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Footballguys Mock Draft 8 - Dynasty Startup

Eight members of the Footballguys staff, along with four writers in the industry, got together and completed a 12-team Dynasty Startup mock draft using PPR format.

From August 8th - 19th, eight members of the Footballguys Staff, along with four highly regarded writers in the fantasy football community, completed a 12-team, 20-round dynasty startup mock draft. Before the draft, each of the participants answered questions regarding strategies, players they coveted and how they planned to attack the draft. To top it off, Footballguys' Chad Parsons will provide an evaluation of each team's roster strengths and weaknesses, chronicling the strategies and decisions that were made by each participant.

The goal of this article is to give you a look into the minds of fantasy experts throughout the entire draft process. This includes preparation, decision-making, execution, and follow-up. What was their plan? Did they follow it? Why did they make the decisions they made? Some drafters had similar strategies and players of interest, but how they executed their plan and built their roster, varied from person to person.

We hope you will uncover or discover a strategy that might work for you in your draft(s) this year. Learn what players the experts are targeting and why. At Footballguys, when you win, we win! If we can help give you the tools and know-how to build a winning team, we've done our job.

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 Defense

LEAGUE SCORING

  • Offensive Players Only
    • 4 points - Passing Touchdown
    • 6 points - Rushing/Receiving Touchdown
    • 0.04 points - Passing Yard
    • 0.1 points - Rushing/Receiving Yard
    • 1 point - Reception
    • -1 - Interception Thrown

Participants

  1. Dan Hindery, Footballguys
  2. Daniel Simpkins, Footballguys
  3. Scott Bischoff, Footballguys
  4. Eric Balkman, the High Stakes Fantasy Football Hour
  5. James Brimacombe, Footballguys
  6. Jim Day, Fighting Chance Fantasy
  7. Andy Hick, Footballguys
  8. Will Grant, Footballguys
  9. Jeff Tefertiller, Footballguys
  10. Anthony Amico, Rotoviz, RotoCurve
  11. Eric Moody, FantasyPros
  12. Matt Bitonti, Footballguys

DRAFT GRID

DRAFT SLOT 1

Dan Hindery - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change in a dynasty startup draft as opposed to a re-draft league?

The big difference is that I am focused much more on longevity. I want guys who I can build around in the longer term.

2. How does a player's age affect your interest in drafting him?

It is one of the primary things I am worried about. Some will only worry about short-term windows like three years, but I like to draft extremely young teams in a startup. Typically, I won’t draft a player older than 25 years old in the first handful of rounds in the draft.

3. Which position in a dynasty startup is most important to have good depth? Explain why you feel this way.

Wide receiver and running back are both important positions to build depth at. I’ll give the nod just narrowly to wide receiver as most important. In part because it is the toughest position to quickly fix or improve at. Rookie running backs often make huge impacts and there are always the guys like Alex Collins and Kenyan Drake who come out of nowhere. Thus, if you have built a strong, deep group of wide receivers there are going to be realistic paths to winning your league.

4. Talk about a trading strategy that you use in dynasty leagues. Is there a right and wrong way to construct your team through trades?

I am extremely active trading in startup drafts. There are some sweet spots in every startup where I want to have extra picks, so I will move down in the early rounds to load up on picks in the spots of the draft I feel best about. There is also never going to be a cheaper time to acquire future rookie picks than in the startup. Trading back a few times and loading up on future early-round rookie picks is almost always a winning strategy.

5. Name a quarterback that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

In a start one quarterback league, the best move is to go with the late-round quarterback strategy. That being said, if Andrew Luck slides at all, I would consider drafting him as I think there’s still a bit of a buy low window open on him.

6. Name a running back that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Joe Mixon is a target for me at the 2/3 turn. He just turned 22 years old and the Bengals clearly view him as an elite talent who they hope to build their offense around long-term.

7. Name a wide receiver that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I’m hoping to land Anthony Miller. I’m willing to grab him a couple rounds ahead of his ADP to make sure I land him. I love his mentality and he has the perfect skillset to be a PPR difference-maker.

8. Name a tight end that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I take the long view in dynasty so I am all about taking the injury discount on Hunter Henry. An ACL injury isn’t all that big of a deal and Henry is going to be just 24 years old next year. I can lock in a TE1 for a very long time and pair him with a mid-round guy like Austin Hooper and very late rounder like Ben Watson to cover the 2018 season.

9. What is your strategy for drafting a team defense in a dynasty startup league?

My strategy is to not invest anything substantial in the position. The top defenses change from year to year and in most leagues that use team defenses, the rosters are shallow enough that there end up being solid defenses on the waiver wire to play matchups with.

10. Name a few players that you will target as stash players. Why do you feel confident in their ability to blossom in the coming years?

I’ve already mentioned Hunter Henry as a target. I will also target some of the rookie running backs who are off to slower starts (Sony Michel, Rashaad Penny, etc.). I still believe in the ability of those guys to be difference makers over the longer term.

11. What advice would you give to someone drafting in a dynasty startup league?

The easiest rule of thumb for me in the early rounds is to focus on guys who are young but still have high redraft ADPs. For example, I have the 1.01 and looking ahead to the 2/3 turn, I want to target guys who are going top-30 overall in redraft leagues who are 25 or younger. So my player pool will be guys like Joe Mixon, Tyreek Hill, and Stefon Diggs. I’m not sacrificing anything in the short-term and am building a team built for the long haul.

draft selections

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.01
1
RB
Todd Gurley
LAR
2.12
24
RB
CIN
3.01
25
WR
KCC
4.12
48
RB
NEP
5.01
49
RB
SEA
6.12
72
QB
PHI
7.01
73
WR
Kenny Golladay
DET
8.12
96
WR
CIN
9.01
97
TE
LAC
10.12
120
WR
SFO
11.01
121
TE
Mike Gesicki
MIA
12.12
144
WR
Tyrell Williams
LAC
13.01
145
QB
CLE
14.12
168
RB
Peyton Barber
TBB
15.01
169
WR
John Brown
BAL
16.12
192
RB
John Kelly
LAR
17.01
193
QB
OAK
18.12
216
WR
Curtis Samuel
CAR
19.01
217
WR
Deon Cain
IND
20.12
240
Def
New England Patriots
NEP

Chad Parsons' evaluation

STRENGTHS
Hindery hit running back hard in the opening rounds, both with pedigree and balancing short and long-term outlooks. Todd Gurley is an easy choice at the top of Round 1 with a strong team infrastructure in place and coming off a dominant production year. Joe Mixon had a middling rookie year, but Mixon is one of the more talented running backs in the NFL brimming with upside. With even average offensive line play, Mixon could be on the Round 1 startup track by next offseason. While both are off to slow starts with injuries and ambiguous depth charts to begin their rookie seasons, Sony Michael and Rashaad Penny sport Round 1 NFL Draft pedigree and strong long-term probabilities to turn into fantasy starters. Peyton Barber and John Kelly in the late rounds were savvy value selections as a spot short-term starter (Barber) and an underrated talent and potential Gurley handcuff (Kelly).

WEAKNESSES
With the early-round focus on running backs; Hindery is loaded with uncertainty at wide receiver. Tyreek Hill in Round 3 is far from a slam dunk with Sammy Watkins signed to a lucrative contract this offseason. Kenny Golladay and John Ross both have substantial competition on their depth charts if they are to ever emerge as No.1 targets. John Brown is more likely than either of them to be Hindery’s weekly WR2 this season, a savvy pick in Round 15.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
The value was right to stash Hunter Henry for 2019 as TE8 off the board, but leaves rookie Mike Gesicki as a pivotal bet in the short-term at tight end. Even if Hindery gets consistent modest production at receiver, he has the potential brilliance at running back to push him to success, ideally with Sony Michel and/or Rashaad Penny turning into later-season impact options.

DRAFT SLOT 2

Daniel Simpkins- Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change in a dynasty startup draft as opposed to a re-draft league?

It’s a complete paradigm shift for me. Redraft is a format in which you select players to win right now. In dynasty leagues, there is a lot more to consider. Am I building a team that can perennially contend? Is this player I may select going to retain their value long-term? Are there players I can take late in startups that have fallen out of favor that stand to regain value if they can put together a good season? Are there young players that are on the verge of breaking out? Are there players that stand to lose a lot of value if they have an injury or a down year? There’s just a lot more strategy and nuance to a dynasty format. It’s why I enjoy the long-distance marathon that is dynasty more than the 40-yard dashes that are redraft or DFS.

2. How does a player's age affect your interest in drafting him?

I tend to build my dynasty teams around talented youth. That is one of the chief principles that has made me a successful dynasty owner. I have seen so many fantasy general managers try to build a team to win it all with older veterans in year one, fail to do so, and then either wash out of the league or spend years on a painful rebuilding process. I try to build teams that may not win in year one, but will have the firm foundation to begin contending every year past that point.

3. Which position in a dynasty startup is most important to have good depth? Explain why you feel this way.

The studies that I and others have done in the past on this subject show that in typical scoring and settings, the positional scarcity and scoring drop off is most dramatic for wide receivers. They also have a longer shelf life than most of the other dynasty assets, meaning they’ll be most likely to maintain their value over time.

4. Talk about a trading strategy that you use in dynasty leagues. Is there a right and wrong way to construct your team through trades?

