I have no idea what the meaning of our league name is and didn’t bother to ask anyone.
Superflex league, highlights include .5 PPR, 4 point passing touchdowns. As seen below we have up to 11 starters! We must start at least 1 QB, 1 TE, 2 WR and 2 RB. Which leaves five flex positions to fill on a weekly basis.
Going into any start-up I usually only employ a general strategy. I don’t believe any one strategy is sacrosanct and must be adhered to at all costs. I will never go Zero RB (not anymore at least) or Zero WR. I don’t subscribe to best player available. In fact, I don’t have any witty or clever title for my drafting style. My apologies. But a strategy does exist even if I can’t name it.
Regardless of format, I always attempt to trade out of the 1st round of the draft. I prefer to stockpile draft picks in the 2nd-6th round of drafts. If I can pull off having no picks in the first two rounds of a draft but have multiple picks in rounds 3-6 I’m happy as a clam.
Accruing future rookie picks, yep that’s my shit as well. I’m not the smartest man, but I do know a few things. One of those being that rookie picks have an atrocious hit rate. As shown by @ClutchFantasy rookie picks in the 1st round only have 30% hit rate and it just gets worse in the succeeding rounds. To insulate myself, I want to acquire multiple picks in these rookie drafts. Rookie picks are liquid and can be used in trades on their own or in combination with players to land better players.
Although I’m not necessarily a Zero RB zealot, I do tend to lean towards wide receivers. Unless a running back unexpectedly drops to me in the first few rounds, ala Le’Veon Bell falling to the 1.12, I’m not drafting a running back early. My rosters will typically skew youngish. If I believe two players are similarly valued, age will be used as a deciding factor when it’s time to choose between them.
The format of the league will affect my strategy as well, which should be obvious. If the league is Superflex, then there’s a 100% chance that I will draft two QBs within the first 8 rounds(This view has evolved in the last year for me). After I draft my starting QBs, I’ll add a few more to my roster in the hopes that I can trade them at a later date. QBs are going to be at their cheapest during the start-up draft, and the more I own, the more leverage I own to utilize at a later date.
I was hoping to trade out of the 1st altogether and get an extra 2nd or 3rd out of it. My first two moves instead were of the smaller variety. I dropped back one spot in the 1st round to move up four spots in the 3rd round in the first trade. In the second trade, I again fell back one spot in the 1st this time moving up 2 spots in the 2nd round. Not the biggest payoff but not bad, and you can’t force someone to trade with you. At this point of the draft, I was kicking the can down the line until someone got the itch to move up when they see their guy dropping.
After the two minor trades, finally, a bigger deal to get the blood pumping. I dropped from 1.07 to 2.10. I picked up a 2018 1st for a 2018 3rd and swapped my 6.08 for his 4.10. It’s a steep drop I understand. After making this trade I was hoping to leverage my 2018 1sts into either an additional 2nd or 3rd round pick in this startup. Even without any other trades I still owned the 2.06 and 2.10, which is a nice spot to be in.
At 2.06, I selected DeAndre Hopkins. Even coming off a down season in 2016 and likely staring down another subpar season in 2017 due to being paired with a rookie quarterback, I couldn’t pass on Hopkins this late in a start-up draft.
I wasn’t able to pull off any trades as hard as I tried to secure an additional 2nd round pick between my 2.06 and 2.10 selections. Three 2nd round picks would have made me smile but such is life. But the old gods and new gods must have been on my side though because Jameis Winston somehow dropped to me at 2.10. In a Superflex. That’s insanity!
With the 3.01 pick on the clock, I was again hoping to trade back. Superflex leagues allow talent to be pushed down into the 4/5/6th rounds that typically would already be off the board. Every ounce of me fought the urge to draft Corey Davis, I only own him in one league and want some more of him.
My patience was rewarded, and I traded back, again. This time I sold the 3.01 and 10.08, in return I received the 4.11 and 5.02. Oh, and another 2018 1st round rookie pick came back my way. I now own three 2018 1st round rookie picks. In this start-up, I owned five picks between 4.08 through the 5.05.
