2015 MFL10 Recap: Quarterbacks, Tight Ends, and DST

2015 MFL10 Recap: Quarterbacks, Tight Ends, and DST

By Mike Margossian (MFL10 Expert), last updated Sep 12, 2016

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Mike has been playing fantasy sports for 20 years, enjoying different formats along the way and even making some up for the hell of it. He has become a trusted source of best ball (MFL10) strategy with top results in 2014 and 2015. Mike has lived in Excel since before he could walk, vote, or drink legally; he tries to use that to his advantage in fantasy football and marriage. That and beer, lots and lots of beer.

Follow Mike on Twitter: @MikeMarFF.

Looking back on the 2015 MFL10 season was much like any other redraft league in 2015, but the main difference in a draft-only best ball league like an MFL10 is the lack of a waiver wire. Tying yourself to an under-performing QB is much more detrimental to your MFL10 team than it might be in a more traditional league. 

In this article we will look at some of the values that were available at QB, TE, and Defense in 2015. We won’t reflect on obvious league winners like Cam Newton (rushing floor) or Tom Brady (suspension wasn’t likely) but rather the values that should have been clear to drafters, but were often overlooked. We will also delve into players like Peyton Manning or Colin Kaepernick that were comically overvalued and what we can learn from those reaches.  



In 2015 many of the top drafted QBs greatly under-performed (Andrew Luck, Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Tony Romo), while some mid-level quarterbacks were over-drafted (Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford, Ryan Tannehill). The advantage of having a top-tier quarterback is mitigated in a best ball format, and the downside is massive when those players are expensive and under-perform. In future articles we will dive deeper into how multiple quarterbacks in best ball can replicate the points of a top-tier quarterback at a better value. 

QB Draft Position vs Finish
Player Round Drafted Position Drafted Rank Position Finishing Rank Difference
Blake Bortles 16.5 29 3 26
Carson Palmer 12.5 19 5 14
Derek Carr 15 24 13 11
Alex Smith 15 25 15 10
Matt Ryan 7.5 8 19 -11
Colin Kaepernick 11.75 17 31 -14
Peyton Manning 6 4 33 -29

Some of the best QB values were sophomore quarterbacks Blake Bortles and Derek Carr. Both were extremely cheap (round 15+) and were being drafted as a team’s second or third quarterback. Even if they didn’t perform as well as they actually did in 2015, their price left plenty of room for them to outperform their ADP.  

Going into the season we knew that Manning was a risk health-wise, and with an ADP of the sixth round, the risk was especially high. Kaepernick was a similar case to Manning, in that he was probably being drafted above his most likely outcome, albeit at a much cheaper price. These unnecessary risks can be illustrated by comparing a player such as Manning to someone like Carson Palmer. Both QBs were injured, or coming back from injury, but on teams with good offensive weapons highlighted by a solid receiving corp. The difference was that Manning was going in the sixth round while Palmer was going in the 12th. Even if you projected a higher ceiling for Manning, the price of each QB should have tilted drafters in favor of a much cheaper Palmer in a very similar situation.


Tight End

Tight ends in 2015 were not much different than in years past; if you didn’t get one of the top TEs it was best to wait until later rounds. Most of the top TEs either hit or came close to hitting value (Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, Greg Olsen), while TEs in the second tier failed miserably (Jimmy Graham, Martellus Bennett, Jordan Cameron). Tyler Eifert and Delanie Walker were  9th-10th round picks that both finished in the top seven. While there were injury concerns with Eifert and Walker, their potential value was significant considering the cost of drafting similar talents like Bennett (mid sixth) or Julius Thomas (mid seventh). 


TE Draft Position vs Finish
Player Round Drafted Position Drafted Rank Position Finishing Rank Difference
Jordan Reed 14 22 2 20
Jacob Tamme 18 35 15 20
Delanie Walker 10 11 5 6
Tyler Eifert 9.5 10 7 3
Julius Thomas 7.5 6 17 -11
Jimmy Graham 3 2 16 -14
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 11 12 33 -21

Two of the best values at TE were Jordan Reed and Jacob Tamme. Reed came into 2015 with serious injury concerns while Tamme had never been anything special without Peyton Manning as his quarterback. Reed, in hindsight, proved to be worth the risk, with an ADP in the 14th round but huge (league winning) upside. Those that were especially concerned about Reed could have drafted a third TE very late, such as Brent Celek or Jared Cook

Looking at the TEs that were over-drafted, Julius Thomas and Jimmy Graham were going to new teams with worse passing games, but were still being drafted based on name recognition. Jimmy Graham in the third round  was an easy fade due to his new situation in a run-heavy offense. With a chance to be a primary target in a young receiving corps, Julius Thomas was tempting, even with probable TD regression ahead after being force fed TDs in Denver, but ultimately proved to be a reach. 

Defense/Special Teams


DST Draft Position vs Finish
Player Round Drafted Position Drafted Rank Position Finishing Rank Difference
Redskins 19 28 12 16
Steelers 18.5 22 7 15
Cardinals 15 8 1 7
Broncos 15 9 2 7
Seahawks 10.75 1 5 -4
Texans 12.5 3 16 -13
Bills 12 2 19 -17
Dolphins 14.5 6 27 -21

It’s no surprise that the best values at defense/special teams were those taken in the last few rounds of the draft (rounds 18-20) in 2015. There are three main lessons to take away from these results:


  • Cheap D/ST have their place as a great complimentary piece to a better D/ST. Pairing the Steelers and Broncos, for example, was a winning combination, but even hitting on just one of those picks would have kept you in the hunt. 
  • Avoiding extremely expensive D/ST, such as Seattle, is a smart move. Though the Seahawks have had historical fantasy season prior to 2015, such performances are often unrepeatable, and drafting like they can replicate that isn’t worth the risk. 
  • No matter what strategy for D/ST you implement, missing on two or three of them is going to hurt (Dolphins and Bears for example), especially if they were taken relatively early. Waiting until around round 15 to draft a defense mitigates risk and allows MFL10 drafters to stock up on more in demand positions. Unlike other positions, your D/ST can’t get hurt or miss any games, meaning they always have a chance to score at least some points. This important distinction allows us to draft the position much later, where we run a high risk of taking a ‘0’ with a late round flier at a skill position.


Bottom Line

Everyone spends most of their time looking at the sexy positions of RB and WR, but there is plenty of valuable upside that can be had at the other positions, while the downside of missing on expensive picks at positions with fewer roster spots can be detrimental. The lack of a waiver wire of any kind in an MFL10 raises the importance of drafting solid quarterbacks and tight ends at good value. Treat every position as important and be mindful of every pick you make in an MFL10. 



Filed Under: Preseason, 2016

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