How To Get Out Of A Fantasy Football Conundrum 101

This weekend was not kind to me in fantasy football. Now before I start writing this, know that I am not mad at any of these players. Don’t be that guy who screams about someone getting hurt because your fantasy team took a nose dive. Yeah I am sure that player would love nothing more than to be able to walk. Go back to your miserable 9 to 5, Tom.

With that being said, my fantasy team got bent over a barrel when Odell Beckham went down. To make matters worse, I also have Brandon Marshall…and Sterling Shepard. I took them in the 1st round, 8th round and 15th round. They just kept falling so I figured why not? If one goes down, I have the next one. That worked out brilliantly. I can’t help but laugh. giphy.gif

The league I am in has 2 RB, 2 WR and 2 Flex. Beckham going down put a huge bind on my team. What did I do? I did what any sensible fantasy football GM would…time to start making trades.

Trades are how I have won championships. It is very rare where I go a season without at least two trades. Here is what my team looked like heading into week 5…

  • Eli Manning
  • Joe Mixon
  • Legarrette Blount
  • Odell Beckham Jr. (IR)
  • Keenan Allen
  • Benjamin Watson (bone headed ass dropped Ed Dickson 3 minutes before kick off)
  • Frank Gore
  • Tarik Cohen
  • Luke Kuechly
  • Bengals D/ST
  • Jason Myers

Now for my bench…

  • Rob Gronkowski
  • Brandon Marshall (IR)
  • Jacquizz Rodgers
  • Derek Carr
  • Sterling Shepard
  • Jerick McKinnon
  • Bills D/ST
  • Mitchell Trubisky

As of Wednesday when the waivers cleared, this is what I am looking like…

  • Derek Carr
  • Jordan Howard
  • Jerrick McKinnon
  • Julio Jones
  • Jermaine Kearse
  • Rob Gronkowski
  • Tarik Cohen
  • Ed Dickson
  • Luke Kuechly
  • Redskins D/ST
  • Jason Myers

On the bench…

  • Joe Mixon
  • Bills D/ST
  • Bengals D/ST
  • Mitchell Trubisky
  • Jamaal Charles
  • Hunter Henry
  • Adam Humphries
  • Robert Woods

TRADE TRADE TRADE TRADE TRADE

Once Beckham went down, I decided to start shopping. One thing I have always believed in fantasy is that no one is untouchable. Everyone has a price. It is just a matter of finding the right price.

Deal Number 1
Frank Gore, LeGarrette Blount, Sterling Shepard
For
Julio Jones 

This fills the void of having my top receiver taken away. However, I had to trade three starters to get it back. Therefore, it could not be the only deal I made. That is when I began shopping Keenan Allen. Because I unloaded my backs, I needed to pick up another sure starter at RB. Receivers are always easier to find on the waiver wire.

Deal Number 2
Keenan Allen and Jacquizz Rodgers
For
Jordan Howard and Hunter Henry 

Henry gives me another solid option for the flex and tight end if Gronk goes down at some point. Howard gives me that feature back. So I basically received two starters for one. giphy

And in all honesty, I like my team better now than I did before. I was having the constant battle between which RBs to start. I value running backs more than receivers as a general rule because of the volume of touches. Chances are that another deal happens before it is all said and done. Making moves man!

Just when you are left for dead, you have to find a way to pull yourself out of it.

 

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Fantasy Football Draft Grade (Team 2)

Rules for the league: Standard Scoring, 10 Teams. Nothing special. Here it goes…

Round 1 (10) – LeSean McCoy RB Buffalo Bills

Top 200 Rank – 5
My Grade – A+

He fell into my lap at 10. I am happy about that. I get a workhorse at running back who could very well finish as the top fantasy back. He is part of an offense that starts and ends with Shady. With the last pick of the first round, this could not have gone any better.

Round 2 (11) – Jordy Nelson WR Green Bay Packers

Top 200 Rank – 7
My Grade – A+

This pick was between three people, Leonard Fournette, DeMarco Murray and Nelson. I went with the latter. Fournette is a rookie with a bad QB. Murray may lose touches to Derrick Henry. Screw it, I will take the number five receiver in my opinion. I just got two top 10 players with the snake pick.

Round 3 (30) – Todd Gurley RB Los Angeles Rams

Top 200 Rank – 17
My Grade – A

I was two picks from getting Ezekiel Elliot here, but I will take the consolation prize of Todd Gurley. If Jared Goff can be a shell of a quarterback, Gurley could see a bounce back year. There is nowhere to go when you have 12 our of 11 players in the box (obviously exaggerating). You see my point.

Round 4 (31) – Christian McCaffrey RB Carolina Panthers

Top 200 Rank – 37
My Grade – B

DeAndre Hopkins would have been the better pick here, but I was salivating over the idea of having McCaffrey. Sue me.

Round 5 (50) – Carlos Hyde RB San Francisco 49ers

Top 200 Rank – 32
My Grade – C+

I was going to take a tight end here, but Greg Olsen, Jordan Reed and Travis Kelce came off the board during a run of tight ends earlier in the round. When it came time for me to pick, Hyde is going to get all the touches in San Francisco so I took that. The main reason I gave myself a C+ here is because I can only start three backs. Too valuable to pass up and I still believe you can never have too many backs, but it wasn’t a position I needed.

