My RazzBowl 4 draft in the Bo Jackson Division is almost complete. There are just under three rounds left to finish out this week-long event and it is time to take stock of my original strategy of Do’s and Do Nots to determine if my plan was viable and if it actually produced a competitive Best Ball team.
For context and flow, I am going to discuss the Do’s out of order from the original article.
Do #1 – Build tiers: Leading up to the draft I used the league scoring system and a group of expert projections for the 2022 season to come up with a 1-N list of estimated points per player. From there, I completed my #1 Do–Build Tiers by position. Full transparency here, I did not spend enough time on the middle tiers, especially at RB and WR. These positions have so many players that the tiers were challenging to address. Post-RazzBowl draft, I will refine these tiers for future drafts. Based on the experience I just completed, it became obvious the tier requiring the most work and adjusting is WR.
Do #2 – Have a plan: I went into the draft with a basic plan in place involving RB/WR early with TE later and QB much later. I had my targets in mind and also, not mentioned in the Do’s, I had names I would avoid based on personal opinion (gut feel more than anything else). As the draft order came out, I landed #6 and felt I would probably land Austin Ekeler in that spot as I saw McCaffrey, Taylor, Kupp, Jefferson, and Chase going in the top five. When the third team selected Derrick Henry and the fourth team selected Ekeler, I watched Jefferson go right in front of me, leaving Cooper Kupp to fall right in my lap. So, as the old military mantra goes, ‘the best-laid plan never survives first contact [with the enemy], my Ekeler/RB start was officially out the window. From there, I followed my plan/advice and allowed the draft to come to me.
Do #5 – Pay up for RB1 (pay attention to pass-catching RB1s): After Kupp in Round 1 I had 12 picks to wait. During that time, the top remaining pass-catching RB1s went off the board (Najee, Swift, Mixon, Javonte) along with six top-tier WR and Travis Kelce (2.06). I went with a true RB1 running behind the #2 OL in the league in Nick Chubb. I love the idea of Chubb, but was concerned about the lack of receptions. I just did not think I could pass on Chubb as the RB position was quickly thinning. Thank goodness the draft stayed in my favor in the third round and TD Lenny fell to me at 3.06. Between my second and third-round picks, giving me two RB1’s (one that is projected for a lot of receptions), there were some questionable selections (Andrews, A.J. Brown, K. Allen, DK Metcalf, Tee Higgins, DJ Moore). That means I did get some help from other owners allowing me to land Fournette.
Do #6 – Load up on stud WR: This is where my draft plan did not work out the way I normally like. I struggled early to land WR but made up for that with Chubb/Fournette early. I selected Scary Terry in the fourth round and looking at the other WR around him, I think he was the best name. I could have drafted Zeke, but felt the WR position was more important at the time and McLaurin is a true WR1 for a team that will undoubtedly need to throw a lot based on their division. Based on how the draft played out after my McLaurin selection, I did not land my next WR until Round 7 and was ecstatic to land another WR1 in Amari Cooper (please stay healthy). Alter I added Jalen Tolbert who has been the darling of Cowboys’ camp and is filling the role Michael Gallup filled last season. Keep an eye on the Gallup injury status and plan on Tolbert to mix in the Dallas offense nicely. I rounded out my WR corps with some upside WR2s (Marvin Jones, Parris Campbell) and took a flier on Terrace Marshall having a better sophomore season and possibly jumping Robby Anderson for the number two in Carolina. WR is far from a strength of my team, but this is Best Ball, so I just need these guys to play each week and hopefully, Kupp does his thing and two of the others step up. I am cautiously optimistic about my group of WR.
