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8/16/2018 - 12 Teams, PPR

On August 13th, a portion of the FFToday crew got together for our staff league draft. This is a real league that will be played out during the season. Team-by-team results and commentary from each owner are below.

12 owners, 18 Rounds, PPR

Starting line-up: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WRs, 1TE, 1 Flex (RB, WR or TE) 1K, & 1 D/ST.

Scoring:
1 point for every: 10 yards rushing, receiving, 20 yards passing, reception, sack, FUM Rec, INT Ret
2 points for every: safety, PAT rushed, PAT received, PAT thrown
3 points for every: field goal
4 points for every: touchdown thrown
6 points for every: touchdown rushed, received, fumble returned, interception returned, kick returned

You can view the Round by Round results here.

Looking to ace your draft? Pickup a copy of the Draft Buddy and get customized projections and rankings for your league.

 Colby Cavaliere - Pick No. 1
1.01 RB Todd Gurley, LAR
2.12 WR T.Y. Hilton, IND
3.01 WR Stefon Diggs, MIN
4.12 RB Derrick Henry, TEN
5.01 WR Jamison Crowder, WAS
6.12 RB Tevin Coleman, ATL
7.01 WR Julian Edelman, NE
8.12 WR DeVante Parker, MIA
9.01 TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN
10.12 RB Matt Breida, SF
11.01 QB Matthew Stafford, DET
12.12 RB Nyheim Hines , IND
13.01 WR Anthony Miller , CHI
14.12 RB Austin Ekeler, LAC
15.01 RB Javorius Allen, BAL
16.12 K Mason Crosby, GB
17.01 DEF New Orleans Saints, NO
18.12 TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, JAC
Pick #1 - Colby Cavaliere

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: Let it be known that I absolutely hate having the No.1 overall pick for a myriad of reasons. First, there is almost no way to get full value of the guy you select (in my case it was Todd Gurley). Generally in PPR leagues if I have a very early pick I like to mitigate risk and draft Antonio Brown, but the pendulum has swung wildly back to three-down backs, so I had to go with who I feel had the fewest question marks, and that was Gurley. I expect touchdown regression, but I think he has room to grow in the yardage and passing game department. For me, Bell has too many red flags and David Johnson no longer has a brilliant offensive mind running the team, and that made Gurley an easy pick at No.1.

Another thing I greatly dislike about the No.1 overall pick is waiting on the turn at the end of round 2. You are generally left to the mercy of owners ahead of you, and in a league with all fantasy pros, there are likely to be no reaches that early. My strategy was to try and pair Gurley with another solid back (Mixon or Devonta Freeman) but that didn’t happen. Being at pick No.24 I also totally missed the run on top receivers as well. I ended up going with T.Y. Hilton at the end of the 2nd, as he has a recent history of being a top-10 receiver with Luck at the helm, and I took a risk that they could duplicate the magic of 2016.

What player(s) did you miss out on? I desperately wanted to make Jarvis Landry my No.3 receiver (he’s going to be a target hog) or have Zach Ertz as my tight end, and I was prepared to take either with my 4th round pick. But of course BOTH guys got snatched up just a few picks prior. I then had a really hard time making my pick, shuffling between Derrick Henry, Lamar Miller, or Kerryon Johnson. Miller was probably the safest, especially in PPR, but I gambled that Henry can do enough on the ground in what I think can be an improved offense, to flirt with RB1 production.

Final thought: One big takeaway from this draft was the incredible depth at the receiver position. I guess I was a little taken aback at how quickly the top tiers of running backs dried up. There were mere scraps left by the 5th and 6th rounds, while teams were finding quality WR3s in the 8th rounds and below (Woods, Stills, Fuller, Funchess). It’s really important to get starters you can bank on and fill things in from there. Receivers can be plucked out from all over the place.

Maybe I’m gullible, but I really like the Landry pick in the 4th round by our commish, Mike Krueger. I really think the Cleveland passing game is going to run through him, and I like the chemistry I’ve seen between him and Taylor so far. I also really like the pick of Mark Ingram in the 6th round. Sure he’s going to miss a quarter of the season, but he’s a huge part of that offense, and should offer RB1 value the second he steps onto the field. Awesome value in 6th.

