Footballguys Staff Mock Draft 5, FPC Scoring, 12 team, 28 Round Best Ball

On July 25th the Footballguys staff got together for their fifth draft of 2015. A 12 team FPC Scoring, Best Ball draft with 28 rounds. Each participant answers questions about their selections and strategies, plus our Will Grant provides an in-depth unbiased summary of each team's draft. 

On July 25th, twelve members of the Footballguys staff got together for the site's fifth draft of 2015. Below is the league scoring format and bylaws. This draft mirrors the setup and format of the Footballguys Players Championship Draft Experts League

League Parameters

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

League Scoring

  • Offensive Players
    • 4 points - passing touchdown
    • 6 points - rushing/receiving touchdown
    • 0.05 points - passing yard
    • 0.1 points - rushing/receiving yard
    • 1 point - reception RP, WR
    • 1.5 point - reception TE
  • Team Defense
    • 6 points - touchdown
    • -1 point - interception
    • 2 points - turnover recovered
    • 5 points - safety
    • 1 point - sack
    • 12 points - Offensive points against: 0-0
    • 8 points - Offensive points against: 1-6
    • 5 points - Offensive points against: 7-10
    • 0 point - Offensive points against: 11-99
    • 6 points each - Number of Defensive and Special Teams Touchdowns

THE DRAFT ORDER

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

1. Phil Alexander
2. Andy Hicks
3. Sigmund Bloom
4. Aaron Rudnicki
5. Jeff Haseley
6. Chad Parsons
7. Matt Waldman
8. Mark Wimer
9. Maurile Tremblay
10. David Dodds
11. Jeff Tefertiller
12. Austin Lee

Starting with Phil Alexander from the 1.01 spot, Will Grant provides an unbiased evaluation of each team's draft performance followed by each owner answering a series of questions about their draft and strategies. 

Phil Alexander: DRAFT POSITION 1

PickOverallSelection
1.01 1 Bell, Le'Veon PIT RB
2.12 24 Ellington, Andre ARI RB
3.01 25 Spiller, C.J. NOS RB
4.12 48 Stewart, Jonathan CAR RB
5.01 49 Randle, Joseph DAL RB
6.12 72 Maclin, Jeremy KCC WR
7.01 73 Decker, Eric NYJ WR
8.12 96 Perriman, Breshad BAL WR
9.01 97 Ryan, Matt ATL QB
10.12 120 Flacco, Joe BAL QB
11.01 121 Daniels, Owen DEN TE
12.12 144 Johnson, Stevie SDC WR
13.01 145 Quick, Brian STL WR
14.12 168 Smith, Geno NYJ QB
15.01 169 Tamme, Jacob ATL TE
16.12 192 Housler, Robert CLE TE
17.01 193 Toon, Nick NOS WR
18.12 216 White, James NEP RB
19.01 217 Cadet, Travaris NEP RB
20.12 240 Vikings, Minnesota MIN Def
21.01 241 Cowboys, Dallas DAL Def
22.12 264 Lee, Marqise JAC WR
23.01 265 Gano, Graham CAR PK
24.12 288 Folk, Nick NYJ PK
25.01 289 Wilson, Albert KCC WR
26.12 312 Murray, Patrick TBB PK
27.01 313 Escobar, Gavin DAL TE
28.12 336 Wright, Tim TBB TE

Overall Strategy:

Use the #1 overall pick on Bell, then go hard at the RB position for the next few picks to back him up.

Best Pick:  

Le’Veon Bell – 1.01. Ok, this is cheating a little but Alexander took Bell before his suspension was announced at two games. Now that it looks like Bell won’t miss a lot of time, he’s practically cemented into the #1 overall spot for most fantasy leagues.

Worst Pick:

Joseph Randle – 5.01. Five straight RBs is a mistake in a PPR best ball format, even with two flex positions.  Alexander secured the deepest RB corps in the league, especially with Bell now only missing two games, but look what it did to his WR corps. Alexander’s first receiver off the board is on a team that didn’t have a TD pass to a receiver last season. It can only go down from there. Taking his 5th back could have waited a bit.

Evaluation:

You have to admire the guts to go with five straight RB selections in a PPR league, but you can’t help feeling a little sick when you look at what Alexander will trot out for his starting WRs each week. Jeremy Maclin and Eric Decker project to put up WR3 type numbers in this type of format and Breshad Perriman is more like a WR4 or even WR5. His back to back QB selections of Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan give him a solid QBBC approach, but Alexander’s TE corps is pretty thin with Owen Daniels looking like his top pick. Alexander is going to need his RB group to carry him from week to week because his WR and TE position are really going to struggle against the rest of the league.

Post Draft Questions

1. What player on your team is the most vital to your team's success? Explain why you like that player this year.

I can’t pin down one individual player as most vital to my team’s success, but in order for my five running backs in the first five rounds strategy to work out, I’m going to need a few of the wide receivers I picked to reach their ceilings.

I wasn’t a buyer on Jeremy Maclin until Jason Wood convinced me he’s a lock for Top-24 wide receiver numbers, and has upside to boot. I loved getting him in the same range that guys like Brandon LaFell and Charles Johnson came off the board. Eric Decker made the most of his targets last season, gets an upgrade at offensive coordinator, and a running mate in Brandon Marshall who will draw the opposing team’s best cornerback in coverage. Breshad Perriman should have every opportunity to reprise Torrey Smith’s role in Baltimore. I love Stevie Johnson as a PPR glue guy this year. If Eddie Royal can deliver a Top-30 WR finish playing the slot for San Diego last season, Johnson - who was quietly San Francisco's most efficient wide receiver on a per target basis last year - has low-end WR2 upside playing with Philip Rivers. Brian Quick looked like he might realize his potential before getting hurt last season. I don’t see another wide receiver on the Rams’ depth chart who poses a threat to his targets. And then there’s Nick Toon, who seems the most likely candidate to inherit Kenny Stills’ 85 targets in New Orleans. At the very least, he should contribute a handful of useful performances.

Not everything broke my way at wide receiver though. I would have loved to pair Maclin with Mike Wallace, who I think can challenge low-end WR1 numbers in Norv Turner’s offense, but Andy Hicks sniped me just ahead of the 6-7 turn. John Brown would have been my pick ahead of Perriman, but Sigmund Bloom got in the way just before I picked in the 8th.

Given the 1.5 PPR scoring for tight ends in this format, it will also help if one or more of the veteran tight ends I drafted - Owen Daniels, Jacob Tamme, or Rob Housler - can emerge as reliable receiving threats with their new teams. Either that, or Austin Seferian-Jenkins will have to continue his recent trend of getting hurt, so this draft’s Mr. Irrelevant - Tim Wright - can make an impact in his return to Tampa Bay.

2. At pick 2.12 you selected Andre Ellington, followed by C.J. Spiller at 3.01, despite LeSean McCoy still being on the board. Explain why you like both of those backs over McCoy, who generally is off the board at that point of the draft?

It’s not that I’m necessarily down on McCoy this year. In fact, I have him as my RB8 in standard leagues, which is currently third highest of any FBG ranker. Picking Ellington and Spiller ahead of McCoy in this draft was the result of a confluence of factors.

First, this is a best ball league. While I think McCoy will accumulate solid numbers this season (due primarily to volume), I don’t see him posting many of the explosive stat lines you need to win in this format (the Bills are built to win games 13-10 - just the way Rex Ryan likes it). Second, this is PPR scoring. New Buffalo Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman was responsible for cutting Frank Gore’s reception totals in half when he came to the 49ers. I’d be surprised to see McCoy register more than 25 catches this year. Third, I’m on record as stating a healthy Andre Ellington can finish as a low-end RB1, even if his share of Arizona’s backfield touches decreases from 71% in 2014 to just 50% this season. I’m a big believer in both Ellington’s talent and Bruce Arians’ desire to make him the focal point of the Cardinals’ offensive attack.

In Ellington’s case, my decision also had something to do with knowing who I was in the draft room with. Earlier in the day, I listened to The Audible Podcast, and learned Matt Waldman shared my affection for Ellington. If that tidbit hadn’t been so fresh in my mind, I might have chanced Ellington coming back to me at the 4-5 turn, but I was pretty sure he wouldn’t get past Waldman at 4.06, and I wanted to make sure I got my guy.

As far as Spiller goes, Darren Sproles has a Top-5 RB PPR finish under his belt as a member of Sean Payton’s Saints. I believe Spiller has a similar ceiling this season. There’s 314 targets up for grabs in New Orleans with the departures of Pierre Thomas, Travaris Cadet, Kenny Stills, and Jimmy Graham. Even with Mark Ingram around to hog carries, Spiller won’t go wanting for touches. Payton is saying all the right things about getting Spiller the ball in space, something former Bills’ coach Doug Marrone couldn’t figure out how to do during Spiller's last two seasons in Buffalo. Taking Spiller at the top of the third is admittedly the definition of a high risk-high reward pick, but best ball leagues aren’t won without connecting on a few home run swings.

Overall, I left this draft with five players who have the potential to finish as Top-12 PPR fantasy running backs - Le’Veon Bell, Ellington, Spiller, Jonathan Stewart, and Joseph Randle - which is something I’m confident no other owner in this league can say.

3. You selected both Patriots third-down back hopefuls James White and Travaris Cadet in the 18th and 19th round respectively. Explain how using a tactic like that can be beneficial in Best Ball leagues.

Running backs have accounted for nearly 20% of New England’s receptions during the Bill Belichick era. It would be silly to expect that number to change this year, despite Shane Vereen’s defection to the New York Giants. At this point it’s unclear whether last year’s fourth rounder White, or free agent acquisition Cadet, will inherit the 77 targets Vereen received last season. So why not grab both?