Trading is really important in dynasty, especially when you take over an orphan team and begin to reshape it to fit your strategy. It’s particularly important to identify the negotiation style of the owners with whom you are doing deals and adapt. Are they the type that only looks at one offer, so you had better take your best shot? Or are they the type that likes to go back and forth and haggle until a deal is reached? Do they have favorite players with whom you can entice them? Is the way in which they value players different from you and can that be exploited? Those are important questions to answer because having the answers means you are more likely to be able to complete a trade.

I do think it’s possible to tinker too much with a team you are taking over and make your rebuild a harder job. I have done that a few times through the years and it really set my team back. It’s important to make sure that when you inherit a team, you identify how the scoring and settings impact team construction and objectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of your squad before you start making deals.

One last thing about trading-- be aware that after a startup draft, it’s typically going to be awhile before anyone is going to want to trade. Most people feel content with what they’ve done and it takes in-season injuries and action to move people off that feeling.

5. Name a quarterback that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I am hoping to snag Lamar Jackson. I believe he will be special for fantasy football from a statistical standpoint. It is not often that we get someone that is an above-average pocket passer that is also above average when asked to run.

6. Name a running back that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Royce Freeman is a player I will have my eye on. As I evaluated him this summer, I did not see him as being that far removed in talent from Barkley, Guice, and Chubb. His contact balance and vision rival any one of those three. He’s not got the elite breakaway speed that some of those others have, but I think that particular trait is overrated by fantasy players. Freeman has patience, pushes piles, and is a solid pass catcher. He’s also not an extremely expensive investment in startups, which I love.

7. Name a wide receiver that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I will look to get a few guys in whom I believe and who have dropped in value because of an injury or a bad statistical year. I believe Allen Robinson is one of those names for me. In addition to the talent we already have seen on the field, he is still very young, and went to an offense I believe will be on the rise with the changes implemented by Matt Nagy.

8. Name a tight end that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

David Njoku is a physical freak, and with the improvement in quarterback play that has happened in Cleveland, I think the environment is ripe for a breakout. While I’m sure his performance in the first preseason game is going to push up his stock a little bit, I still think he’ll be undervalued relative to what he’ll be worth after this year is said and done.

9. What is your strategy for drafting a team defense in a dynasty startup league?

It depends on scoring and settings, but if team defenses are assigned their typical minimal value in a dynasty league, I tend to wait and draft a unit that I feel is up-and-coming. Team defenses are pretty volatile in terms of year-to-year output. Very seldom do you have a team defense that’s a top producer for three to five years. I like the Saints and Ravens in particular because they don’t have the reputation of being good, established defenses yet, but are headed in the right direction.

10. Name a few players that you will target as stash players. Why do you feel confident in their ability to blossom in the coming years?

We’ve seen how a receiver and quarterback that come into the league together can sometimes end up with a chemistry that lasts for years. In addition to being an underrated talent, Jordan Lasley seems to have a rapport with Lamar Jackson and the receiver situation there in Baltimore doesn’t have a lot of long-term certainties.

I love Richie James’ potential on a San Francisco depth chart that is far from decided. I’ve stashed him everywhere I can fit him. I’ve watched James’ college career closely, as I live just down the road from Middle Tennessee State University. If not for an untimely injury in his junior season, James probably would have been a third or fourth-round NFL draft selection for a team. Don’t let James’ small size fool you. He’s really fast out of the slot, but when he can’t beat the opposing corner cleanly, he’s great on contested catches.

Jonnu Smith is someone I have almost everywhere. I know the team just signed Delanie Walker to a contract extension, but it’s to be expected that he’ll slow down and lose playing time to Jonnu Smith before the contract expires. Smith is the clear successor to Walker-- he is a clone of Walker in his playing style. Smith’s route running and fluidity have really shown improvement this offseason, too, which bodes well for Smith’s eventual takeover.

11. What advice would you give to someone drafting in a dynasty startup league?

Don’t panic. It’s easy to get flustered when someone snipes a guy you really like right out from under you. Just stay calm, breathe, and keep going down your draft board. Also, make sure to make some notes on how your opponents are valuing players as they draft. That can be really helpful information for later when you approach them about a potential trade.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.02
2
WR
Odell Beckham
NYG
2.11
23
WR
CHI
3.02
26
WR
PIT
4.11
47
RB
WAS
5.02
50
RB
DEN
6.11
71
WR
Christian Kirk
ARI
7.02
74
QB
CAR
8.11
95
WR
Josh Doctson
WAS
9.02
98
WR
DeVante Parker
MIA
10.11
119
TE
TBB
11.02
122
QB
BAL
12.11
143
TE
TEN
13.02
146
RB
James Conner
PIT
14.11
167
RB
MIA
15.02
170
WR
Dede Westbrook
JAC
16.11
191
RB
T.J. Yeldon
JAC
17.02
194
Def
Baltimore Ravens
BAL
18.11
215
RB
MIA
19.02
218
TE
Tyler Eifert
CIN
20.11
239
WR
BAL

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Simpkins used a balanced approach to the opening 10 rounds of the startup draft. However, when Christian Kirk is your WR4 and DeVante Parker is WR6, the roster is flush with wide receivers. Simpkins focused on mid-career or younger wide receivers in the opening three rounds, including Juju Smith-Schuster in Round 3. Building a dynasty roster around core wide receivers offers an extended runway to get running back correct and begin contending.

WEAKNESSES
While Derrius Guice is a savvy talent stash for 2019, sinking a Round 4 selection into a player who is out for the current season takes production off the lineup table in the short-turn. Simpkins’ running back stable offers upside with Royce Freeman, James Conner, T.J. Yeldon, and the pair of Miami reserves (Frank Gore, Kalen Ballage), but injuries need to break right for Simpkins to survive the Guice absence this season.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Hitting the running back injury lottery in 2018 will be Simpkins’ key to winning the Year 1 title. Royce Freeman seizes the Denver starting job early and Le'Veon Bell or Leonard Fournette miss significant time, paving the way to James Conner or T.J. Yeldon as unquestioned lead backs. In future seasons, Simpkins is built to contend with Derrius Guice returning and up-and-coming players littering the back-end of his roster.

DRAFT SLOT 3

Scott Bischoff - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change in a dynasty startup draft as opposed to a re-draft league?

The focus is on looking to the future while balancing what players can do now to field a roster that can compete now and over the next few years. Also, backups are valuable as well, especially those with potential free agents in front of them.

2. How does a player's age affect your interest in drafting him?

It is dependent on the position as running backs drop off at an earlier age than players at other positions. I take a blended approach and will take players that are older and still productive, but I tend to select the older players in the middle or later in the draft. I am generally placing more value on what I think a player will do over the next few years and not necessarily placing a ton of value on what they did last year or in the past.

3. Which position in a dynasty startup is most important to have good depth? Explain why you feel this way.

The running back position dries up much quicker than other positions, and I am always trying to bolster my roster there in the early part of drafts. I will reach for a running back because of the lack of quality starting running backs across the NFL.

4. Talk about a trading strategy that you use in dynasty leagues. Is there a right and wrong way to construct your team through trades?

I am not sure there is a perfect way to build a team through trading, but I always consider taking an aging quarterback at a place of value in the draft with an eye on moving that player when injuries occur. I like picking up extra future picks by making smart picks in the draft. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a great example of a player nearing the end and one that could pay dividends as people prioritize younger players over proven veterans.

5. Name a quarterback that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I like Rams quarterback Jared Goff as a long-term solution to the quarterback position. Head coach Sean McVay is a smart offensive mind, and I think he will have Goff performing at a high level for years to come.

6. Name a running back that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is a full-workload running back and a player I’m targeting to build my roster around. He is the primary option in the Dallas offense and will be heavily involved in the red zone as well.

7. Name a wide receiver that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham junior has outrageous upside in an offense that should be relatively explosive now and into the future. He can produce at a very high level now and hold that level for many years.

8. Name a tight end that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

David Njoku is a high-upside play for the long-term, and he should be productive enough in the short term to get to his super productive years. If I’m taking him, I am likely adding an older tight end to get me over the hump.

9. What is your strategy for drafting a team defense in a dynasty startup league?

I tend to look at pass rushers and cornerbacks when considering team defense. If a team has a combination of both, they are likely to be in a position to produce points because of turnovers. Also, I consider returners and will lean to a team with a good returner for my defense.

10. Name a few players that you will target as stash players. Why do you feel confident in their ability to blossom in the coming years?

Chicago Bears receiver Anthony Miller displays excellent mentality with the ball in the air, and that trait is always something that shows up in a big way for wide receivers. He showed dominant traits in college, and I see him as a player that will emerge over the next few seasons to become a reliable starting receiver. San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle is an intriguing option for a few years down the road. He is in an offensive system that should be very beneficial to his set of skills and could be a legitimate No. 1 tight end in time.

11. What advice would you give to someone drafting in a dynasty startup league?

As always, pay close attention to your scoring system and make sure there is a hybrid approach that weighs the now and the future.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.03
3
RB
DAL
2.10
22
WR
CIN
3.03
27
WR
MIN
4.10
46
RB
Jerick McKinnon
SFO
5.03
51
RB
Ronald Jones
TBB
6.10
70
WR
CHI
7.03
75
RB
BUF
8.10
94
QB
LAR
9.03
99
QB
Patrick Mahomes
KCC
10.10
118
WR
Tyler Lockett
SEA
11.03
123
QB
NEP
12.10
142
TE
Dallas Goedert
PHI
13.03
147
TE
Eric Ebron
IND
14.10
166
RB
James White
NEP
15.03
171
WR
DaeSean Hamilton
DEN
16.10
190
WR
Mohamed Sanu
ATL
17.03
195
Def
Los Angeles Chargers
LAC
18.10
214
WR
Trent Taylor
SFO
19.03
219
RB
Doug Martin
OAK
20.10
238
TE
BUF

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Bischoff blended the established production of Tom Brady with young hopefuls Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes for his quarterback group. Brady’s short-term outlook allows for Goff and more so Mahomes to develop with little starting lineup pressure. LeSean McCoy at RB30 and Dallas Goedert at TE18 were especially good values in the middle rounds.

