Dynosty Fantasy League: Best and Worst of the Startup Draft
There were times it seemed this draft would never end, but we did it! As we are quickly approaching training camp and the preseason, I wanted to put myself on record with some opinions on the draft. So without further ado, I present my not unbiased look at the best and worst picks of the Dynosty Fantasy League for each of the twelve teams.
Best pick: Sterling Shepherd, Pick 10.12. I could have gone with Edelman at the top of the 9th or even Curtis Samuel at the end of the 16th as Sarah got great value at WR throughout this draft. But for me, the best of the bunch is Sterling Shepherd. Fellow second year wideout Corey Coleman went in the middle of the 6th round, and I thought that was good value. Shepherd has just as much talent, superior stats as a rookie, and perhaps most importantly a clean bill of health. While admittedly the acquisition of Brandon Marshall hampers his short term value, he’s a solid situation flex play and a great pick for dynasty that should produce as a WR2/3 when Marshall gets injured or retires. The next three WRs off the board were JJ Nelson, Eli Rogers, and Will Fuller. I like Nelson (the other two, not so much), but give me Shepard over all three.
Worst pick: Charles Sims, Pick 13.01. It’s a sign of a pretty good draft when the easiest pick to attack is in the 13th round. There’s heavy risk earlier with the likes of of-injured Keenan Allen (2nd), offseason punching bag Kelvin Benjamin (6th) and homer pick Latavius Murray, but there’s significant upside with all three. I don’t see it with Sims. As a Bucs fan I love his talent catching out of the backfield and on screens, but I just don’t see how his role can be big enough to make a fantasy impact. There is a legitimate chance this team carries five RBs on the 53-man roster, and four is all but guaranteed. Jacquizz Rodgers and Doug Martin will get any early down work as Sims has already shown he’s not an inside runner. And unlike previous years, he has a promising rookie in Jeremy McNichols who could steal some of that receiving work, not to mention all the targets DeSean Jackson and OJ Howard will command. Yes, we’re talking about the 13th round, but give me a back with a more defined role (Theo Riddick) or a rookie with more upside (Joe Williams).
Best pick: Tyreek Hill, Pick 9.02. This might have been the most difficult choice for me because this draft is extremely strong, especially in the middle rounds. Honorable mentions go to Bilal Powell (10.11) and David Njoku (11.02), but I’m going with the fastest man in the league for best pick. Yes, the #22 WR from a year ago scored in some unconventional ways and there are concerns as to whether or not he can replicate it in 2017. I would argue he doesn’t have to. With the departure of Jeremy Maclin, he is going to go from a gadget player’s 40 snaps a game to the #1 WR this year. He could easily see an extra 40 targets, and while it’s unlikely he’s as efficient with those touches, we could still be talking about a 23 year old top-15 WR by year’s end.
Worst pick: Laquon Treadwell, Pick 12.11. Actually, the worst pick might be the team name, but I’ll stick with players here. It’s a good thing his top four receivers are so good, because after them there’s not much to like at the position. Malcolm Mitchell got cooked this offseason (pun intended), but in the 18th round it’s hard to criticize. Treadwell has gotten some OTA hype, but let’s wait until we see it in pads. It’s rare for a top WR to be so completely ignored in his rookie season. I won’t give up on a player after one season, but I won’t draft him ahead of Kenny Britt either. A TE like Delanie Walker or Zach Ertz would have provided a valuable bridge starter as rookie David Njoku as the only TE on the roster is risky to say the least.
Pun Forthcoming (Jordan)
Best Pick: Quincy Enunwa, Pick 16.10. The real answer is all of them. Seriously, it’s hard to be unbiased when evaluating your own team. I almost picked Greg Olsen at 11.03, who ended 2016 as the #3 TE despite Cam Newton having by far the worst year of his career. But Enunwa, the undisputed #1 WR on his team, in the 16th round is too good for a team that picked three rookies at the position and desperately needed that steady presence while they develop. Yes, the Jets are a dumpster fire on offense, but they were last year too, when Enunwa finished as the WR43 despite starting just 13 games and seeing inconsistent playing time overall. With Eric Decker gone, he could be a legitimate WR3 and if the Jets ever find a QB it can only go up from there. Not bad for the 82nd (82nd!) WR off the board.
