I’ve spent the entire offseason rounding up the who’s who of the fantasy football industry. You see, I needed to boost 50 cars in 72 hours to keep my kid brother from getting murdered by a scary mobster. Wait, that was the plot from Gone in 60 Seconds. Sometimes I get my life confused with Nicolas Cage movies. One day I’ll have to tell you about the whole Face Off debacle; what a mess! Anyway, I felt a lot like Memphis Raines rounding up his car theft crew when I was recruiting this all star cast for the Razzball Dynasty Best Ball League: a 12-team, half PPR league featuring a 28-player roster and starting lineups consisting of 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 FLEX and no defense or kickers. If you’re unfamiliar with the glorious best ball format, it’s a league format designed for minimal in season management, where the computer will select your optimal starting lineup each week AFTER that week’s NFL games have been played.
Here’s the full star studded list of industry participants and the league’s official draft order:
1. Michael Salfino | The Athletic
2. Dalton Del Don | Yahoo
3. Pat Fitzmaurice | The Football Guys & The Football Girl
4. Rudy Gamble | Razzball
5. Dave Richard | CBS
6. Donkey Teeth | Razzball
7. Jake Ciely | The Athletic
8. Heath Cummings | CBS
9. Nando Di Fino | The Athletic
10. Andy Behrens | Yahoo
11. Scott Pianowski | Yahoo
12. Brandon Myers | Razzball
We’re now about halfway through our 28-round draft, and today I’ll be recapping the first round which was full of wheeling and dealing—that’s right, we allow trades in our dynasty best ball league!
|1.01||Christian McCaffrey||Michael Salfino|
|1.02||Jonathan Taylor||Dalton Del Don|
|1.03||Saquon Barkley||Brandon Myers (via trade)|
|1.04||Dalvin Cook||Rudy Gamble|
|1.05||Alvin Kamara||Dave Richard|
|1.06||D.K. Metcalf||Donkey Teeth|
|1.07||Calvin Ridley||Nando Di Fino (via trade)|
|1.08||D’Andre Swift||Heath Cummings|
|1.09||A.J. Brown||Nando Di Fino|
|1.10||Cam Akers||Andy Behrens|
|1.11||Derrick Henry||Scott Pianowski|
|1.12||Justin Jefferson||Pat Fitzmaurice (via trade)|
Our analysts came out of the gate going heavy running back in the first round. No big surprises with Christian McCaffrey and Jonathan Taylor going one/two to Salfino and Dalton. Pat Fitzmaurice traded down from the third spot, giving up picks 3, 22 and 46 in exchange for B_Don’s pick 12, 13 and 36. The pick upgrade was used to snag Saquon Barkley at #3; Barkley’s dynasty value is rising by the day with freak rehab workout videos circulating like the one below. We might have an Adrian Peterson-esque recovery in the making.
The RB train rolled on with Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara going fourth and fifth to Rudy and Dave Richard. I knew I’d be able to snag my man D.K. Metcalf at the backend of the first, but ultimately reached for him after failing to trade down. Someone had to buck the RB trend, and I was just the fool for the job. My preference for building dynasty rosters around young stud receivers has been well documented around these parts, and D.K. was my #1 overall dynasty player when I dropped my top 10 dynasty rankings late last season. While the Seattle passing offense didn’t finish the year on a high note, Metcalf is still my dynasty number two today, right behind CMC.
The real fireworks started when Jake Ciely dealt picks 7 and 114 to Nando Di Fino in exchange for picks 16 and 40. Nando then shocked the world with his selection of Calvin Ridley at #7. Ridley isn’t my cup of tea, there’s several other receivers I had above him on my list. But it’s hard to argue with his lofty 2020 numbers, and who am I to judge, having just reached for D.K. myself with the previous pick.
Ciely immediately took to Twitter with a burner account, bragging about his trade haul.
We found one of Jake’s burner accounts.
— Andy Behrens (@andybehrens) May 4, 2021
After Heath Cummings landed second year stud back, D’Andre Swift, who could be in for a bellcow type role in Detroit this season, Nando came back with the 3rd WR off the board in A.J. Brown at #9—a pick which I loved. Young cornerstone wide receivers have been brushed off by the majority of our analysts in the first round. The only other wide out to be selected in the first was Vikings’ second year phenom Justin Jefferson, taken at #12 by this year’s FantasyPros Rankings Champion, Pat Fitzmaurice. Looks like Nando, Pat and myself are alone on first round dynasty receiver island. Come join us, there isn’t much to eat but Nando makes a mean Piña Colada!
Meanwhile, back in civilization, Yahoo compadres Andy Behrens and Scott Pianowski took back-to-back RBs at picks 10 and 11; Behrens going with the exciting, young Cam Akers and Pianow securing the rock solid veteran, Derrick Henry. Some will question the selection of a 27 year old RB with a ton of carries under his belt in the first round, but you’ll see as the draft recap continues, Pianow is pushing all-in with a “win now” dynasty approach. Absolutely nothing wrong with that strategy.
And that’s a wrap for the first round. Eight running backs and four wide receivers off the board. We’ll cover all the second round picks next time with more updates incoming from Jake Ciely’s burner account. I’ll follow that up with a breakdown of where all of this year’s rookie class was drafted, and then later a round up of my entire draft. After that, we’ll do it all again for our dynasty superflex best ball league!