Diary of an MFL10 Addict: A Midsummer Night's Draft

Jul 28, 2016
Diary of an MFL10 Addict: A Midsummer Night's Draft

Sometimes the best way to share draft strategies and roster construction ideas is to give a pick-by-pick analysis of a completed draft. In this article I’ll take a look at a recent MFL10 draft that I completed, share why I picked who I did and where, and also comment on what I may have done differently.

You can see the entire draft board here.

Going into this draft I had the intention of not looking at quarterback or tight end until after the 10th round, unless a big value fell (which it did not). My goal was to take four to five running backs, seven wide receivers and have two groups of three between the quarterback, tight end, and defense positions.

The logic behind this idea is that if you can get four to five quality running backs, the top ones will be making your starting lineup a vast majority of the weeks, with the last one or two backs providing bye week and injury fill-ins and random big weeks throughout the year. As most late round running back lottery tickets never pan out, this strategy just ignores those gambles and tries to grab the guys with clearly defined roles.

This logic is similar for wide receivers, getting at least four quality guys through the first eight or so rounds. Late round fliers are “easier” to hit on with wide receivers than running backs. If your late round guys can crack your starting lineup just a few weeks, then they have returned solid value for you. Some receivers who will get a fair share of targets but may not have the big play upside can also offer a nice floor.

Onto the draft! The tables below show who I took, where I drafted them, what positional rank I drafted them at, and how 4for4 ranks them in PPR leagues.

Note that the 4for4 rankings are for PPR redraft and not best ball, and some players are more valuable in MFL10s.

Running Backs

MFL10 Running Back Picks
Player Team Draft Pick Drafted 4for4 Rankings
Jamaal Charles Chiefs 2.11 RB8 RB7
Mark Ingram Saints 3.02 RB9 RB8
Jeremy Hill Bengals 7.02 RB28 RB30
Chris Ivory Jaguars 8.11 RB36 RB43
Isaiah Crowell Browns 10.11 RB42 RB41

If this draft was in 2013, then Jamaal Charles would be a steal (finished as RB1), and even in 2014 he finished as the RB7, but his 2015 season was derailed by an ACL tear and he finished as the RB49. Drafting Charles as the RB8 is right around fair value if you look at full season projections. Where the value comes in is in the weekly upside, as you want those big weeks in MFL10s since the system automatically puts in your best players. Having a player like Charles can give you plenty of RB1 weeks -- in 2013 Charles only had four weeks between 15 and19 points scored, while putting up at least 20 points in every other game. 2016 Charles will not repeat that feat, but being capable of putting up 20+ points on any given week can help any running back group score a lot of points.

In 2015, Mark Ingram scored at least 13 points in every game except for one he had five weeks of 20 or more points. While Ingram doesn’t have the massive upside that Charles has in any given week, the Saints' back is a great RB to have on your team for many reasons: he is on a high-powered offense, has a future hall of fame QB to keep defenses off balance, and seems to be entering his prime after a slow start to his career.

The trio of Jeremy Hill, Chris Ivory, and Isaiah Crowell provide nice touchdown upside in a best ball setting. These three running backs are players I generally don’t want in a normal redraft league, but not having to guess the weeks that one of them has a big game is key. If Charles and Ingram stay healthy, then this trio will hopefully only ever be needed in the flex position and during bye weeks, and if Charles or Ingram go down, I am more than comfortable rolling out this trio to fill in for an RB2 role.

Overall, this is a great group of running backs, matching upside with a nice, high floor. Taking a sixth running back at the end of the draft would provide almost no upside as there would need to be multiple injuries to the starters, and if you find yourself needing that flier pick then you are likely in more trouble than a single late pick can help with anyway.

Wide Recievers

MFL10 Wide Reciever Picks
Player Team Draft Pick Drafted 4for4 Rankings
Julio Jones Falcons 1.02 WR2 WR2
Eric Decker Jets 4.11 WR28 WR33
Larry Fitzgerald Cardinals 5.02 WR29 WR23
Allen Hurns Jaguars 6.11 WR37 WR31
Stefon Diggs Vikings 9.02 WR45 WR46
Rishard Matthews Titans 14.11 WR64 WR52
Leonte Carroo Dolphins 20.11 WR84 WR122

This group of wide receivers may not be my favorite group top to bottom, but I do love how it all fell together. Julio at 1.02 needs no explanation, as he has a legitimate shot at the top WR spot in 2016. Having such a stud gave me the luxury to wait a bit for my next wide receivers.

With my next two wide receiver picks, I went with some very reliable veterans in Eric Decker and Larry Fitzgerald. Both provide a great weekly floor, as Decker scored double-digit points in every game last year and Fitzgerald only missed the same accomplishment by three games. While Decker never hit 30 points, Fitzgerald was able to hit that mark twice. With Ryan Fitzpatrick back with the Jets and a healthy Carson Palmer, then there is no reason these two receivers can’t repeat top-15 WR seasons.

