The 2017 Fantasy Sports Boss Experts League PPR league held their 12th annual draft early Saturday and as always all best laid plans went awry for almost all of us. Yours truly is a three-time champion with this VERY competitive bunch and I was the runner-up a year ago when my own last minute chances cost me the title. This time around I drew the number 2 spot in the 16-round draft and here is what I came out with.
1. Le'Veon Bell (RB): It was either myself getting David Johnson or Le'Veon Bell to kick things off and I wasn't surprised that the top choice was Arizona's Johnson given that he is the safer choice with less injury history and the fact he is not holding out. Bell is a monster though and on a per game basis graded out better than Johnson last season and so there was no hesitation picking him. I also get the privilege over owning Bell for the second year in a row but knowing his injury history, getting depth here will be key. Meanwhile for Round 2, I was all about Michael Thomas and A.J. Green at wideout; while also looking closely at Jay Ajayi or even Ezekiel Elliott in gambling he will have his suspension reduced or stayed while he fights it out in court. A long wait ensued coming back to me for Round 2.
2. Jay Ajayi (RB): My running backs are set and I got two very good bellcows which is very rare. I suspect Ajayi fell due to the fact he just came off a concussion and I had no choice to make with Elliott as he went three picks before I went at 16. Also I was all set to take A.J. Green who fell to the second round in the running back dominated early picks but I missed him by ONE. So I went with the high expected workload of Ajayi who plays for a head coach in Adam Gase who wants to pound it all game. Loving my backs but not loving the fact most top end WR 1's are already gone (Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson, Michael Thomas, and Dez Bryant all went already by this point). So now I shifted focus to BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE as there were no obvious wideouts who stood out for a possible third round selection.
3. Aaron Rodgers (QB): I know, I know I am a huge hyprocrite. After preaching all summer about not taking a QB early I did just that with Rodgers as the first passer off the board in Round 3 at number 22 overall. Again with the dip in wideouts available (Doug Baldwin and T.Y. Hilton went at 20 and 21), I figured getting the top QB AND top RB put me in a nice spot. Unfortunately I still had no wideout and was now into pure PPR mode in terms of filling out those three spots.
4. Julian Edelman (WR): Like I said, it was all PPR wideouts and Edelman was the best of what is available. I know all the talk that the arrival of Brandin Cooks and the health of Gronk will hurt Edelman but I am not buying it. He has a tremendous rapport with QB Tom Brady and another 90 catches is likely. In fact I think it will be Cooks who will have the tougher time and not Edelman. Unfortunately Edelman is my number 1 wideout when he is a WR 2 in reality.
5. Brandon Marshall (WR): With Edelman being a supreme catch guy but light on scores, I needed to balance that out and did so with Marshall who I think is almost a lock for double-digit scores playing off Beckham in the explosive New York Giants offense. I am not going crazy with the dip in Marshall numbers last season as he was hurt and the New York Jets were horrid in terms of QB play. I think I did well getting Marshall here.
6. Ty Montgomery (RB): It is VERY crucial to get three prime running backs in your first seven picks if you can given the bye weeks and high risk of injury and I think I accomplished this with the explosive but unproven over the long season Montgomery. Yes I am concerned about how durability and the looming shadow of Jamaal Williams but I liked Montgomery over C.J. Anderson, Spencer Ware, and Carlos Hyde who were ranked around him. At the very least, Montgomery should catch 40-plus balls and likely more.
7. Golden Tate (WR): I added Tate under the same premise as Edelman in terms of a 90-catch guy who will help in this PPR format. While Edelman, Marshall, and Tate are not the greatest trio, they are very solid and work well in this format.
8. Zach Ertz (TE): There was an earlier run on tight ends then I expected and my prime target of Jimmy Graham went off the board by this point which left not much at the position in terms of decent receiving skills. Carson Wentz loved throwing to Ertz last season but I know he has been a big letdown each of the last two non-December month years. I will make sure to get a decent backup here to cover myself if things go badly.
9. Kirk Cousins (QB): I love Cousins and he is excellent insurance in case something happens to Rodgers. In fact Cousins is so grossly underrated that I would play him over Rodgers if the matchup was juicy. Remember having a potent bench is VERY important.
10. DeVante Parker (WR): I am bullish on Parker as I think he can be the Brandon Marshall/Alshon Jeffery wideout that Jay Cutler will obsess over in Miami. The talent is obvious as a former first-round pick but Parker needs to show he can do it when it counts. Tremendous upside for my bench.
11. New York Giants Defense (DEF): Yeah I went higher than I preach for defense but that is simply because of the way the draft unfolded. I felt there was a decent drop from the Giants to the rest of the available defenses and with everything shored up on the starting roster (and with backups at WR and RB), I took the plunge. Rip me in the comments.
12. Terrance West (RB): I wanted Danny Woodhead but he was picked earlier and so I went with the starter that is Terrance West. Not flashy by any means but a starter this late is decent.
13. Corey Davis (WR): Upside, upside, upside as the potential number 1 target of QB Marcus Mariota. First Davis has to get onto the field however.
14. Jack Doyle (TE): I got my backup for Ertz and it is a good one as long as Andrew Luck can get back on the field.
15. Rex Burkhead (RB): Burkhead was someone that Bill Belichick himself wanted during free agency and that is good enough for me as a late round stab to see if he comes through the muddles New England backfield.
16. Chris Carson (RB): Another shot in the dark here as Carson has been the talk of Seattle's camp and ran with the 1's on Friday. I did not draft a kicker in order to have as many sleepers as I can on the bench and so this was worth looking at.
So overall I feel my team is solid but not great. The running backs and QB are the clear strengths, while my wideouts are a collection of WR's 2's and 3's. Good but not great. So how did I do? Let's hear it.