By Nick Martinez
It may have taken 3 days or so but here at FantasyHaus, we finally completed our staff draft. Here is a look at the first ten rounds of our draft with what stood out, what went wrong, what went right, and what to do for your draft. We have ten teams in a .5 PPR league with 6 point passing touchdowns. We play 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 WR/RB/TE, K, DEF.
1.1 Amol- Antonio Brown (PIT WR)
1.2 Jon- Julio Jones (ATL WR)
1.3 Shawn- Adrian Peterson (MIN RB)
1.4 Dara- Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG WR)
1.5 Anthony- Le’Veon Bell (PIT RB)
1.6 Pasha- David Johnson (ARI RB)
1.7 Harry- Mark Ingram (NO RB)
1.8 Nick- Todd Gurley (LA RB)
1.9 Arya- Rob Gronkowski (NE TE)
1.10 Miles- DeAndre Hopkins (HOU WR
Now there were just a couple surprises in the first round, but the one that most will be scratching their heads over is that Ingram was taken over Gurley. This is a perfect example of deciding what tie-breakers to use between two players. Here, Harry clearly took the player with the better offense. The Saints ranked second last year in yards per game and scored 408 total points. The Rams on the other hand, were dead last in yards per game and scored a mere 280 points. Gurley, in my opinion, is head and shoulders above Ingram when it comes to talent, but Ingram plays for a proven offense that will give him more opportunities to score. Make sure you know what tie breakers you will use heading into the draft to make those tough choices a little easier.
The only other thing I wanted to mention was the Anthony’s fifth pick of Bell. In our league, the benches are extremely deep so it won’t hurt him as bad if Bell’s suspension holds and he has to sit on his bench for the first four games. In a league with limited bench spots, I would recommend to stay clear of Bell unless you’re getting great value. It’s no question that Bell is dominant when he’s on the field, but if the suspension holds, he’s missing 1/3 of your season (four games plus a bye week). In order to win a championship, you need to make the playoffs first and having Bell will limit your opportunity for those early break out waiver pickups.
2.1 Miles- Lamar Miller (HOU RB)
2.2 Arya- A.J. Green (CIN WR)
2.3 Nick- Jamaal Charles (KC RB)
2.4 Harry- Eddie Lacy (GB RB)
2.5 Pasha- Ezekiel Elliot (DAL RB)
2.6 Anthony- Allen Robinson (JAX WR)
2.7 Dara- Dez Bryant (DAL WR)
2.8 Shawn- Jordy Nelson (GB WR)
2.9 Jon- LeSean McCoy (BUF RB)
2.10 Amol- Alshon Jeffery (CHI WR)
The second round saw a couple Cowboys fly off the board, both at great value. With an ADP of a top 10 player, Pasha got great value with Elliot in the middle of the second round. If you read my last article, you’ll understand I’m not the biggest fan of Elliot and his recent hamstring injury just raises more flags for me. However, he doesn’t scare me as much in the second round. The more he drops, the less risk you’re taking with a guy that could have incredible upside.
If Bryant went at 2.1 I wouldn’t have been surprised. Dara got great value for a guy that could bounce back into the top 5. It’s when you get picks like this that allows you to take a little more risk later on in your draft. With a solid start of Beckham and Bryant, he has a little breathing room when it comes to wide receivers later on. It’s important to notice these things are you’re heading through your draft.
3.1 Amol- Keenan Allen (SD WR)
3.2 Jon- Brandon Marshall (NYJ WR)
3.3 Shawn- Amari Cooper (OAK WR)
3.4 Dara- Aaron Rodgers (RB QB)
3.5 Anthony- Doug Martin (TB RB)
3.6 Pasha- Devonta Freeman (ATL RB)
3.7 Harry- T.Y. Hilton (IND WR)
3.8 Nick- Brandin Cooks (NO WR)
3.9 Arya- Sammy Watkins (BUF WR)
3.10 Miles-Cam Newton (CAR QB)
Midway through the third, we saw our first two quarterbacks off the board with Rodgers at 3.4 and Newton at 3.10. I can see Rodgers over Newton and I’m fine with it as Nelson should boost the Green Bay offense to what it was in 2014. Rodgers threw for almost 4,400 yards with 38 touchdowns and only 5 INT when he had a healthy receiving core. Newton will be the victim of some regression, but not so much to hurt his draft value.