Allen Hurns is the type of player that gets a nice bump in value in a best ball league. Last year, Hurns had 10 weeks in double-digit points with four of those being 20 points or more (one was 30). A player that is hard to predict week to week but has yearly totals that put him at the WR16 mark is hard to pass up as the WR37. Combine his 2015 season with his new contract with Jacksonville, and there is no reason to think he can’t repeat as a top-20 or 25 WR this year.

My hope for Stefon Diggs and Rishard Matthews are that they will be good bye-week and injury fill-in players, with the occasional boom week that they get a touchdown, four to six catches, and close to 100 yards. Both players have the possibility of putting up a low single-digit number in any given week, with high teens to 20 point upside in any given week, as well. Neither player has big touchdown upside, but when they are drafted as your fifth and sixth wide receivers, that is perfectly fine, since you just want to cash in on those weeks that they do have big games.

My final pick of the draft is a pure flier pick in Leonte Carroo, as I felt good about my QB, RB and TE group and could afford this lottery ticket, although a third defense was a strong option to consider. Carroo was the 86th overall player selected in the NFL Draft this year and went as the ninth overall wide receiver, but reports were that Miami was targeting Carroo the whole time. He has joined a crowded wide receiver group alongside Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills and others. The most likely scenario for Carroo to return any value is either an injury to Landry or Parker, or Carroo plays well enough to force Miami into three wideout sets. If Carroo can crack my starting lineup just once or twice as a baseline with the chance for more, then the pick was worth it, but there is also a decent chance that he never contributes any points to my team.


MFL10 Quarterback Picks
Player Team Draft Pick Drafted 4for4 Rankings
Tony Romo Cowboys 12.11 QB18 QB14
Tyrod Taylor Bills 13.02 QB19 QB11
Teddy Bridgewater Vikings 19.02 QB27 QB26

Waiting on quarterbacks until the double digit rounds is an easy strategy to implement, as almost everyone else is doing it as well. Getting a pair of quarterbacks in Tony Romo and Tyrod Taylor on the cheap can help you fill out the rest of your team very well. Both Romo and Tyrod have their question marks (Romo with health and Tyrod if he is the starter) but both easily have QB1 upside. I was able to get the pair well above the 4for4 rankings as it appears others drafters are worrying about the injury and starter concerns.

With the Romo/Tyrod pair having some question marks, I wanted to grab a third quarterback on the cheap, and I was able to do this with Teddy Bridgewater in the 19th round. If all I goes well, I don’t expect Bridgewater to start any games outside of bye weeks, but if Romo gets hurt or Tyrod doesn’t play, then Bridgewater is a serviceable quarterback who can keep me in the running.

Tight ends

MFL10 Tight End Picks
Player Team Draft Pick Drafted 4for4 Rankings
Antonio Gates Chargers 11.02 TE13 TE12
Kyle Rudolph Vikings 15.02 TE25 TE22
Clive Walford Raiders 16.11 TE28 TE25

Tight end is a position where you should grab three if you pass on all of the options in the TE1 to TE10 range. I think Antonio Gates has at least one more year in him if not more. While the Chargers drafted Hunter Henry with the 35th pick overall, rookie, and even sophomore, tight ends not named Rob Gronkowski can take a few years to really settle into a big role, and this may be the case for Henry while he learns from Gates.

Speaking of touchdown dependency, that is what Kyle Rudolph seems to want to become. Last year was Rudolph’s best year outside of his sophomore season (49 receptions on 73 targets, 495 yards, and 5 TDs in 2015 vs 53 receptions on 93 targets, 493 yards, 9 TDs in 2012). If Rudolph can even match his 2015 numbers, or get close to his 2012 numbers, he will be a great value-- in 2015 he finished as the TE13.

I will state that I am not a big fan of my Clive Walford pick as he finished as the TE34 last year with only two weeks scoring double-digit points (12.2 and 10.3). Last year, Clive battled with Mychal Rivera for snaps and targets, but entering his sophomore season, Clive has moved into the TE1 spot on the Oakland Raiders roster. If I had to do this again, I would most likely pass on Walford and grab one of Richard Rodgers, Jacob Tamme, or even a dreaded rookie TE in Austin Hooper (but only in the 20th round)!

Team Defense

MFL10 Team Defense Picks
Player Team Draft Pick Drafted 4for4 Rankings
Minnesota Vikings Vikings 17.02 DEF10 DEF6
Buffalo Bills Bills 18.11 DEF18 DEF19

Defenses are defenses -- just grab two or three at a good value and you are set. I like to grab my first one sometime in the late 15th to early 17th round and then a second soon after. If I am going with three, that’s a good 20th round pick. Make sure your defenses don’t have the same bye week, check out 4for4 defense rankings, and grab one of the highest ones left.

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