Editor's Note: Recenlty
members of the FFToday Board completed their annual June Mock draft.
This mock will be played out in a best ball format, in a league
with no transactions, no free agent pickups, no trades in season...
properly named the "No-Hassle League." View the
round-by-round results here. Below is the commissioner's analysis
of each team.
Analysis: Is there any doubt that Robb is going
to have a great team on his hands come November and December?
He'll get DeAndre Hopkins back in the fold and should have a healthy
Chris Godwin to make his receiving corps strong. Additionally,
Javonte Williams could be in full stud mode by that time and together
with Jonathan Taylor could form the best 1-2 RB punch in fantasy
football. So, are we talking championship here? If Robb can survive
September and October...well, maybe. It's amazing how similar
Robb's strategy ended up being in comparison to Vikings4Ever.
Vikes took Kelce then Mahomes while two picks later, Robb took
Andrews and Jackson. Longer term, I think Robb has the better
WR corps and RBs, but with Hopkins out those first six weeks and
Godwin an uncertainty, this team may struggle to generate points
at WR. I guess that's why Robb chose the Moore brothers in hopes
that one or both can get off to a hot start- in Rondale's case,
as a full-scale replacement for Hopkins. This team comes with
risk, but they could be a handful and then some down the stretch.
If Robb ever gets the points lead, I doubt he'll ever relinquish
Key to No-Hassle Success: Surviving the onset
of the season. With Hopkins out and Godwin at less than 100%,
this team has vulnerabilities. Lamar Jackson is tailor made for
a format in which QB play can be uneven, but perhaps Robb needed
a stronger QB2 than Trevor Lawrence. Perhaps. In the end, this
team has got a ton of talent, but there are question marks. The
trio of McLaurin, Hopkins, and Godwin could be amongst the best
in the league, but might also fall completely flat. Robb then
has to hope for RB health as Taylor and Williams will likely have
to carry the load week in and week out unless Chase Edmonds truly
emerges as the main wheel in Miami. Top to bottom, I don't see
a scarier lineup than this group. It's a loaded deck, but the
start could be a tad slow.
Favorite Pick: Javonte Williams is an absolute
steal at 3.01. I cannot believe he fell that far and generally
speaking, I didn't think many players in this draft fell way past
their value. Williams did. Robb is going to reap the benefits
of having him and Taylor in the same backfield for seventeen glorious
weeks barring injury. I also really liked the Elijah Moore pick
as I don't think everyone realizes how close he was last year
to already being a star. All in all, there were tremendous picks
all over the place, including the longer-term investment of Godwin/Hopkins
at the 6/7 turn.
Least Favorite Pick: Trevor Lawrence was fine
in terms of where he was picked, but I thought this team could
have used a more solid QB2. Aside from that, I struggle to find
fault with a team that I absolutely love/admire.
Overall Outlook: Having the first pick gives a
team the very best of the first and third round selections which
I think is a natural advantage in most cases. The fact that Robb's
third round pick was a guy I like as an early second rounder, just
makes this team that much stronger. Yes, there are question marks
in terms of how certain players will perform. And yes, the RB3 and
RB4 on this team may end up being something far less than ideal,
but I can't help but see the explosive potential this team has.
The TE-QB combo thing is always going to create some risk, but I
think Robb did a brilliant job taking on a risk strategy that should
eventually yield great results.
Analysis: This draft gave us a little bit of everything as Wonder
took solid veterans out of the gate, then a dynamic young quarterback,
and then some younger players with real upside followed by more
veterans and finally some rookies at the WR position. It is difficult
to find fault with the method whether or not you like the individual
pieces. Essentially, the quality of Wonder's first three RBs allowed
him to pursue depth at the WR position by taking a half dozen
receivers making WR the deepest position on the team, but RB the
strongest. One would be hard pressed to see a weakness even as
Wonder addressed the QB position fairly early, it didn't really
cost him that much with respect to overall team construction.
The picks in the fifth and sixth rounds both represent great upside
as Marquise Brown will have an opportunity to perform like a WR1
for the first six weeks of the season with Hopkins out and could
hold that value, at least somewhat, beyond that. No one really
knows if Golladay will be viable or not this season, but with
Wilson and Williams coming on board late, Wonder has hedged that
bet rather well.
Key to No-Hassle Success: The floor on this team is so high that
a finish in the top six in the league looks almost assured barring
a rash of injuries. The first four picks are going to be rock
solid as there's little chance any of those guys fail to meet
expectations. Thus, it will come down to who can complement them
to make the team a consistent threat week-in and week-out from
a scoring standpoint. Will Lazard end up as the de facto WR1 in
Green Bay? If he does and if Brown pops as some are expecting,
this could be a top-five WR unit even as RB was the focal point
of the team's formation. There is balance throughout the roster
as every position is overrun with talent and high floor players.
