Painstaking Analysis of a Fantasy Draft Pt. 1

Well, folks, fantasy drafts have officially commenced. We have all probably been through at least one by now. With this being said, there’s no better time than the present to obsessively scrutinize your results and adjust your strategy accordingly…you know, before you fuck up your other three drafts. I have completed two drafts and chosen one at random to breakdown into brief (and merely subjective) analysis below. For your reference, my picks in each round are highlighted in yellow.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 3.00.08 AMDuh:  

Antonio Brown had to go Round 1/Pick 1. Brown has dominated in fantasy for the past three or four years, each year’s stats better than the last. He’s on a record-breaking pace and his role at Pittsburgh is increasing this season due to personnel issues. Brown is a safe bet, especially considering that he’s scored double digits in his past 40+ games.

Surprise:

Three QBs were unexpectedly picked in the first round; most shocking was Aaron Rodgers at No. 3 overall. Don’t get me wrong: each QB is formidable in his own right. However, none are truly worthy of being a first round pick in this situation (12 teams in a 3-WR/no flex league). WRs rule in this type of league and inherently possess the most value because there’s higher scoring potential with three WR slots and a huge variance in productivity between the best and worst WRs. I don’t think so many QBs should have gone in this round, at least not Drew Brees before Cam Newton, but that’s just my opinion.

Value Pick:

Julio Jones at Pick 10 is a gift from god. Jones is a top three WR and, as previously explained, that puts him amongst the most valuable players in the league. He shouldn’t have gone any later than Pick 3, and certainly not after Brandon Marshall. Keep in mind that Marshall is on a team that has struggled with the QB position since the Great Sanchez-Tebow Debacle of 2012. Marshall is aging, and Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith are sad sacks. Jones, on the other hand, is in his prime with deep-ball threat, Matt Ryan, under center.

What I’d Do Differently:

Absolutely nothing. As I’ve said, Antonio had to go R1/P1.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 3.00.32 AM

Duh:

If Rob Gronkowski was still available, you had to pick him up as soon as possible in the second round. His numbers are absurdly impressive so long as he stays healthy throughout the season, and he was guaranteed to go in the top 20 picks. I don’t care if he’s big-bodied and injury-prone, you’d have to choose him if he was up for grabs on your second round pick.

Surprise:

I was shocked to see Eric Decker go before the fourth round and in front of several far more valuable players (i.e. Alshon Jeffery, Allen Robinson, and Jordy Nelson). Decker is a Tier 3 WR at most and second on the depth chart to Brandon Marshall at the aforementioned team that’s struggling with the passing game.

Value Pick:

The overarching theme of this round was “questionable RB picks.” Let’s start with LeSean McCoy…I’m sorry, but no. There’s no way he should have been picked before the likes of Rob Gronkowski and other superior rushers (Lamar Miller, Doug Martin, Devonta Freeman to name a few). Similarly, though not necessarily a bad choice, Eddie Lacy should not have been picked before other superior rushers. Just because his summer on Jenny Craig paid off doesn’t mean he’ll be able to convince a pass-heavy offense to give him the ball more often. Point is, he is a risk and could either cash in on the field or wind up a huge disappointment. Meanwhile, due to those questionable picks, Doug Martin fell on the draft board much further than was reflective of his worth, making his pick the one with the highest value margin in the round.

What I’d Do Differently:

I’d pick C.J. Anderson, who has more probable success from game-to-game given the “less than ideal” QB situation at Denver and reliance on the rush game likely to result, rather than DeMarco Murray, who may get less touches due to being lead by a prototypical play-option/rushing QB. I would make the Anderson/Murray switch in this round so that…[To Be Continued in Round 3]

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 3.00.48 AM

Duh:

Of course Alshon Jeffery would go as soon as possible if he was available into the third round. He’s a household name and, regardless of his actual value, he would invariably get picked up by someone in a WR-favored league.

Surprise:

I would have never in a million years predicted Jordan Reed getting picked in the third round, let alone early in the third round and before Alshon Jeffery, Allen Robinson, and Jordy Nelson (despite ongoing exploded-knee recovery) in a 3-WR/no flex league. I cannot stress enough the value of WRs in this type of league. It’s true that Reed is a top three TE; however, the TE is a split blocking/receiving position and, by its very nature, has fewer scoring opportunities. TEs don’t usually rack up a ton of fantasy points (freak-of-nature Gronk excluded) because the WRs get more targets with sizable gains, whereas the TEs are limited to short, dump passes. For these reasons, I didn’t think Reed would go when he did.

Value Pick:

I really like the Allen Robinson pick. Last year, Robinson had 80 receptions for 1,400 yds. and 14 touchdowns, which was a vast improvement from his rookie year in 2014 when he had half the touches for a fraction of the yardage and only 2 touchdowns. I think Robinson’s going to continue to excel and out-perform his previous season stats, especially now that pass-inclined Blake Bortles is starting to get his feet under him. Watch out for this kid; he may have some serious star potential this season.

What I’d Do Differently:

[Continued from Round 2]…I still get C.J. Anderson, but could pick another WR and not DeMarco Murray because I’ve changed my mind about him. I thought at first, “Oh, he could fit in nicely with the offense there in Tennessee and crush it in numbers.” But, then I thought about it a little longer and realized I had been overly-optismistic about the pick. Marcus Mariota’s forte is scrambling, and he has a tendency to take rushing opportunities for himself. Murray may fit in with the Titans’ offense, but he may not see the ball as often as fantasy owners like me would hope due to the Mariota Effect.

This concludes Part 1 of the series. Stay tuned for Rounds 4-7.

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