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Footballguys Staff MFL10 Review: Rounds 5-8

A review of rounds 5-8 of the first post-NFL Draft Footballguys staff MFL10 league.

In case you missed it, you can find a breakdown of what happened in the first four rounds of the opening Footballguys staff MFL10 mock draft of 2017 here. As a reminder, MFL10s are Best Ball leagues. Our Justin Howe gave you a nice primer on the format here. And Sigmund Bloom did some great work earlier this offseason on positional strategy guides for MFL10s. Check them out on Bloom’s author page.

With those formalities out of the way, let’s dig into the action from Rounds 5-8:

Round 5

5.01 Justin Bonnema - Montgomery, Ty GBP RB
5.02 Stephen Holloway - Edelman, Julian NEP WR
5.03 Sigmund Bloom - Olsen, Greg CAR TE
5.04 Jeff Haseley - Ingram, Mark NOS RB
5.05 Alex Miglio - Coleman, Tevin ATL RB
5.06 Justin Howe - Snead, Willie NOS WR
5.07 James Brimacombe - Luck, Andrew IND QB
5.08 John Lee - Crowell, Isaiah CLE RB
5.09 Simon Shepherd - Sanders, Emmanuel DEN WR
5.10 Chris Feery - Brees, Drew NOS QB
5.11 Phil Alexander - Lynch, Marshawn OAK RB
5.12 David Dodds - Brady, Tom NEP QB

My Pick

Marshawn Lynch - I nearly overdrafted Lynch back in Round 3, but was ultimately seduced by Joe Mixon’s unknown ceiling. Considering Mixon was the only other back on my roster through four rounds, I was thrilled Lynch was still available here. If our running back rankings are any indication, opinions on Lynch will vary widely this draft season. Age and a year-and-a-half away from the game are obvious risks. But even if Lynch never regains his 2014 form, how much worse can he be playing behind one of the best offensive lines in football than Latavius Murray was last year?

Despite being stuffed at the line on only 7.2% of his runs (the sixth lowest rate in the league), Murray finished 23rd out 25 qualifiers in percent of rushes that went for 10 or more yards (8.2%). Still, the Raiders offense carried Murray to a RB13 finish in 2016 on the strength of nine touchdowns that came from inside the opponent’s five-yard-line. Oakland once again projects as one of the best offenses in the league and Lynch looks like their de facto touchdown maker. Given Murray’s modest 16.3 touch per game workload last season, Lynch’s floor is mid-range RB2. And if the time away from football ends up being just what he needed?

via GIPHY

Best Value

Marshawn Lynch - Did you really think I’d make it through two full articles without stroking my massive ego?

Lynch’s MFL10 ADP is about 3.08 and he lasted here until 5.11. Would I be giddy drafting Lynch in the third (where I expect him to go in most casual leagues)? No. But pairing Lynch with Jordy Nelson and T.Y. Hilton makes my swing from the heels on Mixon in the third round far more palatable.

Biggest Reach

Willie Snead IV - All the other picks in this round pretty much fell in line with the consensus, so technically Snead was the biggest reach about nine spots ahead of his ADP. But make no mistake about it -- this is a reach I LOVE. For as long as Drew Brees’ arm stays attached, the Saints will have one of the most prolific passing offenses in the league. With Brandin Cooks in New England and only Ted Ginn Jr to replace him in New Orleans, Snead could be looking at 120 targets this season. Something resembling an 80-1,000-6 end-of-season receiving line is well within reach for Snead given the projected increase in target volume. Those are top-20 wide receiver numbers from the 29th wide receiver off the board.

Round 6

6.01 David Dodds - Benjamin, Kelvin CAR WR
6.02 Phil Alexander -Bryant, Martavis PIT WR
6.03 Chris Feery - Eifert, Tyler CIN TE
6.04 Simon Shepherd - Graham, Jimmy SEA TE
6.05 John Lee- Newton, Cam CAR QB
6.06 James Brimacombe - Anderson, C.J. DEN RB
6.07 Justin Howe - Crowder, Jamison WAS WR
6.08 Alex Miglio - Henry, Hunter LAC TE
6.09 Jeff Haseley - Ryan, Matt ATL QB
6.10 Sigmund Bloom - Jackson, DeSean TBB WR
6.11 Stephen Holloway - Ertz, Zach PHI TE
6.12 Justin Bonnema - Lacy, Eddie SEA RB

My Pick

Martavis Bryant - I had been eyeballing Bryant as far back as Round 4. Had I pulled the trigger before this pick, there’s a good chance I’d be writing myself up for biggest reach of the entire draft. But my patience was rewarded when I was able to snag Bryant at his exact ADP (62 overall). When we last saw Bryant on the field in 2015, he was a fringe WR1 in fantasy. After Week 6 (his first game played due to suspension), he ranked as the cumulative WR13 and recorded three games with both 100+ yards and at least one touchdown (four if you count the playoffs). Of course, this pick comes with ample risk. One more slip-up and Bryant will likely find himself banned from the NFL for life. At least I can take some comfort in Bryant becoming a “family man” and spending his time away from the game getting rocked up. If all goes according to plan, he gives me a dangerous trio of wide receivers, along with Jordy Nelson and T.Y. Hilton.

