The 2014 NFL season was my first as a Fantasy Footballer. Well, I'm hooked. Excitement reigned supreme as I awaited this years drafts for my pair of Fantasy Football teams. Big boards, mock drafts, ADP's...the whole nine yards. I make it a point to never do anything half-ass. After all, winning isn't everything, it's the only thing!
As part of an ongoing weekly series, I'll be sharing my results, transactions and strategies with all Fantasy Footballers. Since I'm still a neophyte at this game, I hope you'll share your thoughts on how I can improve my teams and perhaps win a league championship or two!
The Snake Drafts - Strategies & Rationale
To prepare for my pair of Fantasy Football Snake Drafts, I came up with a game plan for successfully drafting the best team(s) possible. The game plan included 6 draft tenets:
1/ Research is king. I spent a considerable amount of time researching players/teams, entering mock drafts and creating a draft board of 200 players.
2/ One of the goals in each draft was to take a balanced approach through the first five rounds. In each draft I managed to take quality players at a number of positions without reaching: 2 RB's, 1 WR, 1 QB, 1 TE.
3/ I place more importance on the Defense, Placekicker and Tight End than many Fantasy Football participants do. I believe these positions can win weeks for you. I like to have both my PK and DEF selected between picks 85 and 120 if possible. If I can draft a quality Tight End, I'll take one fairly early.
4/ I like to target a half-dozen or so specific players that I feel will be available at certain points/rounds in the draft. This year, my targets were RB Arian Foster (dropped in most drafts due to injury), WR Larry Fitzgerald (a great connection with returning QB Carson Palmer), RB David Johnson (a versatile, high upside rookie with a team who knows how to use him; a great fit), RB Melvin Gordon (the rookie bell-cow back for San Diego), QB Tom Brady (dropped in most drafts due to the threat of a 4-game suspension), and TE Tyler Eifert (looking to rebound from injury).
5/ I'm never afraid to take a chance on rookies and higher-risk players with upside.
6/ In the mid-to-late rounds I tend to trust my board. BPA rules and I'm always searching for value, especially at the RB and WR positions.
Team Dubs (TST Live 1 Yahoo - 8 Teams)
Pick Position Player Team 1.3 RB Marshawn Lynch Seattle 2.14 QB Andrew Luck Indianapolis 3.19 WR A.J. Green Cincinnati 4.30 RB Melvin Gordon San Diego 5.35 TE Jimmy Graham Seattle 6.46 WR Jeremy Maclin Kansas City 7.51 WR Larry Fitzgerald Arizona 8.62 RB Arian Foster Houston 9.67 QB Tom Brady New England 10.78 TE Julius Thomas Jacksonville 11.83 WR Eric Decker NY Jets 12.94 DEF Denver Broncos 13.99 K Dan Carpenter Buffalo 14.110 WR Kendall Wright Tennessee 15.115 RB David Johnson Arizona 16.126 RB Andre Williams NY Giants
Frank's Team (Yahoo Public 1103417 - 10 Teams)
Pick Position Player Team 1.6 WR Dez Bryant Dallas 2.15 RB DeMarco Murray Philadelphia 3.26 QB Russell Wilson Seattle 4.35 RB Melvin Gordon San Diego 5.46 TE Travis Kelce Kansas City 6.55 RB Alfred Morris Washington 7.66 WR Sammy Watkins Buffalo 8.75 WR Vincent Jackson Tampa Bay 9.86 DEF St. Louis Rams 10.95 RB T.J. Yeldon Jacksonville 11.106 WR Nelson Agholor Philadelphia 12.115 K Justin Tucker Baltimore 13.126 TE Owen Daniels Denver 14.135 QB Joe Flacco Baltimore 15.146 RB Tevin Coleman Atlanta
Results & Statistics
Well, I finally screwed my head on straight and started RB Devonta Freeman in both leagues last week (after keeping him on the bench his first week with both of my teams). He didn't disappoint, garnering 25.70 fantasy points (the highest total on either of my teams). He remains my best roster move to-date. Arian Foster has pretty much returned to form after being out three games to start the season. Given the struggles of both Marshawn Lynch and Melvin Gordon this season, the Freeman/Foster combo might remain my starters for quite some time on Team Dubs.
I may yet regret keeping Andrew Luck and waiving Andy Dalton on Team Dubs. There's little doubt the continued absences of Dez Bryant and Sammy Watkins (due to injury) are really making Frank's Team scramble to put together quality options in their places. Is it time to replace Russell Wilson with Andy Dalton as the starter on Frank's Team?
5 players I'm glad I selected/added: Devonta Freeman, Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald, A.J. Green and the Denver Broncos defense. 5 players who are my biggest disappointments: Andrew Luck, Marshawn Lynch, Melvin Gordon, DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant. My top two players drafted in each league have woefully underperformed. Luckily, solid drafting overall, the waiver wire/Free Agents and dismal performances by my opponents have allowed me to remain near the top of the standings in both leagues.
