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Footballguys Staff Mock Draft 4, MFL10 format, 12 team PPR

The Footballguys staff got together for their fourth mock draft of 2016. A 12 team, PPR, MFL10 format. Justin Howe provides an in-depth evaluation summary and each team answers questions about their team/strategy. 

On July 20th, twelve members of the Footballguys staff got together for the site's fourth draft of 2016. Justin Howe provides an in-depth summary of each team and each participant answers questions about their draft and strategies. 

League Parameters

  • 12 teams
  • 20 roster spots
  • Starting Lineup
    • 1 quarterback
    • 2 running backs
    • 3 wide receivers
    • 1 tight end
    • 1 flex (either a running back, wide receiver, or tight end)
    • 1 team defense

League Scoring

  • Offensive Players
    • 4 points - passing touchdown
    • 6 points - rushing/receiving touchdown
    • 0.05 points - passing yard
    • 0.1 points - rushing/receiving yard
    • 1 point - reception
  • Team Defense
    • 6 points - touchdown
    • 2 points - turnover recovered
    • 2 points - safety
    • 1 point - sack
    • 10 points - Offensive points against: 0-0
    • 7 points - Offensive points against: 1-6
    • 4 points - Offensive points against: 7-20
    • 1 point - Offensive points against: 21-29
    • -3 points - Offensive points against: 30-99
    • 6 points each - Number of Defensive and Special Teams Touchdowns

THE DRAFT ORDER

The draft order was created randomly. After the first round, the draft continues in a regular serpentine manner. Click here for the team rosters and the draft pick by pick

1. BJ Vanderwoude
2. Justin Bonnema
3. Bear Heiser
4. Danny Tuccitto
5. Will Grant
6. Cian Fahey
7. Andy Hicks
8. Ari Ingel
9. Phil Alexander
10. Stephen Holloway
11. Jason Wood
12. James Brimacombe

Starting with BJ Vanderwoude from the 1.01 spot, Justin Howe provides an unbiased evaluation of each team's draft performance

BJ Vanderwoude - Slot 1

Pick Ovr Selection
1.01 1 Brown, Antonio PIT WR
2.12 24 Ingram, Mark NOS RB
3.01 25 Martin, Doug TBB RB
4.12 48 Baldwin, Doug SEA WR
5.01 49 Edelman, Julian NEP WR
6.12 72 Palmer, Carson ARI QB
7.01 73 Hurns, Allen JAC WR
8.12 96 Sims, Charles TBB RB
9.01 97 Jennings, Rashad NYG RB
10.12 120 Graham, Jimmy SEA TE
11.01 121 Miller, Zach CHI TE
12.12 144 Agholor, Nelson PHI WR
13.01 145 Kearse, Jermaine SEA WR
14.12 168 Allen, Javorius BAL RB
15.01 169 Taylor, Tyrod BUF QB
16.12 192 Chiefs, Kansas City KCC Def
17.01 193 Amendola, Danny NEP WR
18.12 216 Eagles, Philadelphia PHI Def
19.01 217 Griffin III, Robert CLE QB
20.12 240 Ware, Spencer KCC RB

Overall Strategy

Balanced, with a slight wide receiver lean early; punt the tight end (and the backup quarterback)

Best Pick

Charles Sims, 8.12, RB36. Sims was last year’s RB20 in MFL10s during a career resurgence for Doug Martin. I can’t explain the disparity there – that suggests Sims’ star is still on the rise, so RB36 is absurdly low. I expect Sims’ receiving share to keep increasing slightly, and his rushing potential is especially high behind the inconsistent Martin. This is a bald-faced steal.

Worst Pick

Carson Palmer, 6.12, QB7. The sixth round is just far too early for me to dip into the second QB tier, especially for Palmer. I expect a little regression to the mean there; with age and injury history added to the equation, Palmer is one of the riskier options in this tier. The likes of Eli Manning (9th), Andy Dalton (10th), and Matthew Stafford (11th) were available much later. At least Vanderwoude wisely stayed out of the backup QB market until taking two high-upside guys in the 15th and 19th.

Evaluation

This looks like a great value-based draft that went according to plan. Vanderwoude clearly wanted two RB1 types to lean on, and he chose two high-usage guys on the 2/3 turn to do it. But what sets off this WR-heavy roster is the value Vanderwoude pulled at RB in the middle rounds. Guys like Sims and Jennings see more usage than these draft slots suggest, while Allen and Ware look poised to outplay theirs even as NFL backups.

post-draft questions

Drafting first overall can be a challenge, especially at the turn of the third and fourth round. What advice would you give to someone drafting in this slot? In a Best Ball league, is there any difference in strategy? (The first pick has the 2-3 and 4-5 turn)

The merits of drafting Antonio Brown first overall have increased with news that L. Bell will miss the first four games due to suspension. I am also a fan of taking Brown because of the options available at running back in the second and third rounds. In this draft I was lucky enough to snag Doug Martin and Mark Ingram, two running backs who I feel will be every week starters with the upside to finish inside the top five at their position. To take it one step further, I was then able to complete my starting wide receivers by drafting Doug Baldwin and Julian Edelman in the fourth and fifth rounds. The first overall pick is a gift, so I see no reason to overthink the drafting strategy, especially in best ball formats. There is value in the later rounds at quarterback, tight end and running back, so the optimal strategy is to make sure you have high volume starters at wide receiver. The other positions can be put together by committee.

2. Which pick in the first ten rounds of your draft are you most concerned about? Explain your thoughts.

It is a toss up between Allen Hurns (7.01) and Jimmy Graham (10.12). Hurns is my WR4 on paper, but he's also the best candidate to fill my flex position. The Jaguars offense is on the rise due to a wealth of young talent at the skill positions, and I'm worried that the additional mouths to feed--most notably Julius Thomas--will cut into Hurns targets. Additionally, the Jaguars signed Chris Ivory to a rather large contract indicating that they will at least attempt to balance out their offense. This is not good news for a big play wide receiver who needs volume to balance out variance. The upside is certainly there and worth the risk in the seventh round, but his stats are most likely in for a reduction across the board.

Jimmy Graham worries me for many reasons, not least of which is his availability for week 1 (ruptured patellar tendon). Throw in the fact that he is playing in a completely different offense with a different quarterback than his and it's hard not to temper your expectations for a player who has should have as much as any player at his position. I was concerned enough about his prospects that I felt the need to draft Zach Miller immediately following my Graham pick, as I figured a committee approach was the correct strategy given the thin player pool at tight end in the 10th round.

3. What position is most important to have consistent production in Best Ball leagues? How do you draft to ensure this is covered?

I touched on it in my first question, but I think having consistent production out of your top four wide receivers is most important. It is the only position that cannot be cobbled together with a committee approach because of the scoring gap between the top players and those that would be used in that type of strategy. The quarterback position is also very high on my priority list, but that doesn't mean I have to spend a high pick on one. It is important because of the value available in the middle rounds, and the ease of which you are able to put together a competitive group of quarterbacks. If you are not getting 20 points a week out of your starting quarterbacks in best ball formats, you are giving up valuable points to the other players in your league.

