Podcast League Draft Review

Cardinals David Johnson

Last Sunday we did the draft for our first ever Angle of Pursuit podcast league. Drafting is perhaps my favorite part of the season because of all the excitement and anticipation for what is to come and reviewing these drafts to see if I can work out people’s thoughts processes is something that always intrigues me.

Firstly let me say that this should have been an auction draft simply for the reason that drafting is perhaps the best part of fantasy season and should be savored. Snake drafts always feel rushed while auction leagues allow people to play out their strategy over a couple of hours and leads to a deeper affection for the roster.

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Secondly this league was half point PPR which I don’t actually think changes things a lot relative to standard. It sounds crazy but this format doesn’t really change my thinking at the top end of drafts like the full point version does because the difference between 1 and 4 catches only equated to 1.5 points which relatively doesn’t feel like a lot over the grand scheme of things As we get a little deeper it does have some effect on my thinking but more in terms of rankings at the position rather than moving a particular WR over a particular RB.

Thirdly (I’m not convinced that’s a word but hey), this league didn’t have kickers which is a massive win because leagues shouldn’t be won and lost on the fluke of missed extra points and field goals. Therefore my first three takeaways from this draft were; always do an auction draft if you can, leagues should either be standard or full point PPR but never half and kickers should be removed from fantasy football. Now that we have that out of the way let’s get to the actual picks so without further ado here is my podcast league draft review for 2017.

Format: 12 teams (I picked 12th with fellow podcasters Kyle and Damian suspiciously in the 1 & 2 slots), half point PPR, QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, FLEX, FLEX, DEF (no kicker).

You can hear what Kyle and Damian think about their teams here.

Round 1

  1. David Johnson
  2. Le’Veon Bell
  3. Antonio Brown
  4. Julio Jones
  5. Mike Evans
  6. Odell Beckham Jr.
  7. Melvin Gordon
  8. LeSean McCoy
  9. Jordy Nelson
  10. AJ Green
  11. Devonta Freeman
  12. Ezekiel Elliott

The round in general: There was nothing two crazy here in the first 6 picks given the question marks over Beckham I can see the reason for Evans over him. Gordon at 7 surprised me because I have him behind at least the three guys that went in this round. Picks 8 through 11 will surprise no one.

My thoughts for round 1 & 2: My plan this year generally if I pick at the back end is a Freeman, Elliott pairing in rounds 1 & 2 but given that Freeman was taken I had a tough decision. I have given my thoughts on Elliott before on our Youtube channel and I genuinely think he can win me this league if I can be in playoff contention when he returns. If his suspension gets reduced or wiped this season then I’ve made out like a bandit before the draft even really begins. Now round 2 was tough and I may have made a small misstep here. I was so locked into the Zeke, Freeman approach that I was all focused on RB with my second pick and what I should have done was walked away here with Michael Thomas and got my RBs at the round 3/4 swing. However, I like Ajayi, I think that offense is good enough with Cutler that defenses will have to respect the pass and Ajayi should get some light boxes to run against. I think he is going to have some more huge games and the British connection means I will always root for him whatever so I may as well own him and if he ends up being my second RB all year I have the best RB2 in the league by some distance. I chose him over Howard, Murray and Gurley because I think he is in a slightly better situation with perhaps the second best QB of the bunch and has no real competitor for carries.

Rich Barnes - Getty Images

Rich Barnes – Getty Images

Round 2

  1. Jay Ajayi
  2. Jordan Howard
  3. Dez Bryant
  4. Michael Thomas
  5. Rob Gronkowski
  6. DeMarco Murray
  7. Doug Baldwin
  8. Amari Cooper
  9. Brandon Cooks
  10. TY Hilton
  11. Todd Gurley
  12. Dalvin Cook

The round in general: This again all feels fairly standard at this point. Cooks was maybe a bit earlier than I would like because I don’t think the Pats system will make one guy the star and to be taken here I think you have to be the main man in your offense. Cooks will have games where he will go missing because the Pats have a different strategy and for a second round guy I don’t want that risk. Baldwin is a similar concern for me as he always feels streaky and with Wilson becoming known as a slow starter that is something that would make me pause before taking him over Cooper for sure. Hilton is probably still the guy I like more than either Cooks or Baldwin because I think he can be good enough without Luck and a monster with him.