WEAKNESSES
While three running backs in the opening five rounds would project as a strong running back position, Jerick McKinnon and Ronald Jones are tenuous bets within the top-25 of their position. McKinnon has yet to be a lead back in the NFL and the bet is ‘in Kyle Shanahan we trust’ for 2018. Ronald Jones had questions with his size and receiving game skills entering the NFL and he is off to a sluggish start.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Ezekiel Elliott and LeSean McCoy stay healthy and out of trouble, stabilizing Bischoff’s running back depth chart. Anthony Miller or Tyler Lockett steps up as a consistent WR3 and Eric Ebron seizes the starting tight end job for the Colts en route to top-12 production. A tall order in the short term for Bischoff to be among the league’s best.

DRAFT SLOT 4

Eric Balkman, The High Stakes Fantasy Hour

Eric Balkman is the host and producer of The High Stakes Fantasy Football Hour. He is also the host of The High-Stakes Lowdown on RotoViz Rado and co-hosts The Appleton Trophy Fantasy Football Show on 95.3 and 99.1-FM The Score in Appleton, Wisconsin. Balkman was the 2008 NFFC Primetime $100,000 Co-Champion and currently serves as the media coordinator for the Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC).

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change in a dynasty startup draft as opposed to a re-draft league?

Not as much as you'd think. Obviously, youth is more valued, but I almost use it as a tie-breaker. The most important year in a dynasty league is still the current one. You shouldn't be loading up on geriatrics, but I don't fill my roster with rookies either.

2. How does a player's age affect your interest in drafting him?

Running backs are the biggest position when it comes to age. I want as young as I can get there. Young receivers are fine, but even non-elite receivers can still be really good up until age-30 or 31. Tight ends, too. And quarterbacks probably have the longest shelf life of anyone.

3. Which position in a dynasty startup is most important to have good depth? Explain why you feel this way.

I think wide receiver. Your league-mates probably value that position the most, too, so even if you have a collection of them, you can usually have the ability to move one of them for 90 cents on the dollar for a position of need. They have fairly long careers, whereas running backs get used up pretty quick. If I'm going to be deep somewhere, it will be wideout.

4. Talk about a trading strategy that you use in dynasty leagues. Is there a right and wrong way to construct your team through trades?

Not really. I think you always need to be looking ahead and be ahead of the curve when it comes to player evaluation. You always want to acquire assets that will rise in value, and not vice versa. While I don't mind holding onto a player until he's no longer fantasy-worthy, I am always floating guys out there in deals who are about to be free agents, have a big cap number coming up or have a clear replacement waiting in the wings behind him on the roster. Be proactive so you don't end up with an albatross on your squad that no one wants.

5. Name a quarterback that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I don't usually target quarterbacks, but Goff and Mariota are going fairly late in dynasty start-ups for their age. I could see getting one or both of those guys. Carr, Winston, and Trubisky are probably good fall-back options. I'm not picky with signal-callers.

6. Name a running back that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

If Elliott is there at four, I'm grabbing him for sure. If not, McCaffrey or Mixon will be my targets a round later. Elliott's talent, situation, age and pass-catching chops are everything you want in your top pick. He's a slam-dunk cornerstone of any dynasty roster.

7. Name a wide receiver that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

If Elliott's gone when I pick in the first, DeAndre Hopkins won't be, and he could be in for a historic career. He might be the most talented receiver in the NFL, and when you couple that with a quarterback in Watson who could be a decade-long superstud, Hopkins is a can't miss every week start for you for the next half-decade-plus. Cooper, Diggs, or Allen Robinson will be nice consolation prizes in the second or third round if I can't grab Hopkins.

8. Name a tight end that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Because of the ACL, I could get Hunter Henry at a discount and try and grab a couple other guys later. If not, David Njoku is a guy who I am really high on, and he and Baker Mayfield should be a big-time connection for several years.

9. What is your strategy for drafting a team defense in a dynasty startup league?

I have none. :) I'm all about loading up on skill position guys and grabbing a defense with my last or second-to-last pick in the draft and using my waiver wire to play matchups throughout the season. I'm trying to acquire as many ascending assets as I can with my choices so I can either play them or trade them for more assets. By and large, defenses won't get you far.

10. Name a few players that you will target as stash players. Why do you feel confident in their ability to blossom in the coming years?

A trio of rookie running backs leads this list for me. Jaylen Samuels could have a massive role in Pittsburgh next year if (when) Le'Veon Bell moves on. Chase Edmonds should be the man in Arizona if David Johnson (who turns 27 this year) goes down or moves on. And Justin Jackson has been getting a lot of positive reviews in Los Angeles. If Gordon signs elsewhere after 2018, you'd better believe LA will have let him go because they have faith in Jackson being a big part of what they do in the backfield.

11. What advice would you give to someone drafting in a dynasty startup league?

Don't go crazy for youth. draft for this year and the future. Find the balance. And remember, you can usually get aging, veteran players at insane prices. Don't be afraid to pull the trigger and take the value when it's punching you in the face.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.04
4
RB
NYG
2.09
21
WR
Amari Cooper
OAK
3.04
28
WR
TEN
4.09
45
RB
Nick Chubb
CLE
5.04
52
WR
CAR
6.09
69
RB
Tarik Cohen
CHI
7.04
76
TE
CLE
8.09
93
WR
Jamison Crowder
WAS
9.04
100
WR
Nelson Agholor
PHI
10.09
117
RB
Aaron Jones
GBP
11.04
124
QB
TEN
12.09
141
TE
Hayden Hurst
BAL
13.04
148
QB
Mitchell Trubisky
CHI
14.09
165
RB
SFO
15.04
172
WR
Tre'Quan Smith
NOS
16.09
189
WR
Antonio Callaway
CLE
17.04
196
RB
PIT
18.09
213
WR
Keke Coutee
HOU
19.04
220
Def
Houston Texans
HOU
20.09
237
Def
Cleveland Browns
CLE

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Balkman took little risk in his first five rounds, siding with elite profiles and strong draft pedigree for his two running backs and three wide receivers to form his core. Balkman is one of the deepest rosters in the league at wide receiver with Jamison Crowder and Nelson Agholor at WR4/5 and finding Antonio Callaway all the way at WR79 in Round 16. Even waiting on D.J. Moore to develop, Balkman has the depth to fill in for a season or two.

WEAKNESSES
While Saquon Barkley and Nick Chubb are cornerstone talents at the running back position, Chubb is not a projected early producer with Cleveland and Balkman has little short-term veteran reinforcements outside of potentially Aaron Jones taking the Packers starting job once he returns from suspension or Matt Breida taking full advantage if Jerick McKinnon is out or underperforming.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Nick Chubb and David Njoku are critical players to Balkman contending in the next one or two seasons. Both were drafted to be fantasy starters on this squad. While the talent is evident, Chubb may be more of a 2019 arrival with Carlos Hyde in the mix and Njoku may struggle to see enough targets to get into the upper-TE1 land for fantasy.

DRAFT SLOT 5

James Brimacombe - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change in a dynasty startup draft as opposed to a re-draft league?

You want to be bolder on the players you select. I always feel like a dynasty startup has the element of the team really being yours and you want to draft players that you have strong opinions on and not just drafting because the value falls to you.

2. How does a player's age affect your interest in drafting him?

I don't want to use one of my high premium picks on some of the older players and I will be cautious when drafting my running backs because of age, but other than that I don't mind taking shots on some of the older guys later in the draft depending on where the value is.

3. Which position in a dynasty startup is most important to have good depth? Explain why you feel this way.

I think wide receiver is where you want to build around and stockpile the talent as much as possible. These players have a longer shelf life and have higher trade value over the years.

4. Talk about a trading strategy that you use in dynasty leagues. Is there a right and wrong way to construct your team through trades?

If you are looking to win now and make a push in the playoffs I think you have to trade your youth but if you are looking to rebuild you are looking to add youth and draft picks. There is no right or wrong way, it is all in good fun and you want to try different strategies along the way and see what works and what doesn't.

5. Name a quarterback that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I like Kirk Cousins right now as I feel like he is on the cheap side of value and he has top-five upside at the position as he showed the last two seasons and he now has an upgrade on offense with the Vikings and Diggs, Thielen, Rudolph, and Cook around him.

6. Name a running back that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I like Kerryon Johnson and Ronald Jones as two rookies that I want to try to snag if I can. I think they are both going to be NFL every down type of running backs and they have some value right now as both come with a few question marks that might shy away from other drafters.

7. Name a wide receiver that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Stefon Diggs is a name that I really like as he will have an upgrade at quarterback with Kirk Cousins and with Adam Thielen also in town his price tag to draft might not be so high at this time.

8. Name a tight end that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

David Njoku, as the Browns are having a facelift on offense. I think he offers plenty of upside right now and you don't have to overdraft him at his current ADP.

