On August 18th, a portion of the FFToday crew
got together for our staff league draft. This is a real league that
will be played out during the season. Team-by-team results and commentary
from each owner are below.
1 point for every: 10 yards rushing, receiving, 20 yards passing,
reception, sack, FUM Rec, INT Ret
2 points for every: safety, PAT rushed, PAT received, PAT thrown
3 points for every: field goal
4 points for every: touchdown thrown
6 points for every: touchdown rushed, received, fumble returned,
interception returned, kick returned
Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: Round 1 was a walk in the
park, obviously, once I learned I had the No.1 pick. Christian McCaffrey
is the best player on nearly everyone's board this season and it
was no different for me. In Round 2, I would have considered RB
if Austin Ekeler had fallen to me, but otherwise it was always going
to be a WR unless Mahomes or Jackson dropped that far (they didn't).
Getting two of my top five at that position made more sense than
reaching for a second RB when the value at the position fell off
of a cliff after Ekeler. With 2 QBs and 2 TEs picked in the first
two rounds prior to my pick, I was hoping to get maximum value at
WR...and I did. While the prospect of having McCaffrey and Mahomes
almost came to pass, in the end, I nabbed a QB I like almost as
much four rounds later. I will take it.
What player(s) did
you miss out on? I really loved my first seven picks and wouldn't
change any of them sans maybe wishing David Johnson was Melvin
Gordon instead. In the 10th round, though, I was looking to take
one WR from the trio of Mike Williams, Jerry Jeudy, and Deebo
Samuel. All went prior to my pick at 10.12 and I had to settle
for Sterling Shepard. So it was down the stretch in this draft
as I felt I missed most of my late-round targets. I love the overall
composition of the team as I think the trio of Godwin, Hopkins,
and A.J. Brown might be the best WR group in the league at the
onset of the season. But, some of the depth picks left a little
to be desired from my perspective with Shepard being a prime example.
Final thought: I am still feeling dumbfounded as to how
A.J. Brown fell to me at 4.12. Maybe it was the concern about
him not being an ideal fit for the PPR scoring format, but I would
have taken him a round and a half earlier without reservation.
Same with Murray and Montgomery at 6.12 and 7.01. Truth be told,
the early (third round) selections of Cam Akers and Jonathan Taylor
really paved the way for a big-time WR to fall and that speaks
to the depth that exists at the position and the desperation that
also exists with respect to finding a second RB you can count
on. All in all, it was a draft with few other surprises and I
think my draft was made easier by way of the position I was drafting
from. Getting three of the top 25 players in a 12-team redraft
isn't something I'm ever going to complain about. Ever. Glad to
be a part of this league once again this season.
Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: There is only one player I
believe can give Christian McCaffrey a true run for his money to
be the overall RB1 this year and that would be Barkley. I'm not
crazy about the Giants facing the likes of the Steelers, Bears and
49ers to begin the season (or the Ravens in Week 16), but there
are a handful of players every year capable of overcoming the matchup
and Barkley is one of those players. At No.23, it's highly unlikely
in competitive leagues that owners will have one of the consensus
top 14 backs fall into their lap. Thus, I was looking for players
to give me a significant positional advantage such as Travis Kelce
or George Kittle.
What player(s) did you miss out on?
I guess I would say Kittle. I REALLY did not want to draft a quarterback
in the second round, but I wanted to draft a receiver there even
less considering how insignificant the difference is between someone
like Chris Godwin and Calvin Ridley or Tyler Lockett (both of
whom I drafted in Rounds 4 and 5) in fantasy.
Final thought: My best advice is to remember this quote:
"Begin with the end in mind." Far too often, fantasy
owners get caught up in trying to draft the best lineup for now
or September as opposed to looking ahead to what the landscape
may look like in December. For example, virtually everyone believes
Jonathan Taylor will run away with the starting job in Indy before
long. OK then, act on it! If you're wrong, you probably have a
low-end RB2 at worst. If you're right, you probably landed a high-end
RB1 in the third round. It's more than thinking outside of ADP,
it's about going to get your guy.