Justin Bonnema - Slot 2

Pick Ovr Selection
1.02 2 Jones, Julio ATL WR
2.11 23 Cobb, Randall GBP WR
3.02 26 McCoy, LeSean BUF RB
4.11 47 Floyd, Michael ARI WR
5.02 50 Rodgers, Aaron GBP QB
6.11 71 Mathews, Ryan PHI RB
7.02 74 Stewart, Jonathan CAR RB
8.11 95 Ebron, Eric DET TE
9.02 98 Aiken, Kamar BAL WR
10.11 119 Bennett, Martellus NEP TE
11.02 122 Williams, DeAngelo PIT RB
12.11 143 Coates, Sammie PIT WR
13.02 146 Ervin, Tyler HOU RB (R)
14.11 167 Hogan, Chris NEP WR
15.02 170 Texans, Houston HOU Def
16.11 191 Garcon, Pierre WAS WR
17.02 194 Starks, James GBP RB
18.11 215 Osweiler, Brock HOU QB
19.02 218 Lynch, Paxton DEN QB (R)
20.11 239 Lions, Detroit DET Def

Overall Strategy

Balanced, with the early-round focus on WRs and middle rounds invested at RB; more backup QB hatred

Best Pick

James Starks, 17.02, RB61. I’m not sure why handcuff backs were so loathed in this draft, nor why Eddie Lacy’s owner didn’t scoop Starks much earlier. Either way, Bonnema’s not complaining – he snagged a RB3 handcuff with real RB1/2 potential in Round 17. That’s always a win – especially in a PPR MFL10.

Worst Pick

Randall Cobb, 2.11, WR14. Cobb should bounce back fine, but I doubt he can reach this level again. The Packers passing game isn’t quite as high-volume as many think. It’s very TD-dependent, and with Jordy Nelson returning, Cobb will have to set the world on fire with 12+ TDs to return this value. He’s a fine slot man, but not the dominator type most likely to do that. Bonemma passed on similar ceilings but stronger floors in the likes of Brandin Cooks, T.Y. Hilton, and Jarvis Landry.

Evaluation

I love the forward thinking of Bonnema’s long wait at quarterback. After locking down a top-tier guy at just the right time – Rodgers came at the very end of a value-based tier – Bonemma stood pat until Round 18. That’s smart best-ball thinking that allowed him to buy upside liberally throughout his draft. And to me, he chose wisely. There are shrewd handcuff backs and wideouts with volume potential all over this roster.

Post-Draft Questions

1. What draft strategies did you have with this being a Best Ball league? Were you able to follow that strategy or did the draft unfold differently causing you to use a different approach? 

My overall strategy this season has been to target running backs early unless I have a top three draft pick. In this mock, I was drafting second so I knew I’d miss out on the few backs I want. As such, I decided the best approach was to grab two top wide receivers then build running back depth later. Unfortunately, my team ended up with a very risky collection of RBs.

2. Which player on your team, if he hits, will be the main driver of success for your team?  Explain why you have high expectations for this player. 

I think Randall Cobb could be a difference maker. The return of Jordy Nelson is going to be huge for this offense and Cobb will be the one that stands to benefit the most (outside of Aaron Rodgers). I wouldn’t necessarily expect 2014 numbers, but he should easily move up the standings after finishing as WR26 last year in PPR leagues.

3. What's more important in Best Ball leagues - Talented players on lesser offenses or role players on high scoring offenses? 

You obviously need a little bit of both to win in this format, but as the draft progresses it’s a good strategy to target high scoring offenses. Since I don’t have to deal with start/sit stress, I love loading up on guys that are going have a few weeks where they go nuts. They might be a tough nut to crack in season long, but in MFL10s, they’re a perfect fit.  

Bear Heiser - Slot 3

Pick Ovr Selection
1.03 3 Bell, Le'Veon PIT RB
2.1 22 Thomas, Demaryius DEN WR
3.03 27 Cooks, Brandin NOS WR
4.1 46 Reed, Jordan WAS TE
5.03 51 Decker, Eric NYJ WR
6.1 70 Langford, Jeremy CHI RB
7.03 75 White, Kevin CHI WR
8.1 94 Bortles, Blake JAC QB
9.03 99 Austin, Tavon RAM WR
10.1 118 Crowell, Isaiah CLE RB
11.03 123 Smith, Steve BAL WR
12.1 142 Sanu, Mohamed ATL WR
13.03 147 Wright, Kendall TEN WR
14.1 166 Cook, Jared GBP TE
15.03 171 Spiller, C.J. NOS RB
16.1 190 Bridgewater, Teddy MIN QB
17.03 195 McFadden, Darren DAL RB
18.1 214 Bills, Buffalo BUF Def
19.03 219 Carey, Ka'Deem CHI RB
20.1 238 Garoppolo, Jimmy NEP QB

Overall Strategy

Balanced, with a slight early WR focus and all starting spots filled by Round 8

Best Pick

Tavon Austin, 9.03, WR43. Last year’s WR29 gets an almost certain upgrade at quarterback, and his versatility offers a safer floor than we typically see in Round 9. Discounted for his lack of a traditional wideout role, Austin’s peripheral usage has shot through the roof over the last two years; he now offers plenty of all-around usage and is far more valuable than this.

Worst Pick

Demaryius Thomas, 2.10, WR13. Heiser left Brandin Cooks, T.Y. Hilton, and some strong upside plays on the board in favor of Thomas, who will have to overcome numerous hinderances. A decidedly run-based offense, some unfavorable game scripts, and semi-brutal quarterbacking will make it hard for him to return on a WR13 investment.

Evaluation

Bell’s suspension was certainly a next-day blow, but Heiser has assembled a roster than can weather it. Shades of the zero-RB strategy were used here, resulting in multiple late-round stabs at backs with underrated volume potential. He’s a bit WR-heavy and could use more insulation at TE, but he’s wisely locked down his flex spot with gobs of options.

Post-Draft Questions

1. Which player of yours drafted between the 10th and 20th round are you most excited about this year? Explain.

Oh, Steve Smith, no doubt. Smith, easily, is one of the most fun guys to watch in the league. This being the last season before he retires, I'm especially interested to see what he's able to do after missing much of the 2015 season due to injury.  

2. What position is most important to draft in Best Ball leagues in the first 5 rounds? Explain your answer.

Personally, and I'm not sure this sentiment is correct, but it has to be wide receiver. Over the course of the season, a handful of running backs will appear out of nowhere and excel. Receivers appear to be a little bit different. Lock in your studs and move on to the next round. There are a few caveats, though. The first being draft position and the second being who's left on your board when your time comes.

3. You drafted several backup running backs. Explain your strategy behind that approach. 

I don't see as many backups on my roster as you see. Ka'Deem Carey was selected as a handcuff for Jeremy Langford. In a best ball-style league, drafting a starter and his backup seem to be a winning strategy more often that not. The next guy is Isaiah Crowell, who is on track to be the starter in Cleveland. I think Crowell breaks out this season. Now, C.J. Spiller, I'm simply hoping he finally becomes the player we all thought he would be a few seasons ago. And finally, Run DMC, Mr. Darren McFadden. McFadden is coming off what arguably was his best season in the NFL. With a rookie listed as the current starter, here's to hoping he gets enough carries to make a difference. Since drafting McFadden, the Cowboys first-round pick, Ezekiel Elliott, reportedly has some legal troubles in his future. So who really knows what will happen in the Cowboys' backfield. Odds are McFadden receives enough of a look to put up some half-decent fantasy numbers.

