Had the live draft for one of my fantasy football leagues last night (a league I’m the Commissioner of), so I figured I would throw together a recap of the draft results. A better version of the ‘Draft Grades’ handed out by Yahoo after the results are in. Just to give you some context, this was a 12-team draft; 0.5 PPR scoring, and the draft was held at a sketchy ‘Knights of Columbus’ where we were likely the only people with full-time jobs and all of our own teeth. So, I’ll run through each team, by draft position, with overall highlights and grades. Sneak preview: it was a very competitive race for Worst Overall Draft and Biggest Reach.
Team #1 – Team THC
With the #1 overall pick, this guy took Le’Veon Bell. I don’t have him atop my big board but I can’t really argue with it…he was an absolute monster last season. Other highlights were Aaron Rodgers at the end of the 2nd round, and wrap-around picks of Travis Kelce and John Brown in the 7th/8th. Outside of that, there were some big reaches which is bound to happen when you’re picking at the end of a draft. Edelman at the top of the 3rd was probably the most egregious one, and that’ s coming from a Pats fan, but he came off the board before Brandin Cooks, Alshon Jeffrey and Emanuel Sanders. That one could come back to bite this guy in the ass. He did secure the rest of the old hot-box duo in LeGarrette Blount. So two of his top three running backs will be out week 1 for smoking weed together last season…well played sir…Official Grade: B- Yahoo Grade: B
Team #2 – AP and the 2011 Pro Bowl Team
He got AP to start off his draft and came back with Andrew Luck in the 2nd round, so that’s certainly a hell of a foundation for a fantasy team. The other highlights were Jimmy Graham in the 3rd, T.J. Yeldon in the 6th and Devon Funchess in the 10th – which is great value for a guy who could turn into Cam’s top target. He seems to be a believer in the revitalized Muscle Hamster hype this preseason, and took Dougie to be his RB2. I don’t buy the hype because I’ve been burned by him too many times in the past, so I think that pick will be vital to this team’s success. From there, I think this dude either got bored or just forgot what year it was because he was taking guys who were studs 2 or 3 years ago: Steve Smith Sr., Victor Cruz, Reggie Bush and Stevie Johnson. I think they all have different levels of value, but I’m a big believer in stocking my bench with young, high-upside guys…and he decided to go a different route. Official Grade: B Yahoo Grade: B-
Team #3 – WTF happened to QB??
Lacy in the 1st round was probably the highlight and in hindsight it started to go downhill from there. DeAndre Hopkins and Brandin Cooks at picks 2 and 3 have huge potential and upside…but if they don’t pan out, this team could be in serious trouble because of the gaping hole at QB. But I’ll get to that in a minute. Love the overall WR corps, with Jarvis Landry, Charles Johnson and Eddie Royal. I think people might have forgotten this was a 0.5 PPR league, because Hopkins, Cooks, Landry and Royal are all guys who could catch between 85-100 balls this season. This team also took a gamble on Arian Foster in the 7th round, which in a 12-team league I think is fair value given the upbeat reports coming out of Houston right now. The big, GIANT issue with this team is at QB. I love Teddy Bridge to take a leap in his 2nd season, but would not feel comfortable with him as my starter…this team will probably be hitting the trade market early looking to pry away a QB from one of the many teams that doubled up at the position (before he even drafted 1). For the record, this was MY team, and I want to throw myself into oncoming traffic for drafting Joseph Randle in the 4th…so FML; Official Grade: B Yahoo Grade: B
Team #4 – What did I do to piss this guy off?
Now that you know I was picking 3rd, I’ll give some context as to why this bastard was a thorn in my side all night long. He took Marshawn Lynch in the 1st, fine…nothing to get upset about there. In the 2nd round, A.J. Green started to slide and I was hoping he’d make it to me…only to have him go right before my pick to THIS guy. Okay, no big deal. Then, in the 4th round I sat there watching as Melvin Gordon kept sliding…right into my lap I thought. Until THIS guy took him again one spot before me. Happened again with Chris Ivory in the 8th round…and the icing on the cake, he took Sam Bradford one pick before me in the 12th round when he already had Drew Brees on his roster and I desperately needed a QB. I’m going to look up a voodoo witch doctor in the yellow pages tomorrow morning to put a fucking hex on this guys’ team.
