This year, DFF was lucky enough to start having our signature Dynasty Leagues hosted via Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC). Furthermore, I was lucky enough to champion one of these inaugural leagues. My league is a $77, 12 team Standard Dynasty league. The FFPC leagues have a few caveats. The start-up drafts are 20 rounds, which include rookies, and you have to draft a kicker and a defense. You start one quarterback, one tight end, two running backs, two wide receivers, two flexes (anything but QB) and a defense and a kicker. It’s PPR scoring with Tight Ends getting 1.5 points per reception. One giant thing to keep in mind is your in-season roster is 20-deep, and you can only keep up to 16 of these players in the offseason.
If you’re interested in the rest of the rules and league setups you can find them here: FFPC Dynasty Leagues – Official Rules.
This is my second year playing in the FFPC (I played in a redraft league in 2017), and I highly suggest you sign up for one of their leagues. The customer service is spot on, managing your teams is easy as pie, the site setup helps facilitate active leagues, and the live scoring tab is perfect. When you do sign up make sure you follow this link. When you sign up for a league go ahead and let them know you heard about them via DynastyFootballFactory.com.
Now it’s time to dig into my FFPC start-up draft! Before the draft, I traded away my startup 5.10 for a 2019 1st. Perhaps a bit low on that startup pick, but I like accruing extra rookie picks to help me move around the draft board during the start-up. I also traded 2018 Start-up Draft Pick 2.03 and the 6.03 for the 3.04 and 4.09.
Once the draft kicked off I made another trade. I sent the 1.10 and 8.10 and received the 2.10 and the 4.10.
This trade is typical of my start-up strategy in most of my leagues.
- I always try to trade out of the 1st to move up on the back end of the trade. I accomplished this with this trade, moving up 4 rounds from the 8th to the 4th round.
- Provides me with multiple picks in multiple early rounds.
- Bunch my draft picks so I can control at least a portion of the draft board. I like doing this so that if someone wants to make a deal, there’s a good chance they would need come to me.
One final trade I wanted to highlight. I traded away the 2.10, the 3.04, and a 2019 2nd round pick to move up to 2.06 along with the 3.07 and 2019 3rd round rookie pick.
The reason I made the trade highlighted above was Amari Cooper. Cooper was still on the board as the middle of the 2nd round approached. I felt the need to move up and add him to my roster. The cost to move up felt minimal to me when compared to the ability to draft one of my top 5 ranked wide receivers.
If you listen to the DynastyTradesHQ podcast, you know that I am especially high on Cooper. Briefly, I’ll summarize why I remain high on Cooper. Two top 24 seasons to start his career, the draft capital expended on him, the college production, the physical abilities. While Cooper had a down season last year, he played injured (according to Derek Carr), missed 2 games due to injury and his quarterback was also playing injured. Assuming Cooper and Carr are both healthy there’s no reason to think that Cooper can’t dominate going forward, and Jon Gruden agrees.
Unfortunately, the 3.04 I gave up to be able to select Cooper cost me Corey Davis, who went off the board at 3.05. Losing out on Davis affected the thinking on my first pick in the 3rd round, D.J. Moore. Having lost out on a young wide receiver who I believe has WR1 upside I did not want to miss out another player I believe has the same upside.
As part of my strategy in this FFPC draft, based on the small roster sizes, I’m shooting for high upside players early. There was no playing it safe. As in every league, there are more wide receivers that won’t be WR1s than will be so I often will aim high, understanding I’m also risking busting at a higher rate.
Continuing my high upside strategy at 3.10 I selected Brandin Cooks. The fourth round was my second round in a row where I owned two picks. I hoped that one of Jerick McKinnon or Jordan Howard would fall to me but they both went off the board by the time my 4.09 pick was on the clock. Knowing that I must start 2 running backs, I surveyed the running backs still available and settled on Nick Chubb. Chubb’s year 1 production will likely be limited by Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson, so Chubb probably won’t end up being a weekly starter for me, so that left me with some more work to do at the RB position.
I selected Hunter Henry at 4.10, locking in what should be top-8 tight end production for as long as he remains on my roster. It would have made more sense to go running back instead of tight end here since we only need to start one. Kerryon Johnson fell to me at 5.08, and I was lucky that he did. The only other starting running back not in RBBC hell left on the board after Johnson was Alex Collins. Collins is a player I’ve avoided in all 25+ of my dynasty leagues and Johnson has a more secure role than Collins based on draft capital and talent.
Sticking with my theme of drafting impact players I selected Marcus Mariota with the 7.03, as the sixth quarterback drafted. Mariota is my 3rd ranked QB in dynasty so to be able to get as the sixth quarterback felt like a win. In most start 1 QB leagues I will usually wait on a quarterback, but again this is only a 20 round draft, so I was comfortable with selecting him early.
Locking up the Rookies
With my next two picks, I selected Courtland Sutton at the 7.10 and Anthony Miller with the 8.06. Sutton, the longtime Devy darling, was at one time thought to be the WR1 of this class. He fell behind D.J. Moore after everyone realized Moore’s production and physical metrics were both off the charts. Miller is a receiver who may have limited upside but should be a productive starter with WR2 upside on a weekly basis.
Middle to the End of the Draft
In need of some veteran stability, since the average age of my starting roster was roughly 14 years old, I selected Julian Edelman in the 10th round. Because we must start a defense on a weekly basis, I went ahead and drafted the best defense with the Jaguars in the 12th. Refusing to give up on Corey Coleman I went ahead and drafted him in the 13th. Ty Montgomery is another player I still believe can have a valuable role in Green Bay and I took him the following round.
Closing out the draft, I added Alber Wilson, Ito Smith (fun fact: The FFPC draft clock does not turn off overnight), Case Keenum, New Orleans Defense, and Jordan Akins.
Mistakes and Regrets
Looking at my roster, it’s painfully apparent I am too thin at the running back position. With just Kerryon Johnson, Nick Chubb, Ty Montgomery and Ito Smith I can’t afford underperformance or injury from either Johnson or Chubb. There’s a 100% chance I’ll cut Ito Smith prior to the season to add another running back. Unless Tevin Coleman goes down to injury, there’s no way Smith makes any impact in 2018, and with just 20 roster spots I can’t afford to stash a player on my roster.
Trading away my 5.10 for a 2019 first prior to the draft was a poor decision as well. I assumed I would be able to use that additional first-round pick as trade ammo to move around the board and instead I ended up holding onto the pick, unable to find a trade to my liking. Making assumptions without fact is usually a terrible idea. Having never drafted with any of the owners in this league before, I had no real basis to think that I could move that pick.
One final regret, that’s more an admission of stupidity. You must draft a kicker during the startup draft. I knew this. I even queued up several for the 20th round. The 20th round came and I drafted a defense. I dropped the extra defense and the site added Mason Crosby to my roster a few days later. Like I said at the top, excellent customer service from the FFPC.
Since grading things is fun, I’ll give myself a B- on my draft. Feel free to let me know how you think I did. You can comment below or find me on Twitter @DFF_Shane.
Sadly I need to add a PostScript to the above recap. Last night it was announced that Hunter Henry tore his ACL and is lost for the 2018 season. I’ll be scouring my waivers to add a starting Tight End, but at there’s no way I can replace the TE1 production I expected from Henry via a waiver wire add. I’ll also be attempting to trade for a tight end, so if any of my league mates happen to read this feel free to send me some offers.
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