 

Danny Tuccitto - Slot 4

Pick Ovr Selection
1.04 4 Beckham, Odell NYG WR
2.09 21 Evans, Mike TBB WR
3.04 28 Hilton, T.Y. IND WR
4.09 45 Olsen, Greg CAR TE
5.04 52 Murray, Latavius OAK RB
6.09 69 Fleener, Coby NOS TE
7.04 76 Jones, Marvin DET WR
8.09 93 Abdullah, Ameer DET RB
9.04 100 Gates, Antonio SDC TE
10.09 117 Winston, Jameis TBB QB
11.04 124 Dixon, Kenneth BAL RB (R)
12.09 141 Ferguson, Josh IND RB (R)
13.04 148 Ryan, Matt ATL QB
14.09 165 Boyd, Tyler CIN WR (R)
15.04 172 Mitchell, Malcolm NEP WR (R)
16.09 189 Collins, Alex SEA RB (R)
17.04 196 Fitzpatrick, Ryan NYJ QB
18.09 213 Packers, Green Bay GBP Def
19.04 220 Marshall, Keith WAS RB (R)
20.09 237 Browns, Cleveland CLE Def

Overall Strategy

Lightly zero-RB; waiting for a quarterback; inviting tight ends to the flex party

Best Picks

Late-round rookies. Tuccitto clearly goes looking for the rookie values, and he does it at appropriate times. Over the back half of the draft, he landed four rookie RBs with varying usage outlooks – two of them string pass game prospects – and two intriguing first-year wideouts. Let the other guys chase the high-drafted Josh Doctson and Derrick Henry (far too) early. There’s little projectable value in them, but gobs in these late-round gems.

Worst Pick

Coby Fleener, 6.09, TE6. I’m not particularly bullish on the high-end projections I’ve seen for Fleener. His landing spot and sporadic production notwithstanding, it’s hard to project him at or beyond Ben Watson’s truly stunning 2015. The Saints have taken great strides to add (and keep) their pass catchers, and their decision to retain ultra-promising backup Josh Hill probably dictates a hard ceiling for Fleener. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that Fleener is at best a flawed, one-dimensional player whose play doesn’t always demand a full snap count. I like him somewhat, but 6.09 is a bit of a stretch with some dynamic RBs and WRs on the board.

Evaluation

There’s a ton of favorable data behind chasing tight ends in the middle rounds. Pass games keep ascending, and TE1s are outscoring WR2s at a higher rate than many realize. So I like Tuccitto’s game here; while I don’t love the tight ends he chose, he’s at least chasing a progressive strategy. It’s one that places a little less importance on RB quality, freeing Tuccitto to fill out his RB chart with value rookies over the second half of his draft.

post-draft questions

1. You drafted one running back in the first five rounds. Explain why you chose this strategy.
 

The result was a combination of my strategy going into the draft plus everyone else throwing me for a loop by taking running backs way earlier than I expected. Going in, my plan was as follows:

A) Take a wide receiver at No. 4.
B) Take two wide receivers and one running back with my first three picks.
C) Take two tight ends and one wide receiver (or running back) with my next three picks.
D) Overall, the goal was 0 QBs, 1 RB, 3 WRs, and 2 TEs through Round 6.
 
When it came time for my second pick, plenty of worthy running backs were still available, and the top eight players on my board were wide receivers, so I took Evans at 21 with the expectation of grabbing one of the running backs seven picks later. Then this happened: Mark Ingram went 24th, Doug Martin went 25th, and LeSean McCoy went 26th. Once that trio was gone (unexpectedly), my next-highest ranked running back was Matt Forte (No. 35), and T.Y. Hilton -- my 20th ranked player -- was (unexpectedly) still out there. Therefore, I went with Hilton over Forte at 28. "No plan survives contact with the enemy," as they say.
 
A similar thing happened at 45. I was planning to take a running back there, but the two I would have taken, Forte and Duke Johnson, got drafted 37th and 41st, respectively. In addition, running backs I had ranked lower than 45th overall but was willing to reach for also got taken just before my pick: Carlos Hyde (ranked 68th overall, went 36th), Dion Lewis (ranked 60th, went 40th), and Thomas Rawls (ranked 81st, went 43rd). Therefore, I took Olsen. From there, I finally got my RB1 at No. 52, and then completed my 0-1-3-2 plan by taking Fleener.
 
2. Which pick of yours do you feel you received the most value? Explain why you like that player this year.
 
Purely in terms of players I got the farthest below their ranking on my board, my quarterback trio was my biggest value. I had Jameis Winston ranked 84th overall in this format, and I got him at No. 117. I had Matt Ryan ranked 86th overall and got him at No. 148. Even Fitzpatrick, who was just a flier, could turn into a great value if/when the Jets sign him.

Earlier in the draft, Coby Fleener fell to me at No. 69, 30 picks lower than his ranking on my board. There's not much to dislike about Fleener's prospects this season. He's only 27. The Saints are heavily invested in him. He's got a great quarterback. The offense he's playing in passes as much as any team in the league, and it produced a TE1 season from 35-year old, previously washed-up Ben Watson last year

3. You drafted six rookies. Explain why you think this strategy can be beneficial to your success in this Best Ball league. 

Boyd was the best left of a mediocre bunch, while Mitchell was a total flier, so the wide receiver picks were more about tactics than strategy. Picking four rookie running backs, on the other hand, was indeed strategic. Seeing as how I don't play best-ball leagues much, playing in one against experts meant -- if I was being honest with myself -- I was a decided underdog. Also, the payout is top-heavy. For both of these reasons, a high-variance strategy was definitely the way to go.

Therefore, I decided to try to exploit one of the highest-variance situations in fantasy football: Rookie running backs who won't begin the season as a starter, but have a clear path to the starting job during the season. All four of the players I selected fit the bill, some more so than others. Marshall appears to have the toughest path, but he was the Speed Score champion this year. Ferguson and Dixon are in similar situations, backing up old starters with weak competition if the starter gets hurt. Collins' situation is the murkiest of the four, but, if things fall ideally, he'll be the starter on one of the most run-heavy offenses in the league. Again, am I being overly optimistic here? You betcha. That was the point.

 

Will Grant - Slot 5

Pick Ovr Selection
1.05 5 Hopkins, DeAndre HOU WR
2.08 20 Charles, Jamaal KCC RB
3.05 29 Anderson, C.J. DEN RB
4.08 44 Matthews, Jordan PHI WR
5.05 53 Fitzgerald, Larry ARI WR
6.08 68 Roethlisberger, Ben PIT QB
7.05 77 Barnidge, Gary CLE TE
8.08 92 Snead, Willie NOS WR
9.05 101 Wheaton, Markus PIT WR
10.08 116 Dalton, Andy CIN QB
11.05 125 Matthews, Rishard TEN WR
12.08 140 Sproles, Darren PHI RB
13.05 149 Seferian-Jenkins, Austin TBB TE
14.08 164 Thompson, Chris WAS RB
15.05 173 Tye, Will NYG TE
16.08 188 Panthers, Carolina CAR Def
17.05 197 West, Charcandrick KCC RB
18.08 212 Steelers, Pittsburgh PIT Def
19.05 221 Wentz, Carson PHI QB (R)
20.08 236 Colts, Indianapolis IND Def

Overall Strategy

Balanced, with a slight early RB focus and all starting spots filled by Round 7

Best Picks

Darren Sproles, 12.08, RB50 and Chris Thompson, 14.08, RB54. Grant really built his running backs wisely. With two upper-tier yet value-priced anchors in tow, Grant sought to fill out his depth chart much later, casting several lottery tickets in an educated manner. The hope is that one or two will provide at least occasional RB2 value – and he made some shrewd guesses. Sproles and Thompson project to dominate their teams’ passing downs even as backups, providing high week-to-week ceilings. And don’t overlook West, a SPARQ superstar who showed decently in place of Jamaal Charles last year.

