While we are all cooped up, I thought it would be a fun idea to get some of the awesome fantasy football writers I’ve met this past season in a league with a few of my choice competitors from home leagues. The basics of the league are: 12 team, superflex, PPR format with a few additional scoring wrinkles such as a quarter point-per-first-down, TE premium, some yardage bonuses and a little negative for QB sacks. Senior editor Razzball_MB wrote a nice review of the pro draft in an article earlier this week. SPOILER: He likes my team in year 1. DOUBLE SPOILER: We may not have a year 1… but, I digress.
The Devy Draft
I would like to review the devy portion of our draft, which we had to do separately from the Sleeper app, on a google doc. In this draft, anyone who is not on an NFL roster or an NFL alumni can be selected. I wanted to go deep, so this was a 7 round draft for a 12 team league meaning 84 players would be selected. These players remain stashed on the devy roster until they are selected into the NFL. With such a deep pool, I thought we might see a high school senior taken, and one was! But alas, it was a pick made in error. Wild things happen when you’re running a devy draft on the google sheets app while in quarantine with 3 toddlers running around.
1.12: Kedon Slovis, QB, USC – I got him as the 4th QB off the board, which is about right. I was sniped on Howell at 1.10 but I think it might be a coin flip between the two. While not a name-brand recruit, the early-enrolee Slovis earned backup duties immediately after spring practice. He was then thrust into a starting gig after a season ending injury to JT Daniels. All Slovis did was throw for 3500 yards, 30 TD and 9 INT, save coach Clay Helton’s job and snag the homecoming queen. Fact check me on the homecoming queen, but regardless that’s a pretty eventful freshman campaign. Finally, his CPOE was +10% which puts him in rarefied air as a teenager and on track to be an elite NFL prospect.
3.12: Trey Sanders, RB, Alabama – After some trading movement I was left without a pick for a very long time. Fortunately, I still landed a potential stud in Sanders. I can only guess he fell due to a season ending injury before ever logging a snap. Ranked as 247 and Rival’s RB1 in 2019, he has everything you could want in a RB prospect including effortless receiving ability. I hope his foot is fully healed by the time he does see game action so we can all be blessed by watching his talent on the big stage.
4.01: CJ Verdell, RB, Oregon – The elite WRs were gone by this point so I decided to double tap the RB position. While Sanders offers immense upside down the road, I think Verdell can be serviceable soon. After redshirting at Oregon he has put together back to back 1300 yard seasons for the Ducks, scoring 20 total TDs and even chipping in 41 receptions. The dynasty community will probably pay more attention to him once he actually declares but I think he’s pretty underrated right now. He’s got enough size to get a shot at feature duties in the NFL and I anticipate you’ll hear a lot more about him prior to the 2021 draft.
5.12: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State – REEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCHHH? Maybe. This was also the 60th pick so it felt like I should just get “my guy” and not worry about value. And boy is Lance my kinda guy. Hear me out – this dude just threw 28 TDs and 0 (zero… ZERO!) interceptions as a redshirt freshman. He also ran for 1000 yards, led the Bison to the FCS national championship, and became the first freshman ever to win the Walter Payton award (the FCS Heisman). He completely laid waste to all his opponents and since NDSU has put back to back QBs into the NFL, I felt like it wasn’t unreasonable to bet on him being next.
6.01: CJ Johnson, WR, East Carolina – After a ridiculous high school career in which CJJ produced 239 receptions for 5198 yards and 79 touchdowns, he was only given 3 stars by recruiting sites. The 6’2″ 229 pound WR had offers from UNC, VT and NCST with rumored late interest from SEC schools but elected to play for his hometown Pirates. As a freshman, Johnson quickly rose to the top of the ECU depth chart and turned in a 54-908-4 line, leading the team and good for a 22% market share at 18 years old. Given his size and age-adjusted production, the sky is the limit for CJJ.
