I’m currently involved in a drafting an 8-team league through Fanium – download the app at Google Play/itunes – with a novel scoring and roster approach. It’s 2-QB, 2-RB, 4-WR, 2-TE and the points are essentially doubled for running and receiving yards.
This is a PFF staff draft, and the results have been fascinating in the early going. I’ll try to keep you updated as we go along. (Update: In my hurry to get the picks out Wednesday afternoon, I skipped a portion of Round 3. Be sure to note who was selected in that area if you’re interested.)
Picks 37, 38, and 39 are in.
1. Jeff Ratcliffe - Adrian Peterson.
My thoughts: This is a decent format for Peterson, but I still think he shouldn’t be a Top 5 pick. For a full breakdown of Peterson’s prospects, try Weird Science: Breaking Down the Strange Projection for Purple Jesus.
2. Ross Miles - Jamaal Charles
My thoughts: Charles ranks No. 3 on my running back board and is a candidate to break the single-season yards from scrimmage record.
3. Alex Miglio - Calvin Johnson
My thoughts: Megatron is the poster boy for Why Cheaper Isn’t Necessarily Better. He would have probably been my choice at No. 1.
4. Banana Stand - Jimmy Graham
My thoughts: Leagues with fewer than 12 teams become increasingly BPA. This is a very TE-heavy format, and Graham is the one player who has no peer at his position.
5. Scott Spratt - Aaron Rodgers
My thoughts: Quarterbacks have been going very late in PFF mocks, but Rodgers looks better in 2-QB formats. He’s the No. 1 player in my QB Safety Rankings and a guy I’d build my strategy around.
6. Kevin Greenstein - Arian Foster
My thoughts: I have Foster as my No. 6 runner, and I’d be nervous selecting him early with the injury issues.
7. Bryan Fontaine - Doug Martin
My thoughts: Martin is the clear No. 1 in most formats – if not necessarily this one – and the headliner for my fancifully titled Eternal Sunshine post.
8. Mike Clay - Drew Brees
My thoughts: I’m avoiding Brees this season. He may be the ringleader of the Great QB Conspiracy.
9. Mike Clay - Brandon Marshall
My thoughts: Marshall clipped Calvin Johnson for No. 1 in my most recent WR projections. He should be one of the top four players in this format and represents quite a bargain here.
10. Bryan Fontaine - LeSean McCoy
My thoughts: McCoy is the RB1 on my All-Trap Team. Bryan is a big C.J. Spiller fan, so this was an upset pick.
11. Kevin Greenstein - Cam Newton
My thoughts: No format has ever been as favorable for rushing QBs as this one. Newton seems like the biggest early round value at QB.
12. Scott Spratt - Ray Rice
My thoughts: Reports of Rice‘s demise are greatly exaggerated. This was a very safe pick.
13. Banana Stand - C.J. Spiller
My thoughts: Spiller was the other guy I was considering at No. 4. I didn’t think there was any chance he would come back around.
14. Alex Miglio - Peyton Manning
My thoughts: Manning also stars on my Trap Team. I think you need rushing yards to select a QB this high.
15. Ross Miles - Robert Griffin III
My thoughts: RG3 may be the best player in football by year’s end.
16. Jeff Ratcliffe - Tom Brady
My thoughts: This league penalizes -3 for INTs, so Brady appears to be a good fit. Unfortunately, both Matt Schaub and Philip Rivers had better PFF passer ratings than Brady a year ago.
17. Jeff Ratcliffe - Rob Gronkowski
My thoughts: I selected Gronk with my second round pick in the RDL. If healthy, he would be the No. 1 player in this format.
18. Ross Miles - Colin Kaepernick
My thoughts: Kaepernick is one of only three players from the QB1 tier whom I recommend building around. He’s a superstar and perfect fit for this run-heavy system. He might be the pick of the draft so far.
19. Alex Miglio - A.J. Green
My thoughts: Green is probably a little overvalued this season, but Alex is putting together an elite WR lineup. Megatron-Green is the perfect 1-2 for a 4-WR league.
20. Banana Stand - Trent Richardson
My thoughts: Richardson was the No. 1 running back in my recent projections for RotoViz (using the groundbreaking RB Sim Score Lab). I wanted to select a wide receiver here, but Cerberus was simply too good to pass up.
21. Scott Spratt - Marshawn Lynch
My thoughts: Lynch often comes in so low on my board that I forget to even include his projection. But I’ve been wrong on Skittles before.
22. Kevin Greenstein - Dez Bryant
My thoughts: Bryant was selected No. 3 overall in the RotoViz Dynasty Startup. He has gigantic upside in this format.
