The Warehouse Invitational: Part 1
A Writeup By Brian Luzier (@TheFFBoss)
A couple of weeks ago the DFW crew got together for a good old fashioned, none-of-the-money-but-all-of-the-pride Draft Master. It was hosted on MyFantasyLeague.com, and the league can be found here. When you put someone’s pride on the line the smack talking is bound to fly and the chat and email thread we have going is epic. DFW has promised a “mystery prize” known only to the head honchos, and we all agreed the loser at the end of the season (the owner with the fewest points scored through 16 weeks) would have to write a followup article bashing himself and praising the winner, with 10 shades of gray in between. Be sure to let us know who you think will be writing the followup article below or on Twitter!
Originally I was going to trim the fat from some of the answers to get this down to a reasonable length, but the answers were so packed with awesome info and strategy I had to double down, so make sure you check out the followup article tomorrow on DFW and FFW.
Here are the questions I asked:
- What was your strategy heading into the Draft Master? Did you stick to it? Did it work?
- What’s the pick you could have back? (Sorry, Crabtree doesn’t count)
- Who had the best draft?
- Who had the craziest strategy, or who do you expect to finish last?
- How did you approach this differently than a traditional redraft?
- Anything else you’d like our readers to know?
And here are the answers I was given:
1) I have participated in an experts’ mock draft in Fantasy Index magazine for a few years with this exact format. In a “Tuesday morning lineup” league the key to me is taking guys with upside (some will connect) and running back also becomes much more important. My strategy was to load up on RBs early and I feel like I have the best set of RBs at 2-deep, 3-deep and 4-deep. I also decided to wait on wide receiver and go with volume, although I got sniped a few times on WRs that I wanted. I also like to throw a monkey wrench into the draft formula. In this one I went off the deep end and drafted three straight QBs – Aaron Rodgers in the 5th, and then Matt Ryan / Russell Wilson in the 6th / 7th. I bet people didn’t see that one coming! That wasn’t my strategy per se but the math in this format to me says it will pay off so we shall see. I may need to never have a week with below 30 QB points to pay off.
2) This sounds kind of silly but I wanted to leave the draft with a Blair Walsh / Greg Zuerlein kicker combo! I was hoping kicker would last one more round. I would have had to have passed on the Houston Texans DT and Latavius Murray. As there are no moves having two (good) kickers is also important and two that will definitely be kicking several months from now.
3) I did! I feel like I have the best QBs and best RBs, so that’s two positions. The question is can my WRs collectively do enough to keep pace in Tuesday morning lineups (I just need 3 to hit and I have 8 of them). Okay, okay, aside from me, I like Leo (pre Crabtree injury) and Dan’s teams the most. They both happen to be at the very end of the draft so maybe that says something for my ideal 2013 draft slot (1.11 and 1.12) although I would prefer 1.01 with Adrian Peterson if I were able to chose and I wouldn’t get cute. Leo lost Michael Crabtree or else his team would be very strong. Both Leo and Dan drafted titled albeit in different directions. Leo went RB-RB-RB and landed a good QB gamble combo late (still though Leo will lose points at QB). Losing Crabtree will be tough to overcome. Dan’s WRs are badass. I would LOVE to start a draft Dez/Julio. Getting both Pead and Stacy in St. Louis was smart. Colin Kaepernick at 7.12 was larceny. I’d like Dan’s team even more with Sam Bradford or Andy Dalton on it as the QB2 (Bradford and Dalton went the next two picks at 12.02 and 12.03).
4) Well I have to be on that list. Drafting 3 QBs like that wasn’t my strategy but they all were great picks in my opinion and since I don’t have to pick a starter it will pay off in this format (to what degree we shall see). Honestly, I wanted Russell Wilson but Matt Ryan had great match-ups in Week 1 (when Aaron Rodgers travels to San Francisco, Ryan will be lighting it up against Drew Brees) and Week 4 (when Green Bay is on a bye). So I decided to draft both QBs and start weaving and bobbing from there, my favorite way to draft. Brian the Boss drafting two TEs at 2.11 and 3.02 was certainly crazy. It could pay off though, and it will be interesting to watch. In this format, only one kicker or one defense is a tremendous disadvantage. It significantly reduces those team’s (Sal’s) chances of winning in my opinion.
5) I wouldn’t have drafted a 3rd QB so high- that’s for sure.
6) I think Jordan Cameron in the 11th round is a great 2013 TE strategy, maybe being the last team to get a starting TE but the first one to get a backup TE.
Brian Luzier (@TheFFBoss)
1) Going into DraftMasters I usually aim to have 1 solid, week in and week out starter I can count on at each position. I certainly succeeded at QB, RB, and TE, but I could see someone looking at my WRs and thinking I’m screwed. I don’t feel that way as I drafted Johnson and Williams who are both rock solid RB2s, so all I need is for one of my favorite breakout WRs to put up a respectable week and follow my RBs and TEs to victory. Also, as many can attest to a DEF can straight up win you a week, so I like having 3 in DMs and hoping I get lucky a few weeks with some monsterous totals. I also ended up with two TEs, didn’t plan on that but I saw them there at the end of the 2nd and a light turned on in my head.
