Everyone’s favorite large field Fantasy Football event ScottFishBowl 2015 kicked off last week and now all the drafts are in the books. Our own David Gonos, Sarah Lewis and Chris Meyers are participating this year and you can follow it at scottfishbowl.com. After the field filled, Scott organized some draftmaster leagues on myfantasyleague.com for automatic spots in the 2016 edition, and this is where I had the pleasure to be a part of this event.
League setup (draftmaster leagues): Super flex with QB as option, no negative points for TOs
No Defense or Kicker
Scoring full PPR, 1/4pt rush attempt, 4pt PTD
No free-agent pick-ups or trades (draftmaster-style)
Drafting 11th in 12-team league
After finding out my draft position in this draftmasters draft, I was hoping everyone would go with basic chalk ADP picks and I could nab Luck and Rodgers with my first two picks since it’s basically a 2QB league. That strategy went straight out the window when Luck went as the No. 1 overall selection so I was forced to rethink things. In fact, Rodgers was selected fifth overall so turns out my dreams of either stud QB were quickly evaporated.
Peterson went second, followed by Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Then after Rodgers went a trio of running backs in Charles, Lacy and Murray, followed up by Dez and Gronk. So I was on the clock and with my two QB’s gone, I dug into a healthy selection of wide receivers and went Julio Jones over Beckham, hoping Beckham or Arian Foster would come back to me on the turn. Julio is always the potential No. 1 Fantasy receiver when he stays healthy, and he has a great situation again with the questionable running back crew in Atlanta. The 12th team selected Beckham to round out the first round and Jeremy Hill as his first RB so I got my wish in Foster as my RB1.
Some more QB depth went in Round 2 with Wilson, Ryan and Roethlisberger all going ahead of Peyton Manning at spot 3.2. The usual stud RBs and WRs continued to get drafted as well with the first “reach” pick with Carlos Hyde at 3.3. Having to wait all the way until 3.11 for my next pick, it was hard watching all these players almost sliding to me as Jordy, Cobb, Alshon and Cooks went slightly ahead.
The first rookie was selected at 3.7 in Melvin Gordon. I decided I would go Cam Newton in this spot if he made it but was nabbed at 3.9. However, I was elated when I still had T.Y. Hilton as my WR2 over Hopkins, who was drafted next. On the turn in Round 4 I was able to roster Justin Forsett, who could again return Top 5 RB value and I was very pleased at the core of my team being two stud receivers and backs in a PPR. Obviously with Forsett there is a little bit of skepticism as to whether last year ends up being a career year outlier, but the Ravens trusted him when he took over as the lead back all the way through the season. I can certainly see at least one more year with him as the top dog in that backfield. I was a little nervous about the QB situation going forward with the superflex but was eyeing Brady, Stafford, Romo and Eli in the next rounds.
Some more high hype rookies came off the board in Round 4 with Cooper, Yeldon and Gurley, along with some more QB depth in Brees and Tannehill. Brady and Stafford lasted until Round 5, but were selected ahead of my spot, and the Saints RB committee of Ingram and Spiller also went here. A couple other elusive speedy pass-catching RBs came off the board as well in Andre Ellington and Giovani Bernard.
Romo ended up getting sniped right before I picked and was left with Eli Manning as my QB1. Team 12 also waited on QB and made this turn with Bridgewater and Rivers, and I ended up with Cutler as my QB2. This sounds less than ideal, but remembering this league is without penalties for turnovers, I was actually quite pleased with the gamble of waiting and how it turned out. The main knock on my QBs in Fantasy leagues (and real life) is the interceptions, and I have no worries about that. I’ll be rooting for some ball-slinging high attempt games from these two and don’t think I’ll be disappointed.
Now that I have my two QBs and a pair of stud WR and RBs, I can go forward focusing on best player available, while also starting to keep an eye on bye weeks in the later rounds as this is a draftmaster style league (no adds or trades). I also knew I wanted to back up Foster with Alfred Blue so I would have to get him higher than I normally would want.
