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Last week I was listening to a sports talk radio show that was making an argument against playing dynasty fantasy football. I know right?! Well the argument was that due to the high turnover rate of players, mostly  running backs that it was too difficult to try to predict and control your team long-term. I personally think this is what makes dynasty so fun an challenging and because of the volatility we see so many different philosophies and strategies. Surprisingly I received an email the very same day from Nick Capozzi of the Razzball podcast, asking if we would like to do a write up about his new team he just drafted at MyFantasyLeague.com. If you’ve played dynasty you know all that play like to share their drafts due to the varying opinions of those that play, the same team that looks amazing to me could be regarded as unbalanced or too old by another dynasty enthusiast. So with this email I took a look at what was a very interesting draft by Nick and shot him a few questions where the “non writer” really made some great responses, land Sky was surprised by this as he says ‘Nick believes himself a bit of a celebrity and because keyboards are what he views as ‘the tool of we ignorant writing grunts who can’t croon the panties off the ladies’ Well Sky, Nick likes dynasty fantasy football so he’s ok in my book, let’s take a look at his draft and his answers to my questions. 
 
PLAYER YTD PTS BYE DRAFTED
Flynn, Matt OAK QB - 7 20.08
Manuel, E.J. BUF QB (R) - 12 12.08
Newton, Cam CAR QB - 4 2.08
Rivers, Philip SDC QB - 8 19.05
Vick, Michael PHI QB - 12 14.08
Wilson, Russell SEA QB - 12 4.08
Ballard, Vick IND RB - 8 13.05
Jackson, Fred BUF RB (P) - 12 17.05
Leshoure, Mikel DET RB (P) - 9 15.05
Pierce, Bernard BAL RB - 8 7.05
Ridley, Stevan NEP RB (P) - 10 3.05
Spiller, C.J. BUF RB - 12 1.05
Austin, Miles DAL WR - 11 11.05
Brown, Vincent SDC WR - 8 8.08
Maclin, Jeremy PHI WR - 12 6.08
Quick, Brian STL WR - 11 10.08
Cook, Jared STL TE - 11 9.05
Ertz, Zach PHI TE (R) - 12 16.08
Rudolph, Kyle MIN TE - 5 5.05
Texans, Houston HOU Def - 8 18.08
 

1. So Nick why don’t you give us some background, you do the incredible Razzball podcast, I think year round, how did that start and can you give us a small preview for the football podcast next season?

The Razzball Podcast runs year round, we do weekly baseball and football shows in season, and this year we’ll also be having a basketball and hockey preview.  I used to work in radio before I realized there was no dough in it and the podcast allows me to scratch the itch.  We started last year out of a basement but we’ve had a ton of traction and now we’re lucky enough to tape at one of the top radio stations in Canada with one of the country’s most decorated producers, Kyle Taylor.  We try to make it as slick as a lubed up beaver (that’s a hockey term, not sure how it translates in the good ol’ US of A).

2. How is fantasy baseball going for you this season? I’ll admit I’m in last place in every league I joined this year, it’s just not meant to be…. (Jay Wrong is the one giving me advice so maybe that’s the problem?)

JayWrong’s baseball advice has been pretty bang on this year, which pains me to say, so maybe he’s slipping you some bad intel because he’s internally angry at his half Irish side Mr. Murphy

3. I hear you prefer dynasty over redraft for fantasy football, if you do I couldn’t agree more but why and how many leagues do you play in? (Sky hates dynasty but we won’t hold it against him)

Redrafts are fun but I love, in any fantasy sport, the long term strategic planning that goes into managing a dynasty.  Being based in Toronto are closest geographic NFL cities are Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo so, um, I’ve never been given a reason to support a “local” team.  Dynasty gives me the opportunity to get involved in long term.  Also the Canadian Football League doesn’t count as “football” so I don’t want to hear from the Toronto Argonauts fans out there. (Sidenote: If there are any billionaire American football fans with oil/internet money burning a hole in your Levi’s give me a shout and we can discuss buying the most under marketed sports league in North America).

4. Nice draft, I’ll get into my likes and dislikes but what is your usual strategy? Did you have one going into this draft?

The only plan I ever go into with an initial dynasty draft is to amass as much pure talent as possible.  Also, no matter how established a player is it’s really tough for me to draft someone over 28, especially at the high impact (body wear and tear) positions of RB and TE.  If I wind up with 5 QBs so be it, I only need to start one but if I’ve drafted well I’ll have a monopoly on upside and depth.  Also I’m never thinking THIS season in a dynasty draft because I believe there’s so much that’s unpredictable, if you put the time into the waiver wire during the season you can always be competitive… In dynasty I’m trying to save for retirement, not a PS4.