My pick of Crowder in the 5th might look like a reach to some, but I think there is a perfect storm brewing in Washington for his success. He’s exactly the type of receiver Alex Smith likes to pepper with targets, he’s fully healthy unlike many of the pass catchers around him, and the loss of Derrius Guice means Washington should really be forced to lean on the short and intermediate pass game this year.

 Kirk Hollis - Pick No. 2
1.02 RB Le'Veon Bell, PIT
2.11 WR Mike Evans, TB
3.02 TE Rob Gronkowski, NE
4.11 WR Alshon Jeffery, PHI
5.02 RB Lamar Miller, HOU
6.11 QB Russell Wilson, SEA
7.02 WR Marquise Goodwin, SF
8.11 RB C.J. Anderson, CAR
9.02 WR Kenny Stills, MIA
10.11 WR D.J. Moore , CAR
11.02 QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
12.11 RB D'Onta Foreman, HOU
13.02 TE O.J. Howard, TB
14.11 RB Devontae Booker, DEN
15.02 DEF Denver Broncos, DEN
16.11 K Wil Lutz, NO
17.02 WR Courtland Sutton , DEN
18.11 RB James Conner, PIT
Pick #2 - Kirk Hollis

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: As has been well documented, the RB position has sprung back to life over the past year after being declared somewhat dead for a few years prior. The No.2 overall pick, thus, was always going to be a RB and you could argue that as many as 5-6 RBs should go before any other position is considered. Bell became the choice as teams cannot load the box to stop him the way they can David Johnson or Ezekiel Elliott. The second round was easy for me in terms of which position to take. If you’re going to take one of the top 5 RBs, WR in the second is a must unless Devonta Freeman falls in your lap. And, it was a bit early for a TE (even though I did end up taking Gronk in the third round) so, WR it was and Mike Evans was the top guy left on my board.

What player(s) did you miss out on? Player(s) Missed out on: Three times, the wide receivers that I was targeting were taken right before I was set to pick. I wanted T.Y. Hilton at 3.02 but settled for Gronk instead. I wanted JuJu Smith-Schuster at 4.11, but was forced to take a banged-up Alshon Jeffery. I had Cooper Kupp lined up as my pick at 6.11 before he was taken one pick prior. All in all, my WR corps is absolutely not what I envisioned due to the three “misses” noted above.

Final thought: Russell Wilson, Le’Veon Bell, Mike Evans, and Rob Gronkowski give me a great scoring base from which production should flow. I also like Lamar Miller and Marquise Goodwin as complementary pieces. Plus, I was happy with my depth, particularly my selection of a couple of promising rookie wide receivers (D.J Moore, Courtland Sutton). I’m not pleased with my receivers as a whole, though, and the Jeffery pick was made at a spot that I felt value didn’t exist. I am pleased with this team but there are question marks to be sure.

 Steve Schwarz - Pick No. 3
1.03 RB David Johnson, ARI
2.10 WR Doug Baldwin, SEA
3.03 WR Amari Cooper, OAK
4.10 TE Zach Ertz, PHI
5.03 RB Kerryon Johnson , DET
6.10 WR Cooper Kupp, LAR
7.03 RB Ronald Jones , TB
8.10 QB Carson Wentz, PHI
9.03 WR Michael Gallup , DAL
10.10 WR Sterling Shepard, NYG
11.03 DEF Los Angeles Rams, LAR
12.10 RB Latavius Murray, MIN
13.03 QB Alex Smith, WAS
14.10 QB Nick Foles, PHI
15.03 RB Rod Smith, DAL
16.10 K Jake Elliott, PHI
17.03 WR James Washington , PIT
18.10 RB T.J. Yeldon, JAC
Pick #3 - Steve Schwarz

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: I drafted David Johnson No.1 last season and his wrist injury obviously cost me any chance of winning the league. But his legs are fine and, in fact, he should be well rested, so when Todd Gurley and Le’Veon Bell were selected, I went back to Johnson for a second straight year. With my second-round selection I went with Doug Baldwin over the likes of Mike Evans (coming off a bad season, suspended Jameis Winston), T.Y. Hilton (too inconsistent) and Stefon Diggs (too many options for new QB Kirk Cousins). With the expected collapse of the Seahawks defense, the only way Seattle wins games in 2018 is by outscoring the opposition. Baldwin has averaged 1,062 yards and 9.7 TDs the past three seasons and with Jimmy Graham now calling Green Bay home, Baldwin should be a lock for double-digit touchdown catches.

