Updated: Jan 2
This past weekend I participated in my first ever dynasty league draft, which just so happens to be one of the toughest dynasty leagues in America. This particular 14 team , 18 man roster, league is made up of some of the brightest minds in the industry as well as the Fantasy Guru himself John Hansen, the leading fantasy analyst in the game today who you can hear every week day from 7-9 am on Sirius fantasy sports radio. So for the last few weeks I have been doing countless mocks here and there and they all pretty much played out the same. So I had a pretty decent strategy going in. Now when it comes to dynasty there are a few factors you want to consider; age, team, contract, durability, ECT. I knew going in I wanted a nice balance of young fresh guys who will have prominent meaningful roles as well as established vets to achieve a nice balanced team I will be able to manage for years to come. As the draft unfolded I could see that I was staying on course with this strategy I had laid out with each and every pick.
Now let’s take a look at players I nabbed in the first nine rounds. I was picking out of the 13th spot which meant the top backs were going to be gone and they were so I was about 91% sold I was taking Nick Chubb with my first pick of the draft however, Michael Thomas fell to me at that spot and I decided to lock down one of the elite young WR1’s in the game today. This is a no brainer as Thomas is entering just his 4th NFL season and has proven in the first three years he is very consistent as he has gone over 1,100 yards in every season netting at least 9 Td’s in 2 of those 3 seasons. He has over 100 receptions in each of the last two seasons, including 125 career high receptions last season. Thomas offers a nice floor with huge upside. Thomas checks all the things I was looking for young, established, and durable only missing 1 game in the last three seasons.
In the second I knew I had to attack the running back position as all viable starters would be gone by the time it came back around to me. Dalvin Cook and Nick Chubb went to defending ACI champion Fantasy Fabio at 14 and 15 so I was looking at James Conner, Todd Gurley, and Melvin Gordon or taking a shot on a back I have a good feeling about. I wanted durability and these three especially Gordon proved that you cannot rely on them late in the season so I took Josh Jacobs at 16th overall. I have a lot a faith in Jon Gruden and his ability to turn Jacobs into a solid NFL back for years to come. Look what he did for Charlie Garner entering his 8th NFL season and Grudens last year in Oakland in 2001. Garner totaled over 1,400 yards (839 rushing and 578 passing) catching 72 balls in the process. Jacobs could have similar numbers his rookie year as Oakland spent their 2nd first rounder, 24th overall, on the Alabama product. Gruden has stated he isn’t handing him the starting role he has to compete and earn it proving he is tough enough to be a featured back. It’s pretty clear he will win this role baring any injury as Doug Martin is useless and Jalen Richard proved he couldn’t be an every down back last year. So I like this pick.
In the third and fifth I go wide receiver nabbing two young dynamic ready to break out players both only 23 years old and now with prominent roles in their respective offenses. The first of the two being Chris Godwin. New Tampa Bay Coach Bruce Arians who is high on Godwin has stated that he will never come off the field. Working as the third receiver last year Godwin managed to put up great numbers on limited snaps compiling 59 receptions, 842 yards, and 7 touch downs. Those numbers are even more impressive seeing how he only had 5 games he was the starter. The receiver I took in the fifth was San Francisco 2nd year receiver Dante Pettis. Reports this summer out of camp have all been positive with Pettis clearly being the number two target behind George Kittle. Last season in twelve games Pettis grabbed 27 balls for 467 yards and five TD’s. Pettis average 17.3 yards per reception showing his big play ability and now having a full off season under Kyle Shanahan and his bright offensive mind I see big things coming for the second year wide out.
In the fourth round I went running back nabbing a back who has serious high end RB2 upside as he proved late last season, Derrick Henry. Now prior to the draft the reports had surfaced that he was in a walking boot with a foot or ankle injury but Titans are not worried and neither am I. The Titans OC has already gone on record saying they are going to ride Henry in his contract year much like they did at the end of last season. Henry closed the season netting 585 yards and 7 touchdowns over the last five games, which is RB1 production folks. So over the first five rounds I secured three wide receivers and two running backs.
In the sixth I wanted to nab a reliable tight end since at this point in the draft tight ends began flying off the board. I wanted a tight end who should see plenty of work and proved last year he still has a lot of gas left in the tank, I went Jared Cook. I can see Cook putting up similar numbers this year as the #2 target for Drew Brees. I know some may say aren’t you worried that you are putting a lot of stock in an offense with an aging Brees that is regressing in pass attempts a game while also changing philosophy moving more run oriented with Alvin Karma? My answer to that question, hell no. Brees is still able to produce and having his top two targets is ok in my book.
The next three rounds I went Russell Wilson, Kalen Ballage, and Emmanuel Sanders. Wilson is a baller who gets it done every year and is still young enough to be effective for years to come. Ballage has a real good shot at being the starter for the new look Miami Dolphins and having him as my first flex is a good get for me as Kenyan Drake went to the Guru two rounds before so value here is great. I then get a steal in Emmanuel Sanders for my second flex spot. He is up there in age and coming off a pretty serious injury but he is already back at camp looking smooth in routes from slot; and new QB Joe Flacco will lean on the vet so if he can stay healthy I really like the value in this pick. So my nine man starting squad (QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 FLEX) looks as followed: Russell Wilson, Josh Jacobs, Derrick Henry, Michael Thomas, Chris Godwin, Dante Pettis, Jared Cook, Kalen Ballage, Emmanuel Sanders.
The final rounds I wanted young talent who could be forces later in the year or in the next year or so. Here is my bench Mitch Trubisky, Darwin Thompson (who will end up staring for chiefs and being league winner by years end mark my words), Andy Isabella, Austin Hooper, Chase Edmunds (Great Handcuff to have who does offer some standalone value and new coach Kliff Kingsbury says he as nice plans for him), Trent Taylor, Greg Olsen, Dexter Williams, And final pick Hunter Renfrow. I particularly like the nice young men of the slot I nabbed late in Taylor and Renfrow because both coaching staffs are impressed and like what they see in the wide outs. So looking at my draft plan going in and my team after the draft I’m very pleased with the potential to win now as well as potential to compete for the next several years and that’s what you want in a dynasty league.