I can't personally rank Taylor over someone like Leonard Fournette
on my Big Boards because Marlon Mack isn't exactly chopped liver
(and I can't ask readers to believe he is), but owners have to
ask themselves where they would rank Taylor if they knew for sure
he was going to be the alpha in the Colts' backfield after Week
4 or maybe even after Week 8. Ultimately, I went with Fournette
in this draft because I do respect Mack. Volume should once again
not be a concern with Fournette and positive touchdown regression
should help him recoup whatever work he loses to Chris Thompson
in the passing game. But if this was one of my high-stakes leagues,
I would probably roll the dice on Taylor. Why? Barkley and the
best-case scenario for Taylor (especially behind his offensive
line) almost guarantees me a finish in the money.
Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: Picking at the three spot,
or rather, anywhere on the front end, is typically what you want.
Not this year. In every mock I’ve done recently, I ended up
with no clear and obvious pick at the 2-3 turn. This draft was no
different. The top 15 running backs were all gone. The top four
wide receivers were all gone. I wanted to go RB-RB, but the value
just didn’t feel like it was there. George Kittle represents
a decisive advantage at the tight end position so I went that direction
and hoped the rest of the draft would fall into place
player(s) did you miss out on? Leonard Fournette and Diontae
Johnson, both times sniped by defending champ, Doug Orth. In each
instance, given how close my even round picks are to my odd round
picks at the front end turn, I regretted not taking the guy first.
I would call both misses “blunders” on my part.
Final thought: I don’t want to pick on the front
end this year. Sure, there’s definitely an advantage in
having Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, or Ezekiel Elliott.
Even Alvin Kamara should be an advantage. But on the back end,
I can be certain I can go RB-RB and then still get the same caliber
wide receivers in rounds three and four that I can get in rounds
two and three from the front end. I felt like I shined in the
later rounds, securing a lot of guys I wanted at good value, but
I’m not thrilled with how my first few picks turned out
Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: After analyzing the last six
season winners from FFToday’s past (see; “Know
Thy Enemy”), it became obvious to me that going “Old
School” was the best strategy. I therefore prepared to go
running back – running back in the first two rounds and kept
with the plan by selecting Alvin Kamara with the fourth pick and
Todd Gurley in the second round.
Kamara gets the nod over Dalvin Cook or Derrick Henry because
this is a full PPR league and his elite ability coming out of
the backfield as a receiver makes him the best choice. Gurley,
while not what he once was, is still a solid option and a “touchdown
maker” (double-digits the past three seasons) in a better
offense than the remaining options. Those options - Leonard Fournette,
rookies Cam Akers and Jonathan Taylor and injury prone guys like
Chris Carson and James Conner all come with more flaws and blemishes
What player(s) did you miss out on?
I got a little too greedy in the seventh round, grabbing a third
running back (Raheem Mostert) instead of a starting quarterback
and it came back to bite me when Matt Ryan was scooped up two
picks later at No.78. Then hometown hero Carson Wentz also was
chosen before I could claim him in the eighth round. I ended up
with Matthew Stafford, which might not be bad, if he plays a full
season. Extrapolating his eight games in 2019 to a full season
would result in 4,998 passing yards, 38 touchdowns, just 10 interceptions
and 25.7 FPts/G.
I also missed on Latavius Murray who went at No.106. With Kamara
already on the roster, Murray would have fit nicely as both a
handcuff and flex option, but the “keeper of backup running
backs” a.k.a. the Mike “the Injury Vulture”
Krueger, added Murray to his vast collection (also Chase Edmonds,
Brian Hill, Justin Jackson) hoping for a chance that one or more
of them will be elevated to starter status during the upcoming
Final thought: Last season’s
winner chose the same two running backs I chose in the first two
rounds (1.03, 2.10) and it worked for him … why not for
me? The Clyde Edwards-Helaire hype train continued to chug along
without regards to his rookie status or the little offseason practice
he’ll get in a complex Andy Reid offense. Lamar Jackson
at No.8 went a full round ahead of any ADP numbers I’ve
seen which had both he and Patrick Mahomes as second-round options.