Those that lie beyond that base represent the high upside of the
Favorite Pick: In the first three rounds, Wonder made the obvious
pick each time. Thus, I can't call those "favorites"
even though I thought them to be very solid. It was what he did
in rounds 4-7 that I think could make his team special. It took
some guts to go ahead and pull the trigger on a QB in the 4th
round, but would anyone be shocked if Herbert ends up the top
QB in fantasy football for 2022? Feet to the fire, I probably
liked the Marquise Brown pick the best. He could be the steal
of the draft and I wish I would have looked at him more closely
earlier in the round.
Least Favorite Pick: I thought this was a bit early for Rhamondre
Stevenson as barring an injury to one of New England's other backs,
I think he's mostly going to be a change-of-pace runner. Also,
Golladay was worth the chance, but that doesn't make it an exciting
selection to say the least.
Overall Outlook: This is an easy team to love in the No-Hassle
format. The 1-2 punch of Henry and Conner raises the floor of
the team to a very high level and then guys like Evans, Etienne,
Herbert, and Brown raise the ceiling. With that explosive element
in place, one could foresee different guys stepping up from week
to week to keep the team towards the top of the standings. Brown
will obviously need to perform like a high-end WR2 at the onset
of the season with rookies Williams and Wilson getting their feet
wet. But, the latter should coincide with Brown being forced to
share targets with DeAndre Hopkins and as such the team isn't
likely to miss a beat unless both rookie wide-outs struggle. Don't
bet on that and don't bet against this team being special.
Analysis: Not the draft I expected from longtime June Mocker,
Vikings4Ever, but as he stated throughout his draft, plans get
changed when you see value falling farther than you think it should.
Primarily, in this case, we're talking about Patrick Mahomes and
Travis Kelce and their selections in rounds two and four really
changed the overall complexion of this team. On weeks where both
form a solid connection all game long, the outcomes for Vikes
are certain to be good. But, I think this team is vulnerable at
RB with only four on the roster and three of those without clear-cut
roles in 2022. Those three would include Josh Jacobs who finished
strong in 2021 and should be given plenty of chances to build
on that this season. The problem is that a new coaching staff
may not see him as a longer term fit and phase him out. Likewise,
Miles Sanders may or may not continue to be the primary back in
Philadelphia. Then, there's the WR position. It's deep, but there
are no WR1s on this team. Could the whole be much better than
the individual pieces in the No-Hassle format? You bet. But, there
is risk in not taking a WR until Round 5 in a redraft. Even Vikes
would likely agree with that.
Key to No-Hassle Success: Mahomes and Kelce are probably two
of the safest picks in any draft, so the key to success for this
team is getting the complementary scoring to surround them. Lots
of questions abound: Can Amon Ra-St. Brown follow up on a promising
rookie season even with Jameson Williams and D.J. Chark onboard?
How will Hunter Renfrow fair with Adams now the top dog in Las
Vegas? And, who exactly is going to be throwing the ball to Tyler
Lockett in Seattle? Then there's the back-to-back picks of Lance
and Gronkowski. Both are likely to play/start, but drafting this
far in advance of the season makes the selections of both a bit
risky. Risk is not something I am accustomed to Vikes chasing
in a draft, but he has a bit here. So, all that said, with a questionable
WR corps, Austin Ekeler needs to crush it in 2022 the way he did
in 2021. If that happens, the rest should sort itself out.
Favorite Pick: I thought two late-round picks were stellar- Russell
Gage and Tyler Boyd. Yes, both are the third wheel on their own
teams, but if an injury were to take place within their respective
corps, both have shown the ability to step up and be a WR2, not
just in the real-world aspect of that moniker, but also in terms
of fantasy production. I felt a lot better about what Vikes ultimately
did at that position once he secured both of those underrated
Least Favorite Pick: This one is easy for me. It's Josh Jacobs.
I don't trust Josh McDaniels any further than my eyes are from
my nose. I could see Jacobs being phased out as the season rolls
on in favor of a committee and 3.03 is a high price to pay for
that in my opinion.
Overall Outlook: This is not a typical Vikings4Ever team. He
has long been one of the most successful persons in this mock/league
if not the most successful and as such, any critical analysis
comes with a grain of that salt. Having a top-3 QB and top-3 TE
does have its advantages as many wait too long to establish those
positions and end up with guys that force them to play "catch
up" via other positions. That said, not taking your WR1 prior
to Round 5 and your RB3 in Round 6 is the aftershock of such QB-TE
prowess. If Jacobs does bust, Ekeler and Sanders will need to
be an elite duo. Pretty sure Ekeler can, but beyond that, I think
this team could be at risk.