7.08: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas – I had 2 last round picks and was surprised I could still find some guys I am excited about that late. Burks gives me a trio of prospects with names that start T-R-E-Y, weird. Certainly not a household name, I think he’s worth a shot to see if he can build on a promising freshman season. A 4 star prospect, he signed with Arkansas and led the team in receiving yards out of the gate. He crossed the 20% market share for yards, although his line still only came to 29-475-0. The fact he returned punts and kicks at 6’3″ 223 pounds tells me he’s dynamic with the ball and not simply a post-up specialist. The Razorbacks’ QB situation was a disaster in 2019, with a revolving door that saw 5 different players attempt at least 10 passes in a game. Hopefully Florida transfer Feleipe Franks will provide some stability and unlock more from Burks.
7.12: Bryant Koback, RB, Toldeo – Our devy Mr. Irrelevant is one of my favorite sleepers, Bryant Koback. The former Kentucky commit has turned in 2 very good seasons after transferring to Toledo. He has verified 4.4 speed and looks like it on film. After 28 TDs in 2 seasons, there’s a chance he is a pre-draft riser next year a-la Darrynton Evans. Since there are no free agent pickups in the devy pool, I’d rather roster him now than wait and see the price jump. I like that I will know in short order whether he takes another step forward and generates some NFL buzz. If nothing happens I can cut him and restock the cupboard.
Seth Williams, WR, Auburn @ 2.11 – With so many stud wideouts in the SEC west, Williams got overshadowed in 2019 but quietly earned an awesome 35% market share for the Tigers as a true sophomore. He also happens to be listed at 6’3″ 224 pounds, giving him a BMI of 27.9. At this point, Williams is tracking on an elite trajectory and I would take him over all the Bama receivers who can’t separate from their own teammates, as well as a number of other WRs and RBs taken before him in this draft. One of the best picks on the board right here.
Breece Hall, RB, IowaSt @ 3.07 – My current RB1 for 2022 went after a number of 2022 WRs and an incoming freshman RB, which makes him a good value in this draft. Hall took on a workhorse role as a true freshman and displayed a complete 3 down skillset for the Cyclones. With an incoming weight over 200 pounds, he’ll likely be able to reach NFL feature back size come draft time. At this point all arrows are pointing up for Hall.
Josh Johnson, RB, La-Monroe @ 7.01 – I think it is smart to take late round fliers on guys close to the NFL. Their ceilings may be lower than taking a 5 star incoming freshman but you’ll also know what you have in a year instead of locking up that roster spot for 3 years. Johnson is similar to Koback in that he’ll show his true colors within the year and you can cut, trade, or keep him accordingly. Running backs rise and fall in value very quickly as well so he’s a short term gamble with good upside.
Most of the QBs – QB projection is very difficult and while I don’t mind picking a stud early in superflex, I think this draft got out of hand at the position. After Jayden Daniels was off the board in the 2nd round I don’t think there was a clear difference maker available, yet the QBs kept flying. Even my pick of Trey Lance was probably ill advised and a RB stash who can return value quicker may have been the play. But when I saw KJ Costello go, I knew anything could happen so just decided to get him.
Kylin Hill, RB, MissSt @ 2.09 – I really don’t mind Hill but I think that once the draft microscope is placed on him, he’s going to be a faller. He just looks like a grinder on tape and I think he lacks future star potential. This felt a little early with more dynamic RBs like Gainwell and Hall available.
Master Teague, RB, OhSt @ 3.02 – Teague has some potential as a big time recruit with good size, but we really haven’t seen much yet. He sat behind stud JK Dobbins for 2 years and has a chance to break out as a junior in 2020, in which case his stock will soar. However, I have some concerns with Ohio State bringing in underachieving Oklahoma transfer Trey Sermon. If Teague shares the backfield yet again, I think this pick will look pretty bad in a year. There were a number of players available at this point that have already shown more at the collegiate level.
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