What Does a MFL10 Team Look Like If You Go Strictly by ADP?
In this article, I’ll create a team based solely on ADP with some controls in place. I’ll analyze each pick, and whether players at each draft spot are values or reaches, or if the player is being drafted right where they should be. While the team may not end up looking optimal , this is a good exercise to talk about players and draft positions that may not get discussed very often.
To build this team, I will give myself the sixth overall pick so that I will have a pick in the middle of each round. I will also cap my team at three QBs, six RBs, eight WRs, three TEs, and three DEF, with the caveat that I won’t go with more than eight total QB/TE/DEF in order to keep the team somewhat close to a normal MFL10 roster. For the QB/TE/DEF positions, I will also look at bye weeks and make sure that I will have at least one startable player at each position each week.
The ADP data is from May 27th – June 10th , and if a player has been drafted less than 50 times, then I will skip that player if possible.
Rounds 1-3: DeAndre Hopkins (Overall ADP 6), Alshon Jeffery (19), Jarvis Landry (30)
My first three picks are pretty straight forward. Hopkins should be a top five WR, Alshon should be a top ten WR, and Landry is an amazing third WR to have. He has a nice PPR floor and could easily end up in the WR2 range.
Rounds 4-5: C.J. Anderson (ADP 43), DeMarco Murray (54)
Anderson isn’t the ideal first RB to have on your team with his injury history. Chris Raybon has explained the risk and the upside associated with Anderson.
DeMarco Murray is in a very curious situation with Tennessee’s drafting of Derrick Henry in the second round. As TJ Hernandez explained, Murray’s absolute ceiling is 300 touches. When taking a RB in the fifth round as the RB19, you are hoping for RB2 type numbers with RB1 upside. Murray isn’t a sexy pick, but with what Tennessee is paying Murray, they will give him a fair share of work and make him worth his fifth round price. I have taken him in the fifth myself, but will not take him any earlier.
Round 6: Michael Crabtree (ADP 67)
Crabtree is a solid value pick, going as the WR36, but ranked by John Paulsen as the WR28 -- that’s an amazing difference this early in the draft. Nothing major has changed in Oakland since last year when Crabtree finished as the WR17, which is most likely his ceiling in 2016. A player with the quality upside and solid floor of Crabtree makes a great third WR to have on your team.
Round 7: Tyler Eifert (ADP 78)
Eifert is a player who was going in the fifth round prior to news of his injury, but is now going in the seventh. I think that’s a new fair value for Eifert as it looks like he might just miss a week or two. Paulsen’s rankings have him as the TE12, but those projections are assuming a 16 game season -- missing a few weeks will cause that ranking to drop. In MFL10s with one or two other tight ends on your roster, you can survive the first few weeks of the season with an injury, especially before the bye weeks kick in. Eifert is a player I’ll have some shares of at his new price, especially with less competition for targets with Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones on new teams now.
Round 8: Drew Brees (ADP 91)
Brees is going as the fifth QB off the board and is also ranked as the fifth QB. He’s pretty solidly slotted in the tier after the big four this year (Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson). Brees is a player I’m grabbing a lot of-- as early as the late seventh, a few in the mid-eighth, and when he falls to the ninth round, which has happened more often than you would expect, I am taking almost every time. This is a great lesson in being flexible-- I generally want to wait on QBs this year, but when a player like Brees falls to the ninth round, he is such an easy grab.
Rounds 9-10: Travis Benjamin (ADP 101), Michael Thomas (115)
The grass can be greener for a WR when they change teams, and that’s almost always true when they are coming from the Cleveland Brown. As John Paulsen discussed, Benjamin will likely see a decrease in targets but an increase in the quality of those targets. Receivers that are in a crowded situation are tough in a regular league, but in a best ball league there will be weeks where Keenan Allen will be locked down by a top corner and those could be the weeks Benjamin cleans up.
Michael Thomas is a big reach here and one that I will not make. The earliest I have been looking at Thomas is in the 12th round, depending on my roster and other available options. The Saints have a crowded wide receiving corps with Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead, and Coby Fleener. The news coming out of the Saints camp is that Thomas could fill in the Marques Colston role, which could be very promising, though. Rookies are always tough to gauge, but compared to other 2016 rookies, Thomas did land in a much lower ceiling situation mainly due to the lack of opportunity that he will likely have early on.
Round 11: LeGarrette Blount (ADP 128)
Blount is a running back that you hate to have in a regular league but is made for best ball leagues. He’ll have weeks where he gets 15+ touches and a touchdown or more, and then he’ll have weeks where he’ll have 3 carries for 8 yards. He is a great RB to have as your fourth or fifth back, but not someone you want to count on as a RB3 or higher.
