The Warehouse Invitational: Part 2
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:
Luke Grilli (@lgrilli88)
1) I always make sure I am able to stock up on as many stud RBs/WRs as possible, before focusing on the QB and TE. Generally, (and it depends on where I draft) I like to go RB-WR-WR-RB-WR/QB-WR/QB. This draft I started at 1.09, which I was content with. There are 9 RBs I would take in the first round, so I am guaranteed to be happy with my first round pick.
I went LeSean McCoy 1.09, Brandon Marshall 2.04, Stevan Ridley 3.09, Wes Welker 4.04, Antonio Brown 5.09 and Tom Brady 6.04. This is almost a perfect Top 6 picks for my strategy. McCoy and Ridley are clear cut RB1s on their respective teams and my top 3 WR are PPR studs. The icing on the cake is I got my 4th ranked QB for 2013 in the 6th round. If I waited on Brady and took Tony Gonzalez as my TE1 or Greg Jennings as my flex, I would have lost out on an the elite QBs and taken Kaepernick or RG3 at 7.09. Both of those options would have been great QB1s for my team, but I will take the guy who consistently puts up Top 5 numbers. Plus, I was able to get Miles Austin and Jonathan Stewart in the 7th and 8th rounds respectively, so they round out my flex-by-committee position.
2) While I’m not upset taking LeSean McCoy 1.09 by any means, I think I should have taken Jamaal Charles, who went one pick later. Since this draft finished up, I have become enamored with Jamaal Charles. Peyton Hillis looks like he is gone (not that it really mattered anyways) and the offense should be run through Charles. LeSean McCoy will get plenty of carries, but I’m sure Bryce Brown, Felix Jones and Michael Vick will steal plenty of points from Shady. Nobody is stealing anything from Jamaal Charles in KC. I would also probably take Pitta over Jonathan Stewart in the 8th. I think that Benjarvus Green-Ellis has one more year of fantasy relevancy in Cinci and would have been just fine as my RB3.
3) Can I say me? Ok…I’m a little biased so I will go with someone else. I like Joe Kilroy’s squad. Peyton is a stud and Reggie Bush could come close to 70 catches in Detroit. If Ryan Mathews can put together a decent season, I could see high end RB2 production from him. I would prefer to have a true RB1 on this team, but his top 4 WRs mask any weakness at RB. Calvin Johnson, Demaryius and a healthy Amendola/Danario (big ifs)…it doesn’t get much better than that. Pitta should have plenty of catches as Flacco’s security blanket and even his kicker (Gostkowski) is tied to a high octane offense. Not too shabby Joe.
4) You hit the nail on the head. I’m not a fan of taking TEs early and you (Brian) took two of them! I don’t know if you will be finishing last, but your depth at WR worries me. I wouldn’t feel too comfortable having Stevie Johnson as my WR1 in a PPR league. Plus, with Gronk’s injury concerns, you could be playing without him for a few weeks.
5) Because it is a Draft Master and we are unable to add/drop and trade during the season, I didn’t reach for any sleeper candidates when I was still putting together my starting lineup. Potential break out guys (AJ Jenkins, Emmanuel Sanders and Ronnie Hillman) will not be relied on week to week, but if they become a starter then that is just gravy for my squad.
6) Please, please, please…do NOT draft a QB or TE in the first four rounds. There is so much WR and RB talent that you need to stock up on before you can even think about the other positions. Remember, each week you are starting AT LEAST 5 RB/WR. Take care of those positions, or take a QB in the 5th if you know you can get a decent WR option in Round 6. Get your RB/WR set and then worry about the QB and TE positions later. There are so many great options at QB that you can get late.
Also, the upside of taking a TE early is minimal. There are 2 elite guys that will out score the average TEs by 4-5 points a game (Graham and Gronk) and three 2nd tier guys (Witten, Hernandez and Gonzalez) who will outscore the average TEs by 1-2 points a game. Take the discounted player like Kyle Rudolph or Owen Daniels 3-4 rounds after the 1st and 2nd tier guys and gain the advantage at RB/WR, and you can thank me later.
Wesley Wood (@Chipper_DFW)
1) My strategy was to get consistent performers (as usual), but also wanted to take some risks with higher upside players.
2) No pick I made was a true regret. I think I got a tad desperate in round 13 when I picked Ryan Williams. I realized my RB depth was shallow.