Are they 3-to-4 rounds better than Dak Prescott (No.55) or Russell
Wilson (No.59) is to-be-determined? Hayden Hurst might be the
best value pick at tight end given the aforementioned Ryan’s
love for his past tight ends Tony Gonzalez and Austin Hooper and
considering 71 of his 321 career touchdown passes (22.1%) have
gone to that position. What is this world coming to when Tom Brady
is picked No.97, Drew Brees at No.112 and Aaron Rodgers goes of
the board at No.114? I chastised myself for selecting socially
repugnant Antonio Brown in the 16th round, but in my mind made
up for my obvious “character flaw” by choosing 2016
NFL Man of the Year Larry Fitzgerald with my next pick. I’m
not sure it works that way, but if Brown helps me dethrone 2019
champion Doug Orth, I’ll learn to live with it.
Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: As the fifth pick of the draft,
I had to make the decision of Michael Thomas or Derrick Henry in
the first round. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was also an option, as he
is an enticing rookie who may end up being a stud player in his
first year for the Chiefs. I also considered Miles Sanders or Dalvin
Cook, but my choice ended up coming down between the top WR in the
draft or a running back who is a standard league monster, but who’s
lack of passing work limits his value in PPR formats.
I chose to go with Thomas for two reasons. First, I believe he
is the safest player in the first round based on past performance,
injury concerns, and continuity in his system with the Saints.
Secondly, in a full PPR format, his massive volume and his consistent
play are too hard to pass up.
My hope was to pair Thomas with an RB in the second round. My
hope was for Aaron Jones, Josh Jacobs, or Austin Ekeler to fall
to me at pick 20. Unfortunately, there was a run of four-straight
running backs leading up to my pick, leaving me with Todd Gurley
as my best option. Instead of going with a running back I am not
high on, I chose to go with the number one tight end, pairing
Kelce with Thomas in rounds one and two.
I typically advocate going with two running backs or an RB/WR
pairing to start the league, but sometimes you need to pivot and
take what you can. I think there is excellent value in landing
two top players at their respective positions, with the goal of
trying to build around them with upside RBs later in the draft,
which is precisely what I did with Kareem Hunt, Antonio Gibson,
and Darrell Henderson to pair with more stable RBs like Melvin
Gordon and Jordan Howard.
What player(s) did you miss out on? I was surprised to
see Aaron Jones go 15th overall based on the threat of AJ Dillon
eating into his workload and value. When choosing Thomas in the
first, my goal was to nab Jones in the second, as I do not agree
with the industry regarding Jones. I believe he will once again
be a monster fantasy performer. Aaron Rodgers loves him, he has
a leg up on pass protection and knows the system, and Jones is
a steal in the second round.
Final thought: I was shocked to see Lamar Jackson go in
the first round. It is not uncommon to see one or two QBs go in
the first round of home leagues, but industry leagues tend to
wait until the 2nd or 3rd round before QBs to go off the board.
I was also surprised to see Kenyan Drake go in the first round.
I have yet to participate in a league where the Cardinal RB went
in the first 12 picks.
Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: The top five picks in fantasy
football are mostly set in stone across the fantasy world, but the
sixth pick is where things tend to veer in different directions
– and the sixth pick is exactly where I landed in this draft.
With the top four backs and Michael Thomas off the board, I opted
to go with the 2019 rushing champion, Derrick Henry. While I’m
not entirely convinced that Henry just suddenly became “unstoppable”
once the second half of the 2019 season began, I am completely confident
that the Titans view him as the core of their offense. Whether for
better or for worse from an analytical standpoint, Henry is practically
locked in to 300 touches as long as he remains healthy, and he’s
one of the safest bets to remain healthy given his massive frame.
My second round pick is a player who plays a lot like Henry,
and that was Nick Chubb. I had the opportunity to take one of
the remaining “elite” wide receivers like DeAndre
Hopkins or Chris Godwin, or even one of the two top tight ends,
but I opted to double down on running back because I believe that
there’s a substantial enough drop off at the position that
I just cannot trust even the mid-round backs to be consistent
producers in my lineup.