Week Team Dubs Opponent PF PA Rank Record 1 95.12 88.72 95.12 88.72 1st 1 0 2 93.90 78.06 189.02 166.78 1st 2 0 3 150.32 59.58 339.34 226.36 1st 3 0 4 72.84 81.94 412.18 308.30 1st 3 1 5 117.90 90.26 530.08 398.56 1st 4 1
Position Player Team Fantasy Points QB Tom Brady New England 25.30 RB Devonta Freeman Atlanta 25.70 RB Arian Foster Houston 11.80 WR A.J. Green Cincinnati 7.80 WR Jeremy Maclin Kansas City 8.50 Flex Larry Fitzgerald Arizona 11.80 TE Jimmy Graham Seattle 3.00 PK Dan Carpenter Buffalo 2.00 Defense Denver Broncos 22.00 Total Points Week 5 117.90
Player Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Tom Brady 27.62 28.24 22.72 Bye 25.30 Andrew Luck 19.72 11.40 18.50 Out Out Andy Dalton 18.44 Waived Marshawn Lynch 12.40 6.20 2.30 0.00 Out Melvin Gordon 4.70 9.80 5.10 4.60 7.40 Andre Williams 1.40 4.30 8.90 Waived Devonta Freeman 32.90 25.70 Arian Foster Out Out Out 1.50 11.80 David Johnson 11.50 16.50 4.10 12.10 12.60 A.J. Green 6.30 10.50 34.70 8.20 7.80 Kendall Wright 16.10 1.70 16.80 Bye 3.00 Larry Fitzgerald 8.70 29.20 25.40 7.90 11.80 Jeremy Maclin 5.20 5.50 20.10 14.80 8.50 Eric Decker 9.70 15.70 Out 10.60 Bye Jimmy Graham 11.10 1.10 14.30 2.90 3.00 Charles Clay 0.70 Julius Thomas Out Out Out Waived Dan Carpenter 11.00 2.00 13.00 6.00 2.00 Denver Broncos 16.00 22.00 16.00 10.00 22.00
Week Frank's Team Opponent PF PA Rank Record 1 91.34 79.82 91.34 79.82 3rd 1 0 2 91.14 60.66 182.48 139.88 2nd 2 0 3 68.90 119.06 251.38 258.94 4th 2 1 4 82.38 54.94 333.76 316.48 4th 3 1 5 81.82 63.40 415.58 379.88 3rd 4 1
Position Player Team Fantasy Points QB Russell Wilson Seattle 13.62 RB Devonta Freeman Atlanta 25.70 RB T.J. Yeldon Jacksonville 12.30 WR Vincent Jackson Tampa Bay 3.40 WR Sammy Watkins Buffalo 0.00 Flex Travis Benjamin Cleveland 8.30 TE Travis Kelce Kansas City 3.50 PK Justin Tucker Baltimore 6.00 Defense St. Louis Rams 9.00 Total Points Week 5 81.82
Player Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Russell Wilson 16.14 23.04 16.20 15.48 13.62 Andy Dalton 28.04 Joe Flacco 2.68 22.56 21.48 8.56 Waived DeMarco Murray 14.00 5.50 0.00 4.80 18.00 Melvin Gordon 4.70 9.80 5.10 4.60 7.40 Devonta Freeman 32.90 25.70 Alfred Morris 12.10 7.20 1.90 6.50 Waived T.J. Yeldon 6.70 8.30 4.20 10.90 12.30 Tevin Coleman 8.00 9.20 Out Waived Travis Benjamin 29.50 8.50 7.90 8.30 Sammy Watkins 0.00 12.00 3.90 Out Out Marvin Jones 1.00 Waived Vincent Jackson 5.10 11.40 4.00 20.70 3.40 Dez Bryant 4.80 Out Out Out Out Nelson Agholor 0.50 Waived James Jones 13.70 Travis Kelce 22.60 5.80 10.00 2.90 3.50 Ladarius Green 5.00 Owen Daniels 0.50 1.90 8.80 Waived Justin Tucker 10.00 15.00 6.00 15.00 6.00 St. Louis 14.00 4.00 11.00 10.00 9.00
Week 4 - Added RB Devonta Freeman, Dropped RB Andre Williams
Week 4 - Added QB Andy Dalton, Dropped TE Julius Thomas
Week 5 - Added TE Charles Clay, Dropped QB Andy Dalton
Week 6 - Added PK Brandon McManus, Dropped PK Dan Carpenter
Week 2 - Added WR Tavon Austin, Dropped WR Nelson Agholor
Week 2 - Added WR Travis Benjamin, Dropped WR Tavon Austin
Week 4 - Added RB Devonta Freeman, Dropped RB Tevin Coleman
Week 4 - Added WR Marvin Jones, Dropped TE Owen Daniels
Week 5 - Added WR James Jones, Dropped WR Marvin Jones
Week 5 - Added QB Andy Dalton, Dropped QB Joe Flacco
Week 5 - Added TE Ladarius Green, Dropped RB Alfred Morris
Week 6 - Added WR Allen Hurns, Dropped WR Travis Benjamin
Week 6 - Added DEF Carolina Panthers, Dropped DEF St. Louis Rams
Week 6 Starting Lineups
QB - Tom Brady
RB - Devonta Freeman, Arian Foster
WR - A.J. Green, Jeremy Maclin, Larry Fitzgerald
TE - Jimmy Graham
PK - Brandon McManus
Def - Denver Broncos
Out - 0
A small tweak to the starting lineup with the addition of Brandon McManus (top PK in fantasy points).
QB - Russell Wilson
RB - Devonta Freeman, DeMarco Murray
WR - James Jones, Allen Hurns, Sammy Watkins
TE - Travis Kelce
PK - Justin Tucker
Def - Carolina Panthers
Out - St. Louis Rams Defense, WR Vincent Jackson (Byes), WR Dez Bryant (Injury)
Once again I had to scramble to put together a WR starting lineup. I added Allen Hurns in the hopes he can generate more points than Travis Benjamin did recently. I'm crossing my fingers on the health of Sammy Watkins. Picking up the Panthers' defense to replace the bye week Rams should turn out to be a decent move.