23. Bryan Fontaine - Demaryius Thomas
My thoughts: Demaryius Thomas was the linchpin for my successful NFFC teams from last year and I like him to improve slightly on those numbers. Charles Kleinheksel loves him as well and has written this excellent profile for RotoViz.
24. Mike Clay - Russell Wilson
My thoughts: Wilson was one of only three QB1 candidates who is not a part of the Great QB Conspiracy. He’s perfect for this format.
25. Mike Clay - Jason Witten
My thoughts: Witten would have been my pick if he’d lasted. Tight end is a lot shallower than quarterback.
26. Bryan Fontaine - Julio Jones
My thoughts: Jones is a player whose value is heavily dependent on format. I selected him in the first round of the RDL, but also feature him as an example of How To Lose a Fantasy League in 10 Picks. He’s a good fit for this league.
27. Kevin Greenstein - Matt Ryan
My thoughts: Ryan is the QB I contrasted with Aaron Rodgers in Why Cheaper Isn’t Always Better. (He’s a strong early candidate for 2013 Player I’m Completely Wrong About.)
28. Scott Spratt - Matthew Stafford
My thoughts: Stafford is my favorite reality quarterback but not a good redraft value. There are a lot of reasons to believe he’ll underperform 2012 instead of bouncing back.
29. Banana Stand - Andre Johnson
My thoughts: Andre1500 ranks No. 6 on my list of the 10 Most Undervalued Players. I’ve recently soured on him a little, but he’s the perfect WR1 in a yardage-heavy league.
30. Alex Miglio - Tony Romo
My thoughts: Romo is one of my favorites this season. He’s No. 8 in the QB Safety Rankings, making him a discount here (at least relative to where the other quarterbacks have been selected).
31. Ross Miles - Roddy White
My thoughts: Roddy White shockingly came in at No. 3 in my complete projections of the Top 40 WRs. I wouldn’t select him quite that high, but he’s a value here.
32. Jeff Ratcliffe - Andrew Luck
My thoughts: Luck ranks No. 20 in the QB Safety Ratings. That doesn’t mean he can’t win fantasy titles, just that he’s an incredibly risky pick. After you’ve read Davis Mattek’s breakdown of the Pep Hamilton offense, you probably won’t be enthusiastic about Luck’s prospects.
33. Jeff Ratcliffe - Larry Fitzgerald
My thoughts: Fitzgerald should be able to accomplish everything Reggie Wayne managed last year and more. (For an important contrary take, check out Mattek’s exhaustive look at Fitzgerald’s prospects.)
34. Ross Miles - Tony Gonzalez
My thoughts: The creator of the Iron Throne league is having a great draft. I suggested Gonzalez was overrated in my breakdown of the Going Deep Expert Mock, but he’s a good value here.
35. Alex Miglio - Chris Johnson
My thoughts: Chris Johnson could very easily be the best value in 2013 fantasy leagues. Based on a handful of surprising advanced splits, I like him to have a massive bounceback season. Choosing between CJ2K and Julio Jones will be the key decision in many drafts this fall.
36. Banana Stand – Alfred Morris
My thoughts: This is a controversial selection since I’m drafting a bench player with my fifth pick even though I need six more starters. But I’m fond of drafting unbalanced lineups and rostering three of the Top 10 runners should be valuable even in a 2-RB system. I won’t have to worry about bye weeks or hold my breath every time Spiller or Richardson tweaks something. There’s nothing to distinguish the next 50 players at my positions of need, so I won’t fall victim to runs by reaching.
Moreover, I’ve spilled more virtual ink writing about Alfred Morris than any other player this offseason. He’s going to be the next Terrell Davis and ranks among the 10 Most Undervalued fantasy players in the NFL. Almost all reports out of Washington suggest 2012 was only the beginning.
37. Scott Spratt - Victor Cruz
My thoughts: Cruz had an other quietly superb season in 2012 and is probably undervalued this season.
38. Kevin Greenstein - Matt Forte
My thoughts: Runners continue to be incredibly devalued in this format. I have Forte ahead of LeSean McCoy – who went No. 10 overall – at least in part due to Kleinheksel’s superb research.
39. Bryan Fontaine - Greg Olsen
My thoughts: Olsen is a RotoViz favorite, but I’m not sure he separates much from the next pack of tight end targets.
40. Mike Clay - Randle Cobb
My thoughts: Cobb is a player I’m selling at his ADP, but he’s a high floor guy who won’t cost you a title even if he doesn’t carry you.
To Be Continued . . .
Shawn Siegele has finished in the Top 10 of the NFFC’s Main Event Classic for two consecutive seasons and is one of only a handful of players to own three or more Main Event league titles. He also contributes to Rotoviz and works as Lead Writer for Pro Football Focus Fantasy.