Round 6 (51) – Keenan Allen WR Los Angeles Chargers

Top 200 Rank – 36
My Grade – B-

On my swing pick here, it obviously had to be a receiver with all the top QBs and TEs off the board. I thought long and hard about Kelvin Benjamin or Jarvis Landry, but decided on Allen. I still say he can be a top three fantasy receiver if he stays healthy. He is a stud. Injury prone and risk drops the grade here.

Round 7 (70) – Jamison Crowder WR Washington Redskins

Top 200 Rank – 58
My Grade – C

I honestly don’t know what to make of Crowder, but he is going to get a high volume of targets from Kirk Cousins. I will take that.

Round 8 (71) – Brandon Marshall WR New York Giants

Top 200 Rank – 67
My Grade – B+

Am I missing something? Why has he been falling so far down draft boards. He, Beckham and Marshall are the best trio of receivers in the NFL, period. Considering the Giants run three wide receiver sets more than 95% of the time, I will take it.

Round 9 (90) – Tyler Eifert TE Cincinnati Bengals

Top 200 Rank – 100
My Grade – C-

First tight end off the board for me. Delanie Walker was drafted earlier in the round. That was my target. I worry about Eifert because I had him during his breakout fantasy year. Touchdowns made that season for him. He was getting three or four receptions for 12 yards and two touchdowns. That scares me.

Round 10 (91) – Doug Martin RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Top 200 Rank – 88
My Grade – B

I know he is suspended, but as you can see, I am good with running backs. Hopefully he comes back and is the muscle hamster again. Too much value to pass on here.

Round 11 (110) – Jeremy Maclin WR Baltimore Ravens

Top 200 Rank – 87
My Grade – A

I love this pick so late. Baltimore doesn’t have much going for them on the outside. Much like Crowder, Maclin is going to get a ton of targets. The big difference, he has been a leading receiver before.

Round 12 (111) – Cardinals D/ST

Top 200 Rank – 148 (6)
My Grade – B-

Again, all great defenses are off the board. I will take the Cards. They have great special teams and the defense can cause turnovers.

Round 13 (130) – Andrew Luck QB Indianapolis Colts

Top 200 Rank – 107
My Grade – A-

Shit. Luck in the 13th. Yes sir, I’ll have another. Win.

Round 14 (131) – Hunter Henry TE Los Angeles Chargers

Top 200 Rank – 125
My Grade – B-

If Eifert does not make much noise, Henry could be a decent starter. He had a really nice run last year and looks to be the feature tight end in Los Angeles.

Round 15 (150) – Andy Dalton QB Cincinnati Bengals

Top 200 Rank – 155
My Grade – C-

He is too inconsistent in terms of fantasy. But he was the best available or at least I thought so. He has since been dropped for Eli Manning. Hold it over until Luck comes back, please.

Round 16 (151) – Dustin Hopkins K Washington Redskins

Top 200 Rank – 152
My Grade – B

Final Grade – A

He attempted the most field goals last year so let’s hope Washington will still put up the points.

Fantasy Football Draft Grade (Team 1)

I had my first fantasy draft this past weekend. Last year I graded myself and I intend to do the same thing this year. My picks will be graded based on value, need and overall rank.

We have 12 teams. The scoring is standard fractional with the exception of .5 PPR as well as an IDP. We also have a second flex in the starting lineup.

The draft itself was a great time. We completed the beer pong game which was a lot of fun despite half of us not being able to hit the broad side of a barn. It officially kicked off the fantasy football season for me. I am feeling much more confident with my squad this year than I was last season.

Round 1 (6) – Odell Beckham Jr. WR New York Giants

Top 200 Rank – 4
My Grade – A+

I was surprised to have ODB fall in my lap at six. He would have not fallen past 4 if I were picking. Before my draft, my top 4 players were David Johnson, Antonio Brown, LeVeon Bell and ODB. Julio Jones and Ezekiel Elliott went fourth and fifth. Although a bit of an injury scare happened in the pre-season, you still don’t pass up ODB at six.

Round 2 (19) – Rob Gronkowski TE New England Patriots

Top 200 Rank – 24
My Grade – B

Richard and I discussed fantasy football on our last podcast. I talked about how late Gronk was going in most drafts. If I had a middle pick, I was taking him if he was there in the second round. It is basically having WR1 production at tight end. From a value standpoint, you can’t beat it. The problem is him being injury prone. The only person I was considering here was Todd Gurley.

Round 3 (30) – Keenan Allen WR Los Angeles Chargers

Top 200 Rank – 31
My Grade – A-

I am riding this wagon until the wheels fall off. Although he has sustained two freak injuries, he is still a clear WR1. Last season, he played two quarters and caught six passes for 60 yards. In all honesty, I wish I would have taken Christian McCaffrey. He was about 20 people down the draft list though. Thought I may be able to get him on the snake around. If Allen can stay healthy, I am good with it.