Analysis: This was a more traditional set-up in terms of team
formation with Hawkeye waiting on the quarterback position until
the other starting spots were fortified. That included building
upon his RB-RB start with an emphasis on WR and TE in Rounds 3-6
all the while choosing players with big upside that are somewhat
hard to project. Higgins, Waddle, and Robinson all live in the
very long shadows of Ja'Marr Chase, Tyreek Hill, and Cooper Kupp
and as such, what Hawkeye is banking on is that their WR2 status
on their respective teams doesn't cut into their value. The same
could also be said for DeVonta Smith who now has to carve out
a role with A.J. Brown in town. I am not sure I've ever seen a
WR corps with no WRs who are the main guys on their own NFL team,
but there's a first time for everything. What is undeniable about
this team is the balance that exists throughout the roster. Hawk
isn't weak anywhere even as he did wait to grab a quarterback
who could end up being better than 3-4 of the QBs ultimately picked
ahead of him. Also, with Dalvin Cook's history, getting his handcuff
is a must and Hawk took care of that.
Key to No-Hassle Success: I am curious what the season has in
store for Aaron Jones. I think Green Bay is going to be as run-heavy
as any team in the league this year and if Jones were to still
occupy a 65-70% share, his selection at 2.09 was a steal. So,
Jones maintaining a prominent role in the offense is one key.
Another is Allen Robinson. I noted in the draft commentary that
no player in 2022 has such a wide range of opinions with respect
to draft value. Some think Robinson's best days are in the rear-view
mirror while others believe he will be reborn in LA. As for my
thoughts, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Jones
and Robinson could be anchors for this team. I also think the
late Tua selection late combined with the earlier Waddle pick
makes it imperative that Miami move forward on offense with Hawk
reaping those benefits. Ultimately, I believe the run game will
be strong enough to overcome the odd WR strategy, but we shall
Favorite Pick: Given his potential, I was shocked that George
Kittle was still available 16 picks after Kyle Pitts was drafted.
I know Kittle has been dinged a lot the past couple of seasons,
but to get him late fourth just seems like robbery to me. I also
liked the fact that Hawk didn't try to squeeze out one more round
with respect to quarterback selection. Prescott feels like a considerable
upgrade over the quarterbacks taken immediately after him and
thus the timing of that pick seemed ideal.
Least Favorite Pick: There are a lot of mouths to feed in Cincinnati
and as such, I have Higgins valued as a late third round pick
vs. an early one. Still, one can't argue that Higgins is talented
and in a great system. Also, I don't have a clue at this point
how the Falcons plan to use Cordarrelle Patterson and he's a guy
I am shying away from at this point after a career 2021.
Overall Outlook: I'm not sure I've ever seen a team in which
no NFL WR1s are in existence, so I don't know how to grade this
team from a functional standpoint. The running game is in good
hands and I think depth at QB and TE is solid despite being addressed
late in the draft. The success of this team largely depends on
the roles that Aaron Jones and all those WR2s (NFL speaking) can
carve out amidst the uncertainty. While Mattison is one of the
best handcuffs in the business, he isn't Dalvin Cook. If Cook
and Kittle can just stay healthy, there's a chance this team could
make some noise when all is said and done. It was a well put together
unit from the four spot.
Analysis: Dan really has a style all his own when it comes to
this mock - and yes, I know I've said that before. He always seems
the least likely guy in the group to look at pre-season rankings
as his primary barometer for team building, opting instead to
choose players he personally prefers even if their ADPs exceed
his view of them. Some might say he pulled the trigger early on
Harris...on Lamb...on Pitts...even on Pittman, but would those
players have been around the next time he picked? Nope. None of
them. As such, you can't call any of them mistaken picks. As the
only team with a third quarterback, Dan will have to stay healthy
at RB and WR as depth there is a bit suspect. And, there's no
guarantee that either of his QBs beyond Jalen Hurts will actually
play a snap this season. Clearly, that's something that Dan is
comfortable with, particularly after he went RB-RB-RB in Rounds
7 - 9 to try to shore up that position prior to pivoting. Lots
of rookies on this team (four) as well as some long-timers. It's
a typically eclectic assortment and will be a fascinating group
to follow over the course of the fall.
Key to No-Hassle Success: Najee Harris was on the field for more
plays than any other RB last season and it wasn't that close.
The fact that he couldn't translate that into greater fantasy
production concerns me. As such, I think his ceiling may be lower
than some people think which means somebody on this team has to
step up and exceed what they've done in the past. Does that mean
Jalen Hurts needs to be a top-4 quarterback? Maybe CeeDee Lamb
has to ascend to top-5 at his position? Or maybe Kyle Pitts just
needs to start finding the end zone consistently? Whatever the
case, Dan's team is, I think, hampered a bit by Harris being on
team that struggles to run and will thus need all the other pieces
to make up that difference. With guys like Cooper and Parker on
new teams and Walker and Cook never having played an NFL snap,
there is a risk for this team to fall flat. And yet, there is
again a fascination with this team. It's almost like they're so
quirky that they just might work out very well.