What player(s) did you miss out on? I had three players locked into my draft button ready to go, only to be beat to the punch by my fellow owners.

In the fourth round I was set to take Jarvis Landry at pick No.46, but he was taken one pick ahead of me. I think Landry is just the guy to turn around the Browns passing game and he will see top-five targets. I’m not sure he can repeat his nine touchdowns of a year ago which is why I waited until round 4. I “settled” for the last of the top-tier tight ends in Zach Ertz. With Alshon Jeffery still on the mend from shoulder surgery, a majority of his 18 red zone targets and seven red zone TDs are likely to be headed toward my tight end.

I was again thwarted in round 5 when Derrick Henry was selected two picks ahead of me. I went with rookie Kerryon Johnson instead. While the Detroit backfield is crowded, Johnson offers the Lions one thing the other guys can’t … the chance to not telegraph their run/pass intentions. If LeGarrette Blount is in the game he’s only running the ball and if Theo Riddick is in the backfield they are likely throwing the ball. Johnson showed he can both run and catch the ball at Auburn and again in the first preseason game (rushing 7 times for 34 yards, receiving 4-of-5 targets for 33 yards).

I never added a second tight end on draft night. My only backup target, George Kittle, was scooped up in the 12th round three picks before I was ready to make him my selection. I’ll have to use the waiver wire to add depth later in the season.

Final thought: Just six days ago, I wrote a piece “One man's opinion from here in Wentzylvania” in which I stated that Carson Wentz isn’t likely to be ready to play in Week 1 versus Atlanta. For that matter I expect him to miss the first three games. Despite missing time, I mapped out two backup quarterbacks which could be drafted alongside Wentz to make a winning combination under center. I followed my own advice and took Washington QB Alex Smith to fill in during the four weeks that Wentz will miss (Weeks 1-3, Week 9 bye). I also added Eagles backup and Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles late in the draft as insurance, but like insurance I hope I never have to use him.

I have a deep receiving corps which I believe will lead this team to great heights. Behind Baldwin, I selected Amari Cooper, Cooper Kupp, Sterling Shepard and two talented rookies in Michael Gallup and James Washington. If Gallup develops into the wideout I think he can be, I’ll have trading assets should I need them later in the season.

 Mike Krueger - Pick No. 4
1.04 RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
2.09 RB Joe Mixon, CIN
3.04 RB Jordan Howard, CHI
4.09 WR Jarvis Landry, CLE
5.04 WR Marvin Jones, DET
6.09 WR Michael Crabtree, BAL
7.04 WR Nelson Agholor, PHI
8.09 QB Tom Brady, NE
9.04 WR Devin Funchess, CAR
10.09 WR Marqise Lee, JAC
11.04 TE Jack Doyle, IND
12.09 RB Chris Ivory, BUF
13.04 RB Samaje Perine, WAS
14.09 TE Vance McDonald, PIT
15.04 WR Josh Doctson, WAS
16.09 RB Chase Edmonds , ARI
17.04 DEF Baltimore Ravens, BAL
18.09 K Robbie Gould, SF
Pick #4 - Mike Krueger

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: I would advise a RB-WR approach from the 4th spot in most 12-team redraft leagues as it gives you the most flexibility in Rounds 3-6, but we all know you need to adapt once the draft bullets start flying. I’ve had the fortune of having the 4th pick in earlier drafts so this spot is a familiar one. I’ve routinely taken the last of the big four RBs available and paired him with a WR in Round 2. I was planning employing the same strategy but my round 2 WR targets (Davante Adams, A.J. Green, Keenan Allen) disappeared right in front of me. Time to shift and try out a strategy I knew would be against the grain – taking RBs with my first two or three selections. I’m starting to warm up to Mixon as the summer rolls along and feel like his usage will assure him RB2 value as long as he remains healthy. Starting RB-RB wasn’t the plan but time will tell if the adjustment I made was the right one.

What player(s) did you miss out on? I cursed “Crash and Burn” for sniping me in Round 3 where I wanted Amari Cooper as he was the last of my Tier 2 wide receivers. At that point, I decided using a pick on another RB was justified giving our league employs a flex position putting the finishes touches on my three-headed backfield of Zeke-Mixon-Howard. I wanted to take a flier on RB Aaron Jones (GB) late in the draft and considered taking him at 13.04 but instead took a shot on Samaje Perine (WAS) given he isn’t facing a two-game suspension and has a clearer path to playing time. I was hoping Jones would still available for my next pick, but he was gobbled up just a few picks later (13.07).