2) I’m pretty happy with the values I got at all my picks, but I feel dirty drafting the Redskins D…
3) Alan is going to need a few of those rookies to hit, but it’s hard for any dynasty fan to look at that team and not get excited. I think taking a WR instead of that third QB would make his team look much more intimidating.
4) I think the craziest strategy, which really might just have been a huge oversight on his part is Sal with only 1 K and 1 DST. It’s hard for me to think that team can compete all year long with no redundancy at the most volatile positions.
5) DMs differ primarily for me in the way I approach the WR:RB ratio. Usually I’m happy with 1 good RB and a bunch of depth picks, but in a DraftMaster I tend to flip the strategy and hoard early RBs and mid round WRs.
6) I just want to say thanks to everyone for reading and tweeting me. I love interacting with other fantasy nuts and twitter is an awesome way to get at me!
1) Honestly, the only real strategy I had was to go RB/RB with my first 2 picks. I did stick to it taking TRich in rd 1 and SJax in rd 2. I hope it worked. My RB depth isn’t the greatest, but I hope that TRich and SJax will be strong enough to carry me through the year.
2) The one pick I wish I could have back is Blackmon in round 5. Losing him for 4 games (basically 25% of the season) could be crucial. I think I protected myself in his absence with players like Rice, Garcon, Streater, but I could have taken players like Wayne, Colston, and Bowe who would produce for me right away.
3) Obviously, I like the team I drafted. Overall, I would have to say that Jay had the best draft. IMO, Romo is a very underrated fantasy QB. Yes you will have to deal with a few “duds” from him, but for the most part, he puts up solid numbers. He has a solid RB core with Rice, Sproles and Wilson, with some nice handcuffs in Thomas and Pierce. Bowe, Fitz, Maclin, Wright, Quick should put up some nice numbers at WR and Gonzo will be solid at TE in a redraft format.
4) The craziest strategy was Alan taking Rodgers, Ryan, and Wilson as his QBs. I understand his logic of keeping those players off of another team, but I think he could have gotten better value at RB/WR where you need to start 2 or 3. I also thought @THEFFBOSS taking both Graham and Gronk was interesting, although not as crazy as the QBs since Graham/Gronk could make a nice flex play. Dan taking Lattimore……WTF
5) The only real different approach I took was going RB/RB with my first 2 picks. Normally, I would probably take RB in rd 1 and then try and get a “stud” WR in rd 2. Since we don’t need to choose starters, I felt it was more important to try and lock down 2 RBs early and try and fill my WR core with more the WR1/WR2 types.
Jeff Melbostad (@Jeff_DFW)
1) My strategy going in was to land three stud RBs right off the bat because they aren’t nearly as deep as other positions this year. Landing RBs early is imperative in 2014 in my opinion. From there I wanted to fill in my WRs for the most part with QB and TE being low priority. I think I stuck to it well and ended up with a pretty solid and deep team because of it. I got a better QB than expected because Cam Newton fell to the 6th and like how all of my WRs (except Keenan Allen and Jacoby Ford) will likely be the #1 receiving option for their given team. TE was an afterthought as it usually is for me but I really like Fleener to break out in a big way this year.
2) At the risk of sounding cocky I really don’t feel like I would take any of my picks back. I’m comfortable and confident in each one as I nabbed value or need in almost all cases. A number of times I was at the beginning of a run on a position which is always a good thing. I like the players I landed for the most part where I got them so while it seems like a cop out I stand by my draft.
3) From a strategy perspective I despise what Brian did taking both Gronk and Graham in the first three picks. I will likely never draft either of them early enough to make my squad alone much less both of them. I just don’t believe TE is the position you want carrying your team and I feel it’s deeper than all other positions besides maybe QB. From a team perspective I think Alan’s team is bound to struggle the most. Aaron Rodgers is a stellar QB but that position has become the deepest in fantasy football with the recent success of the young guys. After Adrian Peterson and Randall Cobb I don’t see much in the way of proven or guaranteed production at all on this team. The RBs could work out but I’ll be surprised if the WRs and TEs do.
4) Because it’s a draftmaster where no waivers or lineup changes are made throughout the season depth plays nearly as important a role as starters. I made sure to handcuff my RBs as best as I possibly could. This way injuries won’t kill my RB lineup. I also made sure to grab three starting NFL QBs to ensure one big week from any one of them will count toward my total. Even the worst of QBs is capable of putting up nice stats any given Sunday. In retrospect an extra TE would have been good in case the two I have get injured or falter but every roster has it’s weakness.