Favorite Pick: There were two that I was fond of and if Watson
gets cleared to play this season, then Cooper is a smash pick
as well. I really liked the value of Hurts at 6.08 as his weapons
are improved via A.J. Brown quite a bit and he can score big with
his legs. I also thought the Christian Watson pick made a ton
of sense where Dan grabbed him. Somebody has to get rich on the
shoulders of Aaron Rodgers and getting a possible beneficiary
in the eleventh round is fantastic.
Least Favorite Pick: It's no secret based on the paragraph above
that I have doubts about Najee Harris's ability to crack the top
6-8 at RB. So, I thought he was overvalued. I also think Dan could
be in a world of hurt (no pun intended) if Hurts were to go down
and he's pulling zeroes from the QB spot. Finally, I thought the
idea of grabbing one rookie RB was solid strategy. Two? Not so
sure about that.
Overall Outlook: They lack a superstar in my opinion and much
of that has to do with me envisioning Harris as more of a low-end
RB1 than a stud. Taking a tight end in the third round also seemed
to thin out some of the talent in other spots on the roster, but
there's no denying that Pitts' career is on the way up and as
such, he might be totally worth the faith placed in him. Dan alternated
for a while between rookie picks and guys past their prime giving
this team no solid theme. Again, Dan's teams are always an eclectic
mix of just about everything and I enjoy having him in this draft
so much as his style is all his own. As for "outlook"
this is my box of chocolates team for 2022. Not at all sure what
you're going to get.
Analysis: Much like Vikes buying serious Chief stock by way of
Mahomes and Kelce, Worm did the same by combining Allen with Diggs
to form a Buffalo nucleus. The difference is that Diggs is a WR,
so this team has a true WR1 to go along with a QB who many feel
is in a tier all his own. Worm also did a nice job securing a
combo of running backs to go alongside Mixon by way of Damien
Harris and Devin Singletary. Singletary adds to the Buffalo-heavy
nature of the team but his selection was important as many doubt
if Harris can score enough TDs in 2022 to override his lack of
usage in the passing game. Beyond Diggs at WR, Worm mixed in a
high floor WR2 like Mike Williams with the upside of Christian
Kirk on a new team and Drake London as the de facto WR1 in Atlanta.
Hockenson rounded out Worm's starters with a guy whose floor and
ceiling are both relatively high if he can stay healthy. The depth
at RB on this team is solid, but not spectacular, but they won't
likely be depended on for much unless one of the top three backs
were to go down with an injury. All in all, this team was well
constructed and built upon an explosive offense.
Key to No-Hassle Success: The drop from Josh Allen to Zach Wilson
is fairly huge, so Allen needs to stay upright to be sure. He's
one of the toughest guys in the league, but he does run a lot
which can give both coaches and fantasy managers some anxiety.
When WRs are in new locations or are rookies, little is guaranteed
and as such, Kirk and London come with some risk. They both don't
need to excel for this team to do well, but one of them likely
does need to break through to keep this team afloat at the WR3
spot. Ultimately, this team would benefit most from Damien Harris
essentially repeating his numbers from 2021. Many don't see him
doing that and that's why he fell as far as he did. If both he
and Williams are steady, the Mixon-Diggs-Allen trio as a foundation
could make this team stout for the duration of the season.
Favorite Pick: Because I am one of those who believe Josh Allen
is in a tier all his own, I loved the selection of him at 3.06.
Allen will make this team great on several occasions this season
as long as he can just get reasonable help. I also liked the fact
that he combined Allen with Diggs even as the role of Gabriel
Davis on the team seems to be ever expanding. I also like both
tight end selections on this team and I was hoping each might
fall to me. Assuming Smith can resume 100% health, they will be
a good 1-2 punch at the TE spot in this format.
Least Favorite Pick: I don't really have a problem with any of
Worm's picks, but I thought perhaps Harris went a bit early. I
had him on several teams last season and loved the output, but
I don't think his TD totals are repeatable, making him more of
an early fifth round value.
Overall Outlook: I really like this team's chances. There is
firepower in the trio of Allen-Mixon-Diggs with both Mixon and
Diggs having significant opportunity to be top-five at their respective
position. This team is also very deep and if he has healed well,
Gus Edwards could be a sneaky good pick in terms of being top
shelf depth at that position. It doesn't feel like Worm neglected
much of anything which is hard to do at times when you're the
very first guy to grab a quarterback. The lack of upside beyond
the "big three" may keep this team from winning a No-Hassle
title, but it's hard to see this team being anything less than
top 4-6 when all the dust settles. To use a baseball analogy,
Worm has covered all the bases with this group.
