When I started writing fantasy football articles, joining DraftBuddy.com in April of this year, I took to Twitter, made as many contacts as I could, and kept my eyes open for opportunities to network with other writers in the industry. That led me to sign up and join the Scott Fish Bowl Fantasy League.
Checking the link, you can see this is a massive fantasy football league: 240 teams broken into four, 60 team conferences. From there, each conference has five, 12 team divisions. I am really looking forward to this league.
The starting roster is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 4 Flex, and QB is included in the Flex. With the Flex QB option, I’m approaching the draft as a 2-QB league. The key scoring to be aware of is 4 points per passing TD, 1 point per reception (PPR) and 0.2 points per rushing attempt.
The draft for my league/division started July 7 and ended July 17. I received the 5th pick in the draft. Here is the complete league draft report, and below is how my team shaped up specifically, including thoughts and analysis at each selection:
Going into the draft with the 5th overall pick, I knew I was either going to get one of a Top 3 quarterback (Manning, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers), LeSean McCoy or Jamaal Charles. Considering QBs, on average, score more weekly points than running backs and wide receivers, my strategy was going to be to try to get 2 solid QBs to start. The first four players drafted, in order, were Charles, Matt Forte, Rodgers and McCoy. Between Brees and Manning, I took the guy coming off a career year and fantasy points leader from 2013. Brees was picked next at 1.06.
I was hoping DeMarco Murray would fall to me at 2.08, but he was taken at 2.06, leaving me deciding between Marshawn Lynch and Le’Veon Bell. Lynch worries me for a few reasons. First, he’s racked up a lot of miles in recent years with deep playoff runs culminating in the Super Bowl last season. There are also grumblings he wants a contract extension, plus Seattle already indicated sophomore Christine Michael will play a bigger role this year to help keep Lynch fresh. With Bell, I’m not worried about LeGarrette Blount, who was signed from New England this offseason, and rookie Dri Archer has some work to do before threatening Bell.
My top available choices boiled down to Cobb or a running back, and I didn’t want to wait 14 more picks to get my WR1. Based on my NFC North recap article, I am very high on Cobb. I think this is a big year for him, especially since it’s a contract year. Plus, with Aaron Rodgers fully healthy and the new found running game with Eddy Lacy, Green Bay will be tough to stop in all aspects on offense, an offense in which Cobb plays a huge part.
Approaching this as a 2-QB league, since we are allowed to flex one, why not take a QB with huge upside who is locked into his starting job? Again, referencing in my NFC North recap article, I am really high on Cutler due to his weapons around him and coaching of Marc Trestman. If he can stay healthy, I have no doubt in my mind he will be a Top 7 quarterback. As the 13th quarterback off the board, this could be a huge steal.
As my RB2, I have no problem adding Trent Richardson. After a full offseason and training camp, as opposed to arriving in Indianapolis midseason, I expect him to be much more comfortable in the Colts’ system. I think 2013 will go down as a fluke, and this will represent a big bounce back year for Richardson. He has two banged up players behind him in Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard, so he should be a workhorse for the Colts.
Hoping Vincent Jackson would fall just a little further, he was nabbed at 6.07, right before my pick. Plan B: Ben Tate. Tate was a great free agent signing for Cleveland. While Terrance West and possibly Isaiah Crowell are in the mix to steal some carries, Tate was brought to Cleveland to be the main back and there is little doubt he will have a prominent role, and potentially more. Talented yet stuck behind Arian Foster previously, this is his time to show everyone what he’s got.
I debated between Eric Decker and Torrey Smith at this pick, and decided to go with the guy that has a better surrounding staff, the guy with Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Steve Smith and Dennis Pitta. The addition of Steve Smith should prevent teams double covering Torrey as much as he had to fight through last year, having lost teammate Anquan Boldin, allowing for more targets, catches and touchdowns.
With Miles Austin departed due to free agency, Terrance Williams steps up as the true number two wide receiver. I expect big things from Dallas this year due to new offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. The Cowboys defense looks highly questionable, resulting in some serious pass attempts by Tony Romo, and they can’t all go to Dez Bryant or Jason Witten.