Worst Pick: Mike Gillislee, Pick 9.07. With this being an opinion piece, obviously I don’t really hate any of my picks, or I wouldn’t have made them. However, hindsight helps me see some missed opportunities and reaches. Andy Dalton is another candidate, but I’ll go with Gillislee here. I still believe in the guy — I think he’s better than Blount and should fill a similar role, but it’s hard to bet on touchdowns to carry your season. No one in the league seemed eager to draft a share of the Patriots backfield, so I likely could have waited another couple rounds on Gillislee and grabbed a more steady talent like Randall Cobb, Michael Crabtree or Philip Rivers.
I’m Dynasty Dan (Danny)
Best Pick: Michael Crabtree, Pick 10.09. I am still a little salty about not being able to trade up for him, but I can only blame myself for waiting too long to pull the trigger. Crabtree was last year’s WR11, making him a low-end WR1 (sit down, Richard Sherman) in fantasy and he somehow drops to the 10th round!? For perspective, Breshad Perriman, Torrey Smith, Rishard Matthews and Kenny friggin’ Stills went before Crabtree. This was a no-brainer and maybe the best value in the entire draft. Honorable mention to Kirk Cousins as the QB2 in the 5th.
Worst Pick Josh Doctson, Pick 9.04. I’m nitpicking a little here because this draft was pretty strong, but Doctson edges out D’Onta Foreman due to the draft capital used to take him. And, because I could be wrong about Foreman, and I hate being wrong. Doctson is one of those picks that felt really strong at the time. An injury plagued rookie season, lots of potential, and departing starters could be a recipe for success. But he’s likely the 4th best fantasy skill position player on his team behind Jordan Reed, Terrelle Pryor and the underrated Jamison Crowder. With guys like JJ Nelson, Cameron Meredith, and Pierre Garcon going much later, this would have been a good time to continue shoring up the much thinner RB position with a promising talent like Kareem Hunt or Alvin Kamara, or a high upside veteran like Bilal Powell or Kenneth Dixon.
The Mighty Docs (AJ)
Best Pick: James Conner, Pick 14.08. I love a good lottery ticket, and James Conner is a huge one in the 14th round. LeVeon Bell has a history of injuries and it’s conceivable the Steelers let him walk next offseason after playing on the franchise tag in 2017. If he gets a chance, Conner could easily be a top 10 back as the starter in Pittsburgh a la DeAngelo Williams, who is now a free agent. There are worse ways to use a 14th rounder.
Worst Pick: Cam Newton, Pick 2.08. Go home, you’re drunk. Or maybe living in 2015. Cam Newton is far removed from his MVP season and finished last year as the 15th best fantasy QB, completing a meager 53% of his passes. That percentage should go up with rookie Christian McCaffrey in the mix, but as the second QB off the board, he is being drafted at his ceiling, or arguably above it. Cam has always been at his best on the run or outside the pocket, but as he continues to deal with age, injuries, and the fact that referees don’t seem to give a **** when he gets hit, I find a steady decline much more likely than a return to MVP status. The coaching staff has been vocal about wanting to protect him, and in the pocket is where he tends to struggle.
LeVeonBellios (Chris B)
Best pick: Jimmy Garoppolo, pick10.07. Chris did a great job of locking up his QB position in this draft, pairing up Dak Prescott and Tom Brady in the early rounds. But the long term cherry on top came with Garoppolo, who at worst gives him the Patriots QB of the future. At best, Brady makes good on playing until 45 and Garoppolo gets a shot as a starter with another team. Either way, this is a team that shouldn’t have a need at QB for several years, which is paramount in a superflex league.
