that surprises me more than any MLB batter trying to hit it. Round 1 wasted NO time in throwing that slider for two reasons.
Reason 1: Julio Jones. I get it — He’s one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL. He’s one of the elite receivers to own as well. However, not at 1.4. I’ve made numerous trades for Keenan Allen, Julio Jones, and even Antonio Brown in dynasty or IDP leagues–all of which was a lot easier than trying to trade for a franchise running back. This isn’t a bash on Bucco Bruce, but I definitely saw Julio falling later into the draft. Personally, here’s where I thought Le’veon Bell was going to get selected. Worst case scenario, select Bell then make a trade for Julio and some early draft stock. With Julio having a relatively easy strength of schedule (7th), I can see why some people would be bullish on him. Let us not forget that guys like Michael Thomas and Keenan Allen are just as capable and are going late first, early second rounds (as it did here). Worst case scenario, if I’m taking a wide receiver, I go where the scoring is, which is with Odell Beckham.
Reason 2: 1.03 trading down to 1.05 (albeit least surprising). This trade essentially became Zeke and A.J. Green for Saquon Barkley and Joe Mixon. The youth and upside may have won the trade here if Barkley and Mixon both go off as anticipated. Age won in this deal, but for the most part, it’s a wash.
As for being able to acquire Le’Veon Bell at 1.7 in dynasty? It really was a no brainer, especially in PPR. Lots of people are reluctant to say that he’s got a lot of mileage on him and comes with the risk of his holdout—but I’ll take a surefire top 3 running back to lead the charge. Beyond that, there really is no surprises with the remaining picks. I think DeAndre Hopkins and Antonio Brown are the best value picks at 1.10 and 1.11 respectively.
Round 2 was just as exciting as round 1. This is where some critical decisions need to be made—and of course we had another slider thrown in.
It’s no surprise to see Melvin Gordon and Kareem Hunt getting selected to start. My wishful thinking was an underrated Michael Thomas or Keenan Allen to fall to me, which is unreasonable. So, why not go with another highfloor, high-upside PPR running back in Christian McCaffrey? I know—I passed on Davante Adams, Mike Evans, AND Joe Mixon, but here me out. CMC was the top rookie in targets and second in receptions behind Alvin Kamara. Bell was tenth in receptions and McCaffrey was tied for fourteenth in receptions in the NFL last year. So this is a solid 1-2 punch at a position very high in demand and combined for 220 targets. Plus the anticipated increase in workload only makes CMC more valuable to me here. Davante Adams has had three concussions and a hamstring injury—plus he is touchdown dependent. I think he sees more double teams this year and Jimmy Graham takes away some of those red zone targets this season. I thought about Joe Mixon here, but I’m not overly high on Cincinnati being in close games and Marvin Lewis being a Jeff Fisher type of coach for his players.
Bucco Bruce adds an excellent pairing of Mike Evans with Julio Jones. Though the greatest value pick was Davante Adams. I tried making the trade to select him that late in the second, but another other offer was chosen over mine. If not for the 1.5 PPR, I doubt Kelce gets selected this early.
Round 3, as it’s been a common theme, it’s the wide receiver round—with a few risky picks selected. The other top two tight ends are selected again because of the bonus PPR.
Right around now is where I started picking less sexy and going for high ceilings. The third round wasn’t too frustrating for me other than the heartbreaking selection of Gronk going two spots ahead of me. I selected T.Y. Hilton given the fact that Andrew Luck is coming back. Lest you forgot, Hilton is one season removed from having over 1,400 yards receiving. He barely missed the 1,000 yard mark even with Jacoby Brissett at the helm. Hilton has averaged 81.0 catches, 1,250 yards and 5.8 touchdowns his last four seasons with Luck. This also includes the fact that Frank Reich is coaching and the Colts have what looks to be one of the worst defenses in the NFL. I expect a shootout in most of Indy’s games. Hilton is the value pick here.
A few reaches for me is Jerick McKinnon and Larry Fitzgerald. Shanahan produces some high end running backs fantasy-wise, but I’m unsure McKinnon can handle workforce duties. Plus, he is already dealing with muscle strains in his knee. Fitzgerald has that consistent floor with some big games, but I cannot use a 3rd rounder on a guy who may retire in a year. If Underdogs doesn’t perform, he’s one of my trade targets midseason (if I do well). Watson this early I believe was a risky reach as well and my doubts are instilled the most with Tyreek Hill having Mahomes at quarterback. Also, saddening news for Bruce as Derrius Guice tore his ACL in preseason week 1, rendering his team in shambles at RB since he went WR-WR in rounds one and two.