The one downside of taking a quarterback this early is that you’re banking on them finishing in the top 3. Both Rodgers and Newton are more than capable of doing so, but if they don’t, it could really hurt your team. If you look at the top 10 fantasy scoring quarterbacks from last year, Newton (#1) Blake Bortles (#3), Carson Palmer (#4), Eli Manning (#7), Matthew Stafford (#8), Kirk Cousins (#9), and Phillip Rivers (#10) were all drafted in the 8th round or later. Some weren’t even drafted at all. There is a good chance you can find a diamond in the rough toward the end of your draft instead of banking on high expectations. Lastly, 6 point passing touchdowns and 4 point passing touchdowns does not make a difference. Draft as you would.
4.1 Miles- Matt Forte (NYJ RB)
4.2 Arya- Jordan Reed (WAS TE)
4.3 Nick- Demaryius Thomas (DEN WR)
4.4 Harry- Michael Floyd (ARI WR)
4.5 Pasha- Mike Evans (TB WR)
4.6 Anthony- Arian Foster (MIA RB)
4.7 Dara- Randall Cobb (GB WR)
4.8 Shawn- Thomas Rawls (SEA RB)
4.9 Jon- C.J. Anderson (DEN RB)
4.10 Amol- Carlos Hyde (SF RB)
The two picks that stood out to me in this round were Reed at 4.2, and Floyd at 4.4. If you were paying attention, you would have noticed that this was Arya’s second tight end in the first four rounds after taking Gronkowski with his first pick. In our league we play with a flex that allows you to play tight ends. This expands your options significantly through the draft. Reed could very well outperform the receivers taken in this round and will make a great flex. Make sure to keep your options open.
Floyd is the perfect example of getting your guy. When Floyd was drafted, I had him ranked behind 9 other available wide receivers. When I asked Harry, he said that he believed that Floyd will be the best wide receiver in Arizona and he very well could be. When you really believe in a guy and just know he’ll perform, it’s fine to reach for him sometimes. Everyone will have that one guy they don’t want anyone else to have. Have confidence in what you believe and go out and get those players.
5.1 Amol- Latavius Murray (OAK RB)
5.2 Jon- Greg Olsen (CAR TE)
5.3 Shawn- Kelvin Benjamin (CAR WR)
5.4 Dara- Johnathan Stewart (CAR RB)
5.5 Anthony- Julian Edelman (NE WR)
5.6 Pasha- DeVonte Parker (MIA WR)
5.7 Harry- Dion Lewis (NE RB)
5.8 Nick- Golden Tate (DET WR)
5.9 Arya- Jarvis Landry (MIA WR)
5.10 Miles-Matt Jones (WAS RB)
Amol executed the zero-RB strategy perfectly after the fifth round. After taking three stud wide receivers, he took running backs Hyde and Murray. In a 3 wide receiver league, he can have full confidence in his three receivers and still have middle of the road running backs with upside. These strategy pays off in .5 PPR leagues and big time in full PPR. If you can take those heavily targeted receivers early, you can target late round running backs and still get great value.
6.1 Miles- Doug Baldwin (SEA WR)
6.2 Arya- Andrew Luck (IND QB)
6.3 Nick- Eric Decker (NYJ WR)
6.4 Harry- Tyler Lockett (SEA WR)
6.5 Pasha- Josh Gordon (CLE WR)
6.6 Anthony- Larry Fitzgerald (ARI WR)
6.7 Dara- Emmanuel Sanders (DEN WR)
6.8 Shawn- John Brown (ARI WR)
6.9 Jon- Russell Wilson (SEA QB)
6.10 Amol- Jordan Matthews (PHI WR)
Not one running back came off the board in the sixth round. This shows the drop off of confidence in the next tier of backs. Even though we start three wide receivers in our league, any running back taken in the next few rounds is going to have some question marks.
We also saw the remaining Arizona wide receivers taken at 6.6 with Fitzgerald and 6.8 with John Brown. I have confidence in all three receivers, and really, why wouldn’t you? Palmer is playing some of the best football of his career and the team was second in the league in points per game. My only worry with this core is that there is so many mouths to feed. I don’t see all three giving consistent value every week as I think each one will have their games. If I had to choose one to be consistent, it would be Fitzgerald again. Brown however has the highest upside. I want any part of this Cardinal offense so I’m happy with any of the three.