Worst Pick: Every Current and Former Steeler after Round 10, Picks 11.06, 15.06, 17.06, 18.07,19.06 20.07, and 22.07. Yes, I could have taken the layup and chosen Christine Michael at 12.08, which was the Al Davis move of the draft. However, the trip to IR make that almost seem like cheating, so instead I chose the incredible affinity for current and former Steelers. After grabbing several solid receivers in the first eight rounds, the rest of the draft was spent employing the shotgun strategy to ensure he gets the Steeler’s third best receiver. In doing so, he managed to assemble a roster that currently can’t fill both RB spots for the first Chris barely managed to edge out his brother in snagging three current Steeler wideouts not named Antonio Brown or Martavis Bryant, also adding transplant Markus Wheaton to the mix. Throw in Xavier Grimble (who?) to the mix and you likely have at least two players who will be cut in training camp. The most amazing might be that both Bellios brothers missed former Steeler Mike Wallace, who actually, you know, gets fantasy points.
Ro of Hawks Landing (Ron)
Best pick: Frank Gore, Round 21.07. The last few rounds of this draft really went beautifully for this team, making this a very difficult decision. I love both Chad Williams and Johnathan Williams (especially paired with Shady) as long term dynasty plays, so he could easily have a steal or two there. However, the big win to me was being able to lock down the Colts backfield with Marlon Mack in the 16th round, and somehow being able to land Frank Gore in the 21st. With several teams having no real depth at RB and relying on rookies to try and fill their starting slots, it’s amazing Gore wasn’t selected earlier as a stopgap.
Worst Pick: Spencer Ware, 6.06. Partly hindsight, partly bias, I can’t get behind Spencer Ware in the 6th round. This team was already so strong at RB with starters LeSean McCoy and David Johnson, and as a Kareem Hunt owner I both hope and believe that Ware is going to steadily lose work as this season rolls on. This would have been a good spot for a 2nd QB (Brees) or a good third WR (Pryor, Coleman).
Samaje Perineasaurus (Devin)
Best pick: Willie Snead, Pick 8.05. With the departure or Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead is a great candidate for a breakout season in 2017. Even with Cooks in town last year, Snead was able to end the season as the WR31, and he did so starting only four games. After taking the boom-or-bust- Kevin White in the previous round, Snead is a great complement as a WR4 with an extremely high floor. Honorable mention to two very solid rookie picks in the last three rounds in both Josh Reynolds and Jeremy McNichols.
Worst Pick: Brandon Cooks, Pick 2.05. Speaking of the departed Cooks, Devin made him a priority here in the middle of the 2nd round. Don’t get me wrong — I like Cooks as a player — but 17th overall is a bit rich for a guy that needs to compete with Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, and a host of pass catching RBs for targets. I think he’ll have a good season, but it’s likely to come in spurts, and I’m looking for more consistency out my 2nd round pick. With AJ Green and Aaron Rodgers on the board, it’s tough to make a case for Cooks.
One year wonder (Colin)
Best pick: Robert Woods, Pick 17.09. The 17th round is a great spot for Woods, who is a legitimate sleeper with the Rams. It remains to be seen if Sean McVay can make that offense go, but Kenny Britt’s departure leaves 111 targets up for grabs. Most are focused on the rookies, but Woods has a chance to take on the Pierre Garcon role in that offense and lead the team in targets. If that happens, look for him to produce numbers similar to Britt, who was a top 30 option last year. Reports are that Goff has been working with him extensively this offseason to get their timing down, so Colin will be hoping that pays off in the coming season.
Worst Pick: Josh Robinson, Pick 18.04. It’s rare for me to choose such a late round pick as the worst, but this was one of three players drafted I have literally never heard of. The others were Xavier Grimble and DeMarcus Ayers, the latter of which Colin also drafted a few rounds after Robinson. Anyway, I looked him up and apparently he made the Colts practice squad once and is now out of work. Not much else to say here. Maxx Williams over guys like Zach Ertz and Evan Engram was a bit of a head scratcher too.