At that point in the draft, my options were limited to defense, kicker, or dart throws like Cordarrelle Patterson and Christine Michael, who don’t figure to play significant roles this season. Even though one of these New England passing down backs will wind up a waste of a roster spot, the other is a virtual certainty to net me a few usable weeks. In the end, the extra pick I spent will be meaningless if I managed to steal a 50 reception running back, in a high-yield offense, at the 18-19 turn. 

I've used this strategy in other best ball leagues to hedge against the uncertainty that comes with drafting in July. For example, I tried to back up Owen Daniels with Virgil Green everywhere I could to guarantee Peyton Manning's go-to tight end finds his way onto my roster.

Andy Hicks: Draft Position 2

PickOverallSelection
1.02 2 Bryant, Dez DAL WR
2.11 23 Hill, Jeremy CIN RB
3.02 26 McCoy, LeSean BUF RB
4.11 47 Hyde, Carlos SFO RB
5.02 50 Jackson, DeSean WAS WR
6.11 71 Wallace, Mike MIN WR
7.02 74 Cameron, Jordan MIA TE
8.11 95 Newton, Cam CAR QB
9.02 98 Romo, Tony DAL QB
10.11 119 Eifert, Tyler CIN TE
11.02 122 Sankey, Bishop TEN RB
12.11 143 Cruz, Victor NYG WR
13.02 146 Davis, Vernon SFO TE
14.11 167 Amaro, Jace NYJ TE
15.02 170 Harvin, Percy BUF WR
16.11 191 McCown, Josh CLE QB
17.02 194 Manziel, Johnny CLE QB
18.11 215 Ravens, Baltimore BAL Def
19.02 218 Patterson, Cordarrelle MIN WR
20.11 239 Ridley, Stevan NYJ RB
21.02 242 Steelers, Pittsburgh PIT Def
22.11 263 Jaguars, Jacksonville JAC Def
23.02 266 Janikowski, Sebastian OAK PK
24.11 287 Gould, Robbie CHI PK
25.02 290 Forbath, Kai WAS PK
26.11 311 Davis, Mike SFO RB
27.02 314 Matthews, Chris SEA WR
28.11 335 Austin, Miles PHI WR

Overall Strategy:

Hit the RB position early, grab two solid QBS back to back in the middle rounds.

Best Pick:

Cam Newton – 8.11. Everyone knows that Newton will add a couple rushing touchdowns this season, and in a 4 point passing touchdown league, he’s worth a little more.  Landing Newton at the bottom of the 8th round is excellent value since his ADP has him going over two rounds higher. Hicks added Tony Romo just four picks later, giving him a solid QBBC approach in a Best all league.

Worst Pick:

Jordan Cameron – 7.02. Cameron isn’t going to see the targets that he had in Cleveland, and his concussion issues should be a big concern. He’s still a TE1, especially in a 1.5 PPR for TE league, but taking him at 7.02 is a bit of a reach. Hicks drafted at the turn, so he needed to grab a TE at the top or wait until the end of round 8 so it’s understandable why he reached a bit. Hicks did grab a few later round TEs that should provide some value though, so ultimately he did fine at the TE position.

Evaluation:  

Even though he delayed taking wide receivers, Hicks built a solid team from the #2 slot. He started the draft by taking Dez Bryant (1.02) and then focused on his RB position landin Jeremy Hill for good value at 2.11, and LeSean McCoy at 3.02. Even Carlos Hyde at 4.11 is pretty solid value, and with 2 flex positions, Hicks will definitely start all three of them. DeSean Jackson (5.02) and Mike Wallace (6.11) are reasonable WR2 and WR3 picks as well and his QBBC approach gives Hicks a great starting core.
 

Post Draft Questions

1. You benefited from LeSean McCoy falling into the third round. Were you happy with this decision or did you feel obligated to not let him slip any further? What expectations do you have for McCoy this year?

There were a few reasons for drafting LeSean McCoy when I did. First of all I was not expecting any of my 2nd tier backs to be available here and I had a choice of 3, 4 if we count Jeremy Hill who I got with my 2nd selection and is a 1st tier back in my rankings. Next the lineup format of only 2 starting receivers, with 2 flex positions allows more choice and lets you draft where the strength is rather than from positional need. Thirdly, at draft pick 2 you not only have your lineup to worry about, but you need to think about who will be drafted in the next 20 picks. For my 4th and 5th round picks I was likely to have plenty of choice at wide receiver, quarterback and tight end, but given the precipitous drop from 2nd tier to 3rd tier backs and the odds of any of them being available in the 4th I did feel obligated to get best player available.

As for expectations, it's not an easy call. New coach and new team for the player and you have an element of automatic risk built in. Given the defensive strength of Buffalo and the weakness at quarterback, it's an almost certainty that McCoy will be busy. How the spilt works out between the backs and how many teething issues there will be in implementing a new offense with new players is why I have McCoy rated a little lower than some.

2. Your selection of Cam Newton and Tony Romo, coupled with the Browns quarterback committee (Josh McCown & Johnny Manizel) gives you options at quarterback. Explain why this strategy is beneficial in a Best Ball league.

In Best Ball you need options every week. You need bye week coverage, allowances for bad matchups and injuries. The more depth you have at all positions the better long term viability of your team. Some teams only had 1 defense, while 2 kickers and even 2 quarterbacks is common. 1 key injury can ruin these teams. With 28 players on the roster you should be able to draft deep at every position. With smaller rosters you have key decisions to make in best ball, but in this format do people really need 10 wide receivers? If you are on top of your bye week management when drafting then the only issues that will sink your team are injuries and bad matchups. I allowed players I would normally draft pass by, if it was a close call, due to their bye week matching an existing starter. I feel I drafted a competent line up that maximizes my chances of scoring well every week. The rest is out of my hands.

3. Choose a player you selected later in the draft and explain why you have optimistic expectations for them this year.

My selections from round 18 onwards ie the last 11 rounds were made up of 3 defenses, 3 kickers and 2 complementary players to expected starters ie Cordarrelle Patterson is essentially Mike Wallace insurance, as is Mike Davis for Carlos Hyde. That leaves 3 players. Stevan Ridley in round 20. He may not even play this year, which is why he was there in round 20. He is expected to be on PUP, so he is a big risk. Chris Matthews with my 27th rounder is a swing for the fences. His only career good game just happened to be in the Super Bowl with 100 yards and a touchdown. The odds of a breakout receiver in this offense, with that Defense are low. If there is one, he is it. Miles Austin with my last pick is an interesting guy I like. He is now 31 and has been in the fantasy wilderness for the last 2 years, but the expected starters are a rookie and a 2nd year guy. These aren't sure things. Riley Cooper isn't starter material so essentially Josh Huff or Miles Austin could be huge if there is an issue with Jordan Matthews or Nelson Agholor. In the 28th round it is all upside.

Sigmund Bloom: Draft Position 3

PickOverallSelection
1.03 3 Gronkowski, Rob NEP TE
2.10 22 Murray, DeMarco PHI RB
3.03 27 Gore, Frank IND RB
4.10 46 Bryant, Martavis PIT WR
5.03 51 Yeldon, T.J. JAC RB
6.10 70 Jackson, Vincent TBB WR
7.03 75 Johnson, Charles MIN WR
8.10 94 Brown, John ARI WR
9.03 99 Brady, Tom NEP QB
10.10 118 Stills, Kenny MIA WR
11.03 123 Dalton, Andy CIN QB
12.10 142 Green, Ladarius SDC TE
13.03 147 White, Kevin CHI WR
14.10 166 Dunbar, Lance DAL RB
15.03 171 Dorsett, Phillip IND WR
16.10 190 Moncrief, Donte IND WR
17.03 195 Texans, Houston HOU Def
18.10 214 Cardinals, Arizona ARI Def
19.03 219 Gostkowski, Stephen NEP PK
20.10 238 Huff, Josh PHI WR
21.03 243 Gray, Jonas NEP RB
22.10 262 Saints, New Orleans NOS Def
23.03 267 Royal, Eddie CHI WR
24.10 286 Carpenter, Dan BUF PK
25.03 291 Kendricks, Lance STL TE
26.10 310 Polk, Chris HOU RB
27.03 315 Sims, Dion MIA TE
28.10 334 Fitzpatrick, Ryan NYJ QB

Overall Strategy:

Fade the QB position and focus on RB/TE to start.

Best Pick:

Rob Gronkowski – 1.02. The tight end position is really weak after Gronkowski this season. The second tier is two or three points a game behind him and even third tier guys who will finish in the top 10 for fantasy TEs this season are likely to post seven or eight points per game less than Gronkowski. IT’s pretty crazy. In a standard PPR league like this one, taking Gronkowski as the #2 overall is no surprise. With Tom Brady’s suspension sitting at four games, Gronkowski is going to be even more important to the Patriot offense at the start of the season. Bloom broke convention by taking a tight end so high, but it’s going to pay off in the long run.

Worst Pick:

Tom Brady – 9.03. Brady’s suspension was still in question when Bloom took Brady as his starting QB in the 9th round. However, he was going to miss some time for sure and most owners would take him as a backup to supplement taking a low-end tier 1 QB.  Bloom waited a bit too long and got caught at the end of a QB run. After week 5, Brady will be a solid QB for Bloom from week to week, but those first four games are really going to be struggle with Andy Dalton as his top QB.

Evaluation:

If anyone is capable of building a solid team around a tight end, Bloom is that kind of owner.  To go after a guy like Gronkowski at #2 overall, you need to have a solid understanding of talent and be able to build a solid RB / WR stable based on second tier talent. Bloom has done just that. Despite missing out on the initial run on running backs, Bloom still landed two solid starters in DeMarco Murray and Frank Gore at the end of the second and top of the third round. He added T.J. Yelton I the fifth which should provide a little depth and give Bloom some nice flex options most weeks. His biggest offensive weakness is at the WR position. Bloom grabbed Martavis Bryant at 4.10 to be his #1 wide receiver. That’s a pretty big gamble considering he is projected to be a WR3 type of player and is currently going somewhere at the top of the sixth round. The key to Bloom’s success will be the Best Ball format. While guys like Bryant, Vincent Jackson, Charles Johnson and John Brown may not be your typical WR1 – WR2 candidates, in a best ball format, their upside potential now comes in to play. If one of these guys reaches the end zone or has a multi-catch game, it will more than offset the one-catch performances that they will occasionally throw up.  If Bloom can survive until Tom Brady returns to action, his team could be very tough to beat.

