I’ve spent the last three weeks investing my life savings in NBA Top Shots. Then, once the life savings were all gone, I started taking out loans to buy more cryptographic digital basketball highlights. Now the credit has been maxed and the house is triple-mortgages, I’m back to writing fantasy football articles for pennies on the dollar; if I write 1,000 articles I’ll be able to afford a Jakob Poetl moment! So when Heath Cummings of CBS invited me to a dynasty startup mock draft I thought, “Hey, sure, I can write an article about that and get 1/1,000th of the way to a Poetl.” So it was all systems go for this 12-team PPR dynasty startup mock draft, see the full results here. Anyway, here’s the team I came away with:
QB: Kyler Murray (4, 48)
RB: Christian McCaffrey (1, 1)
RB: Chris Carson (6, 72)
WR: DeAndre Hopkins (2, 24)
WR: CeeDee Lamb (3, 25)
WR: Chase Claypool (5, 49)
TE: Dallas Goedert (8, 96)
FLEX: Myles Gaskin (7, 73)
FLEX: Raheem Mostert (9, 97)
BENCH: Mike Williams (10, 120), Antonio Brown (11, 121), T.Y. Hilton (12, 144), Preston Williams (13, 145), Salvon Ahmed (14, 168), James White (15, 169), Devin Duvernay (16, 192), Rob Gronkowski (17, 193), Ben Roethlisberger (18, 216)
My infatuation with Kyler Murray has been well documented here, here, here and here. Among other places, with hearts and tattoo ink. I know it’s taboo to spend up for a quarterback in any sort of industry circle, but landing my #2 dynasty quarterback at the end of the 4th round, who I’ll be able to build around for the next decade, was very arousing.
I also snagged Big Ben Roethlisberger as Mr. Irrelevant. It sounds like he wants to lace ’em up for at least one more season, but if not, we’ll figure something else out at back up QB.
When I wrote up my top 10 dynasty rankings for 2021 fantasy football, Christian McCaffrey was not my #1 player. So why did I draft him #1 you ask? I’m a flip flopper, alright! Also, I published those rankings prior to 2020 week 13 and it was not a pretty finish to the season for Russell Wilson, D.K. Metcalf and the entire Seahawks’ passing game. Also, also, if I get the first pick in a dynasty draft it’s tough not to go full out “win-now,” and CMC is the obvious top pick for 2021. As a side note, Metcalf is still my #2 ranked dynasty player, so I was bewildered to see him fall all the way down to pick #9. I must be taking crazy pills!
The rest of my RB group is a bit sketchy, but investing too much dynasty draft capital into the position with shortest shelf life and highest turnover is something I tend to avoid. As I mentioned in my 2021 running back free agents article, I think there’s a decent chance Chris Carson ends up re-signing in Seattle. If that happens, landing a potential RB1 at pick 72 will look like a better bargain than the $15,000 Nerlens Noel Top Shot I purchased last week. Locking up the Dolphins’ backfield (I hope) by snagging Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed in the 7th and 14th rounds respectively felt like a great price, and Raheem Mostert is the only 49ers RB who we know will be back in the Bay Area come this summer. If Mostert can manage to stay healthy—not holding my breath—this should be a steal. And then PPR specialist James White was a 15th round flier. He can’t be any worse than last year, right?
Since this draft didn’t include this year’s rookie class, pounding running back would be my clear focus once the rookie draft rolls around.
I didn’t intend to leave this 18 round draft with eight receivers, but the deals were too good to pass up. Receivers are the gold standard in dynasty leagues—or is it the Bitcoin standard now? Either way, I couldn’t believe it when BOTH DeAndre Hopkins AND CeeDee Lamb were there for me at the 2nd/3rd round turn. DHop is my #7 ranked dynasty player and Lamb is my #13 ranked dynasty player. Needless to say, there were some very questionable selections off the board before I snagged these two stud-muffins.
If there’s one pick I’d change in retrospect, it’d be Chase Claypool who I grabbed with the 1st pick of the 5th round. Not because I don’t love Claypool, I do. He’s an absolute beast and the best receiver in Pittsburgh, if you ask me. But had I known the WR values that would fall to me later in the draft I would’ve scooped up my man Darren Waller with this pick.
My first four bench picks were all receivers in Mike Williams, Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton, and Preston Williams. Big Mike is consistently disrespected, at only 27 he now has the young phenom Justin Herbert slinging it his way. AB is a bit of a wild card as a free agent, but a return to Tampa with Brady along with Chris Godwin’s departure, could make for a huge 2021 season if he can stay sane and on the field. We saw flashes of the old T.Y. last year, I like him as cheap bet on a Carson Wentz bounce back without actually having to bet on Wentz. And then there’s Saucy Boi Preston—the 24 year old has had some tough injury luck to start his career, but the upside is to da moon. Second year man Devin Duvernay is a shot in the dark, but there’s plenty of opportunity for him in Baltimore running along side Hollywood and Mandrews.
This team would’ve been even dreamier with Waller and Mike Williams in the starting lineup instead of Claypool and Dallas Goedert. But Goedert is a nice consolation prize at tight end with Ertz likely leaving town this offseason—the Eagles have an 8.5 million dollar 2021 option which I can’t fathom them exercising. Jalen Hurts and Goedert could have a very promising future together. And hey, I also landed Rob Gronkowski in the next to last round. Not a bad plan B, assuming he returns for another year.