Best pick: Philip Rivers, Pick 10.03. Nothing flashy about this pick, but it’s a damn good value in the 10th round. Kevin was actually able to get decent value with both his starting QBs — he was the last to grab one and still managed to get Carson Wentz, who despite some growing pains showed a lot of promise as a rookie. Philip Rivers is a rock — he quietly finishes as a QB1 every year and gets drafted like a QB2. Last year he was the #6 QB in our league’s scoring and he’s getting back Keenan Allen and added rookie WR Mike Williams to his targets. It’s incredible that Eli Manning and Big Ben (20th and 18th ranked QBs last year, by the way) both were taken 3–4 rounds earlier than Rivers, despite being the same age and with lower productivity. I was prepped to take Rivers as my QB3 if he fell to me in the 10th. The value was just too good.
Worst Pick: Allen Robinson, Pick 1.10. This was another really hard one — there wasn’t one pick I really hated, just a few I mildly disliked. I’ve already talked down one Buccaneer in this piece, so I’ll leave Martin and Howard out of this and go with the first rounder, Allen Robinson. Don’t get me wrong — I totally get the talent and that he could rebound to 2015 form. Then again, 2015 could have been the anomaly. My problem is with the price tag. There are six guys I would have absolutely, 100% taken over Robinson at that pick — Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, AJ Green, Michael Thomas, TY Hilton and Devonta Freeman.
Best pick: Rob Gronkowski, Pick 4.02. Getting the best TE in the league in the 4th round is a great value. I was so close to taking him the pick before, so I have to give credit here. If it wasn’t for the injury history, this guy would be a no-brainer in the first round as probably the best TE of all time. Yes, that’s a big if, but unfortunately all of the top TEs have some sort of injury history, so give me the guy who consistently gets you WR1 points from the TE roster spot. It’s all about points above replacement in fantasy football. Honorable mention to Allen Hurns in the 15th round. If I’m buying the Jaguars offense 2015 rewind, that’s the price tag I want to pay.
Worst Pick: Jake Butt, Pick 12.01. Anytime you make a pick solely for a meme, it’s probably a bad pick. Wes got too eager for this one — with a little patience he could have had Butt — and the meme — about six rounds later. The good news is he might actually see the field this year. Unfortunately, rookie TEs tend to be very slow to develop and his athletic ceiling is nowhere near most of the rookie TEs that went after him. I have him as my #7 rookie TE. Even if that might be a little low, Jake Butt before Evan Engram, Eric Ebron, and Zach Ertz? Come on, man!
I made that Bitch Jameis (Chris Kri)
Best pick: Andrew Luck, Pick 1.12. Andrew Luck is the clear #1 QB in dynasty and in most superflex leagues he doesn’t make it to pick #12. It would have been easy to stick with the trend and pass on Luck for a stud WR like AJ Green or Michael Thomas to pair with Fournette. It also would have likely ended with Matthew Stafford as his #1 QB, as eight quarterbacks came off the board in rounds 2 and 3. There was plenty of WR depth to be had but QBs dried up fast, so Luck was absolutely the right call here.
Worst Pick: Julius Thomas, Pick 9.11. The problem here isn’t so much with the player, as I think Thomas could rebound and have a good season now that he’s reunited with Adam Gase, despite competing for targets with three good receivers and not having Peyton Manning throwing him the ball. Instead, it’s with position and situation. With Hunter Henry already selected in the 6th round, you have a good young TE locked down already. How do you trade up (even if only one spot) to draft a backup TE before your QB2 in a superflex league? The best pick here was Philip Rivers, but since we all know that’s an impossibility let’s plug in Tyrod Taylor here and see how much better this team looks. I know I’d feel more comfortable with that than plugging in Jared Goff as my superflex Week 1.