keeper league draft results

081615aMonday night was my keeper league draft and I stayed true to my draft strategy. Ultimately, I used MFL10 ADP data courtesy of rotoviz to build my draft board. I then focused on taking target players a round or two early, to ensure I did not lose them to sleeper-hunting league owners. This is how the draft played out (full results on the right):

Round 1: Allen Robinson, WR, JAC – Last year’s breakout performance (1,400 yards, 150+ targets, and 80 receptions) makes him a high floor, Bortles-proof WR. Add that he is only 22 and has the potential to be a long-time producer, Robinson is a keeper-candidate.

Round 2: Amari Cooper, WR, OAK – Finished his rookie year as a top-20 WR with over 1,000 receiving yards. Cooper is rumored to have become BFF with Derek Carr, which hopefully reinforces the rapport they already have with one another. Note, I encouraged the league owner to keep Cooper. 

Round 3: Devonta Freeman, RB, ATL – The league owner; against my advice, dropped Freeman in favor of Cam Newton. Going into the draft, I was expecting to go WR-WR-RB — hoping I could snag Jamaal Charles with that pick. Having Freeman — the top fantasy RB for 2015 — fall to the third round is insane. Stoked to grab him this late.

Round 4Jeremy Maclin, WR, KC – Last season, Maclin carved out a nice role in KC under former HC Andy Reid posting performance just ahead of Amari Cooper. His situation in KC is stable, which limits his risk as a regression candidate for 2016.

Round 5: Melvin Gordon, RB, SD – I took Gordon early. If our draft occurred a week earlier, he would have fallen to the sixth or seventh round. However, I was concerned his 43-yard preseason TD reception would make him a target. I like Gordon because SD did not add any significant competition in the offseason, and they brought in a FB (Derek Watt who Gordon ran behind at Wisconsin).

Other Notable Picks:

  • Tyler Lockett, WR, SEA (Round 7) – Yes, Lockett has the hype to be a breakout WR this season. But he also returns kicks — to the tune of over 1,200 yards last season — which can add serious value in our league this year.
  • DeAndre Washington, RB, OAK (Round 10) – Potential to carve out a role behind Latavius Murray. Washington also performed well in his first preseason appearance with 75 all-purpose yards.
  • Rishard Matthews, WR, TEN (Round 13) – This pick was a late-round instinct flier. The trading of Dorial Green-Beckham to Philadelphia eliminated a key barrier to Matthews’ success.

preparing for my first league manager draft of the year

Tomorrow night is my first draft of the season — my coveted keeper league.  Although we only keep three total players, there is no penalty (or benefit) for keeping a player previously drafted in a later round — all keepers count against rounds one through three regardless of draft position. For example, if you keep one player — lose your first round pick; two players — lose first and second round picks; three players — lose first through third round picks.

Before I go further, it is imperative to walk through how our league is scored. The commissioner set the point structure to keep any one position from drastically outweighing another.

  • QB: 6 points per TD; 1 point for every 20 passing yards; 3 point bonus at 300, 400, and 500 yards passing; -2 points for INTs and Fumbles.
  • RB/WR/TE: 6 points per TD; 1 point for every 8 rushing or receiving yards; 0.5 point PPR; 3 point bonus at 100, 150, and 200 yards rushing; 3 point bonus at 80, 120, and 160 yards rushing; 1 point for every 20 return yards; -2 points for Fumbles.
  • K: Standard
  • D/ST: Liberal scoring that scores a “bad” day at 10 points.

As this is a rebuilding year, my approach is to target young skill players (not older than 25) with a demonstrated floor in the first half (17 rounds) of my draft.  The back half will be used to fill any open positions and take a few fliers. I spent the summer drafting a handful of MFL10s (team name @modestreality) and generally know which players I am targeting in these rounds. Of course, this is just a framework and depends on how the draft moves.

If you are looking for real draft advise, checkout Matthew Berry’s Draft-Day Manifesto.

change of plans in my keeper league

Unexpected changes are an underlying theme for any fantasy team. After announcing keepers last night, one of the team owners complained his keeper selections were incorrect. Instead of keeping the triumphant trio of Allen Robinson, Alshon Jeffery, and Eddie Lacy — he wanted nobody. With a lower record than mine last year, this owner will have the first overall pick — and is expected to take Ezekiel Elliott. This has changed the draft order discussed yesterday, giving me picks two and five six.

The upside to this whole situation is that Allen Robinson — a clear first round pick in redraft leagues this year — is now available. What I like about Robinson is that he was targeted 151 times last season, amassed 1,400 receiving yards, and is only 22 years old. While I am surprised he is available — I am taking advantage of the opportunity to draft him.

why I play the game (keeper league)

Sophomore year in college, and a bunch of my fraternity brothers decided to start a total points league. Back then, fantasy football was not overly popular. Sunday Ticket meant you went to watch out of market games and your league was a way to keep score against your friends. And the owner with Marshall Faulk proceeded to kick everyone else’s ass.

Today, we play in a ten-team, head-to-head keeper format — up to three and count as your respective first, second, and/or third round picks — with 0.5 PPR. Our draft is a week away and keepers have just been set. A few years ago, I knowingly mortgaged my fantasy future by trading Antonio Brown and some scrub Andre Ellington for Calvin Johnson and Tre Mason. I was a contender needing RB help for a playoff push — but ultimately fell short.

Calvin Johnson retired and I chose Matt Jones over David Johnson in a coin flip decision — now it is time to completely rebuild the team. Only player that I would consider a potential round 1 pick was Lamar Miller. Everyone else — including T.Y. Hilton, Mark Ingram, and Russell Wilson — were a stretch for the top three rounds. I have secured 3 of the top 7 picks in our draft– including number one overall. Although some players are off the board due to the format — there are definitely plenty of options for a rebuilding team including Ezekiel Elliott, Lamar Miller, Devonta Freeman, and Amari Cooper.

