Diary of an MFL10 Addict: A Very Early Draft
Taking a look back at your drafts and digging deep into them can be very beneficial. I cherry picked one of my better drafts of the 20 that I have completed so far for the dissection below.
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The first number before the player will be the draft spot they were drafted, and then the round in parenthesis was the players ADP when the draft took place. The ADP and players available was from the early March ADP and may be slightly different now.
My top target is Gurley after the top WRs of Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and Odell Beckham get drafted. A stud running back is worth his weight in gold in MFL10s. The next four players per ADP are all risky, due to small sample size with David Johnson, injury concerns with Dez and Gronk, or just fear of slowing down and finally hitting the wall with Adrian Peterson.
In 2014 Alshon finished as the 11th WR and in a 2015 campaign slowed by injury, Alshon still put up four games over 22 points out of nine games he played in. It’s a coin flip for me between Alshon, Keenan, Sammy, and Jordy at this spot as they all have a small question mark but all still have a legit shot at a WR1 finish. Kevin White could end up opening things up for Alshon a bit in the Chicago offense.
My main target here was Julian Edelman, but having gone two picks prior, Lacy was my next choice here. T.Y. Hilton was a close second, but I worry that the possible emergence of Donte Moncrief will cut into Hilton’s targets. Hilton was good in 2015 but only had two games over 20 points, and at this point in the draft I want more big game possibilities. I discussed Elliot in my How To Approach Pre-Draft MFL10s article, Josh Gordon is very risky still, and Kelvin Benjamin seems too expensive here with how target dependent he was in 2014.
I was grabbing as much Anderson as I could, as John Paulsen has been touting him as a value for a while. Anderson’s ADP has gone from 4.04 to 3.09, currently, which is still a value. If he is indeed fully healthy then I really like him more than Forte, Langford, and McCoy. At the time of this draft Forte’s team wasn’t known and Chicago could draft a running back to compete with Langford. McCoy finished at the 14th RB in 2015, but Karlos Williams’ touches could increase and hurt McCoy’s production.
This was an extremely tough choice and a coin flip between Matthews and Moncrief. (At this time DeMarco wasn’t on TEN and his ADP was lower). Both could be the top WR on their team, but went with Matthews due to less competition and performing better in 2015.
I strongly considered Eifert or Kelce here, but with tight end being so deep this year, I decided to go with the high upside receiver. Arizona receivers can be very frustrating in regular leagues, but in best ball leagues it doesn’t matter, as long as there are enough boom weeks. Hurns fit the same mold but I have more trust in Carson Palmer than Blake Bortles.
Lockett was one of those picks where I had immediate buyers’ remorse after making the pick. Lockett could pick up where he left off late in the season (weeks 11-16 he averaged 61.3 yards, 4.6 catches, and 0.83 TDS per game), or he could not get the TDs he was getting in that span. If Lockett could increase his yardage and/or catches while maintaining his TD total from 2015, he could end up being a solid value at this pick. If I had to pick again, seven out of ten times I may take Michael Crabtree, but Crabtree doesn’t seem to have the ceiling that Lockett potentially does.
At this point in the draft I have a few running backs and wide receivers so I look for the best available player. In 2015, Ivory scored at least one TD in nine of the ten games that he saw 20+ touches. At the time I drafted, Ivory had not signed with the Jaguars, and will now be sharing carries with T.J. Yeldon. There is still hope that Ivory hits his value, but with less chance of major carries, the odds have decreased. I did think hard about Diggs, Jackson, and Snead, with my preferences being Jackson and Snead.
I really like this pick as the seventh quarterback taken. Brees finished the 2015 season as the sixth best quarterback and fifth best in 2014. Something can be said for taking a guy who will have a solid shot at a top five finish. Even after missing a game, Brees threw for over 4,500 yards, 31 TDs, and 11 INTs. They like to throw a lot down in New Orleans and with Brandin Cooks still on the upswing, Willie Snead stepping up, and now Coby Fleener (was signed two days prior), Brees is primed for another solid year. There were so many similar tight ends left on the board, it was easy to pass on one for now. Frank Gore at this price was a little high for me, and I already having four running backs.
Another pick that got timed very well with free agent signings. He was signed by the Steelers two days prior to this pick and his ADP hadn’t fully settled where it sits currently at 8.11 . Dynasty players have been waiting for Ladarius to get a full chance and here it is for everyone to enjoy. At the time of this pick Martavis Bryant had not been suspended, but Heath Miller had announced his retirement. In the Steelers’ high scoring offense, even if Green was going to be the third or fourth target, it felt like a great value with a chance at a lot of touchdowns.
