The Great Fantasy Football Reset – Draft Results and a QB Dilemna
*Featured image artwork by Dave Chow – 248-613-0566 – www.davechowillustrations.com
Imagine that Thanksgiving is your absolute favorite holiday. Now imagine, for the first time ever, you’ve decided to host the day at your home and you’ve invited everyone – your friends, extended family, co-workers, and even your crush from high school because of course you did. The big day eventually arrives and your guests are knee deep in appetizers while the dinner table continues to fill with all the Thanksgiving staples, all meticulously hand-prepared by yours truly.
Things are looking great. The Detroit Lions are even winning. But things come to a screeching halt when you realize your turkey, arguably the most important piece to the Thanksgiving puzzle, is only half cooked. You set it in the roasting pan but, with so many other things going on, you forgot to double-check the temperature setting. In short, your love for mashed potatoes and devotion to acing your Grandma Edna’s cornbread stuffing now has you rationing out slimy, deli turkey and wondering how things went so wrong.
That’s just my fun, hunger-inducing way of saying that my first Superflex draft didn’t quite go as planned. More on why, shortly.
Draft Primer and Results
I touched on the basics of my league and draft strategy in previous posts. For a quick refresher, I’ve added some notes below:
- 14 teams
- 10 starters (1-2 QB, 2-6 RB, 2-6 WR, 1-2 TE)
- Snake draft from slot 12 (veteran only)
“Stud ‘n’ Scrub” – Reach for an elite quarterback around the fourth round and figure the rest out later. Ideal pairing is something like Tom Brady and Alex Smith or Andrew Luck and Brian Hoyer.
Running Back Strategy
“Not Quite ZeroRB” – New league. New format. New challenges. Don’t over-complicate things by fading too many positions.
Wide Receiver Strategy
“Pick Your Poison” – All about depth. Lots of good, young wide receivers in the NFL currently. Fill up on them early and often, and take advantage of being able to start up to six in this league format.
Tight End Strategy
“Do I Have To?” – Increased focus on quarterback will drive down tight end value the most. Certainly want an elite talent such as Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce or Jordan Reed, but not exactly sure when to burst the bubble and don’t want to feel obligated to draft in reaction to a run on the position.
Veteran Draft Results
Where I Hit
Running Back and Tight End
I got the type of talent I was looking for heading into the draft and really don’t have any complaints or regrets. Of course, adding at either one of these positions during the rookie draft is going to be top-of-mind.
Wide Receiver depth
In our 25-round draft, I landed 14 receivers, the most of any other owner, which accounts for 48% of my total roster makeup. I didn’t land one of the few elite WRs available, but I did get a good volume of “plus” pass catchers. And my receiver inventory could even allow me to trade a package of players in order to address other needs.
What need(s) could I be referring to? I’m glad you asked…
Where I Missed
In case you missed it, or you just really love Alex Smith (Editor’s Note: this is an Alex Smith fan site), I could use a little help at quarterback. I promise that I really, truly, intended to “reach” for my QB1 during the draft, fully understanding the added value of the position in Superflex. But nothing could prepare me for just how much value my league-mates seemed to place on the position.
When I saw Andrew Luck go fourth overall I imagined Le’Veon Bell had been busted with a U-Haul full of weed, somewhere in the Nevada desert. There was no other explanation for Bell not to come off the board at 1.04… right? Little did I know that this was my first real sign of things to come.
The first quarterback run came at the end of the first round and ran into the second round. Between the first 28 picks of our draft, 11 QBs were selected. By the time the next four QBs were selected, in the third round, I felt I had no real choice but to continue fading the position and default into the warm and familiar, but now somewhat-scratchy, blanket that is the Late Round Quarterback Strategy.
In his past two seasons, Alex Smith scored as QB16 and QB22, respectively. And since beginning his tenure with Kansas City in 2013, Smith has averaged out to be a pretty reliable QB17. These are definitely QB2 type numbers, making him a good candidate to fill that Superflex position in a 14-team league. However, on my LRQB squad, he’ll be my top QB.
Josh McCown, my default QB2, scored a combined 180.26 fantasy points over his last 15 starts, in 2015-16. This roughly equates to what would’ve been the QB27 in 2016, somewhere between Ryan Tannehill and Brock Osweiler. For me, the “appeal” of drafting McCown lies solely in having a second body available at the position. The brutal truth is that McCown is my “in case of emergency” option.
The fact that this was a Superflex draft and not purely 2QB played a big role in my willingness to shift my draft strategy to LRQB. Knowing I only have to start one QB makes not having a true second QB a bit more palatable. Additionally, the increased demand for QB in this particular league seems to be neautralized by the total size and flexibility of our starting roster. Each week, I’ll need to select a combination of eight RBs and WRs to fill out my starting 10 (assuming I go with one QB and TE most weeks). Given the size of this league, and the amount of players we have to start, I like my chances using the amount of I talent I have at positions of greater impact to make up for my lack of QB power. I prefer this over a scenario of having two top-tier QBs but struggling to make sit/start decision on eight other positions each week.
Team Outlook and Rookie Draft
Despite how sore I am from kicking myself, I’m optimistic about my team. I may not be thrilled with my QB situation, but I think there’s a lot to like about everything else. And hey, if I’m being honest, this simple tweet from @gregsauce has done a good job of helping me cope with my self-imposed QB exile.
Now, did I wait a little too long on taking my QBs? Probably; but there’s plenty of time to come up with solutions to my QB problem. Generally speaking, I’m against trading to acquire a QB. This sentiment primarily originates from my experience in redraft leagues, but given how QB-heavy some of the other owners drafted, I think there may be opportunities for me to strike a deal.
I own picks 1.05, 2.05, 3.05 and 4.05 in our upcoming rookie draft. Once again I find myself in a position of not quite being able to justify spending my top pick on a QB – even though the feeling of regret is sure to immediately surface. There’s a line out there about stubborn people repeating the past, but, since I can’t remember it, I’ll just assume it’s inconsequential and we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.
If you want to see for yourself how this draft shook out, feel free to take a look here
*FantasyData.com was referenced for the writing of this article
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