Post Draft Questions

1. What advice would you give to people who will be drafting in the Footballguys Players Championship 28 round Best Ball league, that this draft is identical to? 
 
Err on the side of overpaying for TE points. Runs can happen quickly. You need to lock in some upside at the position to have a chance to win. Always break ties against QB and WR. With 28 roster spots you get a lot of extra swings at the pinata, and only 2 WR are required every week. The bar is also lowered for TE to be a flex with the 1.5PPR. WR and QB points are the cheapest points on the board. Spend late picks on players that could be huge if _____  instead of players who might give you 3-5 pts a week but have almost no chance of being fantasy relevant this year.
 
2. Your draft started off with a TE-RB-RB combination, which you then used four of the next five picks on wide receiver. Share with us which wide receivers are the best to target in these rounds and why it's a good strategy to do so in this draft or any re-draft. 
 
With only 2 WRs required each week and 28 roster spots, you can take a very deep WR corps that can make up for nothing having one or two studs. Take deep threats who will be top 10-15 in the weeks that they score and hope that they trade off big weeks. Backfill later on with high floor PPR WRs who can give you 6-10 pts in many weeks.  My first 4 WRs were Martavis Bryant, Vincent Jackson, Charles Johnson, and John Brown - all deep threats who can give you 10-12 points on one play in any given week. The extra roster spots can be used to create either/or propositions that give you a good shot of another scoring WR in any given week. I went with Kevin White/Eddie Royal (likely #2/#3 WR in Chicago) in the 13th/23rd and Phillip Dorsett/Donte Moncrief (likely #3/#4 WR in Indianapolis) in the 15th/16th. Camp battles and weekly changes in usage/matchups can be smoothed out by taking two parts of a passing game, a luxury you don't have in typical roster-sized best ball leagues.
 
3. In your opinion, what is the biggest drafting mistake that people make in Best Ball leagues? 

Hedging their early bets and limiting the season-long and weekly upside of their team. Take 3 solid RBs early on and draft as if they are going to hit. If one or more bust, you are already behind the eight ball, and throwing later resources to hedge those bets just keeps you being level with teams worse off at RB when comparing at QB/WR/TE. Don't neglect elite Ds and Ks in scoring systems (like this one) that create the potential for 15-20 pts weeks and be willing to start the runs. The difference between a 15th and 17th round pick or a 17th and 19th round is negligible in value, but it can equal dozens of bottom line points if you are at the beginning of the D/K runs instead of end. Also, if you start the D/K runs, chances are the position player you passed on will be there at your next pick because everyone will neglect position players to get their D/K.

Aaron Rudnicki: Draft Position 4

PickOverallSelection
1.04 4 Forte, Matt CHI RB
2.09 21 Green, A.J. CIN WR
3.04 28 Cobb, Randall GBP WR
4.09 45 Ingram, Mark NOS RB
5.04 52 Wilson, Russell SEA QB
6.09 69 White, Roddy ATL WR
7.04 76 Vereen, Shane NYG RB
8.09 93 Floyd, Michael ARI WR
9.04 100 Ivory, Chris NYJ RB
10.09 117 Clay, Charles BUF TE
11.04 124 Ebron, Eric DET TE
12.09 141 Garcon, Pierre WAS WR
13.04 148 Foles, Nick STL QB
14.09 165 Bortles, Blake JAC QB
15.04 172 Baldwin, Doug SEA WR
16.09 189 Crabtree, Michael OAK WR
17.04 196 Seahawks, Seattle SEA Def
18.09 213 Rivera, Mychal OAK TE
19.04 220 Herron, Dan IND RB
20.09 237 Eagles, Philadelphia PHI Def
21.04 244 Hillman, Ronnie DEN RB
22.09 261 Novak, Nick SDC PK
23.04 268 Bears, Chicago CHI Def
24.09 285 Nugent, Mike CIN PK
25.04 292 Shorts, Cecil HOU WR
26.09 309 Oliver, Branden SDC RB
27.04 316 Rodgers, Jacquizz CHI RB
28.09 333 Davis, Austin STL QB

Overall Strategy:

Fade the TE position a bit and draft strong RB/WR players with upside.  Grab two lower tier TEs back to back and take advantage of the best ball format.

Best Pick:

Randall Cobb – 3.04.  Aaron Rodgers is projected to be one of the top QBS in the league this season, and he’s going to throw a lot of touchdown passes to Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson. Cobb is going as high as the top of the second round in a PPR league, so for Rudnicki to land him at 3.04 is a great pick. If he can stay healthy, Cobb could easily finish at a top 10 fantasy WR this season and grabbing him in the third round gives Aaron a solid starting lineup right out of the gate.

Worst Pick:

Shane Vereen – 7.04. The New York running back situation is a mess this season, with Rashad Jennings, and Andre Williams. Vereen was a nice pass-catcher in New England, but it’s really unclear what his role in the offense will be.  Williams could finish with the lion’s share of the touches this season, even if he doesn’t catch many passes. This will severely limit Vereen’s upside potential. Unless he can haul in four or five catches a game all season, he’s not going to be worth the high 7th round pick that Aaron spent on him.

Evaluation:  

This team has some serious potential. Matt Forte is on the downside of his career, but he’s been the workhorse back in Chicago for several seasons now. He also pulls in the receptions, making him a great pick by Rudnicki right out of the gate. By adding a solid WR group around him, Rudnicki’s team is going to score points every week. Russell Wilson was solid value in the 5th round, and his rushing TDs will be a big boost to the QB position with only 4 pts per passing TD. Aaron’s TEBC approach is also a smart play in a best ball format, probably giving him another point or two per week than his lower-tier TEs would bring in a traditional league where you have to pick one starter over the other. I really like the flyer picks that Aaron took in the later rounds as well. Jacquizz Rodgers, Branden Oliver and Cecil Shorts may not put up big numbers from week to week, but even if they only have one or two games down the stretch, they will be worth the lottery ticket picks that Aaron used on them. Grabbing 3 defenses, including the Seahawks was a smart play in best ball as well.

Post Draft Questions

1. Would you rather have more quality of depth at wide receiver or running back in a Best Ball league?  Why is one over the other more beneficial?

In general, I want quality depth at all positions in a best ball league but I believe it's more beneficial to focus on depth at receiver. Running backs tend to be more consistent from week to week as their workload and production is generally more predictable. They are also more likely to sustain injuries and miss time throughout the year though, so you need adequate depth to ensure the position doesn't become a weakness. Wide receivers in contrast are less consistent from week to week and therefore more likely to post some huge games followed up by some clunkers. If you have good depth at the receiver position, I believe you are more likely to get some big scores each week and that can help offset the injuries or lack of depth you may have elsewhere. Given the PPR rules and the fact you don't need to pick a starting lineup in a best ball league, I'd typically favor WR depth as I believe it gives your team the best chance to post a high score each and every week. I'd probably go a step further and say you probably can't win a league like this without great WR depth.
 
2. You waited until the 10th and 11th rounds to select your first and second tight end (Charles Clay & Eric Ebron). Explain why a late round tight end strategy could be beneficial in this league where tight end scoring is 1.5 points per reception. 
 
This wasn't necessarily the plan going in as I would have preferred to land a top-5 player like Greg Olsen or Travis Kelce given the scoring format. Both players went earlier than I was willing to take them, however, so I changed strategy and decided to go for the value approach. Despite waiting until 15 tight ends were off the board to take my first in Clay, I am still happy with who I got and feel like he could easily be a top-10 player at his position this year. There is great depth at the tight end spot and not a whole lot of separation from the #6 to #16 player in my opinion so I think you either need to grab one early or else wait to get several options late. The fact this is a best ball league makes it an even more viable strategy to wait as you won't have to guess correctly on which player to start each week.
 
3. Selecting expected starter Chris Ivory in the 9th round represents excellent value. What other pick of yours do you feel you received the best value selecting him where you did?

Picking in the four spot was tough as I felt like I had to reach for a player at that point, but afterwards I liked the options I had and felt that there was generally good value presented in almost every round. Randall Cobb at 3.04 or pick #28 felt like a bargain since his ADP suggested he would typically go in the middle of round 2. Landing Mark Ingram towards the end of round 4 as my RB2 also seemed like a pleasant surprise. I was probably most happy to get guys like Doug Baldwin and Michael Crabtree in the 15th and 16th rounds. Both players have a chance to outproduce their draft position by a wide margin, and at that point in the draft there is very little risk.
 

Jeff Haseley: Draft Position 5

PickOverallSelection
1.05 5 Peterson, Adrian MIN RB
2.08 20 Forsett, Justin BAL RB
3.05 29 Rodgers, Aaron GBP QB
4.08 44 Edelman, Julian NEP WR
5.05 53 Marshall, Brandon NYJ WR
6.08 68 Abdullah, Ameer DET RB
7.05 77 LaFell, Brandon NEP WR
8.08 92 Allen, Dwayne IND TE
9.05 101 Fitzgerald, Larry ARI WR
10.08 116 Sproles, Darren PHI RB
11.05 125 Miller, Heath PIT TE
12.08 140 Riddick, Theo DET RB
13.05 149 Fleener, Coby IND TE
14.08 164 Smith, Alex KCC QB
15.05 173 Allen, Javorius BAL RB
16.08 188 Bowe, Dwayne CLE WR
17.05 197 Bills, Buffalo BUF Def
18.08 212 Hurns, Allen JAC WR
19.05 221 49ers, San Francisco SFO Def
20.08 236 Barth, Connor DEN PK
21.05 245 Taliaferro, Lorenzo BAL RB
22.08 260 Buccaneers, Tampa Bay TBB Def
23.05 269 Beasley, Cole DAL WR
24.08 284 Ellington, Bruce SFO WR
25.05 293 Hopkins, Dustin NOS PK
26.08 308 Brown, Philly CAR WR
27.05 317 Street, Devin DAL WR
28.08 332 Bradshaw, Ahmad FA* RB

Overall Strategy:

Secure RB and QB early – wait on TE position.