Round 4 is where we get a better idea of a team’s preference: continue building with youth or add some veterans and try for the win this year.
I had my eyes set on Doug Baldwin first then LeSean McCoy next but both were taken. I decided to go for the win this year and continue my “non-sexy” selections by selecting Aaron Rodgers for one of the best ceilings at the QB spot for a few more years. I started a trend with other teams making surprising quarterback selections after me. Bucco Bruce continues to rely on pure rookie running backs in Rashaad Penny, building a solid foundation for dynasty years to come. I fear his upside is capped by Chris Carson and a suspect Seattle O-line. Best value pick goes to Groot selecting Allen Robinson, who I stared at but couldn’t fully commit to since he’s going from Blake Bortles to Mitch Trubisky at QB. He may make me feel that mistake, but only time will tell. If I lose this season, it definitely won’t be because I drafted Aaron Rodgers…unless Anthony Barr head hunts Rodgers’ collarbone again.
Round 5 came stuck with its sliders with a blend of less surprising picks and more obvious ones—with only one risky boom-bust selection.
Round 5 similarly had tough decisions like round 4 for me. Go for the win or go for the future? Of course I’m a winner and stubbornly pass on some solid rookies by going non-sexy again. Though filling a need at a position I’m scarce at forced my hand to go this direction. I kept staring at Jay Ajayi because I’m a believer where his opportunity is in Philly and battled against the selection of going Royce Freeman, but ultimately it came down to Golden Tate, a solid floor guy in a high-passing offense. The risk is minimal here since Tate has produced consistently for three years. Freeman has the ability to take over the RB1 spot but with the other choices available here and the uncertainty of rookies, I filled my second wide receiver spot.
Bushmaster took a chance on Josh Gordon going with his boom-bust option. This pick will be the steal of the draft if Gordon happens to pull through (I’m pulling for him, personally). I’m not a fan of Jimmy G this early, but fandom took over for my colleague in his selection. With all signs pointing to Freeman, I’m not a fan of the Devontae Booker selection as he’s underwhelmed in workhorse duty. He’s got good pass protection and receiving ability making him a 3rd down back, but I can’t justify selecting him ahead of Kenyan Drake or Alex Collins. Jordy Nelson at his age and going as a WR2 in Oakland is a questionable pick that can return some Michael Crabtree type of value. Value pick goes to Bucco Bruce with Kenyan Drake or Deadpool’s Captains with Jay Ajayi. Special shoutout to CPGM Bushmaster for brilliantly getting four straight picks in a row prior to trading me his last one.
This was the round where bravery could also mean stupidity… and time will only tell.
Holy Trades! There were a lot of moves made, but I was by far the boldest. I traded up with Bushmaster and sent him my 6th and 8th for 6.02 his 9th rounder. This is where I finally decided to get very young and take high upside rookies with a high amount of risk. I took Sony Michel with the first pick—yes, even if that means he’s missing the preseason with his knee problem and fumbling issues. The guy has tremendous upside—so, no guts, no glory here. Right after, I also wanted to take my favorite RB in the rookie class (and 3rd behind Barkley and Guice), and his name is Kerryon Johnson. I’ve read so many haters on this guy, and I still haven’t figured out why. Watching him do it all against Alabama and display consistency in the pass protection game, catching game, cutting game, and, of course, the Le’Veon Bell comparisons, which is an excellent complement to me owning Bell. The shocker: I traded TWO ninth rounders and a 2019 1st to select Kerryon. Again, no guts, no glory. I am really high on this RB class and am not excited about next year’s class, which mainly is an IDP GM’s dream. Was it worth trading myself OUT of the eighth AND ninth round? Time will tell.
I was eyeballing Demaryius Thomas, but he’s starting to show heavy signs of regression. Though Case Keenum may resurrect DT’s career along with his diet change over the season. Value picks I’ll say Mark Ingram to CPGM Punisher—plenty of people downplaying him because of suspension but can still deliver top 10 RB numbers after his four game suspension. DT could definitely return value for this year at that draft spot, however.
Round 7 had plenty of position-needed picks go down, including mine. Jamison Crowder started turning on the jets and producing toward the last nine games played, averaging 14.38 PPR points per game (129.5 total). With the majority of WR1’s being taken in previous rounds, I found this to be a value pick considering Josh Doctson and Jordan Reed have struggled with injuries and Paul Richardson is new.
