Fantasy Football

2016 Fantasy Football FSTA Draft: Experts League Draft Analysis

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Fantasy Football FSTA Draft

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Credit: RealTime Sports

Fantasy football drafts in the middle of June? You bet! But this ain’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, hunky-dory fantasy draft.

It’s the FSTA Experts League draft!

Some of the best in the business get together to kick off the fantasy football draft season. This is where it all originates – debate about the best strategies, rookie hype, draft sleepers, and making fun of people who take kickers before the last two rounds.

This is a PPR league with otherwise standard guidelines and a generic roster setup of 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 1 DST, and 1 K.

Here are the participants and their position for the snake draft:

  1. Mike Clay, ESPN
  2. Greg Ambrosius, STATS Inc./NFFC
  3. Brett Baker, Big Game Software
  4. Chris Liss, Rotowire
  5. Steve Gardner, USA Today
  6. Charlie Wiegert, CDM Sports
  7. Nando Di Fino, FNTSY
  8. Glenn & Rick, Colton & the Wolfman
  9. Ray Flowers, Sirius XM
  10. Jeff Mans & Ted Schuster, Fantasy Alarm
  11. Cory Bonini, USA Today
  12. John Hansen, Sirius XM/FantasyGuru.com
  13. Anthony Perri, Fantistics
  14. Mike Dempsey, Football Diehards

Let’s check out how all the great minds think unalike in the draft results/analysis.

2016 Fantasy Football FSTA Draft

First Two Picks

Something to pay attention to with drafters like these is how different teams fared after which positions they selected in the first two rounds. I would imagine that most people believe having a RB and WR by the end of Round two is the norm, so I will analyze the teams that strayed away from the norm and how they compensated for the difference in strategy later on in the draft.

RB-RB

Good

Brett Baker selected LeVeon Bell (1.3) and Doug Martin (2.12). Baker immediately addressed WR with his next three picks, selecting Jarvis Landry, Eric Decker, and Michael Crabtree. He also selected Stefon Diggs a few rounds later and I believe he provided a good blueprint for starting off RB-RB.

Bad

Colton & the Wolfman drafted Adrian Peterson (1.8) and Doug Martin (2.7). However, it looks like they were playing more of a “best available” approach with their next few selections of DeMarco Murray, Doug Baldwin, and Aaron Rodgers. Counting on Corey Coleman, Travis Benjamin, Mike Wallace, and Terrance Williams to fill out their final two WR and possibly a flex is not something I can get on board with.

WR-WR

Good

Chris Liss used his first two picks on OBJ and DT, thus starting an early campaign for the ‘All Initial Team’. To further this notion, Liss then selects C.J. Anderson as an RB1, Donte Moncrief as a WR3, and PPR gem Gio Bernard as his RB2. A couple of rounds later he also selected Charles Sims, another pass catching back for Tampa, and I start to think that this strategy of WRs early then pass catching tailbacks could be a dynamite idea!

Bad

I actually liked all the drafts in which the first two picks were WR, but the least favorite of the bunch for me was probably Greg Ambrosius, who selected Julio Jones (1.2) and Randall Cobb (2.13) with his first two picks. They went two more rounds without a RB, although T.Y. Hilton and Greg Olsen provide substantial production at WR3 and TE. Counting on guys like Dion Lewis (health issues), Isaiah Crowell (Browns suck), Derrick Henry (backup), and others will be very risky.

Gronk-WR

I’m always interested to see how the team that drafts Rob Gronkowski in the first round ends up doing.  Jeff Mans and Ted Schuster had that opportunity this year and went with Gronk (1.10) and Brandon Marshall (2.5) in the first two rounds.

They then selected Ryan Mathews in the third, which I personally liked given the upside in the new system up in Philly, and the ageless Larry Fitzgerald in the fourth. After that, it gets dicey as he selected three rookies with his next four picks and an injured Justin Forsett.