Best Pick:

Aaron Rodgers – 3.05.  With only 4 pts per passing TD, you can fade the QB position for a bit since it’s not as important as your skill positions. But Rodgers could be the best fantasy QB this season and landing him a full round after his ADP is pretty solid value.  Landing Rodgers there let Haseley focus on his other positions and leave his backup QB until round 14.

Worst Pick:

Dwayne Allen – 8.08. In league that gives TE 1.5 points per reception, having a solid TE is important and they tend to go fast. In FPC scoring, Allen is at the bottom of the TE1 tier, meaning Haseley is going to need big production from his other skills positions to compete every week.

Evaluation:

A 28 round draft is like a marathon more than a draft and by the end, you’re just taking flyer picks and hoping you’ll hit something out of the park. It’s important to secure your top positions early though. Haseley focused on RB position with his first two picks and then landed Aaron Rodgers for solid value in the third. The problem is it put him well behind the curve when it came to WRs and TEs and his starting group will be weaker than most of the other teams in the league, especially with a dual flex lineup. However, in a Best Ball format, if your late round WR get a lucky TD, they can put up enough points to jump into the starting lineup. Haseley landed some interesting picks with Cole Beasley (23.05) Bruce Ellington (24.08), Philly Brown (26.08) and Devin Street (27.05) and if one of those guys reaches the end zone, Haseley will be able to make up for his weaker starting WRs.

Post Draft Questions


1. You selected both Colts tight ends in this draft (Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener). Explain why having both in a Best Ball league can be beneficial.
 
Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener had a combined 16 touchdowns last season, which accounted for 40% of Andrew Luck's total touchdown passes. The Colts are expecting to run a three wide receiver base offense, thus resulting in fewer snaps with two tight ends on the field. The end numbers will favor one tight end of the other (my inkling is that Allen will have the best numbers of the two), but in best ball, I won't have to concern myself with that. The duo will accumulate points and I'll benefit when either one scores. Rostering players from dynamic, high point-producing offenses is always a goal of mine. I'm thrilled to get this Colts combo, especially in best ball. 
 
2. You cornered the Ravens running back stable with Justin Forsett, Javorius Allen and Lorenzo Taliaferro. You also managed to get both Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick of the Lions. Explain why this tactic is a good strategy to use for Best Ball leagues? 
 
I see Justin Forsett picking up where he left off and possibly besting his Top 10 performance in 2014 thanks to the presence of offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. In the event Forsett gets injured, I'll have my bases covered with fill ins Javorius Allen and Lorenzo Taliaferro. My gut tells me Allen will answer the bell if called upon. His skill set is better as a pass catching back than Taliaferro, which fits the mold of a Trestman-led offense. 
 
Put me in the camp that believes Joique Bell will see a reduction in work load this year. His knee and Achilles injuries are difficult to return to full strength. I don't believe Detroit will rely on him as much as a result, not to mention they have a new toy in rookie running back Ameer Abdullah. He could pay big dividends as my sixth round pick. I'm counting on him to tow the load for my squad. Theo Riddick essentially replaces Reggie Bush in the offense and I'd argue that Riddick has the ability and drive to be decent rusher in addition to primarily being a receiving back. One of the reasons why I targeted the Lions backs is due to their propensity to be among the top teams in the league in receptions to running backs over the last three years. My gut says Detroit will run the ball more in 2015 with Abdullah having a sizable role. 
 
3. You selected four late round wide receivers giving you a total of ten receivers on your roster. Explain why taking a few chances at receiver can be a good strategy?
 
In order to come out on top in best ball everything has to come together perfectly or you have to have enough outliers that your team's point production exceeds the others on a consistent basis. In my opinion, the best way to reach pay dirt on a late round flier is through the wide receiver position. Cole Beasley, Bruce Ellington, Corey Brown and Devin Street are known talents that have an opportunity to see increased snaps this year. The risk is minimal, but the reward could help put me over the top. In a league with no waiver claims, you have to have a solid core, but taking a few gambles can pay off. Even without these four late round wide receiver fliers, I still have four, if not five capable receivers making up my core. If I win this league, I most likely will hit on at least one of these fliers. 

Chad Parsons: Draft Position 6


PickOverallSelection
1.06 6 Jones, Julio ATL WR
2.07 19 Evans, Mike TBB WR
3.06 30 Cooks, Brandin NOS WR
4.07 43 Gurley, Todd STL RB
5.06 54 Bell, Joique DET RB
6.07 67 Robinson, Allen JAC WR
7.06 78 Adams, Davante GBP WR
8.07 91 Seferian-Jenkins, Austin TBB TE
9.06 102 Tannehill, Ryan MIA QB
10.07 115 Palmer, Carson ARI QB
11.06 126 Hill, Josh NOS TE
12.07 139 Mason, Tre STL RB
13.06 150 Wright, Kendall TEN WR
14.07 163 Williams, Andre NYG RB
15.06 174 Artis-Payne, Cameron CAR RB
16.07 187 Robinson, Khiry NOS RB
17.06 198 Rams, St. Louis STL Def
18.07 211 Fiedorowicz, C.J. HOU TE
19.06 222 Britt, Kenny STL WR
20.07 235 Browns, Cleveland CLE Def
21.06 246 Colts, Indianapolis IND Def
22.07 259 Walsh, Blair MIN PK
23.06 270 Catanzaro, Chandler ARI PK
24.07 283 Dawson, Phil SFO PK
25.06 294 Hardy, Justin ATL WR
26.07 307 Stacy, Zac NYJ RB
27.06 318 Dobson, Aaron NEP WR
28.07 331 Powell, Bilal NYJ RB

Overall Strategy:

Hit the WR position early and often and then look for value picks at QB and TE.

Best Pick:

Brandin Cooks – 3.06. Drafting from the #6 slot is rough. You always feel like your first choice is taken every round. Parsons managed to land solid value when he nabbed Cooks at 3.06, giving Parsons one of the strongest WR groups in the league. Cooks is a solid WR2 in a PPR league and in a Best Ball format, he will put up WR1 numbers a couple times this season. Finding him sitting there at 3.06 was too good to pass up.

Worst Pick:

Davante Adams – 7.06. When Parsons took Adams in the 7th, he had 4 WR and 2 RB on his team already. Even though there are two flex positions in this league, the 1.5 points for a TE receptions make the TE position a priority. Drafting a 5th WR when he didn’t have a TE was more of a luxury than he needed, and 3 more TEs were off the board by the time Parsons picked again at 8.06.  Parsons could have waited on his 5th WR and either gone with a TE or QB or added depth at RB.

Evaluation:

Parsons went hard at the WR position, giving him one of the strongest groups in the league. But he sacrificed his other positions to do so and it’s made him very thin at RB and TE. Parsons only drafted two running backs in the first 13 rounds, meaning Todd Gurley (4.07) and Joique Bell (5.06) are going to carry is team from week to week.  In a league with TE bonus points for receptions, Parsons waited until 8.07 to take Austin Seferian-Jenkins and didn’t add a second TE, Josh Hill, until the 11th round. Parsons is going to need his WR position to really carry his team this season, and he’ll need Bell and Gurley to stay healthy for his team to compete.

Post Draft Questions

1. Your roster includes only two running backs that were taken in the first ten rounds (Todd Gurley 4.07 and Joique Bell 5.06). Explain why you like this strategy in a deep Best Ball league. 
 
I take a 'best player available' approach, especially in the early rounds of drafts. This includes the qualifier of knowing the league's positional value structure. Eddie Lacy would have been my running back selection at 1.06, but I feel Julio Jones' upside of 20+ points-per-game is higher than Lacy's potential impact. In the second round, only DeMarco Murray had my interest from the running back position, but I see a higher upside from Mike Evans entering Year 2. If I had known Brandin Cooks would have lasted until my Round 3 selection and getting squeezed at running back would have occurred in the middle rounds, Murray would have been my pick there.
 
Todd Gurley is my default running back target in Rounds 3-5 this season. I see an October arrival to top-15 PPR production at the latest with a sizeable discount coming from his injury recovery uncertainty. Joique Bell is another RB1 upside play from the middle rounds on a solid offense and minimal competition for goal line work and 30+ receptions. At best Ameer Abdullah takes on the Reggie Bush role in the offense. Anything less from Abdullah and Joique Bell is a top-10 running back on a weekly basis.
 
I would have considered Giovani Bernard in Round 6, but he went a handful of spots ahead of me. In Round 7, Shane Vereen was the running back in glowing lights snatched earlier in the round. By Round 9, I felt quarterback was drying up enough to shift to Ryan Tannehill over the remaining talent at running back.
 
Gurley and Bell can pace, or surpass, any other starting tandem in this league. Drafting Tre Mason mitigates the Gurley missed games risk early in the season. 
 
2. Choose two players that you selected later in the draft and explain why you have interest in them this year. 
 
I am a big proponent of Cameron Artis-Payne for 2015. Jonathan Stewart is being drafted highly and consistently missed games in his Carolina career. Artis-Payne was a productive college back with enough athleticism to hold down a starting NFL job in-season if needed. No other Panthers running back should challenge Artis-Payne for early-down touches. In Round 15 or later, he is one of the most affordable - and highest upside - primary backups available this season.
 
