Breaking Down the MFL10 of Pain

Breaking Down the MFL10 of Pain

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.

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An MFL10 made up exclusively of industry experts can certainly result in a lot of “reaches” and a lot of “value” and the MFL10 of Pain did not disappoint. As someone that was not part of this draft, I’ll take a look at the players that went drastically earlier or later than their ADP. As expected, the majority of quarterbacks fell past their ADP while a lot of running backs and wide receivers were snagged before their ADP, and a handful of tight ends went early as well.

Just remember that ADP stands for average draft position, so there are plenty of times when a player is taken before their ADP and plenty of times they are taken after. So if you are pretty sure your guy won’t be there with your next pick (via the use of the ADP draft planner tool) then a reach isn’t really a reach. As in any draft, each player has a certain value to you and should be balanced against the ADP data, and these industry guys sure showed that they are willing to reach for their guys.

You can see the full draft results and participants here.


Notable MFL10 of Pain Quarterback Picks
Player Position Drafted Draft Spot ADP Difference
Ryan Fitzpatrick QB-23 15.02 17.04 -26
Alex Smith QB-25 15.08 17.02 -18
Aaron Rodgers QB-1 4.03 5.08 -17
Ben Roethlisberger QB-3 7.07 8.07 -12
Russell Wilson QB-5 8.07 7.01 18
Philip Rivers QB-11 13.04 11.06 22
Teddy Bridgewater QB-27 19.05 17.07 22
Marcus Mariota QB-18 14.07 12.08 23
Kirk Cousins QB-17 14.05 12.05 24
Tom Brady QB-9 11.11 9.09 26
Joe Flacco QB-26 18.06 16.02 28
Jameis Winston QB-19 14.09 12.04 29

As expected, a lot of QBs went well past their ADP, but what wasn’t expected was Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger going a full round before their normal ADP. If this was the 2015 draft, Rodgers going in the early fourth would be a solid value, but he can routinely be had 17 picks after where he was taken in this particular draft. Rodgers is always a great pick, but when you can get Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson in the fourth, sixth, and seventh rounds respectively, Rodgers just looks like a big reach.  Roethlisberger was a bit of a reach relative to his ADP, but the big surprise was that he was drafted as the third QB overall off the board, as John Paulsen has him ranked as the QB7.

Russell Wilson falling a full round and a half was one of the better QB values in this draft, as Paulsen has Wilson as his second-ranked QB. With Wilson's rushing floor and Seattle in a position to likely open up the offense, Wilson is a great QB1 to have on your roster to pair with a high upside QB later on like Joe Flacco or Tony Romo

There’s not much to say about the QBs drafted after round 11, other than that going into this draft I fully expected to see a lot of QBs fall late. There is just so much depth at QB this year that in a best ball format it’s very easy to wait a long time, especially for your second QB.

Running Backs

Notable MFL10 of Pain Running Backs Reaches
Player Position Drafted Draft Spot ADP Difference
Keith Marshall RB-49 11.07 17.11 -76
Paul Perkins RB-35 8.04 14.07 -75
Stevan Ridley RB-59 15.09 19.08 -47
Kenyan Drake RB-54 12.12 16.04 -40
Javorius Allen RB-41 9.10 12.09 -35
Jerick McKinnon RB-45 10.07 13.05 -34
Melvin Gordon RB-19 4.11 7.07 -32
Devontae Booker RB-38 9.06 11.10 -28
Jordan Howard RB-51 11.10 13.11 -25
DeMarco Murray RB-15 3.11 5.07 -20
Tevin Coleman RB-44 10.03 11.08 -17
Giovani Bernard RB-20 5.02 6.06 -16
Karlos Williams RB-36 8.08 9.10 -14
Darren Sproles RB-56 14.06 15.08 -14
James Starks RB-57 14.08 15.09 -13
Thomas Rawls RB-12 3.06 4.05 -11
Jeremy Langford RB-21 5.08 6.05 -9
C.J. Anderson RB-14 3.09 4.05 -8
Ezekiel Elliott RB-1 1.03 1.09 -6

Running backs in this draft were interesting, to say the least, with 15 notable reaches of at least a full round. Highlighting this group were two rookies; Keith Marshall and Paul Perkins went 75 picks (that’s six rounds) before their ADP. I think both have a decent chance at playing time, but I wouldn’t even look at either until after the 13th or 14th round. Marshall has Matt Jones and Chris Thompson to compete with and Perkins has to battle a crowded New York Giants backfield. Whenever a rookie is drafted really early you have to think that a dynasty mindset is creeping in. 

A few notable early to mid-round guys that jumped out at me were DeMarco Murray and Melvin Gordon. With Gordon going almost three rounds before his ADP, the drafter must not be worried about Gordon’s health, his rookie performance, or San Diego Chargers offensive line problems. As we will see with Danny Woodhead, the thought process of the group must be that Gordon will step up and push Woodhead aside a bit. Murray will most likely not be as good as he was in Dallas, but he probably won’t be as bad as he was in Philadelphia either. As a player that’s hard to peg, it all comes down to the confidence in an up and coming offense. 