5. Can you give me your overall thought on age in dynasty? It seems to be the biggest thing experts and writers argue about is how big of a factor age plays into a players value.

As I mentioned in the previous question I’m a sucker for youth and long term plays because the reality is you’re acquiring an asset.  The asset’s value changes with how much shelf life, real or perceived, it has remaining.  In a redraft league I’d take Brees/Brady over Newton/RWilson (ok debatable but you get the gist), in a dynasty youth goes early and the vets sit and sit.

6. Were there any players you knew you had to have regardless of average draft position or do you not like playing favorites? (Somewhere JB is screaming David Wilson)

David Wilson… sweet mother of… just for the record I was high on Wilson if he got the touches last year, same thing this year.  There wasn’t anyone I had to have but I was definitely eyeing some guys that I was willing to overdraft vs. their ADP (EJ Manuel/Bernard Pierce/Vincent Brown).  I did however want an alpha RB and QB and felt I did that with my first 2 picks (Spiller/Newton).

7. Give us a basic rundown of the scoring type and format and size for this league so we can better understand the draft.

That is rule #1 of any draft prep and I dropped the pigskin on that one.  It was my first time using DLF, wasn’t sure where everything was on the dashboard and definitely winged the first few picks but it’s basically a 12 team, 1 point PPR with 4 points for a passing TD.  Other than that it’s pretty standard… I think… I think I need an intern.  Baseball season is hectic ok?  Stop yelling at me!

8. Quarterbacks: Wow I mean not much to say here other than there are a lot of them, I might be happy with just Newton, Wilson and EJ Manuel but what was the reason for Vick and Rivers?

Ok so again I’m back to the asset thing.  I figure between Newton and Wilson I’m set at QB for like, forever… I have a thing for Manuel.  I think everyone’s just down on him because Buffalo hasn’t done anything right since the chicken wing.  I Vick in the 14th (out of 20 rounds BTW) where I’m looking at guys like Joique Bell and Fred Davis.  Who would you rather gamble on with Chip Kelly coming to town?  I got Rivers in the 19th… I mean c’mon.  I would up with 6 QBs who are all likely to start, it’s a 12 team league, most guys want AT LEAST a backup.  You do the math.  Ok I’ll do it for you, I have 1/5 of the league’s starting QBs and 4 of them have the upside to be top 5 performers at the position. Does that not give me chips to deal in season when someone’s looking at their Andy Dalton/Alex Smith rotation?  You can find WRs/TEs and even occasionally RBs in season, QB is a tougher market.

9. I’m sensing a theme with your quarterbacks and I like it, guys that can run, was that intentional? I think Newton is in for a huge year and I’m targeting him in every startup draft.

I love dual threat guys because there’s nothing worse than a no TD, 3 INT and 147 yard day out of the QB slot.  At least a guy with wheels can contribute 50+ yards and is always a threat to run one in.  Love Newton, think Vick’s worth betting a nickel on and I really, really think Manuel has the raw (RAW) tools to be something special.  I’ll be watching what Doug Marrone does in Buffalo closely.  Also, watch an interview with the kid, smart and well brought up.  Maybe he’s my David Wilson of 2013 but I’m ok with that with where I’m getting him.

10. What if I were to tell you Matt Flynn was going to be best out of a starting job two years in a row by a rookie named Wilson?

Interesting but the Raiders have been so poorly managed for so long I have trouble seeing a rookie QB succeed.  Flynn was my last pick (there wasn’t even any Canadian Football league players left) so I figured I’d gamble on him winning the starting job and surprising people.  It’s not so much that he lost to Wilson last year as the kid won it.

11. Running Backs: I see you stayed relatively young at running back and absolutely love the CJ Spiller pick, another player that is in for a monster year. I see you drafted Fred Jackson as well, necessary handcuff fir Spiller owners?

I felt Spiller was the right pick in that spot but I still worry about how his frame holds up long term, I figured getting Freddy in the 17th would at least guarantee a starting RB if something went wrong.  Knowshon Moreno and Montario Hardesty were the next RBs off the board so it’s not like I was passing on anything too sexy.

12. Ridley was a great pick as well but what do you say to all this Shane Vereen hype as of late?

I wasn’t crazy about the Ridley pick (especially in PPR) but I felt he was the next best RB available.  Also with all the aerial weapons having question marks in NE I figure there’s a (small) chance that Belichick unleashes the Panzer Tanks and both guys run for over 1000 yards.  

13. Ballard and Pierce are both talented backups what was the thought process here? Hoping to draft the next big star in two high-powered offenses?