3) I think I had a solid draft but if I had to choose someone elses team, it would be Jay’s. His team looks solid as well and he avoided rookies.
4) Alan had the craziest when he took 7 rookies and Jordan Cameron, who are all unproven.
5) I approached it with the mindset that age doesn’t matter. Only thing I look for is players who have produced and haven’t shown any reasons not to produce this year.
6) I want to say I am sorry to all of the readers. Since I will be far from last place, that means you won’t have my love put into the end of the year article.
Leo Paciga (@FFHoudini)
1) My strategy heading into the draft was to target RBs early and often and let the WR value fall to me in rounds 4-8. I was able to basically follow this approach, but the Crabtree injury – just 30 minutes after I drafted him at 4.02 – was tough to recover from. I felt like I spent the rest of the draft chasing lost points.
2) Tavon Austin at 6.02. I probably should have gone the route of a steady veteran at that stage in the draft (Greg Jennings of the Vikings and Carolina’s Steve Smith were both available at that pick).
3) I think Jay probably has the most well rounded squad. He’s got good depth at QB with Tony Romo and Ben Roethlisberger, 3 solid RBs with Ray Rice, Darren Sproles and David Wilson and both Larry Fitzgerald and Dwayne Bowe are primed for come back seasons at WR with improved options at QB. Adding in Tony Gonzalez at TE is just icing on the cake.
4) No crazy strategy, but losing Crabtree to a season ending injury will be very difficult for my team to overcome. Any player selected in the 4th round needs to be a key contributor in order for a squad to be successful. I’ve got a tough road ahead of me against these other talent laden teams.
5) Usually I’m “all in” with building my squads from the ground up with a solid group of young, upside WRs. DraftMaster leagues, however, are a different animal; if you don’t acknowledge and address the RB premium early in a DM, you’ll pay the price all season long.
6) Just that I really appreciate the folks that stop by DFW and take the time to read our articles, leave comments and/or visit the message board. I just want to say, “THANK YOU”!
Dan Heins (@Dan_DFW)
1) My strategy for just about any draft is always BPA ( best player available). Obviously there comes a time in every draft where “need” can start to outweigh the BPA and you will have to make a few concessions. I also wanted to gamble on RB a little. I figured I could load up on some strategic flyers and overfill the position by 2-3 players and try and hit on one or two.
2) Marcus Lattimore in the 10thwas a silly pick in retrospect. Wish I had that one back. I love the pick there for dynasty but for a DM-redraft style draft that will end up hurting me unless Gore goes down.
3) I am going to go Jeff here. With a redraft format I think he did exceptionally well. 3 legitimate stud-potential RBs with Martin, Dmac, and MJD. He found great value at the WR position and since it’s a one year deal, age has no bearing. Boldin, Wayne, Wallace, and Steve Smith make for a nice options. I also love Boldin with the loss of Crabtree. He should take over right where Crabs left off. Cam will give him a game winner at QB and his TE position will just need to “hold its own”.
4) Definitely struggling to understand the mentality of taking 3-QB1s (and yes I’m talking to you Alan). A-rodg, Ryan, and Wilson are all great QBs so what they are doing on one team when you are only going to be getting one score out of all of them is a little perplexing. Obviously your QB is likely to give you some very nice points every week with those choices and it will also limit some of your opponents who failed to grab a higher end QB, but I think you just sacrifice and risk too much at the other positions. I think RB-wise Alan will be ok, but WR could be a disaster. He did load up on WR though, so he did increase his odds of hitting on a flier.
5) Honestly the biggest difference is the roster size. I was able to load up on flyer-RBs as I believe that is the most unpredictable position in FF. Get a stable WR corps, a stable QB, and then just hit on a couple of RBs and you are golden.
6) Just like anything you want to be good at, it requires practice. A great draft can set you up for domination. A poor draft can put you instantly in a rebuild-mode (at least for dynasty). If you want to be a great drafter, then you will need to PRACTICE. Get in some mock drafts on your favorite sites. Compete in some “draft master” leagues on MFL. They are painless and a ton of fun.
Unfortunately Sal and Jay couldn’t be reached for comments on the draft. I’m sure if you hit them up on Twitter or below they’ll be happy to answer all of your questions though!
After reading these responses it became clear to me that my mentality for DraftMasters is vastly different from the others (a good thing, I think), and so you have that to look forward to in the next week or two.
I hope you guys enjoyed the followup to our draft and got your learn on.