The third annual C3FF fantasy draft completed this past Sunday...four different 12-team half-PPR leagues. Of each 12-team league, the top three advance in our playoffs until only one remains standing. Sunday's draft just lit the match.
While posting the entire drafts of four leagues would be incredibly long, I figured I'd post the top two rounds of each just to give people an idea of just how differently drafts of otherwise identical character should go. The difference? That would be the characterS involved.
First, my league - League Minter:
The Minter League was the only one of the four leagues that had two QBs go in the first round.
Best Value Rd 1: Lamar Miller, RB, HOU -- not much in "value" in rd 1, but Miller's been a top-ten fantasy RB the last 2 years running, all while being underutilized in Miami with about 13 carries per game. Now, he'll nearly double that total most likely, and on a team that has completely re-tooled on offense, except for keeping the following pick, DeAndre Hopkins, on the team. New RB, new good-looking rookie WR2 in Will Fuller should help Hopkins not be smothered with defenders all the time.
Biggest Reach Rd 1: Jordy Nelson, WR, GB -- Jordy's good when he's healthy but coming off an injury and a year removed, it may take Jordy a few games to get back in the thick of things, but even if he hits the ground going from game one, the GB offense has a lot of ways to spread the love around. Nelson's the 9th-ranked WR but was drafted as the 4th one off the board. Not good.
Best Value Rd 2: A.J. Green, WR, CIN -- Green's a WR5 value and the 6th WR picked, much like Hopkins was WR4 value and the 5th picked but Green went 2 picks later.
Biggest Reach Rd 2: Russell Wilson, QB, SEA -- I think ImaclassicCam may have panicked a bit in seeing both his namesake and AR-12 go off the board in the first round. Wilson's a QB5, and even the QB3 selected here would have been early. In reality, the QB2 (Luck) remains after the first three QBs are gone. Oops.
Satan's Pick (rd 6, 66th overall): TOM BRADY, QB, NE
-- *note to the guy who drafted Brady at the end of the first round!
The Mills League saw the worst first-round pick of all four league drafts.
Best Value Rd 1: David Johnson, RB, ARZ -- Granted, there's always some amount of projecting going on, but Bruce Arians likes to go with One Guy when he can and this year it's David Johnson. He put up fantastic fantasy values when healthy last year and starts from day one in the role so it's his to lose.
Biggest Reach Rd 1: Tom Brady, QB, NE -- annnnnd it's not even close here. Brady's missing a quarter of the season and gets 0 FP for the entire time. NO reason in the world to order up a suspended player in the first round, period.
Best Value Rd 2: Lamar Miller, RB, Hou -- again, the RB4 goes late, this time into the second round. This is the best value pick of the top 2 rounds.
Biggest Reach Rd 2: Greg Olsen, TE, CAR -- I get it. We're a bunch of Panthers Homers. But the TE4 in the second round -- REALLY?!? He'll put up team-WR3-type numbers, so why not draft at LEAST a BONA FIDE WR2 with the pick? Makes no sense.
Satan's Pick (rd 6, 66th overall): Ameer Abdullah, RB, DET
--*note: Well, he IS from Detroit...
This league had NO QBs go in the first round!
Best Value Rd 1: NONE -- It was a hair out of order with the Elliott pick at #2 which likely affected everything else a bit. Nobody seemed to slide in the first, though. "Round One Value" is tiny anyhow as the real values come late in the draft.
Biggest Reach Rd 1: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, DAL -- Hard to call a guy in his situation a "reach," let's just say this pick has the least VALUE in the top round. For one thing, rookie RBs always have questions about pass-protection and nobody is immune. Secondly, with Romo out, teams will be playing the run more. The flip side is if they get burned for a big play or two early in the game, all of a sudden things loosen up for Zeke the remainder of the game. The O-line doesn't hurt either, so this "reach" is small and relative. Brady in the other draft was a REACH!!!
Best Value Rd 2: Lamar Miller, RD, HOU & Cam Newton, QB, CAR -- Getting the league-RB4 as the 7th RB chosen is a borderline steal. QBs, IMO, should go later as a group, which in this draft they are. Given Cam's running ability & the scoring rules, getting Cam is like getting a QB and a FB in one guy. Call this one a tie.
Biggest reach Rd 2: Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI -- He has the talent to be the team-WR1 for about 25 different teams; it's his health that's always in question as he hasn't been able to stay on the field for a whole season his entire career.
Satan's Pick (rd 6, 66th overall): DeSean Jackson, WR, WAS
--*note: Chip Kelly know something we don't?? It literally would be the first time...
Closest thing to an "as-predicted" first two rounds of any of the four leagues.
Best value rd 1: NONE -- see above sentence.
Biggest reach rd 1: A.J. Green -- A WR5 drafted as the 5th WR, yes, but something just tells me Green won't stay healthy with that knee issue and I think it's time for Cincy to take a step back after getting perennially bounced from the playoffs early. Steelers win division while the Browns improve...and Green's production takes a modest but noticeable dip.
Best value rd 2: Keenan Allen, WR, SD -- Allen gets booster points for being injured last year. Such players always get underdrafted the following year and unless it turns out they're injury-PRONE (see: Jeffery, Alshon), they always seem to be great fantasy values upon their return because of the emphasis placed on last year's numbers. Allen's a WR7 overall; 12th off the board.
Biggest reach rd 2: Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT -- same deal as the Brady pick at the end of rd 1 from the other league, spending a second-round pick on a guy missing 3 games is quite a premium to pay unless you draft a highly productive RB to slot while he sits. If you draft Bell, hopefully you realistically use a second-tier RB taken in the middle rounds but who starts out with an easy schedule in September...then you might have something. But in a league with a short bench, is that really all that wise?
Satan's Pick (rd 6, 66th overall): Jordan Matthews, WR, PHI
--*note: Taking into account DeSean Jackson WAS in Philly and Jordan Matthews still is, I finally can see the real reason Chip Kelly vamoosed! My apologies, sir!
Later this week, I'll post my analysis of teams to watch as well as my predictions for the playoff contenders for each division in each league as well as several other comparisons between teams! I'm expanding analysis of the draft and the league this year just for fun so we can see where we wind up and how things looked to begin with to learn something -- I hope!
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