I think Ballard is more serviceable than most people think.  He’ll never be exciting but give me a guy, especially in the 13th round, who’ll get touches.  Pierce is gonna be a star.  Write it down.  In ink.  He’s my David Wilson/EJ Manuel in 2014.  He’s one guy I was willing to overdraft for in dynasty.  Ray Rice touches the ball a lot and he touched it A LOT in college.  People are all over how much wear is on Montee Ball but where’s the concern with Ray Ray?  I could see him producing diminishing returns sooner rather than later.

14. Interesting pick with LeShoure, what are your thoughts, think he will still be a workhorse goal line back and does Reggie Bush’s presence worry you?

Reggie Bush has cracked 1000 rushing yards ONCE and averaged 39 catches the last two years in Miami.  I don’t think LeShoure is anything special but I think the Lions could go in any direction with he run game, I think Stafford bounces back big time which would create running lanes and I think when you have the ultimate WR in Calvin they’ll chuck it deep a ton and when they don’t break the plane LeShoure can do the heavy lifting.  Plus I got him in the 15th.

15. Wide Receivers: One thing that really worries me about this team is the lack of a true WR1 or weekly starter but I guess there was a reason behind that?

Agreed.  I think Maclin will eventually have a breakout year and be a strong #2.  Feel I got big upside (again I’m thinking long term) in Brown and Quick and I got a wild card in Austin.  I could see a situation where a good first week by Vick creates a ton of hype and I turn him into a WR who went on the first 5 rounds (Cobb/Decker/Nelson).

16. Two of your receivers that really interest me are Vincent Brown and Brian Quick, what do you expect from these two next season? Both teams drafted talented rookie wide receivers, does that concern you?

Rookie WRs pick up the pro game faster than ever before but I think both teams have a boatload of questions at the position.  Give me the pure talents any day.  If they fail I’ll find/deal for a suitable starter.

17. Tight Ends: Kyle Rudolph has to be one of my favorite dynasty tight ends not only because of his age but because if lack of receiving options in Minnesota and I don’t think Ponder is as bad as we make him out to be.

I don’t know how much I like Ponder but I think long term Rudolph could be the next break out TE.  He’s a monster with soft hands.  Give me 10 TD upside at TE thank you very much.

18. Jared Cook is an interesting pick and I have taken him in several of my leagues mostly due to his tremendous upside but what do you expect from him in St. Louis?

I think Cook is either the most overrated player in the league or was never used properly in TEN.  If I’m right on he and Rudolph I can turn one into the vet WR I’m currently lacking.

19. Ertz was never one of my favorites pre-draft but ended up in a great spot as Chip Kelly used to play against him in his PAC 12 days. Are you buying into this Chip Kelly offense?

I am buying Chip Kelly, or at least buying the upside enough that this team has 3 Eagles (Vick/Maclin).  If Kelly is half the innovator I think he is than I’ll hit the lotto on one or two of the three.

20. Defense: Well I’m not evaluating this, you could have the Raiders D/ST and I’m not sure it would make a difference, I’m probably just disappointed you have come over to the IDP side (Kevin Kumpf would be dispointed too)

Just grabbed a veteran team cause DEF is such a crap shoot.

21. Anything I missed that you want to share? I really want to thank you for putting your draft out there, and answering my questions.

Thanks Murph!  I think you covered anything I wanted to discuss.  I don’t pretend to be a fantasy expert, I just host the podcast, but I do love dynasties and think everyone should try them at some level… oh wait one more thing… I’m also not afraid to flip guys (if I have depth at that position) for rookie draft picks.  There’s been more than one occasion where I’ve compiled 3 or 4 first rounders and packaged them to move up and get a shiny new rookie… finished 2nd overall and had enough picks to move up for TRich AND RGIII in one league last year.  Also I’m not shy to pick up 2014/15/16 picks.  Guys see them as throwaways but when you actually get to that draft you’re able to control the board

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  1. Psychedelic says:
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    Nice great interview murph and capozzi! Really excited about my 16 team dynasty this year, first time doing dynasty in Football after doing baseball dynasties for a couple years now. definitely the most exciting and competitive format in my opinion ! Great work guys can’t wait for the season to start

    • murph says:
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      @Psychedelic: Thanks for reading, dynasty football really is the way to go, redraft just doesn’t do it for me. Great to have you on our side, looking forward to an exciting season

      • Roger says:
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        @murph: is Calvin a no brainer in a startup league at #1? Have the 1st overall pick, was thinking about Green but Dalton, leaves so much to be desired, and Calvin is 27…

        • Murph says:
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          @Roger: Calvin will be 28 in September so older than most perceive him to be. The thing is though, unlike running backs, receivers can play at an elite level for a much longer time. Reggie Wayne is still producing at 34 given Calvin plays that long it’s still 7 years. Although an outstanding player im unsure AJ Green will ever match Calvin’s upside with Dalton at QB.

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