Anatomy of a March Best Ball Draft – Part 2
With your top 4 picks in hand, you really have to assess your positional makeup so as to not go too far down the road on any particular position and really compromise the talent level at a given spot. So where do people go from here?
Team 1 “I Have No MOJO” grabs Juju, Trey Burton, and Cam Newton, balancing out their roster and positioning themselves to go in any particular direction as the draft moves forward. I’ve been eyeing Trey Burton myself in many drafts, but have not yet been able to land him. He has interesting appeal and should be able to net the 75-80 targets that correlate to a TE 11 overall. With the Newton pick, he may be anticipating a QB run. Many times when you draft on the end, you have to anticipate a positional run before it happens, or else be left picking from a stripped down pool of players when the draft gets back to you. This is especially true for QBs and Kickers. While these positions may not be respected, they represent positions of scarcity, and when they DO go, it can be within a narrow band of rounds, and they dry up all of a sudden. Notably, the 6th and 7th picks here were autodrafted (noted by the asterick on the draft board), so we know that the decision to grab 1 TE and 1 QB was likely premeditated with roster construction in mind.
Team 2 also grabs their first QB in Tom Brady, and now just their 2nd WR in Michael Crabtree. Baltimore is not known for yielding great numbers for its WR’s. In 2016 and 2017, their top WR finished as WR62 and WR 100 respectively. They’ll likely have to compensate with a quantity of WR’s instead of quantity. Though in the FFPC format, you are only required to start 2 WR’s each week, so all sorts of roster construction approaches are viable.
Team 3 sticks with a purely RB and WR approach adding a ton of catches in rounds 5-7 with Jarvis Landry, Robert Woods and Duke Johnson (which is a player I had queued up for round 7, so I got sniped here).
Team 4 adds Delanie Walker, Lamar Miller, and Devin Funchess so they have 3 RB/ 2 WR / 2 TE. Seems they are going a best player available according to FFPC scoring. They have 2 great tight ends now in Ertz and Walker (1.5 ppr for TE).
At the 5 spot, I’m trying to keep things balanced and grab two RBs and 1 WR. I like Carlos Hyde in the suddenly up and coming Browns offense. However, I am depending on the Browns to NOT draft Saquon Barkley. Otherwise Hyde is toast. I am also taking gambles on Dez Bryant and Marshawn Lynch. Though there is a lot of talk around these players questioning their roles on their teams, I think they’ll be safe for 1 more year. It should be a better situation overall for Dallas this year. His 132 targets in 2017 was still 12th overall for WR’s, so how bad could he be as a late 6th round pick. And as far as Marshawn Lynch goes, I’m not concerned about the perennially disappointing muscle hamster Doug Martin landing in Oakland. They paid him his roster bonus and still seems certain to resume lead back duties. I’m hoping for 900 yards and 6-8 TD’s.
Team 6 ignores QB as well, drafting Tevin Coleman, Chris Thompson, and Julian Edelman. Two solid pass catching backs there, though Thompson may have exceeded expectations in 2017. Edelman represents a potential steal as Tom Brady’s gopher (both on and off the field accepting awards on Tom’s behalf). With Amendola gone, Edelman resumes the role of the quick and elusive white guy who Brady can hit on short and medium routes.
Team 7 continues to pound the TE’s, adding Hunter Henry and Jordan Reed. Grabbing Reed as your 3rd TE, is a really nice way to roster him. When he’s healthy, he scores a ton of points. As your 3rd TE, you’re not dependent on him to do that for you, but you reap the rewards when he does. In the FFPC it’s a dual flex, so you can roster 3 TE’s on any given week. But this luxury comes at a cost. With 3 RB’s and 3 TE’s, he’s having to lean on Corey Davis as his #1 WR. Corey only yielded 2 weeks with 10+ points in 2017. He’ll need to make significant strides in his sophomore season .
Team 8 is the first to draft a QB, selecting Aaron Rodgers at 5.08. We also see them loading up on the wideouts early and often, grabbing 2 more to give him 4 WR’s in his first 7 picks. Sanders is a nice value in Denver where they really only target 2 WR’s and Case Keenum is an upgrade at QB. And if in fact Dez is really on the decline in Dallas, then the Allen Hurns pick here in round 7 could pan out. It has high upside potential given the volatility around Dez. Though overweight on WR’s, they have premier picks at RB, QB, and TE, so it’s a top-heavy approach with premier players at those positions that they simply need to augment as the draft moves forward.
Add Team 9 to the list of QB avoiders. (These are all really good drafters in this league by the way). In the Jeffery pick, I’m a bit worried about the rotator cuff situation and him getting back for week 1. So even as an Eagles homer, I haven’t drafted him yet this year. We’ll see how things progress as we get closer to the season. The Sammy Watkins pick is interesting. You never know about Watkins. He won’t be consistent but as a prototypical boom/bust guy, and as WR4 for your squad, it’s a good scenario to draft him for your team. Finally, in round 7, they draft Jack Doyle. I completely whiffed on this guy in 2017, and didn’t have him anywhere. I’m still a bit of a disbeliever with the signing of Eric Ebron, but as the 12th TE drafted here, Doyle’s catch total can go from 80 down to around 55, and he’ll still return the value on the pick.
Team 10 grabs the second QB off the board (as we expect based on ADP) in Russell Wilson, adds Marvin Jones, and then Alex Collins. With Collins we seem to have hit RB territory where role / productivity is uncertain. Collins had a killer second half of the season, but the backfield in Baltimore is crowded.
After starting with 2 WR and 2 TE, Team 11 is relying on two wildcards to lead their backfield with rookies Sony Michel and Ronald Jones II. Without knowing what teams and situations they land on, these are purely dart throws hoping to hit a bullseye. It could completely backfire and the RB position could be a mess for them. It will be interested to see what additions they make to RB here. The other pick is DeShaun Watson who was an unexpected juggernaut in 2017. By all accounts he should be ready to go for 2017.
Team 12 thumbs their nose at QB’s and TE’s. They have a plan it seems and continue to load up on RB’s and WR’s. In round 4-8 they take a stab at Nick Chubb at RB for some rookie upside after already securing Fournette and Gordon. Rex Burkhead should be a more frequent contributor. I like him in the best ball format where you don’t have to worry about when the Patriots will utilize him more in the gameplan. And by adding Golden Tate and Cooper Kupp at WR, they have add some high floor stability to the high ceiling upside of Amari Cooper and Allen Robinson. Very nice looking squad here, but with 3 other teams still needing their first TE, there is potential for that pool to dry up by the time the draft gets back to them. I imagine they already have some later round sleepers there that they are happy to take though, as this seems like a very intentional strategy.