I refuse to overcommit to dynasty leagues, because I want to put my whole effort into each one. As a result, I don’t get to participate in nearly as many startup drafts as do many other dynasty players. Mock drafts are a fantastic substitute, and they help me keep tabs on the feel and ADP that are typical in superflex dynasty startup drafts.
Below, I walk through my early picks to share my thought process drafting 1.01, but if you are interested, you can find the whole draft here.
Now, let’s see how I crushed this thing.
Odell Beckham, NYG WR – 1.01
The 1.01 is clear for me, although many would disagree and go quarterback with the first pick overall. My stance is this: QB and WR are similar positions in terms of longevity, QBs score more than WRs, but the WR list falls off much harder than does the list of QBs. I would much rather the elite, young WR and a middle-tier QB than vice versa. I trust myself to stash decent starting QBs later in the draft, but finding good WRs can be much more difficult.
You should know that successful dynasty players disagree, and I am far from certain this is the right move. As an example, Dwayne Brown is sharing his top-150 rankings for 2QB dynasty, and he began like this:
1- Aaron Rodgers
In a tier by himself. Best combination of independent talent and age. Most likely to retain production value. #2QB150
— Dwayne Brown (@DwayneB13) February 6, 2017
Devonta Freeman, ATL RB – 2.12
I am torn on taking a RB so early, but I saw a chance to take RB5 at pick 24 overall. I see a clear dropoff in RB talent after Freeman — Melvin Gordon and Lamar Miller were the next two drafted. I debated going QB with Dak Prescott or Matt Ryan, whom Giana Pacinelli touted for us recently, but I saw a bigger drop at RB than at QB.
Alshon Jeffery CHI WR – 3.01
This is another risky pick, because we don’t know where Alshon Jeffery will play in 2017 and beyond. This is a pure play on size and talent, trusting that Jeffery will find a key role no matter which team signs him. Stefon Diggs, Keenan Allen, and Rob Gronkowski were all still on the board; I could have legitimately taken any one of these four and felt good here.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT QB – 4.12
Four full rounds without taking a QB! In a superflex dynasty league! Well, it’s time to make this work. If you plan to wait on QB in this type of format, you absolutely must prioritize reliable starters in these middle single-digit rounds. The last thing you want is to be rolling the dice on guys who may or may not be starters for multiple more seasons — I don’t want to gamble on guys like Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, or Jimmy Garoppolo if I’ve waited this long for my first QB. Roethlisberger is an established vet with a proven ability to finish as a QB1 on a regular basis, and I feel confident he has several years left — despite some buzz about retirement thoughts.
Andy Dalton CIN QB – 5.01
I knew I would draft two quarterbacks at this turn, but I had a tougher time deciding which QB to take second. I stuck to my dynasty QB rankings and went Dalton, but I was tempted by Blake Bortles and Philip Rivers at this pick. I stuck to my goal of drafting reliable QBs, so I passed on Bortles and even Tyrod Taylor at this spot. You may not love Andy Dalton, but he’s a reliable option. I also love that he has two top-five seasons under his belt already; there is upside to go around.
Philip Rivers LAC QB – 6.12
Well, then. Sometimes a draft shakes out in a way you don’t foresee. I almost took Philip Rivers 23 picks before this, so I absolutely will draft him here. I do not go into superflex dynasty drafts expecting to get three high-end starters at quarterback, but I will draft value wherever I can get it. I love this QB setup.
Emmanuel Sanders DEN WR – 7.01
While I am open to multiple approaches to dynasty startup drafts, I tend toward drafting players who give me an immediate competitive edge. I try to add several players who can start for me in Week 1 before I shift to targeting lottery pick youngsters. Emmanuel Sanders fits this bill perfectly. Sanders, along with Demaryius Thomas, gets overlooked frequently in startups these days, in part because of his age (29), but also because of the question marks Denver has at quarterback. If Sanders excelled with the ghost of Peyton Manning before and Trevor Siemian last year, I trust that he can excel yet again in the next few years.
Will Fuller HOU WR – 8.12
Remember that last paragraph about drafting proven assets? Well, it’s time to turn this game on its head and start collecting upside players who may not start for me right away. I love Jeff Miller‘s comparison of Fuller to DeSean Jackson, and I saw enough raw talent in 2016 that I’m willing to take a shot on Fuller here. Your first thought is probably the drops, and for good reason, but I also do not want to underestimate the effect playing with dreadful Brock Osweiler can have on a young wide receiver. Fuller has plenty of years ahead of him, and I trust he will continue to improve and build on his great natural talent and speed.
Cameron Meredith CHI WR – 9.01
This was a reach. No, this was a judgment error; I’ll be honest with you. I like Meredith a lot, but the start of the ninth round is a bit early. I could have gone Eric Decker, Eric Ebron, or Dion Lewis here. If I wanted to add another QB, Paxton Lynch was on the board. Despite all those options, many of whom come before Meredith in most dynasty rankings, I liked Meredith here because he fit into my high-level strategy: grab proven starters early then shift to youth with upside.
Through nine rounds, I love what I built. I have no tight end, but many good ones are still on the board — Jimmy Graham, Delanie Walker, and Kyle Rudolph lead my list. I have only one running back, but that’s typical of my dynasty teams. I am happy to wait and add cheap RBs later or even through waivers later on; there are always more RBs to be had.
At QB, I planned to draft two veterans after the first few rounds, but I ended up with three. I feel incredibly safe at the position, but I spent more draft capital than I would have liked. As a result, my WR group is weaker than I would have liked. At WR, I have Beckham and Jeffery to lead things, but it gets iffy after that. Typically, I would rather emphasize the receiver position more on my dynasty rosters, but this was a combination of grabbing value at QB and watching WRs fly off the board in every round.
I would rather pick later in the first round, and if I had my choice I sure wouldn’t pick the 1.01. But I feel good about what I was able to put together from the first pick in this draft.
What has your experience been like drafting 1.01? Would you do anything differently? Let me know.