Final thought: The late-round QB approach was on display in this draft as Cam Newton (8.04), Tom Brady (8.09) and Drew Brees (9.07) lasted well past their ADPs while Dak Prescott, Tyrod Taylor, Derek Carr and Mitchell Trubisky went undrafted. Depending on the type of owners in your league, you might be able to keep pounding the RB and WRs positions well into the middle rounds before biting the QB bullet. Mike Davis was the last owner to take a quarterback – selecting Blake Bortles in Round 17! Bortles fantasy output has declined three straight years, but it may surprise you he finished as the QB3 (2015), QB8 (2016), and QB13 (2017) during that span.

 Mike Davis - Pick No. 5
1.05 WR Antonio Brown, PIT
2.08 RB Devonta Freeman, ATL
3.05 RB Jerick McKinnon, SF
4.08 WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT
5.05 WR Chris Hogan, NE
6.08 RB Marshawn Lynch, OAK
7.05 TE Greg Olsen, CAR
8.08 WR Will Fuller, HOU
9.05 RB Ty Montgomery, GB
10.08 WR Allen Hurns, DAL
11.05 RB James White, NE
12.08 DEF Los Angeles Chargers, LAC
13.05 WR Dede Westbrook, JAC
14.08 RB Doug Martin, OAK
15.05 WR John Ross, CIN
16.08 WR Martavis Bryant, OAK
17.05 QB Blake Bortles, JAC
18.08 K Harrison Butker, KC
Pick #5 - Mike Davis

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: I might have been tempted to take Saquon Barkley at the No.5 spot in a standard league, but Antonio Brown seemed like a no-brainer in a PPR. I knew I was giving up any shot at Hunt, Kamara, & Barkley by taking Brown, but I felt confident there would be at least one high-upside RB available to me with pick 2.08. Devonta Freeman fit that bill perfectly in my estimation. I like his floor better than at least two of the RBs taken ahead of him--and maybe his ceiling too.

What player(s) did you miss out on? I missed out on Sammy Watkins, whom I thought I might snag at 6.08. He went early in the 6th, so I would have had to burn my 5.05 pick to get him. That would have meant taking Watkins instead of Chris Hogan, which would have been a mistake in my opinion. The WR personnel shortage in New England makes Hogan a virtual sure-thing for the early season, whereas I can't be sure when (or even if) I can expect Watkins to go gangbusters. (But for the record, I think Watkins will go gangbusters before the season is through.)

Final thought: The most interesting thing about this 18-round draft for me was that I decided in advance to take the best QB I could find in the 17th round (since the last round is reserved, of course, for kickers). I don't mind streaming QBs, and I'm not dissatisfied with Bortles as my only QB--given what I paid for him. But I was surprised by how much it simplified my selection process simply to exclude QBs from consideration for the first 16 rounds.

 Bill Anderson - Pick No. 6
1.06 WR Odell Beckham Jr., NYG
2.07 WR A.J. Green, CIN
3.06 WR Tyreek Hill, KC
4.07 RB Kenyan Drake, MIA
5.06 RB Tarik Cohen, CHI
6.07 RB Jamaal Williams, GB
7.06 TE Trey Burton, CHI
8.07 WR Tyler Lockett, SEA
9.06 QB Andrew Luck, IND
10.07 RB Nick Chubb , CLE
11.06 RB Jordan Wilkins , IND
12.07 QB Jimmy Garoppolo, SF
13.06 WR John Brown, BAL
14.07 WR Taywan Taylor, TEN
15.06 DEF Houston Texans, HOU
16.07 WR Keelan Cole, JAC
17.06 TE Charles Clay, BUF
18.07 K Graham Gano, CAR
Pick #6 - Bill Anderson

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: I did not love my draft position at No.6, though I was hopeful one of my top 5 players ranked would fall to me. Unfortunately, they did not, so I was left with taking a player who had the least amount of question marks in my next tier (OBJ). For round 2 I desperately wanted to go RB, either Cook or McCaffrey, but again, both guys were taken so I was “forced” to take choose between A.J. Green and Mike Evans, who were the last two wide receivers in my tier. I chose Green, and while my first two rounds did not go as I had hoped, I can’t be mad that I likely landed two top 8 receivers. Going WR-WR in PPR is typically not a terrible start.