Justin Hardy is an auto-selection when drafting Julio Jones (in my case) or Roddy White earlier in 2015 drafts. I think back to Harry Douglas being close to an automatic weekly start when Jones or White missed a game in previous seasons. Hardy was a hyper-productive college receiver and has top-shelf lateral agility and route-running chops, translating immediately to the NFL game. Hardy will have WR3/4 upside behind Jones and White from the slot, but WR2+ appeal should either miss time. Hardy is quality injury insurance.
 
3. You were one of four teams to draft only two quarterbacks. What was your thought process behind this strategy? 
 
I planned to wait on the position entering the draft. However, the position started to dry up earlier than expected. Four quarterbacks were drafted between my Round 8 and Round 9 selections, forcing my hand a bit. Plus, I love Ryan Tannehill outside top-10 quarterback prices (snagged him at QB12 in this draft). Five more quarterbacks were gone by the time Round 10 arrived and I locked up Carson Palmer at QB18.
 
The plan was to acquire a third NFL starter over the rest of the draft. Another 12 quarterbacks were drafted from Round 11 to round 15. While the league was zigging on their QB3 and QB4 picks, I zagged to getting a priority handcuff in Tre Mason (for Todd Gurley), Kendall Wright as a high-floor WR4/5, Josh Hill (love him in tight end-premium) as my TE2, and running back depth in Andre Williams and Cameron Artis-Payne. By the time the draft was half over, the quarterback pool was dry and selecting an NFL backup option had limited appeal. The outcome of two quarterbacks was not ideal, but Tannehill and Palmer were both target players on my board.

Matt Waldman: Draft Position 7

PickOverallSelection
1.07 7 Lynch, Marshawn SEA RB
2.06 18 Anderson, C.J. DEN RB
3.07 31 Jeffery, Alshon CHI WR
4.06 42 Tate, Golden DET WR
5.07 55 Johnson, Andre IND WR
6.06 66 Landry, Jarvis MIA WR
7.07 79 Crowell, Isaiah CLE RB
8.06 90 Johnson, Duke CLE RB
9.07 103 Manning, Eli NYG QB
10.06 114 Rudolph, Kyle MIN TE
11.07 127 Cutler, Jay CHI QB
12.06 138 Latimer, Cody DEN WR
13.07 151 Ball, Montee DEN RB
14.06 162 Green-Beckham, Dorial TEN WR
15.07 175 Cook, Jared STL TE
16.06 186 Robinson, Denard JAC RB
17.07 199 Jets, New York NYJ Def
18.06 210 Green, Virgil DEN TE
19.07 223 Michael, Christine SEA RB
20.06 234 Bailey, Dan DAL PK
21.07 247 Hauschka, Steven SEA PK
22.06 258 Brown, Marlon BAL WR
23.07 271 Woods, Robert BUF WR
24.06 282 Rawls, Thomas SEA RB
25.07 295 Hawkins, Andrew CLE WR
26.06 306 Greene, Rashad JAC WR
27.07 319 Chandler, Scott NEP TE
28.06 330 Pruitt, MyCole MIN TE

Overall Strategy:

Fade the TE and QB positions. Focus on RB/WR and draft for value given the poor draft draw.  Handcuff RBS when possible.

Best Pick:  

Alshon Jeffery – 3.07. Jeffery is the real deal in Chicago, but he played second fiddle to the Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler show last year. Now that Marshall is gone, the passing game is going to go through Jeffery. Rookie Kevin White is already banged up, and he will probably be brought along slowly, leaving Jeffery to be the top flight receiver in an offense that will have to throw a lot this year. Landing Jeffery in the middle of the third was a great pick for Waldman.

Worst Pick:

Jarvis Landry – 6.06. Landry had some decent stats as a rookie last season, but with Mike Wallace gone, there are a lot of people projecting Landry to take a big jump forward. But the Dolphins also made some additions, bringing in Greg Jennings, Kenny Stills and Jordan Cameron. They also drafted DeVante Parker in the 1st round this year. That is going to seriously limit Landry’s upside and makes him a risky pick. Landry is currently projected as a WR4 in most leagues, but his ADP is somewhere in the 7th round.  Waldman reached for him a bit, grabbing him a full round earlier at 6.06. That being said, Landry is only at WR4 on Waldman’s squad as well, so as ‘worst’ picks go – this wasn’t too bad.

Evaluation:

The biggest hole in Waldman’s team is the team defense. He landed a good one picking the New York Jets near the start of the team defense run in the 17th round, but he never followed up with a backup. In a best ball format, teams will often take three defenses, looking to maximize the potential for a TD return. Waldman took the opposite route – opting for reasonable performance each week and accepting a zero when the Jets are off in week 5. For the rest of his team, Waldman did a nice job handcuffing certain positions with the extra picks that he had given the 28 roster spots. He drafted RB handcuffs for Denver, Cleveland and even Seattle, while adding a TE handcuff in Minnesota.  Kyle Rudolph hasn’t been a picture of health for his career, so this was probably a smart move. However, taking RB handcuffs in a best ball format only works if one back completely replaces the other. In a RBBC situation like Cleveland looks to run, the success of one back will pull down the other, limiting the upside of both of them from week to week. Denver tends to lean heavy on one back over the other, so if C.J. Anderson is ever pulled from the lineup, Montee Ball would probably inherit the full role. This committee approach is going to be the key to Waldman’s success. If the teams stick with their workhorse back, he’ll have landed cheap insurance for his starters. If they split the carries, neither back will excel and Waldman’s totals will fall toward the middle of the pack each week.

Post Draft Questions

1. You selected five tight ends and employed the late round tight end strategy waiting to take your first tight end in the 10th round (Kyle Rudolph). Explain why you like this strategy.

I knew I wasn't getting Gronkowski. I thought Jimmy Graham might fall to me, but I actually preferred C.J. Anderson. And I anticipated there would be too many Kelce lovers for him to fall to me in the mid-fourth. At this point, I decided I'd wait on Rudolph and hopefully two of the following: Heath Miller, Vernon Davis and Jacob Tamme.

As you can see by my roster that worked like a charm.

I was off by a half a round timing each player and missed all of them. So telling you that I "like this strategy," would be a truckload of manure. My plan didn't work with tight ends.

The sharks wrecked my boat. Stuff happens, deal with it. And that's exactly what I did.

I targeted tight ends that I know are capable of high-scoring weeks regardless of current situation. Jared Cook is a fantasy tease no one wants anymore, but Nick Foles is an improvement to the mess the Rams had last year and it should make him more consistent. Last year, Cook was the No.9 TE after the first three weeks and the No.11 TE the final three weeks of the season. I believe teams were still catching up the quarterback Austin Davis during those first three weeks and veteran Shaun Hill stabilized the unit the final three weeks. I'm betting that Foles will also keep the unit stable and that's enough for Cook to deliver low-end TE1 production, which I expect to be Kyle Rudolph's floor as long as he can stay healthy.

My final three tight ends are calculated swings at high upside. Virgil Green will see more targets in Denver in two tight end sets, but that's low-upside talk that wasn't the compelling reason I picked him. Green is playing alongside Owen Daniels, who has been more rickety than a traveling carnival ride. Green has the athleticism of an elite option. If a Daniels injury forces Green to earn more opportunities, it's a great scenario for me because I think Denver will have an easier time finding a quality free agent blocker at the position than a dynamic receiver. Otherwise, NFL teams wouldn't be raiding college basketball for half-decent power forwards.

While not the type of big man who can run the court, Scott Chandler has a great post-up game in the red zone. I won't be surprised if he's in two-tight end sets for the Patriots and robbing Gronkowski of touchdowns. If Gronkowski, gets hurt, Chandler won't have the All-Pro's upside, but he's skilled enough to earn top-10 production if asked to become a bigger part of the offense.

I won't have the tight end power lineup that some of my competition sports, but even with 1.5 PPR for tight ends, the best performer didn't make the top 20. I'll take my chances with my backs and receivers.

2. You cornered the Seahawks, Browns and Broncos rushing attack by selecting their starting running back and their backup(s). Explain why this strategy can pay dividends in this league.

Whether it's a talented backup behind a stud (Seahawks), a capable reserve getting the ball with great surrounding talent (Broncos), or a committee with two talented backs earning consistent opportunities (Browns), depth helps with teams that you believe will make the ground game a priority in its attack. Why not get as much of the total points as possible from good rushing attacks?

The Seahawks, Broncos, and Browns team fantasy points at the RB position were No.4, No.9, and No.18 respectively. This year, Denver wants to run the ball more. Last year, the Browns had offensive line injuries and weekly uncertainty among three running backs in the rotation. This year, I believe they'll roll with two backs more often than three, and those two backs--Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson--have the potential to produce as top-30 fantasy runners. With past precedent of Joique Bell-Reggie Bush, Jeremy Hill-Giovanni Bernard, Darren Sproles-Pierre Thomas, or Sproles-Ingram, I can live that that kind of platoon when I can start up to four backs in this best-ball lineup.

C.J. Anderson remains slightly underrated in my eyes. Yes, he's a top-20 pick in most drafts, but I see him as a top-10 pick. Getting Anderson and Lynch is one of my favorite opening moves this year. Both the Broncos and Seahawks have the smart quarterbacks and at least one stud receiver/tight end to make defenses pay if opponents get too aggressive playing the run. I expect I'll get consistently strong production from Lynch, Anderson, or their backups if called upon.

3. You were the only team to select one defense (NY Jets), where nine different teams picked three. Explain why you chose to use this approach in this league?