9. What is your strategy for drafting a team defense in a dynasty startup league?

I will wait and be one of the last to draft a defense. Maybe I will be tempted if Jacksonville or Minnesota fall down the board but most likely I will wait until the last round.

10. Name a few players that you will target as stash players. Why do you feel confident in their ability to blossom in the coming years?

Keelan Cole and Taywan Taylor are two players that I feel are sneaky right now as far as value goes. They both offer upside and are entering year two so they can be very valuable in later years.

11. What advice would you give to someone drafting in a dynasty startup league?

Make the team your own, have fun, and don't be afraid to trade. Get involved in your league sending trade offers and replying to others. Also don't be afraid to draft players ahead of their ADP and not just drafting following current ADP trends.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.05
5
RB
ARI
2.08
20
RB
CAR
3.05
29
TE
KCC
4.08
44
QB
GBP
5.05
53
WR
Marvin Jones
DET
6.08
68
RB
BAL
7.05
77
WR
Marquise Goodwin
SFO
8.08
92
RB
Jamaal Williams
GBP
9.05
101
WR
Randall Cobb
GBP
10.08
116
QB
Dak Prescott
DAL
11.05
125
WR
MIA
12.08
140
TE
Jack Doyle
IND
13.05
149
WR
Paul Richardson
WAS
14.08
164
RB
Jordan Wilkins
IND
15.05
173
WR
JAC
16.08
188
Def
Minnesota Vikings
MIN
17.05
197
WR
Cameron Meredith
NOS
18.08
212
TE
Vance McDonald
PIT
19.05
221
WR
Albert Wilson
MIA
20.08
236
RB
LAC

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Brimacombe found value across the board at running back. David Johnson and Christian McCaffrey in the first two rounds set the table, but Alex Collins (RB28) and Jamaal Williams (RB35) form quality depth and an inherently thin position. Brimacombe will have some insulation from injury and be able to navigate the trade market if needed. While waiting at wide receiver, Brimacombe salvaged value with savvy picks of Marvin Jones (WR25) and Marquise Goodwin (WR37) to anchor the position.

WEAKNESSES
While Brimacombe has arguably the most balanced roster in the league, there is some risk with his wide receiver corps as Marquise Goodwin will face more competition for targets than a year ago, Marvin Jones is part of a crowded passing game in Detroit, and Randall Cobb is a reclamation project as the WR3/4 for this roster.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
The injury bug will be Brimacombe’s biggest threat in the short term as studs Aaron Rodgers and Travis Kelce anchor two positions and his roster has dual PPR monsters in David Johnson and Christian McCaffrey. The key will be having weekly clarity at the wide receiver position and at least one option (Marquise Goodwin and Kenny Stills are quality bets) to significantly out-produce their ADP.

DRAFT SLOT 6

Jim Day

Jim Day is currently a senior fantasy football writer for Fighting Chance Fantasy. He has written for many sites since he first started in 2001, including Fantasy Pros 911, Bleacher Report, XpertSports, GoAheadScore, Sports Outlaw and several others. He was the Technical Editor for the Fantasy Football for Dummies book and is currently the Co-Host of the Fantasy Football Frenzy podcast on the FNTSY Sports Network and the WTF! Fantasy Football Podcast on Youtube.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change in a dynasty startup draft as opposed to a re-draft league?

Outside of adjusting my tiered rankings to profile good young talent, my draft strategy in any draft remains the same: take the best player available. Sometimes that means taking the good young player with plenty of upside and sometimes it means taking a vet with limited years remaining simply because they were the best value at the time.

2. How does a player's age affect your interest in drafting him?

Age can definitely be a tie breaker when it comes down to two players in the same tier. If a young player is in the same tier as an older player, I will take the younger player in most instances.

3. Which position in a dynasty startup is most important to have good depth? Explain why you feel this way.

While ultimately you want to have depth at every position I feel that making sure I have good depth at QB can be key in dynasty. I want to make sure I have at least 3 solid starters, which usually means I may have to grab them a little earlier than everyone else. At the other positions there are typically more players that pop up during the season that you can pick up on waivers and use as needed, but that just doesn’t happen very often at QB.

4. Talk about a trading strategy that you use in dynasty leagues. Is there a right and wrong way to construct your team through trades?

As someone who is always in win now mode, I love to use future draft picks to solidify my starting lineup during a season. I will almost always try to find several owners in my leagues that truly covet draft picks and work with them to try and get a young stud for a decent player and a pick. Determining where they are weak is key because I do always try to offer trades that I believe to be fair to both sides. When other owners understand that you are not always trying to get the upper hand, but will work fairly with them, then it will make it much easier to make future trades.

5. Name a quarterback that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I really think there are a lot of very good young QBs, but one I have been actively targeting in Dynasty is Jared Goff. Still only 24, he made a huge jump in 2017 in all aspects of his game after a rough start in 2016. A lot was expected from him right away after being taken as the overall number one pick in 2016 and we are starting to see that now. He was a top 12 QB in 2017 and I think that is just the tip of the iceberg for him. If he continues to improve only slightly each year we are still talking about a young QB that will be fighting to be in the top 5 each year.

6. Name a running back that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I have the 6th pick in this draft and I will be actively targeting Saquon Barkley. Barkley will be given plenty of opportunity in the Giants’ offense. I expect him to touch the ball at least 300 times and using 2017 as an indicator, every single RB that touched the ball 300 times finished as a top 10 back. That is not the only reason. He is explosive, can play every down and is someone who you don’t have to worry about off-field issues with. Guys like Le'Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliot, who have all the talent in the world, are guys that are flirting with missing a lot of playing time with one more off-field transgression and I would rather stay away from that trouble.

7. Name a wide receiver that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I would love after getting Barkley in round one, to come back in round two and grab Keenan Allen. Allen most likely won’t score you double-digit touchdowns, but we know he will be a target hound for the Chargers and is signed with them through 2020. At only 26 he still has many years of solid production ahead of him and will be in top 5 discussion each year.

8. Name a tight end that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I would love to be able to grab Evan Engram because I believe he will be a top 5 TE for the foreseeable future. He has the size and speed to always be a tough matchup for defenses and because of all the other young weapons around him, defenses will not be able to just stack up on him. If he can curtail the drops he had as a rookie, I think he has every chance to finish atop the tight end leaderboard several times over the next few years.

9. What is your strategy for drafting a team defense in a dynasty startup league?

Wait until the end to draft one. DST scoring is so volatile from year to year and the scoring is predicted on big plays that are hard to forecast. In the past two seasons using the scoring for this league, only four teams were in the top 10 in each season. Five of the top six defenses in 2016 didn’t even finish in the top 12 in 2017. I expect we will be saying the same thing in 2018.

10. Name a few players that you will target as stash players. Why do you feel confident in their ability to blossom in the coming years?

There are a few WRs that I really am looking to grab in this draft. One is Mike Williams of the Chargers. Over the last couple of weeks, people are starting to hear some positive things from camp about him and his ADP is starting to rise, but I feel he has the talent to be a top 12 receivers in a year or two. A lot of people smarter than I am thought he was the best receiver to come out of the draft last year, but then injuries kept him out of camp and the early season and he never got on track after that. I expect him to start to show why he was the seventh overall pick last year.

Another one is Cooper Kupp of the Rams. After a slow start in 2017, we finally started to see him emerge in the second half of the season as he recorded double-digit scoring in seven of the teams last nine games. Even with the slow start, he finished 24th in this scoring and already we are hearing from training camp of the special relationship he has with QB Jared Goff. I expect Goff and Kupp are going to be a combination that delivers every year.

11. What advice would you give to someone drafting in a dynasty startup league?

I will give you one piece of advice: Even players with only one or two years left in the league can provide value if your league mates keep grabbing up all of the young talent. In one recent Dynasty startup draft I was able to get Jared Goff and Pat Mahomes at decent values, but then grabbed Tom Brady in the 14th round. Even if Brady only gives me one year that price tag is well worth the cost.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.06
6
RB
MIN
2.07
19
WR
GBP
3.06
30
RB
CHI
4.07
43
RB
DET
5.06
54
WR
Robert Woods
LAR
6.07
67
QB
HOU
7.06
78
WR
LAC
8.07
91
WR
Larry Fitzgerald
ARI
9.06
102
RB
Chris Carson
SEA
10.07
115
TE
TEN
11.06
126
RB
Marshawn Lynch
OAK
12.07
139
RB
Latavius Murray
MIN
13.06
150
QB
Philip Rivers
LAC
14.07
163
TE
Ricky Seals-Jones
ARI
15.06
174
WR
SFO
16.07
187
WR
Geronimo Allison
GBP
17.06
198
QB
Blake Bortles
JAC
18.07
211
TE
NOS
19.06
222
WR
Laquon Treadwell
MIN
20.07
235
WR
Jermaine Kearse
NYJ

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Day opted for three running backs in the first four rounds, but still collected more depth and value with Chris Carson, Marshawn Lynch, and Dalvin Cook handcuff Latavius Murray all between 100 and 150 overall. Even a slow start by rookie Kerryon Johnson to seize the lead role in Detroit can be absorbed by this strong running back group of Jim Day.