San Francisco was an absolute disaster last year but Torrey Smith is just two years removed from an 1,100 yard season (in Baltimore). With Chip Kelly there now, Torrey Smith is just a decent quarterback away from being a steal in the 11th round. This is a risky pick, but Smith is only 27 and always had the big play ability, which is great for MFL10s. The other options around this pick did not seem like anything special and it was too early for another QB or TE, as I had one of each that I liked already.
Not my favorite pick, but if any of my top running backs get hurt, Crowell can provide some support. He can be very boom or bust, with the bust being very bad (with 8 weeks of 6.1 points or less). The risky part with Crowell is also that he caught just 19 passes. The other RB picks in this range, like McKinnon, run the risk of being fully buried behind Adrian Peterson. My hope is that Crowell can fall into the end zone a few weeks to provide a few starts for me.
Gates just doesn’t seem to age. The soon to be 36 year old was TE12 last year, but was suspended for the first four games. From weeks 5-16 he was TE7. In the second half of the season Gates capped out at six catches (in four different games) as he presumably slowed down. He is a perfect cheap TE1 or second TE if he really falls. Tight ends start to thin out quickly in the 13th round and Gates fell enough that I had to jump on him.
Aiken (and the whole Ravens team) is very difficult to judge, as so much can change based on Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman’s health. Steve Smith didn’t play after week eight and Aiken took advantage of the void, scoring at least 10 points with at least five catches each game after Smith went down. The upside this late in the draft (see how he fell two rounds) is worth the shot. I like to spread my lottery ticket plays around a bit when they fall.
From this point on, I am going to show players available for the same position only, sinces late in the draft people tend to just fill in needs like a 2nd quarterback, 2nd or 3rd tight end, or a RB/WR flyer.
Going as roughly the 24th QB off the board is such a great deal, as he finished the season as the QB15 in 2015. While Smith maxed out at 29 points as his highest week, he also had six weeks scoring in the 20’s. He is a great second (or third) quarterback on your team as he will provide a great base with a decent chance of cracking your starting lineups more often than you would think. Joe Flacco is the other QB I strongly considered here, but wanted to pair a nice floor with Brees. Teddy Bridgewater had too many single digit weeks (3) and scores in the teens (9) for my liking.
At this point in the draft where you take flyers at the RB and WR position, Matthews seemed like a great idea. He had just signed with Tennessee the week prior and his ADP was still climbing a bit. Matthews has seven weeks of at least 13 points with two games over 100 yards. This late in the draft, if a player can put up a few games that will crack your starting lineup, it’s worth taking a shot at that player. If I feel comfortable with my top players (which I do in this draft) then I go for a guy that I know will get some playing time over a rookie or a player like Jeff Janis.
Defenses are boring and are generally unpredictable. Philly was a top 12 defense last year, and they had a sack in every game. If you aren’t getting a top defense like Denver, then waiting until whoever is there at the 17th round or later works just fine.
See above, Washington was a top 12 defense last year, so worth a shot at the very least.
There are just a few backup or handcuff running backs I would want in MFL10s (regardless if I had Lacy or not), but when I take one, I want them to be able to produce even if the main back starts every game. Starks finished as the RB21 last year while Lacy finished as RB31, so having both of them in a hopefully even better Packers offense was a no brainer here. Ronnie Hillman and Jordan Howard have unknown landing spots at the moment. The KC running backs this late wouldn’t be a bad option, but a lot of their value hinges on Jamaal Charles getting hurt and taking over the majority of the snaps in the backfield.
Fitzpatrick is a player I like as a third quarterback on your roster, as I would not be comfortable with him as my second. His landing spot is still unknown and could end up as a backup somewhere, thus killing any value he has. The upside as a late round pick while already having two QBs is a risk I am willing to take as a zero wouldn’t crush my team.
Final team construction was 3 QB, 6 RB, 7 WR, 2 TE, 2 DEF
Final thoughts on team: I feel I’m strong at every position and don’t need to count on any lottery tickets.
- QB: Very comfortable with this trio; one change I may have made in hindsight is getting a slightly better QB than Alex Smith and not drafting a third, but I do not regret this trio.
- RB: Normally with the top five RBs I had, I would not have gone with a sixth, but very happy to take Starks in the 19th round. Love this RB group!
- WR: While Alshon is the only true stud of the group, I feel like all the others can have enough quality starts to be comfortable. Only regret is I could have used an eighth WR if I didn’t grab that third QB or sixth RB.
- TE: Happy with the duo here of Gates and Green, as both can put up TE1 numbers, and even with the age of Gates, I did not feel a third was necessary.
- DEF: Two defenses, nothing more to add here.
Each draft is different and I hope giving you my thought process at each pick will help you form your own draft strategies. We will be releasing more draft diaries at different points throughout the off-season to highlight how the thought process might evolve. Good luck drafting!