While they don’t excel in PPR formats, Henry and Chubb
are on the short list of players who could lead the entire NFL
in rushing this season and that makes them extremely valuable.
Selecting these two cornerstone backs to start my draft then allowed
me to smash the wide receiver position with four straight picks,
wherein I landed four players who could all see 130 or more targets
this season. I believe this to be the ideal structural start to
the draft in a PPR league where we start three two running backs,
three wide receivers, and two flex positions.
What player(s) did you miss out on? Most fantasy analysts
are accustomed to seeing quarterbacks stay on the draft board
for much longer than they would in normal leagues, I think most
of us were pretty surprised to still see Kyler Murray and Deshaun
Watson still hanging around as late as they did. I was prepared
to take either of them and was pretty confident that I’d
get one as I looked at the draft board. Then both players came
off the board within a handful of picks prior to my seventh round
selection. This forced my hand a bit in selecting Matt Ryan, who
I was not nearly as excited about even though I know that he’s
a solid and safe choice, as I don’t believe he has No.1
QB upside like Murray and Watson do.
The only other pick that really had me tilting throughout the
draft was when Mike Krueger took Chase Edmonds in Round 10. While
Edmonds isn’t coveted by everyone, I believe that he has
true RB1 upside in the event that Kenyan Drake gets injured or
just isn’t able to pick up where he left off in 2019. Edmonds
is a quietly explosive potential every-down back and the Arizona
offense should be improved again this season so he has some league-winning
upside. I was discouraged to see him go off the board quite a
bit earlier than he has been going in most drafts.
Final thought: The youth movement was in full effect in
this draft as quite a few owners took some serious risks early
in the draft, passing up on proven talent for the hope that a
young, unproven player will break out.
The first big example I saw of this was at pick 3.08 when Joseph
Hutchins selected Rams rookie running back Cam Akers. Akers’
ADP is closer to a sixth round pick, but Joseph also knew that
Akers was unlikely to fall that far in a league like this where
his fellow owners tend to swing for upside. Fellow rookie back
Jonathan Taylor came off the board with the following pick and
while I personally believe that Taylor is an elite-level talent,
it’s also true that neither Akers nor Taylor is locked in
to an early season workload. With proven producers like Chris
Carson and Melvin Gordon still on the board, it seemed like those
picks were pretty risky, especially for Joseph who did not invest
much in RB depth after his Akers selection.
Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: I hoped to get a top 5 running
back but ended up with a middle spot (which I’m always uncomfortable
with) and had to settle for Dalvin Cook, who is productive but yields
carries to the other backs and is somewhat brittle. A case can be
made for Cook being the No.5 RB in PPR leagues over Derrick Henry.
On the way back, I had to settle again, this time with Tyreek Hill
as my WR1. He got hurt the next day. Not a good start.
What player(s) did you miss out on? I really wanted Clyde
Edwards-Helaire in Round 2, but he was long gone. And I was hoping
Austin Ekeler fell to me at 2.06, but he was taken two spots ahead
of me by Bill Anderson. Kenny Golladay was a round 3 target but
he was nabbed a couple picks before I could take him. It’s
a savvy league!
Final thought: My two-QB plan followed the Draft Buddy
recommendations and I value drafted my backup – Aaron Rodgers
– in round 10. He’ll be available for trade once somebody
loses their QB1 and I can hopefully get a WR2 in return. I was
very happy to get Emmanuel Sanders as my WR4 with two flex spots
in this league and feel like he could have a monster season in
the Saints offense. In general, I feel like my team has lots of
potential if things go my way and a couple of guys hit their upside.
Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: Conventional wisdom says to
load up on positions of scarcity early and feast on positions of
abundance late. I guess that makes my draft pretty unconventional,
which the lads were only too eager to point out in the live chat
and which is pretty on-brand for me. The question was this: Did
I want RB7, WR2, or QB1 at the eighth spot after six backs and one
wideout had already been selected? RB7 should have been Aaron Jones
(four others ended up going sooner) and WR2 was Davante Adams, deepening
the dilemma for this diehard Packer backer. In the end, I opted
to nab the most scintillating fantasy asset of all, Lamar Jackson,
despite the fact I could have waited many more rounds for a capable
triggerman, especially in a one-QB league. Will Jackson be worth
the opportunity cost? Well, he was more than a touchdown better
PER GAME last year than Patty Mahomes, the richest player in the
sport. Moreover, I ended up nabbing Josh Jacobs in Round 2, a guy
I liked better than all six of the running backs I missed out on
post-Jackson. Score one for Mr. Contrarian, I think.
player(s) did you miss out on? I thought Odell Beckham Jr.
might drop to me in the fourth round and I’d have been giddy
to have him. Alas, the Commish snapped him up just a couple picks
prior, meaning D.K. Metcalf, Seattle’s super soph, will
be my WR1 heading into the season. I love the kid and think he’ll
be Russ Wilson’s best target when all is said and done,
but he was only WR25 last season. That makes my WR corps the most
unproven in the league. I also wanted OBJ’s battery mate,
Baker Mayfield, as my backup slinger, thinking he’s primed
for a bounceback campaign with better protection and great offensive
weapons. Again, Bill Anderson stole him right out from under me
in Round 12, so I’ll ride with Daniel Jones as my QB2. Meh.
Final thought: I get why running backs go like hotcakes
in the first couple rounds, but I also know that, at some point,
you’re giving up the chance to draft game-changers at other
positions in order to grab lineup fillers. I want those game-changers
(read: Lamar) and trust that I’ll find RB value later in
the draft or on the waiver wire when attrition inevitably hits.
We already know it hits that position particularly hard. My other
takeaway from this draft is very 2020-specific. Simply put, it
can be very liberating to go into drafts with little to no preparation
(totally guilty!). Just wing it, friends, and be a draft disruptor
this year! It’s fun!
Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: No matter what I was going
RB-RB. I’ve done a ton of drafts and the running back position
gets ugly FAST after the 3rd round. I’m very happy with Sanders
and Ekeler, especially in PPR even though both come with some workload
risk. Unless it’s superflex, I’m 100% coming away with
2 RBs in the first two rounds this year.
What player(s) did you miss out on? WRs went fast and
furious here, I guess based on PPR scoring. It seemed at every
step of the draft receivers were being taken a few picks before
I targeted them. Early on it was OBJ one pick before me in round
4. Then it was Hardman and Perriman in the middle rounds, and
finally Steven Sims near the end of the draft. Most of these guys
may not be big names but they were guys I targeted for value and
missing out on them caused me to draft 4 rookie receivers which
is a very risky strategy, especially this season.
Final thought: One big thing that stood out to me was
players not on my wish list who fell to amazing value positions.
A guy like Deshaun Watson for example, falling to the 7th; I’m
not super high on Watson but I’m kicking myself for not
taking him. Same with JuJu at the end of the 3rd or Melvin Gordon
in the late 4th or even Edelman at the very end of the 7th. These
are all guys I’m not high on but at a certain point the
value becomes too great to pass up. If you’re only doing
one or two leagues then I totally get going after “your
guys” but if you play in multiple leagues, mix it up and
take some players you might not LOVE if they represent incredible
value. It just may make all the difference in winning your league.
Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: The available running backs
in the back half of Round 1 will vary from league to league but
expect one of Miles Sanders, Kenyan Drake, Joe Mixon or Clyde Edwards-Helaire
to be available at No.10. I wanted to leave my first two picks with
at least one RB and while I preferred Davante Adams over Julio Jones,
I was willing to take a gamble on the rookie CEH in Round 1 and
“settle” for Julio in Round 2. My Chiefs homerism may
have had something to do with the CEH pick.
What player(s) did you miss out on? I definitely got sniped
and yelled out a few expletives during this draft. Once I grabbed
Julio, I was all set on attempting to stack Falcons with QB Matt
Ryan and TE Hayden Hurst. I thought I could get Ryan in Round 7,
but he went four picks in front of me. So much for that plan. Jalen
Reagor was my target in Round 9 and RB Damien Harris in Round 13,
but both times Mr. Bill Anderson was reading my mind. Thanks Bill.
