Having played fantasy football for five years and now in my second season writing about fantasy football, I’ve read and heard considerable excitement for MFL10 fantasy football leagues. I never took part in one however, until now.
MFL10s are leagues hosted by MyFantasyLeague.com. There are a variety of entry fee price points, the lowest and most common being $10 (hence, “MFL10”). The format is a single-season redraft league with performance plus PPR scoring. A valid starting lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex (RB/WR/TE) and 1 DEF for 9 total starters, and 20 roster spots.
MFL offers in-season management MFL10 leagues closer to the start of the NFL season, but at this time MFL10s are draft-only leagues. There is no trading, free agency waiver add/drops, and you don’t even set your lineup each week. This is called “best ball” scoring. The website automatically inserts the best scoring, valid starting lineup each week.
I was very excited to get the draft started and kick off the 2015 fantasy football season. Let’s take a look at my draft picks, and from this you can get an early take on some players I like and where others are getting drafted.
1.10 RB Matt Forte, Bears
The draft started out as I expected, five of first six picks were running backs. As I sat waiting at 1.10, I was hoping to have tight end Rob Gronkowski fall to me, but unfortunately he was taken at 1.08. My first debate: Do I draft a proven running back or one of the top tier wide receivers? Remember, this is a PPR scoring league. My options were Matt Forte, DeMarco Murray, LeSean McCoy, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones and Demaryius Thomas. With only four picks between my 1.10 and 2.03, I knew I was going to land two of those six.
I decided to go with Forte. Those three WR are all pretty equal and with Murray and McCoy now on different teams, their respective roles are more uncertain. I know Forte, and the Chicago Bears for that matter, might be in a transition year with new head coach John Fox. However, Forte is in a contract year and it is highly unlikely the Bears resign him, so he might think he has something to prove to other teams. Plus, in 2014, Forte led all running backs in the league with 102 receptions, which is gold in a PPR league.
2.03 WR Julio Jones, Falcons
When I saw Julio Jones available my eyes lit up. As I stated previously, I value Jones, Bryant and Thomas very similar. Jones does have some injury history, mostly a tough 2013 season still fresh in our memories that saw him play only 5 games. When healthy however, Jones is one of the most dominant receivers in the league. I was very pleased with my starting two players.
3.10 RB Alfred Morris, Redskins
I was really hoping quarterback Aaron Rodgers would fall to me as I was ready for an elite quarterback. However, he was taken at 3.08. I took a look at RBs and WRs available and saw a bigger drop off at RB than WR. Alfred Morris has been one of the most consistent running backs since coming into the league in 2012. Over the course of his three seasons, Morris has ranked in the Top 12 every year. Also, amongst only five running backs to finish in the Top 12 running backs each of the past three season, Morris has the third best yards per carry at 4.52, behind only Jamaal Charles’ 5.10 and Marshawn Lynch’s 4.64. Morris is 7th in fantasy points at RB since joining the league (yes, PPR scoring) and is younger than all of these similarly high producing backs taken earlier in the draft. Morris is in the final year of his contract and while some think rookie RB Matt Jones may be Morris’ successor, I see Jones pushing Morris to be even better to prove he is worth a big contract and a starting position for any team next year.
4.03 WR Kelvin Benjamin, Panthers
With my starting running backs set, my focus now shifts to wide receiver and quarterback. Since quarterback is deep, I was looking at Sammy Watkins, Kelvin Benjamin or rookie Amari Cooper. With Watkins going at 4.01, I decided on Benjamin due to his one year experience in the league. I do believe Cooper will find instant success in Oakland, however, that is clearly a more risky proposition since we’ve witnessed Benjamin perform in the pros last season. Also, with Carolina’s addition of Devin Funchess, Benjamin might see some lighter coverage allowing for more scoring opportunities.
5.10 QB Peyton Manning, Broncos
Peyton Manning is one of the best in the game. Yes, his stats fell off half way through the 2014 season as many said he had a dead arm. I feel it was more the quadriceps injury that plagued him and only became known after the Broncos earlier than expected exit from the playoffs. However, besides an overhaul of the coaching staff, not much has changed for Manning on the field. All his weapons remain except tight end Julius Thomas, who went to the Jacksonville Jaguars. If this is Manning’s last year in the league (we’ve heard that before), I’d like to think he will do everything he can to go out on top. I’m more than willing to accept the risk of a “dead arm” with Manning’s statistical history on my side.