Analysis: After looking at six teams in which RB was the opening
selection, we come to the first of three teams built on the shoulders
of a stud wide receiver. It's hard to believe now that Cooper
Kupp was obtained at the end of the fifth round in this draft
last year. No more getting Kupp at a bargain price. As many tend
to do who take WR early, Ray's next two picks were RB-RB with
the question being: Did he choose the right guys for the job?
Certainly, Ray rounded out the WR position well beyond them with
the upside of Metcalf and the steady history of Thielen, but compared
to the backfield of most of the other guys in this draft, the
Gibson-Elliott duo is hard to get excited about. As for QB and
TE, Ray also addressed both positions within the first seven rounds,
but one has to wonder what Aaron Rodgers is going to look like
without Davante Adams and what Dallas Goedert's target share will
now be with A.J. Brown on his team. So, I wasn't certain that
I was fond of Ray's opening half of this draft. That said, I found
myself liking nearly everything he did beyond the midway point,
so this could be considered a tale of two drafts.
Key to No-Hassle Success: Based on talent alone, the trio of
Kupp, Metcalf, and Thielen could give other teams a run for their
money and then some. Indeed, if Russell Wilson was still in Seattle,
Metcalf might have been a second-round pick. As is, there are
question marks and I think as Metcalf goes, so goes this team.
I also noted earlier that I thought Green Bay would be a run-heavy
team this year given their stout defense, so Ray will need Rodgers
to get into some shoot-outs to avoid having two QBs on teams more
bent on establishing the run than anything else. That puts the
onus to excel back on that RB duo and both guys could be looking
at diminished roles given that Washington didn't want McKissic
to get away and Tony Pollard is breathing down Elliott's neck
once again. I think Kupp was the right pick at 1.07, but he has
a lot to live up to given what followed.
Favorite Pick: The two WR depth picks of Brandon Aiyuk and Mecole
Hardman really stood out for me as fantastic values with surprising
upside given that both have now been in the league for several
years. I also think that when all is said and done, Ray is going
to be pleased with the Metcalf selection. Spotty QB play is going
to probably make him an inconsistent producer, but when the match-up
is right, he will likely have some monster games no matter who
is throwing him the ball. Finally, I liked the upside of Spiller
and the solid safety of the Higbee pick.
Least Favorite Pick: In the end, while I can't get excited about
Ezekiel Elliott all that much although, it’s hard to argue
that 3.07 was a good place to land him. The same cannot be said
for Gibson who I thought went a full round too early.
Overall Outlook: This isn't one of my favorite teams considering
how I feel about the overall strength of QB and RB, but there
are some things I like including the fact that the receiving corps
has some serious potential. I just don't think this is a great
place to draft unless you're comfortable with Christian McCaffrey
who was the obvious other choice Ray had to be considering. Maybe
I am wrong about Gibson...and Rodgers...and the lack of explosive
potential this team has outside of Kupp and Metcalf. It was one
of my favorite drafts from Round 8 on, so it's entirely possible
I'm overlooking the overall/widespread value of the team as a
whole. Only time can and will determine if Ray's efforts pay dividends.
Analysis: In many ways, this was the draft I wanted from start
to finish with respect to where I think the value lies. Clearly,
many people in this draft passed on Christian McCaffrey for safer
options and no one can blame them for doing so. Waiting so late
to grab a quarterback makes drafting a QB2 of decent quality all
the more important and while I would have preferred Derek Carr
to Cousins, I achieved that objective nevertheless. Prior to the
selection of Wilson, I just tried to load up on as much RB and
WR talent as I could including buying Bronco stock in the form
of Courtland Sutton. How Russell Wilson will ultimately gel with
his new wide receivers is anyone's guess, but I think Sutton's
overall ability makes him worth the gamble. Tight end play isn't
usually a make-or-break proposition coming out of this draft,
but it's worth noting that I also waited a long time to address
that position. That means that I probably have the weakest team
at that position in addition to having an average team at QB (at
best). Is there enough firepower at RB and WR to overcome such
realities? I sure hope so.
Key to No-Hassle Success: McCaffrey has proven pretty fragile
the last couple of years and a repeat of 2020 and/or 2021 probably
means this team isn't championship caliber, handcuff or not. Also,
Deebo Samuel and the 49ers need to reach a place of tranquility
soon or else that pick takes on a risky tone for a different reason
than McCaffrey. This team is largely comprised of veterans with
not a single rookie on the squad. While that could lead to more
predictability, it also means that no breakout players who will
exceed their draft position by all that much exist. I would guess
Gabriel Davis would the closest thing to that, but he'll draw
more coverage this year as well and that could actually benefit
Diggs much more than him as a result. There are some new faces
in new places on this team that need to transition well- Brown
and Wilson in particular. If that transpires, I really like where
this team could be heading.