Round 4 (43) – Joe Mixon RB Cincinatti Bengals

Top 200 Rank – 53
My Grade – C+

There is a lot of uncertainty with this, but I am confident Jeremy Hill is taking a major back seat this year. I think he will get six or seven touchdowns. I am really worried about Gio Bernard more than I am Hill. Overall, I like getting Mixon because he would have been a top 10 pick had he not punched that girl. I needed a running back at this point. I felt more confident in Mixon than I did Ware, Peterson and Montgomery.

Round 5 (54) – Frank Gore RB Indianapolis Colts

Top 200 Rank – 59
My Grade – B-

In round five, not too shabby. Marlon Mack could eventually take over. Father time just doesn’t seem to be catching up to Gore. Maybe we can go for one more year.

Round 6 (67) – Legarrette Blount RB Philadelphia Eagles

Top 200 Rank – 82
My Grade – B+

Ameer Abdullah was far down the draft board at this point so I passed on him. I am pretty happy with Blount here although there are questions. Blount is coming off a great year, but it was with the Patriots. Bill Belichick is a mastermind. Will he repeat a great 2017?

Round 7 (78) – Brandon Marshall WR New York Giants

Top 200 Rank – 63
My Grade – A+

This was an absolute steal in the seventh. I realize I have ODB as well, but he kept free falling and I had to take him here. Considering the company at receiver taken at the same as him was Devante Parker, Donte Moncrief and Jordan Matthews, I will take that in a heartbeat. With everyone that I have, I don’t mind having Marshall in the flex.

Round 8 (91) – Eric Decker WR Tennessee Titans

Top 200 Rank – 79
My Grade – A-

Love love love this pick here. Decker is mr. consistent. A few years ago when he and Marshall were playing together in New York and both went ape shit, he was quietly better in fantasy than Marshall. Marshall had his duds where he had 3 or 4 points. Decker was 6 catches 80 yards and 1 touchdown week after week. I see him being that in Tennessee. Hello second flex.

Round 9 (102) – Luke Kuechly LB Carolina Panthers

Top IDP Rank – 1
My Grade – B+

Unless he deals with concussions, this is 18 points per game. I got the best IDP when healthy. Win.

Round 10 (115) – Jacquizz Rodgers RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Top 200 Rank – 113
My Grade – B-

There is some speculation that Rodgers could eventually become the starter if Doug Martin comes out and looks like shit again. With this being PPR, Rodgers could be a decent flex some weeks depending on the match up.

Round 11 (126) – Derek Carr QB Oakland Raiders

Top 200 Rank – 115
My Grade – A+

Love this pick. Carr is going to be a top 5 fantasy QB, mark it down. I got him in the 11th and he was the 8th QB taken in our draft.

Round 12 (139) – O.J. Howard TE Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Top 200 Rank – n/a
My Grade – C-

I took a flyer on this one since I have Gronk. I am hoping Howard turns into a star for Tampa. Defenses have a lot to deal with Jackson and Evans on the outside, so I am hoping that opens it up for Howard.

Round 13 (150) – Sterling Shepard WR New York Giants

Top 200 Rank – 118
My Grade – A-

Fuck it. I already have the other two. He also keeps free falling when he should have been gone in the 10th. If an injury happens, at least I have him stashed away.

Round 14 (163) – Rex Burkhead RB New England Patriots

Top 200 Rank – 146
My Grade – D+

Poo poo pick here. Needed a filler at running back and he is the highest paid Pats running back since Corey Dillon. Hopefully that means something.

Round 15 (174) – New England Patriots D/ST

Top 200 Rank – 151
My Grade – B-

They were the number one scoring defense last year. Hopefully they can continue that. Either way, I am not worried. If all else fails, play the match ups.

Round 16 (187) – Cairo Santos K Kansas City Chiefs

Top 200 Rank – 167
My Grade – B

I like kickers! Kickers are the toughest! I am happy with Santos. I love the fact Kansas City kicks a lot of field goals. It is the magic on Andy Reid.

Round 17 (198) – Carolina Panthers D/ST

Top 200 Rank – 157
My Grade – C+

I normally don’t take two defenses, but Carolina is intriguing. I see them having a bounce back year so hopefully this defense turns it up.

Round 18 (211) – Robert Woods WR Los Angeles Rams

Top 200 Rank – 139
My Grade – C-

Who cares? He will be on the waiver wire by week 2.

Round 19 (222) – Brandon Coleman WR New Orleans Saints

Top 200 Rank – n/a
My Grade – F

He might not even last into tomorrow. Typical for the last pick.

Overall Thoughts

I could see a few trades happening to make this team great, but I feel more confident in this year’s squad than last. I am pretty sure I looked at someone in the fourth round last season and said “I hate my team.”

My biggest worry with my roster is two of the first three picks are very injury prone. The value for their productions just seemed too much to pass on. I love what I have at every position except RB because of the uncertainty. Mixon, Gore and Blount could all rush for 1,000 yards this season or they could all take a seat on the bench. Kind of shaky. But overall, I think this has potential to be a solid playoff team barring injury.

My core is Beckham, Gronk, Allen, Marshall, Decker, Kuechly…I will take it.

FINAL GRADE: B