Sunday, September 4, 2016

Fantasy football 2016 draft recap

I've decided to do something a little different here for today's blog post. Though this is hardly a sports blog, I have been playing fantasy football for about 10 years now, and I figured I can write about it here. Sure, it has little to do with the rest of my blog, but neither do my occasional movie reviews either. Nobody complains about those, so nobody should complain about this. Besides, it's a slow news day on a holiday weekend, there isn't much else to write about! Depending on the reception this post gets, I might post more on this topic later. But for now, assure yourself that normal posting should be back fairly soon.

I'm in two fantasy football leagues this year. Both of them are long running and both of them are with my friends, mostly from college. I'm going to talk about the 10 player one instead of the 8 player one because there are more people in that league that are likely to read this. The league is a 10 player PPR league that has gone through several incarnations over the past few years. My performance has been fairly lackluster, often in the middle of the pack, except in the first year where I made it to the championship, only to lose in the last week. I have made other playoff appearances, but overall, my teams have been mediocre, often due to injuries. I hope that changes this year. Anyways, here are my picks:

In the first round I picked David Johnson, RB, Cardinals. I was the 4th pick and I never thought much of the "zero RB" strategy. I decided early on if I was in the middle of the draft I was going to go for RB's in the first round since the drop off in talent is pretty big. I went with Johnson because he's in a good offense and will probably catch more balls then the other guys like Adrian Peterson or Todd Gurley I could have gone for. I think he has a decent chance of being the #1 RB and I think it was a good pick.

2nd round I went for Brandon Marshall, WR, Jets. Marshall has been a fairly consistent WR and I like consistency. He's usually good for quite a few points in our scoring system. I could have picked a RB this round, but the drop off in WR value starts hitting pretty quick. I needed a good WR right away, and I think Marshall is a good pick. Going RB/WR is pretty defensible, but going RB/RB wasn't this year.

3rd round pick was a bit of a panic move. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears. I was hoping beyond hope that somehow I would be able to get Keenan Allen, but he got picked pretty early by one of our leagues better drafters. Instead I went with Jeffery. Make no mistake, when he is healthy, Jeffery is a great player and almost always in the WR1 conversation. Unfortunately, he kinda helped kill my season last year because of his injury, which made me a little wary of picking him. If he can stay healthy though, he's a steal at where I picked him.

4th round was Brandon Cooks, WR, Saints. Cooks was a beast last year and all signs show that he will be pretty good this year. I almost considered going for him in the third round but I couldn't pass up Jeffery. I was pretty happy when Cooks fell to me since he's essentially WR1 material on a high powered offensive team with a terrible defense. Picking three WR's in a row was kind of scary, but I think I made up for it. All of them are the top WR's on their team and all of them have potential to be at least top 20 WR's and perhaps top 10.

5th round pick LaTavius Murray, RB, Oakland. Not much to say about Murray. He's a middle of the road RB2 and about the best player I could get at the pick without reaching for a guy. I could have gone for TE here as Greg Olsen and Delanie Walker were still on the board, but I really didn't want to wait for another RB. Murray may just be a middle of the pack RB, but I really needed a 2nd RB at this point. I couldn't justify going TE or getting a 4th WR in a row.

6th round pick was Danny Woodhead, RB, Chargers. Woodhead was a monster last year in PPR. Under our scoring system he was the 3rd best back period. Not bad for a guy that's mostly used in the passing game. I don't think he will reach those heights again, Melvin Gordon is back at the Chargers and they are going to try to get him up to speed, but even if he does, Woodhead will see a lot of use in passing situations. Very happy with this pick, even if there is likely to be some regression.

7th round pick was Arian Foster, RB, Miami. This is another guy that worries me a bit due to injury concerns. Foster was a beast for many years but the few times I have drafted him he has been hit with injuries. That may be the case again this year, but I figured I might as well take him as a flier. I already had depth at RB, and if he gets hurt or Jay Ajayi takes over, it won't be a huge loss. And if it pays off I got someone on my team that's a legit threat to be a top ten RB. Low risk, high reward.

8th round was John Brown, WR, Cardinals. For some reason, all three of Arizona's WR's were clumped together in the ratings. All three of them were worth owning but Larry Fitzgerald went early. I went with Brown over Michael Floyd for no real reason. I just think Brown has a bit more potential, but if I had gone with Floyd, I wouldn't be unhappy. I probably should have picked up a TE around here instead though. I could have gotten a 3rd tier TE but I went with yet another WR.

9th round I realized that I had a couple of glaring holes in my roster. I had a lot of depth at WR and RB, but nothing at QB or TE. I decided to fix this in the 9th by picking Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers. Now don't get me wrong, as a person, I don't like Rivers. But as a fantasy QB, he's about as good as I could get at this point in the draft. Boring pick, but a safe one. Still, I won't ever forget him saying this:

10th round I went for Charles Sims. He's basically a handcuff for Doug Martin, who I didn't draft. He also kind of fits the role Danny Woodhead has at the Chargers. A passing down back that is pretty good in PPR leagues. Again, not a bad pick. but you can see I still haven't done anything about TE.

Rounds 11 and 14 were just rookie flyer picks. I went with Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants in the 11th and Corey Colmen, WR, Browns. I consider these guys lottery tickets and not much else.

Round 12 was a sneaky pick that kind of pissed the guy who picked Thomas Rawls, I went with Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks. He's a handcuff, but a very useful one that could be good if Rawls gets hurt or starts to suck. A late round flier that I admit to reaching for. I wanted one last RB, and I figured Michael had the best upside.

Finally, in round 13 I realized that I needed a TE and needed one badly. There wasn't much left at this point so I picked Julius Thomas, TE, Jacksonville. I could have made a worse choice here, but I think that he was about as good as I was going to get at this point. That's not saying much, but I wish that I had spent a draft pick on a TE before this point.

The last two rounds, D/ST and K are irrelevant but I ended up with the Cardinals defense and Blair Walsh. Whatever, I usually stream D/ST and nobody cares about the kicker. I actually turned autopick on for my kicker, which is how little I care about the position.

Overall, I think I had a good draft. I am super deep at RB and WR and I have a very good mid range QB as well. I do have to say that waiting so long to pick a TE was a mistake, but in the end, it's not a huge deal. Still, if my team can stay healthy, I think I have a decent chance of at least making the playoffs this year. On the other hand, I have had terrible luck with injuries, to the point where the league seriously thinks I am cursed. I picked Eddie Lacy last year and he was terrible, so people were imploring me not to pick RB's that they had in other leagues or played in Green Bay. With my luck, half my starters will drop dead before the season is over! If that happens, I will have to try and either trade my way out of it, or try and find waiver wire heroes. Experience tells me that I probably won't, so fingers crossed, this draft works out!  

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