UPDATED 4/10/16: Just as the 2015 fantasy football season ended, the 2016 fantasy football season began. No need to wait until June or July to get things going, MFL10 players have been rocking and rolling for over a month now. Many people view the fantasy draft as the best part of the fantasy season, well; you are in for a treat, as that's what MFL10's are all about. Not only are MFL10's fun to play, but you also can get a great understanding of the fantasy layout months before your season long league drafts begin.
I think many of us in the fantasy community take it for granted that everyone knows what MFL10’s are, but after talking to a few friends that play fantasy football as a hobby (as opposed to an obsession), they have no idea what I’m talking about. Others have heard of MFL10’s but for various reasons, they have been too intimidated to play them for fear of going up against the “pros/sharks” or because they think they don’t have the time. Well, it’s time to assuage some of those concerns by giving you some background information on these very fun leagues and also a few tips and tricks to help you succeed.
MFL10’s are draft only, best ball leagues. Entry fees range from $10 to $500, with payouts at the end of the season to the winner of the league ranging from $100 to $5,000. “MFL” stands for “My Fantasy League,” the site that runs these leagues, and most people play the $10 leagues … hence the nickname “MFL10.” These leagues consist of 12 teams and involve snake drafts, where each team gets up to 8 hours to make their selection. Once the draft is complete, your involvement is essentially over and you simply just monitor how well your team performs against all the other teams in your league during the season.
Your best lineup will automatically be started every week and the team that scores the most points at the end of the season (Week 16), wins. New leagues are launched every 20 minutes or less, and to join a league all you need to do is go to their web site, deposit at least $10 in the bank through your PayPal account and then join a league. They will then email you the details of your league and it’s “let the games begin.”
I can also assure you that fantasy players of all levels are playing these. How do I know this? Because I have done many MFL10 leagues so far and some of the picks that are made are definitely not being made by pros. I’ve also played against many pros in some of these leagues and I can assure you again, they don’t always make the greatest picks. Trust me, no reason to fear.
I got a late start with MFL10's last season so I only entered 11 leagues. I ended up winning 3, came in 2nd in one of them, two 5th place finishes, three 7th place finishes, one 9th and one 11th. So for $110 in entry fees, I won $310, not bad. A 30% win rate is also pretty good in my opinion.
I usually have two drafts running at a time and have been playing for the past month already. Each draft takes about a full week to complete, so I will have many more entries this year than in years past.
MFL10's use a standard type scoring system, with 1 point per reception (PPR) and 4 points for a passing touchdown. Your weekly automated best lineup will consiste of 1 QB, 2RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 Flex and 1 Defense.
GENERAL GAME PLAN
Now for some details; each team drafts 20 players and I usually stick to this breakdown:
- 2 QBS
- 5 or 6 RBs
- 6 or 7 WRs
- 3 TEs
- 3 Defenses
Occasionally I will grab a third quarterback at the expense of a defense or tight end if I am really happy with my defenses and tight ends and if I waited too long on quarterback and feel like I need a little more juice at the position. Other times, if there is a great value pick in the 19th or 20th round, I will grab and extra wide receiver or running back. But for the most part, this is the lineup breakdown I try to stick to.
The only two running backs I would even consider in the early part of first round this season are Le'Veon Bell and Todd Gurley. I would also tend to lean towards a healthy Gurley over an injured Bell, who will be coming off ACL surgery. I am also only grabbing these guys if Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr Jr and Julio Jones are off the board already. I would then consider DeAndre Hopkins, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green and Allen Robinson my other first round targets. If all of them are gone at the turn, I would probably look to grab Mike Evans and one of the other highly rated running backs (Lamar Miller, Devonta Freeman, David Johnson) or another quality receiver (Amari Cooper or Alshon Jeffery). So far I have actually tended to lean receiver, simply due to values in later rounds at the running back position; I’m looking at you Carlos Hyde, C.J. Anderson and Eddie Lacy. All three are running backs I expect to bounce back in a major way and MFL10 draftees currently have a case of recency bias.
What about Rob Gronkowski you ask? I’m typically avoiding Gronk in the first round, but I wouldn’t argue with anyone taking him at the turn or in the second. While his stand alone production is obviously far greater than than any other tight end, since this is a best ball league, drafting three quality tight ends much later in the draft allows you to make up for his production while making sure you have impact players at running back and wide receiver. Those are the positions where your MFL10 season will be won and lost.
In general I’m also less worried about filling out my roster in the early rounds than taking the best impact player left on the board. In the mid-to-late rounds I'm balancing drafting players with weekly high cielings with a few players with decent floors. Mike Wallace should be a great high ceiling player this year on the Ravens, while Kendall Wright should bounce back as a steady floor player. I tend to gravitate towards those high ceiling guys, but don't ignore a few steady options as well.