It wasn't a conscious decision at first. I took the Jets because I like the upside of that team with its defensive line, the return of Darrelle Revis, improvements to the offense under Chan Gailey, and the overall leadership of Todd Bowles. The defensive run just continued in a block of time that was inconvenient for the other picks I wanted to make. When owners began taking second and third defensive units in earnest, I took a second look at the scoring and performance history of this league and I didn't think that the options I'd be left with were compelling:

There were 18 teams in the top 200 players last year, but only 1 unit scored well enough to perform in the top 110 players, and only 5 the year prior.
Only one of the bottom-five scoring defenses had a 20-point week in 2013.
Only 2 of the bottom 8 in 2014 had a week with at least 20 points.
I decided I didn't want to waste 1-2 picks on defenses that weren't likely to give me those outbursts of 15-30 fantasy points. Those are low-ceiling picks when I have a better chance for the Jets outscoring them weekly for a single spot in my lineup.

I preferred taking receivers because a big week from one can help any of the four possible slots in my lineup reserved for the position. Players like Robert Woods, Marlon Brown, Rashad Greene have potential to start for their teams or at least see weekly targets as significant contributors in a rotation. Do I really want the Jaguars defense instead even if they out-point any of these receivers during the season but can't out-point the Jets weekly? It didn't make sense to me.

I also preferred taking reserve runners with talent in offenses that run the ball or reserve tight ends with talent in situations where the team has a quarterback that targets the position and/or the starting tight end has a history of missing time. This is why I have the Jets defense and an empty bye week. If 8-15 points truly matters during the bye week for me, then I'm doing pretty well.

Mark Wimer: Draft Position 8

PickOverallSelection
1.08 8 Brown, Antonio PIT WR
2.05 17 Graham, Jimmy SEA TE
3.08 32 Olsen, Greg CAR TE
4.05 41 Miller, Lamar MIA RB
5.08 56 Agholor, Nelson PHI WR
6.05 65 Manning, Peyton DEN QB
7.08 80 Coleman, Tevin ATL RB
8.05 89 Stafford, Matthew DET QB
9.08 104 Freeman, Devonta ATL RB
10.05 113 Smith, Torrey SFO WR
11.08 128 Ajayi, Jay MIA RB
12.05 137 Bush, Reggie SFO RB
13.08 152 Jones, Marvin CIN WR
14.05 161 Williams, Maxx BAL TE
15.08 176 Kearse, Jermaine SEA WR
16.05 185 Funchess, Devin CAR WR
17.08 200 Broncos, Denver DEN Def
18.05 209 Starks, James GBP RB
19.08 224 Gillmore, Crockett BAL TE
20.05 233 Prater, Matt DET PK
21.08 248 Lions, Detroit DET Def
22.05 257 Strong, Jaelen HOU WR
23.08 272 Sanu, Mohamed CIN WR
24.05 281 Coates, Sammie PIT WR
25.08 296 Smith, Antone ATL RB
26.05 305 Scobee, Josh JAC PK
27.08 320 Hankerson, Leonard ATL WR
28.05 329 Rice, Ray FA* RB

Overall Strategy:

Grab 2 strong TEs early and fade the RB position. Add a couple solid QBs and look for value at the WR position.

Best Pick:

Antonio Brown – 1.08. Brown is going in the top three picks in many PPR leagues. He bumps down a spot or two in a TE bonus league but landing him at 1.08 was good value for Wimer. With his plan to hit the TE position early with a couple picks, Wimer needed to start the draft with a strong pick and landing Brown at 1.08 was a great pick.

Worst Pick:

Tevin Coleman – 7.08.  Coleman is projecting at a RB3 now, but because Wimer faded the position, Coleman is going to be his #2 RB each week.  Wimer grabbed Freeman a couple round later, meaning if one of the Atlanta backs go off, Wimer will have them in his lineup. However, if Atlanta runs a RBBC this season, both Coleman and Freeman will steal touches from each other, weakening his overall RB performance.

Evaluation:

Wimer took the PPR and TE bonus to heart and really faded the RB position. His first RB wasn’t taken until the 4th round and he only took two of them in the bottom half of the draft. He further complicated things by drafting three backs from the Falcons, meaning the success of one will take away from the other.  Wimer hopes to make it up by going heavy at the TE position, taking advantage of the TE bonus per catch and landing two second tier TE with his second and third round picks. With dual flex, Wimer will most likely start Jimmy Graham (2.05) and Greg Olsen (3.08) every week. This combo is going to put up a lot of points and should keep Wimer competitive as long as his RBs are producing some positive numbers.

Post Draft Questions

1. You selected two tight ends in the first three picks with wide receiver Antonio Brown being the other pick. Explain why you favor this strategy of waiting on running backs and rostering two top end tight ends?

This league has enhanced PPR scoring for tight ends (1.5 points per reception), and the flex rules mean that up to three tight ends may score in any given week (Best ball, QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE (2 flex RB, WR,TE), Def, K). Given that lineup requirements mean I only need a minimum of two wide receivers to score in any week, I was able to focus on getting one high-volume PPR machine in Brown (who saw double-digit targets in 13-out-of-16 games last year, with seven or more receptions in 14-out-of-16 games last year) to pair with a stable of deep-threat/red-zone threat wide receivers who should collectively throw down a good number of explosive games to pair with the stable, high-volume PPR scoring I'll get from Brown and tight ends Jimmy Graham, Greg Olsen, and Maxx Williams/Crockett Gilmore week in and week out. The best ball scoring means that I'll automatically reap the big games from the combination of Nelson Agholor, Torrey Smith, Jermaine Kearse, and the TD machine Marvin Jones/his backup Mohamed Sanu to go with Antonio Browns' consistent top-end production. The ceiling on the scoring from my #2 wide receiver position is very high, in my opinion, while the floor of the entire stable is pretty attractive as well given Brown's high-voulume role on the Steelers.

The other reason I eschewed running backs in favor of tight ends is that there are very few tight ends in the top tier of pass-catchers in the NFL, while there are a plentiful amount of running backs that have good chances at snagging a decent volume of catches to go with their carries in any given week of the season. With a 28-round event horizon for this draft, I knew I'd be able to go deep into lineups where necessary to collect depth at running back, while behind the elite tight ends there are not many exciting backup options when it comes to high-volume PPR scoring. If you want elite scoring in this 1.5 PPR paradigm from the tight end position, you need to get at least one of the top five or six options there. I managed to get two of the consensus top five tight ends (Graham is #2 on my tight end board, while Olsen is #4).

2. Quarterback is a strength of yours with two picks in the first ten rounds (Peyton Manning and Matthew Stafford). Explain why you like this strategy in a Best Ball league.

Manning and Stafford should combine to have relatively high scoring at their position for my squad from week to week - Manning plays in Denver, on an offensively-geared team and has some of the best receivers in football around him, while Stafford has the indoor stadium in Detroit and also one of the best receiver tandems in the league entering 2015. If one of them goes down to injury, the presence of the other on my roster should help insulate this squad from a dramatic downturn at the QB position. Stafford is expected to throw deep more often this year, according to his offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi "I thought that he played smart football (last year), and sometimes to a fault," Lombardi said back in April. "We'll look to him to maybe take a few more chances this year with the football. He's got the arm to do it and he's got the receivers to throw it to." If Stafford is asked to throw deep more this year, he'll be a great compliment to the high-flying Manning's numbers.

Also, Manning sometimes slows down at the end of the season, while Stafford's team will be in a dog fight with Green Bay right down to the wire, so Stafford should help out the scoring late in the year while Manning rests up for the playoffs (if that scenario develops again this year, with Denver running away with the AFC West and Manning just playing partial games or sitting out games during December).

3. You managed to corner the Falcons rushing attack with Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman and Antone Smith. What are your expectations for the Falcons running game in 2015?  How do you envision the roles panning out?

The Falcons will have growing pains among their rushing offense this year - Coleman and Freeman are young and inexperienced, and Smith hasn't been a workhorse back to date in his career, but he did have some explosive games last season. Again, in a best ball league, I'll collect the scoring of whichever back eventually comes out on top of the depth chart during training camp, and I've insulated myself against injury by cornering the majority of the current Atlanta depth chart. I really believe this is a wide-open battle for the top job in Atlanta, but since I drafted all three of the main contenders, I should get the lead back for the Falcons week in and week out.

I don't expect a top-ten finish in the rushing department from the Falcons, but I do think that between the three backs I'll have a respectable RB #2 position, with Lamar Miller/Jay Ajayi handling the #1 running back slot for this best-ball club. Given my strength at tight end, wide receiver and quarterback (the plan for my draft going into the 28-rounder) I knew that I'd have to roll the dice on a developmental situation at running back this season, and the Atlanta situation is the one that I manuvered onto this club.

Maurile Tremblay: Draft Position 9

PickOverallSelection
1.09 9 Beckham, Odell NYG WR
2.04 16 Luck, Andrew IND QB
3.09 33 Hilton, T.Y. IND WR
4.04 40 Gordon, Melvin SDC RB
5.09 57 Bennett, Martellus CHI TE
6.04 64 Watkins, Sammy BUF WR
7.09 81 Roethlisberger, Ben PIT QB
8.04 88 Thomas, Julius JAC TE
9.09 105 Woodhead, Danny SDC RB
10.04 112 Bridgewater, Teddy MIN QB
11.09 129 McFadden, Darren DAL RB
12.04 136 Johnson, David ARI RB
13.09 153 Williams, Terrance DAL WR
14.04 160 Parker, DeVante MIA WR
15.09 177 Reed, Jordan WAS TE
16.04 184 Jackson, Fred BUF RB
17.09 201 West, Terrance CLE RB
18.04 208 Paul, Niles WAS TE
19.09 225 Tucker, Justin BAL PK
20.04 232 Chiefs, Kansas City KCC Def
21.09 249 Parkey, Cody PHI PK
22.04 256 Chargers, San Diego SDC Def
23.09 273 Raiders, Oakland OAK Def
24.04 280 Zuerlein, Greg STL PK
25.09 297 Gabriel, Taylor CLE WR
26.04 304 Aiken, Kamar BAL WR
27.09 321 Washington, Nate HOU WR
28.04 328 Richardson, Trent OAK RB

Overall Strategy:

Fade the RB position and land 2 solid QBs and TEs in the early going.