Going forward in Round 6 a couple more second tier TEs went in Kelce and Olsen as well as some of the last remaining starting QBs in Winston and Bortles. Round 7 brought forth some rookie WR picks in Kevin White, Agholor and DeVante Parker; and at 7.11 I drafted my TE1 in Zach Ertz. My thoughts in this PPR format is that it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see Ertz as the No. 1 receiver, or at least close to Matthews, in the high-volume Eagles offense. He put in some nice games toward the end of the 2014 season and blocked ever so slightly better so he saw his snap count increase.
On the turn I added Joique Bell to my squad hoping that as the incumbent, he will hold off a true committee between him and Abdullah. When given the reins for the second half of last season, Bell put up true RB1 numbers and carried some Fantasy teams to championships. I am very happy with Bell as my RB3 here. Looking forward to my next pick I started eyeballing some veteran receivers that I was surprised were actually still on the board in Roddy White, DeSean Jackson and Vincent Jackson. VJax was the one of this group that slipped and, frankly, I think I got a bargain here at 9.11. Jackson was a top targeted receiver last year, and while Mike Evans recorded a majority of the touchdowns, VJax could certainly convert a few more while still racking up the receptions.
I backed up my starting receiving crew with Davante Adams as my WR4 and don’t even necessarily view him as a backup in the high octane Packers offense. Imagine if Jordy or Cobb go down with any injury how valuable Adams will be as my WR4, and he could easily rate higher than VJax even with everyone fully healthy this year. Rodgers just makes everyone that good in Green Bay.
In this format it will be important to also grab a third QB at some point as a backup to always have an option of two QBs to start every week with one in the superflex spot. But at pick 11.11 I backed up my TE spot with Martellus Bennett, who should be a prime beneficiary of Chicago losing Marshall to the Jets. He could very well be my TE1 over Ertz, and in fact with multiple flex spots I could easily see starting multiple TEs every week depending on matchups. At the turn I grabbed Brian Hoyer as my third QB. While never imagining I’d be rostering him anywhere this year, it is a strong possibility that he was the last QB with any playing time prospects this year (barring injuries) available to draft. Houston certainly has some weapons on offense that hopefully he can just be serviceable in getting the ball in their hands for some production.
At 13.11 I continued to bolster the pass-catching position with another veteran receiver Marques Colston. With the loss of Graham in New Orleans, hopefully Colston will pick up some of those targets and have a sort-of renaissance season a la 2012 Reggie Wayne.
When looking at the leftovers at the RB and WR position, I realized any more of these picks may be just a reach at this point, but there were still multiple starter caliber TE available, so I started banking some of these picks as we could technically start up to five of them! Ladarius Green at 14.2 and Jordan Reed at 18.2 rounded out my TE group, giving me four viable starters.
In Round 15 I grew apprehensive about letting Alfred Blue slide any farther and secured Foster’s handcuff before I was sniped again. He performed very well when given the opportunity in Foster’s absence and it just had to be done with the injury history there.
Doug Baldwin was still available in Round 16. Here’s hoping to Jimmy Graham opening up some better coverage situations for him this season as he was Wilson’s only receiving threat for most of 2014, so he sometimes disappeared.
James Starks at 17.11 showed he could function whenever Lacy needs a breather due to his asthma or otherwise, and really anyone in Green Bay should be rostered with the hopes of viable production.
With my final WR selection at 19.11 I bolstered this squad with Mohamed Sanu. Remember when A.J. Green went down last year for a handful of games and Sanu’s targets went through the roof? That is the idea here and he can be serviceable even with Green healthy as the No. 2 WR in Cincinnati.
The final rounds in the draft went toward long shots for playing time with mostly RB and WR buried on the depth charts. I backed up my Forsett pick with Lorenzo Taliaferro at 20.2 and Matt Asiata at 21.11 hoping the Vikings would turn toward him again in the event Peterson is out for any time. In the final round I rostered Kirk Cousins as some QB depth, figuring it was a long shot, but you can never be too prepared for injury in this type of draft.
This team is well-rounded with depth at each position, hopefully primed to take the league by storm and earn my small fish spot in the big bowl in 2016.
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