Best Value

Jamison Crowder - People must be drafting Crowder based on his 2016 numbers and ignoring the possibility his target total could bump into the 120 range. Justin Howe is not one of those people. If Crowder does soak up about 20 additional targets in the absence of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson while maintaining his 2016 efficiency, it’s likely he finishes inside the top-20 PPR wide receivers. Somewhat surprisingly, the 5’9’’, 174 lb. Crowder led Washington in red zone targets in 2016. He didn’t set the world on fire with those chances (18% red zone TD conversion rate), but his involvement when Washington gets within scoring range suggests Crowder can at least match last year’s seven touchdowns.

Biggest Reach

Kelvin Benjamin - Dodds’ selection of Benjamin roughly six picks ahead of his ADP is defensible. Provided Cam Newton is healthy to start the year, he’s a strong bet to bounce back from last year’s career low efficiency numbers. It would then stand to reason Benjamin -- Newton’s most heavily targeted pass catcher -- has a chance to improve on last year’s WR25 finish.

But Benjamin disappeared down the stretch in 2016, topping 60 receiving yards in just two of the Panthers final seven games. Carolina invested big draft capital to emphasize the short passing game this season, and Benjamin’s physique at OTAs has spurred Eddie Lacy-level fat shaming on Twitter. Benjamin is unlikely to bust completely since at least 100 targets will be there for him, but his arrow has been pointing down since last November. If Dodds had taken Bryant here instead, Benjamin wouldn’t have been on my radar.

My aversion towards Benjamin notwithstanding, it’s tough to argue with Dodds’ wide receiver strategy to this point. Adding Benjamin to A.J. Green, Michael Crabtree, and Golden Tate establishes an exceedingly high target/reception floor for his team, which is obviously important given the PPR scoring format.

Round 7

7.01 Justin Bonnema - Powell, Bilal NYJ RB
7.02 Stephen Holloway - Wilson, Russell SEA QB
7.03 Sigmund Bloom - Cobb, Randall GBP WR
7.04 Jeff Haseley - Doyle, Jack IND TE
7.05 Alex Miglio - Roethlisberger, Ben PIT QB
7.06 Justin Howe - Gillislee, Mike NEP RB
7.07 James Brimacombe - Matthews, Jordan PHI WR
7.08 John Lee - Abdullah, Ameer DET RB
7.09 Simon Shepherd - Carr, Derek OAK QB
7.10 Chris Feery - Garcon, Pierre SFO WR
7.11 Phil Alexander - Perkins, Paul NYG RB
7.12 David Dodds - Martin, Doug TBB RB

My Pick

Paul Perkins - While I’m optimistic about Mixon and Lynch at running back given my WR-WR start to the draft, I clearly needed to add depth at the position. After perusing the list of available backs (Samaje Perine, Theo Riddick, and Frank Gore also had my attention), I felt Perkins had the fewest question marks. Defenses won’t be able to play the Giants close to the line of scrimmage with Odell Beckham, Jr., Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram roaming the field.

For his own part, Perkins acquitted himself well when given the opportunity late last season. From Weeks 14-17, Perkins saw double digit carries in every game, rushing for 271 yards on 62 attempts (4.4 YPA). With Rashad Jennings out of the picture and only fourth round rookie Wayne Gallman to replace him, Giants head coach Ben McAdoo was quick to name Perkins his starter. Shane Vereen cuts into Perkins’ upside as a receiver, but Jennings was still able to post an adequate 29-236-1 receiving line in 2015 -- when Vereen played all 16 games and caught 59 passes. Perkins’ hands are reliable enough to write in Jennings’ 2015 receiving stats as a baseline projection.

Best Value

Ameer Abdullah/Mike Gillislee - By definition, John Lee got the best value of the round in Abdullah, who went about 15 picks below his current ADP. I’ve always been enamored with Abdullah’s potential, and the Lions lack of urgency in addressing their backfield this offseason has to be seen as a vote of confidence in the third year back. A splashy preseason (something Abdullah is no stranger to) would send his August ADP soaring. After starting the draft with Mike Evans, Amari Cooper, Travis Kelce, and Jordan Reed, John has to be feeling pretty fortunate to land Abdullah as a RB2 to pair with his fifth round pick, Isaiah Crowell.

