Hello again! Last time we talked, I was in the middle of my rookie draft and looking for a buyer of the 1.06. Now, the draft is complete, and we have hit a lull in the action. I have not made a trade since May 11, but I have been in a couple of negotiations since then, to no avail. Anyway, here is how the draft turned out:
And here is my final haul:
Overall, I am very happy with how the draft went and with both of the players I drafted. I was also able to acquire additional assets from trading down. I was in trade talks every day during the draft, and I feel the rookie draft was successful in helping me to flip my team into a winner. Below is the transaction log of all the trades I completed during the draft; I could fill the entire page with the log of trades proposed and rejected during the same time period.
I talked about the last trade at the end of my previous diary entry, but I included it in here to show you what I was able to do with the players I acquired. In trade 5, I was finally able to find a buyer for the 1.06, trading away the 1.06 and 2.11 for Jonathan Williams, 1.11, and 2.06. I thought this was a fair deal and one I was very willing to make. At 1.06, I was not comfortable with taking any of the players normally taken at that spot (Williams, Howard, Ross, Kamara to name a few) and I was really targeting Samaje Perine or Kareem Hunt at the end of the first. I was also able to add Jonathan Williams as a throw-in to get the deal done, and he will serve as a handcuff to my LeSean McCoy share.
After the trade was completed, I patiently awaited the 1.11 to see who would fall to me. I was fortunate enough to be able to get Samaje Perine after Jamaal Williams was taken at the 1.09 (yikes). After Njoku and John Ross were taken with the next two picks, I tried to move up to draft Kareem Hunt with the 2.06, but to no avail. When it was my turn to pick at the 2.06, I was staring down the barrel of Juju Smith-Schuster. To some, that might seem like an obvious choice, but I am not a giant Smith-Schuster fan. I sent a message to the league saying something along the lines of “I’m not sure how Juju fell to me, but he’s the pick unless someone wants him.” As I hoped, there were some Juju truthers in the league, and my inbox got a flurry of offers. Unfortunately, none of them really caught my eye. While in negotiations for a trade including Kirk Cousins, I got one more proposal: Jordan Matthews for the 2.06. To me, this was a very easy accept as Matthews is quite the upgrade from Juju or any other receiver on the board at that point. I said sorry to the owner of Kirk Cousins and happily added Jordan Matthews to my depleted wide receiver corps.
Around the same time as the Matthews trade, I was also shopping Brandon Marshall to a 2017 contender for a package of picks. I knew somebody wanted him; I just had to find the right trade partner. Here is some advice for new dynasty owners or orphan owners: when you are actively looking to sell a player, do not undersell him just to get the deal done. Most owners will see you are actively shopping someone and will purposely undercut his value even more than usual. DO NOT undersell a player just to get a deal done. Back to Brandon Marshall, I was able to find a team that needed his services for 2017 as a solid WR3. I managed to get 2.11 and 3.08 for Marshall. Both are nice pieces in this deep draft and I was confident I could flip those picks for better assets.
Meanwhile, I was in talks with another owner for Isaiah Crowell, someone I am targeting everywhere. We had been emailing back and forth trying to work out a trade until he told me I just didn’t have the assets to trade for Crowell. I didn’t take offense to that because I knew I didn’t have enough pieces to really knock his socks off. But when you want a player as badly as I wanted Crowell, you don’t give up. I asked him if there were any players on other rosters that would make the deal happen, even if it was a one-for-one. He gave me a list of players that included Kelvin Benjamin (you know that part in movies or TV shows when the villain lures the superhero into a trap, and he menacingly claps his hands and says, “Perrrfecttttt,” yeah that was me when he said Kelvin Benjamin). I found the Benjamin owner and used every negative I could on why he should sell Benjamin to me while he was still valuable. I was able to nail him and 3.12 for Will Fuller and picks 2.11 and 3.06. After the trade had been processed, it was just a quick email exchange with the Crowell owner for that trade also to be approved: Paul Perkins and Kelvin Benjamin for Giovani Bernard and Isaiah Crowell. “Perrrfecttttt.”
Continuing through the draft, the rest of the second round and the top of the third finished up, and I was looking to snag Patrick Mahomes with the 3.08 I acquired in the Marshall trade. This league only starts one QB, but I have Tom Brady and Carson Wentz, and I figured at the very least I can sit Mahomes on my taxi squad to develop while Brady finishes his career. I am trying to move Brady for a younger quarterback but at the right cost. He will be much more valuable in-season to a team pushing for a championship without an elite quarterback. Unfortunately, Mahomes was sniped the pick right before me. However, I thought the 3.08 was a perfect time to unleash my secret weapon and make John Di Bari proud, selecting late round darling Kenny Golladay of the Detroit Lions. If anyone has yet to do their rookie drafts, Golladay is the man and should be on everyone’s radar once the third-round hits.
At 3.12, I took Davis Webb – my second favorite quarterback stash behind Mahomes – and at 4.06 I took Jets running back Elijah McGuire. It is going to be a waiting game with McGuire, but I believe in what the Jets are doing with getting younger. I believe the Jets see McGuire as a piece in that offense similar to Matt Forte or Bilal Powell, despite being a sixth-round selection. Looking back at the draft, I am starting to think I took the wrong Elijah (Hood) or should have taken Chad Williams, but I will stick to my guns with that pick.
So now that the rookie draft has concluded, here is a before and after look at my roster:
As you can see, I have lost some depth at the wide receiver position, but I make up for it with depth at the running back position. Remember, in this league you have to start a minimum of two running backs and two wide receivers and two flex positions. Here is the progress I made in strengthening my lineup:
Pre-draft: Brady, McCoy, Forte, Green, Marshall, Stewart, Fuller, Gronkowski
Post-draft: Brady, McCoy, Crowell, Green, Matthews, Riddick, Bernard, Rudolph
I have managed to upgrade at each starting position (except tight end) as well as add significant depth at running back. As I go forward, I will look to try to turn some of my running back depth into wide receiver depth to balance the two out, but so far, I have managed to turn my team around fairly quickly into a formidable roster. There is still plenty of work to be done before the season, and I am itching to get back into trade talks with other owners. We have hit a lull in the season where there is not much activity, so wish me luck!