The odd pick for me here is Kyle’s selection of Dalvin Cook. Yes he is talented, but there is a lot of competition in that backfield right now. In addition, that offensive line was so awful last year I need to see some good from them before I have any confidence they can produce a 1000 yard back who is consistent week to week.

Round 3

  1. Travis Kelce
  2. Demaryius Thomas
  3. Leonard Fournette
  4. Keenan Allen
  5. Isaiah Crowell
  6. Carlos Hyde
  7. DeAndre Hopkins
  8. Christian McCaffrey
  9. Tyreek Hill
  10. Aaron Rodgers
  11. Alshon Jeffrey
  12. Lamar Miller

The round in general: I love Kelce there from Kyle because I consider him as good as many of the WR going in that position. Thomas, Allen and Hopkins are all fairly similar for me and could have gone in any order as far as I was concerned. I would have taken Crowell, Miller and perhaps even Hyde over Fournette and McCaffrey but with the hype on these rookies so far beyond common sense it doesn’t shock me. Hill and Jeffrey felt early at the time but they are probably fine in hindsight. Aaron Rodgers in the third is fine value but I’d rather have a RB here given the WR/WR start by that team.

My thoughts for rounds 3 & 4: To back up a RB/RB start with more RB was a bold call but I genuinely thought one of Diggs or Landry was going to come back to me in the next round and I would have been ecstatic with ether of them as my number 1. In hindsight I should have gambled and grabbed Diggs with one of these picks but I am not so bullish on him that I want to spend the 36th pick when there are still starting RBs on the board. Miller is among my top 12 RBs so for the potential of three top 12 RBs I couldn’t pass up this chance. I always want Ty Montgomery in a format which rewards any form of pass catching (Yes I remember my previous comment about half point PPR but half point PPR does affect the value of players relative to their position but not o much relative to the guys around them at other positions). Montgomery and his pass catching ability mean that in any format he has a high floor but in any kind of PPR that floor is even higher because of the hybrid ability to line him up in the slot. If we don’t have two flex spots I do not start 4 RBs here but I genuinely think all four can put up consistent numbers that will mean I consistently have two of the best flexes for consistency come the end of the season. It was a bold strategy but WR is insanely deep and like I said I was sure I was getting Diggs or Landry next time.

Round 4

  1. Ty Montgomery
  2. Terrelle Pryor
  3. Marshawn Lynch
  4. Kelvin Benjamin
  5. Tom Brady
  6. Michael Crabtree
  7. Kareem Hunt
  8. Davante Adams
  9. DeVante Parker
  10. Larry Fitzgerald
  11. Allen Robinson
  12. Martavis Bryant

The round in general: Nothing here stuns me massively. Kareem Hunt was an absolute bargain compared to the other two rookies but I still have concerns how much they just open the tank and let him run the show. Davante Adams was a massive reach for me here because his value is so TD dependent and he isn’t significantly better than Randal Cobb who (spoiler) goes much later. Allen Robinson is solid value because I have him a tier above all of the other WRs taken here and he has top 10 upside if him and Bortles get it right. I have Diggs and Landry in a tier above all of these WR not named Allen Robinson.

Redskins Jamison Crowder

Al Bello – Getty Images

Round 5

  1. Jamison Crowder
  2. Greg Olsen
  3. Joe Mixon
  4. Stefon Diggs
  5. Drew Brees
  6. Emmanuel Sanders
  7. Golden Tate
  8. Jarvis Landry
  9. CJ Anderson
  10. Danny Woodhead
  11. Sammy Watkins
  12. Jordan Reed

The round in general: Jamison Crowder went a little early for me but I know Kyle is high on him. I would rather have Jordan Reed than Greg Olsen but Damian preferred the relative safety of Olsen. Mixon felt about right here given he is the rookie I am least sure about playing time for. Diggs and Landry being broken broke my heart as they were two highest ranked RBs left on the board. To then see Sanders and Tate go as well didn’t concern me as much as I have them tiered with some guys I know I can get later. Danny Woodhead could be a stud if he can get healthy but I felt like CJA was a touch of a reach given there is still Mark Ingram and Terrance West on the board who I have a in higher tiers than CJA. I am not convinced by Sammy Watkins as this pick for a team with Terrelle Pryor and Alshon Jeffrey but I get the gamble on upside at this point.