What player(s) did you miss out on? Besides the guys I mentioned in the first 2 rounds I got sniped quite a few times throughput the draft. I thought Jamison Crowder (5.01) was taken a bit early but I target him a lot in PPR drafts and was disappointed I missed out on him here. Marquise Goodwin, Jordy Nelson, and Peyton Barber were also guys that I was eying before they were taken just a couple picks before me. Overall, McCaffery is the one that stings the most, one pick before me in round 2.

Final thought: Quarterbacks definitely fell farther than most “typical” leagues but I think that was probably expected. Lots of different runs, most notably with Quarterbacks and Defenses in different rounds, which made me realize I’d probably rather start a run and reach a little than miss out on a guy I want by being at the end of a run at a specific position. Some of the best values in my mind include Luck and Brees in the 9th, Samaje Perine (13.04), Cole Beasley (16.05), and Jared Cook (18.04). Reaches to me include Aaron Rodgers (3.10), Rex Burkhead (4.05), Mark Ingram (6.04), and Jordan Reed (7.11).

 Jason Katz - Pick No. 7
1.07 RB Saquon Barkley , NYG
2.06 RB Christian McCaffrey, CAR
3.07 WR Adam Thielen, MIN
4.06 WR Brandin Cooks, LAR
5.07 RB Royce Freeman , DEN
6.06 TE Evan Engram, NYG
7.07 WR Randall Cobb, GB
8.06 RB Marlon Mack, IND
9.07 QB Drew Brees, NO
10.06 WR Jordy Nelson, OAK
11.07 RB Corey Clement, PHI
12.06 TE George Kittle, SF
13.07 WR Tyrell Williams, LAC
14.06 QB Jared Goff, LAR
15.07 K Justin Tucker, BAL
16.06 WR Quincy Enunwa, NYJ
17.07 DEF Pittsburgh Steelers, PIT
18.06 RB John Kelly , LAR
Pick #7 - Jason Katz

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: Picking at No.7 is something I will have extensive experience with. This was the first of four snake redraft leagues I will be doing this season and I pick at No.7 in a total of three of them. I also picked at No.7 in two of my three leagues last year. I like picking in the middle because you can extract value from players that fall in every round. My goal in the first two rounds was to draft two running backs. As you will read about in my forthcoming draft strategy article, I believe there are 16 RBs that are a clear step above the rest. Only four owners can have two of them and I wanted to be one of those teams. Saquon Barkley is my RB5 so I was pleased to get him at No.7. Obviously the first four RBs in just about every league will be Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson, and Ezekiel Elliott, and Antonio Brown always goes within the first six picks. I just had to hope that extra pick in there wasn’t Barkley, and it wasn’t. In round 2, I went with Christian McCaffrey as he was the highest RB on my board. While I don’t believe CMac will see 25-30 touches, nor would I want him to, I do believe there will be a concerted effort to increase his usage. Barkley has the game breaking upside and McCaffrey has the safe floor – a perfect combination to start my team.

What player(s) did you miss out on? Bill clearly read my Overvalued/Undervalued report on Tyreek Hill as he sniped the Chiefs wide receiver one pick in front of me in the third round. That one stung. But, I persevered and was pleased with Adam Thielen, who had no business still being on the board in the middle of round three. In the majority of my mocks, I’m able to get Allen Robinson round four and while I am happy with Brandin Cooks, I prefer ARob in that spot - great pick by House of Swan. I was also not happy that Fumbleweed grabbed Marquise Goodwin in the seventh round before I could. I think Goodwin is a legit WR2 and he was the 33rd WR off the board. Credit to Fumbleweed there.

Final thought: Doing a real draft compared to a mock really puts things into perspective. In a mock, people are practicing. Here, everyone is doing what they legitimately think is best. I realize that the RB drop off is real and it makes the middle rounds very unpredictable. What this tells me is I need to take the players I want when I want them and really throw caution to the wind when it comes to ADP. With guys like Rex Burkhead going mid fourth round, Chris Thompson mid fifth round, and Isaiah Crowell early sixth round, it is clear my fellow drafters did just that and is something I would expect to see in most competitive leagues with experienced managers.