Worst Pick

Gary Barnidge, 7.05, TE7. Barnidge benefitted from a perfect storm in 2015, riding a massively pass-first offensive script and a strong connection with Josh McCown to a massive breakout. But going forward, things are murky at best. Barnidge will turn 31 in September, but had posted just 44 catches across six seasons prior to last year. With run-minded coach Hue Jackson on board and scintillating first-rounder Corey Coleman in the mix, Barnidge faces an uphill battle to remain a volume option. If Josh Gordon winds up rejoining the team, Barnidge would likely be a near-afterthought.

Evaluation

Like Bear Heiser, Grant clearly eschewed any position-heavy strategies and drafted for projected value. That’s always a risky method, as the drafter is entirely invested in his or her own specific expectations with little margin for error. But I like Grant’s approach – the RB methodology he used here was very crafty – and he landed plenty of volume potential.

Post-Draft Questions

1. You drafted two running backs early and didn't take another until round 11. In doing so, you have a RB3 by committee. What expectations do you have for those later round running backs?

With PPR in a best ball format, you want to make sure that  you have a solid group of WRs because even a 5 catch, 50 yard performance can be better for your team than a later round RB who might never start. That being said, I didn't plan on waiting that long to take my RB3, but by the time my picks came up from round to round, I felt the value was at the WR position so I went back to that position with four of my next six picks.  So for my later round RBS, I really need someone to show up and generate a few points each week. West was an obvious handcuff for Charles and I'm hoping that Thompson sees a bigger role this season. My off weeks balance pretty well, so hopefully one of those guys has an above average week here and there. 
 
2. Which player of yours drafted between the 4th and 10th round are you most excited about this year? Explain.

I was pretty happy to see Willie Snead was still on the board in the 8th round.  He's not a big value pick or anything, but at WR4, I like his upside in a best ball format. He had 5 or more receptions in over half of his his appearances last season, and he he had some pretty solid games, even with a lack of touchdown output. In this format, he makes a great WR4 who will probably make his way into the starting lineup most weeks. 

3. What area of your team are you most concerned about heading into the season. Explain your concerns. 

I'm not in love with my team as much as Jason is with his, but I felt like I did OK in this draft. My WR depth will keep me competitive most weeks, and as long as my RB stay healthy, I think this team will do fine. The one position that scares me is my TE. Gary Barnidge had a surprise year last season, but there are a lot of question marks in Cleveland now. With him as my TE1, I should have doubled-down and picked up another mid-tier TE with my next pick and let the best ball format start my best option. Instead, I waited and by the time I went back to fill in the rest, I ended up with two guys who probably won't do much for my team. I shouldn't have the worst starting TE any week this season, but I'd be surprised if I crack the top five in any given week. 


cian fahey - slot 6

Pick Ovr Selection
1.06 6 Gurley, Todd RAM RB
2.07 19 Freeman, Devonta ATL RB
3.06 30 Watkins, Sammy BUF WR
4.07 43 Rawls, Thomas SEA RB
5.06 54 Eifert, Tyler CIN TE
6.07 67 Lockett, Tyler SEA WR
7.06 78 Walker, Delanie TEN TE
8.07 91 Prosise, C.J. SEA RB (R)
9.06 102 Shepard, Sterling NYG WR (R)
10.07 115 Coleman, Tevin ATL RB
11.06 126 Dorsett, Phillip IND WR
12.07 139 Romo, Tony DAL QB
13.06 150 Broncos, Denver DEN Def
14.07 163 Henry, Derrick TEN RB (R)
15.06 174 Cutler, Jay CHI QB
16.07 187 Blount, LeGarrette NEP RB
17.06 198 Britt, Kenny RAM WR
18.07 211 Bengals, Cincinnati CIN Def
19.06 222 Henry, Hunter SDC TE (R)
20.07 235 Montgomery, Ty GBP WR

Overall Strategy

Robust in the running game, locking down quality handcuffs and chasing upside at WR; punt the quarterback

Best Pick

Devonta Freeman, 2.07, RB7. Well here’s a freebie. Freeman’s name has been poisonous in the fantasy community of late, but I place him firmly in the top tier of RBs. I don’t even see much drop-off from consensus mid-first prospect. David Johnson. Few backs project to Freeman’s level of volume, red zone usage, and production – even if second-year man Tevin Coleman takes a bigger offensive stake. And since Fahey grabbed Coleman as well, he’s covered in any eventuality.

Worst Pick

Tony Romo, 12.07, QB16. My projections would up surprisingly hard on Romo – he’s my QB25 at the moment – due to a likely run-heavy scheme and Romo’s love of breaking his collarbone. I get the appeal, and there’s virtually no chance he ends the season that low, but I think Fahey left some superior options on the board. Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr, and Tyrod Taylor were ultimately available even later.

Evaluation

Fahey’s goal to pursue league-leading RB production paid off nicely. He did well to lock down most of the Falcons and Seahawks backfields, two units that should produce plentifully. Given the upside he landed at wideout, it’s likely this roster could cobble together enough big WR weeks to pair well with those RB anchors.

post-draft questions

1. You drafted three running backs in the first four rounds of the draft. Explain why you like this strategy in Best Ball leagues?

ZeroRB is taking over MFL leagues and it's making it a lot easier to get value at the running back position. Drafting RBs in the earlier rounds is made easier for two reasons: the wide receiver options through rounds 5-10 are very appealing and it's very hard to find bell cow backs in today's NFL. 

2. Who is a player that you are high on this year that you were unable to draft? Explain why you have such high hopes for that player. 

CJ Anderson. I wanted to take him in the third round but he just went ahead of my pick. Anderson has huge potential that is being overlooked because of how he was overhyped last season. The Broncos should have a better OL this year and be more run-oriented with the Kubiak influence being unopposed. Anderson is a great third-round pick.
 
3. Which pick of yours do you feel you received the most value? Explain why you like that player this year.
 
I ended up taking more RBs than I had planned to because of the value on offer. Prosise and Coleman were great picks after taking their teammates previously. Derrick Henry was also too tough to pass up as a flier. Especially in best ball where his value could spike as the Titans goal line back.

Though I liked my RBs I think my best value came in Tyler Eifert and Sammy Watkins. Both players are dropping because of health concerns but Watkins looks set to be ready for training camp and Eifert could play 10 games and still prove to be hugely valuable in that Bengals offense. 

