The annual FanEx draft is underway! This is my fourth year in this fantasy football experts league, and (toot, toot) I am the defending champion of the American Conference. Reviewing my FanEx history, I have back-to-back-to-back 8-6 regular season records, two playoff appearances and a championship.
This is a tough league format because only four teams make the playoffs, playing Weeks 15-16, instead of the more common six teams (of 12) playing Weeks 14-16. The three division winners make the playoffs and smartly – and fortunately – the wild card team is the highest scoring team regardless of record. That is how I qualified last year. A look at the final regular season standings shows I scored the second most points in the league. Look at the points allowed – over 300 points against higher than a few teams! A little amazing I managed an 8-6 record.
The format is pretty common flex lineup and point-per-reception (PPR) scoring. This is a 12-team league, starting lineup 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF and 1 Flex RB/WR/TE. Scoring 4 points per passing TD, 6 for rushing/receiving TD, 1 per 20 passing yards, 1 per 10 rushing/receiving yards, and 1 PPR all positions. Randomly assigned the eighth pick in the draft, here is how the 2018 draft is going so far.
Rounds 1 to 5
I have some concerns with Bell discussed in my first round pick considerations, but not enough concern to pull Bell out of the Top 3. For a more elaborate explanation of potential concerns about Bell, check out Doug Orth’s PPR Big Board, in which he ranked Bell outside his Top 10. Although Doug admits he would still draft him at least once this season. Maybe this is my once.
At any rate, I didn’t even have the fourth overall pick, but rather, the eighth. The 1.04 pick holder, Ian Allan, must also have some reservations, and offered to trade his 1.04 and 20th round pick for my 1.08 and 9th round pick. While I was perfectly fine to sit at eight (Hopkins or Odell?), I also thought, why not make the trade with Bell still on the board? Bell is betting on himself once again for a monster year to earn a big contract. I will take a shot betting on him, too.
Davante Adams and Michael Thomas seem joined at the hip this fantasy draft season. In my FFPC superflex draft I grabbed Adams at 3.01 and Thomas was taken right after. In this one, Alan Satterlee drafted Thomas right before my pick allowing me to increase my investment in Adams.
There are still many exceptional players available at this spot. The next six picks in order: Jerick McKinnon, Devonta Freeman, Keenan Allen, Amari Cooper, Rob Gronkowski and A.J. Green. Now who wouldn’t be happy with pretty much any of those guys at this point in time? The short story for me on Adams though is I believe the probability of him scoring double digit touchdowns is higher than almost any other receiver. Only two wide outs did it last season, him being one, with Aaron Rodgers only playing six games. A healthy Rodgers and departed Jordy Nelson, the stars are aligning for a potential special year for Adams.
To take a running back at this pick feels like I am reaching a little, although I am coming around on Miami Dolphins Kenyan Drake. As a value drafter, I like to take some chances to see if particular players get passed and make it to my next pick. Drake did not make it, getting drafted 4.01.
While the current tier of available wide receivers is of fair depth, including Doug Baldwin, Larry Fitzgerald and Allen Robinson, it seems to me Thomas stands out with a better combination of more skill and less risk than the other three (apologies Larry). Reports from Denver Broncos camp is Case Keenum is doing well connecting with Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. There are a bunch of targets in Denver to be spread around to not that many players, something called, “a narrow tree,” on Sirius XM fantasy radio recently. Good phrase.
This one is a bit tough, and one reason these fantasy football experts leagues are not always the best guide to most fantasy football players local leagues. I know most of the guys I am drafting against will wait, wait and wait at quarterback. As of writing this the draft is in the 11th round. Here is the pick distribution of the quarterback position by round through ten:
|Round||Number of QB Drafted|
It is a huge waiting game. The consensus top guy though – Rodgers, obviously – should he fall past the third round? I considered him last time and he is still hanging around because everyone is sucking up RB, WR and the top TE. I wait at QB myself more often than not, but staying flexible, is this a fair value to add Rodgers, accepting I will be a little weaker at RB and WR? Yes, I think so.
The drafting of Rodgers motivated a couple owners to nab their starting quarterback, but not enough and not enough higher ADP tight ends like Evan Engram went between my fourth and fifth picks to allow a running back to fall to my liking. Thought I had an outside shot at Jay Ajayi, and more likely Lamar Miller, but neither made it.
Regardless of how David Njoku and Nick Vannett did last night, the tight end position is still thin overall, and in a PPR draft especially, I like the advantage of a reliable tight end. Engram is usually the next tight end off the board in drafts but I am more partial to Greg Olsen. Engram is very talented and young, but the new competition for targets on the Giants has me leery he can repeat or improve on last season. Olsen is old reliable for Cam Newton, and the two picked up where they left off when Olsen returned from injury. His final four games, including the Wild Card game, saw targets of 12, 6, 9 and 12.
Continued rounds 6 to 12, including screenshots of all team rosters and position rankings through 12 rounds.