WEAKNESSES
Day has a balanced roster and minimal low-value selections. Of them, however, are Robert Woods at WR26 and Deshaun Watson at QB3. For Watson, this is paying full sticker price on a partial season of historic touchdown production from a rookie quarterback. There are few avenues for Watson to justify the price going before Carson Wentz and Cam Newton of note. For Woods, Brandin Cooks offers a greater presence to target share for the Rams than Sammy Watkins last year. Plus, the Rams have Gerald Everett developing at tight end, a position which had little impact for the Rams in 2017. Both Watson and Woods are priced at their ceiling.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
A healthy Dalvin Cook is key for Day considering the mid-Round 1 price. Also, with high-floor options Davante Adams and Larry Fitzgerald, creating a committee for WR3 between Robert Woods, Mike Williams, and perhaps Pierre Garcon will be a priority for Day’s ultimate success. Even if Deshaun Watson suffers some sophomore slump moments, Day is insulated with Philip Rivers and fantasy underrated Blake Bortles in his quarterback committee.

DRAFT SLOT 7

Andy Hicks, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change in a dynasty startup draft as opposed to a re-draft league?

It won't be a great shock that if it is a close choice between players, the younger player will win in a dynasty start-up. More attention is given to any upside for a second or third-year player as well. You also need to balance your side carefully so that you are in a position to win this year, but not at the cost of 2019, 2020 etc.

2. How does a player's age affect your interest in drafting him?

The age of a player is an important factor, but talent wins out. Would I draft D.J Moore ahead of Antonio Brown or Julio Jones? Almost certainly not, but drafting Delanie Walker or Michael Crabtree ahead of Moore would not be a good move.

3. Which position in a dynasty startup is most important to have good depth? Explain why you feel this way.

Almost certainly running back. Mainly due to the injury-related turnover every year and the scarcity of elite talent. Options at the other positions should be on the waiver wire, depending on the depth of your league, but very few running backs of any worth end up being waiver wire gets.

4. Talk about a trading strategy that you use in dynasty leagues. Is there a right and wrong way to construct your team through trades?

Trading is a tricky area in dynasty leagues. Each manager will value young, unproven players, especially rookies differently. Some managers really focus heavily on the next two years, others have a value for three years time and others even further into the future. Trading with a manager who thinks Corey Clement is just as valuable as Aaron Rodgers is wasting everyone's time. Trading is a great way to strengthen a weakness, but it takes two to tango. It takes significant trial and error to find out which managers are willing to conduct fair trades and which ones have their head in the clouds. I personally am prepared to sacrifice a little to get a player I truly believe in, if I need to.

5. Name a quarterback that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

You always go for the best and in this case it is Aaron Rodgers. He still has many good years ahead of him and getting a replacement won't be an immediate issue. Outside of him, I would be looking at younger options such as Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Derek Carr.

6. Name a running back that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Kenyan Drake. He will fall due to the presence of Frank Gore and Kalen Ballage and the uncertainty of just how good he really is. We haven't hit his upside yet and I can safely draft him as my second or third back and enjoy the future.

7. Name a wide receiver that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

A lot of the guys from the class of 2014 will be targets. Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks and Mike Evans will be the main ones though. If I get one of these players, I would expect to have an anchor WR1 for years to come.

8. Name a tight end that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

This position will be harder as there is a lot of uncertainty at the position and many high round picks over the last few years who haven't peaked. If a player such as Jordan Reed makes it to me, I would be happy despite his injury history. It would also allow me to speculate on some younger upside players that fall in the draft. Every year we get a veteran or two who come out of nowhere such as Tyler Kroft or Gary Barnidge, so the waiver wire can cover up cracks here.

9. What is your strategy for drafting a team defense in a dynasty startup league?

Ideally they need to be elite now, with their best players in their mid to late twenties. If you can afford a second defense that's where you look at a team that has invested heavily in the draft in the last two to three years

10. Name a few players that you will target as stash players. Why do you feel confident in their ability to blossom in the coming years?

I mainly look for players drafted in the first three rounds of the 2017 and 2018 drafts that have a weak starter ahead of them or where a new coaching staff has joined a team. Late round investments this year will include D.J. Chark Jr, Tre'Quan Smith, Jonnu Smith, Chris Godwin, Adam Shaheen and Taywan Taylor.

11. What advice would you give to someone drafting in a dynasty startup league?

draft a team that can win this year and for in three years time. Don't let older players fall too far as they can definitely help you now. Don't get too many of them though. Don't be afraid to trade an elite player for multiple players that can start immediately or for future draft picks. Be wary of which managers are deluded and which are on a similar wavelength. Sorting this out can save you time and aggravation later on. Great care needs to be taken when evaluating rookies and upside players. Todays Kalen Ballage is tomorrows Jeremy Langford.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.07
7
RB
Le'Veon Bell
PIT
2.06
18
RB
Devonta Freeman
ATL
3.07
31
WR
LAR
4.06
42
WR
Sammy Watkins
KCC
5.07
55
RB
MIA
6.06
66
WR
Devin Funchess
CAR
7.07
79
TE
WAS
8.06
90
QB
IND
9.07
103
RB
Carlos Hyde
CLE
10.06
114
WR
Kelvin Benjamin
BUF
11.07
127
QB
Matthew Stafford
DET
12.06
138
Def
Jacksonville Jaguars
JAC
13.07
151
TE
ATL
14.06
162
RB
PHI
15.07
175
WR
JAC
16.06
186
TE
Austin Seferian-Jenkins
JAC
17.07
199
WR
Mike Wallace
PHI
18.06
210
WR
Mack Hollins
PHI
19.07
223
QB
BUF
20.06
234
RB
Chris Ivory
BUF

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Hicks took little chance with his short-term running backs, drafting four Week 1 starters in Le'Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman, Kenyan Drake, and Carlos Hyde. Hicks can dominate the league this season with the volume of these four backs alone. Also, Hicks arguably found the best values of the quarterback position with Andrew Luck (QB8) and Matthew Stafford (QB15) as Luck can easily return to a perennial top-5 producer if his shoulder returns to normal.

WEAKNESSES
While Sammy Watkins, Devin Funchess, and Kelvin Benjamin are flashing names in the WR2 through WR4 slots, there is plenty of risk attached. For Watkins, he is multiple years removed from his best play to-date and competition for targets high in Kansas City. For Funchess, Carolina just drafted a first-round receiver, Greg Olsen is back healthy, and Curtis Samuel, a former Round 2 pick, is in the mix finally. Benjamin is likely dealing with a rookie quarterback working through accuracy issues and has been miring through a sluggish athletic profile for a few years now. Hicks’ lone late-round receiver to potentially help is Mike Wallace pending the physical state of Alshon Jeffery.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Hicks will see a healthy late-reporting Le'Veon Bell again this season supporting a monster workload as the offensive centerpiece. Sammy Watkins will enjoy his best season yet as the Chiefs’ WR1. Jordan Reed, maybe most importantly, sports a healthy stretch (for once) to sustain Hicks’ thinnest position with Austin Hooper and Austin Seferian-Jenkins behind Reed.

DRAFT SLOT 8

Will Grant, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change in a dynasty startup draft as opposed to a re-draft league?

For a dynasty draft, I’m looking to build a team that is competitive, but focus on younger players who have upside. In a redraft league, I don’t normally target rookies, but they will be central to my draft strategy in a dynasty format. I don’t mind drafting a player in Dynasty that will take a year or two to develop. In redraft, a guy who isn’t playing is almost worthless.

2. How does a player's age affect your interest in drafting him?

Not specifically age – but years of NFL experience. The NFL is rough and a player who plays more than 6 seasons is special. I want to pile up as many guys in the ‘5 years of experience or less’ category, and then sprinkle in the older veterans who have proven themselves to be able to stay healthy or come back from injury.

3. Which position in a dynasty startup is most important to have good depth? Explain why you feel this way.

Running back is hard. Probably one of the hardest. Especially in a league where you can start three of them each week. Quarterbacks and tight ends are important to your team, but you almost always start one of them each week, so it’s not difficult to find a guy who can produce for you. Wide Receivers emerge all the time. Even if they don’t last a full season, an injury or two can push a special teams player onto the field and he can immediately contribute to your team. A wide receiver stuck behind a couple solid starters can take a couple years to emerge (think Davante Adams). Running backs almost never emerge after their second or third year. By that point you usually know what you have and what they can do. Once the initial draft is over, it’s hard to add a starting quality running back to your team outside of the draft. They’re almost never available on the waiver wire and trading for them is expensive. That’s why I’ve targeted running back as the key position I want to build around for this draft.

4. Talk about a trading strategy that you use in dynasty leagues. Is there a right and wrong way to construct your team through trades?

Trades are usually a rebuilding type of activity. If you’ve drafted a player, you want to give them enough time to mature and grow to be the player you hoped they’d be when you drafted them. Trades are hard because your goals are longer term. In redraft / ‘win now’ leagues, you would quickly dump a rookie who isn’t playing for a stud veteran who is playing above his level. But in a dynasty league, if that rookie blows up on the other guy's team next year, you’re going to be kicking yourself for giving him up now.

If your team is struggling though and you need to shake things up, trades can be a whole new way to reboot your team. I’ve seen talented guys take over a weak team and rebuild them into a playoff quality team after two seasons.
The key (for me anyway) is quality and upside. I see plenty of guys make offers/trades that are quantity over quality – I’ll give you two average guys for one future stud. In a redraft league, that works great. In a dynasty league, you build a team that races right to the middle and is never quite good enough to compete in the playoffs, but usually good enough to take you out of the running for the top-shelf rookies next season as well.