Andy hicks - SLOT 7


Pick Ovr Selection
1.07 7 Peterson, Adrian MIN RB
2.06 18 Nelson, Jordy GBP WR
3.07 31 Lacy, Eddie GBP RB
4.06 42 Benjamin, Kelvin CAR WR
5.07 55 Kelce, Travis KCC TE
6.06 66 Sanders, Emmanuel DEN WR
7.07 79 Gordon, Melvin SDC RB
8.06 90 Jackson, DeSean WAS WR
9.07 103 Brady, Tom NEP QB
10.06 114 Jackson, Vincent TBB WR
11.07 127 Cousins, Kirk WAS QB
12.06 138 Doctson, Josh WAS WR (R)
13.07 151 Cameron, Jordan MIA TE
14.06 162 Seahawks, Seattle SEA Def
15.07 175 Drake, Kenyan MIA RB (R)
16.06 186 Williams, Maxx BAL TE
17.07 199 Morris, Alfred DAL RB
18.06 210 Bradford, Sam PHI QB
19.07 223 Ravens, Baltimore BAL Def
20.06 234 Janis, Jeff GBP WR

Overall Strategy

Balanced, with a specific eye on WRs through the middle rounds

Best Pick

Jeff Janis, 20.06, WR81. While I don’t think much of WR handcuffing – injuries don’t benefit the backups nearly as much there – Hicks looks to have invested in one of the better ones. Janis, long overvalued a bit by the dynasty community, has bottomed out in cost and could win leagues in 2016. He has a nonzero chance of seeing heavy time in the event of a Jordy Nelson setback, and an even better shot at unseating Davante Adams for time on the outside.

Worst Pick

Tom Brady, 9.07, QB9. While I like the aggressiveness in reaching for Brady’s big games, I do question his value as the QB9. By my projections, he’s indeed a top-five QB over the final 12 weeks (though only 11 will matter in most fantasy leagues). But over that span, he blends in closely with the rest of the top quarterbacks. I’m generally fine losing those four weeks if I can reasonably expect the guy to come back and assert himself in the upper crust of fantasy, but to me, Brady doesn’t project that highly.

Evaluation

Hicks clearly sought to compile WR upside, and he definitely succeeded there. There’s a little concern about his running backs – he doesn’t have much insulation from another Eddie Lacy collapse – but I love the crew of high-ceiling wideouts.

Post-draft questions

 

1. What draft strategies did you have with this being a Best Ball league? Were you able to follow that strategy or did the draft unfold differently causing you to use a different approach?

I wanted to lock up receiving situations where the situation is unknown or unstable, but there could be a lot of fantasy points available eg The Baltimore receivers, the Patriot receivers outside Gronkowski, The Washington receivers etc I managed to get Desean Jackson and Josh Doctson, but missed on Jordan Reed to solidify my grouping. I was trying to grab Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan as my ideal situation, but Edelman went a lot higher than I was expecting and Hogan went in the same round I was targeting him. On a points per game basis Edelman was among the elite receivers, but that is the problem with him. He doesn't play every game. Hogan on the other hand was signed to a very lucrative contract considering his lack of production in Buffalo. $7.5 million guaranteed, with a $5.5 million in the first year. New England don't throw money around for the sake of it.

2. Which player on your team, if he hits, will be the main driver of success for your team? Explain why you have high expectations for this player.

Either of my receivers that are coming off ACL's in Jordy Nelson and Kelvin Benjamin. Taking both wasn't ideal, but that's how the draft fell. Jordy Nelson was the last of my elite receivers available, but I have doubts on him returning to previous greatness despite Green Bays offense lacking cohesion without him. I have Benjamin finishing within the top 10 receivers, so with 23 receivers taken in the draft I felt I had to draft him before it became ridiculous. Benjamin was that rare receiver who managed a 1000 yards in his rookie season and while his loss wasn't detrimental to the Panthers offense, his return will be significant. If Ted Ginn can rank 25th, then Benjamin should dominate in this offense with lessons learned from his first season and a year to ponder the absence of football. Ie is anyway near back to 100% fit then he should be a reason why my side does well.

3. Pick one of your mid-late round players and explain why you have high expectations for them this year.

I am going to select Kenyan Drake, which even though I drafted him in the 15th round he went a few rounds earlier than most non dynasty drafts. He is going to need good coaching, luck and opportunity. To simplify I am going to compare him to one of my favorite draft picks from last year in David Johnson. Johnson was taken higher in fantasy drafts last year, but he was the 86th pick in the 2015 NFL draft. Drake was the 73rd in this years draft. Johnson was expected to play behind a veteran supposedly washed up in Chris Johnson and a young player supposedly on the rise in Andre Ellington. Drake is expected to play behind a veteran supposedly washed up in Arian Foster and a young player supposedly on the rise in Jay Ajayi. Ellington averaged 2.95 yards a carry in the last 7 games of the 2014 season. Ajayi averaged 2.58 yards a carry in his last 7 games of the 2015 season. David Johnson ran a 4.50 40 yard dash, needed good coaching and opportunity. Drake ran a 4.45 40 yard dash and needs good coaching, patience and opportunity.

Ari Ingel - Slot 8

Pick Ovr Selection
1.08 8 Green, A.J. CIN WR
2.05 17 Marshall, Brandon NYJ WR
3.08 32 Cooper, Amari OAK WR
4.05 41 Johnson, Duke CLE RB
5.08 56 Woodhead, Danny SDC RB
6.05 65 Ajayi, Jay MIA RB
7.08 80 Hill, Jeremy CIN RB
8.05 89 Thomas, Julius JAC TE
9.08 104 Green, Ladarius PIT TE
10.05 113 Diggs, Stefon MIN WR
11.08 128 Stafford, Matthew DET QB
12.05 137 Washington, DeAndre OAK RB (R)
13.08 152 Carr, Derek OAK QB
14.05 161 Wallace, Mike BAL WR
15.08 176 Ellington, Bruce SFO WR
16.05 185 Smith, Alex KCC QB
17.08 200 Vikings, Minnesota MIN Def
18.05 209 Jets, New York NYJ Def
19.08 224 Giants, New York NYG Def
20.05 233 Johnson, Stevie SDC WR

Overall Strategy

A three-shot WR blast to open, with shades of a zero-RB approach; holding off at quarterback

Best Pick

Jay Ajayi, 6.05, RB24. I’m higher on Ajayi, and scared less by Arian Foster’s signing, than most. And while Round 6 is a pretty appropriate place to snag him, I’ll reiterate how much I love Ajayi’s potential. An athletic, three-down back with loads of experience and production on his resume, Ajayi currently projects as my RB22, with strong potential to climb. Foster is an aging injury case, while rookie Kenyan Drake looks like an underwhelming, one-dimensional prospect. It’s nice to see Ingel rolling the dice on Ajayi’s outlook rather than that of “safer” options like Ryan Mathews and Jonathan Stewart – guys long on volume, but relatively short on dynamism and receiving potential. Ajayi brims with both.

Worst Pick

Brandon Marshall, 2.05, WR10. Ryan Fitzpatrick, and by extension the Jets passing game, looks due for a noticeable regression. While Marshall is certainly dynamic enough to overcome mediocre quarterbacking, this price tag is set near his likely ceiling. And if the Jets/Fitzpatrick stalemate never resolves, Marshall’s value probably slips a solid 2+ rounds. The receiving end of Geno Smith’s passes is no place for a late-stage WR to spend his golden days. All told, I would have preferred Jordy Nelson or perhaps even Mike Evans here, though it’s nitpicky.