 Joseph Hutchins - Pick No. 8
1.08 RB Alvin Kamara, NO
2.05 WR Davante Adams, GB
3.08 TE Travis Kelce, KC
4.05 RB Rex Burkhead, NE
5.08 RB Chris Thompson, WAS
6.05 WR Corey Davis, TEN
7.08 QB Deshaun Watson, HOU
8.05 RB Duke Johnson, CLE
9.08 WR Kenny Golladay, DET
10.05 WR Mike Williams, LAC
11.08 RB Spencer Ware, KC
12.05 WR Danny Amendola, MIA
13.08 RB Aaron Jones, GB
14.05 QB Eli Manning, NYG
15.08 TE Eric Ebron, IND
16.05 WR Cole Beasley, DAL
17.08 DEF Tennessee Titans, TEN
18.05 K Chris Boswell, PIT
Pick #8 - Joseph Hutchins

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: I could almost cut and paste from last year as our scoring system hasn't changed: When receptions are worth a buck a piece, I'll be the guy buying pass-grabbers all day long. The most difficult decision I had to make (and I really didn't see it coming) was having to choose between Davante Adams and Christian McCaffrey at pick 2.05. That was too low for both of them IMHO as the former will be Aaron Rodgers' main man this year and the latter should be an improved version of the PPR monster he was in 2017. The temptation to pair the super sophs, McCaffrey and Kamara, was very strong, but I ultimately settled on Adams, a guy who could legitimately be the WR1 this season.

What player(s) did you miss out on? I was drafting from beautiful Maui this year with an adult beverage in hand, so there was absolutely nothing to be complaining about. Nevertheless, missing out on Marquise Goodwin in the 7th elicited some very adult language. I think he's that rare sleeper who might still be vastly undervalued. I also cursed myself for failing to back up Deshaun Watson, the epitome of 2018 risk/reward, with a guy who hails from the gorgeous state I happen to be vacationing in, Marcus Mariota. Marcus shouldn't have been available as a backup and, alas, he actually wasn't.

Final thought: Speaking of quarterbacks, backup or otherwise, I felt our group did a mostly enviable job of properly valuing quarterbacks. I could quibble with the order in which they were selected (Andrew Luck before Drew Brees?), but the first one didn't come off the board until the late 3rd round and the last starter didn't get selected until the 11th. That's some serious restraint which is totally warranted in this quarterback-rich age. Now, if my leaguemates could just restrain themselves from jumping on defenses/special teams earlier than the second-to-last or last round. Our first defense (LA Rams) was nabbed one pick after the final starting QB (Ben Roethlisberger). Even if the Rams end up being the top stopper unit (highly debatable), are they really so much better than the Titans, the very last defense selected (yours truly) in the 17th round? They were only 2.6 pts/game better in 2017, hardly enough to offset the lost positional depth.

 Nick Caron - Pick No. 9
1.09 RB Melvin Gordon, LAC
2.04 WR Keenan Allen, LAC
3.09 WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
4.04 RB Jay Ajayi, PHI
5.09 RB Rashaad Penny , SEA
6.04 RB Mark Ingram, NO
7.09 RB Sony Michel , NE
8.04 QB Cam Newton, CAR
9.09 WR Kelvin Benjamin, BUF
10.04 WR Paul Richardson, WAS
11.09 WR Rishard Matthews, TEN
12.04 TE David Njoku, CLE
13.09 WR Geronimo Allison, GB
14.04 QB Matt Ryan, ATL
15.09 WR DeSean Jackson, TB
16.04 WR Eric Decker, NE
17.09 RB Darren Sproles, PHI
18.04 TE Jared Cook, OAK
Pick #9 - Nick Caron

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2:"Best player available" is typically the best strategy to follow in Rounds 1 and 2 in any format and that's what I attempted to do. Melvin Gordon was the last of my second-tier running backs left on the board and Keenan Allen was the last of the second-tier of wide receivers. I'm happy about that in a vacuum, but the obvious problem arises when you consider that both of these players are on the Chargers. Still, I believe they're about the only players on the San Diego offense who are guaranteed to touch the ball, so I'm confident that they'll return solid value even if there might be some down weeks if the offense struggles.