At quarterback my general strategy is to wait until at least round 8 or 9, where right now you can usually scoop up players such as Tom Brady and Drew Brees, while players such as Matthew Stafford, Blake Bortles and Matt Ryan are going in the 11th round and later. With this in mind, grabbing QB’s with back-to-back picks in the 11th and 12th should leave you in good shape if you don't reach for one earlier. Heck, Sam Bradford is being drafted all the way in the 16th. I'm latest draft I just grabbed Matt Ryan in the 12th and Stafford in the 13th.
There is one caveat, due to the slew of quarterback injuries and under performers last season, I’m noticing quarterbacks are going off the board much later this season in MFL10’s. I’ve actually been grabbing Andrew Luck, Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers in the 5th and 6th rounds. We know what Cam can do and I am willing to bet Rodgers and Luck have major bounce back years. Those three provide too much value to pass over in those rounds.
The earliest I’m usually reaching for a Tight End is in Round 7 if Zach Ertz is sitting there (assuming Travis Kelce, Tyler Eifert, Greg Olsen, Jordan Reed and Gronk are already gone). Otherwise, I’m grabbing one in the 8th, with Coby Fleener being my number one target. I’m very high on Fleener this year and I would rank him as a top 4 Tight End, but no need to grab him too early with a current ADP of 109.2. However, I have a feeling his ADP will be on the rise, so he may be a guy to eventually target in the 7th. You can throw Ladarius Green in that same boat. With the suspension of Martavis Bryant, Green could be a beast this year for Pittsburgh. He couldn’t have landed on a better team and is a great grab in the 8th.
On the defensive side, the Seahawks defense currently has an ADP of 162.8, so I’m usually waiting until at least the 12th or 13th round before drafting my first defense. I’m then waiting until the 15th to grab the Jets or Bills, two defenses that I think will be great this year in the second seasons under head coaches Todd Bowels and Rex Ryan respectively. Other Defenses I’m high on are the Cardinals, Texans, Patriots and Vikings. Stringing together two and three of these is usually very doable. Very late round defenses to target include the Jaguars, Raiders, Ravens, Dolphins, Cowboys and Lions. As you can see, even having three of the late round defenses should leave you in pretty good shape.
Opinions vary greatly when it comes to rookies. MFL10 kingpin Christo Hees mentioned on the Fantasy Feast podcast earlier this year that he avoids all rookies … and I’m taking note of this approach in my drafts this year. While ignoring all rookies is a mistake in my opinion, in most instances I’m not grabbing any until double digit rounds. Case in point are guys such as Ameer Abduallah, Nelson Agholor, Maxx Williams, Dorial Green-Beckham, Tevin Coleman and others from last season. Yes hitting on a player like Todd Gurley and David Johnson can be huge, but the misses far out weigh the hits, especially in the early rounds. Abduallah made his way into the 3rd round last year after blowing up in camp and in pre-season. How did that work out for you?
I am happy to pass up Ezekiel Elliott for Eddie Lacy, Mark Ingram II, C.J. Anderson and Carlos Hyde. I would probably be in on him after those guys, but to me, he is the rare rookie that I'm confident will put up decent numbers this season. As for Derrick Henry (or Kenneth Dixon, Paul Perkins, Keith Marshall and Jordan Howard for that matter), I’m grabbing Giovani Bernard, Jeremy Hill, Charles Sims, Matt Jones and Ryan Mathews without question over them this season. But later in drafts, I say go for it.
I’ve especially been grabbing a few of the rookie receivers later in the drafts. Guys such as Josh Doctson in the 10th, Corey Coleman in the 11th or Sterling Shepard, Will Fuller, Leonte Carroo and Malcolm Mitchell in the last quarter of draft. But once again, when Mike Wallace is sitting there so late, why take a flier on a rookie wide receiver that will most likely under perform. That said, out of this wide receiver rookie class, my bet would be on Doctson and Coleman to shine above the others in year one.
Sleeper Alert: My favorite 19th or 20th round grab is ... Jonathan Williams, a rookie running back out Arkansas who missed all of last season with a broken foot. As noted NFL analyst Greg Cosell recently mentioned, he is quicker and more powerful than Elliot who can block, catch and is a decisive runner that is just as likley to cut it back as he is to bang it up the middle. He also rarely goes down on first contact. Where he lands on draft day will be big for his value though.
Here is a list of players that I tend to be snatching up due to their currently opportunistic ADP (average draft position) values:
- Andrew Luck 5th Round, Aaron Rodgers 5/6 Round: I just got Luck at 6.01 and Rodgers went at 7.05. So while they have higher overall ADP’s, I am giving you first hand knowledge that they sometimes fall. I have no problem grabbing Luck or Rodgers towards the end of the 5th and they are no brainers after that. Yes, both underperformed greatly last season, but they are prime bounce back candidates and will be going in round 2 or 3 once again next season.