While John technically got the best value in this round, I’ve got to give props to Justin Howe for the third time in this article. He absolutely crushed the early-middle rounds of this draft, and I loved the pick of Mike Gillislee -- especially considering the makeup of Howe’s roster.

Yes, the New England backfield is crowded. And yes, Gillislee’s workload will be difficult to project from week-to-week. But even if Gillislee ends up a volatile commodity, it shouldn’t hurt Howe much since Melvin Gordon III and Jordan Howard will be plugged into his RB slots most weeks.

Don’t think Gillislee will have a handful of monster games?

He scored nine touchdowns on 110 touches last year, the best TD/Touch rate of any running back in the league who touched the ball at least 100 times. Since Bill Belichick took over as Patriots head coach in 2000, New England has scored 294 rushing touchdowns from inside their opponent's 5-yard line, which leads the league by more than 12% over the next closest team (New Orleans) over the same span. With LeGarrette Blount now an Eagle, Gillislee is the best suited back on the Patriots’ roster to inherit the most lucrative goal line role in recent fantasy football history.

Biggest Reach

Jack Doyle - Doyle is a fine value once the first 12-or-so tight ends are off the board. I’m just afraid Haseley may have drafted him near his ceiling at TE9. Earlier this offseason, I went on record in support of Doyle as a beneficiary of Dwayne Allen getting traded to the Patriots, but now that I’ve had more time to think it over, I’m not so sure Allen’s departure won’t hurt Doyle’s numbers.

Allen is a well rounded tight end, who can block as well as he can catch. Doyle also fits the bill as a solid blocker. Indianapolis featured two tight end formations prominently last season, and their offensive line struggled to keep Andrew Luck upright. If Doyle has to take on the bulk of Allen’s blocking responsibilities, it may turn out third-year college basketball convert, Erik Swoope (who still has a long way to go as a blocker), is the Indianapolis tight end we should be targeting much later in drafts.

After playing only one game as a rookie, Swoope saw limited action in all 16 games last season and flashed major downfield playmaking potential potential. His eye-popping 13.5 yards per target average placed him behind only Rob Gronkowski among tight ends who saw at least 20 targets. If Round 7 becomes a normal price tag for Doyle (his current ADP is Round 10), I’d rather pass and take a chance on Swoope for free.

Round 8

8.01 David Dodds - Walker, Delanie TEN TE
8.02 Phil Alexander - Bennett, Martellus GBP TE
8.03 Chris Feery - Perine, Samaje WAS RB
8.04 Simon Shepherd - Blount, LeGarrette PHI RB
8.05 John Lee - Murray, Latavius MIN RB
8.06 James Brimacombe - Brown, John ARI WR
8.07 Justin Howe - Rudolph, Kyle MIN TE
8.08 Alex Miglio - Riddick, Theo DET RB
8.09 Jeff Haseley - Matthews, Rishard TEN WR
8.10 Sigmund Bloom - Gore, Frank IND RB
8.11 Stephen Holloway - Winston, Jameis TBB QB
8.12 Justin Bonnema - Parker, DeVante MIA WR

My Pick

Martellus Bennett - I desperately wanted to click on John Brown here, but resisted the urge because I saw a major drop off coming at tight end after Bennett. The argument I’ve heard against Bennett for 2017 has to do with the Packers offense rarely supporting a TE1 in fantasy. It’s true you’d have to go back to Jermichael Finley in 2011 to find the last top-10 finish for a Green Bay tight end, but look at the players they’ve been trotting out at the position since Finley. Andrew Quarless and Richard Rodgers are below league average talents (to put it kindly). Green Bay finally realized the need for a seam-stretching tight end prior to last season and brought in Jared Cook. Cook’s season was derailed by injury, but when he was finally healthy and integrated into the offense, he added a new dimension to the Packers passing game. In Green Bay’s three playoff games, Cook combined for a 18-230-2 receiving line. Bennett -- a bonafide fantasy TE1 every year since 2012 -- is better than Cook on his worst day. He’s got easy top-5 upside playing with Aaron Rodgers.

Best Value

John Brown - If we’re using ADP as a guide to determine draft value, Brimacombe actually overpaid for Brown, who has been going around pick 102 in May MFL10s. But I’ve got to break from convention here because there is NO WAY Brown is still available so late once we get closer to the actual season. In fact, if we look only at MFL10s completed in the last 10 days, he’s already going about seven picks earlier.