Favorite Pick: If the 49ers and Deebo come to terms early enough,
he is a late first round value, so grabbing him at 2.05 pleased
me very much. I also really am high on Gabriel Davis this season
as I think he'll take the next step forward and become a WR2 for
fantasy purposes. And, as was noted already, Cousins wasn't my
first choice at the QB2 spot, but I think his floor is as good/high
as any QB2 could ever be. I liked nearly every pick I made without
much in the way of reservation and I can't often say that in this
Least Favorite Pick: Yes, the A.J. Brown pick made sense, but
is there any certainty that he and Jalen Hurts will develop a
chemistry together? I'll answer my own question: There is not.
So, that wasn't a pick I felt super comfortable with. I also wouldn't
have picked Ronald Jones so soon if I knew the Chiefs were going
to re-sign Jerick McKinnon.
Overall Outlook: The tremendous value coming about in the first
two rounds for me depends on those two guys actually being on
the field for the majority of the season- not in physical therapy
and not holding out awaiting a new contract. There is little doubt
that his team is talented as several positions, but there is always
built-in risk with guys like McCaffrey or Barkley (see Shovel's
forthcoming analysis) just as there is risk with a wide receiver
who has in the recent past demanded a trade. It will be important
for Cam Akers and AJ Dillon to provide meaningful support at RB
even if McCaffrey stays intact. All in all, the pieces needed
for success are readily obvious with this team, but there are
hurdles to clear along the way to be sure.
Analysis: Apparently, Remote and Ray were working off the same
blueprint in this draft as they both made identical position picks
in Rounds 1-6 going WR-RB-RB-WR-WR-QB. Once McCaffrey was taken,
it was no doubt difficult to justify taking any running back above
Jefferson whose potential just seems limitless after two incredible
seasons in the NFL. So, if Remote and Ray did the exact same thing,
position-wise, shouldn't we just take the analysis about Ray's
team and apply it here? Of course not as we're talking same strategy,
but different players. Remote is banking on Fournette and Montgomery
as his duo of destruction and how one feels about that probably
depends on one's own projections. At WR, Remote has much the same
problem with D.J. Moore as Ray has with D.K. Metcalf - can a competent
QB get him the ball? Most likely everyone prefers Kyler Murray's
dual-threat to Rodgers, so Remote seems to have stolen something
there provided Marquise Brown fills in some gaps. Late in his
draft, Remote went Titan crazy, but also snagged some sneaky good
depth at the RB position. All in all, I like the potential here,
but also have concerns.
Key to No-Hassle Success: Making Kupp/Jefferson/Chase your first-round
pick means you're going to miss out on the top couple of RB tiers.
It forced Ray and Remote into RB-only thought processes for the
next two rounds while Shovel (analysis to come) took a different
approach. Surely, with Jefferson anchoring the WR corps, Remote
will find some success there and Kyler Murray, while uneven, will
have big weeks that make his selection worth it. The key to this
team rising to the next level is whether or not Fournette and
Montgomery can be dynamic enough to make this a high-powered team.
Neither is a slam dunk given Fournette's history of ups and downs
and Montgomery's fairly horrible supporting cast. Both will score,
yes...but can either break into the top ten at the position? One
or both probably need to for this team to be near the top of league
Favorite Pick: If Kyler Murray had fallen just one more spot,
he would have been part of Team Fumbleweed. Murray seems a little
distracted and sullen at present to say the least, but his fantasy
abilities are not in question. To gain his services in the sixth
round separated this team in terms of firepower at the top of
the lineup. I also thought Remote was wise to handcuff Montgomery
with Herbert and I think Darrel Williams, again, was a solid late
round pick for depth.
Least Favorite Pick: Remote pulled the trigger on D.J. Moore
much earlier than I would have. Perhaps if Carolina can find a
quarterback this summer, my opinion might change, but for now,
I think Moore's ceiling is significantly capped. Same problem
as Ray has with Metcalf, but with less upside.
Overall Outlook: As I will explain in Shovel's recap, I don'
t think Remote or Ray had to go RB-RB in Rounds 2 and 3 to make
their teams viable, but I understand the urgency to do so. All
in all, it would be unfair for my outlook on Remote to differ
much from Ray but there are things I like better about each squad.
Jefferson is a great foundation for this team (for any team for
that matter) and I do like Fournette-Montgomery better than Gibson-Elliott.