Round 12: Jameis Winston (ADP 139)
Another pick that is valued just about right. In a normal draft where I drafted Brees, I wouldn’t normally grab another QB until a bit later than this. While Winston is a high-end QB2, there are very similar QBs with similar best ball upside available later in the draft, like Ryan Tannehill, Matthew Stafford, and Tyrod Taylor.
Rounds 13-15: Jerick McKinnon (ADP 150), Rishard Matthews (163), Wendell Smallwood (174)
McKinnon is going exactly at his ranking and is a player with a high ceiling and low floor while he is stuck behind Adrian Peterson. In 2015 McKinnon had only two weeks over 5.5 points, with his only startable weeks coming in Week 15 when he caught a TD and Week 16 where he rushed for two. The upside is great if Peterson goes down, but the likelihood of that is very slim.
Rishard Matthews was having a breakout season in Miami before he got injured -- through 11 weeks he was the WR23. Going as the WR68 off the board while being ranked as the WR54 by John Paulsen, Matthews is a solid value with a potentially nice floor. While Tennessee won’t be the most potent offense, Matthews did well with just 61 targets and is a nice pick in the 14th round. TJ Hernandez hits on the Tennessee offense here.
Smallwood is a pure upside pick, which is typical for a rookie. There are reports coming out of Eagles OTA’s that there may be a running back by committee approach, which could give Smallwood some weekly value. Ryan Mathews has never been the healthiest player, only playing all 16 weeks once in his career. With one Mathews injury, Smallwood could be thrust into a starting role and exceed his 15th round value.
Round 16: Los Angeles Rams (ADP 188)
The Rams defense has been improving in the recent years, finishing as the 17th defense in 2014, then moving up to 12th in 2015 -- now Paulsen has them projected as the number 10 defense. Being drafted as the eighth defense is a touch high, but if they do happen to slip into the 17th round, that is where I have grabbed them a fair amount this year and am comfortable doing so.
Round 17: Austin Hooper (ADP 197)
This is pick that I will never make. Like John Paulsen says often on the 4for4 Podcast, just don’t draft rookie tight ends -- simple as that.
Round 18: Philadelphia Eagles (ADP 210)
Another defense that is being drafted really close to where Paulsen has them ranked, the Eagles are going as the DEF17 while he has them ranked as the DEF16. Philadelphia finished as the DEF8 and the DEF3 in 2014 and 2015, respectively, but with Chip Kelly leaving, the pace of play will drop and the number of plays the defense will have will also drop. Since MFL10 DEF includes special teams, more plays is better in order to increase opportunities for turnovers and return touchdowns. Philly is a defense that I have been targeting, as well, as I think the DEF16 is closer to their floor with room for upside.
Round 19: Anquan Boldin (ADP 221)
A pure flyer pick, but what else would you expect in the 19th round? We are still waiting for Boldin to sign somewhere, and we could be waiting until a team has an injury. As of the time of this writing, Breshard Perriman's ACL injury was just being reported, and there will undoubtedly be more injuries as we get into the pre-season. Boldin is an experienced veteran that will step right into any offense and give them a boost. It's just a matter of time before he signs somewhere -- we just hope it’s a good landing spot.
Round 20: New Orleans Saints (ADP 235)
One of the last defenses taken and Paulsen has them ranked 30th at the position, so for a last pick and a third defense, we are just hoping they can fill in during bye weeks and any down weeks. Taking a third defense is a safe bet as we know they will put up some points, but they don’t have the upside of a lottery ticket RB or WR.
Final Team and Analysis
QB: Drew Brees, Jameis Winston
A solid pair and will be good with a high ceiling and high floor
RB: C.J. Anderson, DeMarco Murray, LeGarrette Blount, Jerick McKinnon, Wendell Smallwood
I would say mediocre at best. C.J. Anderson and Murray are risky but have RB1 upside, while McKinnon and Smallwood could produce very little, with Blount filling in some weeks.
WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Alshon Jeffery, Jarvis Landry, Michael Crabtree, Travis Benjamin, Michael Thomas, Rishard Matthews, Anquan Boldin
As I went solely on ADP, it makes sense that this team has great WRs. A lot of proven talent and a lot of upside mixed in.
TE: Tyler Eifert, Austin Hooper
If Eifert can produce like 2015, he might be able to hold down the fort here, but I have very little hope that Hooper produces much of anything
DEF: Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints
Three defenses are always nice and a good mix of teams, some mid-priced and one dirt cheap.
The final team has some holes like many MFL10 teams do, but it is fairly well-rounded. The point of this exercise was to highlight how certain players, who often don't get much attention, should be valued relative to public perception, and we accomplished that. Hopefully, this roster highlights why we don't always want to be prisoners to ADP and where we might consider straying from public opinion.
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