Final thought: I continue to be surprised how early the D/ST
position gets taken in drafts (SF went at 11.05). Since it’s
such a difficult position to project and there’s an overabundance
of supply, it screams waiting until the last couple rounds to make
your move. Choose and D/ST that you believe has easy early-season
schedule like the Eagles, who face @Washington, Los Angeles Rams
and Cincinnati the first three weeks of the season.
Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: I’ve always hated getting
stuck with a pick at the top or bottom of the 1st round, and of
course I picked 11th. Selecting 11th and then 14th meant I was really
hoping I could nab two top tier running backs, because I knew darn
well that by the time I picked again in Round 3 I’d have no
chance. I got Kenyon Drake with my 1st round pick but by the time
Round 2 came around I found myself in a tough spot. With Josh Jacobs
and Nick Chubb staring me in the face, I decided to pivot. In a
standard league I’d probably have gone Jacobs, but this is
a PPR league, and I just don’t think either of these guys
will catch many passes. My well curated strategy went out the window
20 minutes in, and Davante Adams became the pick! I was left to
hope a solid RB would fall to me in Round 3 and I was thrilled to
click the “draft” button on Chris Carson’s name
when the time came.
What player(s) did you miss out on?
I was desperately targeting Brandin Cooks as the draft moved into
the middle rounds. By the time round 7 came around I was looking
for a WR3 and Cooks was still there! 7.03, still there. 7.05 still
there! I was sure I’d get a chance to add a guy as my third
receiver who has a legit shot to catch at least 80 passes. But
alas the dream ended just four picks away at 7.08 when Hutchins
scooped him up. I ended up picking Jamison Crowder (who I’m
also very high on), but Cooks is in a much better offense and
has a bigger upside. So close!
Final thought: This year has been like no other in my
lifetime, and this season of football is going to be a confusing,
wild, ride. I usually love to draft young guys that ooze upside,
but with the offseason turmoil, I do think rookies are going to
find it hard to adjust in the early going, especially any of young
backs who struggle with pass protection, or receivers with inexperienced
quarterbacks. I wanted to construct a roster of veteran players
on offenses that have continuity and familiarity. I changed it
up this year and made sure I had an “anchor” player
at each of my positions. With Wilson, Drake, Adams, and Andrews,
each of my positions has a high floor player on a great offense.
I stayed away from rookies for the most part, at least until I
had my main slots filled. I won’t blow the doors off of
anyone, but I’m hoping that being able to field a consistent
weekly lineup will be good enough to get me a playoff shot through
this turbulent 2020 season!
Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: With picks 12 & 13, I
expected to be able to land two out of the five RBs that typically
go around the first turn in PPR leagues: Joe Mixon, Kenyan Drake,
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Miles Sanders, & Aaron Jones. Mixon was
the one I wanted most, so I didn't mind settling for Jones (my least
favorite) over the other 3--though I came within one pick of getting
the Mixon-Drake combo that I would have considered ideal.
player(s) did you miss out on? I missed out on both Houston
receivers. I don't think they had any business sliding into the
7th, but as late as the middle of that round, I thought I was
going to get both at 7.12 & 8.01. Instead, Joseph Hutchins
sniped Brandin Cooks at 7.08, & Bill Anderson immediately
scooped up Will Fuller at 7.09. I ended up with Julian Edelman
& Golden Tate instead, who could both be fine--though neither
presents the tantalizing prospects of Fuller & Cooks in an
offense suddenly missing DeAndre Hopkins.
Final thought: My final thought is that sometimes even
when you renounce your first instinct, you can't keep it from
triumphing. As the time approached for me to make my 5.12 &
6.01 picks, I noticed that both A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd were
available and thought, "Hmm, that could work." But then
I remembered that Mixon was my first pick, & I didn't want
to pin my hopes on the Bengals to that extent. So I decided to
focus on the highest upside WR I could find on another team in
that range: Terry McLaurin. When McLaurin was poached by Bill
Anderson (you see this pattern of behavior from Bill, don't you?),
I couldn't bring myself to contemplate any plan except the one
I had already ruled out, so I ended up with Mixon, Green, &
Boyd even though that was exactly what I had decided to eliminate