Round 8 I had no pick due to the plethora of trades I had. So that allowed me to actually get some work done or focus on drinking beer, which both yields a productive day. Unfortunately, a lot of players I had on my list fell in this round, and the tight end selection made me pretty nervous knowing I hadn’t selected one yet. I was saddened to see Cooper Kupp, D.J Moore and Marquise Goodwin go, all of which I feel have WR2 floors this year. In my own stubborn mind, however, I feel it was worth the deals I made. Essentially, those three are the value picks in my opinion for this round.
It may have been a bit of a paranoid trade, but I am very high on Mike Gesicki, and when the other TEs started falling off the board, it was time to pull the trigger. Two tenth rounders for the 9.03 and 12.10 to get him. All of the younger, upside talent TEs were gone. Given the choices I had in moving up for this pick, it may have been costly seeing Kelvin Benjamin, Chris Hogan and Chris Carson being available. Nevertheless, I got the guy I’ve had my eye on before the draft started, and I stick to my strategy. Value pick since goes to Thanos with Carson since Penny got hurt—Hogan as a second value.
I don’t want to bore you with a neverending article about one draft. There’s not enough beer even for my belly to want to drink and read this. So now I will clump by rounds of three and eventually do a summary draft in the final five rounds. Trades are also not mentioned but you’ll notice it when the draft order changes.
The tenth round Gallup was taken which broke my heart. I decided to double my risk at tight end in hopes that Jordan Reed can pull through for once. His TE5 upside is worth the risk here. I also snagged Kirk to keep my bench warm for when Fitzgerald retires and Marshawn Lynch as a bridge to my rookie RB picks. I was surprised Wilkins was available too, which was nearly a no-brainer for me. Overall, these rounds left me pretty satisfied with my selections and I don’t feel as though I burned myself too badly on those trades I made.
Here I simply went with solid stashes in Jameis Winston and Dez Bryant. We know Dez will resurface somewhere, and Winston is surrounded by lots of talent offensively. Houston’s defense is something solid if they all stay healthy. JJ Watt and Clowney alone almost make them worth it in dynasty—but with those linebackers too? Nasty.
Here is where you look more future than today. I did that with James Washington, who I believe can return value in a high powered Steelers offense just like Juju has done. Round 17 I decided to buy into the Kalen Ballage hype, though lately he’s started to get into some doghouses, but he’s worth a flier here. Last, I went with Jermaine Kearse because his numbers were solid last year. With the likely suspension of Robby Anderson (I would be surprised if he isn’t) and Quincy Enunwa having a serious injury and is currently being placed as a slot WR, this tells me Kearse is the de facto WR1 during Robby’s suspension and likely WR2 in two wideout sets. At round 18, I’m buying here as a solid flex with possible flirtation of WR3 numbers. If Darnold starts, he may find himself a new favorite target too!
These three rounds were the most boring for me, but this is where the draft gets tiring for all of us. I decided to go with Charles Clay since Buffalo will likely be throwing a lot being down, and if Allen starts, Clay could be his escape throw. Adding a solid floor option with a high upside and rookie tight ends made sense. Next was a wild card pick in J’Mon Moore. I finished the round with Ito Smith since Tevin Coleman will likely be leaving Atlanta next year. I’m looking for him to get some touches toward the end of the season, especially if Atlanta doesn’t make the playoffs or injuries happen.
At this point, a lot of these selections are simply dart throws. To my pleasure, DaeSean Hamilton was available at 22. Boyd has been getting hype so I rolled the dice on him and Prosise is still favored as a passing down back in Seattle. Of course I traded picks 23 and 24 for $250 auction dollars for waivers this season. A few other possible breakouts and value picks that can potentially yield steals where they were selected: Rob Kelley, John Brown, Mike Wallace, Jake Kumerow (love his story), Albert Wilson and Keke Coutee.
Perhaps it was some inexperience in dynasty formats that made people go more than 2 QBs and more than one defense (I would say go two the most). Multiple tight ends I understand since the PPR bonus is very enticing.
Overall, if Hilton returns to his normal value and Crowder and Tate maintain their floors, I think I made myself competitive for this year and allow my rookies to develop into my roster for next year. Though as we’ve seen, I make more trades than the Green Bay Packers on draft day so who knows what my team will look like even one month from now.
With an average roster age of 25.20 years (before waivers), I value my team top 3 for this year with high upside… and let’s hope so because next year’s draft doesn’t look sexy when I don’t pick until the second round. I’m currently happy with a lot of my rookies performing in the preseason in James Washington, Christian Kirk, and Kerryon Johnson.
Good luck to all of your fantasy teams and drafts and thank you for hearing about mine. Feel free to give me your feedback or ask for advice by emailing me at: Riccadonna3733@hotmail.com.