6.03 TE Greg Olsen, Panthers
Yes, I know I have a Panthers wide receiver on my team already. However, Greg Olsen is one of Cam Newton’s favorite targets, especially in the red zone. Olsen has consistently put up fantasy stats and ended as a top three tight end in 2014 in PPR formats. I’m willing to assume the risk of teammates on the same fantasy team, especially if the offense is moving in a positive direction, which the Panthers are.
7.10 WR Steve Smith, Ravens
Former Panther! Despite being 36 years old, Steve Smith proved his doubters wrong in 2014 with a Top 24 fantasy performance at wide receiver. He played all 16 games, did not show signs of injury, and can still burn defenders as evidenced by his 15 receptions over 20 yards and five over 40 yards. With Torrey Smith’s departure, Smith is line to lead the receiving corps again for the Ravens.
8.03 RB Joseph Randle, Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys bid farewell to DeMarco Murray in the offseason, the league’s leading rusher in 2014. With the addition of aged running back Darren McFadden, Joseph Randle, at worst, may see a time share of carries behind the amazing Cowboys offensive line. Randle is worth the risk even at this moderate draft cost, as he has a good chance to earn the starting gig at some point for the Cowboys, even if not out of training camp. Note his Week 17 performance last season as the starter scoring three touchdowns.
9.10 RB Doug Martin, Buccaneers
Behind a new franchise quarterback in Jameis Winston, running back Doug Martin, as of right now, is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers leading running back, with Charles Sims maybe getting a bigger role. At this point in the draft, taking a running back that might be a starter Week 1 is worth the risk as Martin may have a breakout game or two still left in him.
10.03 WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Titans
If you read my Top 10 Rookie Wide Receivers, you know that Dorial Green-Beckham has been compared to Brandon Marshall, who has had a pretty good career if you ask me. With the young Tennessee Titans in a transition period, no one really knows what to expect from this offense. Green-Beckham could be an integral part of this offense in September.
11.10 QB Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings
Teddy Bridgewater was the best rookie quarterback in 2014. He definitely progressed in his development to become the Minnesota Vikings franchise quarterback. With the Vikings addition of wide receiver Mike Wallace and running back Adrian Peterson returning, Bridgewater has all the weapons set up for success.
12.03 Roy Helu, RB – Raiders
Roy Helu ended his rookie contract after the 2014 season and once it ended, Oakland rushed to sign him. Helu has been a receiving back during his career. With the departure of Darren McFadden and retirement of Maurice Jones-Drew, next starter up is sophomore Latavius Murray. Murray played well his rookie season, but isn’t much of a pass catcher. Helu will definitely factor into the Raiders offense, especially on third downs, which translates into a worthy late add for a PPR league.
13.10 WR Doug Baldwin, Seahawks
14.03 TE Larry Donnell, Giants
15.10 WR Eddie Royal, Bears
I’m hoping the addition of elite tight end Jimmy Graham and Marshawn Lynch continuing his dominance will force defenses to load up the box, allowing Doug Baldwin to basically run free to make big plays. Larry Donnell is still young and does not have much competition behind him to challenge his starting job, which makes for a great bye week replacement for Olsen. There is a chance rookie wide receiver Kevin White does not make an immediate impact with the Chicago Bears. In such a case, the Bears will have to rely on Eddie Royal to produce, which makes for a good late round flier.
16.03 Arizona Cardinals Defense
17.10 Pittsburgh Steelers Defense
With all the quarterback troubles the Arizona Cardinals had in 2014, they finished 11-5 because of their dominant defense. Arizona did not lose many players in the offseason, so their defense should still be in the top seven in 2015. Pittsburgh Steelers defense was bad in 2014, but that may be mainly attributable to injuries. In 2015, besides an edge rusher, Pittsburgh has a well-rounded defense which should be drastically better.
18.03 RB Benny Cunningham, Rams
19.10 WR Aaron Dobson, Patriots
20.03 RB Matt Jones, Redskins
Benny Cunningham should serve as the third down, receiving back for the St. Louis Rams, so he has the chance to gobble up receptions from quarterback Nick Foles. Aaron Dobson was overhyped going into the 2014 season and was a major disappointment. Let’s see how his 2015 goes. Rookie Matt Jones is the backup to my starting running back Alfred Morris, so he is an insurance policy in case of injury.
Overall, I think my first MFL10 was a success. My team has some young talent, but is mainly comprised of proven veterans. A few things I noticed, which are on par with what the fantasy football draft trends have been the past few years: quality running backs are limited and go quickly, wide receivers are ridiculously deep, and outside of tight end Rob Gronkowski, wait on tight ends. I highly recommend MFL10s, so go sign up and get your draft on!