Best Pick:

T.Y. Hilton – 3.09. Hilton is a top 10 fantasy wide receiver in a PPR league. He’s going to be the leading wide receiver on a team that’s projected to throw for almost 5000 yards this season. Hilton is a legitimate WR1 in a PPR league and he’s going at the end of the second round in most fantasy drafts now. The fact that Tremblay was able to add Hilton with a 3rd round pick and that he’s actually Tremblay’s #2 receiver behind Odell Beckham makes Hilton an excellent pick. Add in the stack value of having Andrew Luck as his starting QB, and Hilton was a great pickup at 3.09.

Worst Pick:

Ben Roethlisberger – 7.09. Tremblay already landed one of the top QBS in the draft by grabbing Luck in the second round.  In a league that only awards 4 pts per passing TD, having a strong QB like Luck means you can wait a bit for your backup. Instead. Tremblay landed a starter-quality guy in Roethlisberger in the 7th round.  Roetlisberger would be a weekly starter on half the teams in the league (see Dodds above), but he’ll just be a nice backup on Tremblay’s team with Luck in the mix. This was a luxury pick that could have been used on a WR or RB instead.

Evaluation:

Tremblay really drafted a strong team, despite drawing the #9 overall pick in the first round. Landing Odell Beckham, Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton as his first three picks gave Tremblay an excellent point base to build a team around. Tremblay added two top ten TEs early with Martellus Bennett and Julius Thomas. Between this solid base of points each week and flyer picks like Terrance Williams and DaVante Parker give Tremblay some extra upside potential in a best ball league. He rounded out his team with three solid defensive units as well as three place kickers, Tremblay has set up his ‘lower priority’ positions to maximize their output each week with the best ball format.

Post Draft Questions

1. The goal of the Footballguys Players Championship Best Ball league is to have the most points at the end of Week 16. Explain your strategy for creating a championship team. 
 
One of the main differences between a total points league and a more traditional league is how I handle bye weeks. In a traditional league, it's not the end of the world if you completely tank in a given week: no matter how many points you lose by, it's just one loss. So loading up your roster with a bunch of guys who have the same bye week isn't always terrible. But in a total points league, one bad week can really set you back. I therefore make an effort not to have multiple guys at the same position with the same bye week (except for handcuffs). I mostly succeeded at that in this draft, except that I've got only one live tight end in week eight. That's not ideal, but on the whole I feel pretty good about my bye-week management.
 
2. You selected both Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger in this draft. Explain why it would be beneficial to have two top flight quarterbacks in this league?
 
I think quarterbacks are hugely important in best-ball leagues with large rosters because they score a lot of points and they have high weekly variance. In a standard league, once you draft Andrew Luck, you pretty much consider yourself set at the position as long as he stays healthy because you're unlikely to ever start somebody else over him. Luck will have good weeks and bad weeks, but since you don't know when the bad weeks will come, you just start him every week and forget about it. In a best-ball league, however, you don't have to know when Luck's down weeks will come -- you'll automatically bench him whenever Roethlisberger outperforms him. Luck was the #1 fantasy quarterback last season, but Roethlisberger outscored him five times (for a total 69 fantasy points). Luck is an underdog (to the field) to finish #1 again, so Roethlisberger should probably be expected to outscore him at least five times again, and I have little doubt that I'll get value out of him.
 
Because of the potential for injuries, with 28 roster spots I really wanted to have three starting NFL quarterbacks. That might be a waste in a standard league, but in a best-ball format, I think it's advantageous. And not everyone can do it: there aren't 36 starting NFL quarterbacks to go around. So I knew there would be a heavy run at some point, and by drafting Roethlisberger where I did, I was trying to get ahead of it.
 
3. Your running back corps has only one known starter in Melvin Gordon, followed by several other backs who are either high reception backs or next in line in the pecking order of the depth chart. Explain your thought process behind this strategy. 
 
I would like to have a stronger stable of running backs. But when drafting against savvy opponents, we don't get everything we want. I think running backs were being overdrafted in this league. In a PPR league (and 1.5 PPR for tight ends), you're much more likely to fill your flex spots with wide receivers and tight ends than with running backs. To confirm this, pick a random round and look at the projected points for the average running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends going in that round. The running backs will come in third. That's true of pretty much every round throughout the draft. In the sixth round in this draft, using David Dodds' projections at the time of the draft, the running backs averaged 154.6 projected points, the wide receivers averaged 197 projected points, and the tight ends averaged 210.1 projected points. In the eighth round, the running backs averaged 129.6 projected points, the wide receivers averaged 171.3 projected points, and the tight ends averaged 174.7 projected points.
 
So I think most teams are going to use more WRs and TEs at their flex position, and that's a near certainty for my team in particular. Since I'll be starting only two RBs most weeks, I don't need to be as strong or as deep there as I am at the other positions. Between Melvin Gordon and (his handcuff) Danny Woodhead, I should get a decent score at one RB position most weeks. Then I've got five other guys competing to fill the other position.
 
I'm not advocating weakness at running back. Weakness anywhere is bad. But life is full of tradeoffs; and in this league, with this lineup and scoring system, I put a bigger priority on a number of other positions than I did on running back.
 

David Dodds: Draft Position 10

PickOverallSelection
1.10 10 Thomas, Demaryius DEN WR
2.03 15 Lacy, Eddie GBP RB
3.10 34 Sanders, Emmanuel DEN WR
4.03 39 Matthews, Jordan PHI WR
5.10 58 Allen, Keenan SDC WR
6.03 63 Jennings, Rashad NYG RB
7.10 82 Witten, Jason DAL TE
8.03 87 Walker, Delanie TEN TE
9.10 106 Martin, Doug TBB RB
10.03 111 Bradford, Sam PHI QB
11.10 130 Sims, Charles TBB RB
12.03 135 Winston, Jameis TBB QB
13.10 154 Griffin III, Robert WAS QB
14.03 159 Williams, DeAngelo PIT RB
15.10 178 Jones, Matt WAS RB
16.03 183 Wheaton, Markus PIT WR
17.10 202 Bengals, Cincinnati CIN Def
18.03 207 Rodgers, Richard GBP TE
19.10 226 Panthers, Carolina CAR Def
20.03 231 Crosby, Mason GBP PK
21.10 250 Suisham, Shaun PIT PK
22.03 255 Titans, Tennessee TEN Def
23.1 274 Jennings, Greg MIA WR
24.03 279 Austin, Tavon STL WR
25.10 298 Bailey, Stedman STL WR
26.03 303 Bullock, Randy HOU PK
27.10 322 Johnson, Chris FA* RB
28.03 327 Gresham, Jermaine ARI TE

Overall Strategy:

Same as it always is: Value, Value Value.

Best Pick:

Eddie Lacy – 2.03. Lacy is a top five pick in a non-PPR league, and still good first round quality in a format like this. He’s a workhorse back who will get a lot of touches, including near the goal line and he’ll be the guy that the Packers turn to in the cold weather in November and December. Landing him at 2.03 is criminal.

Worst Pick:

Sam Bradford – 10.03. Bradford hasn’t played in an NFL game since October 20, 2013.  Yes he’s in a Chip Kelly offense that won’t ask him to do a lot, but can he stay healthy enough to even make it to opening day? Bradford might have been a good supplement to a starting QB in a best ball format in case he pans out, but Dodds took Bradford as his first QB off the board.

Evaluation:  

Dodds always drafts competitive teams and this one is no exception. His quarterback position is a little weak, but in a best ball format, you can stockpile a couple of guys and hope that one of them pans out. Jameis Winston should be on the field every week, so even if Bradfor doesn’t make it or if Robert Griffin III is injured, Dodds should be OK. The rest of his team is constructed to produce and it should make up for his weakness at QB, especially in a 4 pt per passing TD league. Dodds scored big in the middle rounds, landing a solid TEBC pair with Jason Witten and Delanie Walker. Richard Rodgers is always good for a TD or two out of the blue, making him the perfect TE in a best ball format. Three offset PK and team defenses means that anyone who has a big game or gets a defensive TD return will give Dodds a boost. His R corps is very solid and his flyer picks like Tavon Austin and Greg Jennings could have good games here and there. Le’Veon Bell may be the #1 running back this season, but his suspension means DeAngelo Williams will see some time early. He isn’t as valuable now that Bell’s suspension has been reduced to two games, but Williams is still a nice backup if Bell starts slow or goes down to injury. Handcuffing the Tampa Bay running game with a 9th and 11th round pick is pretty reasonable value as well, especially in a best ball format where you don’t have to choose which guy to start.

Post Draft Questions

1. What advice would you give to owners participating in this style of Best Ball league?

With 28 rounds, you can get rather creative.  Don't lock into a strategy.  If everyone is overpaying at RB, grab a WR, etc.  You can make up quality with quantity at the QB and WR positions. I would recommend mocking this format on the mobile draft dominator to see how the 1.5 PPR for TEs skews things.    
 
2. You selected three defenses and three kickers. How do you attack defense and kicker in this type of league? What strategies do you recommend here?
 
You want three of each and preferably one good one.  You want three because of the high variance from week to week.  You can't afford to ever score zeroes in this format and 3 of each generally protects you against that.
 
3. Explain your interest in the Buccaneers ground game. You cornered Doug Martin and Charles Sims in the draft. How do you see this situation panning out this year and why would you recommend targeting this rushing combo?
 
They were both cheap and it's best ball.  I don't see this as a RBBC situation where both players get limited snaps. One of these players will be the primary runner for the Bucs.  In best ball, I don't have to figure out which one emerges as the RB1 and which one doesn't.  
 