There looked to be some opportunity to select other viable options but unfortunately drafting Gronk in a 14-team PPR league can leave the field bare as you are still filling in starting positions at RB/WR.

Quarterback Runs Deep

Tier 1

The experts know to wait on the quarterback position. Cam Newton (4.2), Andrew Luck (5.7), and Aaron Rodgers (5.8) were the first three QBs taken in the draft and all provide pretty good value considering how much production they can give you in the right season.

Tier 2

Although in the second tier, I would also consider placing Russell Wilson (6.10) and Ben Roethlisberger (6.12) in the first tier as ‘lite’ versions of Newton and Luck/Rodgers, respectively. Then add in Drew Brees (7.2) and an up-and-coming Blake Bortles (7.9) and the second tier looks pretty solid.

Tier 3

This tier is why I will be waiting forever on QB in most draft formats. Tom Brady (8.3) and Ryan Tannehill (8.4) aren’t my favorite picks for differing reasons, but the next few guys selected are very stable options. Carson Palmer (8.14), Philip Rivers (9.6), and Derek Carr (10.9) were all top fantasy options over stretches in 2015. Eli Manning (11.4) and Tony Romo (11.10) are both consistent options in good offenses surrounded by talented weapons. This is the ‘honey hole’ for cheap QB options while filling up other positional needs.

Tier 4

I wouldn’t be opposed to selecting two QBs from the fourth tier and streaming them on a weekly basis. Kirk Cousins (12.1), Jameis Winston (13.3), Marcus Mariota (13.5), and Andy Dalton (13.9) all had their bright spots in 2015 as well as learning points. Every year though someone out of this tier turns into a top 10 QB (last year, Palmer) and, if I had to pick one, Mariota would be my sleeper out of this group to take the next step as a Russell Wilson-type producer.

Hyped-Up Rookies

Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Selected at 1.11 by Cory Bonini, a huge workload in Dallas is expected of the first round pick of the Cowboys. With the recent news of Darren McFadden being out for a couple of months, Elliot’s only competition is Alfred Morris, who really just poses more of a vulture threat. Elliot will have every opportunity to succeed in Dallas, but we have seen this hype before with guys like Melvin Gordon last year and I’m not going to be owning any shares of Elliot this year.

Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

Jeff Mans made Thomas his pick at 5.10 as his WR3, showing lots of confidence in the second round pick by the Saints to take on the Marques Colston role in the offense. Remember when Brandon Coleman was supposed to do that in 2015? I know the Saints didn’t use a second round pick on Coleman, but just showing a reasonable point to say that I won’t be on Thomas if he’s going this early. Shoot, he went a full round ahead of teammate Willie Snead, who he will have to jump for targets.

Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants

Now here’s a rookie I can get excited about! Chris Liss selected Shepard with his sixth round pick and, really, who’s going to stop Shepard from being the #2 WR in McAdoo’s system? Victor Cruz – always hurt. Dwyane Harris – eww, no. Geremy Davis – who? Shepard is a proven commodity with a ridiculously amazing history at Oklahoma and I’m expecting him to run with this job as Robin to OBJ’s Batman by the second or third week of the NFL season.

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Minnesota Vikings

The rookie out of Ole Miss was selected by Mike Clay at the end of the sixth round and I’m actually pretty surprised he fell that late. He has all the physical tools, plenty of experience against top talent corners in college, and he must have fantastic work ethic to come back from the injury he sustained in 2014 against Auburn so soon in 2015. My only issues with this pick are that Stefon Diggs was taken three rounds later (steal!) and there might not be enough passes to go around in a run-heavy offense employed by the Vikings. Still, this is an upside pick that could work wonders.

And the winner is….

Nope, not doing predictions. It’s June, I’m still neck-deep in baseball! For those of you already starting your football prep, good luck to you and may you have the biggest leg up on me that there ever was!

About Tyler Thompson

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