Do #7 – Draft a Top 5 TE: Well, this may be where I make my money in this draft. I waited for the third TE to go (Pitts at 3.11) to consider drafting a TE. Considering the RB/WR positions were quickly thinning out, Round 5 was the ideal place to look for my Top 5 TE. NOTE: The first four rounds of this draft, 48 picks, saw only four non-RB/WR get selected (Kelce, Andrews, Pitts, Josh Allen). When the draft made it to me in the middle of Round 5, it just made sense to grab Darren Waller (my TE #4, Tier 3). I was stoked to land Waller, especially with Davante Adams taking coverage away from the athletic TE while Josh McDaniels calls more and more pass plays. I had my next two names ready (Sutton, Amon-Ra St Brown) and both went right in front of me in the sixth. The best player available, especially at the position, was George Kittle, so I jumped all over the pick. My plan is to look at Robert Tonyan late in the draft to set me up with three viable TEs, two of which are in the Top 5.’
Do #4 – Draft QB after Top 10 are drafted (deep position): Needless to say the ‘wait on QB’ strategy was made easier by the fact the other owners subscribed to the same concept. I actually waited to take my QB until the first nine were off the board. I have played fantasy football for a long time (1991 was my first year) and have been an active owner every year of Tom Brady’s GOAT career and have NEVER owned him…until 2022 RazzBowl 4! With pick 10.07, I landed Brady and could not be happier than having waited. Two mistake QB went prior to Brady (Russell Wilson and Trey Lance) so the addition of Brady feels like a steal. Two rounds later, I added Matthew Stafford who must have fallen based on his shoulder issue that HC Sean McVay is not concerned with (whew). Being a Best Ball league, I needed a QB3 and added Ryan Tannehill as my third in Round 17. Overall I am very pleased with my QB room.
Do #3 – Ignore Bye Weeks early: I did just that and did not look at bye weeks until Round 12 to ensure my top two QB had different bye weeks. Bye weeks will not be a concern for me this season.
Do Not #1 – Do not limit research: Check! I used multiple projections to build my scoring estimates and then referred to the RazzBall 2022 consensus ADP as a reference point for where players were being drafted and compared that to my tiers. I made some minor adjustments to my tiers based on the ADP consensus and will further refine those tiers after the RazzBowl draft is complete.
Do Not #2 – Do not chase position runs: I did not do this as much as I paid attention to what positions were thinning out as the draft was heading my way. In fact, I attempted to drive the TE positional run and that actually worked when other owners realized the Top 5 were gone and they needed to add the position quickly.
Do Not #3 – Do not trust Zero RB: I tried Zero RB to an extent last season and it did not work. The selections of Chubb and Fournette in Rounds 2-3 show I was not going to go out that way again in 2022. The later additions of Rhamondre (Round 8), James Robinson (Round 9), and Raheem Mostert (Round 13) are all serviceable RB that should provide value at/above their round.
Do Not #4 – Do not shock the draft room: Check! I found no need to reach to get the “Wow, dude, great pick!” If anything shocked the draft room it was the back-to-back selections of Waller/Kittle in Rounds 5/6. I was shocked Kittle lasted a full round after I selected Waller, so I think the move was warranted versus shock-worthy.
Do Not #5 – Do not be the deadbeat owner: Check! I am not that guy and proved to not be that guy in this draft. There were (and still are with three rounds remaining) a number of owners that appear to have checked out. At the time of writing this there are three owners sitting on Auto which is never a good thing. The worst example of checking out is the team at the bottom turn that was Auto’d Myles Gaskin and Logan Thomas as back-to-back picks. Yikes! That will be a tough mistake to fix with no trades allowed and only a $10 FAAB that ends in Week 10/11.
So…what did I learn? I learned a plan, with tiers is the key to a solid draft. I learned QB absolutely last longer than they did in the past. I learned it feels really good to have two stud TEs (please no lingering issues) versus reaching for middling RB/WR. My big takeaway that is not included in the Do’s/Do Nots is using points projections to make tiers is paramount while then taking the draft results to refine your tiers for future drafts is imperative. Seriously, who only plays in one league, right? We all know we all play in a number of leagues, so making adjustments between drafts is an effective way to stay ahead of your competition. Remember, fantasy football is fun. It is even more fun when you win!