What player(s) did you miss out on? I was getting excited to see Travis Kelce slip down the board in the third round but he ended up being selected one pick before me. It would've been nice to lock up an elite tight end, but I don't believe Zach Ertz is on the same tier as Kelce, so I opted to punt the position. The only other player that I was very disappointed to miss out on was Jordan Wilkins in the 11th Round. Wilkins could very well start the season as the lead back in Indianapolis and that is extraordinary value at that point in the draft.

Final thought: As is fairly common in many industry drafts, the quarterback position as a whole slipped way down the draft board. Only one quarterback (Aaron Rodgers) was selected before the late-sixth round, which will not be common in most home leagues, but it is a good representation of the value of the position. The QB may have never been deeper than it is right now, which certainly makes it worthwhile to implement a late-round strategy with the position.

 Antonio D’Arcangelis - Pick No. 10
1.10 RB Kareem Hunt, KC
2.03 WR Michael Thomas, NO
3.10 QB Aaron Rodgers, GB
4.03 WR Golden Tate, DET
5.10 RB Dion Lewis, TEN
6.03 TE Jimmy Graham, GB
7.10 WR Robby Anderson, NYJ
8.03 WR Robert Woods, LAR
9.10 RB Bilal Powell, NYJ
10.03 WR Dez Bryant, FA
11.10 RB Giovani Bernard, CIN
12.03 DEF Philadelphia Eagles, PHI
13.10 RB Theo Riddick, DET
14.03 QB Marcus Mariota, TEN
15.10 TE Tyler Eifert, CIN
16.03 K Greg Zuerlein, LAR
17.10 QB Case Keenum, DEN
18.03 WR Ryan Grant, IND
Pick #10 - Antonio D’Arcangelis

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: Picking 10th in a 12-team draft Isn’t a great spot, but my focus was on getting the best RB and/or WR available with the 10th and 15th picks in the first two rounds, avoiding high-risk players and hoping to land high volume, matchup-proof guys who won’t be challenged for touches/targets if they stay healthy. I think I did a great job with Kareem Hunt and Michael Thomas.

What player(s) did you miss out on? Perhaps it was wishful thinking to hope that reception machine Adam Thielen would fall to me at pick No.34, but he was snagged three spots before me by Jason Katz. I used that pick on Aaron Rodgers, who was popping by the late second round on the Draft Buddy based on our scoring system. I had Rodgers in a couple leagues last season and the injury burned me, so my hope is that he can avoid a similar fate in 2018. Katz also snagged Royce Freeman in Round 5 a few picks before I took Dion Lewis – who I love, and not just because he went to high school not far from where I work in Albany, NY.

Final thought: I saw a lot of reaches for rookie backs this season, which I’ve come to expect from experienced drafters who are willing to be a little riskier in their efforts to land a gem. It’s clearly a smarter move than reaching for rookie WRs or TEs. I was surprised to see many fellow draftees taking just one QB – given how frequently these guys get injured – though it’s possible I’m just gun shy from enduring so many of QB injuries in prior years!

 Andy Swanson - Pick No. 11
1.11 WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU
2.02 RB Dalvin Cook, MIN
3.11 RB Alex Collins, BAL
4.02 WR Allen Robinson, CHI
5.11 WR Josh Gordon, CLE
6.02 WR Sammy Watkins, KC
7.11 TE Jordan Reed, WAS
8.02 RB Carlos Hyde, CLE
9.11 QB Philip Rivers, LAC
10.02 WR Pierre Garcon, SF
11.11 RB Peyton Barber, TB
12.02 DEF Minnesota Vikings, MIN
13.11 RB Rob Kelley, WAS
14.02 TE Cameron Brate, TB
15.11 K Stephen Gostkowski, NE
16.02 RB Kalen Ballage , MIA
17.11 WR Christian Kirk , ARI
18.02 QB Jameis Winston, TB
Pick #11 - Andy Swanson

Strategy for Rounds 1 & 2: As the 11th pick in the draft, I knew that I would need to be flexible with my first two picks, as there were far too many owners selecting in front of me to get my heart set on one or two players. My favorite running back to target late in the first round is Melvin Gordon, a player who continues to be ranked too low by the industry despite back-to-back seasons of posting 12 total touchdowns for the Chargers.

Gordon went two picks in front of me to Nick Caron, which opened the door for me to grab DeAndre Hopkins with the second-to-last pick of the first round. While I am confident that Hopkins is in for some negative regression he is still a great value in a full point PPR.