7.1 Amol- Donte Moncrief (IND WR)
7.2 Jon- Jeremy Maclin (KC WR)
7.3 Shawn- Duke Johnson (CLE RB)
7.4 Dara- Jeremy Langford (CHI RB)
7.5 Anthony- DeMarco Murray (TEN RB)
7.6 Pasha- Kevin White (CHI WR)
7.7 Harry- Giovanni Bernard (CIN RB)
7.8 Nick- Ryan Mathews (PHI RB)
7.9 Arya- DeAngelo Williams (PIT RB)
7.10 Miles-Michael Crabtree (OAK WR)
Pasha continued to roll the dice in the seventh, picking his third wild card wide receiver in a row. Parker, Gordon, and White all poise great risk with even greater upside. After battling injuries, Parker was finally let loose at the end of the season, receiving at least 80 yards in 4 of his last 6 games. Gordon on the other hand had one of the greatest wide receiver seasons ever recorded in 2013. His 117.6 receiving yards a game was the second most ever in the Super Bowl Era. However, he’s been out of football for a year and the Browns quarterback situation is somewhat of a mess. White is the biggest wild card of them all as he’s never taken an NFL snap. If two or three of these receivers live up to the hype, Pasha could have a dominant receiving core. Sometimes you have to risk it for the biscuit.
8.1 Miles- Delanie Walker (TEN TE)
8.2 Arya- Danny Woodhead (SD WR)
8.3 Nick- Drew Brees (NO QB)
8.4 Harry- Carson Palmer (ARI QB)
8.5 Pasha- Tom Brady (NE QB)
8.6 Anthony- Jeremy Hill (CIN RB)
8.7 Dara- DeSean Jackson (WAS WR)
8.8 Shawn-Eli Manning (NYG QB)
8.9 Jon- Melvin Gordon
8.10 Amol- Ben Roethlisberger (PIT QB)
Remember when your mom used to tell you, “If your friends walked off a cliff would you follow them?” Well same goes for your fantasy football draft. After I took Brees at 8.3, the quarterbacks fell off the board like dominos. I know I was preaching wait on a quarterback just a few paragraphs ago, but I couldn’t pass up Brees’ value in the 8th round. Back to my original point, it’s important not to deviate from your plan. Just because half of your league takes a quarterback, doesn’t mean you have to. Same goes for kickers and defenses. It’s easy to get caught up in the draft and follow what other league mates are doing. Don’t let the flow of the draft influence your picks.
9.1 Amol- Frank Gore (IND RB)
9.2 Jon- Allen Hurns (JAX WR)
9.3 Shawn- Zach Ertz (PHI TE)
9.4 Dara- Rashad Jennings (NYG RB)
9.5 Anthony- Sterling Shepard (NYG WR)
9.6 Pasha- Michael Thomas (NO WR)
9.7 Harry- Julius Thomas (JAX TE)
9.8 Nick- Justin Forsett (BAL RB)
9.9 Arya- Charles Sims (TB RB)
9.10 Miles-Willie Snead (NO WR)
Two of my sleepers came off the board back-to-back in running back Jennings and wide receiver Shepard. Let’s look back at Jennings last four games in standard scoring; 10, 16, 13, 23. Those numbers don’t blow you away, but for a running back in the 10th round, I would love to have numbers like that. Early reports are saying that the Giants want to use a single work horse and Jennings is the perfect candidate. If you’re looking thin at running back late, make sure to keep an eye out for Jennings as he could be the bargain of the draft.
You’re not going to get Shepard in the 10th. Or 9th, Or 8th maybe as his ADP is skyrocketing. The rookie wide has had nothing but stellar reviews from training camp. He will definitely be the Giants WR2 playing in a pass heavy offense. The Giants also have one of the easiest schedules for all wide receivers, playing 8 games against teams that ranked 25th or worst in defense against WRs. His raising ADP could pay off for owners.
10.1 Miles- Kamar Aiken (BAL WR)
10.2 Arya- DeAndre Washington (OAK RB)
10.3 Nick- Travis Kelce (KC TE)
10.4 Harry- Chris Ivory (JAX RB)
10.5 Pasha- Devontae Booker (DEN RB)
10.6 Anthony- Coby Fleener (NO TE)
10.7 Dara- Gary Barnidge (CLE TE)
10.8 Shawn- Jay Ajayi (MIA RB)
10.9 Jon- T.J. Yeldon (JAX RB)
10.10 Amol- Tevin Coleman (ATL RB)
Heading into the draft, I had no intentions whatsoever to take Kelce. The Kansas City tight end was nowhere near my draft board as I planned to take a tight end really late but I could not pass up the value on Kelce. It’s important to stick to your plan, but when value presents itself, it’s okay to deviate. Currently the 4th tight end taken, Kelce is going on average in the 7th round. There will be guys that you have no intention to draft but end up just falling in your lap. Don’t feel forced to take someone just based on the value you’re getting them but never pass up an amazing value.
About 48 hours, 100 Facebook notifications, and 80 more boxes filled on Google Sheets, the draft had finally ended. If you like to see the rest of our teams you can find it on our Twitter @FantasyHaus. Everyone has a different draft strategy, but it’s great to use these tips as another resource. Happy drafting!