Although Father Time is working against Steven Jackson at this point in his career, he is still the number one running back in Atlanta. The Falcons had a very down year in 2013, mainly due to injuries on offense, and I expect a big rebound year for them including Jackson, assuming he can stay healthy this time around.
There are no signs Justin Blackmon will be reinstated from his indefinite suspension any time soon. Cecil Shorts is the Jacksonville Jaguars clear number one wide receiver, and proved last year he can produce even without Blackmon in the lineup until injuries slowed him down. With the addition of rookie wide receivers Marquise Lee and Allen Robinson, Jacksonville has a lot of receiving youth, so veteran QB Chad Henne will lean heavily on Shorts.
My first tight end drafted and Martellus Bennett is on a team that should be passing the ball a lot, yet doesn’t have a plethora of quality receiving options. Bennett will get his targets, especially in the red zone.
Considering Josh Gordon will likely be serving a lengthy suspension, recently acquired free agent Andrew Hawkins got a lot more intriguing, especially in PPR scoring leagues. Hawkins could prove to be a great value pick so late in the draft.
Even off a very quiet rookie year, Wheaton steps in as a starting wide receiver, replacing departed Emmanuel Sanders. Playing opposite Antonio Brown, Wheaton should see a lot of single coverage and he has the speed and moves to blow past defenders.
At this point, I was looking for high upside players as my starters and main backups were filled. Beckham could be a nice spark to the New York Giants offense that seems to be in desperate need for an overhaul. Douglas is the third wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, but he proved himself in 2013 filling in for an injured Roddy White and Julio Jones. He will play the slot and get many targets as teams worry about the dynamic duo. David Wilson is big risk, potentially big reward pick. In 2013, he was poised to have a breakout year. However, a neck injury and surgery sidelined him. He says he is “ready to go,” so if free agent signee Rashad Jennings struggles just a bit, Giants fans will let the team know they want a change and Wilson could step in and shine.
All rookies with these three picks. I like Jarvis Landry to play the slot alongside Mike Wallace and even give Brian Hartline a good challenge for the number two spot. Plus, Ryan Tannehill loves to check down, so being a PPR league, Landry might see plenty of receptions. Jace Amaro is the starting tight end for the New York Jets. Although that is not saying too much, I decided to go with upside as opposed to a backup tight end for a different team. Isaiah Crowell is getting a lot of talk this offseason as giving Terrance West a tough competition for the true number two running back slot. Also, as the Ben Tate owner, a handcuff isn’t a bad idea since Tate does have an injury history.
More upside picks to close out the draft. Mike Williams surprised as a rookie and then disappointed before finally being unceremoniously traded to Buffalo for next to nothing from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Maybe a change of scenery will do him some good. As defenders will be focused on the speedy Sammy Watkins, Williams might find his fair share of targets, if E.J. Manuel can get him the ball. I was thinking about taking a quarterback at 21.05, however remaining choices Derek Carr, Mike Glennon and Zach Mettenberger should be available on waivers. Mike Tolbert is the goal line back for the Panthers, plus he will fill in if there is an injury to DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart, which is very likely to happen. He is bowling ball that plows through players, and he should score a handful of touchdowns. I did pass on Marcus Lattimore (he went 21.06), but I’m not sure if he will play or rookie Carlos Hyde will pass him as the backup to Frank Gore. Hopefully this doesn’t come back to hurt me. Finally, not being too confident in Jace Amaro, I went with another starting tight end with upside in Brandon Bostick. Although there are many tight ends in Green Bay, Bostick should be given the chance to show what he can do as the number one tight end and with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, you never know what can happen.
My post-draft analysis tells me my quarterbacks are very strong, and should make up for the points lacking from other positions. As for my running backs, I’m a little worried about injury risk, but they should be workhorses for their respective teams. I’m really excited about my potential at wide receiver. At TE, the Cutler-Bennett connection gives me even more reason to cheer for my Chicago Bears.
Overall, I give my team a B in my first appearance in the Scott Fish Bowl Fantasy League, competing against many tough, experienced, fantasy experts. Consider this is the first and biggest step towards earning a spot in the Scott Fish Bowl playoffs!