Assuming the glowing reports on Brown’s restored health and explosiveness continue, people will begin drafting him with confidence. This is the same player who fits perfectly in Bruce Arians’ vertical scheme and posted a 65-1,007-7 receiving line in just his second pro season. At this point last year (prior to any sickle cell concerns), Brown was routinely being drafted in Round 4.

Biggest Reach

Latavius Murray - I appreciate what John Lee was trying to do here after going so heavy on wide receivers and tight ends early in the draft, but I am off Murray entirely this year. Some see Murray as a lock for significant touches due to the $4 million contract he signed, and by extension, a sneaky value at his depressed ADP.

I see Murray as a league-average running back, playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in football, who is neither the best runner (Dalvin Cook) or receiver out of the backfield (Jerick McKinnon) on his own team. Considering Murray’s extensive history of lower body injuries, I’m also not writing off the fact he’s recovering from ankle surgery and isn’t guaranteed for the start of training camp.

Admittedly, once the Vikings traded up to draft Cook, Murray’s ADP slipped to a point where any risk he presents is mitigated. But with Theo Riddick and Frank Gore still on the board in this draft, there was still opportunity cost to consider for such an RB-needy team.

Results Through Round 8

Here's a look at how each team is shaping up through Round 8.

Rnd
Justin B
Stephen H
Sigmund B
Jeff H
Alex M
Justin H
Rnd
Pos
Player
Team
Pos
Player
Team
Pos
Player
Team
Pos
Player
Team
Pos
Player
Team
Pos
Player
Team
1
RB
Ezekiel Elliott
Dal
RB
David Johnson
Ari
RB
Le\'Veon Bell
Pit
WR
Antonio Brown
Pit
WR
NYG
RB
LAC
1
2
WR
Allen Robinson
Jac
WR
Doug Baldwin
Sea
TE
NE
RB
Todd Gurley
LAR
WR
DeAndre Hopkins
Hou
RB
Justin Howard
Chi
2
3
WR
Dez Bryant
Dal
WR
Demaryius Thomas
Den
RB
Lamar Miller
Hou
WR
NE
WR
Keenan Allen
LAC
WR
Sammy Watkins
Buf
3
4
WR
Terrell Pryor
Was
WR
Larry Fitzgerald
Ari
WR
Tyreek Hill
KC
RB
Spencer Ware
KC
RB
Carlos Hyde
SF
WR
Donte Moncrief
Ind
4
5
RB
Ty Montgomery
GB
WR
Julian Edelman
NE
TE
Greg Olsen
Car
RB
Mark Ingram
NO
RB
Tevin Coleman
Atl
WR
NO
5
6
RB
Sea
TE
Zach Ertz
Phi
WR
TB
QB
Matt Ryan
Atl
TE
Hunter Henry
LAC
WR
Was
6
7
RB
Bilal Powell
NYJ
QB
Russell Wilson
Sea
WR
Randall Cobb
GB
TE
Ind
QB
Ben Roethlisberger
Pit
RB
NE
7
8
WR
DeVante Parker
Mia
QB
Jameis Winston
TB
RB
Ind
WR
Rishard Matthews
Ten
RB
Det
TE
Kyle Rudolph
Min
8
Rnd
James B
John L
Simon S
Chris F
Phil A
David D
Rnd
Pos
Player
Team
Pos
Player
Team
Pos
Player
Team
Pos
Player
Team
Pos
Player
Team
Pos
Player
Team
1
WR
Julio Jones
Atl
WR
TB
RB
Devonta Freeman
Atl
WR
Michael Thomas
NO
WR
GB
WR
Cin
1
2
WR
Alshon Jeffery
Phi
WR
Oak
RB
Jay Ajayi
Mia
RB
DeMarco Murray
Ten
WR
Ind
RB
LeSean McCoy
Buf
2
3
RB
Leonard Fournette
Jac
TE
KC
WR
Jarvis Landry
Mia
RB
Christian McCaffrey
Car
RB
Cin
WR
Oak
3
4
RB
Min
TE
Was
WR
Davante Adams
GB
WR
Stefon Diggs
Min
QB
GB
WR
Det
4
5
QB
Ind
RB
Cle
WR
Emmanuel Sanders
Den
QB
NO
RB
Oak
QB
Tom Brady
NE
5
6
RB
C.J. Anderson
Den
QB
Car
TE
Jimmy Graham
Sea
TE
Tyler Eifert
Cin
WR
Pit
WR
Car
6
7
WR
Jordan Matthews
Phi
RB
Det
QB
Derek Carr
Oak
WR
SF
RB
NYG
RB
Doug Martin
TB
7
8
WR
Ari
RB
Min
RB
Phi
RB
Was
TE
GB
TE
Delanie Walker
Ten
8

If you'd like to see the full results of the draft, click here.