The last player I want to highlight is Ezekiel Elliott who went third overall. In most MFL10s since the NFL draft, Elliott is going as the third RB off the board towards the later part of the first round. With the health questions of Le’Veon Bell and the low octane offense of the Rams, the case for Elliott as the first RB off the board can be made. I am not taking him in the first three picks overall as my top three players are locked in as Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, and Julio Jones in some order, but getting a stud you are comfortable with is hard to knock. 

Notable MFL10 of Pain Running Backs Values
Player Position Drafted Draft Spot ADP Difference
Danny Woodhead RB-29 6.12 5.10 14
Matt Jones RB-28 6.11 5.06 17

The only two big running back values that I found in this draft were Danny Woodhead and Matt Jones. It was extremely surprising to see Woodhead go more than a round after his ADP and even after Matt Jones! It’s been touted a lot by industry guys that Woodhead is a great value with extremely high upside as he finished as the RB3 last year. 

While Matt Jones was a value relative to his overall ADP, as the RB28, his positional ADP lines up almost exactly with where Paulsen has him ranked and his price there feels about right to me, as well. Jones has the upside of a potential lead back, but he has competition for catches and he was extremely inconsistent last year. The Washington RB had two weeks in 2015 in which he scored 27 fantasy points, two weeks with 10 fantasy points, and in all other games, he scored less than 10 points. 

Wide Receivers

Notable MFL10 of Pain Wide Receiver Picks
Player Position Drafted Draft Spot ADP Difference
Leonte Carroo WR-64 13.06 18.06 -60
Josh Gordon WR-54 11.02 15.03 -49
Will Fuller WR-55 11.06 13.12 -30
Sammie Coates WR-56 11.09 13.08 -23
Marvin Jones WR-30 5.09 7.07 -22
Breshad Perriman WR-44 8.11 10.05 -18
Josh Doctson WR-43 8.06 9.11 -17
DeSean Jackson WR-34 6.07 7.08 -13
Laquon Treadwell WR-45 9.01 7.11 14
Kevin White WR-39 7.06 6.03 15
Jordan Matthews WR-33 6.05 4.08 21
Chris Hogan WR-76 17.09 14.03 42

The tale of the wide receivers revolved around rookies and players in new situations, be it a new team, coming off of an injury, or an overall change in team makeup. 

The rookies certainly are polarizing and some of the picks are questionable. Leonte Carroo stands out in the 13th round as he is “stuck” behind Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker. He has been going as a late round flyer in the 17th round or later in the majority of post-NFL Draft MFL10s. Another rookie that went a few rounds early was Will Fuller, but he has big play ability that is beneficial in a best ball format.  

Josh Gordon is a curious pick in the 11th, but (we say this every year it seems) he could be a league winner if he actually plays. I’m probably not taking Gordon outside of maybe just a few drafts if he’s there at the very end. 

A few WRs on new teams are Marvin Jones and Chris Hogan -- one of whom went early and one who went late, compared to their respective ADPs. Marvin in the fifth is too expensive for me, as wide receivers generally don’t fare well on a new team. Although I do think he will perform well in Detroit,  the seventh round seems like a better draft slot for Jones. I do love the Hogan pick in the 17th as I am very comfortable taking him any time after his current ADP in the 14th round. As his nickname “7-11” (he’s always open) suggests, he could quickly become a favorite target of Tom Brady

Tight Ends

Notable MFL10 of Pain Tight End Picks
Player Position Drafted Draft Spot ADP Difference
Jordan Cameron TE-19 12.06 15.06 -36
Dwayne Allen TE-12 9.09 11.04 -19
Antonio Gates TE-11 9.04 10.10 -18
Julius Thomas TE-9 8.10 10.02 -16
Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE-13 10.06 11.09 -15
Charles Clay TE-22 13.09 14.12 -15
Gary Barnidge TE-14 10.08 9.02 18

This year the tight end group is pretty deep overall, but the top-quality players drop off quickly. The group of industry drafters here seemed to realize this and drafted a half-dozen TEs at least a full round early.

After the top-tier tight ends and the Coby Fleener/Ladarius Green/Zach Ertz tier, there seems to be a difference of opinion. I am fully onboard with some of these picks such as Dwayne Allen, Antonio Gates, and Julius Thomas as they can be touchdown machines this year in their respective offenses. Obviously, the industry guys agree with this and grabbed all these players at least a round before their current ADP.

The one guy I’m not in agreement with is Jordan Cameron. As the TE19 it’s not the worst pick, but he did go a few rounds too early for my taste as there are just so many mouths to feed in Miami now. 

The only big value for a TE in the top 14 rounds was Gary Barnidge. Taken as the TE14 he was a great value pick near the end of the 10th round. He’s in-line for a lot of work again in Cleveland as one of the only non-rookie receiving options.  

The Bottom Line

It was very interesting digging into this draft, especially with so many reaches relative to public opinion. It goes to show you that in any given draft, if an owner really wants a player, then they will go and grab him. Remember that ADP has the word average in there, so players will be picked before their typical draft slot a fair amount of time. Probably the best use this draft, or any industry draft, is to get an idea of how some of the smartest minds in the industry value players relative to the general public. 

Filed Under: Preseason, 2016

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