Now that I vented and got that off my chest, back to the actual analysis. Aside from him stealing 4 guys right out of my hands, he also made the poor decision of drafting Jason Witten one pick before I took Greg Olsen in the 6th round. That was a HUGE misfire, which prompted me to get on my soapbox and ask everyone if they ‘knew who Greg Olsen was’…what can I say, I enjoy my spot on my high horse. He also took Reggie Wayne in the 14th round, which is just laughable…but at least he knew it when he made the pick. Official Grade: A- Yahoo Grade: B+
Team #5 – Team Hipster
This guy was quiet all night – no trash talk. He just sat there in his skinny jeans and went about his business. He had some success early on – Jamaal Charles fell into his lap at #5 and he got great value on Alshon Jeffrey in the 3rd round. But he was yet another victim of drafting guys that used to be big names 3-4 years ago when they were in their prime. He took Larry Fitzgerald in the 6th and Marques Colston in the 8th. Not terrible value on either guy…but I believe both guys have their best football way in the rearview mirror. I think he’ll be cruising the waiver wire for better options in a few weeks, and will wish that he spent less time gelling his hair and more time preparing for the draft. Official Grade: C+ Yahoo Grade: B
Team #6 – Maybe two heads aren’t better than one
This team had two guys co-managing the team. The youngest, a newbie to our company, was supposed to be my assistant with the draft board and have absolutely zero input into the actual draft. All the guys agreed that having an extra brain with input was an unfair advantage. Alas, I decided to NOT be Roger Goodell and let it slide…after all, this is supposed to be fun, right? Anyway, their draft started out amazingly – they got Antonio Brown in the 1st and Jeremy Hill fell to them in the 2nd. Mark this down, I firmly believe that Jeremy Hill has the potential to finish as a top 5 running back this season. I thought they reached a little on Alfred Morris and Davante Adams in the next two rounds, but definitely hit the jackpot with Big Ben in the 6th round. That must have been all the knowledge crammed into those two heads though, because from there all they did was scoop up the Giants RBs and draft two mediocre tight ends (Owen Daniels and Zach Ertz). Official Grade: B+ Yahoo Grade: B
Team #7 – At least one team’s QB situation is worse than mine
Before I get into the dire straits that this squad was left in at the quarterback position, there were lots of positives. Julio Jones is the most explosive wide receiver in football in my opinion, and getting Matt Forte at pick #18 is just absurd. Did everyone forget that he caught over 100 passes last season? I don’t care if Marc Trestman is gone and Jay Cutler is still his quarterback, the dude is PPR gold. He then came back with Justin Forsett in the 3rd (who by the way is now playing in a Marc Trestman offense) and then C.J. Spiller and preseason superstar Ameer Abdullah in the 7th round. His running backs are absolutely stacked. Like, stacked more than Eric Decker’s wife…
The only negative, and it’s a BIG negative, is that he totally missed out on all of the QBs and got stuck with Andy Dalton. There’s no way to say this nicely…when your quarterback is a ginger, you know you’re totally fucked. At least he’s got enough depth at other positions that he should be able to swing a trade for a serviceable QB. Official Grade: B (would be an A- if not for Dalton) (This guy also takes a hit to his credibility for asking in the 5th round, “Is Aaron Rodgers still available?”) Yahoo Grade: B-
Team #8 – Fill-in guy/the Ringer
The real owner of this team couldn’t be at the draft, so we found him a fill-in. Unfortunately for all of us, we found him a fill-in with probably more fantasy football knowledge and experience than he actually possesses, so this couldn’t have worked out better for him. In reality, he made his own rankings and this guy was going off his sheet, so I have to give him some credit…but we’ve already decided this guy should be able to co-manage the team; that’s how well the draft went for them. C.J. Anderson in the 1st, which was immediately met by a loud “FUCK” from the guy picking 9th…Beckham in the 2nd, Jordan Matthews in the 4th, Latavius Murray in the 6th, Romo in the 7th and Martavis Bryant in the 8th round. He even grabbed Markus Wheaton in the 12th round. This team is just stacked, all across the board. I feel like this dude made a copy of my personal rankings when I got up to use the bathroom during the day, because he was reading my mind all night. He even took my “sleeper” at tight end, grabbing Tyler Eifert. I have nothing bad to say about this team; literally the only questionable move was picking my handcuff in James Starks, instead of their own for CJ Anderson (Ronnie Hillman). I wish it was my own so I could have come home tonight and done some serious roster-bating. Official Grade: A Yahoo Grade: B
Team #9 – This guy MIGHT have been drunk
I’ll start with the few positives that existed in this guys’ draft…DeMarco Murray in the 1st round was a reach in my opinion, but I can’t fault him too much for drafting last years’ rushing leader at #9 overall. Personally, I think he’s going to share touches with Matthews and Sproles – plus I don’t think he stays healthy all year after the absurd workload he had in 2014…but I digress. He took Cobb in the 2nd, who just sprained his AC joint on Saturday…but okay, I’m at least somewhat on-board through this point in the draft. 3rd round is where the wheels fell off the wagon….TODD GURLEY.