5) While I chose my strategy up front and stuck to it with what I feel is a successful strategy I think everyone should be aware that this won’t always be the case. It’s always good to have a plan going into a draft but be prepared to adapt as the draft is going down. A plan can fall apart quickly so don’t be afraid to mix things up if things don’t go your way. Sticking to a failing strategy is far worse than abandoning what you initially wanted in favor of something that works.
Joe Kilroy (@KilroyDFW)
1) I went into it the same way I would approach any redraft league for the most part. The main difference was that if I felt I was weak in any one area as the draft unfolded I was willing to stockpile at the position a little more than I may have otherwise done. This is because I knew I would only need one option there to have a strong outing during any given week in order for me to get solid or strong production from the position.
In a draft master the headache of having a handful of uncertain options you have to pick from and hit on each week is eliminated. Having more options at any one position is a benefit here as opposed to potentially complicating matters.
2) With the way the draft unfolded I don’t really regret any of my picks. By the end of the year though I may be wishing I selected Le’Veon Bell (went at 4.12) or Chris Ivory (went at 5.02) over Ryan Mathews who I took at 4.08. I felt Mathews offered the most upside though. And while others may have lost all faith in him I’m still willing to give him this year before possibly reaching that point. I just have to cross my fingers that he stays healthy.
Outside of that I had hoped to get Danny Woodhead and/or Joique Bell as handcuffs to Mathews and Reggie Bush, but they both went about a round earlier than I anticipated and I still would have chosen the players I had selected in those same rounds ahead of those two even in hindsight.
3) It’s tough to pinpoint one roster as the best. The teams that standout the most to me though (taking myself out of the equation) are Jay, Jeff, Luke, and Wes. I’m not sure what order I’d rank them, but they would be my top four.
4) I think Alan may have overdone it when he drafted three quarterbacks within the first seven rounds. I can understand grabbing Aaron Rodgers (at 5.01) and Matt Ryan (at 6.12) like he did, but selecting Russell Wilson at 7.01 instead of grabbing something helpful at the WR or TE position could prove costly.
I don’t think he’ll finish last, but the three-QB approach might’ve been overkill and could hinder him from achieving a higher win total than he might end up with.
5) The biggest difference is something I touched upon in my response to the first question. Depending on how the draft unfolded I would stockpile players at the one or two positions I felt I was weakest at. In this draft I did this with my tight end spot. I may not have landed Gronkowski, Graham, Witten, or Hernandez, but between Pitta, Finley, Dustin Keller and Heath Miller I like to think I’ll get really strong outings from my TE position all throughout the year on a weekly basis.
If I didn’t land one of the top quarterbacks then I would have taken the same approach there by trying to group three or four decent QBs together as opposed to knowing I was locked in with Peyton Manning all year and just one guy behind him (Philip Rivers).
Same goes for however things played out at RB or WR. Running back is a little harder to take that approach with due to the limited number of valued options, but I tried doing my best with guys I felt had upside behind Reggie Bush and Ryan Mathews by grabbing Bryce Brown, Daryl Richardson, and Fred Jackson.
6) This is my first draft masters league, but I think I took the right approach to it. And that is what I just covered. You can afford to not have a top option in these leagues at primarily the QB or TE position as long as you stockpile a solid group of three or four players in those areas where you figure there’s a good chance one from that bunch will have strong outing every Sunday.
I managed to land Peyton Manning at QB so I didn’t have to worry about that spot here. But basically I wanted to get two solid starting RBs, go strong at the WR position, and then grab as many notable tight ends as I could to cover my bases there.
I think doing this with the D/ST’s position could payoff too if you have the roster space to grab three or four D/ST’s while knowing all you need is one of them to have a strong outing to gain an upper hand on your league mates there.
Shawn Gallagher (Contact Shawn on Facebook)
1) My Strategy was to treat this draft like a redraft, and take best player available. I also wanted to mix it up a bit, and go with some players I don’t have in any other leagues to add some variety.
2) I wish I had drafted a running back sooner, like in the first 2 rounds, as the elite backs went rather quick and I’m relying a lot on rookie or unproven backs.
3) Lots of really good drafters here, but if I had to pick one other than my own, I’d go with Luke’s team, as I think his draft was solid and he didn’t really make any reaches.
4) At this point I think Dan has invested his entire life savings into Zac Stacy, and he’s swinging for the fences with him, but I like that Dan is willing to talk the talk and walk the walk. If Stacy is slow out of the gate, it could send Dan straight to 12th place :)
5) Age obviously was not that much of a factor for me, for example, in this league I drafted Andre Johnson where I normally wouldn’t have due to his older age.
6) Overall, I was happy with this draft just let the draftboard come to me. I’m the kind of guy that goes with gut feeling in drafts like this, and throws research out the window.
That completes the 1st half of Q and As from the inaugural Warehouse Invitational. Be sure to check in tomorrow for the remaining answers, and let us know what you thought of our strategies in the comments below!
Thanks for reading, and as always, be easy.