I did not want to leave the first two rounds of the draft without at least one running back, so I opted to take Dalvin Cook over other wide receivers that would have been excellent options, like Michael Thomas, Keenan Allen, and Davante Adams. Failing to grab at least one RB at the turn would have left me with slim pickings for my RB1.

What player(s) did you miss out on? I am bullish on Dion Lewis in a full PPR format and was targeting him in the fifth round as my No.3 running back to pair with Cook and Alex Collins. A mini-run on running backs started by Bill Anderson with pick 5.07 likely forced Antonio D’Acangelis to pull the trigger on Lewis one pick before me at 5.10. Although, I should have anticipated Antonio making that pick because he only had one running back on his roster up to that point after using a third-round pick on Aaron Rodgers.

The impressive performance by Kerryon Johnson Week 1 of the preseason propelled the former Auburn Tiger up everyone’s draft board. I entered the draft looking to gain a share of Johnson, but was not certain how much draft capital would be required to secure the RB. As we progressed into the fifth round I decided to target Johnson should he fall to the end of that round. Instead, Crash and Burn used pick 5.03 for Johnson, leaving me with Josh Gordon as my No. 3 wide receiver. In hindsight, that might have been a fortuitous occurrence for my team.

Final thought: Like most fantasy players I typically wait until the last two rounds to select my defense and kicker, but in this draft, I wanted to experiment with using an earlier round pick to fill my roster with one of my top two players/units at each respective position and see how my team turns out. The opportunity cost of using the 12.02 (Vikings D/ST) and 15.11 (Stephen Gostkowski) picks of an 18 round draft is I gave up the opportunity to use those picks on upside RB and WR that could turn out to be steals. It turned out that I was still able to grab two upside players in Kalen Ballage and Christian Kirk after grabbing my DST and K, making the risk worthwhile in my opinion.

 Doug Orth - Pick No. 12
1.12 RB Leonard Fournette, JAC
2.01 WR Julio Jones, ATL
3.12 RB LeSean McCoy, BUF
4.01 WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN
5.12 TE Delanie Walker, TEN
6.01 RB Isaiah Crowell, NYJ
7.12 WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN
8.01 RB Chris Carson, SEA
9.12 QB Kirk Cousins, MIN
10.01 WR Cameron Meredith, NO
11.12 DEF Jacksonville Jaguars, JAX
12.01 QB Patrick Mahomes, KC
13.12 TE Mike Gesicki , MIA
14.01 WR Chris Godwin, TB
15.12 RB Frank Gore, MIA
16.01 WR Calvin Ridley , ATL
17.12 TE Ricky Seals-Jones, ARI
18.01 K Matt Bryant, ATL
Pick #12 - Doug Orth

Strategy: Unless two clear RB1s fell into my lap (I thought I may have an outside chance at pairing up Fournette and Gordon), I wanted to come away with at least one clear WR1 in a three-receiver PPR league to go along with a clear workhorse running back.

What player(s) did you miss out on? Alex Collins and Larry Fitzgerald were my primary targets at the 3-4 turn, but both got scooped up in the three picks leading up to my back-to-back selections. I was prepared for Fitzgerald to not make it there - Thomas is a similar fantasy producer - but the choice of Collins right before made me go in a direction I really didn't want to go (McCoy). Then again, I wasn't comfortable going with my next choice at running back (Derrick Henry) either. I pretty much got who I wanted after that, although it would have been nice to land Drew Brees in the ninth round as my QB1.

Final thought: With the exception of Antonio, this group of drafters did an exceptional job of waiting on the quarterback position. I also encourage owners to wait on taking their WR3 in a three-receiver league as long as possible this year (assuming you grab two in the first four rounds); the amount of quality back-end starting options at receiver blows my mind. Owners in this draft were still drafting potential starters at the position in the 10th and 11th rounds.

I'm not necessarily an advocate of taking team defenses high, but I disagree with the notion that ALL owners must wait until the final two rounds to take one (of course, depending on the league's scoring setup). I don't care if the Jaguars repeat their gaudy numbers from last year or not. They will be good and save me the hassle (and some blind-bid money) of streaming defenses - a strategy that usually doesn't work quite as well in the high-stakes leagues in which I play. I wasn't smitten with any of the players left on my board at the time and most of the players I was considering at 11.12 made it back to me over the next three to four rounds.

Round by Round Results





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