Beyond that, I like Remote's QB better as well, but would prefer
Ray's WRs 2/3. A final glance over this roster reveals for me
that this team should be able to stay competitive throughout the
season with a solid mix of players. Tight end is a bit weaker
than most teams, but that rarely comes to bear much in the No-Hassle
Analysis: Well, different strokes for different folks is a slogan
that fits Shovel's draft well and I think he's better off having
taken his unique approach. Conventional wisdom suggests that one
must take a RB in Round 2 if that didn't happen in Round 1, but
Shovel obviously liked the idea of pairing his stud WR with another
stud just five picks later in the form of Tyreek Hill. What it
left him was a major upgrade at the WR2 spot over Remote and Ray
without sacrificing all that much in the RB department. Yes, Barkley
is a risk at a McCaffrey-like level, but if someone offered me
Barkley-Mitchell instead of Gibson-Elliott, for example, I might
just take it. Sometimes, when you look at future rounds and realize
that RB won't dry up until the middle of Round 4, you also realize
that you don't have to go RB-RB after the initial WR choice. On
top of that, the selection of Clyde Edwards-Helaire really gave
his RB group some backup should Barkley stumble yet again. The
one thing Shovel didn't do that everyone else did is grab a second
tight end. That has proven costly to teams in this league in the
past as an injury to Njoku means zeroes as far as the eyes can
see. Aside from that, though, there's a lot to love here.
Key to No-Hassle Success: Besides the obvious need for no TE
injuries, Shovel just needs Barkley and Mitchell to live up to
their potential. The QB duo he selected should perform fabulously
in this format and will complement Chase and Hill's brilliance
quite well. The reason Shovel didn't take a second TE is because
he apparently wanted his WR corps to be deep and he'll need a
third guy to step up as a result. What will JuJu look like in
his first season outside of Pittsburgh? How will Claypool do in
JuJu's first season outside of Pittsburgh? There are questions
to be answered here, but if the running game produces, this team
could be wildly successful. They will already be well above average
in terms of QB and WR points scored. There is much to like here
even if Njoku is on an island all alone at his position.
Favorite Pick: There are many as I loved this draft. I actually
loved the Tyreek Hill pick despite the fact that I wouldn't have
taken Hill that early. I know that sounds silly, but I love what
the pick ultimately did for the shape of the team. I also loved
the back-to-back Chief picks in Rounds 6 and 7. Why not tap into
a dynamic offense in the middle rounds with combos like that?
Finally, Derek Carr has top-ten written all over him from my perspective
given his coach and his weaponry. His pairing with Burrow is a
match made in best ball heaven.
Least Favorite Pick: I loved every pick on its own merit, but
I would not have neglected the TE2 spot. Surely, the value of
James Robinson or Corey Davis will not end up justifying the lack
of a second tight end. In a league where you can make in-season
acquisitions, it matters little. But, in this league, it could
Overall Outlook: I think this is a potential league winning team.
I guess if something happened to Burrow, it might shut the team
down as that would greatly impact Chase's value as well, but short
of that happening, I just think this is the right way to go about
having a late first round pick. I prefer Deebo Samuel to Hill,
but I like the overall strategy implemented here. One has to know
when the RB well runs dry and getting Mitchell was timed perfectly.
Yes, Shovel doesn't have a second tight end. I think we've made
that clear by now. And, yes, he grabbed his team defense/special
teams awfully early, but in the end, this group works for me.
Expect this team to contend from Day One and perhaps bring Shovel
his first No-Hassle title.
Analysis: After the run on wide receivers in the second half
of the first round, we now have two final teams who went back
to the RB well to open their drafts. Chubb was by far the safest
pick possible here with Kamara facing possible league discipline.
After his selection, ICE weaved in and out of the driving lane
for five rounds grabbing a couple of wide-outs, a starting quarterback,
and a starting tight end. ICE should feel comfortable in the 11/12
spot as he scored a league championship last season from nearly
the exact same perch. He's banking on Davante Adams being the
same receiver in Las Vegas that he was in Green Bay and I have
some doubts about that as chemistry between QB and WR1 often takes
more time than most realize. Then again, Josh Allen and Stefon
Diggs found it quickly, so maybe the same possibility exists here.
During the second half of his draft, ICE went Saints-happy in
the same fashion Remote did with respect to the Titans. This team
has lots of youth, which is typically a recommendation when you're
picking from the bottom of the first round and so there is upside
Key to No-Hassle Success: ICE's decision to double-up on players
from the same NFL team not once, not twice, but FOUR times means
he's got eggs in a very select set of baskets. Two Browns...two
Raiders...two Texans (really?)...and three Saints make up more
than half of his team. Kareem Hunt is technically a handcuff to
Chubb, but his selection begs the question: Does ICE ultimately
benefit more from Chubb and Hunt staying healthy or from one missing
time? It's a puzzling thing to ponder. So many questions/keys
overall make up this team's dynamic beyond just the Adams transition:
Can Breece Hall have success in what has been a black hole for
skill position players for some time now? Can Michael Thomas return
to even a semblance of his former self? And what will Tom Brady
do for an encore after being fantasy's top quarterback at the
age of 44? Variables galore make for some intriguing Sundays in
Favorite Pick: I thought ICE's picks during the first half of
his draft were mostly fine, but none stood out to me as being
truly impactful beyond the scope of consensus expectation. So,
I am looking at the second half of his draft for this moniker.