My thoughts for round 5 & 6: My plan here was to grab one of Diggs and Landry and package them with Jordan Reed. That would have given me a number one receiver in PPR formats and a tight end who is capable of ending the year number one. The injury risk for Reed doesn’t concern me because the tight ends from 5 through 20 can all give you good weeks and there are a ton of young guys who I can grab if Reed gets hurt. Tight end is relatively deep as a position because its fairly mediocre outside of that top 5.

With Diggs and Landry off the board I had to settle for my next tier at WR and it didn’t feel great. I have a group of guys in my target monsters tier and there were now only two left. Pierre Garcon and Corey Coleman who are both undervalued given they are by far the best pass catcher on that team and can line up all over the field. I went Garcon even though his ADP was probably later because at this stage I definitely wasn’t picking another RB or TE and there was no value at QB at this stage. I wanted to lock up a guy I thought could be a #2 at least with the potential to be force fed so many targets he sneaks into the number one contention some weeks. Many will feel the way Damian did on this weeks podcast about this pick but I think he will see a ton of the ball and be a valuable piece.

Round 6

  1. Pierre Garcon
  2. Ameer Abdullah
  3. Bilal Powell
  4. Jimmy Graham
  5. Willie Snead
  6. Doug Martin
  7. Mark Ingram
  8. Martellus Bennett
  9. Tevin Coleman
  10. Adrian Peterson
  11. Mike Gillislee
  12. DeSean Jackson

The round in general: Ameer Abdullah feels about right but I had Mark Ingram and Terrance West both ranked higher at this stage. Bilal Powell isnt even the number one on his team who are likely to encounter stacked boxes, this is a huge over draft for me. I like the value on Graham, Snead and Doug Marin. Mark Ingram is a steal for me here but I get the concerns over his value given AP is there. Martellus Bennett made me laugh out loud because this Packers hype has gone way too far. I’ve said before and I will say again that if you take the 6th TE off the board you have almost certainly reached. Coleman, Peterson and Gillislee all make sense here but they wouldn’t have been my pick. DeSean Jackson is a nice way for Kyle to end out the round given the upside he has in that offense.

Ezekiel Elliott

Matthew Emmons – USA TODAY Sports

       My Team

  1. Zeke
  2. Ajayi
  3. Miller
  4. Montgomery
  5. Reed
  6. Garcon
  7. Terrance West
  8. Corey Coleman
  9. Mike Wallace
  10. Cole Beasley
  11. Marvin Jones Jr.
  12. Sterling Shepard
  13. Dion Lewis
  14. Derek Carr
  15. Charles Sims
  16. Arizona

West in the 7th may seem odd given my 4 RB start but the value was good and you can never have too many starting RBs and he has the potential to be a valuable trade chip for me when RB injuries start to strike. I then went WR crazy with Coleman, Wallace, Beasley, Jones and Shepard. Given by WR light start I went heavy for both PPR safety and upside. Coleman has huge upside as a target monster if he can stay healthy, with Joe Flacco healthy Mike Wallace was stunning value and a more than adequate WR3. Beasley has a solid floor where I can realistically count on fiveish catches a week, Jones is down valued because of the Golladay and Ebron hype in Detroit but he is a solid floor option. Shepard is the big upside guy for me given he had 8 TDs last year and I think he can really take a step forward as the third receiver in that offense. He will have no attention on him and could easily be the safety blanket for Eli Manning who can get open a ton underneath. If he repeats that prowess in the redzone he showed last year then this is a huge value.

Derek Carr was the 12th QB off the board and a guy I think has every shot to be right around the top 5 given the talent around him. Lewis and Sims were PPR upside RBs who could surprise people and therefore be useful in week 1 or 2 trades after potential big games.

It will be interesting to review this league come the end of the year and see how my gamble of 4 RBs to start the draft and a 5th soon after worked out. I am putting a ton of faith in my upside picks and my ability to work the waiver wire and grab those receivers that emerge. If there is a position in fantasy football to be light on it is WR because the position is always deep and every week there are always start-able options available. Yes I made a few mistakes early in the hope others would fall to me and not expecting others to get back to me because drafting at the ends of rounds is tough because as always having to think 20 picks ahead and it may mean you have to ‘reach’ a fraction for a guy you like. However, what I learnt here is that even if things don’t fall exactly how you like be ready to weave a little and take what value does present. Stick to your tiers and know how to find value in your leagues format and at the end you can still end up with a team you like even if others think you made mistakes.

Good luck in those draft this weekend!

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