5. Name a quarterback that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

This is a tough question for me since I think this is a great year to wait on taking a quarterback until later in a redraft league. In a dynasty league, a young guy like Carson Wentz or Deshaun Watson would be a great player to have because you know you’re going to have a starting quality guy for the next several years. In a dynasty league, the quarterback position is a little easier to manage because you can always draft the NFL backup to protect against injury. Another fantasy owner isn’t going to snipe your backup because the value and upside are more limited to them. But taking Joe Flacco and Larmar Jackson later is a perfectly valid strategy in dynasty. As for me personally, I want to get one younger starting quarterback early (top 8 rounds) and then add a veteran and possibly a rookie later in the daft. If I can’t get a rookie I like, I’ll settle for a second veteran or the backup of my young guy as I mentioned above.

6. Name a running back that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I’m really hoping to land Dalvin Cook or Kareem Hunt with my first overall pick. I think both are young running backs who are going to see a lot of action for their respective teams and they are both young enough to give me three or four solid seasons as my top running back. I won’t cry if I end up with David Johnson as my 1st pick (he’s #8 on my draft list) either. Round two might be interesting if Jordan Howard is still available when I pick again. After that, the running backs become a known quantity until you start targeting rookies again a little later in the draft. I do like Kerryon Johnson’s upside in Detroit and maybe he is the guy who can finally turn into the runner they never had. I also like Nyheim Hines as a potential flex player in a PPR format and he could be a nice running back to grab a little later in the draft.

7. Name a wide receiver that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Wide receiver is a position that I normally ‘fill in the gaps’ with as opposed to ‘building around’ a stud wideout. I think guys like Corey Davis and D.J. Moore could be a potential younger guy who you can grab in the early rounds who turn into starting quality wide receivers in a year or two. Calvin Ridley and Cooper Kupp are also in the mold. As for veterans, I usually add a couple ‘best player available’ guys based on what the draft looks like and what I project will be gone in the next round or two.

8. Name a tight end that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I may actually go with a tight end a little earlier in this draft than I would normally go because dynasty tight ends usually fall into the ‘must have’ or ‘he’s good but disappoints me’ category after a year or two. I do like Evan Engram’s opportunity in New York and he is a guy who I might reach a little earlier to take. Having a tight end that I can ‘set and forget’ each week isn’t a bad thing. O.J. Howard would be an interesting choice in the middle rounds as well since he has good upside and is still relatively unproven. Trey Burton will do well in Chicago but he’s not a guy who can carry you every week. If I’m looking at him as my starter, I’ll probably pair him with a David Njoku or Austin Hooper and play the matchups every week.

9. What is your strategy for drafting a team defense in a dynasty startup league?

Team defense is something I’m waiting on. This league format tries to make them relevant, but the reality of a dynasty league is that they don’t say in the top 10 as often as a position player will. So, playing defense by committee and adding and dropping one or two throughout the season is a perfectly solid strategy.

10. Name a few players that you will target as stash players. Why do you feel confident in their ability to blossom in the coming years?

I already mentioned the rookie running backs I’m going to target. Derrius Guice just suffered a season-ending injury which will push him down a lot of draft charts. I might take a shot with him and sit him for a season, just to see where he comes out next year. His injury is early enough to where he should be 100% by next year and I don’t expect Washington to produce any running back who will challenge him for the starting job in 2019. I also think Kkalen Ballege will be a guy who will do very little this season but could turn into a decent fantasy player next year as well. I don’t know if Dante Pettis qualifies as a ‘stash’ player in San Francisco, but I think his sophomore year will be a lot better than this year is going to be.

11. What advice would you give to someone drafting in a dynasty startup league?

Trust your rankings, but don’t be afraid to reach a round or two for a guy you really want either. I’m not saying spend your 1st round draft pick on Josh Allen if you think he’s going to do well in Buffalo, but don’t be afraid to ‘shock’ a few people by taking him a couple rounds before his ‘normal ADP’ – in a dynasty league, time usually smooths over any bumps if you have quality players. Think of it this way – if you drafted Dalvin Cook, DeShaun Watson, Evan Engram, Kareem Hunt and Corey Davis with your first five picks last year, people might have laughed at you for hoarding rookies, but you’d have a pretty solid starting squad going into this season. Target the guys you want and focus on quality over the long term. With that strategy, you’ll always be competitive.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.08
8
RB
Alvin Kamara
NOS
2.05
17
RB
KCC
3.08
32
WR
MIN
4.05
41
TE
NYG
5.08
56
WR
LAR
6.05
65
RB
Jay Ajayi
PHI
7.08
80
QB
MIN
8.05
89
WR
BAL
9.08
104
WR
Emmanuel Sanders
DEN
10.05
113
RB
Chris Thompson
WAS
11.08
128
RB
Giovani Bernard
CIN
12.05
137
TE
CAR
13.08
152
WR
Rishard Matthews
TEN
14.05
161
QB
Josh Rosen
ARI
15.08
176
Def
Los Angeles Rams
LAR
16.05
185
WR
Jordy Nelson
OAK
17.08
200
RB
Theo Riddick
DET
18.05
209
RB
Devontae Booker
DEN
19.08
224
QB
Alex Smith
WAS
20.05
233
WR
Cole Beasley
DAL

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Grant’s greatest roster strength is blending young cornerstone players (Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, Evan Engram) in the first four rounds with short-term veterans to fill out the starting lineup (Michael Crabtree, Greg Olsen, Alex Smith) for affordable investments. Of them, Crabtree as WR41 and Olsen at TE15 have the best chance to out-produce their position over the next one or two seasons.

WEAKNESSES
While Adam Thielen was stronger than his WR17 position in this draft for Grant; the risk is present for Thielen to be a disappointment considering his status as the WR1 for this team. Laquon Treadwell looks to be more of a presence this season and Kirk Cousins offers a change-up at quarterback where Case Keenum was locked into Thielen for optimal targets. Grant also invested RB27 in Jay Ajayi, who has a murky physical outlook and the Eagles are deep at running back to soften any potential upside.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
A repeat of Adam Thielen and Evan Engram’s strong 2017 production will be key to Grant’s success. Also, Alvin Kamara getting the team off to a hot start with no Mark Ingram for the opening month. Finally, Cooper Kupp, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jordy Nelson will need to piece together WR3/4 production throughout the season.

DRAFT SLOT 9

Jeff Tefertiller, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change in a dynasty startup draft as opposed to a re-draft league?

I weight future production into my rankings. Alo, since longevity is an issue, younger players and players at positions of longevity (QB/WR/TE) are weighted higher.

2. How does a player's age affect your interest in drafting him?

The older players should come at a discount. The price should have the discount baked in. For example, the same production from a younger player makes him worth more than the older player. In practice, Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham, Jr are tops in most rankings. Brown puts up elite numbers while Beckham's numbers are almost as good, but he is much younger.

3. Which position in a dynasty startup is most important to have good depth? Explain why you feel this way.

Wide receiver, given the longevity of players at the position. In one-quarterback leagues, the position is devalued. Young, star receivers are valued highly in dynasty.

4. Talk about a trading strategy that you use in dynasty leagues. Is there a right and wrong way to construct your team through trades?

The only right/wrong strategy in trades is understanding the value of players. Which players are increasing in value? Which are decreasing? A dynasty owner should stockpile players at positions the league rules/scoring reward.

5. Name a quarterback that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I will target aging quarterbacks to be a starter and young passers for upside depth. So, expect Roethlisberger or Rivers paired with Darnold, Jackson, Rosen, or Mayfield.

6. Name a running back that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Derrius Guice - I love the rookie's talent and the ACL injury should not hinder his future. I hope to get Guice at a discount.

7. Name a wide receiver that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Courtland Sutton. I was at Broncos camp a week ago and he shined. Sutton looks to be a star in 2-3 years with his size and ability to separate from pressing corners.

8. Name a tight end that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Charles Clay is so underrated. He Austin Hooper, Ben Watson, and Jared cook seem to be on most of my rosters due to price. Also, Vernon Davis offers upside behind oft-injured Jordan Reed.

9. What is your strategy for drafting a team defense in a dynasty startup league?

I like streaming defenses so I target defenses with a good two-game schedule to begin the season.

10. Name a few players that you will target as stash players. Why do you feel confident in their ability to blossom in the coming years?

I like the following players due to a reasonable price, young age, and upside: Robbie Anderson, Matt Breida, Chris Godwin, Kenny Stills, and Lamar Jackson.

11. What advice would you give to someone drafting in a dynasty startup league?

Understand your league rules. Target players at positions of value. Target young players at the value positions. Go cheap at positions (even if older players) at less valuable positions (e.g., Quarterback).

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.09
9
WR
PIT
2.04
16
RB
Melvin Gordon
LAC
3.09
33
TE
Rob Gronkowski
NEP
4.04
40
WR
Alshon Jeffery
PHI
5.09
57
WR
DEN
6.04
64
WR
ATL
7.09
81
WR
Robby Anderson
NYJ
8.04
88
WR
TBB
9.09
105
WR
James Washington
PIT
10.04
112
WR
Julian Edelman
NEP
11.09
129
RB
Ty Montgomery
GBP
12.04
136
RB
Marlon Mack
IND
13.09
153
RB
D'Onta Foreman
HOU
14.04
160
QB
Sam Darnold
NYJ
15.09
177
QB
Matt Ryan
ATL
16.04
184
RB
Austin Ekeler
LAC
17.09
201
TE
Cameron Brate
TBB
18.04
208
TE
OAK
19.09
225
Def
Carolina Panthers
CAR
20.04
232
RB
Jonathan Williams
NOS

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Tefertiller exploited the quarterback and tight end positions as Rob Gronkowski at 3.09 and not the first tight end off the board offers a substantial short-term edge. Also, Tefertiller was the final general manager to address the quarterback position, nabbing the perfect committee approach of a solid veteran (Matt Ryan) and an upside option (Sam Darnold) outside of the top-150 overall.