Jeff Tefertiller: Draft Position 11

PickOverallSelection
1.11 11 Charles, Jamaal KCC RB
2.02 14 Johnson, Calvin DET WR
3.11 35 Hopkins, DeAndre HOU WR
4.02 38 Benjamin, Kelvin CAR WR
5.11 59 Murray, Latavius OAK RB
6.02 62 Ertz, Zach PHI TE
7.11 83 Blount, LeGarrette NEP RB
8.02 86 Boldin, Anquan SFO WR
9.11 107 Rivers, Philip SDC QB
10.02 110 Gates, Antonio SDC TE
11.11 131 Smith, Steve BAL WR
12.02 134 Cobb, David TEN RB
13.11 155 Carr, Derek OAK QB
14.02 158 Sanchez, Mark PHI QB
15.11 179 Helu, Roy OAK RB
16.02 182 Osweiler, Brock DEN QB
17.11 203 McKinnon, Jerick MIN RB
18.02 206 Dolphins, Miami MIA Def
19.11 227 Vinatieri, Adam IND PK
20.02 230 Packers, Green Bay GBP Def
21.11 251 Bryant, Matt ATL PK
22.02 254 Garoppolo, Jimmy NEP QB
23.11 275 Redskins, Washington WAS Def
24.02 278 Watson, Ben NOS TE
25.11 299 Succop, Ryan TEN PK
26.02 302 Conley, Chris KCC WR
27.11 323 Turbin, Robert SEA RB
28.02 326 Hunter, Justin TEN WR

Overall Strategy:

Balanced draft focusing on RB, WR and TE positions through the first eight rounds, drafting for value whenever possible.

Best Pick:

Jamaal Charles – 1.11. Charles is a top five pick in a PPR format, and even with the TE bonus, he’s going to be one of the best fantasy players this season. Jeff must have been turning cartwheels to find him still available at 1.11. This pick is going to pay huge dividends this season.

Worst Pick:

Anquan Boldin – 8.02. Boldin wasn’t a ‘bad’ pick in the 8th round of a PPR league, and with him projecting as a high WR3, he probably was good value at this point. But Tefertiller already had three solid WRs on his roster at that point and he still needed a QB. Only 4 WR were taken between his 8.02 pick and his 9.11 pick (three of them from Arizona), but seven QBs went off the board during that same stretch. Jeff could have taken a better QB with his 8th round pick and still landed a WR of similar value at 9.11.

Evaluation:

Jeff drafted a solid team with some great picks at RB and WR to start out the draft. Landing Jamaal Chares and Calvin Johnson gave Jeff a starting core that is very strong, but also represents huge value given that he was drafting out of the 11th slot. He followed it up with solid WR picks like DeAndre Hopkins (3.11) and Kelvin Benjamin (4.02). By grabbing Boldin at 8.02, Tefertiller missed out on a QB run, but landing Philip Rivers at 9.11 wasn’t a bad pick. He burned a few picks later in the draft, adding backup QBS (Jeff was the only team to draft five QBS), three Kickers (both Adam Vinatieri and Matt Bryant were off the same week) and three defenses, but with a 28 round draft, you can afford to do those kind of things. Jeff has built a solid team should compete and it could develop into a stronger team down the stretch if some of his longer shot picks turn into producers as well.

Post Draft Questions

1. If you could have a mulligan on any pick you had in the draft. What would it be and how would it have changed your strategy?

I made two mistakes regarding bye weeks. The first was having my top three picks with a week nine bye.  I should have taken a different player other than Hopkins in the third round.  While I like my team a lot, taking thee players with the same bye week early in the draft impacts other picks later since I had to avoid week nine byes until the middle rounds.  The other mistake was taking kicker Matt Bryant as my second kicker when he had the same bye week as my first.  I took three so it likely will not matter.  But, this was a situation, I should have paid better attention.
 
2. Do you feel it is more important to have quality depth at running back or wide receiver in this league?  Explain your answer.  

I prefer quality depth at receiver and quantity depth at running back.  I like having three very good receivers giving me solid points each week.  At running back, I took three solid RB2-types just because the touchdowns will give at least one a big game most weeks.  
 
3. Which pick of yours do you feel was the best value for where you selected him? Explain why you like that player this year.

I really like taking older receivers late in the draft.  Getting Anquan Boldin and Steve Smith, Sr. late as depth receivers is something I try to do every week.  Each is the top receiver for their respective team and should provide a nice floor for my receiving corps.

Austin Lee: Draft Position 12

PickOverallSelection
1.12 12 Nelson, Jordy GBP WR
2.01 13 Foster, Arian HOU RB
3.12 36 Kelce, Travis KCC TE
4.01 37 Morris, Alfred WAS RB
5.12 60 Bernard, Giovani CIN RB
6.01 61 Cooper, Amari OAK WR
7.12 84 Colston, Marques NOS WR
8.01 85 Brees, Drew NOS QB
9.12 108 Kaepernick, Colin SFO QB
10.01 109 Donnell, Larry NYG TE
11.12 132 Mathews, Ryan PHI RB
12.01 133 Randle, Rueben NYG WR
13.12 156 Mariota, Marcus TEN QB
14.01 157 Davis, Knile KCC RB
15.12 180 Floyd, Malcom SDC WR
16.01 181 Walford, Clive OAK TE
17.12 204 Blue, Alfred HOU RB
18.01 205 Patriots, New England NEP Def
19.12 228 Robinson, Josh IND RB
20.01 229 Amendola, Danny NEP WR
21.12 252 Giants, New York NYG Def
22.01 253 Brown, Josh NYG PK
23.12 276 Falcons, Atlanta ATL Def
24.01 277 Sturgis, Caleb MIA PK
25.12 300 Wilson, Marquess CHI WR
26.01 301 Lockett, Tyler SEA WR
27.12 324 Wright, Jarius MIN WR
28.01 325 Janis, Jeff GBP WR

Overall Strategy:

Focus on the skills position and maximize value at the turn.

Best Pick:

Drew Brees – 8.01. Fading the QB position to focus on RB / WR is smart in a PPR league, especially for leagues that only award 4 pts. per passing TD and are best ball format. But landing Drew Brees in the 8th round is big value, even in this format. Not only did Lee land his starting QB a full three rounds after his ADP, but eight other quarterbacks were taken between Lee’s pick at 8.01 and his next pick at 9.12. Drafting at the turn is always tricky, but Lee timed it perfectly to land solid value and avoid missing the QB run that would have left him scrambling.

Worst Pick:

Marques Colston – 7.12. Colston is going in the 11th or 12th round in most PPR leagues right now, and spending a 7th round pick to grab him is a huge reach. Only 8 WR were taken between Lee’s pick at 7.12 and his pick at 11.01, so even if he really wanted Colston, he probably could have waited until is pick in the 9th or 10th round and still landed him.  Lee’s team would have been better off waiting on Colston and either taking a second QB (he took Colin Kaepernick at 9.12) or another RB or TE at 7.02 and waited a bit to take Colston.

Evaluation:

Lee focused on his core of RB/WR/TE in the first half of the draft and it served him well given he was drafting on the turn. By the time he kicked off round 4, he had a 2 solid RBS, a top 10 WR and a top 5 TE. He continued to make decent picks, catching the QB run before it happened and adding a solid backup in Kaepernick to give him a nice Best Ball QBBC approach. Grabbing Alfred Blue in the 17th round was not only excellent value, but a smart play given he drafted Foster as his #1 back. Foster always seems to be banged up, and having Blue on his team is cheap insurance against injury. He also added a couple guys that can jump up and have big games from time to time like Ryan Mathews, Larry Donnell and Malcom Floyd. In a best ball format, having a few guys like that on your roster is an excellent play, since you automatically start the on the weeks that they go off.

Post Draft Questions

1. Pick one of your later round receivers and explain why you have high expectations for them this year.
 
In deep, best-ball, PPR leagues, I use the last third of the draft to throw darts at upside receivers in prolific offenses. The variance of the position works to my advantage when I don't have to decide who to start.
 
I took Danny Amendola in the twentieth round as my sixth receiver. During the Patriots' last five games, Amendola stepped up his production with 34 targets and three touchdowns. He won't be a top-40 fantasy receiver on the season, but he's demonstrated an ability to earn several weeks in my starting lineup as a part of New England's productive passing game.
 
2. You were given draft slot 12. Explain what benefits there are to drafting at the turn and how you can strategize knowing you have two picks in a row. 
 
There are benefits to drafting last in a 12-team league. When two values fell to me, I didn't have to choose. I just took both players. This almost always works to my advantage with my first two picks, which I used on Jordy Nelson and Arian Foster. I'm higher than most people on both players.
 
While I didn't do it in this particular draft, I have also used the back-to-back picks to start a run at a position. Taking a pair of tight ends at the end of the seventh or ninth rounds can make the other owners nervy. Grabbing a pair of defenses at 17.12 or kickers at 19.12 can surprise people as well.
 
3. What was your thought process when you selected Travis Kelce at the end of the third round. Was there any hesitation there? Explain how your draft would've progressed if you went a different direction with your third pick. 
 
I did a happy dance when Travis Kelce was available at the end of the third round. Tight ends earn 1.5 points per reception in this scoring system, so I had no hesitation taking him there. A big value drop-off looms after the top four tight ends, and earlier picks claimed the other three (Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, and Greg Olsen).
 
If Kelce had disappeared before my pick, I would have drafted Jordan Matthews. Kelvin Benjamin would have crossed my mind as well. Jeff Tefertiller and David Dodds took those receivers with the next two picks.
 
Without Kelce, I would have taken Delaine Walker at the end of the seventh round. I strongly considered taking Walker there even with Kelce on my squad. Aside from that, my draft would have looked the same. In this tight-end-premium format, I'm glad I drafted Kelce and Marques Colston instead of Matthews and Walker.
 

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


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