Through 2 full rounds, I owned DeAndre Hopkins and Jameis Winston. I had no picks until 4.08. Unless one of my target players started a precipitous fall, I decided to just sit on the sidelines for a bit.
At 4.08, Corey Davis sat there on the board, mocking me, daring me to draft him. I did. It’s a reach, but I don’t care, fuck ADP. ADP is not the end all be all that many seem to think it is. A pet peeve I have is when in trade negotiations with someone and they cite ADP like it means anything at all. Most times once ADP is used in trade discussions I want to hit my prospective trade partner with a frying pan. In the face. Hard. But I digress.
I wanted Davis, so I drafted him. Don’t @ me. Besides for some unknown reason, a lot of QB talent remained on the board. I knew I would need to draft another QB with one of my upcoming picks. I still owned four more between 4.10-5.05, so I felt confident in being able to draft one I valued highly.
Still no luck with trades, I drafted Dalvin Cook (4.10), Jarvis Landry (4.11), and Carson Wentz (5.02). My three top receivers should easily lead their respective NFL teams in targets. The QBs are young and ascending with added offensive firepower at their disposal.
And regardless of how poor Cook’s NFL combine performance was I still have high hopes for the kid. I’m not a scout by any means, but about a month ago I decided to go back and watch Cook’s tape on DraftBreakdown.com to see if he was as “bad” as his combine made him appear to be. After jotting down my observations on Cook, I verified what I saw on tape with @allpurposeyrd8g. He assured me I was not insane, complimented me for being so devilishly handsome (weird) and we called it a night. So I have no reservations drafting Cook as my RB1. But yet again I digress.
Traded away the 5.05 for the 6.06 and 11.07. It’s a full round drop, in fact, more than a full round. But I wanted the extra pick and I felt comfortable with how the draft played out up to that point. Then boom, one more big trade.
Gaining another 2018 1st round rookie pick puts me in a hell of a position going forward. If I’m a contender this season I have the trade capital to push for a title. Otherwise, I have four prospects out of a stacked draft class to add to my roster next season.
In subsequent rounds, I added Alvin Kamara who is going to be “Pure PPR Gold” as Brian Hawke correctly noted. JuJu Smith-Schuster, he of the 93rd percentile breakout age and DeAndre Hopkins comp on PlayerProfiler.com, is a personal favorite of mine who will only be 24 when it’s time to put AB out to pasture. Eddie Lacy, Pierre Garcon, James White, C.J. Fiedorowicz are some bridge players that I can flip if my record dictates so this coming season. Jared Goff had a truly horrendous rookie season, but I’m willing to add him to my roster with the hopes he’s closer to the player that went #1 overall in the NFL Draft than the player we saw on the field last season.
I also added O.J. Howard, D’Onta Foreman (my 1st shares of either player) and DeShone Kizer. I traded up to draft Foreman and gave up a 2018 2nd round rookie pick in the process.
The To Do List
There are still 11 picks left to make. With those 11 picks I’ll add a mix of veteran bridge players, high upside players and 2nd and 3rd-year players whose ADP have taken a hit in the last six months.
As I stated at the beginning of this journey, I do not a have a set in stone strategy for my drafts. By letting the draft come to me, accruing future assets and nailing down the QB position I feel I’ve set myself up to compete for the playoffs in year one. My roster as currently constructed is not a championship caliber roster. I went with 2017 rookies with 7 of my first 15 draft picks. Surely some of those rookies will underperform (O.J. Howard) or will have limited opportunities in 2017 (Smith-Schuster), so it will be important for me to work the waiver wires for plug and play options throughout the season.
Grading is never really a thing I do, but I need to end this somehow so that’s what I’ll do here.
2017 Grade – C
I’m not winning a championship this season.
2018 and Beyond – B+
With so many 2017 rookies I do leave myself open to my roster needing a few seasons to be competitive. My QB position is especially strong, which is a good thing in a Superflex league. The additional three 2018 1st round rookie picks provide me with the ability to improve via trade or future drafts; the flexibility to improve through various methods, in short.
Thanks for reading, if you don’t already, go ahead and give me a follow @DFF_Shane. Any and all comments are welcomed below.