It is the middle of April and I am drafting football players. In the ten years that I have been playing fantasy football, this is the first time that I have drafted teams before July, let alone before the NFL draft has even happened. IT. WAS. LIBERATING. Let me tell you my handful of April readers, I felt a rush drafting rookies that aren’t even on an NFL team yet.
Let’s get into these drafts. I’m only going to recap the picks that I made. The drafts were hosted by B-Don and Donkey Teeth of The Ditka Sausage Fantasy Sports Podcast which is, of course, under the Razzball umbrella. The first draft was a draft and hold. We only drafted 7 rounds and there won’t be a waiver wire or any transactions. You get who you get and if one of your players gets hurt or suspended, there’s nothing that you can do about it. The second draft, which we decided to do during the first draft because we just wanted to draft more football players, was a best ball. The best ball draft was PPR and it consisted of 20 rounds without a kicker position, but we drafted d/st. Both of these drafts were 10 team drafts, which is a little shallow, but I feel like getting 10 people who want to draft a fantasy football team three weeks into the baseball season is actually an accomplishment. Let’s review what I did like, what I did wrong, who I’m going to have a lot of exposure to, and who I wish I had.
I Wish I Had…
Damien Williams. In the first draft, I had the chance to take Damien Williams at the 3/4 turn (I was drafting from the backside of the wheel). Since it was a draft and hold without waivers, I didn’t want to take a chance on a player that wasn’t totally and 100% locked into a giant part of the offense. I ended up taking Dalvin Cook instead, which is fine. No, It’s not. I would rather have Damien Williams despite Dalvin Cook probably being the center of Mike Zimmer’s offense. I also don’t think that we have seen just how productive Dalvin Cook can be. After all, Cook was coming off of a serious knee injury last season so I believe this season can be a break out year and there is room for profit. I just think Damien Williams is going to be a first round value for a 3rd round price. It doesn’t make any sense for the Chiefs to take a running back in the draft after they signed Carlos Hyde this off season. While we’re on the subject of Carlos Hyde, I don’t view him as much of a threat to Damien Williams’ productivity. Damien Williams was huge during the Chiefs’ second half of the season and loomed even larger in the Chiefs’ playoff run.
I should have taken David Johnson. Yeah… I’m sorry about last season. I didn’t think it was possible for an offense to be THAT bad in 2018 unless you were named the Buffalo Bills. The good news is that I think that Arizona can turn things around on the offensive side of the ball under Kingsbury. The Cardinals made a few moves on the offensive line that gave up 52 sacks last season and it’s starting to look like they will draft Kyler Murray to take over under center. I think that David Johnson can be a 1,000/1,000 back once again and he won’t cost a first round pick this year.
I wanted Alvin Kamara very badly in the first round of both drafts. But since I was drafting from the 8th and the 10th spots, that was not possible. I’ve been talking myself into Kamara being my #1 overall player this season and I’ll go into it later on in the draft season. Long story short, I don’t think that Latavious Murray will take on a large workload in New Orleans. Alvin Kamara will be the centerpiece of one of the best offenses in the league with an aging quarterback. During Ingram’s four game suspension in 2018, Kamara proved that he can be “the guy”.
There are two players that I took in both drafts. Baker Mayfield and Aaron Jones. These are two players that I want everywhere. Baker Mayfield was a QB1 in the second half of the season without Odell Beckham. Now Mafield has Odell Beckham, he has a deep threat to fulfill his tendencies to take shots down field. In the two drafts that I was in, he didn’t go before the 8th round in either. There is plenty of room for profit here. I’m a big believer in the Browns offense.
GM and coach talk is going to keep Aaron Jones relatively cheap. Gutekunst called out Jones for his conditioning in February and Lafleur has said that he wants to go with a committee approach between Jones and Jamaal Williams. We have all seen with our own two eyes how much better Aaron Jones is than Jamaal Williams and I’m gambling on him establishing this in training camp. I realize that Williams played well when Jones was put on IR at the end of the season, but Jones is the back with the big play ability out of the two. I think that Lafleur will have the running back position involved in order to take some pressure off of an aging Aaron Rodgers. I’m also gambling on Lafleur or whoever is running the offense being more creative with play calling than Mike McCarthy was and that shouldn’t be too difficult.
Right And Wrong
I like all of the players that I took in the best ball league but I made a couple of possibly lethal mistakes. I l only took two quarterbacks and tight ends a piece. One injury at the tight end position could put me in a pretty bad spot. I am happy that I was able to get George Kittle in the 3rd round. If he stays healthy, that gives me a big advantage at that position.
With the 8th overall pick I took Le’veon Bell. It might have been a little early but I didn’t want to take the chance of him not falling to me at the 13th pick (I took Mike Evans at 13). I like Le’veon a lot this year despite him being in a new offense. His excellent vision and pass catching ability take away from any bust potential. I just don’t buy that he can be a 2018 David Johnson-like bust.
I took spike week potential with the wide receiver position which is what you need to do in best ball. I grabbed James Washington because I think he can have some really big games now that he’ll be given the opportunity and targets with the departure of Antonio Brown. I’m a big believer in Dede Westbrook with an actual quarterback in Jacksonville. I’ll probably be making a sleeper post about him this summer. Curtis Samuel isn’t getting the respect that he deserves after how much growth that he showed in Carolina’s offense in the second half of the season. I went a bit chalky and took Chris Godwin, but just because he’s popular doesn’t make it a bad pick. Another spike week pick that I’m really excited about is Daesean Hamilton. I think that he will fit in really well with Flacco as a deep threat and I hope that he’s able to come through for me during a couple of weeks.
I took three rookies in this draft. Two of them running backs and one tight end. David Montgomery from Iowa State is a three down back with strong RB2 potential if he lands in the right spot. Devin Singletary from the University of Memphis has a ton of potential if he lands with the right organization and he fell a few rounds later than Montgomery. I also took Noah Fant who I think will have a fine rookie season no matter where he lands. History hasn’t been kind to rookie tight ends but I think that Fant can be an exception to the rule with his pass catching ability and athleticism.
Thoughts? Let me know in the comments section.