Fantasy owners can’t get enough of drafts in progress this time of year. Here’s my thoughts on the first round of my RSO Writer’s League
In case you haven’t heard of RSO’s site and leagues, here’s the quick rundown: It’s a contract-keeper-hybrid-auction league site that two former employees of the Philadelphia Eagles. One of the owners was a former capologist with the Eagles. The pair developed and earned industry awards for its auction application that uses realistic NFL salaries in the free agent bidding and contract management process. If you want more details, read my review. You can also catch up with the league franchise tags with my post earlier this week.
If you want to create your own league, use the promotion code RSP20%OFF to earn a 20 percent discount and check out the auction room in action. Pretty cool stuff. My regular readers that have created RSO leagues love it.
Round 1: Smells Like Immediate Impact-itis
|Evan Silva||Mike Evans|
|Mike MacGregor||Sammy Watkins|
|Tim Stafford||Brandin Cooks|
|Mike MacGregor||Carlos Hyde|
|Matt Papson||Bishop Sankey|
|Ryan McDowell||Jordan Matthews|
|Jason Wood||Odell Beckham|
|Matt Deutsch||Eric Ebron|
|Sigmund Bloom||Cody Latimer|
|Jeff Tefertiller||Devonta Freeman|
|Matt Waldman||Teddy Bridgewater|
|Jim Day||Terrance West|
|Bob Harris||Kelvin Benjamin|
|Mike Clay||Davante Adams|
It’s not difficult to see that most of the picks were “produce-now” players. Silva and MacGregor’s choices of Evans and Watkins are to be expected. I don’t have a perfect bead on Silva’s drafting tendencies, but based on his Tweets this offseason I’m not surprised he took Evans over Watkins. I’m guessing it has to do with Evans’ size, because I’ve seen Silva get more involved in the analytics movement. He might also be more confident in the Buccaneers offense as a whole. I’m sure MacGregor was happy with either of the Evans/Watkins options that would fall to him.
Stafford’s pick of Cooks gives him an all-short guy receiving corps with the likes of Wes Welker and Randall Cobb. Not that Stafford intended this, but it’s interesting what patterns arise with owners over a couple of seasons. Cooks should earn enough packages in the Saints offense to be a showcase player. How good of a show depends a lot on Cooks’ skill to win in the intermediate and deep range when he has to get open against coverage. The faster he does this, the more profitable Stafford’s pick will be long-term.
MacGregor followed up with Carlos Hyde. With Lamar Miller and Trent Richardson as his potential RB2, I get why Hyde was the choice after MacGregor traded Alfred Morris to Rivers McCown to take one of Evans-Watkins. If Miller and/or Richardson pay off and Hyde plays well, MacGregor has more depth to sell off.
Papson’s choice of Sankey is either a strong belief in the Washington runner’s talent or the bet that Sankey’s early opportunities will help his team in the short-term and he can sell Sankey high in the long-term. After an initial season with Papson in this format, I’m betting on the latter.
I compete with McDowell in another league where he’s a commissioner and he has built a strong dynasty squad over the years. Matthews seems like a safe bet in Chip Kelly’s offense. I think Marques Colston-like upside is a possibility. I’m not counting on it to happen this year, but Maclin’s injury history could facilitate more targets than expected for the rookie.
My man Wood is the demarcation line between “this year” and “the future” when it comes to the first round. Beckham was earmarked as a “this year” guy heading into training camp, but a hamstring injury that has drawn the ire of Tom Coughlin could result in Beckham earning the David Wilson treatment.
Here’s another though for football fans: After reading an interview of Chip Kelly’s treatment of players to keep them healthy I immediately wondered if Coughlin’s regime is the antithesis of the Eagles? I wonder if the Giants do the old-school, push the commodity onto the field and pressure him to stay there until he wears out? The NFL in general resembles this statement, but Kelly’s small departure from this tendency got me thinking about it when I consider Ahmad Bradshaw, David Wilson, and Beckham.
I think Beckham has a good fantasy future and Wood can afford to wait on him. On the other hand, Matt Deutsch lost Jordan Cameron and Antonio Gates to free agency this year and Ebron’s potential impact year-one in Detroit might be something Deutsch has to rely on. Ebron is dropping the ball in camp more often than you’d like to see — and as much as I like his upside, I’m not surprised. I won’t be surprised if Deutsch will be trying to acquire another tight end in our free agent auction.
I swapped picks with Sigmund Bloom. I knew he wanted Cody Latimer, because I’ve swiped Latimer from him in multiple dynasty drafts. Based on a combination of position need, other talents I think I’ll be happy with later in the draft, and admittedly my friendship with Bloom, I acquiesced to make the swap and give Bloom a future stud at wide receiver. If this league format didn’t dictate a positional need that I could fill at a bargain price, I would have taken Latimer No.3 overall in this format. In fact, I considered taking Latimer despite my need and if he paid off, I could wheel and deal for future needs.
While considering my swap with Bloom, I tried to acquire Jeff Tefertiller’s pick so I could have a consolation prize for giving up Latimer. I offered Cecil Shorts and a second round pick, but Tefertiller is not a Shorts fan and balked at the idea. He wanted Ben Tate and I’m shallow on running backs as it is. Plus I’m not sure I’d have to pay first-round money for the players I’m eye in the second round. So Terfertiller took Devonta Freeman, a player who should flash now, but not assume the starting role full-time until at least next year.
Speaking of Tate, Jim Day is on the Terrance West bandwagon. As the Tate owner, I hope West runs into the Dawg Pound Week 1 and never finds his way out of the seats. Have a beer. Terrance. Take a load off. Have a dog. Talk to the fans. Watch the game. Wishful thinking if West’s positive impression translates to actual games and not one-on-ones in practice. My saving grace this year might be West’s poor pass protection skills.
My pick? Teddy Bridgewater. I franchised Jay Cutler this year for $19 million. The amount is more than his play has been worth, but the potential is there for Cutler to earn it this year. Bridgewater is in a fine situation and I think you know what I think of him if you read this blog. Since this league has hoarded quarterbacks, I opted for a quarterback that I believe can be a fantasy QB1 — although I’m increasingly becoming more skeptical about drafting rookie quarterbacks in dynasty leagues as a general rule.
Bob Harris’ acquisition of Kelvin Benjamin strikes me as a decision to pick a player in a great situation with the talent to perform well immediately or bust fast enough that Harris can ditch him. We’ll see…I can’t wait to ask Harris about this pick.
Our 2013 champion wraps up the first round with Davante Adams and you can read the logic of this one like a balance sheet: The Packers signed Jordy Nelson, which means its unlikely Randall Cobb gets a new deal. Adams with the first pick of the casting call Green Bay made with receivers on draft day. Aaron Rodgers has several strong years left in him. Put it together and Adams seems like a strong bet to become at least a solid fantasy WR2 within 2-3 years. We’ll see if Adams can make the transition. If he does, Clay gets a nice pick.