Evaluation

The only quibble I have is whether Ingel’s roster would have enough WR firepower to weather an injury or collapse from one of them. I may have invested another mid-round pick on a steady, volume-heavy wideout to help buoy this group. Still, I see Ingel’s player valuations as top-notch. His running backs, mostly young or youngish pass catchers, were well-drafted and look capable of producing fine week-to-week production. And his QB approach – wait until Round 11, then compile three weekly QB1 options – is ideal in achieving strong flex production.

post-draft questions

1. You selected three wide receivers with your first three picks. Explain why you like that draft strategy this year. Is it any different, because this is a Best Ball league?
I don’t prescribe to any one particular draft strategy, outside of my 2-2-1 Running Back strategy, but even that doesn’t mandate when you need to draft players. For me, it’s all about understanding Average Draft Position (ADP), the rules of the league, adjusting to draft flow and above all else, getting your guys and not just guys that may fall to you that you don’t really like. In this draft, I saw that there were many running backs still left on the board that I was targeting so I kept waiting while scooping up talented receivers. I was able to get Danny Woodhead, Duke Johnson, Jay Ajayi and Jeremy Hill, all after getting three top notch wide receivers. That’s value.

2. You only selected one rookie in your draft (DeAndre Washington). Explain why you think it's a good strategy to select known players in a Best Ball league.

I listened to the Fantasy Feast podcast earlier this year and one of their guests, Christo, had one of the highest winning percentages in MFL10’s last season. He mentioned he didn’t draft any rookies because they often under-perform and you really have little certainty to them. While I don’t think ignoring all rookies is a good idea, I usually wait until later rounds to take a stab on some upside ones I think have a real shot. DeAndre Washington is one of those, another is Jordan Howard, who I wasn’t able to get this go around.

3. Talk about Bruce Ellington, who you drafted with pick 15.08. Why are you high on him this year?

Bruce Ellington stands 5’9” 197lbs with 4.45 forty speed. He hasn’t done much so far in his NFL career, but he is a plus athlete and has been flashing at OTA’s. He’s been handling slot duties so far and that is a great position of fantasy value in a Chip Kelly offense, which saw Jordan Matthews (who looked terrible at times) go 85/997/8 last season. He’s no lock just yet, but if he continues to shine in the pre-season, he could easily catch 80+ passes in this offense.

Phil Alexander - Slot 9

Pick Ovr Selection
1.09 9 Johnson, David ARI RB
2.04 16 Jeffery, Alshon CHI WR
3.09 33 Moncrief, Donte IND WR
4.04 40 Lewis, Dion NEP RB
5.09 57 Brown, John ARI WR
6.04 64 Jones, Matt WAS RB
7.09 81 Parker, DeVante MIA WR
8.04 88 Gore, Frank IND RB
9.09 105 Manning, Eli NYG QB
10.04 112 Thomas, Michael NOS WR (R)
11.09 129 Powell, Bilal NYJ RB
12.04 136 McKinnon, Jerick MIN RB
13.09 153 Clay, Charles BUF TE
14.04 160 McDonald, Vance SFO TE
15.09 177 Flacco, Joe BAL QB
16.04 184 Perriman, Breshad BAL WR
17.09 201 Watson, Ben BAL TE
18.04 208 Patriots, New England NEP Def
19.09 225 Redskins, Washington WAS Def
20.04 232 Cowboys, Dallas DAL Def

Overall Strategy

Balanced, with a focus on PPR-happy receiving backs; punt the tight end

Best Pick

Frank Gore, 8.04, RB33. His age notwithstanding, Gore is severely undervalued by the fantasy community. The 8th round is far too low to scoop the only proven back in an explosive offense, one who will lead if not outright dominate his team’s usage. Gore’s entire statistical outlook would see a boost – particularly his rushing efficiency and red zone potential. Even an inefficient year, it’s hard to project Gore below the RB2 tier; Alexander really got away with one here.

Worst Pick

Devante Parker, 7.09, WR37. It’s hard to find much fault here, and WR37 is more than appropriate for Parker, but there were a few receivers on the board I preferred here. (Not by much, though.) I love the prospect, but the Dolphins seem crowded on the outside and could skew more run-heavy than we all expect. Willie Snead carries a similar ceiling with better floor security and went 11 picks later, while Tavon Austin and Markus Wheaton sat until round 9.

Evaluation

All told, Alexander cranked out one of the better value-based drafts I’ve reviewed thus far. It blends a RB corps stocked with high-ceiling PPR studs, explosive young wideouts on the verge of apparent volume breakouts, and cheap value at QB, TE, and defense. If you’re not approaching your draft with a specifically position-heavy gameplan, then this is how you do it, gang.

post-draft questions

 
1. In this draft, you subscribed to the late round tight end strategy. Is this a strategy that you prefer or did the draft happen to unfold this way. Explain your thoughts.
 
I don't head into any draft deliberately trying to wait on tight end, but I'm typically looking for running backs and wide receivers in rounds 4-6, which is when the top tight ends usually come off the board. In best ball leagues, I've found myself waiting until the 8th or 9th to grab Ladarius Green as my TE1. Green's touchdown upside in Pittsburgh is rivaled only by Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed, and a healthy Tyler Eifert in my opinion. In the weeks Green doesn't catch touchdowns, I can cover him by drafting a backup or two later on. When Ari sniped Green one pick ahead of mine in the ninth round, I decided to wait and go with quantity over quality at the position. I wasn't terribly disappointed in the trio of tight ends I landed. Charles Clay delivered a few big games last year and could be heavily targeted if Sammy Watkins suffers a setback, Vance McDonald could very well end up San Francisco's second-leading receiver, and Ben Watson projects as the starter in Baltimore's Marc Trestman-led, pass-happy attack.

2. You selected Jerick McKinnon, despite not having Adrian Peterson on your roster. Explain why you think McKinnon is someone we should be aware of this year. 
 
I'm not expecting McKinnon to contribute much on a week-to-week basis, but by round 12 I felt good enough about my running back depth to purchase a lotto ticket. In the event Adrian Peterson goes down with an injury, McKinnon -- who averaged 1.14 fantasy points per touch last year -- is a league-winner in all formats. Peterson is 31 years-old. Prior to sitting out nearly all of 2014 due to suspension, he suffered a torn ACL, high-ankle sprain, mid-foot sprain, and had two groin surgeries in the three previous years. After handling a league-high 357 total touches last year, it should shock no one if Peterson pulls up lame at some point. Given McKinnon's athletic profile, fresh legs, and Minnesota's run-heavy offense, there's no other pure back-up I'd rather roster this season. And remember, if you handcuff Peterson with McKinnon and Peterson gets hurt, at best Peterson's production in your lineup gets replaced -- a lateral move. If you drafted McKinnon without having Peterson on your roster and Peterson gets hurt, you've added a top producer to your existing starting lineup -- the stuff championships are made of.

3. Who is a player that you are high on this year that you were unable to draft? Explain why you have such high hopes for that player. 
 
In terms of this draft, I was disappointed Ari chose A.J. Green just ahead of my pick in Round 1 (getting sniped by Ari was a recurring theme throughout the night). Green mysteriously saw his lowest number of targets per game (8.25) since his rookie season last year. With the departures of Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones from Cincinnati, it wouldn’t be a shock for Green to see between 10 and 11 targets per game like he did when he finished as the WR4 in both 2012 and 2013. 