Michael Thomas is a risky pick, but I think picking up Chris Olave
shortly afterwards makes the combined picking of the two my favorite
thing that ICE did. Either by himself wouldn't be as prudent to
be sure. I also really like the upside of Kadarius Toney late.
That's a cheap price to pay for some potentially explosive talent.
Least Favorite Pick: Darren Waller. This is an easy one for me.
I love Waller, but there are now mouths to feed in Vegas that
could make him an afterthought for long stretches of time. If
ICE was going to take a tight end so early, I think Kittle would
have made a lot more sense, but I could be and often am dead wrong
about such things.
Overall Outlook: I am not entirely sure what to make of this
team. The doubling up of so many players from the same NFL team
is something I generally try to avoid, but it is a strategy that
bears watching. I guess my biggest problem with it is that both
the Texans and Saints could struggle offensively making players
from those teams not all that dynamic. In general, this team seems
to have a lot of players, in fact, from bad NFL teams or at least
questionable offenses, but then again, it also has Tom Brady,
so there's that. ICE isn't as non-conventional as Dan traditionally,
but he's probably second in that department in terms of his drafting
pattern. It's fun to have guys like that in a league provided
they're non-conventional, but skilled. ICE is most definitely
Analysis: Our fearless leader claims that the drafting order
is "random" but in the case of ICE and Matt, our past
two league champions got stuck drafting from the bottom of the
first round. While ICE spent his first six rounds "weaving",
Matt took a truly unique approach going RB-RB-RB to open before
turning all of his attention to WR in the next three rounds. The
result of that is a team that should score very well at the RB
position, but may lack a bit of pop. The back-to-back of Stafford/Ertz
made the non-selection of both positions in the first six rounds
tolerable as both have very solid floors with Stafford's 2021
being vastly underrated it would seem. After Ertz, though, Matt
chose to follow the youth principle previously noted in ICE's
write-up by way of selecting three rookies and a very inexperienced
QB2. While I am a fan of taking youthful players, even rookies,
in the second half of a draft, I might not have taken quite so
many here given that rookies also bust or scarcely see the field
sometimes. That said, only two running backs start in this format
and with three taken right off the bat, there was little to lose
at that position at least.
Key to No-Hassle Success: When you don't address any position
sans RB until the fourth round, you will need to be the top rushing
team in the league as a consequence to contend for a title. Is
D'Andre Swift really first round draft pick material? Can he,
Kamara, and Dobbins make this team the best rushing team, points-wise
in the league? With some of the RB duos established in the early
rounds by other drafters, I have my doubts about all of it. Similarly,
I have doubts about the viability of every wide receiver on this
team beyond Keenan Allen. It is true that both Mooney and Bateman
are now the top wide receivers on their respective NFL teams...but
they're in bad passing offenses and are more WR1s by default than
anything else. Will the former reality be enough to counter the
latter? That, along with establishing rushing prowess looks like
the key to this team's future.
Favorite Pick: There were two picks that I thought really steadied
this draft- Matthew Stafford and Keenan Allen. Both came at times
in which I wondered what in the world Matt was doing and I remember
thinking afterwards- "Oh, OK...I get it now". Typically
when a drafter goes RB-RB-RB to begin their draft, they are doing
so with the option of using the third running as a flex player.
Not so in this case, but I still think Matt could get away with
this strategy thanks in no small part to the two picks previously
Least Favorite Pick: I am not going to fault a unique draft strategy
like this as thinking outside of the box should be applauded,
but I would not have taken both Mooney and Bateman in succession.
I think one of those picks should have been a WR from a much stronger
Overall Outlook: I am intrigued by this team. I know that probably
sounds like a non-committal cop-out, but truth be told the strategy
implemented here just might work if Kamara can play a full season
and Dobbins returns from injury as the player he appeared to be
prior to. The wide receiver corps does not excite me and that
could be the downfall despite all three projected starters being
WR1s on their respective teams. It sits in amazing contrast to
what Hawkeye did in his draft, taking all WR2s on their respective
teams. So, would you rather have the WR1 trio of Allen, Mooney,
and Bateman...or the WR2 trio of Higgins, Waddle, and Robinson?
Sign me up for the second group in spite of the difference in
team status. Beyond that, though, this team could be a rushing
juggernaut as was previously noted. And, maybe that's enough to
overcome all else.