Everything’s coming up Milhouse!

trades that did not happen

The other day I was listening to the latest Dynasty Nerds Podcast on buy low and sell high candidates. Although the players to target is subjective, the hosts gave great insight into trade strategy. Most compelling, was that small trades are the keys to long-term dynasty success. It is a logical viewpoint that often gets clouded by teams aiming for the big win.

As discussed earlier this week, I was able to execute two trades for my dynasty team that embraces this philosophy. But what about the trades that ultimately are not completed. Below are a two proposals I made and two that I received, which ultimately did not move forward.

Made

Give – Dion Lewis; Receive – Jarvis Landry. The team owner with Jarvis Landry was seeking RB depth. In addition to my offer, he was entertaining two other proposals for a one-to-one swap; Duke Johnson. and T.J. Yeldon. Since WR was a position of strength, I backed off and made a different proposal. Coincidentally, I ended up acquiring Duke Johnson for myself.

Give – Dion Lewis + 2016 1.05; Receive – Melvin Gordon + 2016 1.07 + 2016 1.10. Same owner as above. He was chasing RB depth so aimed to get an extra pick and swap for a RB with (IMHO) better upside. Owner was on the fence and chose to wait on a decision.

Received

Give – Antonio Brown; Receive – Andrew Luck. Proposal was initiated by my questioning what the owner would want for Andrew Luck. A one-to-one trade did not provide me with enough value to part with a high-floor WR with upside, and was declined. This owner made a counter-proposal of Drew Brees + Demaryius Thomas which was also declined.

Give – Dion Lewis; Receive – Michael Crabtree OR Breshad Perriman. This owner was also seeking RB depth. The proposal was generally fair, but was not sold on the long term prospects of either receiver. This proposal lead to the trade I made for Charles Sims.

dynasty team – trade update

Tonight I confirmed the second (and likely last until the season starts) trade for my newly acquired dynasty team.  In this transaction I traded Dion Lewis for Charles Sims + a 2017 2nd round pick. Here is why the deal made sense to me:

  • I replenish the 2017 2nd round pick I previously traded to acquire Derek Carr and Duke Johnson, Jr.
  • Charles Sims’ average per-game statistics were in line with Dion Lewis for 2015. This includes 4.94 YPC, 68.12 total yards per game, and a TD every four games for Sims, compared to 4.78 YPC, 88.86 total yards per Game, and a TD every two games for Lewis. Sims accomplished this as  the number two in Tampa Bay, in a year when his teammate Doug Martin finished as a top-5 RB.
  • Ben Gretch (behind a paywall) further supports Charles Sims having a solid floor with big upside.
  • Fantasy football twitter agrees Charles Sims will continue to carve out a role.
  • The Rotoviz Dynasty ADP Trade Calculator considers it a fair trade.

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Originally, this trade was going to include Michael Crabtree instead of a draft pick. Due to the shallow rosters we have (16 + IR) taking an extra player would leave no room to make a pick in the rookie and free agent draft. Given that WR was already a position of strength, I ultimately decided to add depth to that position through the draft.

dynasty team

img20160801aA few weeks ago, I picked up an orphaned dynasty team in a league mostly filled with people I knew in college. Playing fantasy football for 15 years, was stoked to own my first dynasty team. The roster has its strengths (WR) its weaknesses (RB), and its mediocrity (QB). The league is setup with 10 teams, 0.5 PPR, and shallow rosters — the latter of which make drafting and trades a challenge. Without the extra slots to store long-term projects, 90% of the 17-player 16 player + 1 IR roster needs to be immediately productive. Which is why having three tight ends on this roster baffled me.

Since joining, making trade proposals has been a top priority for me. While the team has a good core there were a few items I wanted to address.

  • Add (or replace) a RB, targeting an upside player who has already established himself.
  • Add a QB to replace Tannehill or Romo — which ever looked worse in camp (I’m looking at you Tony).
  • Add other skill players as opportunities present themselves.
  • Address any holes with 2-3 skill players in the rookie and free agent draft.

Thus far, I have traded Randall Cobb and a 2017 2nd Round Pick, for Derek Carr and Duke Johnson, Jr. — addressing two needs while giving on a position of strength.

And even fantasy twitter thought the trade was fair. 

 

how I am currently using twitter for fantasy football

Today I picked up on this article by Matt Waldman discussing the pros of using twitter for an edge in fantasy football. My twitter feed is currently a muddled mix of fantasy goodness — and glad for a few tips on how to make the experience better. My key takeaways were that I should

  • use more lists;
  • use a better client; and
  • use the facacta search button

I am also aiming to improve my engagements with the people I interact with on twitter. There is a great podcast out there by Matt Harmon called Backyard Banter, and it is all about how fantasy football analysts gained their foothold in the industry. Often, guests offer the advice to start a blog — and that is why I am here.

Just don’t expect any insightful analysis — I will leave that to the experts.

kicking off this blog

I have been playing Fantasy Football for 15 years. Started playing with a bunch of fraternity brothers in college — most of whom I am still in leagues with today. I enjoy the game but love the bragging rights amongst my friends.

This year, I discovered “fantasy football twitter” in an effort to gain an edge on my competition. It amazes me how much knowledge of the industry is on twitter — thorough and deep analysis of players, strategies, and etc. It is a utopia and I am glad to have stumbled across it.

I am going to use this blog to post what I learn, harrowing stories of domination and defeat, or any overall non-sense. Look forward to seeing what comes of it.