Stephen Holloway - slot 10

Pick Ovr Selection
1.10 10 Bryant, Dez DAL WR
2.03 15 Allen, Keenan SDC WR
3.10 34 Landry, Jarvis MIA WR
4.03 39 Maclin, Jeremy KCC WR
5.10 58 Bernard, Giovani CIN RB
6.03 63 Brees, Drew NOS QB
7.10 82 Ertz, Zach PHI TE
8.03 87 Riddick, Theo DET RB
9.10 106 Rivers, Philip SDC QB
10.03 111 Forsett, Justin BAL RB
11.10 130 Foster, Arian MIA RB
12.03 135 Vereen, Shane NYG RB
13.10 154 Walford, Clive OAK TE
14.03 159 Woods, Robert BUF WR
15.10 178 Williams, Terrance DAL WR
16.03 183 Fuller, Will HOU WR (R)
17.10 202 Rams, Los Angeles RAM Def
18.03 207 Jaguars, Jacksonville JAC Def
19.10 226 Rodgers, Richard GBP TE
20.03 231 Buccaneers, Tampa Bay TBB Def

Overall Strategy

Zero-RB, stockpiling WR1/2 types and filling in the gaps with PPR-happy receiving backs; heavy QB investment

Best Picks

Mid-round, PPR-quality RBs. A zero-RB draft is only as successful as the drafter’s mid-round hits and busts at the position. Identifying the right guys – specifically, the right profiles – is the key difference between a one-dimensional roster and one that can produce from anywhere. Holloway clearly gets this; by taking Bernard, Riddick, Vereen, and Foster as the core of his RB group, he’s chasing the coveted PPR studs. Receiving backs carry week-to-week ceilings comparable to guys drafted much earlier, and holding them in abundance allows you to manage their floors.

Worst Pick

Philip Rivers, 9.10, QB11. As much as I hate to nitpick a fine draft, I’m not on board with Rivers this year. He’s unlikely to throw with the same absurd volume, and the QB class is overloaded in this tier. Holloway could’ve held off a round or two and extracted similar value from Andy Dalton or Matthew Stafford.

Evaluation

Holloway ran the zero-RB track and did it shrewdly. When you take the focus off of your running backs, your safest play is to target high-reception guys in the middle rounds, while the method allows you to absolutely stockpile WR production. Case in point, Holloway enters the season boasting four No. 1 wideouts – including two 100-catch certainties and arguably the league’s premier touchdown artist. Considering the mammoth value receivers carry in an MFL10 format (PPR, with 3-4 starting WR spots), he opens with a nice advantage.
 

post-draft questions

1. You selected four wide receivers with your first four picks. Explain your reasoning behind that strategy and how that affected the rest of your draft.

I much prefer to have wide receivers as my position of strength in best ball leagues as they typically are injured less and provide more consistent scoring. Nonetheless, I was hopeful of being able to draft Gurley (not likely) or Peterson in the first round at tenth overall, but both were gone. I would have taken Lamar Miller at 15, but Jason Wood got him just ahead of me. I was not planning to take four straight wide receivers, but liked those players best of what was available to me. None of Dez Bryant (10), Keenan Allen (15), Jarvis Landry (34) or Jeremy Maclin (39) were what I would call extremely valuable picks, but I liked them all and was not concerned with drafting four in a row at the beginning. I like several of the lower tier running backs and was able to draft several later that I value. It did force me to hit the running back position hard, but I was not deterred from generally looking for value.

2. What is the biggest drafting mistake that people make in Best Ball leagues?

It probably sounds self-serving, given my start, but I think with 3 wide receiver starters and the ability to use another in the flex that most focus too heavily on the running back position.

3. Which pick of yours do you feel you received the most value based on where he was drafted? Explain why drafting for value is important in a Best Ball league.

Drafting for value is important for all leagues, regardless of structure. I loved getting Drew Brees as QB5 in the sixth round, particularly when James Brimacombe took Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson with back to back picks at the bottom of the 5/6 turn, just ahead of me. I thought he also got good value, but not sure I would have taken two. Regardless, when he did take two, that made Brees more valuable to me. I also believe that Justin Forsett will have a fairly consistent role with the Ravens and was glad to get him as RB38 in the tenth round.

Jason Wood - Slot 11

Pick Ovr Selection
1.11 11 Elliott, Ezekiel DAL RB (R)
2.02 14 Miller, Lamar HOU RB
3.11 35 Newton, Cam CAR QB
4.02 38 Tate, Golden DET WR
5.11 59 Crabtree, Michael OAK WR
6.02 62 Murray, DeMarco TEN RB
7.11 83 Treadwell, Laquon MIN WR (R)
8.02 86 Smith, Torrey SFO WR
9.11 107 Allen, Dwayne IND TE
10.02 110 Benjamin, Travis SDC WR
11.11 131 Howard, Jordan CHI RB (R)
12.02 134 Witten, Jason DAL TE
13.11 155 Tannehill, Ryan MIA QB
14.02 158 Cardinals, Arizona ARI Def
15.11 179 Perkins, Paul NYG RB (R)
16.02 182 LaFell, Brandon CIN WR
17.11 203 Raiders, Oakland OAK Def
18.02 206 Thomas, Mike RAM WR (R)
19.11 227 Smallwood, Wendell PHI RB (R)
20.02 230 Hooper, Austin ATL TE (R)

Overall Strategy

RB-heavy, and big on seeking value from the glorious MFL10 rookie discount

Best Picks

Late-round rookie RBs. Wood clearly realizes the low hit rate among late-round selections and, therefore, puts numerous eggs into numerous rookie baskets. And why not? They typically offer the best combination of upside (see: youth) and low cost (see: nervous, uncertain fellow owners). It’s a smart play here, especially since Wood focused on targets with high probabilities of seeing rookie playing time. His running back triple-dip of Howard, Perkins, and especially Smallwood fits that category. With an impressive final college year in the rearview and only the sometimes plodding, always limping Ryan Mathews to battle for carries, he’s as shrewd a late-round RB as you’re likely to find.

Worst Pick

Travis Benjamin, 10.02, WR48. There’s not much here to quibble with, but Benjamin isn’t really on my radar for 2016. I can’t project the Chargers to throw as much as they did last year, and I can’t project Benjamin’s usage much beyond that of Malcom Floyd in recent seasons. Primarily a shake-and-go deep threat, Benjamin is unlikely to post solid efficiency and would need optimal yardage and TD figures to return this value. I think there were stronger WR plays over the next couple of rounds.

Evaluation

Wood’s strategy was a bit inside-out from my own preferred one; I typically like to invest top- and bottom-heavy at WR and use the middle rounds to stock RBs. But there’s plenty of reasoning behind Wood’s way, and I’d say he made the right call time and again. Elliott and Miller look poised to see heavy, team-dominant usage and both are explosive backs, and there’s likely enough mid-round volume to form a strong receiver group.
 

post-draft questions


1. You selected Cam Newton in the third round. Explain how that decision changed your draft the rest of the way. What strategy did you use going forward? 