WEAKNESSES
While Tefertiller loaded up on wide receivers with eight selections in the opening 10 rounds, his running backs are rail thin. Melvin Gordon at RB9 is solid value, but he is not a special talent as a cornerstone running back. Marlon Mack is the lone hope for a stable RB2 on the roster early in the season with D’Onta Foreman recovering from a late-season Achilles injury. Tefertiller could be quickly in the running back trade market considering multiple other teams in the league are going three or four NFL starters deep at the position.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Finding solid RB2 production is the first avenue to being competitive for Tefertiller. Second, while drafting eight wide receivers among the first 55 off the board in this league, there are plenty of questions at the position. The easiest story towards strong production at wide receiver is Alshon Jeffery being healthy and Robby Anderson being a solid early-season option until Julian Edelman returns from his four-game suspension. Rob Gronkowski will need a dominant season to carry his roster weight towards a title as well.

DRAFT SLOT 10

Anthony Amico, Rotoviz / RotoCurve

Anthony Amico is a fantasy writer with experience at a myriad of websites such as RotoViz, 4for4, numberFire, and Fantasy Insiders. He is currently a co-host of the Laying the Points and On the Daily podcasts on the RotoViz Radio channel. In addition to fantasy content, Anthony is diving into the sports betting arena as well, and has a sports betting package available at RotoCurve (Amico's Bets).

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change in a dynasty startup draft as opposed to a re-draft league?

In a dynasty league, I am a lot less committed to structural drafting than I am in re-draft. Simply put, I’m looking to take more stands on particular players and player values. I’m going to have these players for a long time, potentially the length of their career. I want to be a believer when I draft them.

2. How does a player's age affect your interest in drafting him?

I am a bit of an ageist when it comes to rookie drafts, but I tend to value proven production over age in the startup. Young players generally see a boost in value, and that boost often allows proven players, who are sometimes only a couple of years older, to slip. I want to put myself in a position to win in year one, and get my high-upside young players later on.

3. Which position in a dynasty startup is most important to have good depth? Explain why you feel this way.

You need to have good depth at WR.

1) These players often go early in drafts, and are difficult to acquire later in the startup.

2) These players have longevity.

3) These players tend to increase in value quicker than players at other positions. They are easier to sell than to buy on the trade market.

4. Talk about a trading strategy that you use in dynasty leagues. Is there a right and wrong way to construct your team through trades?

I like to sell my rookie picks for extra startup capital or, after the startup, for more proven talent. I like getting the extra year of production out of that asset, and rookie picks generally lose value once a player is associated with it.

5. Name a quarterback that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I’m always looking to get Patrick Mahomes, but he often goes too early in startups for me to acquire him. Instead, my focus will be on getting Ben Roethlisberger, who I still believe has a few QB1 years left in him.

6. Name a running back that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I don’t go out of my way for many RBs, but would like to get Lamar Miller if I can. He is being vastly undervalued versus what I think he can do as the lead in this Houston offense, and I’m confident I can flip him after year one before his value goes back down.

7. Name a wide receiver that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

The player I’m trying to get in every dynasty startup is JuJu Smith-Schuster. He had a terrific rookie season, and is remarkably young. He will be around for a long time. Additionally, he is a great anti-fragile pick for 2018, and should see a massive bump in value if Le’Veon Bell leaves as a free agent after the season.

8. Name a tight end that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

I want Jordan Reed. He has been the top TE in PPG two of the last three seasons, and his injury history has him coming at a big discount. He’s probably not a super long-term play, but he likely will be worth more than what I’ll have to pay for him.

9. What is your strategy for drafting a team defense in a dynasty startup league?

I will be taking my defense with my last pick. I stream in all formats.

10. Name a few players that you will target as stash players. Why do you feel confident in their ability to blossom in the coming years?

Jaylen Samuels and Tyler Boyd are key stash targets for me. Samuels was a great all-purpose player at NC State, and should have a receiving role if anything happens to Bell in 2018. Going forward, he could be the starter. Boyd was a prolific producer at Pitt, and was left for dead after the team drafted John Ross last year. However, with Brandon LaFell gone, we could be talking about Boyd as the WR2 in Cincy if Ross cannot make dramatic improvements in productivity.

11. What advice would you give to someone drafting in a dynasty startup league?

Get your guys. Even more than a re-draft league, dynasty ADP fluctuates wildly from league to league. Make a set of rankings for yourself, and stick to them. Don’t worry about “value”. Chances are if you pass on someone you like, he won’t make it back to you.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.10
10
WR
HOU
2.03
15
WR
LAC
3.10
34
WR
T.Y. Hilton
IND
4.03
39
WR
Josh Gordon
CLE
5.10
58
RB
HOU
6.03
63
WR
Demaryius Thomas
DEN
7.10
82
RB
Dion Lewis
TEN
8.03
87
RB
Mark Ingram
NOS
9.10
106
WR
Chris Hogan
NEP
10.03
111
RB
IND
11.10
130
TE
CHI
12.03
135
QB
PIT
13.10
154
WR
Donte Moncrief
JAC
14.03
159
WR
TEN
15.10
178
RB
ARI
16.03
183
WR
CIN
17.10
202
RB
Javorius Allen
BAL
18.03
207
RB
Spencer Ware
KCC
19.10
226
RB
Rod Smith
DAL
20.03
231
Def
New Orleans Saints
NOS

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Amico went early and often for wide receivers, building an elite trio of DeAndre Hopkins, Keenan Allen, and T.Y. Hilton. The risk of Josh Gordon as his WR4 was even mitigated with the unreal value of Demaryius Thomas as WR31 off the board. Also, waiting on quarterback paid off with Ben Roethlisberger available as QB17 outside the top-125 overall.

WEAKNESSES
Amico is on unsteady ground at running back. The capital spent on the position was minimal with Lamar Miller (RB25) his first selection, but Miller is one of the most tenuous starters in the NFL, especially beyond 2018. Mark Ingram will be out for the opening month (plus an upcoming free agent), leaving Dion Lewis as a needed producer. Beyond the three veterans, Nyheim Hines, Chase Edmonds, Javorius Allen, and Spencer Ware offer some upside to fill starting spots but lack the true upside punch to help win a league.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Mark Ingram is a pivot player for Amico. By returning to form as a strong RB1 once back from suspension balances his strong receiver corps to a high finish. Josh Gordon staying on the field and being even a high-upside weekly WR3 will provide Amico flexibility to roll out the best WR1-4 in the league plus have trade bait to potential add a running back along the way.

DRAFT SLOT 11

Eric Moody, FantasyPros

Eric Moody is a featured writer at FantasyPros and contributor to RotoViz, Gridiron Experts, and Two QBs. He is also the Social Media Co-Manager at RotoViz and member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). Eric has a lifelong passion for the game and played at the collegiate level as an offensive lineman. He also participated in Dan Hatman's Scouting Academy in order to learn the process of player evaluation at an NFL level by using game film.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change in a dynasty startup draft as opposed to a re-draft league?

My strategy in a dynasty startup revolves around talent and age. The earlier a running back, wide receiver, or tight end breaks out from a fantasy perspective the probability is higher that they will have a productive career with a lower failure rate. Blair Andrews, editor, and writer at RotoViz, has done some fantastic work this offseason examining NFL age curves.

Here are some other mantras I keep in mind during a dynasty startup that I have learned over the years from Jacob Rickrode and Ryan McDowell:

  • Focus on established players during the early rounds
  • Target players whose statistical body of works clearly shows they have dominated their respective position
  • Target Productive Offensive Schemes
  • Build a core group of young and old wide receivers
  • Wait as long as possible on drafting running backs

These are all things I will keep in mind as I navigate this dynasty startup.

2. How does a player's age affect your interest in drafting him?

It is a factor, but not the end all be all. Draft age is more important, in my opinion, at every position and underlooked in most fantasy analysis. I will combine this with the respective player’s opportunity. Targets and touches are the most predictable statistics for wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends on a year to year basis.

3. Which position in a dynasty startup is most important to have good depth? Explain why you feel this way.

Wide receiver is one that immediately comes to mind. They have longer careers than running backs. The top-30 wide receivers in PPR formats will generally score more points on average than running backs who finished from the 20 to 30 range and are superior flex options.

4. Talk about a trading strategy that you use in dynasty leagues. Is there a right and wrong way to construct your team through trades?

My preferred trading strategy is to sell players in the mid to tail end of their peak production window. It is easier said than done, but once the downward trend begins it is the equivalent of attempting to catch a falling knife. I also like to trade for younger players as early as possible. There isn’t a right or wrong way to construct your team through trades, but the league dynamics (owners, format, etc.) dictates the nature of the trade.

5. Name a quarterback that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Marcus Mariota is a quarterback that I will be targeting in this draft. The addition of new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur and the implementation of his scheme will be great for the entire Titans offense. This combined with the young skill position players around him could result in Mariota finishing as a weekly QB1 in 2018 and beyond.