- Tom Brady 7th Round, Drew Brees 9th Round: Look how long you can wait and still get a great quarterback. Brady and Bress show no signs of letting down and are both rock solid QB1’s.
- Matthew Stafford 12th Round: People are down on Stafford, but over the last 6 weeks of the 2015 season, and after a ton of team turmoil, he threw for at least two touchdowns every week. He’s a perfect target for your second QB and makes for a decent QB1 if you wait really late.
- Jay Cutler 15th/16th: Great value as your #2 QB. A healthy Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White will insure some big games for Cutler.
- Lamar Miller late 2nd Round: His ADP is currently hovering around 20 (up already from eariler in the month), although he's being drafted anywhere from 8th to 41st. If he is there in the 3rd, he's a no brainer and I wouldn't talk you out of taking him at the end of the first.
- Mark Ingram II 3rd Round: This guy just never gets the love, but he was a top 3 RB last year until he got hurt. Expect more of the same this season.
- Eddie Lacy 3rd/4th Round: I'm a believer Fat Eddie will be Phat Eddie this season.
- C.J. Anderson 3rd/4th Round: He played hurt for most of last season and was their whole offense down the stretch.
- Carlos Hyde 4th/5th Round: Unlike Demarco Murray, Hyde is confortable running in Chip Kelly's zone running scheme.
- Jeremy Hill 5th Round
- Giovani Bernard 6th Round
- Charles Sims 7th Round: He quielty racked up over 1,000 all purpose yards last season. I expect him to push 70 catches this season.
- Ryan Mathews 7th Round: Don't get scared when they draft a running back, Mathews is very good.
- Bilal Powell 10th/11th Round
- Shane Vereen 11th Round: The Giants are another team that may draft a running back. I think that hurts Rashard Jenning's more than Vereen. He had 59 catches last season, I expect that to go up a bit even.
- DeAngelo Williams 12th/13th Round: Le'Veon Bell may not be ready for the start of the season and even so, Williams may be asked to handle some of the load early on. A must own for those spending a high pick on Bell.
- Jonathan Williams – C.J. Spiller - Andre Ellington - Christine Michael – Spencer Ware – Stevan Ridley -- Keith Marshall: All essentially going undrafted or in very late rounds.
- Randall Cobb 3rd/4th Round: Yes this offense was horrible. And yes, Cobb killed you and looked horrible at times. But he's not a WR1. With Jordy Nelson back, Jared Cook in the fold and Phat Eddie back in shape, Cobb will produce as a high end WR2 once again.
- Kelvin Benjamin 3rd/4th Round: Opinions vary, but I think he puts up high end WR2 numbers.
- Donte Moncrief – 5th Round: He could make the WR1 leap this season. He should be targetd in all MFL10 drafts.
- Kevin White 6th Round: Next year he will be drafted in the first three rounds. You can add Dorial GReen-Beckham here as well.
- Stefon Diggs 7th/ 8th Round: This is the biggest steal of the draft in my opinion. He can eventually be every bit as good as Antonio Brown.
- Kendall Wright 10/11th Round: Marcus Mariota should have this offense firing on all cylinders this season and Wright should catch at least 75 passes.
- Nelson Agholor 10th Round
- Josh Doctson 10th Round: Of all the rookie wide receivers he is most likely to make a fantasy impact no matter what team he lands on. Corey Coleman in the 12th would be my other best bet.
- Sammie Coates Jr 13th Round: He's going to get a shot to take over the Martavis Bryant role and should have more than a few big games.
- Mike Wallace 16th Round
- Stevie Johnson 18th Round
- Brandon LaFell, J.J. Nelson, Rashad Greene Sr, Will Fuller, Sterling Shepard, Rueben Randle, Kenny Bell, Devin Smith: All these guys are going very late or undrafted. Each one will give you some usable weeks without a doubt.
- Coby Fleener 7th/8th Round: As I mentioned earlier, I view him as a top 4 tight end this year.
- Ladarius Green 7th/8th Round: I view him slightly below Fleener, but love his upside and draft position.
- Dwayne Allen 11th/12th Round: With Fleener gone and a tight end friendly offensive coordinator, Rob Chudzinski, what's not to like?
- Clive Walford 11th/12th Round: Love the Raiders offense and love Walford as a player. Can you believe the Raiders righted the ship? Amazing.
- Late Round Picks: Jordan Cameron, Maxx Williams, Kyle Rudolph, Jared Cook: I love Cook most of all these guys, but a combo of Fleener and two of these lads and you are looking good.
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