Jeff, I've been saying all offseason that if Cam is available in the 3rd round, he should be your pick. I've done upwards of 50+ MFL10 drafts thus far and have rostered Cam in at least half, most commonly in the 3rd round. I believe the way to win MFL10s is more about overall roster construction and resilience. I come out of every MFL10 draft with nearly identical structure: 2 QBs, 2 TEs, 2 DST, 14 WR/RB (usually 6 rb/8 wr but sometimes 7/7). I don't so much worry about roster construction in the first 10 rounds and instead draft BPA. From there I take high upside guys to fill out the structure. Taking Cam in the 3rd was my plan all along so in essence the draft went exactly to plan. 

2. What advice would you give to someone drafting in an MFL10 or Best Ball league?

Building off my last response, I think you have to understand that Best Ball leagues have a lot of luck involved in them. By definition you are making 20 decisions to shape the outcome, instead of hundreds in a typical league format. In order to win you have to give yourself high upside depth. To me the two key things about winning Best Ball are: A) Forgo "JAG" depth player in favor of lottery tickets...high floor WR3/RB3s aren't going to win you Best Balls, you need young players yet to breakout or backups that can become full-time studs if injury opens the door, and B) Defer to home run hitters vs. consistency. Let me give you an example. In redrafts this year, I would be reluctant to roster the likes of Travis Benjamin (at his ADP), Brandon LaFell, Phillip Dorsett, etc...because they are going to have a few huge weeks and lots of forgettable ones. But in Best Ball those guys are VERY useful because you don't have to be a fortune teller and guess which weeks will be the breakout ones. 

3. Pick a wide receiver that you drafted between rounds four and ten and explain why you are high on them this year. 
 
I started my draft RB/RB/QB so it stands to reason that I was going to hit WR hard in the next few rounds. I drafted five receivers with my next seven picks, and am high on all of them, frankly. My 4th rounder (Golden Tate) is a guy that has 90 and 99 catches over the last two seasons, and now the Lions have Calvin Johnson's targets to replace. Tate has been excellent in Detroit in games when Johnson was a non-factor, to boot. Torrey Smith and Travis Benjamin are examples of receivers I love in Best Ball (MFL10) style but won't be rostering nearly as much in redraft leagues. I expect both to be boom/bust players each week but between them I see a lot of high variance/high output scoring. 
 

james brimacombe - slot 12

 

Pick Ovr Selection
1.12 12 Gronkowski, Rob NEP TE
2.01 13 Robinson, Allen JAC WR
3.12 36 Hyde, Carlos SFO RB
4.01 37 Forte, Matt NYJ RB
5.12 60 Luck, Andrew IND QB
6.01 61 Wilson, Russell SEA QB
7.12 84 Yeldon, T.J. JAC RB
8.01 85 Ivory, Chris JAC RB
9.12 108 Coleman, Corey CLE WR (R)
10.01 109 Green-Beckham, Dorial TEN WR
11.12 132 Booker, Devontae DEN RB (R)
12.01 133 Funchess, Devin CAR WR
13.12 156 Mariota, Marcus TEN QB
14.01 157 Rudolph, Kyle MIN TE
15.12 180 Gordon, Josh CLE WR
16.01 181 Cruz, Victor NYG WR
17.12 204 Ginn Jr., Ted CAR WR
18.01 205 Randle, Rueben PHI WR
19.12 228 Dolphins, Miami MIA Def
20.01 229 Bears, Chicago CHI Def

Overall Strategy

A sonic blast of quarterback investment; chasing low-cost wideouts (and their handcuffs) throughout the draft’s second half

Best Pick

Devin Funchess, 12.01, WR55 and Ted Ginn, Jr., WR77. Honorable mention goes to the forward thinking of Josh Gordon in the 15th; he could obliterate that ADP in a Hue Jackson offense that has relentlessly targeted its No. 1 wideouts. But there was even better value for Brimacombe in Rounds 12 and 17, where he locked up a healthy chunk of the Panthers WR corps. Neither Funchess nor Ginn are great standard fantasy targets, but they’re excellent in best ball – this offense will have high-octane weeks fueled by one receiver or another.

Worst Pick

Russell Wilson, 6.01, QB4. There’s nothing wrong with the 6th-round timing of Wilson; I just wouldn’t have taken a second quarterback here. Brimacombe sought to establish his roster with weekly QB1 potential. He invested the entire 5th/6th turn in the position, landing two consensus top-four passers, then spent a 13th on another dynamic prospect. It’s not my preferred path; last year’s top-two quarterbacks, Cam Newton and Tom Brady, finished top-six in just 10 of 16 weeks.

Evaluation

There’s something to be said for dominating the quarterback position, and Brimacombe may have locked that down thoroughly. The real question in aiming for that is how well a drafter fills out elsewhere with two premium picks going to QB. And Brimacombe did well to land a rock-solid scoring wideout, receiving backs with high-volume potential, and some intriguing handcuffs.

 

post-draft questions


1. You were given draft slot 12 - explain what benefits there are to drafting at the turn.
 
You have the option of pairing players together if you like or if a player or two are falling in the draft it gives you the opportunity to get both of them instead of just one. You have to be a little bit different when drafting at the turn, as you might miss out on the early RB run and instead of being aggressive and drafting a late 2nd round or early 3rd round RB at the 1.12/2.01 turn you have to zig zag to another position. Jason Wood took Ezekiel Elliott right in front of me and with Johnson, Peterson, Gurley and Bell already off the board I felt it was too early to chase after a Lamar Miller or Devonta Freeman and instead took the sure fire lock and loaded TE in Rob Gronkowski and an upside WR in Allen Robinson. My next pair of picks at the turn was Carlos Hyde and Matt Forte which I felt was a good pairing in this type of best ball format especially not having to over pay for either. At the 5.12/6.01 turn I went with a QB combo of Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson and picking at the turn allowed me to go QB/QB without being part of a QB run. Missing out on Cam Newton at the 3/4 turn (thanks to Wood again), I liked the idea of a high upside QB combo. I felt picking at the turn has many benefits at the first half of the draft but where I struggled was from Rounds 11-20 as you miss out on a lot of sleeper picks because you have to wait so far in between picks.

2. Talk about one of your late round picks and explain why you are high on that player this year.
 
In round 11 I took rookie RB Devontae Booker even after drafting Hyde, Forte, Yeldon and Ivory. I have nothing against CJ Anderson in the Broncos backfield but I think Booker will earn his share of carries and can be a big part of the offense in his own right. In 23 games for the Utah Utes he caught 80 passes for 622 yards for an average of 7.8 yards a reception. He also showed that he can be a workhorse back in the running game as he carried the ball 26.8 times a game in his Senior season in Utah. I know the jump from College to the Pros is a big one but Booker gives the Broncos some depth at the running back position and should be able to contribute in both the running and passing games. 

3. Is it more important to have depth in running back or wide receiver in Best Ball leagues. Explain your answer. 
Wide Receiver is probably the safer spot to add depth to as they seem to have a better floor than running backs and are often less likely to get injured. In Best Ball format I feel you have to take running backs you believe in that will play the entire season and not just taking stabs at 2nd and 3rd stringers. Grabbing 4 or 5 running backs in Best Ball seems like the right choice and going for 7-10 wide receivers helps you with the depth part of your team as you have to start 3 and have the option of using another one in the flex spot. 

 

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to haseley@footballguys.com