Kid’s got plenty of talent, but is coming off an ACL injury and will be eased into things. I’ve already been threatened with a picture of his balls mailed to my house when Gurley runs for 1,800 yards and 17TDs…so lucky for me those are just absurd predictions. If Gurley turns into a legit RB1, then his team might be okay…but if not he’ll be in serious trouble because of these wonderful picks he made later in the draft: Montee Ball in the 8th (by the way he’s their 3rd stringer) and Julius Thomas in the 9th (who had hand surgery yesterday). Those beauties are definitely in the running for worst picks of the night. Official Grade: C Yahoo Grade: C
Team #10 – Cam Newton always ruins the draft for someone
This guy was the one who brought us to the magical establishment that we drafted in, so maybe he was too worried about us not embarrassing him in front of his 80-year-old buddies to focus on the draft. He lost interest very quickly, and legitimately wanted to “check out and auto-draft”. He made some solid picks early with Shady McCoy, Megatron and Lamar Miller to start off his squad…but all of his hopes and dreams came crashing down when he drafted Cam Newton in the 6th round (well before Eli, Rivers and Tannehill). He then cursed himself for the next few rounds, repeatedly saying “I can’t believe I drafted Cam Newton”. At least he was smart enough to draft Eli in the 12th round, so he might as well cut Cam loose and chalk that up to a wasted draft pick. By the end he was drafting guys in the form of a question because he had no idea who the hell they were…but Perriman and Latimer might actually turn into something for him. Official Grade: B- Yahoo Grade: C+
Team #11 – The Reacher
There’s always one in every draft…the guy who reaches. Well, here he is in our league. It started early and happened often. He reached so often that I was worried he was going to start giving reach-arounds to other guys in the draft room. Was that too far? I never know. Anyway, he took Dez in the 1st which was solid…but then the reaches started with T.Y. Hilton at 14 overall. That’s just insane – ahead of Megatron, Beckham, Cobb and AJ Green?? WTF were you smoking dude? Seriously…I want some, that must be good shit. He also took Peyton in the 4th, which was met with a loud chorus of BOOOOs from the all Patriot crowd (including the old guys playing pool behind us). He then took two back-ups as his RB2 and RB3 – Gio Bernard and Ryan Matthews, another RB who just suffered a concussion this weekend, and Danny Woodhead about 3 rounds before he should have come off the board. He better hope that Dez puts up 16 touchdowns again, because his only receivers outside of him and TY are Malcom Floyd (who one other owner thought was dead) and Kenny Stills. Maybe I should have gone over the roster positions one more time before we started (there are 3 starting WR spots dude). Official Grade: C Yahoo Grade: C (This guy also takes home the prize for most attempted picks of guys taken 2 rounds previously)
Team #12 – Save the worst for last…
I honestly had high hopes for this guys’ draft after he opened up with Demaryius Thomas and Gronk…and did so with a ton of confidence. But WOW did it unravel really quickly from there. I don’t even know where to start, but I can only assume that this guy developed a brain tumor in the 15 minutes between his second and third pick, because he went with Joique Bell at the end of the 3rd round. I know he was desperate for a running back in that spot, but taking a guy who hasn’t practice all preseason and who’s two backups have both looked explosive in preseason is well…just stupid. S-T-O-O-P-I-D, stoopid!! As they say on Felger & Mazz. I wish I could say it got better from there, but it didn’t. The tumor must have grown because he took Torrey Smith in the 5th round and Bishop Sankey in the 7th (Brady was sandwiched between those picks).
But the pick that takes the cake…in the 12th round he innocently asked if Fred Jackson was still on the board. To which another owner genuinely responded, “Yes he is, because he isn’t on an NFL roster right now”. We actually gave him the opportunity to pick someone else and he chose not to…instead drafting a 34-year-old running back who is currently unemployed. He also took his defense and kicker in the 10th and 11th rounds respectively…so I’ve just lost all respect for this guy. May God have mercy on his soul; Official Grade: D+ Yahoo Grade: B (they must have gotten their weed from the same guy as team #11)