6. Name a running back that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Lamar Miller is one running back I will be targeting in this draft. He is a reliable option at the position due to his projected volume and the return of quarterback Deshaun Watson. Miller averaged 60.1 rushing yards, 27.1 receiving yards, and 0.66 touchdowns per game in six last season with Watson. He could be a league winner at his current average draft position. Le’Veon Bell and LeSean McCoy are the only other running backs that have a larger base salary than Miller entering the 2018 season. The touches should be there as the 27-year old back plays the last two years on his current contract with the Texans before becoming a free agent in 2020.

7. Name a wide receiver that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Mike Evans is a wide receiver I would target in the first round if available. He is about to turn 25 years old, but has surpassed 68 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in each of his four NFL seasons. Evans also has two 12 touchdowns seasons on his resume. I believe he has yet to reach his full potential.

8. Name a tight end that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Kyle Rudolph is a tight end I will be targeting in this draft. Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins heavily used the tight end during his time in Washington while accumulating over 13,000 passing yards over the last three seasons. During this time frame, Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis accounted for 364 targets. Rudolph will continue to see heavy usage in the red zone where he has 29 receptions over the last two seasons, but should see his overall target share increase in 2018. The stars are aligning for him to have a career season.

9. What is your strategy for drafting a team defense in a dynasty startup league?

I prefer to wait as long as possible to draft a team defense. One factor that I consider is the statistical history of a team’s defensive coordinator and if they have the personnel to execute their scheme. Two defenses that are undervalued that I like heading into this season are the Titans and Packers.

10. Name a few players that you will target as stash players. Why do you feel confident in their ability to blossom in the coming years?

49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis is one player I will target as a stash player. The offense is trending up and he could find himself as one of the team’s top-three receivers if the front office decides to move on from Pierre Garcon after the 2018 season. Pettis is an explosive and dynamic players the 49ers moved up in the draft to land.

Falcons running back Ito Smith is another excellent stash player. The team used a fourth-round pick on him in the 2018 NFL Draft and is in a position to inherit the offensive role that Tevin Coleman currently has in which he’s averaged nearly 10 fantasy points per game in PPR formats during his career. The probability is high that Coleman signs with another team in free agency to land a career-defining payday in a featured role.

Panthers tight end Ian Thomas is another solid stash. Greg Olsen is under contract with the team through 2020, but is 33 years old. The additional time for Thomas to further develop as an NFL player is a good thing. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has targeted Olsen 671 times since his rookie season back in 2011.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.11
11
WR
Michael Thomas
NOS
2.02
14
WR
ATL
3.11
35
WR
Jarvis Landry
CLE
4.02
38
WR
Doug Baldwin
SEA
5.11
59
QB
Russell Wilson
SEA
6.02
62
RB
ATL
7.11
83
TE
MIN
8.02
86
RB
Duke Johnson
CLE
9.11
107
RB
Rex Burkhead
NEP
10.02
110
WR
Michael Gallup
DAL
11.11
131
WR
Marqise Lee
JAC
12.02
134
TE
SFO
13.11
155
QB
Jameis Winston
TBB
14.02
158
RB
C.J. Anderson
CAR
15.11
179
WR
Dez Bryant
FA
16.02
182
WR
Corey Coleman
BUF
17.11
203
TE
CAR
18.02
206
WR
Quincy Enunwa
NYJ
19.11
227
Def
Denver Broncos
DEN
20.02
230
RB
Samaje Perine
WAS

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Moody was one of three teams to begin his draft with a trio of wide receivers. Moody took a minimal situational risk with them as Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, and Doug Baldwin all have quality quarterbacks attached and Jarvis Landry has a much-improved quarterback situation from a year ago. Two of Moody’s best values are Rex Burkhead (RB38) considering how little draft capital he invested at running back and Dez Bryant slipping all the way to WR74.

WEAKNESSES
The downside risk for Moody’s running back corps is outlook-altering as no back drafted has a hold of a lead job in the NFL. Tevin Coleman is the Robin to Devonta Freeman’s Batman, Duke Johnson has two quality backs to contend with in Cleveland and little chance for more than passing game work, and Rex Burkhead has the New England weekly rotation whims at play. Moody has the least stable lead running back situation in the league by a wide margin.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Getting running back right will value Moody’s squad near the top of the league. An injury to Devonta Freeman paired with C.J. Anderson gaining the lead role in Carolina or Rex Burkhead being the preferred goal-line back (but with more receiving upside than previous Patriots iterations) balance the position to pace some of the league. Moody gets a breakout season from George Kittle or a return to high touchdown production from Kyle Rudolph.

DRAFT SLOT 12

Matt Bitonti, Footballguys - Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How does your draft strategy change in a dynasty startup draft as opposed to a re-draft league?

In a dynasty startup, there is a temptation to overcompensate on age, to have every player be 25 and younger but like a real franchise, there needs to be current performers and guys in the pipeline. A roster full of pipeline guys will make wins tough to come by and is a good way to end up drafting high the next 2-3 seasons.

2. How does a player's age affect your interest in drafting him?

It affects my interest in all leagues, depending upon position. RB usually need to be young. Rookie WR rarely has the route running knowledge to make instant impacts. QBs can take a decade to develop.

3. Which position in a dynasty startup is most important to have good depth? Explain why you feel this way.

Running back depth is impossible to come by and it has been the traditional place to load up in any format but recently the importance of tight end has been noticeable, since I've been playing with these FBG staff leagues. If everyone has great RBs, good WR/QB the TE production can be the head to head edge.

4. Talk about a trading strategy that you use in dynasty leagues. Is there a right and wrong way to construct your team through trades?

In another dynasty league, a new owner took over an orphaned team. He wanted to stockpile multiple picks in this draft. I was able to make a deal for a starting position and a draft pick in next year's draft for my second round pick in this year's draft. Look for motivated buyers.

5. Name a quarterback that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Jimmy Garappolo. Like Jack Woltz in "The Godfather", I knew that movie part would make Johnny Fontane a star, Bill Belichick knew that trade to SF would make Garappolo the league's merch mover for the next decade.

6. Name a running back that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Picking 12 all the big names (Saquon Barkley, Ezekial Elliot) should be long gone but maybe Christian McCaffrey/Davonta Freeman PPR beast at the turn. Here's to hoping.

7. Name a wide receiver that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

If either A.J. Green or Mike Evans are available at my spot, that might prevent a two-running back turn.

8. Name a tight end that you will be targeting in this draft. Why do you feel he will be a player to build around?

Travis Kelce is a stud, another possibility at the turn. More like target Jimmie Graham, his chemistry with Aaron Rodgers could be interesting.

9. What is your strategy for drafting a team defense in a dynasty startup league?

My usual strategy, wait until a late round and hope for the best.

10. Name a few players that you will target as stash players. Why do you feel confident in their ability to blossom in the coming years?

Joe Mixon and Leonard Fournette. They have almost as much natural ability as Saquon Barkley but hopefully will continue to improve (especially as pass receivers) in the future.

11. What advice would you give to someone drafting in a dynasty startup league?

Don't overvalue youth just because it's a dynasty. Someone has to score points.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.12
12
RB
JAC
2.01
13
WR
TBB
3.12
36
RB
Derrick Henry
TEN
4.01
37
TE
Zach Ertz
PHI
5.12
60
WR
Golden Tate
DET
6.01
61
WR
Will Fuller
HOU
7.12
84
RB
Isaiah Crowell
NYJ
8.01
85
QB
Jimmy Garoppolo
SFO
9.12
108
WR
Sterling Shepard
NYG
10.01
109
TE
Jimmy Graham
GBP
11.12
132
QB
NOS
12.01
133
WR
Allen Hurns
DAL
13.12
156
RB
Rob Kelley
WAS
14.01
157
WR
Ryan Grant
IND
15.12
180
RB
Bilal Powell
NYJ
16.01
181
Def
Philadelphia Eagles
PHI
17.12
204
WR
Martavis Bryant
OAK
18.01
205
WR
Ted Ginn Jr
NOS
19.12
228
WR
Tavon Austin
DAL
20.01
229
Def
Seattle Seahawks
SEA

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

STRENGTHS
Bitoni’s balanced build leaves few holes across his projected starters. Even the aggressive drafting of Derrick Henry (RB15) is offset by nabbing the Jets combo of Isaiah Crowell and Blial Powell with Round 7 and 15 selections. Leonard Fournette at RB8 was on the best values in the first few rounds of the draft as he is poised to add more receiving work and shed weight to aid in his elusiveness this season.

WEAKNESSES
Zach Ertz at TE3 stands out as one of the glaring value losses in the top-50. While Bitonti could not have known the tight end position would dip off the board at that point, Jimmy Graham in Round 10 may end up starting over Ertz for Bitonti for much of this season. Another loss of value was Bitonti drafting two tight ends and two quarterbacks in the first 11 rounds, leaving the running back and wide receiver positions more thin than most rosters in the league.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL
Leonard Fournette pacing, or surpassing, the production of the running backs drafted before him will be the first critical step to a title. Will Fuller and Allen Hurns are vital receivers to Bitonti’s depth chart. Fuller approaching his 2017 production with Deshaun Watson and Hurns seizing the No.1 role in Dallas make the wide receiver depth chart one of the better ones in the league with Mike Evans and Golden Tate affirming starting spots. Drew Brees’ volume (lowest since 2009) and touchdown rate (lowest of his career) from 2017 revert to career norms as he crushes his QB16 draft position.

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